Nel frattempo, una notte rientrando a casa, ha sentore che qualcuno lo stesse aspettando. Nel soggiorno era visibile una luce tenue. Luke riconobbe immediatamente il profumo che esalava nella stanza. Sentì un tuffo al cuore, sapendo che Lola era ritornata, perché mai? Forse che l’amava ancora?
Ma Lola diabolicamente aveva teso le sue reti per ammagliarlo. Stava distesa sul divano languidamente, unicamente vestita con un trasparente neglige lasciando provocatamente i suoi seni ben in vista. Quando comprese che Luke stava venendo nella stanza, aveva spudoratamente aperto le sue cosce lasciando intravedere il suo sesso.
“Ti stavo aspettando, Luke.”
“Che buon vento ti ha riportata a me? Ritorni come una moglie fedele e affettuosa?”
“Sono per te per una notte, Luke. Sai bene che sei l’unico, che sa donarmi il completo piacere sessuale come amante”
“È questo l’unico motivo? Vattene allora Lola! Vai all’inferno, e non farti più vedere”
Lola si sentì offesa mentre in lei meditava il modo di vendicarsi.
Luke spent the afternoon at his sister-in-law’s place. He had seen Maria only once, after her husband, his young brother Salvatore, had been stabbed and lost his life. On that occasion, he had promised that one day he would vindicate his brother’s brutal killing. He was the only one who had witness the killing. He was the only one to know the killer, who belonged to the ‘Liotta Family’.
Luke knew that it was necessary to let Maria know that soon she would be vindicated. His visit was intended to reassure her, in a silent testimonial, of what would be inevitable. He spent that afternoon with his brother’s son, and he found that the boy, had grown up, and he was taking after his father. He had his father’s name but affectionately he was called Salvo.
Luke promised Maria to look after him in the same way a father does. This promise strengthened their knot into the family union.
Uncle Beppino received Luke with a large smile and open arms. He was the Caruso’s Don, and had settled in Sydney forty years earlier.
He had come from the rocky region of the Aspromonte in Calabria well before The Second World War. At that time, he took with him only a few things. But over the years, taking the opportunities available, he had built a wealthy empire.
After dinner, he invited Luke to his office. He took a bottle of Marsala and two glasses and offered one to Luke.
“This wine is from our motherland and with it we toast the health of our people. I’m proud of you all. I have such a magnificent family.”
“I’m proud to be a Caruso, Uncle. I owe you so much in life.”
“Luke, you well know that my wishes have always been that you enter in the family’s business, like your father. He is my younger brother, and twenty years separate us. I brought him to Australia that he was still a young boy. In this new Country he became an accountant and now he is responsible for the bulk of our business, the import-export business and has three different warehouses in this country. The import business, since the old days, has been the bone of our structure. It started well over fifty years ago, with a small delicatessen business here in Leichardt. Your father, at that time was a young lad, and was the one doing the day deliveries on a bike, after school. He worked hard and had good ideas to expand our activities. Within a short time, he was the manager of the shop. At fifteen he knew this business better than I and was the one to suggest to me better ways to improve our market and make more money for all of us.”
“I know, Uncle Beppino. Dad asked me many times to follow in his steps and learn accountancy. But I’m not cut out for it. I don’t understand the rules of numbers. I’m lost when I see in front of me books marked with so many columns and numbers and I couldn’t tell if they show a profit or a loss. You see Uncle, music is my life, music is my real passion, and I can easily conjure up musical notes.”
“Sure Luke, every one of us has different capabilities. I’m sure that The Family would find the right job for you and the way to make more money for you and The Family. I don’t understand much about music, my boy, but if that is what you are looking for, and you can prove that we can make a profit, I will support you.”
“Thank you, Uncle. I will keep that in mind and I’ll be back if I need help.”
“You well know that the Family diversifies on many businesses, Luke. There will always be a position available for you. You can learn how to make a profit with the help of my sons. They manage different branches of our organization. All of which are very profitable. They are very clever and their businesses present to the people’s eye a respectable front, even if, and you will understand, it’s only a cover up to the real nature of the business that flourished in the back. In this way, we cover up gambling and brothels. Of course, to keep the appearances properly, we have to pay influential people. We have cops and politicians on our payrolls just to protect the different cores of our business. They tip us whenever the police plan raids around the district. In this way, we look respectable businessmen and we keep in the clear, and that’s exactly the way to be. I want to keep The Family name clean.”
“Uncle Beppino, what have you really in mind for me if I come to work for the Family? I don’t feel to be cut for gambling and whores.”
“I know son, you are the only one who has artistic talent in the family. We may possibly look into the show business. But remember whatever business we’ll go into with you, the Family’s rules that I have imposed must be respected. Drugs are not allowed, even if they present the mirage of easy money. I took an unwritten agreement with the Liotta’s and left to them this business. Our Family share into other equally profitable markets.”
“Can I ask you if this is the only reason you have called me here tonight? I thought the main idea was how to settle Salvatore’s debt and how to vindicate him and restore the family honor. But may I ask what would happen after we have taken justice into our hands, who will be the next in our family, to pay for that?”
“Luke, you are right and I have plans for that. I will arrange a private meeting with Tommaso, the head of the Liotta’s. As a Sicilian, he is aware that with you out of jail, revenge must be taken. But I know him too well, to say he will agree to what I’ll will suggest to him. We don’t want unnecessary misfortunes causing more death to some of our beloved ones, and an inevitable police investigation into The Families.
“At that time a contract was paid on your head by someone influential enough but not belonging to the Liotta’s. On that occasion, mistakenly your younger brother was killed instead. It is true that the killer belonged to the Liotta Family but he acted without any approval from his Family. He worked freely on a handsome contract.
“This is a Machiavellian point which works in our favor and gives me the power to negotiate this matter with Tommaso. It will be nothing but a matter of money and I’m prepared to pay well to strike this deal. As I always said, money is cheaper then blood. The Liotta’s will lose only one of their low ranked militia, a small pawn in their hierarchy, and I’ll generously pay them for such a loss. Honor will be restored to the Caruso’s and this case closed for ever. Capito?”
“Yes Uncle, I do understand. So am I the one who has been selected to settle the score? If so, give me a week to prepare my plans. I’ll let you know when I’m ready for it.
It was in the early hours of Saturday, when Luke, returning home from the Trocadero, saw lights in his house. Was there someone waiting for him?
‘Better to be prepared for the unexpected’ Luke thought, as he opened the door with caution.
He soon realized that she was there. Her woman scent floated in the air, in the same way he so well remembered from the old days, when they lived together. He recognized the pungent sweet-musky smell of sex and perfume that was impregnating the house. Luke could no longer resist the temptation and suddenly felt weakness in his knees. Again he was caught in her spell and felt the acute unrepressed desire to know her carnally again. Her sexual dominance overpowered his will.
She, over the years, had become aware to possess a magnetic sexual power over men and she had learned how to master such strength to her complete advantage. She was using it now, to subdue Luke’s desires and compel him to her will. She knew well how to use her libido as a powerful weapon over him. Lola had become a sexual dominatrix since her young days and no men that entered her life escaped her magnetic attraction.
Luke saw her. She languidly lied on the couch, dressed only in a transparent negligee revealing the curves of her exquisite body. Lola had learned how to use her theatrical knowledge and now she was posing deliberately in such arousing way to catch Luke’s desires.
One of her firm breasts was half exposed from the negligee and to make it look more provocative, at the time she heard Luke moving around the house, she had pinched hard her nipples so they become erect to arouse him more. She wanted to show him her readiness to make love. Astutely, with slightly movements she exposed also her sex to Luke when he entered the room, ingeniously setting a powerful trap to make him capitulate to her feminine desires.
“I’m waiting for you, Luke.” She said.
“I thought I’d never have the pleasure to see you again in this house. Have you come as a dutiful wife?”
“Don’t be bitter. I’m here for you. I’m here because I desire you. I’ve to admit that there are not many men who can completely satisfy my lust. You’re one of the few. You’re man enough to give me all what I need. Making love with you, at the end, I’m completely aroused and completely taken by the pleasure of our bodies.”
“Are these the only reason why you are here? If so, good bye Lola; go to hell now, once and for ever.”
“I can see that jail taught you nothing but rudeness. I came to make love with you, Luke. I’m here because I know that you equally need me as a woman. Am I right, Luke? And yes, I haven’t come to stay. I’m here for the night. Tomorrow we will be free. But for a while we’ll have extinguished the fire of passion which burned inside us.”
“I’m not quite sure what you’re looking for in me, Lola. What sort of woman are you?”
“You really should know me better. Have we being married for two years for nothing?
“You should know that I’ve married you only because you can satisfy my lust. For the rest you have never delivered what I really wanted. Do you want to know what my ambitions are? I want power, I want money. Yes, I want to be rich and buy all that I want. Unfortunately, you are a dreamer, and dreamers will never be rich.”
‘So finally, you are giving me the reason why you have dumped me. How good of you. Good bye Lola, leave me in peace.”
“No Luke, not yet; as usual you are sentimental and introverted. Let’s be friends so I can return to have more good times together. Come Luke. Come and taste the sweetness of my kisses. Be my lover for the night. Damn it, come Luke! I need you. I’m wet and desiring to make love. You won’t be sorry.”
It was a long week for Luke, following Vito, his brother’s killer and planning to ambush him.
‘Everything must be studied properly and nothing left to luck or chance. That was what I learned training with the commandos. I must plan every single thing to perfection. Failing would get me back in jail. And this time no parole and I’ll get out from there an old man. As a callous killer I would be sentenced to spend the full term, twenty years or more, segregate in a high security cell. By the time I get out no passion would be left in me. I would be empty. I would lose interest in life, no one would love me, and without family. My dreams would be gone and buried for ever. I would be old and rotten. Perhaps not so old in years; may be just over fifty, but my possibilities, would be gone for ever. Aspiration for a career and a happy life, with a good wife and some children would be nothing but dreams.
‘I would be branded with the mark of a criminal and the community would treat me as such. The stigma would be there for the rest of my life, alone, without friends.’
Luke realized the grim reality in front of him and wondered if he should take justice into his own hands for the Family’s benefit, or should he refuse?
Sure, it was a debt of honor, and his Family expected him to settle it. Something they said he must do. But if something went wrong he, and not the family, would be the one to pay the consequences of that crime. So that’s reason enough for him to be careful and not leave behind any proof to incriminate him, proof that the police would use to implicate him, to put him back behind bars.
Luke was digesting the possibilities of success in committing that crime,
‘Why have I to respect Cosa Nostra laws and belong to such a world? Why do I have to kill? Do I really have such an obligation to my Family? Why am I not free to choose my own way? Why don’t I listen to Rossana and divorce my family?’
And finally going on with his thoughts, ‘I’m not a coward. I will do this and then I will go on my own way. I’ll live a free life as do others. After all, I am an Australian. I was born here and have never been to Calabria. So I’m not subjected to those antique laws of the ancient world.’
Now that he had reached a decision, he felt free from the torment inside his soul. He had reached an inner calm.
In a short time he learned about Vito’s habits. He worked as a bouncer in a bar near the Trocadero, and drove to work in his car. He parked it in a near dark back lane. He knew that Vito finished work at two in the morning. At that time, the lane, where his car was parked, was deserted and badly illuminated.
‘The right place, the right time, it will take me only a few minutes to do the job and I’ll be back in the Trocadero before anybody has time to notice my disappearance and I’ll create a strong alibi.’
He asked the Family to deliver him a gun for the next night a few minutes before two o’clock.
He reached his hiding position at the time Vito came out into the lane from the back entrance and was partially blinded by the sudden outside darkness. It was working in the way Luke had planned.
He called him, “Vito I’m here to revenge my brother’s killing, three years ago. Time has come for you to pay.”
Luke pulled the trigger twice. The sounds of the explosions were deadened by the silencer and only two short orange flames became visible in the darkness. The bullets entered Vito’s face and a muted rattle exited from his throat.
He fell into the gutter at the side of the lane. His blood poured into a stagnant pool of dirty water and colored it vermillion. There was a death rattle and then silence. The Caruso’s debt was paid.
Luke walked rapidly out of the lane to the waiting Family car. He returned the gun and gloves to the driver.
‘Tell the Godfather, the job is done.”
Then he returned to the Trocadero. He checked the clock at the bar. He had been away eight minutes. He sat on a high stool, and ordered a double scotch on the rocks.
Three days had passed since Luke had shot Vito. In that time he never tried to contact the Family and he just went about normal business. The next day on the TV news, Vito’s killing had been mentioned with the comment it was a possible war between drug dealers. But nothing else was mentioned later. So far the police had no clues to the murder, but just in case, Luke felt secure with his alibi at the Trocadero. In such a crowded place, the eight minutes he had been away wouldn’t have been noticed. People will tell they saw him there at the time of the killing.
End Part Three