Hours later, the Barone mansion was practically empty. It was about eight at night, and most of the guys had left already. Staff still lingered around, plus the usual armed guards, but they practically blended into the background.
I felt fucking good. Sure, I didn’t get to fuck Natalie, but who cared? There were plenty of other women in Chicago that I could sleep with. It wasn’t like I ever had a problem finding a willing and attractive partner to suck me off.
Best of all, I had my marriage license to shove in my father’s face. He’d be forced to back off based on his own absurd logic.
Just because he finally married one of his many whores didn’t mean we all needed to get married. He was simply obsolete, and I just needed to play along with his silly games for long enough to make my move and finally take control of the family.
I walked down the dimly-lit hallways, idly looking around. The Barone house was huge, three wings, three floors, and filled with all the gilding and opulence that came with having way too much fucking money.
We were old-school mafia. Maybe we didn’t call ourselves the mob anymore, or at least not openly, but we were. And we’d been one of the most successful families in history. We were definitely the oldest still-operating family left in the Chicago area, and we had control of the most profitable turf all throughout the city and the suburbs.
I didn’t necessarily have expensive taste, but I understood the reason for it.
We needed to exude power. And nothing said power like an absurd use of wealth. Everything about the Baron mansion screamed money, sex, and power.
I fully intended to uphold that tradition when I was in power.
My father’s study was in the east wing, second floor, all the way in the back. I stopped and knocked on the door.
“Enter,” I heard him call out.
I pushed open the door. “Evening, Father.”
“Lucas. To what do I owe the pleasure?” he said, distracted. He was looking at something on his desk and didn’t even bother to look up.
I shut the door behind me as I walked inside. I sat down in one of the armchairs and crossed my legs, relishing the moment.
“Nothing special,” I said. “Just thought I’d pay you a visit.”
“Good,” he mumbled. “Good. I’m glad you’re here.”
That had me curious. “Why?”
“Your stepmother and new stepsister are moving in tomorrow,” he said. “Have I told you about them?”
“You mentioned the new wife,” I said, annoyed. Had he already fucking forgotten our conversation?
He glanced up. “Yes, I did.” He paused. “Well, I expect you to be respectful of her as she is part of the family now. She has full privileges of the estate, as does your new stepsister.”
“Stepsister,” I said, laughing. “What’s she like?”
“Can’t say I know for sure,” he said. “Her name is Natalie. Cute girl, goes to college.” He grabbed his phone and pulled up a picture. “Here. This is her and her mother.”
My heart nearly fucking stopped in my chest as I took the phone from him.
Staring back at me was a picture of my wife.
The picture was probably a year or two old, but it was definitely her. I could hardly believe it. The Natalie I had met the night before certainly was nothing like her infamous mother. Where Camille Taylor was brash and loud, Natalie had been quiet and demure, almost shy.
“Lucas?” my father asked. “What’s wrong with you, boy?”
“Nothing,” I said quickly, handing the phone back to him.
The marriage license in my back pocket was suddenly like burning fire.
“So, what did you want to see me about?” he asked.
“Ah,” I said. “I wanted to check on the Carosi job.”
He narrowed his eyes. “You know that’s going fine.”
“Good,” I said, nodding. “Well. Have a good night.”
“What’s wrong with you?” he asked again. “You’re keeping something from me.”
I shook my head. “Still hungover, I guess. Just got back from Vegas.”
He made a face. “Still wasting my money, I see.”
“My money,” I said. “Every dime, I’ve earned.”
“Yes, well.” He went back to whatever he had been looking over before. “Be kind to your new stepsister.”
“Of course.” I paused, grinning. “She’s family now.”
I turned and left as quickly as I could. I walked down the hallway, turned a corner, and leaned up against a pillar.
Laughter erupted from my body violently. A nearby guard glanced in my direction like I had suddenly grown a second head.
What an absurd turn of events. My new stepsister was the same woman I had met in a club completely at random, and the same woman I had married to piss off my father.