Authors: J.J. McAvoy
Tags: #Romance, #Crime, #Thrillers & Suspense, #Mystery, #contemporary, #Thrillers, #Thriller & Suspense, #organized crime
A Bloody Kingdom
J. J. McAvoy
This ebook is licensed to you for your personal enjoyment only.
This ebook may not be sold, shared, or given away.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the writer’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
A Bloody Kingdom
Copyright © 2016 by J.J. McAvoy
Ebook ISBN: 9781943772520
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
No part of this work may be used, reproduced, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without prior permission in writing from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Avenue, Suite 2003, NY 10001, New York.
The Callahan Family Tree
This is Chicago
The land of Crooks,
The home of those who hope,
In spite of no hope.
Where children become gangsters
And gangsters are cloaked in blue.
The capital of fuck you.
A place of beauty
A place of despair
The land of the unholy
Yes. THIS. IS. CHICAGO!
A kingdom most bloody.
~ J.J. McAvoy
“I feel like myself, strong and weak at once.”
~ Veronica Roth
The moment my feet touched the marble flooring at the entrance of our house, I felt my whole body relax. The coolness of the floor eased my aching feet as our butler reached for my coat.
“Welcome home, Ma’am. Would you like anything?” He nodded and folded my coat over his arm.
“Are the children in bed?” I questioned as I leaned over to pick up my black Dolce and Gabbana heels from the ground.
“Yes, Ma’am. And the master is in his study.”
The master? I’m sure Liam enjoyed that one. Without another word to him, I headed up the stairs. Once again because of the goddamn teachers union, I was coming home late. Knowing Ethan, he was still probably trying to stay awake. He never went to bed without seeing me first and I looked forward to it more than anything else in the world…he, all of my children, made my heart ache in the best possible way. I didn’t understand it. I barely recognized myself with them…I was at peace. It felt odd. I’d never felt peace in all of my life.
Since I was a child, my father beat it into me that I was a Giovanni. I needed to be strong, be ruthless. As a teenager, I watched as he slowly died in front of me, his legacy fading along with him. I gave my life to the Italian family. As an adult, I fought my mother and my grandfather; the world felt like it was going to crumble around me. And yet I made it to the other side and every time I looked into my children’s faces, I saw that victory.
My life had changed drastically over the years and it still felt like a dream.
“Knock, knock,” I whispered softly. I poked my head inside Ethan’s room and saw him shift immediately. Smiling to myself, I dropped my heels by the corner of the door before running towards his bed and jumping in next to him to tickle his sides.
“Mommy!” He laughed outright, his body twisting and turning away from me, which only made me tickle him more.
“Someone is up past their bedtime,” I said as I sat up and ran my hands through his messy brown hair.
“You promised to come home early,” he said with a frown.
“Blame the teachers,” I said, cupping his face.
“I w—” he coughed before he could finish his statement. But it wasn’t just one cough. He grabbed onto his chest, his whole body leaning forward.
“Ethan? Sweetheart?” I grabbed on to him, his face slowly turning purple. “ETHAN!” I yelled.
“Momma…” he gasped, blood coming from his nose.
“ETHAN! ETHAN! LIAM! LIAM! HELP ME!” Picking him up, I ran towards the door when—
The gunshots never ending, all of coming from—
“Ma’am, we’re under attack!” Fedel yelled as he rushed into the room.
“Attack? Who?” Fuck, none of that mattered. “Take him! Take care of him now!” I threw Ethan into his arms.
“Ma’am, it’s not safe!”
“SAVE MY SON!” I screamed, spit flying from my lips as I ripped the family photo off the wall beside Ethan’s desk. Behind it, I’d stashed my assault rifle and Glock along with three magazine clips. Strapping them, I didn’t even hesitate before kicking in the door to Wyatt and Dona’s room.
On the walls, the floor, but worst of all—all over them.
“Urgah…” A sound that didn’t even seem human came from lips—my eyes on fire as I stared at my children. My babies. “No…no. No. No.”
It was the only word I knew as I ran to them. Wyatt’s body over Dona’s, both of them slumped over the bed.
“Wyatt, sweetheart,” I whispered, petting his head. “Come on, this isn’t funny…get off your sister. Dona baby, push your brother off okay?”
They didn’t move.
They didn’t breathe.
They just lay there…like dead things.
“No…No…” Lying on top of them, I hugged tightly. I didn’t understand. What happened? What was happening?
Again the shots rang out. I didn’t even bother to pick up the guns that I’d dropped. But even opening the door felt impossible; my body felt as if it was going numb. I wasn’t sure if I was fainting or crying, but my vision blurred.
It was only because it was
. Liam. His voice made everything clear again and I wished it hadn’t. I didn’t want to see him like that. On his knees, a gun pointed at his head. His green eyes wide with fear, but for himself, not me.
“Mel, go! GO!” he screamed before the man smacked him across the side of the face with the butt of his gun. His lip ripped open, blood dripping down to the Persian carpet I had been forced to buy at one of those damn charity drives with Evelyn.
“Mel—” He never looked away from me, even as he took another hit.
“Stop,” I whispered.
“Please stop!” I finally yelled.
“Please? What have I told you about saying please, Melody?” The man turned around and when he did, all the air in my lungs evaporated.
“Am I? Because the daughter I trained, the daughter I raised, she isn’t this weak. Melody Nicci Giovanni, the daughter of Iron Hands, Bloody Melody—that is who you are. What? You thought just because you defeated the Russians, your mother, and your grandfather, that it was over? That you’d just ride off into the sunset with your Irish family! THERE IS NO SUN FOR YOU, MELODY! There is no place you can hide. There will always be someone after you. How many goddamn times do I have to teach you this lesson?”
“This isn’t real.” I shook my head and backed away. “I’m going to wake up now.”
“If this isn’t real, then you wouldn’t mind?” he questioned once again—this time, with the gun pressed into Liam’s head and I knew this wasn’t real. I knew it, but I couldn’t stop my heart from racing.
“Look at you. I should have never let you into this family. They’ve made you weak. You are a boss, Melody. You belong to the Mafia. Not the Brady Bunch. Get your head out of the fucking clouds and act like who you are.”
His body fell over sideways, blood pooling out in front me…his eyes never looking away.
My eyes opened as I snapped up from bed, gun in hand, my heart still pounding against my chest, my whole body coated in sweat.
“Mel? What is it?” Liam sat up on his elbow, his eyes still half shut.
“Nothing. Sorry, go back to bed,” I whispered, lifting the sheets up and sliding my feet out to the side.
I could still feel his eyes on me as I walked to the bathroom.
Closing the door behind me, I dropped the gun by the sink before reaching over and turning on the faucet.
“Breathe. Just breathe,” I whispered to my reflection as I tried to shake the images from my mind.
Just me. Always just me…the thought scared me. Me, who had spent almost all of my life being alone, was scared of being alone. Just when I was feeling…like a Callahan…of course, my father would pop up in my mind to remind me I was Giovanni before everything else.
“Damn, Orlando. You’ve really fucked me up.” I smiled even though it wasn’t at all funny.
After washing my face, I stepped back out expecting to see Liam in bed. Instead, he leaned against the wall to the bathroom, his eyes shut and his arms crossed over his bare chest. Lazily, he opened his eyes and looked over to me, the corners of his mouth turned up.
“You okay?” he asked.
This. This was the reason why I was afraid to be alone…since we got married, since I came into his house, he never looked away from me, he never let me be alone. He always had my back and so I leaned on him.
I was weak for him.
“Yeah.” I took his hand. “Let’s go to bed, we’ve got so much to do tomorrow.”
He groaned and followed me towards our bed before jumping on top of me forcing us both to fall.
“Love you.” He snickered when I tried to wiggle out of his arms, but he held me tighter.
Sighing, I gave up. “Love you too.”
Like always, he fell asleep with ease. I, on the other hand, just lay there brushing my hands through his hair, wide-awake and remembering the number one rule my father had always cautioned me to.
Never get comfortable because I will only know peace the day I die.
“I am an American, Chicago born – Chicago, that somber city – first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent."
~ Saul Bellow
He was somewhere in the crossroads of being scared fucking shitless and desperately anxious. I had seen a lot throughout my life, and I say that knowing damn well I was only thirty-six years old. But thirty-six in mafia years had to be the equivalent to at least sixty years for normal people, give or take a year. Nevertheless, glancing at my son, sitting quietly beside me, his hands reaching up to fix the tie around his neck every few minutes, was still strange as fuck.
“Ethan.” I didn’t bother facing him, scrolling through the email Declan had sent me, but I heard as his whole body shifted towards me.
“Is something wrong with your bow tie?”
He paused before speaking “Uhh…I don’t think so.”
“You don’t think so?” I glanced over to him and he quickly answered.
“No. There is nothing wrong with my bow tie.”
“Then stop fidgeting.”
I wasn’t sure which part confused me more—the fact that I was the father of a nine-and-half-year-old or the fact that I was the father of nine-and-half-year-old who looked completely identical to me, the same unruly brown hair, sharp green eyes, even my damn nose and ears, Ethan had them all. My mother sometimes would even call him my name by accident; even Neal and Declan had started to call him Liam Jr.
Each time they did, he stood a little prouder and in return that made me proud. However, if I wanted him to be named after me, he would have fucking been named after me. There was only one Liam Callahan, now and forever. I did not think this out of jealousy or pride—I earned my name, my Melody earned her name, so he would have to do the same…starting now.
“Sir,” Fedel nodded to me as I stepped out of the Rolls Royce. Fedel had changed over the years; the death of Monte had really gotten to him. His black hair was cut in a buzz, his olive skin tone had gotten only a little lighter in all the years he had been here, but that was nothing in comparison to his behavior now. He took no chances with anyone, he hardly spoke unless necessary and there was darkness in his eyes I was familiar with. Where I went, he went. He was now my right-hand man; Italian, Irish, it didn’t matter anymore; we were beyond that.