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Bianca Young and her dad tried to cross us. They wanted to take my family for fools, and now they’re going to find out what three jocks like us will do with her beautiful body. She walked around campus as if she was in her own world, but we would have her begging for mercy, until we were done with her. We would strip her, spank her until she’s soaking wet. Then, we would put her in line for stealing from my family. We would have her screaming our names with every orgasm before we were through with her. No one messed with the Russo family and got away with it. No one.
“Dad, I’m not in the mood for dinner. I have so much work to do,” I said on the phone as I pouted, wondering what trouble he’d gotten himself into this time. I knew it was the only reason he’d called in the first place.
He needed money. He always needed money.
“Look, I need this deal to go through. If there’s no dinner, then I don’t know when Dante will be back in town. He has triplets in your year at Yale—you must know them.” The words stuttered, and I wondered if it was a bad connection or if he was scared.
“Who?” I asked. There were thousands of students in Yale—how could he possibly expect me to know all of them?
I didn’t have time for this conversation. Tomorrow was Friday, and I needed to submit an idea for my paper. It was approaching nighttime, and I was drawing a blank.
“I don’t know. A couple of them start with the letter A. How hard can it be with Italian names? Something like Alessandro, and…”
“Adolfo,” I said, filling in the blank as he struggled to remember the second A name. I definitely knew those guys.
I sat down at my desk in my dorm room, realizing this situation was bad. Going to dinner with the hottest guys on campus wasn’t a good idea. They only had one thing on their minds—sex, sex and more sex.
They had the type of reputation where if you wanted to get laid, you would turn to them. But if they turned you down—which they did 75% of the time—then there was something wrong with you. No girl would ever want anything to do with you because you had a bad reputation, and no guy would want you. Hell, if you weren’t good enough for the triplets, then you weren’t good enough for anyone.
They were arrogant. They loved to show off their money, always flashing their gold cards in Two Sheets where I worked, treating their latest conquest like a queen. Everyone would worship her, because she was one of the 25%. She truly was worthy.
I didn’t know why girls even put themselves through such torture. I thought I was done with all this crap back in high school—the mean girls—but no. Coming to Yale, I discovered it was even worse. People could be cruel at the worst of times.
“Good! You know them!” my dad said, excited.
I shook my head, even though he couldn’t see me. “No, I know of them. I don’t talk to them. There’s no way I’m sitting at a table with those three. They make me sick.”
“Why? I hear they’re all top athletes. One plays baseball, one plays basketball, and one football. Don’t ask me which one plays what. I’m still trying to think of the other one’s name… Look, it doesn’t matter. All I need you to do is smile, act pleasant, and that’s it. If Dante agrees to the deal, it could be the answer to all our problems.”
I sighed as I turned around to face the mirror on the other side of my room. My bangs, like the rest of me, needed some TLC. Even my dark eyes had shadows. I’d been so caught up on my paper and life in general, being in my senior year, I couldn’t even remember the last time I got dressed up, especially to go to a dinner, so I was in dire need of something to wear too.
“I spent nearly five years on the road hearing the same line,” I said, hating myself for telling him the truth. But I was upset he didn’t just pick up the phone and call to hear my voice or even just to say hi. He always wanted something. I shouldn’t have been surprised at it, but it still hurt.
“Bianca, we need to move. I’m in big trouble…”
This was what it was like living with him. He’d come and get me early from class, and I knew his life was on the line. I’d lost one parent to cancer, I wasn’t going to lose another one was what I used to think, but enough was enough.
Nan had tried to help him by putting him in rehab to get over his gambling addiction, and he seemed better when he got out… but it only got worse. He pawned everything Nan owned. He took out a mortgage on her house without her permission and stole nearly every penny from her.
All it took was for him to drive past a sign for a casino or see poker being played online in a movie, and he would gamble again, like a cat chasing a neon light, no sign of stopping and completely addicted to the thrill of it.
Nan was living with Uncle Floyd in Rhode Island at the moment and would be for the foreseeable future. She didn’t press charges and didn’t say anything to the bank when they came to repossess her home.
Dad often fought with Uncle Floyd, who owned a big real estate firm. He accused him of being mean and not helping him out whenever he got into trouble. When Mom was alive, she told me Uncle Floyd had helped Dad out more than once, then said enough was enough and turned his back on him. Sure, he was his younger brother, but that didn’t mean he had to give up his life for Dad’s.
Uncle Floyd told me I could stay with him any time, and I took him up on it when I turned sixteen. If I hadn’t, I would’ve spent in my life on the road with Dad.
It was fun at first, an adventure moving from place to place, but as I got older, I realized I had no friends, no home to call my own, and this would be it for the rest of my life. When I moved in with Uncle Floyd, Dad stopped talking to me, saying I’d left him all alone.
Uncle Floyd has always been good to me. He pays my tuition and gives me money to live off, but I hate relying on him for everything—he’s already done so much for me, so the least I can do is try to help myself a little. Things got more and more expensive every year, so I started to work in the Two Sheets, student bar so I didn’t have to rely on him so much for money.
I waited patiently for Dad to say something, anything, so I could hang up with a clear conscience. It’d been five long years since we last spoke, and now he was calling me out of the blue as if he never said any of those horrible things to me when I left him in the motel.
“Bianca, I promise this will be the last time.” He started to sob on the line. I hated it when he cried. I fell for it every single time, and I knew I would regret it.
I threw my head back and took a deep breath, knowing I’d probably regret the words that were about to leave my mouth for the rest of my life.
“Ok. What time’s dinner and where?”
He laughed. “Don’t worry about it.”
Then there was a knock on the door. He’d been in the hallway all this time. How had he known where to find me?
“Dad?” I said when I opened the door, still holding my phone in my hand. I didn’t even recognize him at first. It had only been five years, but the way he’d aged it could easily have been twenty. He had hardly any hair, his thick, dark, curly locks replaced with thin grey wisps.
“Sweetheart, I knew you would see sense,” he said as he wrapped his arms around me.
I hated myself for agreeing to dinner with him, and I hated him even more for knowing my soft spot.
* * *
The next day, I spent an hour getting ready, straightening my hair and painting my nails. I was starting to get suspicious if I was part of the deal and he was pimping me out. Dad reassured me I wasn’t, but I wasn’t sure I believed him.
Something was different this time, because he was more nervous than usual. And I wasn’t a fool—the bottle of “water” he was holding onto and sipping as if his life depended on it was full of vodka.
I wondered at times if it was the alcohol that spurred him to gamble, or if the gambling led him to drink. I guess it didn’t really matter—if the alcohol didn’t kill him, then the goons who were after him would.
I had a feeling this time would be the last time I’d see him. If his plan worked out like he wanted, then he’d disappear. If it didn’t, then he would be dead. Either way, I’d play along, because when all was said and done, he was still my dad.
I got changed in my bathroom, feeling a little awkward as I put on the sexy, short, backless black number Dad bought for me. He’d conveniently had it in his car.
“So, tell me. How do I look?” I asked as I stepped out. Dad finished the remains of his plastic bottle, looking disappointed he’d drained it so quickly.
“You look beautiful.” He sighed as I adjusted my dark hair, which was pinned up in a bun with a few loose strands framing my face.
“I never wear stuff like this,” I said, tugging at the hem of my skirt. “It’s so short that it just barely covers my butt. I feel as if every part of my body’s exposed.”
“You remind me of your mom when we went to prom.”
I shook my head. “I’ve seen the prom photos, and no way did Mom wear something this short.”
I had no idea what that had to do with what I was wearing now, but he continued to explain, even if it didn’t make it any clearer.
“Yeah, in those days it was all about the long dresses and not showing too much flesh. Not like now. I remember your prom—you wore something similar. Right?”
I just nodded, because it wasn’t worth correcting him. I’d skipped my prom—no one asked me, and I didn’t want to go alone or as a third wheel.
“You really should dress like this more often, instead of hiding away in whatever you was wearing before.”
Dad was right—I didn’t really care what I wore in general, but I did care about my health. Mom used to always drum into me about healthy eating and the benefits of it. “Healthy body means a healthy mind.” Unlike Dad, who drank like a fish and had never worked out in his life, yet didn’t have one health issue. Sometimes I thought it was just down to genes—if you have strong genes, then it didn’t matter how much you abused your body, you would get away with most of life’s illnesses. She was taken by cancer, and the idea of never being in her arms again at times still kept me up at night.
“Let’s get going,” I said as I grabbed my purse. I wanted to leave before Erika, my roommate, came back.
Dad was a mess, and as much as I was trying to put it all at the back of my mind, I couldn’t help feeling that I should have just called Nan and Uncle Floyd to tell them he was here. They would do something to intervene. He wasn’t in a good state—not at all.
It didn’t take long to figure out where our party was sitting as we stepped into the Italian bistro. The four men were so loud, they were grabbing all the attention in the restaurant. I would have found it annoying, but the other diners seemed to find it amusing, waving in their direction and laughing at the noise they were making.
I knew them. Alessandro, Carlo, and Adolfo, plus an older gentleman who must be their dad.
I’d never spoken to them in my nearly four years at Yale, and I never planned to. I could quite happily continue avoiding them like the plague and feel good about it.
I’m sure I looked just as nervous as Dad as I pulled down on my dress one more time. It was silly, I knew, because the moment I pulled it down, it would ride back up again, yet I’d formed this habit in the space of thirty minutes since I put the dress on and left my dorm room.
I felt a wave of jealousy seeing them at the table. They were laughing and talking as if they were all
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