fall from grace

Chapter 1

(originally started to publish on DeviantArt, but moving here)

George sat facing Tony Ricci, with fear in his heart. Tony was flanked by his two bodyguards or associates, whatever the phrase these people used. All George knew was that he was totally fucked. His life was about to be over.

“So, George. Let’s have us a discussion, shall we? Last I left you, I believe you were 50 grand richer, no? So, how’s about we discuss an update to your situation. I don’t want to keep having these nighttime chats with you, and I don’t think you do either.”

Tony put his two meaty hands on the table in his office, and hefted himself up to lean further across, to intimidate George. Tony was the big boss in a lot of ways. As the leader of his city’s organized crime ring–he hated the word Mafia–he had connections all over the place. Money everywhere, he could buy whatever he wanted. His opulence showed. A man in his late 40s, Tony only bought the finest–tailored suits, nice watches, fancy shoes. Of course, he had to wine and dine his ‘clients’, and he found nothing more satisfying than eating a rare steak and potatoes feast after another “client interaction”. He looked like he played linebacker in football and maybe let some of the muscle go soft. But don’t let that fool you—he was plenty able to throw his weight around.

Which brings us back to George.

George sniffled pathetically, but couldn’t wipe the snot away from his face. His weak toothpick arms were ziptied behind his back. George was a slight, nerdy accountant. But he was rich, at least in his bank account and social standing. He owned a successful financial firm that was turning a profit until some bad investments and gambling threatened to tear it all apart.

“Tony, ya gotta believe me. I just need more time, and I’ll get you that money. You know I’m good for it, I swear. I’m just going through a lot right now. My family, you know.”

Tony was used to pathetic whining, but George was a good client–helping with some money laundering. He’d give him another five minutes to sweat it out with his obviously lame excuse. Then, he’d let Gio and Donny be useful.

“Okay Georgie boy, let’s hear it.”

“It’s just that, my family, we have some hard times. I got all these lawyer fees and expenses. My wife, you know, Christina, she has a daughter. Grace. My stepdaugther, she’s dumb as bricks. We paid some money, a lot of money, to get her into college this year. NYU, like all her friends. Grace starts failing all her classes because she’s partying all the time. We had no idea…”

“Get to the point, George!” Tony growled, his patience wearing thin as his stomach rumbled. He had a surf and turf waiting for him.

“Right right. Well Grace gets it in her mind that she’s going to proposition her psychology professor for a better grade. Sex or something stupid, I dunno. She goes into his office, shuts the door, and props her phone up on a ledge. Records the whole thing. Except the professor wants none of her, of course. Starts yelling and pushing her away, but Gracie’s so stubborn. So she pushed him across the room, guy falls, breaks his neck or something. Of course, the whole thing is filmed and my idiot kid doesn’t erase it. So the university sues us, college throws Grace out, and now I got lawyer fees and this teacher’s settlement to pay to keep it all out of the news.”

Tony thought he heard it all, but this was a new one. He was entertained. “Jesus, George, that’s a lot. So this is going to set you back some, I’d imagine. You need a lot of money, sounds like. More than what I gave you last time, perhaps.”

George whimpered. “I’m begging you Tony. I can’t lose the house. I can’t lose Christina. She’ll leave me. She’s all I got. All because her *** of a daughter can’t figure out how to read a textbook. It was Intro to Psych, for fuck’s sake. Now, she’s laying around at home, doing nothing. She won’t get a job, she won’t take online classes. Says she’s depressed and needs time to heal. So she’s just sitting on her ass, eating constantly, saying it’s self care. Delivery ain’t cheap either, not all the food she’s getting. It’s been three months, but she’s getting big. Grosses me out, but I’m stuck with the chunky bitch forever it seems. Christina won’t stand up to her, but also doesn’t seem to care what happens. Outta sight, outta mind. Content to just let her eat and wallow.”

This piqued Tony’s interest quite a bit. His Armani pants tightened a bit and he cleared his throat.

“This girl of yours, George. How old is she? She look like your wife? Ya got a picture?”

“Sure, grab my phone. I can’t get it but go for it. Anything. Why you curious?”

Tony swiped through the camera’s album, reacquainting himself with George’s gold digger model of a wife. Much younger, she looked like Sofia Vergara. Tony felt himself twitch a bit in his pants again he swiped further. Finally, he found a picture of Grace from a month ago. She was out to dinner with her mother, and standing up behind her mom while her mother blew out birthday candles. Tony let out a whistle.

He knew Christina was tall but her daughter clearly inherited none of that. She was a busty girl, clearly wearing an outfit a size or two too small. Definitely not a big girl by any means. Just a curvy 20 year old who has put on maybe 20 pounds on an average frame. But clearly in denial, as a muffin top pooched out over her jeans where the shirt rode up an inch. The shirt, some black stretchy thing, clung to her torso and bust. It was clear her bra was a size too small also–Tony knew right away with the gaudy cleavage. Maybe the girl was trying to cram Ds into Cs. He could see the overflow in all directions, cups and band size.

An idea was forming in his head.

“Georgie, we’ve known each other a long time. How about we help each other out.” It wasn’t a question.

“Tony, I’m desperate, I’m begging you. I’ll get the money, but I just need a little more to ride out this legal hump. Then I’ll get you the rest, with interest, I swear!”

“George, I’m a man of a few particular appetites. You can tell I enjoy the finest things in life, and yet, I’m not a happy man. My wife, she died five years ago and it’s been hard to move on. I eat all the same foods we enjoyed together, but I feel nothing. I bought all her favorite restaurants, and still, surrounded by happy diners, I am dead inside. I am rich in wealth but poor in love. But I think you can help me, George.”

George gulped. The man in front of him was easily twice his weight, but moved with the agility of a spry boxer. Tall, over six feet with a huge gut that hung mightily over his designer pants. He had strong legs to carry it all–it was clear Tony was not a lazy man, just a big man who got everything he wanted.

“George, let me solve all your problems. You want your kid outta the house. You need a lotta money. Me, on the other hand. I’d love a woman in the house. I got a lotta money, you following?”

George stared at the mob boss in front of him. “You want me to trade my step daughter for money, sell her, like cattle?”

Tony grinned with glee at the phrase cattle. “No no, George. Think of it like a business transaction. I got an idea, but it’s only gonna work if we all meet in person. Meet me tomorrow at the Italian place down the street. I own it–Valentino’s. Bring your ladies. Say it’s a business meeting. If I can get your Gracie to leave with me on my business terms, I’ll forgive your loan and advance you whatever else you need, got it?”

Flabbergasted, George nodded. One of the guys sliced off his zipties, and George moved his wrists to regain feeling. Suddenly, he felt elated. He might be able to have it all–the money, the hot wife, and this grubby chubby kid out of his life for good.
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