The woman below who was working in the training room kept up the beat. Her kicks would hit the punching bag with a hard thud. It would jump back and when it came back it was hit again. Those who were in the room watched with a smirk asking, 'Who pissed her off today?'. She was in 'the' mode. This was used to express her focused attention on her work out of the day. She being, Payton Lucca, was toned and tanned, mainly from her Italian heritage. With her dark gray eyes, she had the mirrored image stare down perfectly. Her hair, a deep, almost ash brown, was usually up in some form or another.
The boys, as Payton liked to call the men she knew at the gym, had learned long ago not to make any advances toward her. One had been brave enough to touch her and that had been the final straw. She had challenged the 'brave' one to a match on the mat. The looser had come out with bruises and the ability to not walk straight, with Payton grinning like a maniac at her achievement.
"Payton!" She looked up toward the viewing room above the gym, toward the voice calling out to her. Her deep gray eyes caught the eyes of her best friend, Marcus. The younger son of the Don. His own olive green eyes caught hers, though his soft brown hair hung in front of his face.
"Father wants you. Now." He spoke down to her in a tone that left no room for argument. He waved her toward the door before turning and heading back to whatever he had been up to.
"But I wasn't finished," she whined as she started removing her gloves and wraps. Quickly, she grabbed her net towel and water, waving by to the boys at the training room. Taking a long swig, she headed out of the gym, down the path toward the Palsco house.
Knocking once, she stepped back and waited as she wiped the sweat from her face.
"Enter Payton." She heard Leo call to her. When he called her Payton, she knew this was about business. When it was personal or just because he had always called her 'Cookie'. Due to an incident a long time ago when she had tried to steal the cookie jar. That had been her first lesson, 'Don't steal unless you know you won't get caught.' She knew this to be true and learned quickly.
Slowly, she opened the door and entered. Bowing in respect to Leo, she let her eyes capture everything around her. Marcus stood at the window and two other members stood before Leo. Tommy Marcello was in his mid thirties and pretty cold. He was a quiet man that kept to himself. Though Payton never really cared for him, she usually stayed out of his way. Alex Waters was in his forties and Payton's trainer. The Don had requested Waters to train Payton as she decided to pledge her loyalty. Waters had been with the Don for several years and proved to be a loyal friend through the years of hardship. With a quick wit and sharp intelligence, he proved to be an asset to the 'family.'
"Ahh. Payton. Sit. Sit." Leo smiled, waving his hand at the chairs. "I have exciting news. But first, Payton did you and Tony D. get the shipment handled?"
"Yes, boss. The Yukuza of Section nine, Japan, signed the papers and forwarded the money on the dot. Though we had a slight problem but I fixed it." Payton replied, a devious grin gracing her face. Marcus turned away from her hiding his grin while Leo smiled knowingly at her. Marcello only looked at her with a half horrified, half shocked expression, though most wouldn't know how to read his expressions; she had learned to read even the hardest people.
"What exactly happened?" Leo asked, drawing out the words slowly, expecting the worse. Payton only shook her head and smiled slightly, looking more like a smirk.
"They thought I was your common wench. Or Marcus'. But the situation was handled. No worries. Even the Don personally apologized for his behavior." Payton replied, sitting back in her chair and resting her eyes. Feeling quite smug with herself, she couldn't help but let the smirk stay in place.
"Sometimes I wonder about you. Anyway, the good news. Everyone knows Tony has been in Italy learning and visiting with my brother for the past five or so years. Well... He is coming home today!" Leo announced, a wide smile on his face. Beaming with happiness, he smiled. Waters and Marcello nodded their congratulations and Marcus slapped his father's back with a wide smile. Payton on the other hand fell out of her chair. Everyone turned to look at her as she stood up with a shocked expression with a tinge of horror.
"He's coming home today?" She finally asked, taking a deep breath. Her eyes focused on an invisible object out the window. Her hands were clenched at her sides as she tried to calm herself. Marcus laughed at her and grinned, "You had to of known he'd come back eventually, Payton."
"Sure but... I forgot about him! I was hoping I'd be ... I don't know. Better prepared." She shot a mock glare over at the don with a dark look. Thanks for the warning, Pops.
"You'll get over it. Now back to why you all are here - Waters, Marcello, I want you to escort Marcus there and back with Tony. Payton, I would like you to go along for back up." Leo replied, folding his hands on the desk giving her a long look. This wasn't a question, she knew. It was a demand. Payton sighed heavily before answering.
"Fine. Since it is your son we are picking up. Do I have to go get dressed?" Payton growled out as she stood up from her chair and started for the door. With her back to the others, she let her stoic façade fade.
"Yes. Would you rather go there sweaty and stinky, giving him the opportunity to tease and antagonize you?" Marcus smirked at his best friend. He loved watching her squirm.
"I'll meet you out at the car in fifteen minutes." Payton waved her hand at them then slammed the door behind her. Marcus grinned as his father who waved him off to follow her.
"You know she isn't pleased about this right?" Marcus asked his father who sat back in his chair with his hands folded on his chest. The Don looked up at his youngest with a grin.
"Oh yes." Marcus laughed quietly before quickly following behind the fuming woman before him.
By the time they reached Payton's room, she was muttering furiously. Leo had given her the left upper wing of the house when she had reached the age of sixteen. Ever since then, no one ever really enters her wing of the house. Marcus and Leo were the only ones to enter on very small occasions. Marcus followed behind knowing it best not to talk. The Italian temper flowed hot through her veins and after many years, he had learned many of the various moods she carried. Some that had left meaningful bruises and scars. She had apologized but in right, it was his fault for most of them. Antagonizing her was something he was good at when she didn't want to talk.
She walked into her closet and began to change. 'Let's make him realize his mistake.' She thought with devious grin. Pulling on a white spaghetti strap tank top, she glanced in the mirror. Her ash brown hair was cut in layers and her think bangs hung in her eyes. With Italian descent, her skin had a natural tan to her body. It was a lighter than what covered her. With long legs, Payton had always been a little taller than most women but now she was toned and had a beautiful figure, though she never admitted it to most.
'Why does he have to come back?' She sighed heavily, her thoughts flowing to the reason she was dressing up. 'My worst nightmare.' Frustrated, she quickly pulled on jeans, a gray t-shirt, and grabbed her leather jacket. It was a prized procession of hers and had been custom made for her. It was a gift from Alex Waters after her first important mission. Screw it.
"Payton. We need to go." Marcus called from outside her closet.
"I'm coming," she growled as she placed her semi-automatic in the small of her back, under the jacket. Running down the stairs and into the SUV, she rode with Waters while Marcello and Marcus rode in a separate car.
"You're pouting, Payton." Alex's gruff voice cut into her thoughts. Payton looked up at her Mentor and sighed. Alex had always read Payton like an open book. With his slightly graying hair and soft blue eyes, he looked to be a soft and kind guy but Payton knew underneath that there was a hard man. No one knew what exactly to expect from, including Payton.
"Sorry sir. Just not happy or excited about him," she spat that out as if it were venom. "coming back. Why couldn't he stay there until I left for Spain or even Australia?" She sighed. Waters only chuckled as he kept his eyes on the road.
"Simple as that, aye? Remember Payton, he's going to be the Don one day which means he'll be your boss. So put up a good front and keep him guessing. Never let him get to you or else when he becomes boss he'll control you like a dog." Waters replied, his eyes on the road.
"Speaking from experience?" Payton asked, not really figuring she'd get an answer. Her Mentor was not the type to disclose personal information easily.
"So to speak," he replied, his eyes remaining on the road. Payton groaned inwardly, before pulling off Waters' hat and placing it on her head. Waters took a quick look at her before smirking slightly, realizing her intentions. "Hoping he won't recognize you?"
"Yes. Maybe I might happen to get some luck today." Payton replied as she pulled her glasses on and unbuckling her seatbelt as they came to a stop outside the runway at the very small airport. Stepping out of the SUV, she looked around to see the plane just landing. Leaning against the car next to Waters, they watched as Marcus went toward the opening door of the plane.
"What is the real story about you and the elder brother?" Waters questioned quietly as they waited patiently for the royal son.
Payton sighed. She knew if she didn't tell Waters, he'd just keep bugging her. Or even ask Marcus if he was really serious. "It's seems childish but that kid, man, made my life hell growing up. I was living here under the Don as a guest but he never saw it that way. He was always trying to tear me down. 'You have to listen to me. My dad is the boss,' and on and on. That's just the butt of what he did. Teenage years hit and it was worse. But I fought back. And Marcus tried to play referee. It didn't help much. We always were butting heads. He was just a jerk," she paused. "Let's just say, I'm going to make him regret what he did to - me."
Waters nodded in understanding. But he stopped and looked down at his little friend. She felt him watching her, but she kept her eyes down with her hat shielding her face from view. "He is the boss' son, Payton. There isn't much you can do. And don't try it unless you want to be executed. I would hate to see you dead." He put an arm around her shoulder in a side hug. Not much for showing sentimentality, she had to admit, it felt good.
"Don't worry, Waters. It won't be too bad. It's not a death sentence or such like that. I'm talking personal vengeance." Payton grinned widely but it soon split when her attention came to the three figures walking toward them. Marcello was walking behind Marcus. Who was patting the third on the back; Tony.
And the rewrite has begun!
I'm at chapter three so far but I can't say where it's going. I'm actually a little slowed. I'm working on bringing in some twists but who knows if i can shift it well enough.
i hope you guys like.
Thanks for reading