Healing Hearts 15: Can't Hurry Love(6)

By: Dixie Lynn Dwyer

“Yeah, these men dab in various things and aren’t exactly respectful to the food chain,” Carson said.

“Well, we’ve dealt with men like this before, on our own and together. Do you think it’s something worth involving ourselves in and would be lucrative enough to deal with the pressure and potential trouble?” Costanza asked them.

“At a five million plus profit in the first year alone, what do you think?” Pelham asked and took a sip from his glass of wine.

Costanzo squinted. “That’s a no-brainer. I’d want to ensure those numbers are accurate, and the only way to do that is to research this further, and talk with Bradley, check out the books and his operation closely. Carson, you and Covaney are really good at that. Set something up as soon as possible and make a call to Bradley telling him to hold off on accepting Charlie Shane’s offer. Let him know we’re ready to take the trouble off his hands and invest. In fact, knowing Bradley, I’d say he’s being pressured to sell. He loves that job and the location. His own home he’s lived in since he was a kid is on that property. We can offer him a salary to remain on as a manager. He can run the operations and get a piece of the action. It will keep him loyal, and we won’t have to worry about bringing someone new in and getting this fucked up.”

“I like it, Costanza. Great minds think alike. To another partnership, my friend,” Pelham said and raised his wineglass. They clinked glasses.

* * * *

Nina was picking up some paint samples at a boutique in Fulton. She was doing a small project for her friend Melise at her townhouse in Mercy. There was also a little fabric store that had very different patterns and designs and was high end like Melise was interested in. Melise had landed an awesome job in a marketing and promotion firm in Fulton and was enjoying helping small companies and larger ones promote their products or their stores and labels. Melise had connections to many new projects, and when Nina was finished with helping the Corpese men and her cousin Francesca with the new building, she could get other jobs through Melise, as well. That put Nina in a good mood despite the uneasy sensation she constantly had.

She looked around wherever she went, fearful that at any moment Sanford or one of his thugs would appear and attempt to force her to leave so Sanford could do his thing. She shivered from the thoughts. Thoughts about what he would do this time. How long he would stay and make demands of her, strike her, or take from her body against her will. Nina still had nightmares about his return, and about that night he found her only a few months ago. She chose not to put up a fight, knowing that any resistance would mean punishment, and she didn’t want to sustain any injuries. No bruises, no broken bones, no agony days or weeks later. She sighed as tears filled her eyes.

She wished she had more confidence like Francesca and her friends. Even Antonia who was shy and sometimes timid still showed a backbone when they were all out at a bar and men started being pushy. Nina was intimidated easily. The past two years of her life she was forced to be submissive in every way. She wasn’t allowed to have her own job, profession, or even thoughts. She had to be Sanford’s trophy girlfriend and remain respectful and obedient especially when his friends and business partners were around. She hated that life. She was past that torture and pain, thanks to Francesca. In fact, she better text her right now so she would know that Nina was okay. Nina didn’t venture out of Mercy too often, and it wouldn’t be smart to linger.

With that thought, she texted Francesca and then inhaled, catching a scent of the delicious coffee aroma from the café down the block. Well, maybe she did have time for one of those specialty coffees?

She smiled, held her bags and then glanced at her cell phone and saw Francesca’s response. She told her to get back to Mercy and be sure she looked around her and was aware at all times. She gulped as she glanced around. She caught the eye of one man who gazed over her body and gave a small smile. She was dressed in her normal business attire, a slim fitting pale pink skirt that hugged her body, a tight top that enhanced her narrow waist, but didn’t expose her full breasts or the deep cleavage of them. She was conservative, especially these days when she had control over what she wore, and not Sanford.