As per my request, I was up at the ungodly hour of 7:20, when Jane left for school. I pulled on the previous day's t-shirt and crept downstairs. Don V. was out on the deck, taking in the morning air and drinking coffee. He didn't notice me, so I ran back upstairs and chopped out two lines of speed, one for me, one for Bekka. I did mine up and stuck my head under the sink to wake up. Then I went back downstairs and poured a mug of coffee, clearing my throat to not alarm the don. He turned and said, "Lenny, you are up. A more reasonable hour, too. How are you this morning?"
"Good, good," I replied. "How are you, sir? Did you sleep well?"
He spread his arms and said, "Better than I have in months. Between your marijuana and young Jane's ministrations on my back, I was truly relaxed when I went to bed, and remained that way. Did you sleep well?"
I chuckled. "For a drug addict, I slept fine. I will be honest. I have had my morning fix, and am ready to face the day. At least until the hourglass of dope runs out and I need more. It's not a life I would wish on anyone. I'm used to it, though, and it seems to work."
The don smiled at this bit of honesty. He said, "You go and shower, and we shall continue with the day. Perhaps we shall return to the restaurant we were at yesterday for breakfast."
Bekka appeared at my side. "If you are hungry, Don, we have bagels and cream cheese. Or toast with peanut better. Excluding weekend mornings, we aren't big breakfast eaters. When we head for the zoo, we can stop somewhere if you wish."
The don gave his gravelly chuckle. "This would explain Jane's behavior. She ate a bagel with cream cheese, drank two cups of coffee, and shoved two candy bars and a can of chocolate drink in her book bag. Then she was gone."
"Yeah, that's what she usually wants for lunch, two Snickers bars and a can of Slimfast. If she wants something more, she leaves campus and hits one of the taco stands for a burrito. Dinner is the one meal we can always be counted on to have good nourishment. Bekka and I usually get fast food for lunch."
The don considered me. Then he asked a difficult question. "Lenny, how did you become addicted to amphetamines?"
I sat down at the outdoor table, Bekka joining me. I said, "Nobody starts taking any drug with the goal of becoming addicted. I sure didn't. I first took meth in high school. It made me incredibly productive. For god's sake, I made the honor roll because my grades improved so much. Speed was a godsend, I had the energy and focus to accomplish goals. I could do anything I put my mind to. Shit, I'd probably still be a virgin if it weren't for speed."
Bekka ran her hand down my arm. "Baby, someone would have latched onto you. You're too much of a sweetheart."
I looked at Bekka. "But I hated myself, I thought I was the ugliest guy on the planet. Speed made me not hate myself. I was able to talk to girls, for the first time in my life. Speed made me have confidence. It was a revelation. I could just.... I could be open, and witty, and people wouldn't turn away. I was social, I was confident, and all it took was snorting this chemical up my nose.
"It didn't take me long to figure out that this chemical compound was worth a lot of money, so dealing felt like a natural extension. And it took even less time to figure out that moving meth at a consumer level was just nickel and dime shit, that the more you shifted the better you were doing. I was still living with my parents, I snorted a half-gram a day, I was shifting an ounce a day. I had a gig working at a full-serve gas station, and I'd move my product through there. I'd sell five bucks worth of gas and get paid $250, just pull what I'd made out of the register before I cashed out at the end of my shift.
"So far as my addiction went, I couldn't face the day without a line. I was even more afraid of the world than I had been in high school. I needed that rush to get me going, get the chemicals running through my body. I'm still like that. Go figure. It's a burden at this point. And back then, I was more fearful than I am now. I have a wife that loves me, I run a successful business, I shouldn't be afraid. But I still am.
"Don, you have insecurities. Everybody does. What if someone handed you a chemical and said, 'This will remove your fears.' Would you take it? I found a chemical that did that, I took it, and at this point I'm afraid to not take it. I'm afraid that my wife will realize that I'm just a boring little geek, a nobody. I'm afraid that I will find the business I run is actually overwhelming, that I'm totally incapable of running it, that I really am the failure I fear I might be. Doing speed isn't fun anymore. I miss those days. But it's what keeps me ahead of the game, makes me think that I can take the challenges life throws at me. I snort a line, and I'm on top of the world. I can handle things. Life is okay, and I can deal with it. Am I making any sense at all? Remember, I'm on drugs right now."
The don stared at me, and blinked. Bekka got out of her chair and settled in my lap, whispering in my ear, "Lenny, I love you. You are my prince."
Don V. said, "Lenny, you have explained dependence quite well. You are a man, with weaknesses like all men have. You are aware of those weaknesses, and I hope someday you are able to overcome them. That you are aware is a positive thing. I have no doubt that you shall overtake your addiction. And I congratulate you for your honesty with me."
I felt a bit drained. I said, "Tell you what, meet you down here in half an hour. Bekka and I need to shower, then we'll be ready to go."
Bekka elbowed me and said, "Only half an hour?"
I smiled at Don V. and said, "Give us forty-five minutes or so, then we'll be down."
Bekka and I headed up the stairs. We stripped down in the bedroom and headed towards the shower. While the water warmed up, Bekka wrapped her arm around my neck and said, "You never have to feel that afraid. I love you, and I'm not going anywhere. Never be afraid. You have my love."
"I know," I replied. "You are the most beautiful thing in the world. Never let me go, I couldn't handle life without you. And I love you."
We got in the shower and fucked, much more aggressively than usual. We got clean and dried off, Bekka slipping into one of her slutty goth skirts and a see-through blouse, her Colt at her waist like always. I got in a pair of Ben Davis and a GBH t-shirt, pulling on my engineers in anticipation of riding my Sportster to work. We piled back downstairs, where the don awaited in the living room.
He greeted us with a grin. "You have your private time in the shower?" he asked.
I said, "In the shower. And in bed. And on the sofa. And on my desk at work. And once on the front seat of the Cadillac. Whenever and wherever the mood strikes us, really. But in the shower is a ritual, how we start the day."
Don V.'s grin spread wider. "And you shall be committed to each other until the end of your days. Having such a ritual is important, it shows you are meant to be with each other. It is a beautiful thing."
Bekka said, "Are you hungry, sir? Would you like a bagel?"
The don waved his hand and said, "We can get something to eat on the way to the zoo. I am curious about this drug."
Bekka went to the stash drawer and pulled out the bag of Ecstasy. She opened it up and dumped some out. She said, "There's about three hundred hits there. On the street, they're worth $25 each. Boss is generous with us, that's why we have this big bag of the damn things. See that smiley face? That's the mafia's. Nobody else sells Smiley. The imported shit goes for $20, ours goes for $25. Dealers can't keep ours in stock, it's so popular. The club kids step on each other's heads to get a hold of our stock. So long as the family is in business with Boss, we'll have the best product around. We could push Boss up to a hundred thousand per week and take over the whole west coast, it would be that easy.
"So what I'm about to have you take is the most prime example of it's kind. Just word of us having this stash would have people trying to break into the house. This isn't just a drug, it's the best of its type you'll find around. Capisci?"
"I await the experience," said Don V.
Bekka handed him a pill, and freshened his mug from the coffee maker. "Down the hatch," she said, dropping a pill in her own mouth and washing it down with coffee. She smiled at him.
"How long does it take to affect me?" he asked.
"About thirty-five to forty minutes, then the rush will hit you. About the same time we'll be arriving at the zoo. Like Jane said, you're a warrior. You'll be just fine when it kicks in. Why don't we head for the zoo, we can hit a snack stand for something to eat when we get in the gates."
"And what about your husband?" asked Don V.
I grunted. "The husband has to go to work. Don, you would not believe the paperwork involved in running a legitimate pornography studio. Don't worry about me, I'm sure Jane will stop by the studio to keep me entertained."
"I'm sure she will," said Bekka, a smirk on her lips.
I shot Bekka a glare and said, "She is good at brightening my day."
Don V. let this little exchange slide by. He said, "Then Lenny, we will see you late this afternoon. I shall experience this new drug, and revel in the company of your beautiful wife. Good morning."
Bekka and Don Ventimiglia went out. I heard the Plymouth fire up, then ease onto the street. I stared down at my boots, and decided I wanted Doc Martens that day. I ran upstairs, laced on my cherry red 14-holes, went back to the kitchen and ate a bagel with cream cheese, then headed to the mansion.
Around 3:15 Jane showed up, alone. She threw herself into my lap, saying, "Good afternoon, master."
"Where's Lance?" I asked.
She giggled. "I told him I had things I needed to take care of, so I drove him straight home and then came here."
"You'd think you miss me or something."
She snuggled against me and said, "Do you know what I need, master?"
"What's that?" I asked.
She said in my ear, "A big mouthful of your cum. Will you give me that? Please?"
"Nasty little girl," I replied. "You're sure about that?"
"I'm begging you, master. Please."
I grabbed her by the neck and kissed her deeply. I slid a hand under her shirt and into her bra, toying with a firm nipple. "You know how to get it," I said.
She slid off my lap and onto the floor, stripping off her shirt and removing her bra. She clasped her hands and said, "Please."
I stood up and unbuckled my belt, letting my pants and shorts drop to my ankles. I was already mostly hard. "Sweet little toy, make your master come."
She latched onto my cock with her mouth, sliding it in and out. Sixteen, and the most talented cocksucker I'd ever run across. Better than my own wife, who sucked cock for a living. I reveled in it, the incomparable sensation. I let Jane do what she wanted. Once again, she was drooling, her saliva dripping onto her breasts and her leather pants. She bobbed her head back and forth, stroking with one hand. She was very goal-oriented, and that goal was to make me come. At the rate she was going, she wouldn't have to wait too long.
I was holding back, enjoying it too much to want it to be over with. But with her mouth sucking and bobbing, her hand stroking, I couldn't deny the inevitable. Another couple minutes I gasped, "Baby, I've gotta come," and let loose. She worked the head with her mouth, stroking the cum out of my cock with one hand. Her eyes got big as I came, taking it all, sucking all that was left out of me.
My legs were feeling wobbly and I put a hand against my desk to steady myself. Jane looked up at me with shining eyes, a sticky smile on her face.
"Feel better, master?" she asked.
"Oh, much better," I replied. "How about you?"
"I feel great. I've been thinking about doing that all day."
"Not at the expense of your lessons."
Jane giggled, "Maybe a little."
I helped her off the floor and went to get a towel, wiping myself down and giving it to her to mop off her chest and legs. Once we were clean and our clothes were back in place, we settled on the sofa and lit cigarettes. Jane dragged on her Newport and said, "You're not going to fuck me while Don Ventimiglia is in the house, are you?"
"I can't," I replied. "It would be too hard to explain, why I'm sneaking into your room. Or you sharing a bed with us. No, we've got to keep up appearances."
"Do you still have work to do?"
"Yeah. And you have a fairly complex dinner to make, so you should go home and get started. I'll be along in a while. I'll help, I'll keep things clean."
"Okay." Jane stood from the sofa. "I'll see you in a little while, master?"
"You will. Give your master a kiss before you go." We shared a long, lewd kiss that had me considering pulling her pants down and fucking her across the desk. I decided against it. With Jane, it would only make her want more, having me fuck her until she was sore. A sixteen year old girl who wanted to be fucked raw. God save us all.
Jane took off, and I sat back down at my desk, trying to recollect where the hell I'd left off. Jesus. Between Bekka, and Jane, and Sue, I was well on my way to being lobotomized by sex. Three dynamos, all of whom wanted my dick. Well, there were worse ways to go out.
I got home around 4:30 or so. I greeted Jane in the kitchen with a kiss, and began running hot soapy water to knock out dishes. She was going all out, making homemade marinara sauce for the manicotti. I washed all her utensils and pots and pans, then wiped down the counters so she would have a clean place to work. She was stuffing manicotti tubes with the creamy cheese mixture Bekka had taught her, arranging them in a large casserole pan where they'd be smothered in marinara and baked.
Bekka and the don showed up a little after five, both with shining smiles on their faces. Don V. had a look of elation on his face that I recognized. He was high, and enjoying it. I poured him a Hennessey and a Johnnie Walker for me and Bekka, and we headed out on the deck to watch the waves. I asked them how their day had gone.
"What a fantastic zoo you have, Lenny!" said the don.
"Don Ventimiglia likes elephants," said Bekka.
"I do. They are fascinating, majestic creatures. I could watch them all day and not be bored. Elephants are amazing to me. Animals of that size, with all that power...." He sipped at his drink.
"And how are you feeling, sir?" I asked.
"Oh Lenny, I feel wonderful. I have joy in my heart. What an incredible drug this is. I feel as though I could dance all night."
I laughed at this. "That's what many people use it for," I said.
Jane came out on the deck, a bottle of Anchor Steam in one hand. "Dinner will be ready in about forty-five minutes," she announced. "I just need to let the manicotti and marinara sit before I put them in the oven. The salad will just take a few minutes."
The don said, "Young lady, is it possible for you ditch school tomorrow? Bekka has told me of Sea World, and I wish to visit. I would enjoy your company. We will take Ecstasy again, and see what the place has to offer. Have you been to Sea World?"
Jane giggled and said, "No I haven't, Uncle Vito. Lenny? Bekka? Can I skip school tomorrow and go to Sea World with Uncle Vito? I don't have any quizzes or tests, I won't be missing anything."
I said, "Well.... Your attendance is good. You sure you won't miss anything important?"
"Nothing I can't pick up on Wednesday. Can I go?"
"That's fine," said Bekka. "You two have fun."
The don said, "We have forty-five minutes until dinner?"
Jane replied, "However long. I've got the pan of manicotti resting on the counter right now, letting the flavors marry. It just needs to go in the oven for thirty-five minutes. And the salad takes no time at all."
"Then let us all have a smoke," said Don V. "Please wait here, I shall return in a moment."
Don Ventimiglia disappeared into the house, heading upstairs. He returned bearing four cigars, which he distributed. He pulled one of those round-bladed cigar trimmers from his pocket and cut the tips off for us. "Cubans," he said. "A luxury import I have the benefit of receiving. Heh, yet another method of enraging my doctors."
I lit everyone up with my Zippo, the don explaining to Jane that you don't really inhale cigar smoke, you just puff on it, letting the smoke fill your mouth. She got the hang of it, saying, "I like this. This tastes really good."
We all leaned on the railing of the deck, watching the waves come in. There were a few surfers still in the water, and we watched them do their thing. After a while Jane went in to put the manicotti in the oven, then came back out and continued with her cigar. We were at peace with the world.
After dinner Bekka and I were knocking out the remaining dishes --- thank God for automatic dishwashers --- when the phone rang. Jane sprang up from the sofa to get it, presumably hoping for Lance. She came in the kitchen and announced, "Lenny, it's Angel."
I wiped my hands and picked up the extension. "This is Lenny. Jane, hang up the extension, this is not of your concern." I heard a click.
"Still no sign of the don," said Angel. "Things are in an uproar."
"Huh. Would he have any reason to want to get lost?" I asked.
"Like I said, the politicking has been furious since he announced his plans to retire. But it's not like him to run, he's dealt with bigger problems. Vegas is being scoured for any sign of him or his Lincoln. We're just hoping he's okay, wherever he is."
"Well.... I'm sure things will work out. Thanks for keeping me posted."
"Keep your eyes peeled, Lenny. He might turn up anywhere."
"Will do," I said, looking into the living room, seeing the don sitting there with Jane, a fresh Hennessey in his hand. "Good night, Angel."
I went in the living room and told the don, "That was Angel Morelli. They're searching for you high and low. The hunt is on mostly in Las Vegas."
Don V. laughed at this. "I would have to be under the influence of some very strange nostalgia to go to Vegas. While I gained wealth and power there, I never cared much for the town. Too damn hot and dusty. I was happy to move to Los Angeles. So are my lieutenants at each other's throats?"
"He didn't mention," I replied. "I don't think Angel would discuss family politics with me, I'm just one of his low-ranking soldiers, even if my business has been highly successful. I'm still that weird kid he recruited, you know?"
The don grinned up at me. "You shall be successful in the family, Lenny. You are too intelligent to not be."
"I try to always work hard for the family," I said. "Cosa Nostra has taken very good care of me."
"Yes, we aim to treat our men --- and women --- well, despite our dysfunctions. I am glad you accepted our offer."
I heard the dishwasher fire up, and Bekka joined us. Jane sat on the floor in front of the coffee table, knocking out her homework. Don V. asked, "Will you be smoking marijuana again tonight?"
"Yes, when Jane finishes her homework," replied Bekka. "No weed until Jane is done."
The don chuckled. "Given its power to incapacitate, this is a wise plan. It is good that the three of you have your routines."
Jane closed her geometry textbook and said, "All done. Shall I grab the stuff, and can I have another beer?"
"Yes and yes," I told her. "You want to be bong mother tonight?"
"Sure. First load is for Uncle Vito." She went to the kitchen and returned with the bong, the weed bag, and an Anchor Steam. Don Ventimiglia gave her one of his analyzing stares.
"Young lady, when did you begin smoking marijuana?" the don asked.
"When I was fourteen," Jane replied. "It was nothing like what Lenny and Bekka get, though. In Florida, it was a big brag to say you had California weed. But I doubt the people who said they had it really did. It was probably just better than average Mexican, decent but nothing to write home about. Until I got used to it, Lenny and Bekka's weed used to knock me on my ass. Now that I've adjusted, I function on it just fine. Here you go, Uncle Vito."
Jane passed the bong and her Bic to the don, who carefully began burning through his bowl. On his last big lungful he had a mild coughing fit. Jane jumped up and retrieved a beer for him, which he accepted gratefully. Jane sat back down and loaded the bowl again, passing it to me. Don V. concentrated owlishly on the television.
Weed-smoking done for the time being, the TV became our source of focus. An hour later, I realized Don V. had not moved or said anything for quite some time. Alarmed, I looked over. He was out like a light, his chest rising and falling as he snoozed. I elbowed Bekka and gestured.
"Il nostro ospite è addormentato," she said.
"Our guest is asleep," she translated.
"I'll take care of him," said Jane. She went over to the don and kissed him on the cheek. "Uncle Vito, it's time for bed. Come on, I'll tuck you in."
Don V. stretched and said, "Yes, I probably should get some sleep. I have another big day tomorrow. Wednesday I shall spend on your beach. And I have decided that I will return home Thursday. Lenny, I would like you to accompany me when I do, so that my handlers will know I have not been in the hands of a madman all this time, but as the guest of a fellow soldier."
I laughed at this. "If my reputation precedes me, sir, they will certainly think you have been in the company of a madman."
Jane got her arm around his waist and the two of them headed up the stairs. Jane didn't return for nearly half an hour. "I worked on his shoulders some more," she explained. "The man loves a good back rub."
"That's sweet of you," said Bekka.
Jane shrugged. "He said he was going to get me into Berkeley, so it's the least I can do. I considered offering to do more, but I realized he might be offended by the offer, you know?"
"Yeah, a sixteen year old seducing the seventy-eight year old head of an organized crime ring would create a lot of complexities for all involved. It's a generous thought, but following through would make a mess. Enjoy your time with him at Sea World."
"I was thinking.... Lenny, do you mind driving the Cadillac or the Cutlass to work tomorrow? I'll bet Uncle Vito would love an excuse to ride your motorcycle again. He'd get to find out what a rush riding high is."
"Yeah, that's fine," I said. "Check with him first though, he may not be comfortable with the idea of riding high, especially on the freeway."
Jane settled back on the sofa. We passed the bong around again, each had another beer, and then headed for bed, an early hour for Bekka and I. We stripped down and got in bed, me grabbing the remote and flipping on the TV at the foot of our bed. We'd watch news, then Letterman.
No reports on the news about the don. Nothing new to report. I was curious about what rumor and innuendo was flying around in LA among his lieutenants and handlers. I was also curious about how many of them would swear bloody vengeance on me, for putting them through such stress and panic. My name was going to be mud for a while, even with Don V. trying to quell any anger directed towards me. I'd have to tough it out.