“Hey!” Donnie yelled, turning towards the door half-naked, his trousers around his ankles. “This room’s occupied, okay?”
“Yeah, buddy,” Bobby chimed in, “Give us break would ya? We’re kinda using the room if you get my drift.” He hurriedly buttoned his pants and zipped up his fly, clearly annoyed at being robbed of a second turn on Mildred.
Liuzzi had entered the room accompanied by three other men as well as Ira Levenson who was looking decidedly sheepish and most uncomfortable.
Bobby glared at him, “Thanks for keeping a look out, man – I mean, good job!” He said sarcastically.
Mildred slipped quickly off the table, her naked body slick with sweat and her dress like a screwed up rag as she tried desperately to pull it back on. Somehow, even without looking back, she knew it was her husband who had entered the room and dread flooded through her body.
Guiltily, she turned, shaking with fear. Carlo was standing there his expression as black as thunder. Salvatore, Frankie and Vito were positioned behind him. Vito had closed the door and was standing guard in front of it to prevent anyone else from entering or leaving. Salvatore was holding Ira’s arm; he was not going anywhere.
“Carlo, please! It’s not how it looks,” Mildred begged pathetically, “They forced me, honestly they did, I swear it – it’s not my fault. I couldn’t stop them, please, please, don’t hurt me—”
Her eyes were filling with tears as she struggled to shrug on her dress and cover her nakedness but she was sticky and wet and it was proving to be a difficult task.
“Hey! That ain’t true,” protested Donnie.
“Yeah! Whoa, there! Hold on a minute, lady!” Yelled Wyatt, busily pulling up his pants. “What do you mean we forced you? You damn near dragged us in here, remember? And who is this guy anyway, your old man?”
Strangely, Carlo Liuzzi seemed to calm. His body became visibly more relaxed and the thunderous expression suddenly vanished. Indeed, he was almost genial as he spoke, his voice not much louder than a whisper.
“Yes. She is my wife and I trust you enjoyed her—”
“Carlo, please!” Whimpered Mildred, tears now running in rivers down her cheeks, mingling with the perspiration.
“Ssh.” Carlo said softly to his wife as he walked towards Donnie.
“Hey, man – I’m sorry,” said Donnie, pulling up his trousers and tucking in his shirt, “We didn’t know she was your wife – we don’t know anyone here. We’re just good ol’ boys from Texas out for a good time – hell, we don’t even know whose party this is!”
Donnie was well-practiced in the homespun charm and it had got him out of more than a few scrapes in the past. Maybe it would work again tonight. Yet the sheer terror on Mildred’s face was infectious and Donnie’s stomach stirred with dread.
In fact, she was distressed in the extreme and this made him very uneasy.
Nevertheless, Carlo waved a hand dismissively. “Why would you know whose party it is?” He said. “But I can tell you this. It is mine. And my house.” He then looked Donnie straight in the eyes, the malevolence undisguised, “And the things in it belong to me.”
“Like I said, man – we’re really sorry, we didn’t—” Donnie stammered.
Again Carlo held up a hand, instantly silencing the boy as he bent down and picked up a jagged shard of the broken flower vase.
As he straightened back up to his full imposing height, he studied the broken piece lovingly, as if it was some precious gem he had just uncovered.
He regarded it for a moment longer as he tightened his thick fingers carefully around it. Then he looked up once more and moved closer to Donnie.
Mildred, her nakedness now covered, was behind the young Texan, pinned against the table, paralysed with fear.
“This was a party for me,” Carlo said, his tone still calm and convivial, “to celebrate all I have achieved in Hollywood. It was supposed to be one of the biggest nights of my life. Can you imagine that?”
Donnie nodded meekly. He, too, now feeling extremely scared. He was a big, strong guy but not in the same ballpark as the powerful, brooding presence that stood close to him now. There was also something chilling about the man, something dark and dangerous. The men with him were also extremely sinister and Donnie’s bowels shifted as the horrific notion struck him that he might not live to see the end of this night.
Everyone could sense that something was about to happen, the atmosphere thick with menace and the tension palpable.
“Hey, buddy!” said Bobby, trying to defuse the situation and deflect focus from his friend. “He said we were sorry. We didn’t know.”
“Yeah, it was your wife, man,” added Wyatt, “she started it—”
“Silence!” Liuzzi roared. His voice suddenly angry and incredibly loud as he pointed behind him to quieten the two other boys whilst his focus remained unswervingly on Donnie. “Keep quiet or I’ll silence you myself – understand!”
Neither Bobby or Wyatt dare answer as they watched Donnie, their best friend since childhood, the bravest and toughest of the three of them, trembling with fear; tears flooding his eyes.
“Salvo,” Liuzzi continued, “If either of them interrupt me again, shoot the Jew would you?”
“Glad to,” replied Falcone, releasing his grip on Ira before reaching into his jacket and pulling out a shiny Browning 9mm. He pressed the muzzle hard against Ira’s temple, pushing his head to a tilt. The boy whimpered with fear, like a scolded dog, but he did not utter a word, knowing for certain that if he did it would be his last.
“Now where was I?” Carlo continued. His voice immediately calm again. “Oh, yes. I was telling you how this was my party – my very special party. And how this is my house – it’s wonderful isn’t it? I own all the amazing things in it, including the woman you have just screwed and the rather nice, very expensive vase that now lies in pieces on my carpet.” He briefly regarded the broken shard in his hand once more to illustrate the point.
“Please, I, I, I’m sorry, mister…” snivelled Donnie, his bladder involuntarily emptying and its contents running down his leg to form a puddle at his feet.
“You come into my house uninvited and you’re sorry?” Carlo said with incredulity, his voice rising by an octave. “You ruin my party and fuck my wife and you’re sorry?” He was louder still now as he laughed, looking round at the others in the room for them to share the ‘joke’, but there was no humour in it and everyone stayed resolutely silent, no trace of a smile on any of their faces.
He turned back to Donnie with his face transforming into an ugly, hateful grimace as he shouted, “You break my goddamn vase – this fucking vase—” Carlo showed him the large jagged piece of pottery in his hand, “—and you’re sorry?”
Donnie was crying now, weeping openly, tears streaming down his face, knowing for certain that he was about to die.
“Well I don’t accept your fucking apology you piece of shit,” Liuzzi hollered, “and as for this goddamn vase you can keep it as a reminder of my generous hospitality!”
With that, Carlo stabbed the shard violently into Donnie’s neck, slicing through his jugular like a knife through butter. A tall fountain of bright red blood erupted from the hideous wound, spraying everything within the immediate vicinity – including Carlo and Mildred.
Yet Donnie’s face did not show any sign of pain, merely a questioning expression, as if asking ‘why?’ But then his eyes rolled upwards, his lips parted and a thick stream of blood gurgled up his throat and spilled out of his mouth.
As Carlo pulled out the shard Donnie dropped to the floor, his body convulsing grotesquely in the last throes of death. Liuzzi growled like an animal and threw himself down onto the boy, stabbing him again and again repeatedly in the face.
Quickly Donnie’s handsome features turned to mush but by then the young Texan was way past caring.
Continues tomorrow or download the complete novel here