I sat in a Trotteria in Vincenzia, Italy. I was waiting for my meeting with a local Don. Well I guess local was a bit of an understatement. He controlled all the crime in northern Italy.
We had some business to accomplish. It was not the type of business a person could discuss over the phone or write in a letter. One had to conduct this business face to face, in a public place, and in "neutral" territory.
The waitress had brought me a carafe of the local red wine. It was good. She has asked if I wanted something to eat. I looked around and spotted the wood fired pizza oven in the kitchen. I ordered a medium pizza with cheese and pepperoni.
She brought me a plate, and a knife and fork. In Italy, pizza was not eaten with one's fingers.
The restaurant smelled of the wood fired pizza ovens and the spices they used to prepare the pizzas they served. Since smoking was still allowed in Europe, I smelled cigarette smoke and smoke from those crooked little cigars the men live on. They served regular meals here also, but the pizza smell dominated.
As I watched her wait on other customers I suddenly realized that she spoke to me in almost perfect English. When I walked in and took a booth, I did not speak a word to anyone. She just walked up to me and started asking for my order in English.
"How did she know I spoke English? I was dressed like a native Italian, and I walked like a native Italian." I thought.
When my pizza arrived, I asked, "How did you know I wasn't Italian and needed to talk to me in English?"
"Don Vito's Capo described you to me yesterday. He requested that you get good treatment. I always do what Don Vito asks. He is a very powerful man" was the answer I got.
She left me to eat my pizza.
I was just starting on my second slice when "they" walked in the front door. You know that old expression, "It takes one to know one?" It got very quiet in the restaurant. Everybody eating or drinking suddenly made it their business to look elsewhere, anywhere but at the new arrivals.
The little place soon emptied out faster than if someone had yelled, "Fire."
My eyes locked on the two "button" men as they cased the joint. One checked the restrooms and the other the Kitchen. A third man entered after them. He was a hard case. He had that look of a professional killer. His eyed were cold and his face was frozen in a stern countenance. One hand was in his coat pocket. It was not cold enough outside to need a coat or to keep one hand in a pocket so I suspected he was holding a gun.
His eyes locked on me and never blinked.
I took another bite of my pizza. I was not going to show any weakness in our stare down.
The two men returned from casing the restaurant. They nodded to Mr. Hard Case and took up positions on either side of the door. Mr. Hard Case opened the door and stuck his free hand outside. I don't know what he did, but his eyes never left me the whole time.
I sat there eating my pizza, projecting a calm and unflustered countenance. These guys were not my enemies, but they weren't my friends either. One wrong move and I'd be sleeping "with the fish" as the saying goes.
It was my first meeting ever with their boss. We were like alpha dogs, each trying to establish a pecking order. If I blinked, I might as well catch the next plane home. I would do no business here.
Next entered a small man looking somewhere in his sixties, later I was to find out it was seventies ... He was impeccably dressed and had that air of command about him. While none of his men turned their heads toward him, it was as if they came to attention in his presence. His eyes locked on mine and he looked me over.
As I was being inspected, I slowly stood. I say slowly because I didn't want any of my moves to be considered threatening. People died because of the wrong moves and I didn't want to become fish food.
I motioned to the seat across from me and called to the waitress, "Please bring the Don a glass so we can share this excellent wine, and a table setting. Perchance he will help me with this pizza."
The Don's hard look softened slightly and he smiled. "Of course, I'll join you, Mr. Pergolizzi." But his eyes remained hard.
Well I guess I should have expected him to know my name. After all we did have a meeting set up.
As we sat down, the waitress rushed to serve him. She acted as if he was the Pope and this was a holy visit. At one point, I swear, I thought she was going to drop to her knees and kiss his ring or something.
I wondered if he demanded this devotion through fear, respect, or just loyalty. I might never know, but I was fascinated. Back in my home area of New York State, loyalty was usually earned through fear, intimidation, or large amounts of money. There was no such thing as "friendship", only family.
And these were blood relatives, most of whom could still not be trusted.
With that kind of history, you'll understand why I was watching Don Vito as he watched me.
We ate the pizza and drank the wine. He asked about my family. My uncle Bruno was the American equivalent of himself. They both had met. What surprised me was that he also asked on my cousins, my wife, and assorted family members.
I knew for a fact that he'd met no one but my uncle. But yet he was very well informed.
He signaled the waitress to clean up and bring us some coffee.
Ed note: Let me take a second to describe Italian coffee. It is STRONG!!!!!! It makes the espresso at Starbucks or some other coffee shop taste like weak tea.
I watched as he put at least a pound of sugar in his before tasting. He sipped it and said, "Bono."
I sipped mine and almost died. I choked and coughed and turned redder than red.
He looked at me and said, "Try a little sugar. It will help."
I tried about the same amount he used. It didn't help. I still coughed, choked, and turned red.
He laughed and pinched my cheek, "We'll make a real Italian out of you yet. But first we do little steps."
He looked at the waitress and ordered, "Cappuccino with extra cream."
When it arrived it was easier to drink, but still very strong.
As I sipped my drink, I looked around and noticed that there were only the two of us in the restaurant.
"Shall we talk about your request now?" was all he said.
As we sat there, my mind drifted back in time. Back to when my alternative lifestyle all began.
I was a kid about 14 years old when my Dad started taking me to work with him.
He worked for my mother's brother in construction. They built shopping centers. My Dad was in charge of taking a vacant lot and making it into a rough building. You know four walls and a roof. He also was responsible for grading and paving the parking lot. My Uncle Bruno had another foreman that did all the interior finish work. He divided the interior space up into individual stores and completed them to the tenant's specifications.
It worked well. My father, the other foreman and my uncle made a lot of money.
I went to work as a mason's helper after school and on summer vacation. It was fun and I made some spending money. Now let me tell you about being a "helper" I started out supplying one mason with bricks and "mud". That was easy. Pretty soon I was supplying two masons, then three, then four.
Now I was working, but I was also growing. Soon I was turning my baby fat into muscle. It took all summer but I was doing great until one day I was introduced to cement blocks. Those suckers were heavy!
With bricks I could always lighten my load by reducing by a couple of bricks the amount I was carrying. With cement blocks, I had one in each hand. After the first couple of weeks of carrying them I swear my arms had stretched so much that my knuckles were dragging on the ground.
But by the end of my second year in the business I was keeping up. By the third year I was a really fit 17 year old. I was fast enough that I could supply four masons and still have time to stack extra blocks and get ahead of the guys.
During my fourth summer the guys started complaining that they were missing some of their "stuff". Some time it was tools, another time it was stuff from their car or truck. We could never catch who was stealing it.
One day I was catching my breath on the scaffolding after rushing up a few blocks. I was bent over the side breathing hard when I noticed a shadow under the scaffolding we were on. I watched as the shadow opened one of the guy's tool boxes and took something.
He was right under me and I really don't know what came over me but suddenly I was pushing the stack of blocks. They tipped over and fell off the scaffolding. The majority of them fell on our thief. Since he wasn't wearing the bright yellow hard hat OSHA required, his head was split open like a ripe melon.
The EMTs said he was dead before he fell over.
A couple of the guys rushed me down the back side of the platform so no one would see me. I was told to keep my mouth shut and if anyone asked I was working on the other side of the building.
And that was how I killed my first man. There would be more over the years to come.
My father, my Uncle, and some of the guys treated me like a hero. I was blooded. Now I was one of the men. I began to notice that I was included in conversations I had no business hearing. Not that I was asked for my advise (that would come later), but I was hearing about family businesses that I never knew existed.
Beside the construction business, we were involved in gambling, prostitution, protection, smuggling, murder for hire, loan sharking and various other sundries. It seemed that the construction business, a few restaurants, and a strip club were our fronts. We used them to launder our income from the illegitimate businesses.
My Uncle Bruno had a son who was a couple of years older than I was. We had grown up together and were the best of buds. I did the hard physical work while he was smaller and did the brain work. Together we made a good team.
I started riding along with the crews and watching how some of our "other" business operated. I must admit that I loved the weekly visits to the strip club. The guys went into the manager's office to "chat". I got to sit out front and study the female anatomy closely. The crew never let me touch the girls, ("they're skanks and whores"), while the girls must have known who I was related to because they were extra nice to me. But then again I was a 20 year old hunk with money.
What more could a working girl want?
One of the first things I started doing, that was real family work, was collections. One of my first collection attempts was a real fuck up.
I was riding with Tony Snelling as he made his rounds looking for guys who were behind in their payments. One night we got a lead on one such individual who was at least two months behind in his weekly payments.
Tony wanted to "talk" to him really bad.
Tony got careless and we barged into a red neck bar without first checking it out, our deadbeat was rumored to be hanging out in. Our dead beat was there all right, but he had four friends with him. All five of them jumped Tony, paying no attention to me. I couldn't let my buddy get beat on, so I grabbed a chair and a pool cue and waded in.
I'd like to say that I saved the day, but this is real life. They stopped hitting Tony and started after me. I got in a few good licks, but it was five to one and these guys weren't little. I was getting beat on pretty bad when the bar tender cut loose with a shotgun into the bar's ceiling.
The five guys cut and ran. Leaving me and Tony lying on the floor, bleeding.
The bartender and a couple of patrons helped us into a back room and one of the waitresses started cleaning us up. I guess someone must have called in, because before we could get enough strength back to leave, my father and some of the boys walked in.
Dad was pissed.
While Tony and I were loaded into an SUV, my Dad talked to the bartender. Money changed hands and the bartender and waitress were a little bit richer. But more importantly they had my father's respect, protection, and thanks.
I hurt for a couple of weeks, but Tony hurt longer. Besides the beating he took, he was on my father's shit list for getting "his little boy" hurt.
Tony got all the shit jobs for a while.
The five guys that beat on Tony and me? They were never seen again. My cousin mentioned to me a couple of months later that the guy's loan was "written off" as uncollectable.
My life went on. I started spending more time with capo's and other managers in our familia. I learned how our businesses really worked. I was no longer considered a low level thug. I was now on my way to being a boss. Besides my mother didn't want her baby being in the position to get beat on again.
I learned how to dress and talk like an affluent 25 year old. I spent time with our lawyer and accountant, learning the legal side of our business. It was boring. I liked hanging with the guys and visiting the titty bars instead. But my father and Uncle explained my future in the family business to me. I really had no choice.
It was at this point my life made a left hand turn. I was no longer working with my hands in the construction side of our business. I was now the general foreman. My job was to make sure the work was completed to the customer's satisfaction.
We were building a multi-story office building with some store fronts on the street level. The top three floors were rented to a law firm just moving into town. They were a big deal in some of the larger cities on the east coast. Now they were setting up shop in our town.
My job foreman complained about them every time we talked. It seemed that a woman was in charge and she wanted what she wanted immediately. There was no dealing with her. She made everyone on the crew's life miserable until she got whatever she wanted.
One Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call. She had finally crossed the line and all the tradesmen in the building walked off the job. Work had come to a halt. My job foreman dropped the whole thing in my lap. Actually, the job foreman called my father and dad called me.
I believe he said, "Get the hell over to that building and straiten that fuckin broad out!" Now my dad was a pretty laid back individual, but the three floors were added at the law firm's request. We didn't have another tenant for them.
I got in my restored GTO convertible and raced across town. I was going to show this bitch a thing or two.
When I got to the construction site, I saw my foreman and walked over to him. I was going to get to the bottom of this work stoppage.
Before I could say anything this outstanding female about my age started. "Just who are you? What do you think you can accomplish that these low lives couldn't with your fancy clothes and fancy car?"
She went up one side and down the other side of me for the next ten minutes.
I just stared at her, trapped by her beauty. When she finally wound down, I asked her out to dinner that night. That started her on another tantrum. This one didn't last as long as the first one.
"You haven't answered my question about dinner."
She looked at me as if it was the first time she saw me. She basically "checked" me out. I felt like a piece of meat being inspected by a butcher.
"OK," was her answer.
It was close to five by now and I escorted her to my car. We headed for her hotel so she could put on something "appropriate" for dinner. I waited in the car. I didn't trust myself not to touch her if I visited her suite.
I sat in the car for almost an hour, getting more and more pissed. I am not a very good waiter. I was about to drive away when this vision of absolute beauty walked out the door of her hotel. Now at the construction site she was cute. At the hotel, she was beautiful! Her hair was brushed out into soft brown curls. Her eyes sparkled. She had a wonderful smell. I completely forgot about waiting an hour.
Now originally I planned to take her to a middle class restaurant. But since she looked so good, I elected to take her to Portofino's. It was the best restaurant in town. I know because it was one of the places my family owned.
"Do you object if I take you to Portofino's?" I asked
She replied, "I'd love it, but I thought that there was a 30 – 40 day wait for reservations."
"With you looking as beautiful as you do, I'll bet we can just walk right in." the silver tongued devil that I am replied.
She gave me a funny look, but then smiled from ear to ear as she thought about the complement.
I drove out to the restaurant and pulled up at the front door. A valet ran up and opened her door. I handed my keys to his partner.
We walked up to the front door, which was opened by another flunky.
The Matre'd showed us directly to a table. There was no waiting, no names asked and perfect service. I could see she was impressed.
After she was seated I said, "I'm sorry but we have not been formally introduced. I am Louis Pergolizzi, General Manager at Monroe Builders. Please call me Lou."
She smiled and said, "Pleased to meet you, Lou. I'm Sheila Johnson, Office Manager for Nixon, and Hargreaves Attorneys at Law. I am impressed with your choice of restaurants."
"Thank you Sheila. Nothing is too good for a woman as beautiful as you."
We had an enjoyable dinner and then a fine time dancing in the Club Room later. My Dad was in the Club, but I waved him off when he started our way. I knew that I'd hear about that little stunt the next morning.
I was a perfect gentleman all evening. When the witching hour arrived, I took Sheila back to her hotel and softly kissed her goodnight in the lobby. I didn't push anything else. I wanted to see her again.
To make a long story short, one year later I was waiting at the altar as she walked toward me on her father's arm. It was a nice wedding. We had all my family and our construction employees.
She invited all her friends from the law firm including the senior partners.
The lawyers were a little bit aloof around the construction workers and my family. I guess they thought that we weren't good enough for them. Fuck im! We had more money and power in this part of the state than they did. We didn't need them.
They didn't know much about us. All we ever acted like were small time business men who would never amount to much.
It was maybe about 5 years into my marriage that I started noticing changes in Sheila. First she started putting on "airs". She started emulating the snotty lawyers. She started insisting that we go to all their parties while ignoring my friends and co-workers...
I would be abandoned at the table while she danced with all those phonies. Oh they were polite enough to me. But they never really paid any attention to what I said. They would listen to me while I was talking and when I finished, they started up the conversation again, leaving me out of it.
I noticed at one Christmas Party that a certain single black attorney commanded my wife's complete attention. I was not so politely ignored this time. It was alright to talk to and work with "Backs" but don't let them touch our women. Let alone kiss them in a dark corner of the dance floor while holding their ass.
I wasn't that nice at that function. I had no Christmas Spirit after I spotted them. To be exact, I waited for the lawyer near the emergency stairway door. When he walked by, I popped open the door and pushed him down the stairs. It only took a few seconds to accomplish, no one saw me, but he was hospitalized for months. The doctors still have hope that he might regain his mental abilities at some point. But not a lot of hope.
When we got home that night from the party, Sheila and I had a drag down fight about her conduct. She never put two and two together about her "friends" accident.
It was the last time I went to one of her office functions. From them on, she went alone despite all the threats I made. That woman had "balls".
My family noticed the coldness that had developed between Sheila and I. One day my Uncle approached me.
"Tony, I noticed that you and Sheila are not getting along. In our family divorce is not looked upon as desirable. Does she know anything of our true family business?"
I shook my head "No."
"If she does anything to embarrass our family, I will be forced to take action. It is a question of family honor. You understand?"
He gave me a hug and left me alone standing there. I knew his "taking action" would end my marriage along with Sheila...
For the next 6 years we lived as roommates. I slept in the guest room and she kept the master bedroom. I would arrive home around 6 o'clock after work, change into some casual clothes, and leave until 3am or 4am the next morning. I usually hung with our guys at some of our "family" friendly businesses. By "family friendly", I don't mean a place you can necessarily take the kids.
Sheila would usually get home before me. At first she prepared something to eat for us. But that soon stopped when I never joined her at the table. She stopped even trying to talk to me.
Like I said we lived as strangers. Well not complete strangers. Occasionally I would come home drunk and want my husbandly rights. Sheila usually kept the master bedroom locked, but I was a big guy. No locked door was going to keep me out. I smashed the door down a few times and just basically raped her. There was no enjoyment in it for her. I really don't know why she didn't have me arrested. I guess it was her fear of my retribution.
One night I noticed that Sheila did not come home while I was changing. I guess the last time I broke in the bedroom was the final straw. It took about a week before I realized that she wasn't coming home at all. I realized this because one night as I was sitting in the office at our strip club, when one of the associates from her law firm appeared at the club and forced his way into the room.
That was his first mistake.
"Hi asshole! I'm here to serve you with a Petition for Divorce from your wife. She's throwing your ass out.
That little speach was his second mistake.
Normally I'm a pretty mild guy. But his attitude and delivery pissed me off. I saw red. Before he could protect himself, I was all over him. By the time a couple of my guys pulled me off him, he was dead.
I had beaten him to death. You see, I don't believe in the three strike rule.
I was put in one of SUV's and driven to another restaurant we owned across town. I was hustled inside and told that I had been here all evening. Important people, who were at this restaurant, stopped to chat off and on all evening.
I guess I had an alibi.
A month later when I didn't respond to the petition and the Jr. Lawyer had not surfaced in their office, the next trick they tried was to freeze all my accounts. Now that would have worked except that the bank I did business with was the same bank the family "owned". The manager moved my money to another account in another name and then postdated everything so it looked as if I made the move the months before.
Our family lawyers went on the offense after that. They seized all Sheila's accounts and credit cards, froze her 401k, and generally messed up everything in her name. Of course nothing could be traced to us.
The law firm Sheila worked for started filing harassment suits in court against me. My lawyers blocked them all. Someone talked to one of the senior partners at Sheila's firm. The partner laughed at our guy and had him escorted from the building.
You don't have one of our people escorted from a building we own.
That night there was a small fire in the firm's file room. The fire itself didn't do a lot of damage, but between the sprinkler system and the firemen, everything on all three floors the firm occupied was ruined. The firm was effectively out of business until everything could be repaired or replaced or restored.
We gave the volunteer firemen a large cash donation to their building fund later that year.
For some reason, the law firm's insurance wasn't in proper order so the insurance company refused to pay on the claim.
When the smoke cleared, claims were processed, and the firm struggled to reconstruct their clients, Sheila and her lawyer boyfriend had disappeared. I looked for them, but they could not be found anywhere in the state.
My Uncle was now really pissed. So he took over the search.
It took almost a year, but the lovers were finally found living in Europe.
So now you know why I'm meeting with Don Vito. It was his organization had found the two lovers.
"Well what would you like us to do about the lovers?" Don Vito asked.
"Just lead me to them and I'll extract my vengeance."
"No, your Uncle and father do not wish you to dirty your hands."
"But I need satisfaction from them." I protested.
Then he floored me,
"All three of them?" I was asked.
"Yes, three. She's pregnant. And we don't do children." Was his answer.
I almost cried from frustration but the Don seeing my frustration offered a solution.
"We will extract your revenge for you after the baby is born. There are many childless couples in Europe. We will find the child a nice home with loving family who are also our "friends". The father is no longer needed so we will speed his departure from this earth. As for your wife, we will make an example out of her after the baby is born."
And then he smiled, it was a very frightening smile. Now I understood why people left the restaurant when he walked in.
"Your wife is a very pretty woman. She is very strong willed. It will be fun breaking her."
"Your suitcases are all packed and in a car waiting for you. You will be driven to a small airport and flown to Roman. From there you will board a flight back to your country. We cannot meet, talk or be seen together until this business is finished. Then I would like you to visit here with us." he concluded.
I was surprised by how fast he had acted. I had been in Italy less than ten hours. And now I was being dismissed and rushed home. I was a little insulted at the treatment, but I knew enough to keep my mouth shut.
I swear I spent longer in aircraft than I did in Italy. I had such a case of jet lag that I slept for one day straight. Well maybe it wasn't so much jet lag as relief from having my marriage problems finally resolved.
When I finally reported back to work my father took me aside and said, "The Don called. He said that you were a very nice boy and they would solve your problem for you. But you must remember you owe him a favor. Whatever he asks you will do. It is a matter of family honor."
I went back to my normal job and my normal habits. It took about six months (we had friends in court, so we got quick service) but my divorce finally came through. The reason was desertion. I was awarded everything, she got nothing.
But then what would you expect. We owned the judge.
It was close to a year after my ex-wife deserted me that I found an 8.5" by 11" envelope on the front seat of my car. I knew that someone really wanted me to have that envelope. My car was locked when I left it and the alarm was set. The car was still locked and the alarm was still set. Everything was exactly like I left it only there was this envelope on the seat.
"Damn, these guys are good." I thought.
I peeked in the envelope. I could see part of a newspaper. I had a feeling that I should read the paper in a very private place. I put the envelope back down on my seat and started the car. I pulled out into traffic and headed for the office. I would read it there.
Traffic was on the heavy side and I got behind every little old lady with her directional signal blinking away, every person talking on a cell phone and a couple of student drivers. I was getting more and more nervous about the envelope's contents.
I almost opened the envelope at a red light, but I resisted the temptation.
I finally reached our office and ran up the stairs to the third floor. (It was faster than waiting for the elevators.) I opened my office door and sat down behind my desk, the envelope clenched in my shaking hands.
I slowly pulled the contents out.
In it I found two newspaper clippings. They were from an Italian newspaper. Now I can speak Italian but I never really learned to read any of the language. There was one article circled. I started sounding out the words phonetically. I figured if I could pronounce them I might recognize the word.
The article was about a man's body being washed ashore. The article went on to say that the man and his pregnant wife were traveling Europe until her baby was born. They had rented a small sailboat for a day trip. They never returned. Nothing was found of them or the boat after an extensive search of the area they were to sail around.
They had been missing two months and were presumed dead.
I started counting in my head. The timeline was near enough and the article was specifically sent to me in a plain brown envelope. The family had to be Sheila and her boy friend. But why was the baby killed? Don Vito said they don't do kids.
"Oh well the end I wanted was achieved.," I thought.
I put the article through the paper shredder. I'd tell Dad in the morning. He'd be pleased.
Me? I was going to enjoy myself that night. A celebration was called for. It would be my turn to buy all night.
It was about a year after I found that envelope when another one mysteriously appeared on my front seat. It was a repeat of the last time. My car was locked and the alarm set. Someone went through a lot of trouble to deliver that envelope because after the last time I had a state of the art alarm system installed in my car. The salesman assured me that No one could get in my car without setting the alarm off.
Well someone did. Just wait until I see that asshole salesman again.
Like Yogi Bera said, "It's déjà vu, all over again."
I drove back to my office I wondered what was in the envelope this time. I expected it was the "favor" I owed the Don.
I found myself sitting behind my desk dreading what was in the envelope. It was thick like a 20 or 30 page pamphlet not thin like a single sheet of paper. I opened the envelope and dumped the contents on my desk top.
It was a color magazine, an underground color magazine. It was a porno magazine that was dedicated to BDSM. All this I could tell from the cover picture. It showed a naked woman with one breast being cut off. The picture caught the look of horror and pain on her face. It was so realistic you could almost hear her scream. Except you knew she was drugged. You could tell by her eyes that she was in never never land.
After the initial shock wore off I noticed a yellow post-it note sticking out of the magazine. I turned to the page it was sticking on. There was another naked woman. This on was strapped to some kind of X shaped cross. Her head was shaved. One ear was missing. Her body was a mass of whip marks, burn marks, and scars in various degrees of healing.
After I got over the initial shock of what I was seeing, I suddenly realized that it was Shelia, my ex-wife. I looked at her eyes. I did not see the blankness as I did in the other women's eyes. In Sheila's I saw pure hatred focused at whoever was behind the camera. Her mind was still intact. She was experiencing everything being done to her.
I now knew what the Don meant when he said, "It will be fun breaking her."
Shelia was tough. She'd live a long time with her mind intact. The Don's people would have a lot of fun with her.
I almost felt sorry for her. Almost...
I kept the magazine to show Dad. He and Uncle Bruno would love it. They didn't have a lot of respect for women. Especially women who disrespected their men.
It must have been another six months when Dad called me on the phone. All he said was, "Bruno and I need to see you in the office now."
When they called you jumped. I knew that they didn't want to see me because I screwed up. Everything I had responsibility for was running smoothly. I hoped it wasn't one of the other guy's projects. I hated cleaning up someone else's mistakes.
It was an hour later that I found myself sitting in the conference room listening to my uncle.
"Don Vito wants to see you again. He is sending a plane for you next week. Plan on staying three weeks. He has some people for you to meet and a surprise. You will like this."
"But guys I really don't want to go." I complained.
They completely ignored my protests. They just told me the date and time to be ready for the limo to pick me up.
Time flew by and before I knew it I was being escorted on to a Gulfstream private jet. I was the only passenger except for an absolutely gorgeous blonde female who was the cabin attendant. She was about 25-28 years old, 5' 4" tall, probably 130 lbs. And boy was she stacked!!!!! I started to break out in a sweat from just trying to keep my eyes on her baby blues instead of her attributes.
She smiled and said, "It's okay to look at the girls. Men have been staring at them since I was 15."
"It's not polite to stare. And besides you have beautiful eyes. And your face isn't so bad either." I responded.
"If you keep up the complements, I just might let you touch them, Mr. Pergolizzi."
"Please call me Lou. It's a long flight and we might as well get acquainted."
It was when she raised her hand to shake mine, that I saw rings. She not only was married, but she was married to someone who could afford to buy her a really big diamond. I took her left hand in my right and said, "It's a shame that someone already beat me to you. We could have had fun."
She got a sad look in her eyes, and a sad smile on her face. "It would have been nice." she said.
She lead me to a seat and started explaining the flight rules and the amenities of this model Gulfstream. There were two rooms (cabins, I was politely corrected). The front cabin was setup like a livingroom. It had two couches and some over stuffed leather chairs. In one end there was a table with two bench like chairs. It actually did look like a small apartment except for the fact that everything was bolted to the floor.
The aft cabin had a water bed (I mean doesn't every airplane?) and a bathroom. I stuck my head in the bathroom door and almost wet myself. It was all marble and gold. Besides the normal commode, there was a bidet, a tub, and a separate shower.
This was real luxury.
The flight attendant (who I later learned was named Antonetta Goia) lead me back to my seat and made me buckle that damn seat belt. Did you ever try to buckle a seat belt with a woody? Well let my tell you, it can be painful.
Antonetta saw my perdecament and offered to help buckle that damn seat belt. I'll probably kick myself for the next ten years for refusing her offer. But she was the cause of my woody. And anyway, the pain from the seat belt made my woody to go away. Antonetta sat across from me and buckled in. When she crossed her legs, I got to see almost all the way to heaven. My woody came back with a vengeance. She just sat there and grinned at me. I could had beaten her within an inch of her life. And I'm not telling you what I wanted to use, but I'll give you a hint. My seat belt was trying to break it in two or at least put a 90 degree right angle in it.
The pilot pulled onto the runway and stopped. He ran the engines up to full power and released the brakes. We shot forward. As we picked up speed the runway got a little bumpy. Now a few bumps wouldn't have bothered me except it made those two huge mounds across from me bounce up and down.
My woody came back with a vengeance.
It was going to be a long and painful flight.
I was just about to scream out in pain when the wheels left the ground. I had my seat belt unbuckled before you could feel the wheels bump into their "in flight" storage bay.
Antonetta was sitting there grinning like the Chester Cat from Alice in Wonderland. I hated beautiful women. Especially those that knew they were exceptional.
"It makes a woman feel good to know she's still got it," was all she said.
We had a great flight. Ann ( I nicknamed her) and I laughed and joked for the entire 6 hour flight. A couple times the pilot or co-pilot would walk back and chat. All and all, I knew I'd never like flying commercial again.
We arrived at the airport in Milan. It was a perfect landing. I never felt the wheels touch down. To be exact if it hadn't been for the screech on the wheels going from 0 miles per hour to 230 miles per hour in less than 10 seconds, I still believe we were in the air.
Our pilot pulled up in front of an empty hanger and shut down the engines. A Bently limousine pulled up near our stairs and the driver rushed around the car and opened the rear door. Out popped the three button men from so long ago at the trattoria.
That could mean only one thing, Don Vito was in the limo.
I climbed down the stairs and watched as the co-pilot unloaded my luggage. Before I could pick up my stuff one of the button men and the limo driver had grabbed it. They opened the trunk of the limousines and put my stuff carefully in the trunk.
The other button man waved me over to the door and helped me inside. As I suspected Don Vito was sitting in the opposite corner. He smiled, "Welcome back to Italy, my son."
"Don Vito, you honor me with all this. But I am just a glorified brick layer. Not a visiting prince who demands such treatment."
He smiled again, "Your mother and father would be proud to hear you talk like this. But first it is getting late. We will drive to my home and have dinner."
And drive we did. The limo driver whipped through traffic like Mario Andretti. Don Vito poured me a glass of wine and I did everything in my power not to spill it. It was quite a ride until we pulled on the autostrada. Since this was a closed access highway like our freeways, I figured that the wild ride was over.
I was sitting in a spot that I could see the speedometer. It was reading 240 km. A little rough math and I realized we were doing 150 mph. Shit I had forgotten. The autostrada had no speed limit. I must have had a panicked look on my face because Don Vito patted my knee and said, "Don't worry Guido is a very good driver. To be exact, he's one of the best drivers around."
It only took an hour to get to the Don's house. In the US at normal highway speeds it would be a 2.5 to 3 hour trip. I swear we were going faster on the ground than the Gulfstream did in the air.