Outtake: The Call #Dante #Gian #FreeRead
This was an outtake that was requested by someone and while only one person requested it, it actually really resonated with me for some reason. I just had to write it because I never even thought of this moment until someone brought it up as an outtake request. I may have suggested before that Dante called Gian to ask for Cara's help, but for some reason, in my head, I see it playing it out this way instead. And the good thing about these outtakes is I never really consider them canon to my worlds. But rather, a peek of what could have been. So, do keep that in mind if you find details in outtakes that may not match up to what was said in a book or something of that nature.
Please note: I will repost the outtake form to take new requests once I get through some of them that are in there.
Dante found himself amused at the way Gian Guzzi continuously observed the home he was walking through, and didn't hide the way he stared at the different things that decorated the halls and walls. Artwork, and statues. The expensive rug in the living room that Catrina had ordered in from Pakistan.
"You have good taste," Gian noted.
"Moreso my wife, I think."
Gian nodded like he believed that statement. "Still ... and a smaller home than I expected to put it in."
Dante laughed, then. "Ah, yes. I bet this three-level monster is a step down for you considering the three-wing mansion you live in, isn't it?"
The other man didn't even attempt to hide his grin. It was no big secret that Gian Guzzi was vastly wealthy. Fucking richest person in Canada kind of rich. A mansion lined in gold kind of rich. The Marcellos were just as wealthy, but over the years, Dante found they had learned to tamper down their need to show off their wealth because people were far too fucking curious about where all that wealth was coming from. Gian, on the other hand, apparently never felt the need to hide his wealth or where it was coming from.
"I wasn't going to point that out, actually," Gian said, chuckling. "I was just noting that from the outside, this home would seem like the occupants are very comfortable. Inside, however, is where you find the money. And I suppose I expected a bigger house, that's all."
"I grew up in a mansion. I don't feel the need to die in one, too."
"Material wealth is far easier to dispose of, or liquidate, Dante."
It was, most certainly. Dante could agree with Gian on that bit, and he understood what the man was trying to tell him without actually telling him. So was the way of their life, and the men within it.
Should Dante--or even his wife--ever find themselves in serious legal trouble, it would be far easier to sell everything they owned, and liquidate the assets as much as they could ... or even destroy things, than it would be to hide the paper trails their bank accounts created. Even the offshore ones.
"I haven't had to worry about melting the gold down yet," Dante muttered. "Let's not jinx my luck, yeah?"
Gian nodded. "Understood."
As the men headed toward the large staircase that would take them upstairs, Gian hesitated. His gaze found something in the sitting room, and he didn't move. Dante found what the other man was staring at, and sighed.
"Catherine," he called to his daughter.
Sad, broken, and entirely too quiet. That's what his only daughter was, lately. He didn't know what was going on inside her mind, and that terrified him. What he did know was that in her mind, she was lonely and fractured. He thought, and hoped, she might put herself back together again ... but that hadn't happened.
And God knew ... God knew he didn't know what to fucking do to help his child. He was still having nightmares of pulling her out of a bloodstained tub with her wrists sliced open. He hadn't even dealt with that properly, really.
How was he supposed to handle this, too?
"Catherine," Dante called again.
She didn't move. Didn't even act like she'd heard him.
"Perhaps she would rather be left alone," Gian noted.
"That's all she ever wants lately. That, and to not be on this earth at all."
Gian shot him a look--compassion stared back. Dante said nothing, simply shook his head, and gestured with one hand toward the stairs. Gian nodded, and headed up without a look back at Catherine where she sat on the chaise in the sitting room. Dante, on the other hand, took a moment to give his daughter one last look while he tried to figure out what else he might possibly be able to do to help her. He was still drawing a massive blank.
He was failing his child.
It was the only thing he knew for sure.
He'd never known failure like this.
He didn't want to know it now.
Gian's signature accompanied Dante's on a document that would, in a way, effectively bind Dante's agreement to supply Gian's organization with a varied of things for the next five years.
"Do you find it amusing, now, how two bosses can sit down and make a written agreement--mind, it doesn't say anything incriminating--together, yet a couple of decades ago," Gian said, "this would have been unheard of."
"I like to think of it as progress, actually."
Gian smirked. "Well put."
Dante slipped the agreement into the locked drawer on his desk so he could handle it later. Sticking his hand across the desk, he smiled. "Nice doing business with you, Guzzi."
Gian shook his hand unquestioningly. "And you, Marcello. Making the trip across the river was worth the effort, I suppose."
"I would have come over your way, but things got in the way."
The easy expression Gian had wore slipped just like that. "Your daughter, maybe?"
The man still hadn't let go of Dante's hand, and though the lie easily wanted to slip from his lips, the hand keeping a tight grip on his forced him to speak the truth. Funny how that worked.
"Shes not in a good place. Hasn't been for a while. Given the last time she was left to her own devices, she found a razor to open up her skin, I don't feel comfortable leaving her alone."
The word was barely a murmur.
Dante shrugged. "An attempt, anyhow."
"And you fear another."
Gian did let go of his hand, then. He said nothing as he reached into the jacket of his fitted Armani suit, and dug around for something in the pocket. Soon enough, he found what he was looking for and set a small card to the desk before using one finger to push it across the smooth, shiny top.
Dante didn't even look down to see what it was, or what was written on the top in golden, fancy script.
"My wife," Gian said, "Cara ... she's a therapist; specializes in women, really. Trauma, addiction, and all sorts of things. I'd be willing to bet you haven't called someone from the outside in yet because of the nature of who we are."
"Partly," Dante admitted. "And you're here for business, not to pry into my personal life, right?"
Gian's brow lifted. "Business is over. Consider this ... an act of kindness between two friends. Call my wife, Dante. Explain the situation--she'll never breathe a word of it to me. It's the only thing that drives me crazy about my wife. She and her patients ... it never touches our life. Sometimes, I wish I did know the things that trouble her in that regard so I could help, but that's the nature of her business. She can't tell. She can only help."
Dante was still toying with the business card long after Gian Guzzi had left his office. He was still weighing the pros and the cons of inviting someone unknown into his home and life in the hopes it might help his daughter.
But she was going to die.
If something didn't change, the next attempt would be successful.
Of all things, he was most sure of that.
So, he had no choice. He called.
And Cara answered.