I was discharged the next day after getting…well, not a clean bill of health, but I was recovering. I had a severe concussion and there was bruising on my brain, I was told. That was the cause for concern about my brain swelling that’s why I had to stay like I did and the induced coma. I had many cuts and bruises elsewhere, but nothing broken. Bubba had taken much of the impact. My truck! Now poor Sasha had a broken right arm that was in a cast and the pin in his left knee. He would be going home, but not until they were sure he wouldn’t bleed again internally. And he did die, so they needed to be sure.
When I was taken home Tony was hovering over me. Which I didn’t mind, but I was always independent and it was hard to let go of that. But after nearly two weeks in the hospital, it was good to be home again.
“Sit.” Tony ordered as soon as we got in pointing at the sofa.
I grinned. “Do I roll over, sit up and beg next? Will I get a treat?” I waggled my eyebrows when I asked about the treat.
Tony smiled back. “Sit, walk, whatever.” He grinned. “And you never have to beg me for anything. You never have.” He kissed me gently. “But Dr. Honeycut said to be careful not to overdo and I know you. You would overdo!” Then he pointed to the couch again. “Now, sit!” He ordered again and took my belongings that survived the incident or was brought after while recovering.
I looked around. Mom, Dad and Grandmother had gone back to the mountains. “Where’s Alik?”
“He’s with Mrs. Cummings.” Tony called back putting things away. “The Russian woman keeping Alik? He loves playing with her children, so why not? They’ll teach him English better than anyone and it was easier for her to keep him there and watch her kids, too.”
I grinned at that. “You mean we’re alone? Not even David or Sasha.”
Tony came back in the room. “Until six o’clock.”
I looked at a clock. “That gives us a few hours.”
Tony looked wary. “And you want to….what?”
“I want my treat!” I rolled my eyes. “What do you think? It’s been two frigging weeks!”
He came over slowly. “But you’re not to overdo.” He said softly, but wasn’t too convinced.
“So, we’ll take it easy.” I shrugged. “Or is this scraped up body going to upset you. I’m healing! It’s mostly gone.” Then I smiled at him. “Don’t tell me you haven't missed love making.”
He shook his head. “I do. I have! I just don’t want….a relapse or something.” He sat beside me. “I almost lost you. I won’t risk losing you again.”
I nodded bringing him close. Having him close again, I realized how badly I missed him, but I knew he was a little scared. “I’m okay, Tony. Life gives us no guarantees, there are nothing but risks. I’ll be okay.” I kissed him in a consuming kiss, he needed reassurance as I unbuttoned his shirt and let my hands run underneath. Those chest hairs were making my body crave him even more. He was warm and solid. I really missed him. It only took a second before he was returning the kiss with as much passion. There was some tenderness in me, and not because of our potential loving, but those injuries that was still sensitive, but it was tolerable.
Then Tony rose, holding out his hand. “Let’s take in our room where we can be comfortable.”
He opted to make love to me this time, if I promised to return the favor later, which I agreed with no problem. It didn’t require much energy on my part this time and Tony was great, slow and gentle. He loved me.
Later we moved things we would need upstairs and moved Sasha’s and David’s things downstairs. I did it, too, while under the watchful eye of Tony. It took a couple of days, but Tony finally relaxed. He needed access to his suits and other things, so the move was necessary.
Tony stopped as he hung a few suits up in the closet. “What sort of vehicle do you like?” His voice coming from the closet was barely audible to me.
I stood surprised at this sudden unexpected subject. “You know what I like. Come out of the closet.”
Tony laughed. “I’ve been out of the closet for years.” Tony walked into the bedroom. “I know you like trucks, but you’ll need a vehicle. Sasha’s going to need a vehicle and we only have two cars now. What was your dream truck?”
Okay, that led to a lot of possibilities, but one immediately popped in my head. “A Bronco.” Then I held my hand up. “I don’t mean a Bronco II, none of these little mini trucks. A full, he-man sized Bronco!” Then I growled like a caveman or bear and beat my chest and did a bad Tarzan yell.
Tony shook his head chuckling. “He-man sized Bronco? Didn’t they stop making Broncos?”
I nodded waving at him. “And there you go.” I shrugged. “I’m good with whatever we get. It’s transportation.”
Tony nodded and sat closer to me on the bed. “And another thing.” He smiled as his mouth got closer, his voice humming on my ear and his breath making my skin sensitive. “Have you thought about getting another place?”
Knowing Tony, I stopped and looked at him surprised. “I love the condo. Do you think we should move?” I looked at him. “Don’t you like it here?”
Tony nodded. “I’m not saying get rid of it, but…wouldn’t you like something…a bit smaller? Just for us?” He shrugged. “We can even get a house, if you like.” He saw my face. Then he gave a sort of shrugging shake of his head. “Don’t get me wrong. I love Sasha. I love David. I love Alik. So don’t misunderstand. I’d love a place that was….just you and me.”
“Okay, Tony.” I smiled. “I haven’t misunderstood you. I get it. I’ve seen the bank statements and I know we’ll be fine….” Then I grinned. “I’m not convinced you’re not Mafia. You’ve made a lot of money. What is it you do?”
Tony chuckled. “You found me out. My Uncle Guido and I, Uncle Guido otherwise known as Knuckles, are into a lot of scams.”
“You don’t have an Uncle Guido.” I smiled back. “I’ve never really understood, nor did I want to, but you were with me for two weeks! Won’t you lose money?”
Tony shook his head. “No.” He kissed me. “I’m like many firms that handle investments. Like the investor for the company that made the translator. I predict that will be big!” He got a look in his eye that almost made them sparkle. “I can tell you, that company will do well. In fact, I bet the stocks invested will split and even split after that! The investor makes money! Therefore I make money for steering him in the right direction. It’s commissioned. With enough clients, I make money with all of them only if they make money.”
I nodded. “Isn’t that risky?”
Tony shrugged. “It can be hit and miss, but I’ve gotten more hits than misses. I keep up with trends and follow the market. That’s why you see it on my computer all the time. I could make more if that’s all I wanted, but…” he grinned bumping his forehead against mine. “…I found something else to occupy my off hours.” He kissed me. “And I want those off hours.”
“So, what do we do with the condo?” I asked.
He shrugged. “Lease or rent it to Sasha.” He grinned. “That man’s going to do well. I can feel it. With Belle facing charges, he’s going to pay something if I know David. Sasha will have enough money for this place.”
I smiled. “I’d love a place that was smaller and just you and me.” I grinned and then put my hand on Tony’s chest. “But, no Mount Pleasant!”
Tony frowned. “And what’s wrong with Mount Pleasant?”
“Everyone wants to be there!”
“That means it’s popular!” Tony reasoned.
“Too popular!” I shot back. “Every doctor, nurse, lawyer and neuvo riche wants to live there! It’s too crowded, that’s why traffic is nearly impossible.” I watched Tony eyes widen.
“Neuvo riche?” He chuckled. “How positively upper crust that sounded of you.”
“There’s no infrastructure. They build highways after they’ve built all these new developments and that causes delays while they do that. There’s one popping up every week! That’s Charleston, but Mount Pleasant is the worst! The mall out there is great! When you can get to it. Out there I parked Bubba next to a Rolls!” I waved my hand in frustration. “And the people in Mount Pleasant think they’re entitled to the lifestyle there. I’m a country boy. I like the clean, wide open spaces. I was raised in the mountains! Those grand peaks, the open fresh air…the smell of grass…I guess it’s just deep rooted in me.” I shrugged.
Tony shook his head. “And that’s your charm.” He kissed me again. “I love you. Even if you wear the designer clothes, you’ll always be in jeans and t-shirts to me.”
“Great! Then I’ll start wearing them a lot more. The jeans and t-shirts, that is.”
Tony sighed. “We don’t have to move now, but there has to be somewhere here you and I will be comfortable. We just have to find it.”
“I hate moving.” I muttered.
“We’ll find a great reason and you’ll be ready.” Tony assured.
By that Friday, Sasha was fitted in a cast for his leg and discharged. Tony and I went to pick him and David up. And of course Alik had to come as well. We were right about the stairs. The condo was on the top floor. That wasn’t bad, but it was only a few stories and had an elevator. The condo did not. Sasha would not be able to go up and down the stairs, so what had been our bedroom would be perfect.
David wheeled him in the door where Sasha looked up and saw a very…well…it was a bright banner that said, “Welcome Home, Dad!” A child’s writing, but heartfelt, and in English in a lot of colors! Sasha grinned at Alik who was beaming with pride.
“Did you do that?” Sasha asked in Russian, but smiling.
Alik nodded. “I did!” Alik said in English. “I get better English!”
I looked at Tony. “If think we should have him play with Mrs. Cumming’s children more often.”
Tony shrugged. “Kids have an easier time with languages.”
I grunted as I passed Sasha, giving him a pat on his good shoulder. “And I’m still not getting your alphabet.” I said to Sasha who just looked at me and laughed.
We had an Italian dinner, it was a macaroni and gravy something and cooked by our resident Italian. It was good. It was at dinner when Tony asked.
“What’s the latest about Belle?”
David grimaced a smile. “Wait until you hear!” He said almost excited. “I just knew there was something…no one drinks like that once. He’s got prior offenses and this one was within the limits of the others. He’s looking at twenty years!”
“How is he driving!?” Tony asked in shock.
“He wasn’t supposed to!!” David said almost bouncing in his chair. “His license is still suspended! He was sixty-four, she was thirty-three. She may have fallen in love with his wallet, I don’t know, but he’ll be in prison for certain.”
Sasha frowned. “So, what happens now?”
David smiled. “We sue his ass, that’s what we do.” David growled again. “He’ll be lucky to get out on parole! He’ll be looking at eighty when he comes up for parole!” David shook his head. “He’s a real sleaze bag. We should take him for everything he’s got.”
“You told Dad this wasn’t about the money.” I reminded.
David nodded. “It isn’t, or wasn’t…” He looked at us fiercely. “He nearly killed you, Mitch! He did kill Sasha. It was only because of modern medicine we got Sasha back.” Then he looked at Sasha. “I think he owes you, Sasha.” Then he looked at me. “And you, Mitch. I know you and Tony are okay money wise, but he almost took Sasha from Alik!” He looked again at Sasha. “This is punitive. You and Alik will be fine now.”
Sasha shook his head. “And you.”
David took Sasha’s hand. “I love you, baby. If you include me in that, I’m happy to share it with you, but even if we don’t work out…”
“David!” Sasha protested in shock.
“I mean it!” David said emphatically. “The fact we’re together or not shouldn’t matter.” Then he brightened. “It’s great we are, but he should pay! He took his wife’s life and nearly took your life. We got yours back, but he needs to be held accountable.”
Sasha gave a nodding shrug. “Yes, but…I don’t want to be what you called a lawsuit millionaire.”
“But you don’t think he needs to pay something?” David asked and then looked at me. “You, too. You and Tony are set financially, but you should get something. You lost Bubba!! No one can bring him back! But more important Tony nearly lost you!” Then he thought. “He needs to pay you something so he knows he did wrong. And he did. That’s justice!”
I smiled. I understood what he was saying, but… “But how much equals justice?” I put my hand on David’s. “I know you want justice. I know that’s just part of you and why you chose the law. You’re very keen on what’s right and wrong. Nothing will bring Bubba back. We can’t undo what happened, but from what I’ve hear, I’m understanding things about Belle more, he’s not going to change.”
David nodded. “Maybe not, but he’ll know loss if he feels it. And money seems to be the one thing he cares about, so he should lose some if not all of it.”
Tony looked at me. “Does he have any children?”
David nodded. “Several. Three with wife number one, they’re all grown and living on their own, two of them have spouses and children, too. He has a daughter with wife number two. None happened with wife number three. He settled with wife number one because he got soon to be wife number two pregnant, so no more child support to the first three. The daughter with wife two is in college and she has a trust. She’s fine, too.”
“This just sounds like revenge.” Sasha said sadly.
“And?” David asked. “What if it is? We’re not talking about the sort of suit you hear about while watching all those court shows where someone gets hit and sues by one of those ambulance chasing lawyers. This was a crime! He will pay your hospital bills, Sasha and your rehabilitation. Loss wages and tips, you were bringing home nearly a thousand or more a week in tips alone!”
“Because he’s good.” I said smiling. “The most popular waiter in the hotel’s restaurant and most requested.”
“And you!” David pointed to me. “Your hospital bills and loss wages will be covered. There has to be restitution as well as compensation.” He was getting that tone he gets. “We’ll take him to court. He won’t want a jury trial and if we can, we’ll get a bench trial, no jury and the decision is final, no appeals. No judge will let him off easy, I can promise that!”
We were all just staring at David as he was so…passionate about it. Then Tony smiled. “Okay, that’s what we’ll do then.”
I grabbed David’s hand. “You’re a good friend, family and will make one hell of a lawyer.”