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   Chapter 3 Grounded

Hidden Away [Mafioso Book#2] By Serena B. Light Characters: 14044

Updated: 2018-10-24 12:22


Being their father, Arcangelo was very well aware of what his children cherished and valued most. For his only daughter, it was the simple taste of freedom; and act which she achieved by ordering her guards to remain in their positions. Meanwhile, his second son treasured his mode of entertainment and his freedom which he got from his electronic devices – phone, laptop, X-box, books, music, etc. – and his freedom from driving whatever car he willed.

Now in order to teach them a lesson, their father had no choice but to take it all away and ground them for a month.

The twins hated the verdict equally.

Salvatore's electronics were taken away, no books, no music, no video games, and his driving privileges were revoked with a curfew of 10 p.m. he wasn't allowed to meet with friends, and couldn't invite anyone over other than Paolo. Now, for Serafina, her guards had been replaced by Major, Gun, and Hulk who would follow her everywhere, 24/7.

Given that both Major and Gun were Salvatore's bodyguards, she did not know them quite well, but Hulk, on the other hand, was a large built, dark-skinned man with a permanent scowl etched onto his face. Hulk was not only in charge of the recruit's training but was also Marco's guard when he wasn't dealing with the newcomers.

Serafina felt their punishment was relatively light compared to what they had done, but she wasn't going to voice her thoughts to her father in case he came up with something worse for the two.

Currently, they all were enjoying a lovely morning and eating breakfast when a voice scared Serafina to the extent where she nearly choked on her food.

"Serafina! Shoulders back! Back straight! Chin up!" Major barked from behind her, causing everyone present to give a jump of shock, everyone, besides Salvatore.

Turning around, she looked at the man before her, who stood around 6'1 with dark brown hair shaved close to his head, and hard eyes that glared at her disapprovingly, a strong square jaw and a posture and aura that screamed military. He snapped at her to finish her breakfast and startled, she had turned around, nearly stuffing her food into her mouth.

Meeting Salvatore's gaze from across the table, she noticed him smirking at her from behind his bowl of cereal. Given that his right arm was in a sling, he had ordered the guards to stock up on his favorite cereal, sipping the contents from his bowl since he couldn't hold a spoon and refused to let his mother coddle him.

"What?" Serafina narrowed her eyes at him, chewing the scone on her plate.

"Serafina Marie Regnante! Don't you dare speak with food in your mouth!" Major barked at her, startling her once more as her face flushed to notice both Salvatore and Marco snickering.

"I'm going to enjoy this, " Her twin commented sipping his orange juice leisurely.

"Serafina, " Vincent's voice redirected her attention to her uncle who sat beside her father, flipping through the newspaper. "Would you like to know why your guards get changed but never Salvatore's?"

"Sure? I guess? I never thought it, " She shrugged, realizing that if she didn't like her guard they would get changed, but that was never the case with Salvatore, and given the sharpness of the men behind her, she knew he liked it just as much as her.

"With our dear little Salvi here, being a teenage boy, he is bound to get out of hand and try some absolutely reckless and stupid things." He stated as if though he were having a normal conversation at the dining table. "So, these two men, Alfeo i.e. Major and Daniele i.e. Gun, are the two most disciplinary men in your dad's staff. Who has been assigned to keep a close eye on Reckless here and keep him in line. You know, like a dog on a leash."

Serafina burst into a fit of laughter at the metaphor used for her brother while he choked and coughed on his juice, glaring at their uncle.

"Dramatic analogy, Vincent, " Their father spoke up.

"Either way, you shouldn't be laughing, Serafina, " He resumed. "Because now these men are your guards, meaning they are your disciplinarians. And then there is also Eligio – Hulk – as well. So that is one strict bunch of men. You are being disciplined into a lady, if you haven't realized that yet, "

Serafina couldn't help but gap at Vincent who was completely nonchalant about the whole ordeal and resumed reading the paper. Glancing around her, she noticed her mother sipping her coffee and looking expectantly at her, her twin grinning beside her. Her father hadn't taken his eyes off the document before him as a silence settled over the table.

The silence simply confirming the words, leaving her to open and close her mouth in attempts to try and find words.

"If you three are done, " Gun spoke in a deep and cold voice. "I suggest that you get up and head to the car, "

"Right, " Salvatore grinned, grabbing his bag and waving farewell before heading out, Marco close at his heels.

"Serafina, " Hulk's gruff voice greeted her ears at the delayed reaction. "You are getting late. Not a very good impression for a Regnante, "

Muttering incoherently, she followed after her brothers, slamming the car door behind her and sitting with her arms crossed over her chest, glaring out the window with Marco between her and Salvatore who was giggling like a little school girl.

Annoyance is what Serafina felt throughout the school day.

The three men following her not only into the school but also into her classes, walking behind her and glaring at every single person in sight. In class when she was about to settle in her general seat, Hulk forced her to sit beside an absolute stranger who would not talk to her – not because he didn't want to, but because there was a gun pressed to his nape in case he attempted to initiate a conversation. The three guards had glared down her teacher so much that he was left in a sweating stuttering mess of a man before the entire class, unable to speak or explain the day's lecture.

On top of that, sporadically, Major would order her to straighten her back, square her shoulders, and sit straight. An order which the entire class ended up following, but not before panicking the first time he barked the order in dead silence.

This had been going on for half the day and she had the other half to go before they went home, and on top of that, she had to face this for the entire month.

Sighing in exasperation, Serafina settled down with her tray of food beside Piero, the boy getting up from his seat followed by Russo and Fransisco. The three of them rushing towards the guards.

Watching, her mouth fell open to see the three guards smiling as Major mushed up Piero's hair, Gun fixing Russo's shirt collar with Hulk hugging Fransisco, the boy looking absolutely tiny in his hold.

It was so strange to watch the three fiercest men of her father's staff become so soft and...human. Smiling and laughing at their son's, interacting with them as if though it had been ages since they'

d last seen each other.

"How's Mia?" She heard Gun ask Russo, the boy shrugging.

"She's crying a lot at night, mamma says she has a stomach bug, "

"Did she take her to the doctors? And why didn't she tell me?"

"The doctor gave her medicine, but you know much she distrusts pharmacies, and she didn't tell you because she didn't want to worry you given everything that you're doing."

"Mia is sick?" Major and Hulk spoke in at the same time, looking concerned.

"A stomach bug, " Gun nodded.

"Try peppermint tea, that helps, " Major suggested with an arm draped over Piero's shoulders.

"Let mamma know to try peppermint tea, yeah?" Gun told Russo. "And tell her I'll come home on Friday, "

"Really?" Russo grinned in excitement.

"Yeah, " His father nodded with a chuckle, ruffling his hair. "I've already talked to the boss about it."

Getting out of her stupor, Serafina turned towards her twin, leaning across the table to whisper to him.

"They have kids? And they're married?" She hissed in confusion, not having known that.

"Well, yeah, " Salvatore shrugged. "With their age, most of the men are married with kids, "

"Have you met them?"

"Of course I have, " He stated as if though it was the most obvious thing in the world. "Dad, Marco, Arsenio and I often go to their places. I mean, just last week we met Sean's newborn baby daughter."

"Sean?" Serafina looked at him in surprise. "My bodyguard? That Sean?"

"Yeah..."

"Wha-?"

"Serafina, " Major's voice spoke up warningly. "Is this how a person – much less a lady – sits?"

Sighing in defeat, Serafina straightened in her seat, squaring her shoulders and sitting properly before Major could snap at her for it.

At the end of the school day, Serafina found herself sitting at her study table, finishing the day's revision before glancing at the stoic figure of Hulk standing in the corner, watching her work. Apparently "everywhere" included her bedroom as well, leading the man to be watching her study and the other two stationed outside the door.

Sighing, Serafina put away her books before starting up her laptop, momentarily glancing towards the guard and looking at him in confusion to see the soft smile at his lips.

"What?"

"Nothing, " Hulk shrugged with a soft chuckle. "It's just that..."

"Just what?" Serafina prompted, wanting to know what he was getting at.

"It just occurred to me that Salv would have liked to meet you four, "

"Salv?" Her eyebrows knitted in confusion. "Salvi is my twin brother-"

"-No, not Salvi, " Hulk shook his head about to settle on the edge of the bed before looking at her questioningly. "May I?"

"Yeah, yeah, sure, of course, " Serafina waved dismissively, swiveling in her chair to be facing him as he settled on the edge.

"Well, our Salv is your Salvi's namesake, "

"Namesake?"

"Salvatore Emilio Regnante was named after Salvatore Achille Romano, " He sighed with a rueful smile. "He was honestly the best."

"During the initial days of your dad's reign, he still became familiar with how everything worked and how he was meant to address a situation. During the early days, there were a handful of guards that were completely loyal to Arcangelo. Major, Gun, Alberto, Sean, Salvatore, me and a few others. The others who weren't loyal, well you can only assume what happened to them." A shiver ran down her spine at his words.

"No one actually ever approached boss, all of us having the same mindset, he's the boss, you don't talk to him unless he talks to you, and you don't make eye contact with me, no point in getting friendly when he is ultimately going to kill you."

"That was the way everyone thought. But not Salv. No, on his first day working for Arcangelo, he went up to him and introduced himself. We all thought that he was a dead man, right then and there, but imagine our surprise when Arcangelo introduced himself in turn and made no threatening move towards him." Hulk chuckled at the memory. "Ah, God, he was something."

"Salv came to realize that Arcangelo might need some extra guidance on how to run things, and he knew that he had to be a close associate in order to provide such advice. So he started his way from the bottom. He did things and got on the good side of the guys, became friends with them and did favors for them. He did everything so that he could get to your dad. Just so that he could help him."

"And when your dad read his file, he was surprised to see it full of services to the Mafia and excellent performance report from all four guys. When your dad asked him why he was doing this, Salv told him because his elder son thought him something and it kind of just struck him with Arcangelo."

"He said, that his son stated that 'sometimes people encounter new things and just are afraid to ask for help and being ridiculed for their lack of knowledge regarding that field, sometimes they just want someone to help them from the goodness of their heart and not because they want something from them'. Smart kid, Niccolo, knew what he was talking about."

"Your dad was obviously taken off guard by his response and thought that he'd give him a chance and assigned Salv as his personal guard. He was the first one to last in that post for more than 5 days. Those two got pretty close, stood up for each other and were always there for each other. Becoming sort of surrogate brothers, and your dad had even assigned him as his temporary second-in-command once."

"The reason I said that Slav would have liked to meet you two was because he was a hopeless romantic." Hulk laughed. "He would always tell Arcangelo about how it felt to fall in love and find 'the one'. He often told stories about how he met his wife and it was a sort of interesting narrative which everyone took interest in. Salvatore was constantly pushing Arcangelo to settle down and fall in love. Salv said that once he knew that Arcangelo could manage on his own, he'd resign from the Mafia and become a family man with his wife and two sons. His ultimate goal in life. Being there for his kids, no matter what."

"A lot of things that made your dad the best Mafia boss in his time are a lot of modified teachings of Salv's, including how to treat a lady and how to be there for your children. You can say that Arcangelo is following in Salv's footsteps. The one he considers and calls his 'surrogate elder brother'." Hulk sighed. "He worked for your dad for four years."

"That's so sweet, " Serafina couldn't help but coo at knowing that her father had a role model he aspired to become like.

She had never known about Salv and wondered if her twin knew about this, about his namesake.

"What happened to him? Did he settle down like he wanted to? Or is he working somewhere else?

Hulk shook his head at her words, looking down at his laced fingers as Serafina was momentarily taken aback by the reaction.

"He's dead, Serafina, " He informed softly. "He died protecting your father, "

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