Mick sinatra 4: if you don't know me by now

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MICKSINATRA 4

IFYOU DON’T KNOW ME BY NOW

By

MALLORYMONROE

  

Copyright©2016Mallory Monroe

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This novel is a work of fiction.  Allcharacters are fictitious.  Any similarities to anyone living or dead arecompletely accidental.  The specific mention of known places or venues arenot meant to be exact replicas of those places, but are purposely embellishedor imagined for the story’s sake.

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

PROLOGUE

CHAPTERONE

CHAPTERTWO

CHAPTERTHREE

CHAPTERFOUR

CHAPTERFIVE

CHAPTERSIX

CHAPTERSEVEN

CHAPTEREIGHT

CHAPTERNINE

CHAPTERTEN

CHAPTERELEVEN

CHAPTERTWELVE

CHAPTERTHIRTEEN

CHAPTERFOURTEEN

CHAPTERFIFTEEN

CHAPTERSIXTEEN

CHAPTERSEVENTEEN

CHAPTEREIGHTEEN

CHAPTERNINETEEN

CHAPTERTWENTY

CHAPTERTWENTY-ONE

CHAPTERTWENTY-TWO

EPILOGUE

          PROLOGUE 

The Maseraticame to a rolling stop and Mick Sinatra and his son Teddy jumped out of thefront, while Angelo Jovanni, Mick’s enforcer, jumped out of the back. All three men ran into the building, took thestairs two at a time, and ran onto the hall past the dormant elevators.

Mick led thecharge. He was accustomed tocrisis. He was accustomed to gettingthere before any shit jumped off. But hewasn’t accustomed to this. His ankle length white coat flared around his blacksuit as his swift walk became a run. Just thinking about it had his heart pounding. Just thinking about it had him racing. Teddy was younger, but he could barely keepup with his father. And Angelo couldn’tkeep up with either one of them.

Mick ran tothe condo and used the key Gloria had given him to unlock the door.  But the lock had been changed. Another surprise. She left her small apartment and moved intothe spacious two-story condo, a home nestled inside one of the most luxuriouscondo buildings in Philly, less than three weeks ago. She changed the locks then and gave him akey. Now they were changedagain?

“I’ve gotit, boss,” Angelo said, knowing that he came on gigs like this for his muscle,and he was ready to knock down that door if he had to. But Mick didn’t give him a chance. This was his daughter they were talkingabout. This was his daughter who wasscreaming in that phone. Every secondcounted. He did his own dirty work andkicked in that door so savagely that the door fell off its hinges.

Teddy begancalling for his sister as soon as they got inside. “Gloria? Gloria? Glori!”

But therewas no answer. Teddy and Angelo beganrunning throughout the condo in search of Gloria Sinatra. But Mick stood still. In the middle of the room. He had to see what he could see, and rushingaround wasn’t going to show him the hidden evidence. He looked at every piece of furniture. He looked at every section of every wall. He turned around. He turned back around. But he saw nothing. No blood. No signs of struggle. Nothing.

“Dad, uphere!”

It wasTeddy. And from the desperate sound inhis voice, Mick knew it was bad. He ranupstairs in mere seconds, across the landing and into the master bedroom. Angelo was already there.

But eventhough Mick was expecting the worse, he was still not prepared for thebloodbath he saw. Because blood waseverywhere. On the walls. On the bed. On the knobs of Gloria’s bedroom door. Mick’s heart was pounding when he walked through that room. He saw blood, but no body. Was it in the master bath?

“Nothing’sin there,” Angelo said. “It’s clean as awhistle in there, boss.”

But Mickknew something was there. He could feelit in his bones. No kidnapper left thismuch blood, and allowed Gloria to phone her father screaming, unless theywanted him to find something. Theywanted Mick to see this carnage.

But Mickknew there was more to see. He knewthere was more. He tore that room upsidedown. He, with Teddy and Angelo helpinghim, rummaged through every drawer, tossed the mattress, tossed the bedspring,knocked over the dresser and chest, knocked over the dressing table. But they found nothing. Not in the furniture, not under thefurniture. Nothing. Until Mick thought again.

“Thesafe,” he said as if it was a revelationin and of itself, and then he took off.

“What safe?”Teddy asked, running behind him.

Angelo’s bigbulk ran too, but he was no match for the Sinatras. By the time he made it downstairs, across theliving room and into the home office, Mick was already unlocking and thenopening a safe that had been tucked into a wall behind a painting. There was some cash in it, some expensivejewelry too. But also a DVD. When Teddy saw the DVD, he grabbed it.

He saw thetitle of the DVD. “Dad, look,” he said,and handed it to his father.

Thehandwritten name on the DVD was what caught Mick’s attention too. For Dadwere the only words written on it. For Dadwas the title.

Teddy staredat his father. He could see the agony inMick’s big, intense green eyes. But Mickwas never so thrown that he couldn’t handle business. “Put it on,” he ordered Teddy, and handed itback to him.

Mick satbehind his daughter’s desk as Teddy put the DVD into her laptop computer. Teddy stood beside Mick, Angelo stood behindMick, and all three watched. Withinseconds the beautiful face of Gloria Sinatra, Mick’s biracial daughter, a womanin her early twenties, appeared on the screen. She was sitting in this very study, exactly where her father was nowsitting, when she made the video.

“This isdifficult,” she said. He could see thepain all over her pretty face. “This isreally hard. But it’s been that kind ofa few months. I tried to keep it fromyou, Dad. And I hope you never have tosee this. I hope nobody does. But . . .” Tears appeared in Gloria’s big,sad eyes. “I’m afraid, Daddy.”

Mick’s heartsqueezed in pain. Teddy moved in closer.

“I’m afraidDaddy,” Gloria repeated, “and I can’t keep overlooking what I know. I can’t keep making excuses for what I’vefound out. So I have to do this. I have to let you know that if anythinghappens to me, anything bad, I want you to know who’s responsible.”

Teddy andAngelo looked at each other. What thefuck? But Mick didn’t move amuscle. He sat still and stared at histerrified child on that screen.

“If anythinghappens to me,” Gloria continued, and then she hesitated again. “If anything happens to me, please know thatRoz is behind it.”

As soon asMick heard that name, he rose to his feet. His face was frowned, his entire countenance was in disbelief. Teddy was equally stunned.

“Roz eitherdid it herself,” Gloria continued, “or hired somebody to do it. She’s the one responsible. That’s where you have to look first.”

Mick’s heartwas hammering. Teddy’s heart washammering. And Angelo wasdumbstruck. He looked at Mick. “Roz?” he asked. “But that’s your wife, boss. Mrs. Sinatra is Roz. What is she talking about? That’s your wife!”

Teddy lookedat his father too. His stunned eyesunable to receive it. But Gloria didn’ttell lies. Gloria didn’t holdgrudges. Gloria loved Roz!

And Mick,for the first time in all his life, was speechless.

 

        

    

 

 

  CHAPTER ONE 

Five Weeks Earlier

 

African-Americansocialite Tamron Dawson-Blake walked into Anstrom’s and was immediately greetedby Danielle, a gangly saleswoman anxious to please. “Mrs. Blake, welcome back!”

“Thank you,darling,” Tamron said as she held her clutch against her side and removed hergloves. She was married to Benny Blake,starting wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles, and everybody knew her forher charity work. They also knew her forher lavish lifestyle.

“Is thereanything I can help you with today, ma’am? We have a new shipment of your favorite scarfs. They came in yesterday.”

“Actually,I’m good. I’m meeting a friend ofmine. Mrs. Sinatra.” Tamron began looking around. “Has she arrived yet?”

“I don’tbelieve so, no, ma’am,” Danielle responded, looking around too. But it was the name that stuck with her. Sinatra Industries was one of the largestcompanies,and employers, inPhilly. Mick Sinatra was a name as wellknown around their town as the players for the Eagles and the 76ers. Could the person she was waiting for bethatSinatra? She decided to test it. “Mrs. Mick Sinatra has not yet arrived,” thesaleswoman said.

“I’ll justbrowse around then,” Tamron said, “until she comes.”

“Let me knowif I can be of any assistance,” Danielle replied. But as soon as Tamron left her side, andbegan looking at the expensive clothes in the expensive boutique, she hurriedbehind the counter, picked up the phone, and called the office upstairs. She called the owner of Anstrom’s.

“Mrs. BennyBlake is here today,” she said into the phone.

“Good,” theowner responded. “Treat her well. We can use every large order we can get.”

“She alsomentioned,” Danielle continued, “that she’s waiting for the arrival of Mrs.Mick Sinatra.”

A bump soundwas heard, as if the owner had quickly risen to her feet. Danielle smiled.

“Mrs. Sinatra?” the owner asked withsudden excitement in her drab voice. “Mrs. Mick Sinatra is coming to our shop? Tomyshop?”

“That’s whatshe said.”

“Are youcertain, Danielle?”

“Unlessthere’s more than one Mrs. Mick Sinatra, I’m certain.”

“I’m on myway down. If she gets there before Ican, you treat that woman like royalty. Her connections could get us back on the map!”

Thesaleslady smiled. “Yes, ma’am,” shesaid, and hung up the phone. But it wasno laughing matter for Danielle either. Anstrom’s was struggling in this economy. Many of the elites who used to shop there hadeither gone bankrupt, were near bankruptcy, or were too cautious with theirmoney to splurge. If things didn’t pickback up, their doors could shut in a matter of months. Although Danielle didn’t see how one wealthywoman could make the kind of difference they needed made, her boss seemedhopeful. So she was hopeful too.

Mrs. Parks,the heavyset Caucasian owner, made it downstairs just as the doors of the shopopened and Rosalind Sinatra walked in. Although Danielle didn’t recognize her, the owner did. She’d seen her in society columns, or on thearm of that gorgeous Mick Sinatra at different high end functions aroundtown. Many of the women in her circledespised her for taking Mick away from them, but the owner knew Mick wouldn’tgive any of those females the time of day anyway. She was just pleased that his wife was in hershop.

“Get yourphone out,” Parks whispered to Danielle. “Take a few snapshots as I greet Mrs. Sinatra. If she doesn’t buy a thing, we can still makeit worth our while.”

“By postingit on social media?” Danielle asked.

“Of course,”Parks responded, and made her way toward the entrance.

It seemedtacky to Danielle, but she wasn’t the one struggling to keep a businessafloat. Her boss was. She pulled out her cellphone and privatelydid what she was told.

“Roz, youmade it!” Tamron said gaily as she hurried over to her friend. She and Roz hugged vigorously. Then Tamron leaned back and took a good lookat her. “Don’t you look fab as usual,”she said.

“Thanks,girl.” Roz began looking around as sheplaced her clutch beneath her arm, and began removing her leather gloves. She was dressed in a mid-length dark bluejacket with a thick belt tied at her waist, and a flare-legged tailoredpantsuit beneath the jacket. “It is socold out there!”

What Tamronloved most about Roz was her style. Shedressed marvelously, she thought, no matter what combination of clothes she wore. She also looked marvelous, with her thickblack hair, her flawless dark brown skin, and her big, bright brown eyes. And the fact that she was Mick Sinatra’s wifeonly enhanced her beauty. She had tohave something awfully special, Tamron knew, to wrangle a man like him. “You’re shivering,” she said, rubbing Roz’sarm.

“I can’tseem to stay warm. It’s so cold outthere.”

“Come on,now, Roz. I know your New York ass isnot complaining about our mild weather.”

“Oh, yes, sheis,” Roz said, and she and Tamron laughed.

It was onlyafter they began laughing did Mrs. Parks, the shop owner, decide tointerrupt. She hurried over. “Good afternoon, ladies,” she said.

“Hello,Ethel,” Tamron said. “Roz, this is EthelParks. She owns the place.”

The womenshook hands. “Very nice to meet you, Ms.Parks.”

“Very niceto meet you, Mrs. Sinatra. Am Icorrect?”

Roz found itstrange when people she never recalled seeing before knew who she was. But Mick was well known around town. She was always with Mick. She was getting used to it. “Yes,” she said. “That is correct.” Then she began looking around. “Very nice shop you have here.”

“Thank youso much,” Parks said with a big smile. “We cater to our customers one thousand percent. So if you see anything you like, anything atall, even if it’s not in your size, we can order it for you and have it to youwithin a day.”

Roz likedher customer service. But she also knewthe place it was coming from. “Why thankyou, Mrs. Parks,” she said.

“You’rewelcome. Please let me know if you needanything.” And then she walked away.

“Desperatemuch?” Roz asked.

“And how,”Tamron said. “Her sales have tanked likea rock in the ocean over the last few months. When she was flying high she barely knew my name. Now she’s all up in my grill. Please.”

“Nothingwrong with somebody doing all they can to stay afloat,” Roz said as they beganlooking at clothes. “I’ve been theremyself.”

Tamronsmiled. “I forgot we used to be Broadwayactresses.”

“StrugglingBroadway actresses,” she reminded Tam. “And it was pretty muchoff-Broadwayactresses most of the time for both of us, thank you very much.”

“But atleast we knew when to call it a day,” Tamron said. “At least we didn’t let all of thatexperience go to waste by waiting for that big break. You made your own break with your talentagency. I’ll bet you aren’t strugglinganymore.”

“Thank God,”Roz said as she made her way to the lingerie section. “To God be the glory for my success. But that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten thestruggle. I haven’t.” She looked atTamron. “And I never will.”

“I’veforgotten it already,” Tamron said defiantly. “I act as if I never struggled a day in my life, and people respect mefor it. You ought to forget about that paststuff, Roz, just like I did, and move the hell on. We’re doing fab now and that’s all thatmatters. As for all of those losers weleft behind? I say tough. If we could get up, they can too.”

Roz lookedat Tamron. She never understood how shecould so easily forget her past. It wassuch a contradiction. Tamron gave to charities all day long, and hostedgiveaways to the poor every holiday, but she seemed to despise the people whoneeded the help. There was a time, notthat long ago, when Tamron was a telemarketer out there trying to make a livingtoo. Then she married a baller whohappened to have a little money, and suddenly she was a rich socialite with nosympathy for anybody? Roz wasn’t cutfrom that kind of cloth. She would liketo think she was made of sterner stuff than that. Like empathy. Like compassion. Like respect nomatter what station in life people found themselves. Because Roz had been at the lowest stationherself.

“So how’sthe twins?” Tamron asked.

Rozsmiled. “Spoiled,” she said, as she heldup lingerie. “How else? Mick is their father.”

Tamronlaughed. “They’re spoiled rottenthen. And it’s been what? A month since you had those beautifulbabies?”

“Six weeksand a day. That’s why I told you to findme a good place for lingerie that’s not my usual stores because I do not wantto hear it from those ladies.”

Tamronsmiled. “You mean they’ll know why yousuddenly want to look sexy again?”

“Exactly,”Roz said.

“Well,honey, you have no points to prove. Youkept your shape and everything.”

“That’s whatyou think,” Roz said. “I’ve got a fewmore pounds to lose.”

“Mick’scomplaining?”

“Are youkidding? He thinks my baby fat is cute.”

“Cute? Don’t you believe it! He just wants you as unattractive as possibleto stave off all these hungry brothers out here.”

Rozlaughed. “I’m sure that’s not it.”

“Don’t be socertain now,” Tamron said. “Men can bevery calculating, especially if they love you. And for a man like Mick Sinatra to marry a woman? Please. He has to love your black ass something fierce.”

Roz laughedagain. Tamron had issues, but she wasalways good for a laugh.

“So, let meguess,” Tamron said. “Mick hired a nannyto help you with the little ones, didn’t he?”

“Ananny? No. Four nannies? Yes.”

Tamron’ssmall eyes stretched. “Four nannies?” When she realized others were looking over,she lowered her voice. “Are you out ofyour ever loving mind? Why would youever needfournannies?”

“It’s onlyfor their first year,” Roz said. “And I knowit’s excessive. I told him it was excessive. But Mick runs our household and if he says I’m getting four nannies, Iget four nannies.”

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