Filthy Marcellos: Antony is Live! #Mafia #FilthyMarcellos - Read Chapter One
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Filthy Marcellos: Antony
Filthy Marcellos Prequel

Antony Marcello didn’t break the rules. Not the ones that mattered, anyway. In the world of La Cosa Nostra, justice was served with a single word and a bullet, not a courthouse and a judge. When he was told to jump, there was only one appropriate response: How high, Boss? 

Some rules are worth bending. 

La famiglia has been Antony’s goal for longer than he cares to remember. Getting his button is everything alongside family, honor, God, and loyalty. Meeting Cecelia Catrolli puts what he thought he knew upside down as the mafia, friendship, secrets and love carry him through life. Nothing is ever easy. 

Some rules are worth the killing. 

When Cosa Nostra, the one thing he has always known and trusted, takes away his best friend, leaving Antony to pick up the pieces, he’ll have to decide if the rules are finally worth breaking. He didn’t start out as the boss, he began as just Antony. 

Sometimes, you have to learn how to be filthy. 

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A coming of age with romance, organized crime and suspense elements

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Chapter One

January, 1964

“Never forget your gun, kid. You always need that fucking thing here … in this thing, you need that. Get caught without your gun, and I guarantee you won’t like what happens.”
Five-year-old Antony Marcello eyed the shiny revolver his father was cleaning with interest. “What thing, Papà?”
Ross smiled. “This thing of ours, kid. This goddamn fucking thing of ours.”
“Oh.”
Antony still didn’t know what his father was talking about. Not yet, anyway. But he liked that gun and the new red pocketknife his father had given him that morning.
“And make sure you follow the rules, Antony. Always.”

• • •

February, 1984

“He went easy,” the nurse said softly.
Antony shoved his hands in his pockets and shrugged. The nurse didn’t understand and she was trying to help, he knew.
Easy was a relative term that didn’t apply to his father’s death. How easy could it have been to drink yourself to death for a good decade? How easy was it to wake up shaking, chug a couple of beers to ease the tremors, spend half the day vomiting, and then pass out wherever you fell?
No, alcoholism wasn’t easy.
“What did they do, shoot him up with morphine through the last of it?” Antony asked gruffly.
The nurse blinked in surprise. “Pardon?”
“Did they make it easy, I mean,” Antony clarified.
“Um … Well, you see—”
“Miss, I’ve watched my father drink himself to death for the last ten years since my mother passed. Whatever you’re trying to soften for me, don’t. I can handle it, trust me.”
“We offered medication to help him, but he refused. He seemed in high spirits and was even singing for a short while.”
The nurse left a hell of a lot unsaid. Antony took note instantly. Living his lifestyle, noticing shit about people could be a lifesaver.
“And?” Antony pressed.
“We thought he fell asleep and he’d demanded we turn the beeping of the monitor off.”
Yeah, Antony got the gist. They hadn’t even known Ross passed on.
Shit, maybe his father hadn’t suffered then. Maybe he just … went to sleep and that was that.
The last ten years of Antony’s life had revolved around two things: keeping his father’s head above water and getting his button in La Cosa Nostra. Evidently, he’d failed at the first. Now that he was twenty-five, it seemed like he was going to fuck up on the second before he even got the chance to be a made man.
Part of his reason for being held back as just an associate to the Catrolli crime family was three feet away, dead in a hospital bed. Ross’ penchant for drinking broke one of Cosa Nostra’s most fundamental rules. Men who acted like drunken fools were liabilities and shameful to the family. Ross had been made though, but his son suffered the consequences for his choices. Gaining trust when your father did what he did was difficult.
It didn’t matter that Antony was also the grandson of Andino Marcello, the right-hand man and consigliere to Vinnie Catrolli. Because in the end, he still had a drunkard for a father.
Like father, like son as the saying went.
Still, Antony held no grudge for his father. He supposed he understood in some ways. When Cella, Antony’s mother, died a decade ago in a drowning incident, Ross had never been the same. The man was unable to save his wife, his children were left motherless through some of the most important years of their life, and time kept moving.
When Ross’ world stopped, everyone else’s kept turning. Because Cella had literally been Ross’ earth while he was her moon, constantly rotating around her, building his life surrounding her. Antony couldn’t remember a time when his parent’s argued, never mind seeing something physically violent between the two, and his father, as far as he knew, had always been faithful.
Looking around at the other people in his life, Antony knew that was a rarity. Men in their world usually had a mistress or two on the side—goomahs birthing illegitimate children while the men’s wives turned a blind eye.
Not Ross.
Antony didn’t have the first clue what a love like that felt like.
He wasn’t sure he wanted to, either.
“I’ll have arrangements made,” Antony said, pushing those thoughts away.
The nurse nodded. “He’ll be tagged in the morgue.”
Tagged.
In the morgue.
Antony felt cold all over.

• • •

Antony had just walked into his home when the phone started ringing.
Christ, he wanted to ignore it. Badly.
He couldn’t.
It’d be just his luck that the call he ignored would come from the boss. Never shun a boss. It was a rule.
Antony didn’t bother to kick off his shoes or remove his suit jacket before crossing the foyer, entering the living room and picking up the call. “Marcello speaking.”
“Morning, Tony,” came a familiar voice on the other end.
“Morning, John.”
Johnathan Grovatti was, and always had been, one of Antony’s best friends. There was a two-year age difference between the two with Johnathan being the older one. Johnathan had gotten his button at eighteen—one of the many perks of having a rival boss for a father from a fellow New York family.
However, Johnathan’s older brother was taking over his father’s spot while John was set to take over Vinnie Catrolli’s when the man was dead or done. The arrangement between the families had saved a lot of blood from being shed what with the rivals doing business so close together and everything.
Antony supposed that was most important. Even if it meant John had to marry a woman he despised for the sake of business. Vinnie’s youngest daughter Kate was a nasty thing, but maybe Johnathan could tame her. Or at the very least, handle her.
“Got business today in Hell’s Kitchen,” John informed.
Antony cringed. Not today, man. He still had to contact his family about Ross and get in touch with the funeral home.
“Can it be pushed back—”
“No, the order came from Vinnie directly. It’s nothing big.”
If it came from the boss, it was something big.
“Yeah, all right,” Antony replied tiredly.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” Johnathan asked.
Nothing.
Absolutely nothing.
This was Cosa Nostra. Antony’s life. Everything else came second when la famiglia called. Cosa Nostra came first, always.
“When and where do you want to meet up?” Antony asked instead of answering his friend.
“How about Dee’s Diner?”
Antony gritted his teeth, knowing damn well why Johnathan wanted to meet up there. “She going to be there?”
“She who?”
“Don’t play fucking stupid, man,” Antony said.
Johnathan sighed. “Tony—”
“You’re promised to be married to another woman, John.”
Antony didn’t believe in infidelity.
“Not for another few years.”
From what Antony understood, Vinnie Catrolli wanted his daughter to reach the age of twenty-three before she married John. Then, she’d have time to finish school and whatever else. Antony figured that was Vinnie’s way of buying time and keeping an eye on John, but John didn’t seem to give a damn about the length of time before his marriage would happen.
“Vinnie is going to find out and when he does, your father will find out,” Antony warned.
And if that happened, Johnathan would lose both his place as the Catrolli heir and inheritance. Not because he had a goomah on the side, someone Antony didn’t know all that well and didn’t care to, but because he wasn’t following the expectations set out for him by his father.
John never did follow the rules very well.
“They haven’t yet.”
“I don’t want anything to do with that mess, John.”
John cussed. “Fine, asshole. Downtown at the Mecca in twenty instead, Tony. Does that fucking work for you?”
Yeah, that worked.
“In twenty,” Antony confirmed before hanging up the call.
Antony dialed another number, rubbing at his forehead to soothe the sudden headache he sported. When his grandfather picked up the call, Antony wondered if the man would even care that his oldest son had died.
Andino and Ross never had seen eye to eye on most things.
Ciao,” Andino greeted. “Marcello speaking.”
“We all answer the phone the same way,” Antony said, chuckling to himself.
“Morning, kid.”
Antony fought the urge to scoff. Twenty-five-years-old and he was still a kid to his grandfather.
“What do you want at seven in the goddamn morning?” Andino demanded.
“I’ve got business to do down in the Kitchen today with John,” Antony replied.
“Yeah, so? Do it.”
“I plan on it, but I need a favor.”
“What’s that?” Andino asked.
Antony could hear the telltale click of his grandfather’s cutter snipping off the end of what was likely a Cuban cigar. While Antony tried to live modestly, for the most part, his family came from old money. Old, old money.
So old it fucking reeked.
His bank account had more zeroes than he cared to count, but Antony had never once treated his inheritance like it was a free ride through life. No, he worked his damned ass off every single day. The more he owned, the better he felt. Someone was less likely to try and take something away from him that way.
“I got a call from the hospital this morning,” Antony started to say.
“No,” Andino cut in. “Absolutely not, Tony. Have a good day, kid.”
With that, his grandfather hung up the call.
Antony stared at the receiver in his hand, not even shocked at Andino’s reaction. Even broaching the topic of Ross with Andino usually ended badly in some way. Like most everyone else had, Andino wiped his hands clean of his son’s mess long ago.
Blowing out a harsh breath, Antony slammed the phone down on the receiver, picked it up again, and dialed yet another number. His younger brother probably wouldn’t care or want anything to do with their father’s death, either, but Antony didn’t have time for this nonsense today.
Ross Junior picked up the phone and before he had even finished saying hello, Antony said, “Dad’s dead, I’ve got work to do, and somebody needs to call the fucking funeral home.”
Let the family make of that what they wanted.
Antony didn’t give a damn anymore.