Chapter 2

“You must be Cornbread,” a guy says when I walk in the bathroom.

I realize almost immediately that it must be a bathroom attendant. I figured the Sicilian was fancy but a bathroom attendant seems a little bit much. He gives me the regular Sicilian smile and I try my best to return it but I'm hardly interested in him. There is only one person in this whole place that catches my attention. He is standing over by the sink. He's fixing his tie and looking in the mirror.

In the reflection I see Charming Carmine's eyes connect with me. The nickname Charming goes well for him. The way that Danny spoke about him you'd think this was some stone cold killer. So why the fuck wasn't I running from him? Why the fuck was I instead following him in the goddam bathroom? Why the fuck was I staring at him?

I look over at the bathroom attendant.

“Yeah I'm Cornbread. dad was looking for”


“Yeah Victor. You should get out there. My dad was looking asking for you,” he says.

Victor gives me a look, “That's odd. He tells me never to leave the station.”

“Don't worry. I'll stay here. I'll make sure the world doesn't fall apart when people don't have towels to dry their hands.”

Victor smiles at me not really catching on to the slight shade and says, “Oh my god...thanks Cornbread.”

We're in the bathroom alone. Carmine is washing his hands. There's silent. There is that tension again. I'm not going crazy. I know he feels it. I'm waiting for him to say something and he's clearly waiting for me to say something. The tension is so fucking thick.

“Cornbread? That's a dumb name,” Carmine laughs.

I don't expect him to be nice. I've done nice. Nice was boring. He's mean and he's rude and he's dangerous. He's interesting.

I shrug, “It's a nickname. My real name is Regis...Jr.”

Carmine raises one of those dark sexy mysterious eyebrows, “I see. You're Black Regis's son? I come here all the time. I didn't know he had a son. Interesting.”

“Black Regis?”

“Sorry. In my lifestyle we don't come across too many black guys,” he responds, “People just started calling him black Regis. It's not in a racist way. It's not like they called him mulignan.”

I remember the term. It's the same term they used for me outside.

“What's that?”

“Now that's racist,” Carmine tells me, “Kind of like calling one of you people a nigger.”

“Can you not say that?” I ask him.

Carmine looks at me he turns and snickers a little bit, “Why? What you going to do? Spank me. I say what I damn near please. What are you the word police? You don't like it? Go cry.”

He's blunt. He's rude. He's crass. Looking at his face he's handsome. He has to be on the top 5 most handsome guys I've ever seen in my life. What brings him to number 1 though is that danger behind his face though. There is a sense that this guy gives no fucks. There's something so sexy about that. There's something that turns me on about it.

“We're good,” I say.

I back down. I'm not dumb. This guy is 6'2” and has a toned muscular body. I could probably take him in a fight if I wanted to but I didn't want to. I wanted him to be himself. I wanted him to be this dominant extra masculine man who defined masculinity. His strong Italian accent and his dark features are turning me on.

“I need to know if you're going to start some shit.”

“I said you we're good you can say what you want,” I answer.

He grunts, “Not talking about that.”

“Then what you talking 'bout?”

“I need to know if you are going to tell anyone about what happened at the bar. In that bathroom,” he tells me.


“Well...I wouldn't...even if I knew. I'm a little confused. What exactly happened in bathroom at the bar?” I ask him.

Silence. Charming Carmine studies my face. He gives me this long wondering stare. I'm not sure he knows the answer to that either.

He ignores my question and walks past me but stops on his way out, “We come here a lot. Your dad has some good Italian. You'd have to go to Sicily to get something so legit and no one takin' that long fucking flight. So we come here a lot. Understand? I'll be seeing you a lot? Understand? So no...funny business.”

It's a funny request for him to make.

I raise my hand, “No funny business.”

“I'm serious,” he tells me.

“So am I,” I say at that moment, “All the business that I have is far from funny. I'm very, very serious...”

There is a silence. He had the chance to just walk out of the bathroom. Why isn't he? Why is he still standing right next to me at that moment. Why is he challenging me? Why come I'm flirting with him and he is standing in this room entertaining it? He's watching my eyes at first but I realize his own eyes are lowering. They get lower and lower.

They fall to my lips. He is watching my lips as I speak and it's the sexiest thing in the world to have this sexy Italian studying my lips like he is.

He takes a step towards me. I take a step towards him. Our eyes connect. He watches my lips. I lick my lips. He watches me lick my lips.

The awkwardness and the intensity goes through the roof. I'd never felt this feeling. There were pure flames between the two of us. That is the only way to describe the tension. Flames. Yes. It was almost like the kitchen was burning down the Sicilian. I was in hell and right now there was no place I'd rather be.

We're interrupted for the second time.

Victor...the bathroom attendant has returned, “Hey your dad said he didn't want me. He did however say that he needed you. Seems like there is a line at the front right now.”


Charming Carmine laughs, taking a few dollars and putting it in my best pocket, “Don't forget your tip.”


The night is getting busier and busier. It's clear people have traveled from all around New York and probably further to come to the restaurant tonight. The night is winding down and I'm watching Charming Carmine leave. He doesn't look back at me as he leaves. He seems to be entertaining his people. I'm staring at him the whole time mesmerized by him and wishing that he'd just look back at me one time. Maybe he's got enough of his weird tension between the two of us. Maybe everyone felt that way with Carmine. Maybe I was nothing special.

Then I notice something else. I notice my dad. My dad is staring their way as well. He's on the other side of the room. My mind wanders for a quick second. Who is my dad looking at over there? What is his own interest and why is he sneaking these suspicious stares?

All these things are running through my head and by the end of the night I'm just daydreaming. It could be World War 2 and I don't snap out of it until Patricia is in my face.

“You hear me?” Patricia asks.


“I said you did a pretty good job today,” Patricia responds, “You'll get better though. The Sicilian isn't like other restaurants.”

“ host the mafia.”

Patricia almost chokes me. She grabs me and pulls me to the other side of the room away from the other staff that are just dusting off tables and closing for the night.

You can't say things like that.”

“Sorry...but it's true isn't it?”

Patricia is struggling. It's something she doesn't want to say out loud.

“Listen. Don't ask any questions remember.”

“Patricia. Why'd the last host quit?”

“He didn't actually quit.”


“The last host went missing.”


My dad's apartment is on top of the Sicilian. You would think it was some hole in the wall but the apartment is actually quite nice. Knowing my dad he was a workaholic and did this intentionally. As the night is over I'm pretty tired from the first day of work but honestly I'm glad that it's over.

“This is your room,” my dad says.

The room is a pretty decent size. Everything is painted red with the same theme that the restaurant had going on. It has it's own bathroom with a garden size tub. The décor is all up to date and nice. The whole place looks pretty decent. The living room is just as nice. Huge 80 inch screens are on the living room wall. There is this big sense of decency. My father had never been rich and even this wasn't rich but this was a far step up from how I remembered him.

“You're doing pretty good for yourself,” I state looking around the room.

“The Sicilian is very popular,” he responds.

I look around the room. The more I look at him the more I wonder. My dad has always been a good church going man but I remember him talking to Leo Crazy Fontana. I want to ask him about it but I just feel like he'd try to push it under the rug just like Patricia. They liked smiling. They liked pretending nothing else was going on.

“Just the restaurant?” I ask.

“What do you mean?” he asks me.

“I mean you have any other businesses going on besides the restaurant?” I ask my father.

My dad doesn't seem to catch on to my intention and answers honestly, “Just a side hustle every now and again. Nothing you need to be worried about.”

“Do you know one of them personally?” I ask.

“One of who?”

“I believe their names were the Fontanas.”

I remember how my dad was looking at them leaving. There was something behind his eyes. It was something more than business. It was something...personal. I knew my dad well enough to know that my dad wasn't really much to hide his expressions. He was bothered by something or someone in that group and I wanted to now who it was.

My dad sits there and wonders for a minute.

“It's just...”

“You can tell me.”

My dad pauses for a minute. There's something he has on his chest but he doesn't say anything.

I love you son,” he states, “You know that right?”

“Of course I do.”

“Promise me one thing. Ok?”


“Don't let anyone put you in a box. Don't let anyone keep you away from what you want. Ok? I brought you up here to dream. You understand? Dream big.”

The way he changes the subject like that is strange but for some reason I don't think I want to push this subject. I knew my dad well enough to know that whatever was bothering him seemed to be really bothering him. It seemed to be bothering him to the point that he was annoyed.

The next day I go to work and realize Patricia is up front helping me. I'm not sure if she heard something about how I performed on my first day. Today she just seems to be around. She seems to be fixed on her own thing.

“Is everything OK with my dad?” I ask.

We're in between patrons. It's pretty busy but between the two of us we have it under control. The Italians entertain themselves really. They get a few drinks in them and they become a wild bunch. Luckily a lot of the things they are saying is so heavily accented that it goes way over my head. The only thing that seems to rub me the wrong way is when I hear the word mulignan used. I'm kind of annoyed when I hear them say it to the waiters. I kind of wish that Carmine didn't tell me what the goddam word meant.

Your dad's fine. Why would you ask?

“He's putting on. Like he's fronting or something. He's attempting to seem happy but something is getting to him.”

Patricia sighs, “You're a curious one.”

“I'm serious Patricia. He's my dad.”

“Listen. There are a lot of things going on that you don't know about,” my cousin explains to me, “There are a lot of things that have gone on that you don't know about. You ever heard the term ignorance is bliss? Yeah. Well that shit's real in Staten Island. What you want to do is just smile and do your job. Simple as that. comes some big dogs.”

I notice some men coming in for dinner.

“Patricia this must be your handsome cousin,” a woman says.

I realize who is all of a sudden. Isabella Fontana. She is standing with her two sons. I don't see Leo Crazy Fontana with them. I don't see the huge entourage that they came with yesterday. It's just the three of them. My heart drops when I see Carmine with less people this time. He's so...accessible and for some reason that is making me even more excited.

“Yes ma'am...” I state about to reach forward and introduce myself but I feel Patricia give me a swift stomp on the foot stopping me.

“Just three today Mrs. Fontana,” Patricia states.

“Just three unless your handsome cousin wants to join us,” Mrs. Fontana states.

“Good god Ma,” Carmine says.

What? The boy is handsome. Just like his father. What just because your old man is gone I should be some type of virgin nun? Is that it? I'm just looking. Che Cazzo!”

She is a sassy woman clearly and really quite beautiful to say the least. She is paler than most of the other Italians I've seen and has brown curls coming down her face. She reminds me of a plainer version of Sandra Bullock. Her dark hair and red cheeks seems to get even more defined with every Italian curse that comes out of her mouth. The woman was dressed like some rich governess but she had the mouth of a sailor.

“Thanks ma'am,” I say at that moment.

I look at Carmine. Our eyes lock. The usual long glance followed by nothing.

“I'll show you your seat Mrs. Fontana.”

“Actually I got it,” I state.

I grab menus. I don't know why I'm so eager. I'm just trying to see Carmine I guess. As we walk through I start seeing more of the dynamic between these people. They act like one big family. I hear certain people calling out Charming to Carmine or Nuts to his brother. Both Carmine and his brother have that typical Italian mentality to them. His brother is a little louder and more voisterious then him. You'd think they were walking through a family house by how people were greeting one another.

There is this sense of recognition. There was this sense of family.

I take them to their seat at the other side of the restaurant.

“Same old restaurant all the time,” Mrs. Fontana is saying, “When you guys going to make me some fried chicken or somethin'?”

Carmine rolls his eyes. His brother laughs. They have this sense of belonging about them.

“You can't say that Ma. That's racist as fuck,” Carmine tells her.

I could imagine cursing like that in front of my mother. She probably would have slapped the dog shit out of me. Instead Mrs. Fontana doesn't seem to notice or care about the curse.

“And what the fuck is so racist. Blacks make good fried chicken. Italians make good meat balls. What's so racist?” she's going off.

“I do actually make a good fried chicken,” I state and then out of no where I add, “I can actually whip some up if you'd like.”

I don't know what I'm thinking. Maybe that's the problem. I should take my black ass to the front of the restaurant where I belong but instead I'm stuck staring at sexy ass Carmine. I mean it's hard not to stare at this guy. His pink lips and his dark hair are intoxicating. Everytime I walk past him I smell this manly musk that makes me want to bury my face in his sports jacket and sniff him all day.

“You go do that,” Mrs. Fontana states, “You take care of us...we take care of you.”


I don't know what I'm doing but I'm back in my Dad's apartment above the restaurant. He's in the kitchen I believe and I don't want to risk myself running into him. All I know is that I'm going to whip up the best batch of fried chicken I've ever made in my life. It's not about Mrs. Fontana. The lady was nice and sweet regardless of her sailor mouth but it was Carmine I wanted to impress. Carmine was the guy whose attention I want.

I literally put everything I have into this fucking chicken or I should say everything my dad has. When I bring it back the table is a little bit more crowded. The local gangster guys seem to be all up Carmine's ass with “Aye Carmine, how ya' doing?” or what not. Just looking at him you can tell he's a guy that is well respected. All these guys are here trying to get his attention or what not. He barely even notices me.

I place the chicken on the table. Mrs. Fontana smiles at me, immediately picking up a drum and taking a bite.

“Oh my!” she's saying.

She curses a little. She says some stuff in Italian that I don't understand but I'm pretty sure it's a lot more cursing.

His brother Nuts shrugs, “Ma, you wanna exagerrate a little more over some chicken?”

“Taste this chicken. Here. Have a bite.”

“I don't eat Mulignan food,” the boy says.

I'm pretty sure it's racist what the guy is saying. I should be offended but I think these people just talk like this. Besides what am I going to do if one of these gangsters offends me.

“Aah...Carmine! Hey Carmine. Come over here. Take this chicken!” Mrs. Fontana says.

She's loud. Ratchet. I think about walking away but Carmine turns at that moment and I'm stuck looking stupid all over again. Carmine barely recognizes what's going on. He bites into my chicken and raises an eyebrow.

“You made this?” Carmine asks me.

He's pointing a drumstick at me. The oil from the chicken is dripping from his lower lip. I want to just lick it off. He's so fucking sexy. I could blush when he eats the chicken and passes a couple drumsticks over to his boys. His mother damn near has to fight them off to get my chicken back over to her. I've had millions of people like my chicken before but right now for some reason it seems like this is the only batch of chicken that ever mattered in my life.

“Yeah,” I reply.

“Good chicken,” Carmine says.

That's all he says. Good chicken. I smile, bow a little low and walk away. I'm smiling ear to ear. You would think these people gave me a standing ovation from how I'm reacting. You'd think they'd rolled out the carpet and given me an Emmy in motherfucking chicken. I'm excited. The black kid that makes chicken that Italians like.

I'm back at the front where I see my cousin. Patricia looks annoyed. I can tell she is about to chew me out when I realize that she's taken over the front area while I was gone. She's taken over my host duties.

“Where the hell you been?” she asks.

“Just...uh...the Fontanas had a special order. They wanted some chicken.”

Patricia looks over at the Fontana table. They are loud. A few of the guys are badgering the waitress. I swear one of them even squeezes her ass. She scurries away. Any normal guys would be kicked out of a restaurant for acting like that. Not these guys. No one was going to do a damn thing to these guys. My eyes fall on Carmine. He's amused by the girl whose being sexually harassed. I don't think they take that kind of stuff seriously. The waitress seems more amused then offended. Maybe she's forcing it so she can get a nice tip. Who knows?

I was new to these life and these people intrigued me.

“Stay away from them,” Patricia states, “We have cooks. We have waiters. You hear. If they have a special order they can tell the waiter. You hear me Cornbread?”

“Patricia it's not that serious.”

Patricia grabs me by my wrists. She holds onto it so hard that it damn near hurts me. The look in her eyes is something that I can tell a mile away. She's afraid. She's terrified actually.

“Yes it is,” she says, “Stay away from these people. You sit them at their table and you smile. That's it. You hear me.”

“Ok. Ok. I got it. Damn.”

You would think that I was trying to serve Hitler by how Patricia was reacting. I pull away from her a little annoyed that she's throwing around her weight. I knew shew as the manager or what not but my father was still the owner of this place.

“Why don't you go help out in the back, do some dishes?” she asks.

“Are you serious?”

Patricia isn't smiling, “Yeah. Maybe you won't cause any trouble back there.”

Patricia says some other things under her breath. A part of me feels like she's just trying to keep me away from these guys out here. I want to complain to my father about it but he's no where around. When I get to the kitchen I'm beyond pissed.

Here I am.

Nice suit and tie...washing dishes.

“Need some help with those?”

It's Danny. Sweet Danny. Innocent Danny. He's standing a few feet away from me. The guy is attractive. I have to admit it. I mean he lifts his shirt up a little bit and folds it over to wipe some kitchen sweat off his forehead. All I see are abs. Strong, defined abs. It's like this guy has a washing board underneath his shirt.

I wonder if he does it on purpose.

“I'm good.”

“The restaurant is closing down. The dishes will start piling up in a minute. Here...I'll help you,” he replies.

Danny is so nice. A little too nice. He stands next to me. He's so close that we are rubbing elbows as we share the sink. We're silent of a while.

“So you from Staten Island?” I ask Danny.

“Nah. Long Island. Came down here the beginning of last year.”

“Why?” I ask him.

Danny shrugs, “I dunno. A change. Still more of the same though. Probably worse. All the gangsters are here. I saw you at that table with the Fontanas. You should be careful kid.”

“I'm not a kid,” I respond to Danny, “And I'm always careful.

Danny flashes a smile at me. It lasts a little longer than a usual smile would. I try to make contact with him. He seems to enjoy teasing me.

“They are extra rowdy today. The gangsters. The Benny Benedetti just got off his case. Everyone thought he was going to be trialed with murder,” Danny explains to me at that moment, “Honestly I think he should have.”

“Whose Benny Benedetti?”

“Jesus...I haven't heard someone ask me that since I was kid. He's only the boss of the Moretti Crime Family.”

“I thought you said Carmine's father was the boss of the Moretti family.”

Danny flashes me a hard look. At first I don't know why but then I realize how I phrased the question sounds weird. I'm talking about Carmine's father Leo Fontana as if he was nothing more than just Carmine's father. I try to take it back but it's too late. Danny is probably already suspicious. Luckily he doesn't seem to pry on why I'm relating everyone to Carmine.

“Leo Fontana is the Underboss.”

“I don't know the difference.”

Danny takes a soap suds at that moment and draws a dot on the wall. Below it he puts two dots with the soap. Then he draws several dots underneath those two dots. Then under those he just puts more and more and more dots.

“There are five crime families in New York. Moretti is the biggest and the most powerful. At the top of the family is Benny. Under Benny is the Underboss whose Leo. He's 2nd in charge. Then there is the Consigliere. The Consigliere is in charge of making moves for Benny. So a clan is led by a "boss", who is aided by an underboss and supervised by the consigliere.”

“Is that what Carmine is?”

Danny laughs, “No. Carmine is a Capo. Next come the Capos. Each Capo command are groups of about ten "soldiers". That is the structure of La Cosa Nostra. After that there are just associates...people who aren't in the mafia or in other words they aren't “made men”. They aren't members of La Cosa Nostra.”

“You've used that term before.”

“What term?”

“La Cosa Nostra.”

Danny nods, “That's what they call it. They'd never call it the mafia. No. They call it Cosa Nostra. It literally means 'Our thing'.”

“How do you know so much?” I ask Danny.

He doesn't seem to be Italian. He's clearly Arabic.

“Just been around. Figure I share it with you since you only give me the time of day when I talk about them,” Danny states.

“That's not true.”

It is true. Danny raises an eyebrow and we both know it. I kind of feel bad. It's just so fucking interesting. I haven't even realized that since Danny started talking about the structure of this Cosa Nostra thing I've barely even washed a dish.

I don't get the chance to respond because in the next few minutes we are interrupted. I'm shocked when I see Carmine walk into the kitchen. For a moment I think I'm imagining it but then Danny turns around and he's almost as surprised as I am.

“Excuse me...this area's for staff.”

“Clearly. I'm not trying to eat in the kitchen. I came to see Regis Jr. here,” Carmine states.


My voice is not that strong. I sound like a little bitch and I want to punch myself in the fucking face. Danny doesn't seem to be having it at that moment.

“This area is for staff,” Danny repeats.

“What? You gonna kick me out?” Carmine asks getting in Danny's face a little bit. Danny doesn't respond. Carmine sneers a little bit with a cocky nod, “I thought so. Now beat it, Ali Baba.”

Danny looks a little annoyed but I don't think he's going to challenge Carmine anymore on this. He seems to know more about the mafia than I do and for some reason he's folds just like the rest of the staff. They seem to all have that awareness of Carmine.

And the fact that everyone is afraid of Carmine makes me even more interested.

“The dining area should be closed by now, what are you still doing here?” I ask.

It's late. I'm pretty sure the restaurant is closed.

“Everyone's leaving now. I wanted to see you before I left. You made my mother happy today. You know that?” he asks me.

I smile, “I'm glad.”

“So am I. The women in my family are real important to me. You know that?”

Carmine is pressing his eyes up against me.

“Yeah ok.”

“So you took care of her, I'm going to take care of you.”

“Take care of me.”

I don't know why I repeat his words. I don't know why I'm lost in his eyes. I'm distraught when I start to fall leaning into him. I sink into those dark pupils of his. I willingly am giving myself to him leaning so far forward that he holds his hand out to catch me.

“Ay, careful there,” he states, “Here. This is a little something.”

Carmine has his left arm holding me up and his right arm pushing a wad of cash into my breast pocket. When he stuffs the money in there he pats my breast pocket a couple of times.

“Oh. Money...”

“What did you think I was going to give you?” Carmine laughs.

I feel stupid at that moment. I was leaning over to this guy ready to kiss him. I'm ready for him to draft me away and I'm like some sort of idiot.


“You a strange guy. All black guys act strange like you?” Carmine asks me.

I have the feeling he doesn't spend a lot of time around black guys. I have the feeling he doesn't spent a lot of time around people who aren't Italian. Hell...he probably doesn't spend a lot of time around people who

“Didn't realize I was acting strange.”

“Sure you do.”

“How so?”

Carmine stops. He bites on his bottom lip. He's thinking. He's squinting at me trying to figure me out and I let him.

“You stare at me hard. Like you're trying to figure something out. I dunno. Like a...whaddyacallit. Like some type of broad or something.”

“Are you trying ask me if I'm gay?” I ask Carmine.

Carmine shrugs, “Are you?”

“What makes you ask?” I say.

“Listen buddy. I ask the questions around here OK?”

He likes to be in charge. He likes to dominate. He's dead serious as he's talking to me. He's not smiling and he's seemingly saying it in that threatening manner. It reminds me of when I first met him. I'm not sure if he's interested in me or if he hates me. I guess there is such a thin line between the two that it doesn't even matter.

“I'm gay,” I respond, “Is that a problem? You mind me staring at you like that. If you're offended. I'll stop, boss man.”

He raises an eyebrow and squints harder trying to figure me out, “You being a smart ass?”

“No I'm serious. I am gay. I think you're attractive,” I respond to Carmine, “But I'll stop staring at you if you are uncomfortable. I swear.”

Carmine thinks about it for a minute. For that moment I swear he looks like he is a second from punching me in my face. Carmine doesn't seem amused by me saying this to him at all. If he's not been around a lot of black guys I'm almost sure that he hasn't been around a lot of gay guys. You would think Carmine was sitting here looking at some magical unicorn and wondering what the fuck it was by how he was staring at me. He didn't know if I was being real or not. He must think I'm joking with him and for some reason I think he is offended at the fact that I am.

“I feel like you're pulling my leg,” he promised, “You a fruitcake? Honest for god fruitcake?”

“Honest to God,” I say holding my right hand up.

“Holy fuckin' shit,” Carmine states.

I'm amused by I don't laugh. I don't want him to think I'm 'pulling his leg' or whatever guinea phrase he used. Carmine doesn't know how to take this and it's the cutest thing I've ever seen in my life. This is just odd. Here I am admitting my sexuality to a gangster and he seems honestly stumped by it.

He's silent really trying to figure me out.

“You want to ask me anything else?”


“Listen I'll stop staring at you if it makes you uncomfortable.”

Carmine sighs. There is a silence. He's looking at me like I'm a jigsaw puzzle. He's trying to put the pieces together.

“I should. Get out of here,” he states and then pauses, “But you know. It's a free country. Do what you want I guess. If that floats your boat. I just came here to thank you for the chicken. That's all.”

“That's all?”

“What do you mean?”

“Nothing. I swear. I'm just asking if that's the only reason you came. I swear.”

I'm not trying to offend him.

“Yeah. Which way's out...I'm trying to sneak out the back or something,” he explains, “I need to smoke this cigar.”

I walk him out of the back of the restaurant, “This way.”

Carmine walks with me. I wonder if he's nervous. I can't tell. He's too cool for school but for some reason he still seems to be thinking and trying to figure me out. By the time we get to the back door he gives me a hard look.

“I got it from here...guy.

Carmine lights up his cigar. It looks like one of those expensive foreign ones.

“I was headed out myself. If you don't mind.”

“You following me?”

“No. Was just thinking? You mind if have a puff of your cigar?” I ask him.

“You got AIDS?”

“Is that what you heard on TV?” I ask at that moment.

He shrugs, “That's what they say. I dunno. Just askin.”

“I'm negative,” I respond and sigh a little bit, “Even if I was positive, me smoking your cigar wouldn't infect you.”

He thinks about it for a some, “I knew that.”

He hands me the cigar. I know he isn't trying to be offensive. He's just ignorant. The fancy suits and expensive jewelry doesn't hide the fact that these people speak in broken language half the time. I can tell they've had tough lives. They may be street smart but they are also really stuck in their bubble.

We smoke there in the alleyway for a few seconds.

In the distance there is moaning. People are having sex.

I look over at Carmine.

Something about two people having sex in the shadows of the Staten Island alleyway makes this more awkward then normal.

I try to break the ice, “They must be having a good time.”

He sighs and snickers a little bit, “Must be some good pussy.”

“Or good ass,” I say.

“You're being a smart ass...”

“Relax. I'm just joking,” I say forcing a smile, “You guys don't joke?”

I know I'm pushing it with Carmine. I know that I'm really pushing it and for some reason I'm at the point where things are getting very odd.

“You guys?” he asks me, “Exactly who are you guys? Who do you think I am?”

I hesitate to answer the question.

“You're um...” I start off.

I don't finish.

I'm too scared to say it.

The moaning in the alleyway gets louder and louder.

“WILL YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP back there. Goddam it!” he yells at the top of his lungs turning into the shadows.

That's when I see it. My father is back there. The thing is my father isn't alone. My father is with someone else.

“Dad...” I state.

Carmine looks at my dad. He's breathing heavy.

“You're a dead man,” Carmine tells him.

The reason that he's saying that is because the person my father was having sex with is Carmine's mother, the WIFE of Moretti Crime Family Underboss Leo Crazy Fontana!

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