Can't Pick Your Family
Prologue: A Message to Don Vincente

Caution: This Thriller Sex Story contains strong sexual content, including Ma/Fa, Consensual, Romantic, Rape, BiSexual, Heterosexual, Oral Sex, Anal Sex, Violent, School,

Desc: Thriller Sex Story: Prologue: A Message to Don Vincente - Joey Di Rosa is the grandnephew of a Cosa Nostra kingpin. Deirdre Darling is the daughter of a district attorney. Yet, they become soul mates and lovers until a violent crime tears them apart. Caution: the story gets ugly towards the middle, and as in real life, crime pays if done right.

The negotiations had come to a stalemate. Vincent Di Rosa, patriarch of the Di Rosa syndicate, eyed his counterparts with barely veiled contempt. To him, they were not worthy of any more of his time. He had allowed them to prosper in the lucrative trade with prescription drugs, mostly steroids and Viagra knock-offs, but now that they had gained in wealth and perceived power they wanted to step in on the Di Rosa turf.

He was leery of them, nonetheless. Those crazy Albanian goons had little regard for the rules of the business. They did not recognize the Cosa Nostra, and they had no foresight or reason to guide them, only greed and archaic concepts of honor.

To Don Vincente, it was clear that this ragtag bunch of goons stood no chance against the Di Rosa organization with its vast resources, not only in manpower, but also in political connections. The problem was that they did not see this point. To them, the Di Rosa syndicate was a toothless tiger, a bunch of old, boccie playing Mustache Petes. This was one disadvantage of Don Vincente's success in keeping out of the public eye. Don Vincente had never been convicted of a crime, had not even been arrested in all his seventy-two years. While this feat had garnered him much admiration in his own closely guarded circles, the average street goon might not even know his name.

"Is that your last word, Di Rosa?"

The rude question, so bare of all refinement and politeness, came from Enver Kaçani who liked to style himself the boss of the Kaçani syndicate.

"My dear Kaçani, what do you expect of me? You come here to my city to start a business. You ask for my help to start things, and didn't I help you? Now that you have found success with my help, you make demands of me. Is that reasonable? What do you offer in return? How do you reward me for the open hand I offered you all those years?"

Kaçani snorted with derision. "You expect gratitude? We paid you for your protection. One last time. Will you support our expansion into South Philadelphia?"

"I have told you, time and again, that I will not tolerate any of your activities in that area. It is quiet there, and my people want to keep it quiet. I believe this meeting has become entirely fruitless," Don Vincente said without emotion. "I wish you a good day and success in your endeavors."

Kaçani's eyes narrowed. Then he shrugged his shoulders and abruptly turned to leave the room with his three lieutenants in tow. Don Vincente waited until his man at the door gave him a nod before he spoke again. He addressed his grandson, Felix Di Rosa, who had been sitting silently, watching the Albanians closely.

"Nobody can reason with these barbarians," Don Vincente sighed.

Felix nodded. "Do we rub them out?" he asked bluntly. Once among themselves, the Di Rosa were not prone to mincing words, and Felix was the numero uno martello of the family, their Nº1 hammer.

"Clear it with the cops first. If they want, leave them a few of the Kaçanis to arrest. It's getting close to Christmas and our good friends can use citations and promotions."

Felix nodded. "I'll talk to our contacts. We have to move anyway. That stuff is getting bad for our business."

He meant sports betting, of course. Any rumor of manipulation made the bettors wary. Then Felix thought of something else.

"The congressman wants to set up a subcommittee to look into sports doping. Maybe we can feed him a few names, too."

"Have this done by Christmas," Don Vincente nodded. "I want to enjoy the holidays without having to worry about those cafones."

Meanwhile, Enver Kaçani, his two sons, three nephews, and his cousin, retired to Enver's huge gym, the Olympic, in an upstairs conference room. Not surprisingly, the subject was the meeting with the Di Rosa.

"Why not take them out?" Enver's cousin, Ilie, proposed.

Enver shook his head. "We must make the old man knuckle under. If we knock him off, another Spaghetti will take his place. We must scare him, make him realize we mean business."

"Felix Di Rosa?"

Enver shook his head again. "He's barely ever seen in public. He only pops up at those meetings. He's also their Number One Hammer and he's never out without some serious muscle."

"Other family members?" his nephew, Nasav, asked.

"The old man's son died last year. Then, of course, you have his underlings, but he's lost a few of them to the Fibbies in the last years and that didn't rattle him. No, we have to hit in the soft underbelly where it hurts. Family, you know."

"Well, what about that furniture store? It's named Di Rosa, too," Nasav suggested.

"That's right," Cousin Ilie joined in. "The owner, he's the old man's nephew; Giancarlo Di Rosa is his name."

"I don't know," Enver temporized.

"Look, Uncle Enver, it's perfect. He's close kin to the old man, yet he's not running around with a bunch of buttons to guard him. It's a piece of cake to take him out, and it'll shake the old bastard."

Nasav spoke persuasively; he wanted the job. Enver smirked. Whatever. If that did not work, they could still knock off another Di Rosa later.

"Case him for two or three weeks. Make sure he isn't protected. Then whack him. Make it public and make it look gory!"

Nasav shrugged. What he had in mind was already in line with his uncle's wishes.

Felix Di Rosa surveyed the information he had received over the last weeks. His grandfather's wish to solve the Kaçani problem before Christmas was not easily fulfilled. Kaçani and his closest chums, all blood relations, rarely left the large gym where they had their headquarters.

The problem was not so much the muscle that guarded the place but the fact that there were always three or four off-duty police officers working out in the gym. Kaçani offered free membership to young cops knowing that a hit on his gym was impossible if there was a danger that cops got hurt. Also, the narcs would be leery about catching fellow officers when investigating the gym. Very clever, Felix conceded. The cops probably had free access to Kaçani's steroids, at least by the looks some of them sported.

Just then, the idea hit Felix and he smiled at the beauty of it. He could get rid of the cops in the gym and help a friend with his career. He picked up the unlisted, prepaid phone he used on this day. He dialed the number from memory. He listened to the call tone. The tone stopped and Felix heard the voice of the man he needed.

"Philadelphia Police Department, Department of Internal Affairs, Lieutenant Alvarado. How may I help you?"

"Well, Lieutenant, I work out in this gym, the Olympic. Twice a week, in fact. In the weight room, there's always this group of young men. Very bulky, you know. From how they talk it's clear they are police officers. Now yesterday, I saw two of them in the locker room and they were taking some pills. Afterwards I saw some empties in the trash box. They were labeled 'Nandrolone'. I'm a bit concerned about police officers who consume prescription medicine, Lieutenant."

"Well, Mr... ?"

"Not on the phone. I won't come to your office either. These guys know me. Can you meet me someplace in town?"

"Is this some prank, mister?" Alvarado asked for show.

He had already recognized Felix's voice, no doubt. Felix and the Lieutenant's son had been roommates at Drexel College. One of the Di Rosa's corporations had picked up the tuition bill. Young Dennis Alvarado was about to finish at Cornell law school, and he was already earmarked for the DA's office. The Di Rosa had great plans for young Alvarado.

"No, Lieutenant, really not. I even have those pill boxes and I didn't touch them with my fingers."

"Okay. How about I'll meet you at the Liberty Bell? I'll wear a black coat and a red scarf. Can you be there in an hour?"

"Certainly, Lieutenant. An hour. I'll be there."

Felix signed off and pulled the sim card from the phone. He would not use it again in case Alvarado's phone was bugged. If his plan played out the young cops would avoid the Olympic for a while leaving the Kaçanis without their police shield.

Nasav Kaçani tried to relax. His hand on the grip of the well worn Skorpion 61 was sweaty. He wiped it for the third time in just as many minutes. The furniture store had closed an hour earlier. Di Rosa and his son would be leaving any time soon, as they had done the last three Saturdays.

The small side street off Lancaster Avenue was quiet and the last customers had left the parking lot. There were only commercial developments along the street and most buildings were dark. It was perfect.

Nasav checked his weapon again. He was a good shot with his Beretta, but he was only partly familiar with the Skorpion. It had been standard issue for the goons of most Eastern European communist governments, but Nasav was only twenty-seven, too young to have seen that time. He had emptied three clips on the firing range the evening before and he thought he could handle it.

There! He saw movement around the entrance, and four people exited. Shit! There were two women with them. Nasav contemplated to abort, but then he made up his mind. Tough luck for the broads! He saw how they sat in the car, a nice, shiny BMW 635. In the light of the neon sign above the entrance of the store he could see that one of the women was a young girl.

"You want to abort?" Ilie asked from the driver's seat.

"Fuck, no! The young cunt is sitting in the back. She'll live. Get ready!"

He lowered the rear window and Ilie started the engine. Just as the BMW was heading towards the exit of the parking lot, the old Taurus moved forward to block the way. Nasav sighted over the barrel of the Skorpion and pressed the trigger.

Sitting in the back of the car and aiming sideways, he did not have the same leverage he'd had on the shooting range. Also, the spring of the firing rate reducer was worn, bringing the firing rate up to 1,000 per minute and adding some kick. After four or five rounds the shots went high. The front window of the BMW had three holes in it, but only on the passenger side. Shit! He tried a second burst but after a few rounds an ejected shell ricocheted from the window frame and hit Nasav's face, and again his aim was off. He tried a third burst but there was a single 'click' only. He had expended the twenty rounds of the first clip in two wild bursts. The BMW had come to a stop with its windshield shattered in part.

With trembling hands Nasav removed the empty clip and hastily inserted the second. In his haste he did not insert it properly and the weapon jammed. He tried again, but in his confusion he touched the barrel and screamed with pain when he burned his hand.

"Go, go, go!" he shouted, and Ilie sped off with screaming tires.

Felix Di Rosa was sitting with his grandfather when the first phone call came in. It was on the private line, a number that was known only to a select group of people. His grandfather picked up the receiver and listened quietly. Felix could see how Don Vincente's face paled and his shoulders sagged.

"Are you sure they're dead?" he asked in a calm voice that belied his paleness. "And the children? ... Santa Madonna! ... Will he live? ... Yes, we'll handle it from here. You have my gratitude, old friend!"

With slightly shaky hands Don Vincente put the receiver of the cradle and looked at his grandson.

"They shot up your Uncle Giancarlo and his family, just as they were leaving their store. Gianni is dead, and so is Carla. Little Teresa was headshot, but she's alive. Poor Joseph caught three rounds. He's still breathing, but barely."

Felix felt like he was hit by a hammer. Uncle Giancarlo? The one man who had never been part of the family business? And his family shot, too? Had these animali no regard whatever for the lives of the innocent? He felt Don Vincente's eyes on himself and looked up. The paleness was gone and there was a steely resolve in those wrinkled features.

"Be my Martello, Grandson! Take your regime and exact retribution. This is personal, Felice! Make the answer personal, too! We have been too much of businessmen lately. It is time they feared us again in this city."

"Confirmations?" Felix asked curtly. A confirmation was a public execution, or at least one where the body would be left in public. By contrast, a communion meant the disappearance of the target, greatly reducing the risks of detection and conviction.

"Confirmations," the old man answered. "Kaçani, his sons and the cousins. Spare the women if you can. After all, we are not animali."

"My plans are almost ready. We'll just move them ahead a few days," Felix responded.

To have confirmations would add a few logistical problems, and to send a message to the public would have to be orchestrated skillfully to avoid trouble with the cops and with their political allies. He approved of his grandfather's decision entirely, though. Had the Kaçani feared the Di Rosa family, Uncle Gianni and his family would be enjoying their dinner now. He set his jaw. Those of the Kaçani clan who survived would fear them before another week was over.

"What are your plans?" Felix asked.

"I'll go to the hospital. See after my security."

"I'll come myself." Felix said.

It was long after midnight before a hollow-eyed surgeon approached them.

"Sir, are you next of kin to Joseph and Teresa Di Rosa?"

Don Vincente stood and nodded. "I am their great uncle and their closest living relative."

"The good news first. We could stabilize the girl. She was hit by a glancing shot; it did not penetrate the skull. It caused sub-dural bleeding, though, and we don't know yet how much damage was caused by this. We put in a drainage, and her EEG is getting back to normal.

"Now for the bad news: The young man was shot three times. All wounds are in his back. The ambulance people told us he was found covering the girl. The wounds caused extensive blood loss. We had to perform open thorax surgery to repair the damage to his lungs. We have done what we could, but I don't want to give you false hope. His vital signs are weak."

Don Vincente seemed to totter for a second but he got a grip on himself.

"I am grateful to you, Doctor, for what you did for my nephew and my niece. If there is anything we can arrange ― flying in specialists or equipment ― let us know. Is it possible to see them?"

"I don't see why not. Both are unconscious, though."

Seeing his cousins unconscious and hooked up to life support machines was a defining moment for Felix. Young Teresa's heavily bandaged head in particular filled him with a heretofore unknown feeling of personal hatred against the Kaçanis. It was utterly senseless. What could they hope to achieve by killing civilians, even kids? Did they truly believe they could frighten Don Vincente into surrender? Stupid animali!

A nurse came in, giving them both a sad smile of sympathy before she busied herself with the console of Joseph Di Rosa's life support. Then she hooked up a new bag of donor blood and adjusted the flow of the drip. In an unconscious gesture she briefly touched the cheek of the young man. She jerked her hand back when she remembered she was not alone.

"I'm sorry; I just feel terrible seeing these kids here," she mumbled. "They say he covered his sister with his body. So brave!"

She turned and Felix saw that her eyes were brimming. He looked at her name plate. It read, 'G. Feliciangeli, RN'. She was young, he noticed, and very pretty, in the old-fashioned Italian way. Before he had finished his inspection, Don Vincente was responding.

"Do not apologize for having a good heart, my child," he said. "You and your colleagues will care well for my poor nephew's children."

Felix saw her eyes narrow at the 'my child' address, but she shrugged it off. He cleared his throat.

"Nurse, I am Felix Di Rosa. I am their cousin," he indicated the two unconscious youngsters. "May I come to visit from time to time?"

The young nurse blushed a little. "This is not for me to decide, Mr. Di Rosa. It should not be a problem, but you better ask at the reception."

"Do you have a coffee pool? We would like to make a contribution."

Nurse Feliciangeli scrunched up her nose. "Sorry, I appreciate the gesture but the administration does not allow us to accept any gratuities."

"Hah! What nonsense!" Don Vincente snorted. He saw that the nurse took offense. "Not you, my dear. I meant your administration. Forgive an old man his old-fashioned ways."

She scrunched up her nose again, and then a smile crept into her features. "If you meant our administration I have no problems with your words."

Felix admired her openly but he had to leave for a meeting with the capiregime. The Don insisted on staying and Felix made sure to shake Nurse Feliciangeli's hand before he left.

"What's that 'G' stand for?" he asked.

"Gabriella," she answered. "Be careful out there," she added.

Felix nodded earnestly. It was good advice.

It took Felix Di Rosa all Sunday to adjust his plans concerning the Kaçanis. When he finally found time to visit the hospital he saw the young nurse on duty again. She smiled briefly at him but she seemed very busy. Felix checked with the registration desk and then headed for his cousins' room. Two of his grandfather's personal button men stood outside.

"Problems?" he addressed one of them.

"No problems, Felix. The girl's awake, more or less, but the boy is in surgery again."

Felix let himself in. He found his grandfather sitting in a chair by Teresa's bed, talking to her soothingly. The old man looked up and Felix could see pain in his eyes.

"Teresa, your cousin Felix is here."

She turned her head, and Felix did his best to give her a smile.

"Hey, Kiddo! So you're awake."

Teresa regarded him briefly and she nodded. "H'lo," she croaked.

Felix sat down on the side of her bed and took her right hand in his own. With a shock he realized that it was almost completely limp. Just a few ripples of muscles contraction could be felt. He looked at his grandfather and the old man nodded sadly.

"Teresa will need time to recover," he said.

Again, a wave of hatred washed over Felix. His beautiful, lovely cousin was crippled! Then he noticed that the other bed was empty and his hatred was replaced by fear.

"Where's Joey?"

"Another operation. His lung collapsed again. He's been gone for over three hours."

Felix nodded solemnly and crossed himself.

"Are you all set, Felice?"

Again, Felix nodded.

"Go ahead then. Make them pay!" the old man snarled, his voice raspy with hatred. "Remember, this is about vendetta, not business!"

On Monday morning at roll call, fourteen police officers in four precincts were led off for drug testing by Internal Affairs detectives. Two tox labs were on stand-by to run the samples as they arrived. Another five officers were apprehended during late shift roll call and also subjected to drug testing. Of the first group, thirteen were positive for steroids and three for cocaine. Come the evening shift, fourteen officers were suspended and five were still sweating it, waiting for the lab results.

By late afternoon the Kaçanis learned about the development and they suspected that a police search of their gym would come soon. Consequently they busied themselves eliminating evidence of their drug and steroid dealing, but they did not realize how exposed they had become. Shortly before 10 p.m. the Olympic gym was free of off-duty police officers.

Only a few late customers were working out when, shortly after 10 p.m., over twenty-five men, masked and heavily armed, rushed the building. The customers were herded into a locker room, their cell phones were confiscated, and they testified later that they heard no gun shots fired. Over two hours passed before they could break out of the locker room.

Even then they just ran from the building and it was the alerted police who discovered Enver Kaçani, his sons, cousins and nephews, all dangling by their necks from a water main in the sub-basement. Nasav Kaçani was missing. He was found after a more thorough search. He was without overt injuries. They found him naked and dead in an overheated steam room. The autopsy revealed him to have died of a heat stroke, and in an internal communication the coroner, in a show of black humor, described his condition as "overcooked".

The Olympic Massacre as the press dubbed it was top news for days. The case of the murder of Giancarlo and Carla Di Rosa was closed when a Skorpion submachine gun was found with Nasav Kaçani's fingerprints on it and matching the slugs found in the Di Rosa bodies. Of course, this implicated the Di Rosa family in the massacre.

For the first time the name of Vincent Di Rosa was mentioned in press articles and connected to the killing of his nephew and the wholesale slaughter at the Olympic. The Di Rosa attorneys were quick to have the newspapers slapped with cease and desist orders, aided by the fact that Don Vincente had an iron-clad alibi: He had sat right under the hospital's security cameras for three days while watching over his niece and nephew,.

Felix Di Rosa was questioned, but then there were five witnesses who claimed to have dined with him in New York on the evening of the massacre. One of them was a celebrity sitcom actor who thus earned himself a reprieve from a sizable and potentially hurtful gambling debt. Three months later he found a lucrative new job as emcee in a Las Vegas hotel that was indirectly owned by the Di Rosa.

Law enforcement was not too eager anyway. The general sentiment among the rank and file police was that the Kaçanis had willfully stepped on a sleeping tiger's tail, forgetting or ignoring that the old beast still carried a fine set of teeth at the other end. Also the Di Rosa, in spite of their semi-retirement from most illegal rackets, still owned a large "sheet" with the bagmen of the precincts while the Kaçanis had scorned this old-fashioned method of garnering good will. Free gym memberships sounded great for young, single cops but for those with family and with mortgages to pay, a steady supplementary income counted for more.

What mollified the law enforcement community further – or rather sequestered their resources to the breaking point – was the wealth of incriminating evidence found on the various Kaçani properties. Felix rigged it that even the Feds got a few bones to chew on. There was a vast supply network for prescription drugs, originating high up in the board rooms of pharmaceutical companies and ending with literally hundreds of gym trainers and even high school coaches. A boatload of indictments was sure to come, with numerous press conferences and high profile trials. It was enough to put the careers of many law enforcement officials on the fast track, and the congressional panel went into overdrive.

Soon, the excitement of a gubernatorial election removed the Olympic Massacre from the front pages and top news, and the Di Rosa family could once again concentrate on earning a living and on taking care of their own.

As a largely unknown side effect of the affair, an additional staff position in the District Attorney's office was hurriedly advertised and filled with a female prosecutor from Pittsburgh by the name of Maureen Darling who was put in charge of the investigations into the prescription drug trade. She arrived in town after Christmas, with her teenage daughter Deirdre and her female life partner.

It took almost a week before Joseph "Joey" Di Rosa's condition went from Critical to Stable. He received no fewer than fifteen blood transfusions and underwent three operations to repair the damage to his lungs and pulmonary artery.

It still took another week for him to regain full consciousness. He had no memory of the shooting, and he was devastated when he learned of his parents' death. Even more so when his great uncle revealed that his parents' burial had taken place while their children were unable to attend. The only thing to give the young man motivation to live on was his kid sister.

Teresa was recovering slowly and she was receiving physical therapy to regain her motor skills, but progress was painfully slow. She spent her free time with her brother, always holding on to one of his hands as if he were a lifeline. They would talk to each other in low voices or just sit holding hands. In those weeks a bond formed between brother and sister that went far beyond the affection they had always felt for each other.

Teresa had learned from Nurse Feliciangeli how Joey had been found slumped over her unconscious body shielding her against the bullets. This further enforced Teresa's view of her brother as a larger-than-life figure.

Over the Christmas holidays the siblings were moved to the palatial home of Don Vincente. Neither sibling had much memory of their father's family. They had only met their relatives at important family events, weddings and burials mostly. It took them time to figure out who was who and related to whom. This was compounded by the large number of "trusted friends" who also joined the subdued Christmas celebrations.

Joey was barely able to walk yet, but he pushed Teresa's wheelchair. This helped him to keep his own balance. To the assembled family the image of the two badly injured siblings lending support to each other was sad and endearing at the same time.

Fortunately, there was also some positive news when Felix Di Rosa introduced his new girlfriend to the family. It was none other than Gabriella Feliciangeli, Nurse Gabi, as Joey and Teresa knew her. Her parents were also invited, a stout Italian couple who owned a neighborhood grocery store in South Philadelphia, and they were properly awed by the association of their only child with what they perceived as reigning royalty. Nevertheless, decorum was observed and Felix respectfully asked Gabriella's father for his permission to court their daughter, a permission that was given with proper dignity.

Since Don Vincente had assumed guardianship over them, Joey and Teresa stayed with their great-uncle even after the holidays. A nurse was hired to look after Joey's wounds, and a physical therapist was to work with both siblings to direct their physical rehabilitation.

The siblings could not see themselves running a furniture store in the future and thus it was sold to a competing chain for a very good price. Don Vincente himself conducted the price negotiations, and the money, a total of over three million dollars, was put in trust for Joey and Teresa.

By March Joey was able to walk unassisted. Yet he would not return to school. He was still weak and he had missed four months. He could not hope to achieve the grades he needed for a good college while still limited in his motility and with his wounds still causing him pain. Teresa needed more treatment and exercises to be able to walk unassisted, and she refused to go to school in a wheel chair. It was decided that the siblings would return to school after summer break.

They were home schooled by hired tutors and by early summer Joey Di Rosa was well enough to start a summer internship in a biomedical research company. Much to his great uncle's chagrin Joey Di Rosa had declared that he would follow his own volition and become a scientist. Don Vincente had tried to steer the young man into a different direction, the law or a business school, where he could be an asset to the family. Joey remained adamant however, and the Don gracefully accepted his nephew's decision. Since Joey had turned eighteen in March and had full control of his trust fund there was not much Don Vincente could do.

Joey's next move was to petition for guardianship for his sister. Here he was more diplomatic. He argued that when he and Teresa would return to school things would be less complicated if he had custody over Teresa. They reached a compromise where Joey was given joint guardianship together with his great-uncle.

By July he and Teresa moved back into the Victorian row house in Powelton Village. Joey had it fitted for use by a handicapped person since Teresa still had difficulties navigating steps and stairs. Joey also accepted a plea by his great-uncle to update the house's security. A specialized contractor refitted doors, locks and windows to make them burglar-proof. A sophisticated alarm system was built in, with one silent alarm going directly to the Di Rosa security firm, the legal front for the family's strong-arm operations. By mid August they moved in, a week before school resumed.

Edited by Morgan

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