24 Mar The Mafia: Chapter Twenty-Six
*This rough draft is entirely a work of fictional writing*
Sly and D walk into a house where they see Romano and Selena sitting at a dining table – the tension in the air is so thick that you could almost cut through it with a knife.
Sly takes a seat next to Selena and D takes a seat across from Romano. Everyone is silent – D twists the ring on his pinky finger a few times, in a respectful, not gaudy way.
Romano slowly removes the cuff links from his shirt, rolls up his sleeves slightly above his wrists and then removes his watch and lays it on the table. The room is still entirely silent. Romano then breaks a piece off of the baguette and chews it loudly while he grimly stares at Daunte – he makes a point not to pass the baguette to anyone.
D looks over at a maid standing up against the wall and he speaks with a subtle southern baritone, genuine sounding and not forced, “Excuse my ma’am… may I trouble you for a glass of water? No ice please.”
Romano immediately grabs a bottle of wine off of the table and pretends to read the label with a dissatisfied face, he snaps his fingers and says, “Consuela!” Another maid rushes over to Romano and he waves his hand to have her take the bottle away, Consuela responds, “Right away sir. I’ll bring something different.”
Sly leans closer to Selena and whispers, “Wow, that was a good move.”
Selena whispers back to Sly, “What was a good move? What exactly is happening right now?”
Sly continues to whisper, “This is the macho-man game being played at the highest level. They’re like two boxers in a ring right now… first round and they’re both just jabbing at each other – trying to feel one another out and we get a front row seat to it.”
Selena whispers, “What? Are you serious? This is actually a thing?”
Sly replies, “Yes Selena. This is most definitely a thing. Wars can be started or ended this way. This is at the highest level Selena, buckle your seatbelt.”
D reaches for his comb, but opts out of the move and instead uses his off hand to grab his fork. He then uses his fork to pick up one caper off of his plate and chews it with his front teeth. After he’s done chewing he points up to the chandelier and speaks in a different dialect of Spanish, “That’s a nice light fixture – where did you get it?”
Romano gives a respectful nod and then pours some olive oil onto a plate. He hands the plate to Sly and says, “Pass this to Selena.”
Romano then responds to D, but in English, “I got it handmade from Egypt – they only made one so it is my duty to protect it at all costs.”
Selena uses her index finger to taste a bit of the olive oil then whispers to Sly, “I don’t understand any of this – who is winning?”
Sly uses his napkin to wipe some sweat off of his face then replies to Selena, “It’s too early to tell… the caper move was smart on D’s part… no one could see that coming.”
D then reaches over the table and gently rubs a petal from one of the flowers in the vase while speaking in Italian, “I understand… some things in life are worth protecting.”
Romano takes a napkin, dips into some cold ice water and then uses the cloth to massage his eyeballs. He puts his watch back on and looks at Selena, “Fix your posture Selena.” Then he looks at Sly and says, “Fix your face because something about it I wish to slap.” Then he looks at D and says, “Leave my table.”
It’s completely silent for about thirty seconds.
D suddenly unbuttons the first button to his shirt, tucks his napkin in and leans back in his chair just as the maid shows up to place a freshly cooked cutlet onto his plate. The sequence is visually cinematic.
Sly excitedly whispers to Selena, “I can’t believe it. I can’t believe he pulled that off.”
Selena is super confused, “What? Pulled what off?”
Sly replies, “He tucked his napkin in first at someone else’s dinner table… the timing was perfect – beautifully executed. He even added the relax back in your chair move.”
Romano finally passes the baguette while speaking in Spanish, “What do you want with my daughter anyway? If there was anything else that your family wanted, I would make it happen – but this I cannot allow.”
D takes his comb and slicks his hair back, but doesn’t say anything. Everyone starts eating in complete silence.
After about fifteen minutes, Romano takes the last bite of food off his plate and then speaks in English, “She is very difficult to deal with. She’s high maintenance… very needy.”
D can feel the vibe of the room change, “I know right? One day she’s like this, one day she’s like that…”
Romano genuinely laughs, “This I’m well aware of. She must have gotten that from her mother.”
Selena angrily throws her napkin on the table and then speaks in Italian, “Uh, Hello? I’m sitting right here!”
Sly speaks up, “Wait… what’s happening here? This is not what I had envisioned – do I still get my million dollars?”
Romano ignores Sly and takes a quick sip of wine. He then looks at D and says, “You must know that Selena is already married – I’m not sure if she told you…”
Selena looks over at D and speaks sincerely, “It’s not what you think… I was forced into it.”
*To Be Continued In Chapter Twenty-Seven*