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FOR GOODNESS CAKES
"Guess what I learned in school today Uncle Rick"
"What did you learn?"
"Our teacher taught us play on words called puns"
"Really?" Riccardo Cappella raised his eyebrow in amusement at his eight-year-old nephew "can you give me an example of what pun is"
Tommaso Cappella stopped for a minute to seriously think about it and when he came up with it his face lit up
"Uncle Rick how do turtles talk to each other?"
"I don't know"
"They use shell phones!" he giggled, "you get it? Shell phones!"
"That was pretty good Tommy"
Riccardo couldn't help but smile he didn't have the heart to tell his nephew that his joke was pretty corny but it made his day to come up with the joke all by himself.
Lord knows that Tommaso needed him because his own father hardly paid attention to him. Antonio probably wouldn't start paying attention to Tommaso until the day his voice dropped and puberty set in; and that would be the day he would slowly be groomed into the family business.
Riccardo frowned at that Tommaso was such a good smart kid he hated the idea that his father and grandfather would start to groom him as a killer as soon as he hits twelve or thirteen.
"Do you think Daddy will be proud of me?" he asked Riccardo "I got a 90 on my science test"
The truth was Riccardo knew Antonio wouldn't give a rat's ass about the academic success that his son was achieving in his mind he honestly saw it as Tommaso being soft. Then again Antonio dropped out of the ninth grade so there was also that and their father Donatello didn't raise an eyebrow at that.
"I'm sure he will" Riccardo lied
"He has a funny way of showing it though" Tommaso said sadly
"I'm proud of you Tommy," he said sincerely ruffling the young boy's curly hair "you're doing great and I'm glad you like school"
And hopefully he'd stay in school if Riccardo had anything to do with it. His older brother and grandfather could die with the family business but Riccardo didn't want to be apart of it anymore and neither would Tommaso.
As the two of them made their way to the car Tommaso spotted his favorite bakery or more like the most popular bakery in town. Taking his newfound knowledge from school the boy laughed when he read the name of the bakery.
"Uncle Rick can we get something from Miss Turner's shop?" Tommaso asked, "I want to tell her that the name of her shop is a pun"
"I'm sure she knows Tommy but I have to get you back home---"
"Uncle Rick please"
Riccardo knew he was no match for Tommaso's puppy dog eyes and he gave in
"Alright but only because you got an A on your science test"
"Hi Miss Turner!"
"Hello to you too Tommy" the bakery owner greeted him with a smile she was just finishing sweeping in front of the display case.
Riccardo's heart stopped and skipped a few beats seeing Alise Turner's smile thinking he must really love his nephew a lot because he was getting ready for a possible heart attack.
"Can I pet Duke?" Tommaso asked referring to her seeing eye German Shepherd "is he working right now?"
"Sure" Alise said "he isn't working right now and it looks like he's happy to see you"
As Tommaso socialized himself with the dog Riccardo found himself getting aquainted with Alise and she smiled at him.
"This must be a special occasion" she chuckled "you two don't usually stop in here on Wednesdays"
"I know" Riccardo said "Tommy got an A on his science test"
"Oh that is a special occasion indeed" Alise said "I have some apple and cream cheese danishes that just got finished cooling off how about a glass of milk too?"
"That sounds yummy!" Tommaso agreed
"I'll get that right out then," Alise said as she reached for her walking cane and that put Riccardo on alert and he quickly came to her aid.
"Riccardo I'm fine" she chuckled "I know how to get around"
Riccardo gazed in Alise's eyes as she gave him a reassuring smile. Her right eye was her good one although sometimes blurry and strained since it was the one she relied on for all of her vision was a rich brown color that matched her complexion.
While her left eye was glossed over in a cloudy grayish color since she was completely blind in that eye and was rather dull in compared to her good eye. However there was nothing dull about Alise in his opinion her bakery For Goodness Cakes had been business for about a year now and was very successful.
Alise ran her business fair and well and was good to her employees and they adored her. Riccardo had been enchanted by her beauty since the first day him and his nephew stepped foot in the bakery.
Alise was such a lively and spirited woman and although Riccardo was surprised to discover she was blind in one eye but she didn't let her disability get the best of her. It made her more beautiful to him since he couldn't even imagine only being able to see out of one eye and for her it was simply her reality.
"I'm sorry if I offended you"
"No you're sweet" she insisted "and I appreciate your concern"
As Riccardo got out his wallet to pay Alise shook her head and insisted "It's on the house for the straight A student"
"Thank you Miss Turner!" Tommaso said as she placed the warm pastries down for them to eat
"You're welcome Tommy"
"Miss Turner guess what?"
"I'm sorry Alise" Riccardo said "Tommy I'm sure Miss Turner has a lot of work to do"
"No it's fine," she said "you two came in on my down time what is it Tommy?"
"The name of your bakery is a pun!" he said excitedly as he bit into his Danish "For Goodness Cakes is just like For Goodness Sakes!"
Alise chuckled "It sure is did you learn that in school?"
"Yeah we're learning all about puns and play on words" Tommaso said, "one of your other items is called The Dough Must Go On"
"I'm impressed Tommy are you going to be the next Dr. Seuss?"
Riccardo couldn't help but smile at the interaction between Alise and Tommaso. His nephew managed to win over her heart from day one and it also helped that he was at an age where kids weren't judgmental about people's disabilities.
"I want to write comics one day" Tommaso continued "maybe it can have puns in them too"
"I'd think that would be great" Alise smiled.
It was November now and since Daylight Savings Time was over it was getting a little dark now even though it was only a little after four. Although this was a relatively safe part of town things still went bump in the night, which concerned Riccardo.
"Are you fine with getting home now that it gets dark early?" he asked
"For the most part yes" Alise replied "I have Duke with me and he's been my best friend and seeing eye dog since he was 6 months old. After all this unseasonal mild weather though it's actually starting to feel like fall though"
Riccardo nodded as he looked over at Tommaso playing with the dog. Duke was a big boy so he knew that nobody would mess with Alise with him by her side; yet at the same time he was a gentle giant.
Alise often joked that there was something special about Riccardo because Duke was usually uneasy about adult men interacting with her. Riccardo couldn't really argue with the German Shepherd's judgment he'd be overprotective of her too.
"Anyway my house isn't too far from here so it's not too bad of a commute"
"Your friend still lives with you right?" Riccardo asked since he couldn't bare the thought of her being alone even if she did have Duke
"For now yes" Alise replied "but now that Tammy is engaged she's moving out in a few months after her wedding"
Riccardo frowned a little at that and she read his mind
"I'll manage besides I'm considering relocating the bakery in center city to a building that has an apartment upstairs for me and Duke" she said "it will be easier for most of my client that cater from me to get their products in a timely matter too"
That's what Riccardo liked about Alise always on the move with a plan not letting anyone stop her or tell her otherwise.
"Speaking of which I'll be catering some desserts at Tommy's school for their annual Thanksgiving feast in a few weeks since they raved about the candy apples we made for the Halloween party"
"Will there be apple pie?" Tommaso asked his eyes big with excitement
"Oh yes definitely" Alise said "apple pie, pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie, blueberry pie, pecan pie, all kinds of pies you name it"
"Alright Mr. Sweet Tooth" Riccardo chuckled "I think you've had enough of a sugar high today"
"Yeah" Alise blushed "this is the time of year when most parents stare me down when they get their kids dental bills in the mail"
"True but everyone in the community loves your bakery"
"I'm thankful for that" Alise said sincerely "I'm glad that folks were able to see past my disability so that I could share my baking"
Riccardo wished he could kiss her hell he wished that every time he walked in here; however it was getting late and Riccardo still had to get Tommaso home so he would have to dream about Alise later.
"Alright Tommy we should get going before your father has a fit" Riccardo said, "you take care Alise"
"And you do the same" Alise replied, "come back soon!"
"We will!" Tommaso answered for his uncle "Bye Duke!"
As Riccardo started the car up he made sure Tommaso put his seatbelt on.
"You really like Miss Turner huh Uncle Rick?"
"What do you mean?"
"Every time we go in her bakery you look like you want to kiss her or something" Tommaso giggled
"You'll understand when you start liking girls"
"Girls are too mushy and weird" Tommaso said "this one girl in my class Leila is always looking at me funny"
"She probably likes you Tommy"
"There are other boys in our class she can like someone else" the eight-year-old insisted and Riccardo smiled at his innocence. One day Tommaso would understand how he felt about that certain bakery storeowner.
Riccardo took at deep breath when Tommaso ran inside the living room and acknowledged his grandfather's presence. And needless to say Donatello Cappella was sitting on the couch across from Antonio with a cigar hanging out the corner of his mouth.
What the hell was Don doing here and what did he want? His father only came around when he needed a favor at least to him anyway. Out of all three of his sons Antonio was the only one who hadn't fell out of good graces with Don.
Riccardo's oldest brother Emilio came out of the closet a few years ago and Don just couldn't deal with that calling it sinful and not of God and disowned him. However by their father's logic killing innocent and not so innocent people over money was of God.
Riccardo still kept in contact with his brother who lived outside of town with his boyfriend much to Don's dismay. Emilio wasn't even allowed to attend their mother's funeral when she died five years ago.
As for Riccardo his relationship with Don was shaky since he was against the mafia lifestyle sure he had been a decent hit man but he just couldn't get into it the way Antonio did.
Don blamed his deceased mother for sheltering him too much and giving him too much of a conscious and being the youngest also played apart of that as well. Valentina Cappella never wanted any of her sons in their father's mafia and was happy Emilio got out and tried her best to keep Riccardo out of it but she failed with Antonio.
Antonio being the typical middle child always craved praise and attention while his brothers didn't fall in love with the mafia lifestyle much to Don's dismay he took that fish line and held on tight.
So far Antonio had done everything right by following his father's footsteps. One marrying a Italian American woman who was preferably Roman Catholic and two producing a grandson for Don to feel secure that his bloodline was pure and would live on.
Two of which both Emilio and Riccardo both failed to do so Antonio was the golden son in Don's eyes.
Riccardo was disgusted as Tommaso immediately ran into his grandfather's arms
"Tommaso!" Don hugged the boy "how's my favorite grandson?"
"Nonno I'm your only grandson" Tommaso giggled
"Yes but hopefully not my last" Don said as he smiled at Antonio's heavily pregnant wife Natalia who came in the living room to get Tommaso while the men continued talking.
"Come on Tommy your dinner's waiting on the table" she said holding out her hand
"You're probably hungry" Antonio added, "where were you and your uncle anyway?"
"Daddy I got an A on my science test" Tommaso explained "and he took me to For Goodness Cakes"
"Really" Antonio said as he glared Riccardo down and he knew his brother was pissed at him
"Yeah!" Tommaso continued "Daddy do you know what a pun is?"
"Tell you what Tommy your nonno and I are going to have a word with your uncle" Antonio said "and you can tell me all about it later but I'm sure Mommy would like to hear"
"Oh" Tommaso's face fell a little and Riccardo knew that Antonio didn't give a shit.
"Go on now Mommy made your favorite"
"Okay Daddy" he said "bye Uncle Rick"
"I'll see you later buddy"
Once Tommaso left the living room the mood in the room turned grim and cold.
"You like that little bakery shop don't you?" Antonio joked harshly "tell me is her pussy good I've never fucked a black woman before especially not a blind one"
"Fuck off Tony"
"What are you talking about?" Don asked
"Oh Pop you don't know?" Antonio taunted Riccardo "your baby boy's got a stiff dick for that moolie bitch that runs that cake shop"
"What!?!" Don sat up now moving his cigar to the other side of his mouth
"Yeah I mean really Rick if you're going to fuck a moolie at least choose one that can see out of both her eyes" Antonio went on to say
"How about I knock the vision out your head you bastard!" Riccardo said balling his fists up
"Oh wow you must really like her" Antonio continued to egg him on "and here I was thinking it was just sex; I don't care what you do with her baby brother but you're not going to keep taking my son around her"
"Riccardo is this true?" Don asked blowing out a puff of smoke "you like this girl?"
"First off she's a grown woman" Riccardo said "second what's it to you? And third she's very kind to Tommy---"
"I don't care if she's the fucking Queen of England!" Don cut Riccardo off "Tony right you have to think of our family it's bad enough your other brother whose name I will never utter again likes sodomy; I don't need you going after some moulie! What do you want a black blind bastard for a son?!?"
"I don't need to take this I'm leaving---"
"No sit" Don demanded "I want to talk to you and Tony about something important but I'm not dropping the subject about that black girl"
Riccardo glared at Antonio who had a smug grin on his face as he sat down.
"I've got a situation" Don said looking in Riccardo's direction "and yes it involves you too and that bakery girl"
"As you know I've been meaning to expand our headquarters for quite sometime" Don said "and I have been looking for property that would big enough to do so"
"Winston Martin used to have some property on the market on this block" Don pointed to the area on the map and Riccardo recognized it as the block where Alise's bakery was but his stomach flopped when his father pointed to the building that was the actual bakery.
"Two things" Don continued "one this son of bitch owes me big time I already put a down payment on the property and he sure as well took the money. Since it's the holiday season Winston is going to be getting the Cappella treatment meaning I'm going to get my money back and a bullet is going in his head---"
"Pop I don't want to---"
"Two" Don cut Riccardo off "that bakery was supposed to be our headquarters in fact it still will be but I know that she'll never sell the place so we'll have to put a bullet in her head---"
"NO!" Riccardo refused to keep silent now "NEITHER ONE OF YOU ARE GOING TO GO ANYWHERE NEAR HER!"
"Whoa!" Antonio laughed "it will be okay baby brother we'll just hit her from her blind side she'll never see it coming---"
"The fuck you aren't!" Riccardo spat at his brother and turned to Don "you can find another place for your so called headquarters you twisted bastard!"
"You're acting like a child Riccardo" Don said coldly
"No I believe you're the one acting like a child Pop" Riccardo said "you don't go around killing everyone when you don't get your way"
"You turning your back on your family Rick?" Antonio asked "over some black girl with a bad eye?"
"I don't want any part of this" Riccardo said zipping up his jacket his mind already running in a million directions on how he was going to have to protect Alise. Once Don placed a target on people's heads he wasn't going to stop until they dropped dead
"Riccardo" Don spoke up "this could job could probably get you on my good side again don't throw away blood for some jungle fever"
Riccardo shook his head and quickly made his way out the front door and that was the move that permanently axed him out of his father's eyes but he didn't give a damn.
Don frowned as he continued to smoke with Riccardo trying to protect his target it would make this dilemma complicated. But how complicated could killing a partially blind person be?
"Don't worry Pop I'll get me and some of the boys to help me," Antonio said
"Tell me Antonio" Don said taking the cigar out of his mouth "which eye is this girl blind in? the right or left?"