Chapter 1 The Special Event
The strippers’ accommodation facility is quiet now. Most of the girls have gone ahead to the club backstage for rehearsals. Only Adriana and Bella are left in the accommodation. They have just finished rehearsing their number.
Unlike any other striptease artists, the ones that work for the De Luca Mafia are accommodated in an exclusive apartment. Their facility is located just a block away from the social club operated by Giovanni De Luca and his birth family. The De Luca strippers stay in two’s per room in a five-bedroom house. Bella and Adriana share a room on the second floor of their apartment.
After having rested for a while, Bella is now busy trying on her new outfit for tonight's show. While Adriana sits absent-mindedly before her vanity desk, staring right into the mirror.
Bella turns around to ask Adriana how she looks in her bright red skimpy dress, “Hey, what do you think of this one, Ad...” Bella suddenly stops mid-sentence when she notices Adriana’s sad countenance.
“Oh, my dear Sunshine, are you okay?” Bella walks toward Adriana and puts her hand around her friend’s shoulder. “Tell me, what is it this time?”
Adriana snaps out of her thoughts and says, “Uh... you’re there! What was that again...? I’m sorry I wasn’t listening.”
“I said you better get ready now or else we’ll be late... Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Yeah...uh yes, of course I am. I was just tired, but I’ll be fine.” Adriana pats her friend’s hand and forces herself a little smile. She then stands up to get ready.
“Are you sure?” Bella asks again.
“Well, yes, of course!”
“I know you so well, Sunshine. What is it that bothers you?” Bella gives Adriana a reassuring look, and says, “You can trust me, you know that. So...?”
Adriana steps closer to Bella and hugs her. “Thank you so much, Bella, for being there for me all the time. Of course, I trust you.” She releases her arms from Bella and looks into her friend’s eyes and continues, “I’ve longed to unload this burden in my heart. But, not this time yet... I don’t think I’m ready.”
Bella squeezes Adriana’s arms and gives her a reassuring smile. “Alright! Just let me know when you’re ready to talk.”
“Oh, let’s get going,” Adriana changes the topic of discussion. She proceeds to the closet to get dressed. She quickly gets into her light blue silk mini, which accentuates her slim body. Then, she proceeds to brush out her long black wavy hair and pull it back with a wooden comb, leaving some curls to hang loose on both sides of her face. Adriana looks stunning and youthful, belying her age. Since she already did her make-up earlier, she is now ready to go to the club.
Adriana is a 21-year-old girl of Romanian descent, but she was born in Connecticut. She belongs to a family of six. Adriana has two older sisters and a brother. She is the youngest of the siblings. She barely knew her father because he left the family when she was only three years old. Since her father left, it was only her mother who raised them all with little or no support from the father. Life was extremely difficult for them. Her mother worked two, sometimes three jobs, at a time just to feed the children and to keep their little home.
When Adriana turned 18, she went to New York to find a job. She intended to save enough money to pursue her dream of getting a bachelor’s degree in Arts major in Dance, and be a choreographer. Unfortunately, she was unable to get a decent job and the little money she had was fast depleting. Because of financial need, she reluctantly decided to work as a stripper in a mafia-owned social club in New York.
“Come on, let’s go!” Adriana says to Bella.
Before hitting the door, the ladies grab their respective overcoat from the coat rack and put them on to cover their skimpy dresses. Then, they leave their room together. They decide to just walk their way to the club. The crisp weather in the alleys of New York sets a relaxed mood for them. Adriana breathes in deeply, trying to savor everything in. The women ambles freely as they enjoy the sights along the way.
Adriana opens up, “What a beautiful evening we have today. I wish I could savor the same beauty within me. But, no, life has been so unfair for me.”
“Tell me, what is it that bothers you?” Bella quips.
Adriana lets out a sigh and says, “I never dreamed of becoming what I am now. I never wanted to be a dancer before licentious men. I never....” she cuts mid-sentence and continues, “I...I’m sorry, Bella. I don’t mean to hurt you. It’s just that...um... this is not my dream. All I have wanted since I was a child is to become a choreographer. But, I needed to pay my bills. That’s why I do this... I love dancing, and I want to share my passion for dancing... I mean clean fun dancing... the art of expressing oneself through dance. I got a lot of things in my head and I want to teach... train young women in this pretty art form... But then again, life is so unfair. Don’t you think so?”
Bella answers, “What keeps you from pursuing that dream, then?”
Adriana reveals, “You see, I grew up in foster care and my foster parents were not rich. I mean, they belong to the middle-income group, and could have stretched their regular budget a little bit longer for me since they don’t have kids. But, I was hesitant to ask for more than my basic needs of food, shelter, clothing, and all of the little luxuries I have had. I’m also thankful to Mr. and Mrs. Wilson for sending me to school. That’s the greatest thing I have received from my foster parents, other than the kindness and love they showed me, of course. I’m forever grateful to them for lifting me up from poverty. And, I didn’t want to abuse their kindness to me. They’re already old, and they have done so much for me. I didn’t want to be a burden to them anymore. So, I promised myself that I should look for a high-paying job so I could pursue a college degree. Unfortunately, luck is not on my side. I have to land as a dancer before lustful men instead.”
Adriana continues, “On the other hand, I have this pain in my heart... regrets, I should say...for my biological father. How could he be so irresponsible? Although, I don’t exactly know what happened between him and my mother, he could have financially, if not morally, supported us... And for my mother... Why, of all her children, she chose me to send to foster care. I was six... maybe seven... when I got separated from my own family. Do you know how difficult it is to adjust to strangers?”
As Bella intently listens, Adriana further adds, “These heavy burdens that I keep since I was young motivates me to strive harder. Thanks to the moral support of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, my beloved second family. They’re the reason I stay strong.”
Bella reasons, “I believe your mom - I mean your biological mother - was just doing the right thing to send you to foster care so you’ll have a better life. You see, it pains a mother to see her child suffering... going hungry, exposed to elements, and all that negative stuff. You were the youngest and the most vulnerable one. That’s why she secured your safety and wellbeing first. Any sane mother would rather opt to send her child to a better place even if it pains her heart. So... just take it from that perspective, will you?”
Before long, Adriana and Bella are at the front door of the club. A bouncer smiles at the ladies before telling them, “The boss has been looking for you ladies. What has kept you so long to come here?”
The two ladies look at each other in surprise.
Why is Giovanni here? Adriana wonders to herself.
“Really? Boss Giovanni is here? Why?” Perplexed, Bella asks the bouncer.
The man shrugs off his shoulders and says, “I don’t know... The other girls are already lining up in front of his office.”
Bella and Adriana quickly proceed to Giovanni’s office. The other ladies are already inside. As soon as they get in, a man’s voice holler, “What keeps you so long to come here... you, Bella and... what’s your name again, woman?” The man gestures to Adriana.
“Adriana... my name is Adriana”, she answers with a quivering voice.
“Uh, right... right... Adriana,” he answers.
The man is Davide, one of Giovanni de Luca’s sons. He is sitting behind the desk. Davide presides over the meeting, while the ladies stand before him.
“Okay now, listen to me carefully... all of you... Tonight, we’ll have some important guests. They’re dignified people, and I want to impress them with our services. And, I want the best and good-looking girls to serve them.”
Davide starts selecting and gestures for each of the girls. One by one he calls, “You... you... and the lady in black at the back, come forward, please.”
As the girls start moving forward, Davide then points at Bella and Adriana. “You two late-comers, come forward, too.”
Davide continues, “Now, you five ladies, I choose you for tonight’s private event. Give it your best shot. I don’t want to hear any sloppy performance, do you understand?”
The girls nod in silence. Adriana, however, feels uncomfortable about the assignment, but she must not show it. She abhors the private events that this group organise because they usually involve the Mafia and trouble. However, she feels comfortable when Davide is around. The underboss is kinder than the rest of the De Luca siblings.
Davide adds, “Anyway, my brother, Lorenzo, will be here to oversee your performance.”
Upon hearing Lorenzo’s name, Adriana turns pale. She quivers and her heart beats so fast that she feels like vomiting. She grabs Bella’s arm and holds it tight, hoping that Davide will not notice her reaction. Bella turns and looks at her with concern. Without a word, Bella puts her hand over Adriana’s hand.
Davide claps his hands and orders the chosen ladies, “Okay, that’s all for today. Go backstage and prepare yourselves!... And for the other ladies, do your usual thing.”
Davide stands up to leave.
As soon as he is gone, Bella takes Adriana’s hand and whispers, “Are you okay? You’re sweating profusely. What’s wrong?”
“Not here, let’s go quick!” Adriana whispers back. The two go straight to their chamber at the backstage of the club. She locks the door behind her. Then both of them settle on the cot.
“What’s wrong?” Bella is curious.
Adriana hesitates and starts sobbing before narrating her experience to Bella.
A few months ago, Lorenzo forced Adriana to engage in a one-night stand with him. The man was attracted to the sexy and pretty 21-year-old girl that night. He was intoxicated at the time as he spent most of the night drinking with his equally infamous friends. Knowing Lorenzo’s outrageous temper, and his brothers’ notoriety, Adriana could not refuse his advances. She helplessly submitted to the man’s beastly attitude.
“Oh, my God!... I’m so sorry to hear that. I never knew you were hurting all along,” Bella reacts.
The two ladies go silent for a few minutes before someone knocks at the door. They look at each other in surprise.
Who could that be? Adriana wonders. She stood up and wiped away her tears before heading to the door. Bella, meanwhile, puts down her overcoat on the cot and fixes herself.
“Oh, Melly! What brought you here, my long-lost friend?” Adriana greets the person at the door. Both ladies hug each other briefly.
“I’m sent by the boss to be your make-up artist for tonight. Isn’t that cute? I heard you have some special guests tonight. How exciting!” Melly declares with a heartfelt smile.
“Yes, we have! But of course, I’m glad you came. I need... rather, we need to look wonderful tonight... Hey, this is Bella, my very good friend. Bella, this is Melly.”
Adriana continues to tell Bella, “Melly and I have known each other since our teenage years.” She then turns to Melly, “right, Melly dear?”
“Oh yes you’re right!” Melly answers gleefully.
Bella approaches Melly and the two ladies shake hands. “I’m pleased to meet you Melly,”
“I’m pleased to meet you, too,” says Melly.
“So let’s get started, shall we?” Melly is enthusiastic about doing the girls’ makeup.
Melly starts doing Adriana’s makeup. While at it, she shares gossip with them. “Girls, I heard that the boss’ youngest son will take over the club’s operations soon. I suppose his name is... oh... I forgot... It's something like... um... Lo...Lorenzo... Yes, that’s it! Lorenzo! Do you know him? I mean, have you already met that guy?”
“Umm... yes, Davide mentioned that name to us during our meeting”, Adriana replies.
“Girls, be careful with that guy. I learned through the grapevine that Lorenzo is hot-tempered and a kind of narcissist.”
Oh, my goodness...! Adriana says to herself. What a disaster that could be!
Pregnant with the Cold Mafia Description
Adriana is a 21-year-old former stripper who had a one night stand with Lorenzo, the youngest son of a mafia boss Giovanni De Luca. She finds out she is pregnant but Lorenzo initially tells her to get an abortion. He later changes his mind and asks her to move in with him and pretend they are engaged. Adriana is wary of Lorenzo and his mafia family but agrees for the baby's sake. She moves into Lorenzo's mansion. Lorenzo takes Adriana to meet his judgmental mother Andrea and extended family. Andrea insults and humiliates Adriana, sensing she is not of their class. At a disastrous family dinner, Andrea provokes Adriana until she lashes back. Lorenzo defends Adriana, threatening consequences for anyone disrespecting her or the baby. Lorenzo and Adriana have a turbulent relationship as they navigate a fake engagement and impending parenthood amidst the politics of Lorenzo's powerful mafia family....
Who is Pregnant with the Cold Mafia Author?
Pregnant with the Cold Mafia Catalog
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