Thank you "Talksyic" for your review (and of course you others), and for inspiring me to finish this story. But because I'm too lazy to get myself caught up in my own work by reading every chapter thus far, a few things are going to change. I seriously hate having to do this, but from here on out, I'm going to keep this story as inconsistent in plot as possible.
YES, Andy and Ferrari are still operating in co-hoots to break up Tommy and Moda. NO, they are not finished collecting the money from Tommy's businesses, and at this point, pretend that Moda didn't take Tommy seriously about his "occupation". YES, Claude is still Moda's personal bodyguard and YES, Tommy is still being a dick towards him, however, because Claude is actually reluctant to being around Tommy regardless, I'm going to make him slightly more of a dick, while still being quiet. I am going to try and give Tommy more dialouge and uncover a huge plot twist I'm planning involving Mercedes. Also, I'm giving Tommy more of an edge. While he's enjoying Moda, he's still got shit to do! But I hope you enjoy.
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Chapter 15 - I Crown Thee...
After having pissed Tommy off with her emotional insecurities, Mode retreated to the lavender-colored fantasy of her bedroom. She cleaned it a little, merely placing things back where they belonged, and sorting clothes into their fitting places, still thinking.
"Maybe Andi's wrong." She thought out loud, but not too loudly of course. "Plus, I don't have any proof, and why would Tommy go through so much trouble, this 'plan' seems a little too elaborate."
She paused in her tasks, then resumed them and her thinking.
"But Andi has been looking out for me...I don't know. But I shouldn't assume anything without finding out more. I should go apologize." She said, walking slowly towards the door. However, the very second before her palm made contact with the brass doorknob, the knob turned and flew open backwards, with Tommy behind it. He and Moda stood, facing each other, staring each other directly in the eyes for a moment.
"I'm..." Moda finally spoke.
"It's alright, kid." Tommy said. Moda opened her arms, and closed them around Tommy's waist. He hesitantly raised his hand and tussled her thick hair with his palm, then stroking the back of her neck with it.
"That wasn't fair, me lashin' out at you like that." Moda said, releasing from the hug. Truthfully, she felt only half-sorry.
"You're right, it wasn't." He joked, half-smirking. "But we seriously have to talk...about the future."
A few minutes later, the two are sitting on the front stoop again. It's very early in the morning, you can almost see the pink edges of the sunrise, making its appearance over the horizon. Tommy reached into the back pocket of his jeans, using his thumb and forefinger to fish a small, metal lighter, and a pack of Malboro cigarettes from it. He flipped the boxy cover off with the nailbed of his thumb, took out a cigarette, and lighting it while placing the cigarette between its lips. He closed his eyes, inhaled, and exhaled with relief. He turned to his left, Moda watching with curiosity and disgust through her dark eyes.
"Shit, where are my manners?" He said, extending his hand. "You smoke, kid?"
"I don't." she said.
"Good, it's a disgusting habit for a woman. If you don't remember anything else, remember that a woman's attractiveness instantly decreases while she's sucking on a square." He said, smiling. Moda still stared at him, and let out a soft yawn.
"Right. Now the first question I need to ask you is, who am I?"
"What?" Moda asked.
"Exactly. Who am I? Who is Tommy Vercetti?" He asked again, taking a long drag of his Malboro. "What do you know about me?"
"Well, you're a rich guy that owns a lot of things." She said.
"But I wasn't always rich. When I first came here, I was about at poor as those dirty ass Haitians." He said, pointing his hand towards Little Haiti. "All of what you see now, was built entirely from scratch."
"Really?" Moda said in shock. "I mean, how exactly?"
"Well, when I was about your age, I fell into the wrong crowd. But long story short, I did fifteen in the joint, got ambushed in a deal for the same family, and made my comeback and then some, when the family demanded a piece of my pie. I've done just about everything you can think of."
"But why?" She asked, thinking she was just 'playing along' with him.
"Why? Why what?"
"Why do you base your life on killing people, and just money and women and drugs?"
"Don't get it twisted, kid. While I was inside, I did think a few times about bettering myself--without breaking the law, that is. But..." He said, pausing for another drag.
"But what?" She sat, attentively.
"There's no use crying over spilled milk." He looked away, Moda watching the wisps of smoke dancing in mid-air before disappearing. "But you do know that this is going to be yours too, right?" He exhaled. "Yeah, I could see it. Moda 'Queen-pin' Vercetti of Vice City."
"Yeah, right!" She scoffed.
"No you're not..." She scoffed again, slightly humored.
"Kid, I'm fucking serious. I deal dope, kill clowns and even counterfeit money."
At this point, Moda was less convinced that she was playing along with some kind of ruse.
"What? Mine?! What do you mean?! I figured you owned legitamate businesses, o-or a large share of a company, or a lottery winner or something! I didn't know you were a drug baron, I thought you were joking!" She panicked.
"Well, you know now." He grinned, snuffing out the fiery butt of the cigarette by placing it on the stair they sat on.
"So, people are going to try and kill me too!?" Moda shouted, tears almost coming to her eyes again.
"Of course! You're the princess of the biggest kingpin of Vice City! Your head will always have a price on it."
"But, I can't. I don't have the stomach for it." She said, looking Tommy in his eyes. He lit another cigarette and took a drag.
"You're right. You don't have the stomach for it...at least not now."
"I don't want to do this! I really don't." She said softly...This is even worse than dancing, there's absolutely no way I can handle this.
"Fuck!" Tommy said, in a serious tone, almost yelling. "You're going to do it, and I'm fucking serious! I don't give a rat's ass whether you want to or not, this is your responsibility now!"
"Because I said so!" He yelled, standing up and leaning over Moda. "And if you can't deal with that, I can toss your ass back on the street!"
Moda leaned back, her eyes filled with fear and moist with salty tears that would spill at any moment. Why did I come here? Why...What am I doing here? She thought.
"Okay, I'm going to finish collecting the money from my businesses tonight. You go in there, to bed, and later today I show you how things work around here. I've been spoiling you up until now, so it stops here. You're not going to be one of these stupid, prissy whores if you're going to inherit what I've worked my fucking fingers to the bone building up. I'll be damned if that shit happens."
Still surprised, Moda continued to stare at him. Tommy grabbed her tightly and roughly by her shoulders and squeezed them, staring directly into her pupils.
"Now, you're part of my family. You're now a killer, a drug dealer, a thief, an intimidating hustler. So anything morals you have tonight, had better be gone by the time I get back."
He walked down the stairs, and jumped into the white Infernus, and drove off.
Moda stood on the stairs, watching the Infernus leave dark skid marks and dust at it left the mansion. Sniffling, she forced the puddle of tears in her eyes to receded back into their ducts. She plopped back down on the stairs and placed her face into her hands. She barely heard Claude come out of the house and walking towards her, yawning and stretching his arms as far as they would reach. She acknowledged his presence, turning her head towards him, then flashing a phony smile.
"I'm fine, Claude." she said, leaning back to gaze at the horizon.
Claude just nodded slightly, taking a seat next to her. Not that I cared, but okay.
"How did you sleep?" She asked, not taking her eyes off the sunrise, making its appearance over the ocean.
You've gotta be shitting me. You mean, 'how could I sleep?'. He thought, but smirked to mask his frustration. Christ, what the hell happened out here anyway?
"Tommy named me his heir, is what happened." She said, looking at him. His eyes widened, he looked at her as if she were psychic.
"Didn't you know? I have telepathic powers."
Claude still stared at her, his brown eyes shifting back and forth. Uh-oh, maybe she knows about the Ben-Gay.
"I'm kidding." Moda said flatly. "You're so cute, Claude."
You whore. Claude grimaced.
"Do I have what it takes? To do all of this?" She asked herself, but Claude happened to be there.
Not without a lot of work to do. He thought to himself. And with Tommy being your 'coach'...oh man. He thought again, reminiscing.
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Driving towards his Boat Yard with the radio off, Tommy had to admit to himself, he did feel a little bad about how he yelled at his daughter. Especially about threatening to kick her out. But, regardless of their emotions, that didn't change the fact that he still had an empire to operate. He felt his days were far from "being numbered", but better "have and not need, than need and not have". Plus, the thought of one of his "friends" running his businesses straight into the ground, or his enemies claiming his territory and building it up made his skin crawl. He arrived at the Boat Yard, he stepped out, and replaced his cigarettes and lighter back into his pockets.
"Fuck it. She's gotta toughen up." He assured himself, slamming the door.
Tommy sniffed the air, recognizing the familiar scent and saw a few wisps of heavy smoke coming from the garage door of his property. Shit, I keep telling them not to smoke on the job! He walked up to the closed garage door, looking for his two property attendants, Dwayne and Jethro.
"Dude, I think I can feel my fingernails growing." he heard a voice whisper.
Pulling a switch, Tommy opened the garage door, freeing a toxic cloud of smoke.
"What the hell?!" Tommy coughed, shielding his eyes from the smoke, and startling the youngsters.
"Fuck!" Dwayne jumped. "Jet, put it out! It's suit-dude!"
"'Put it out'?!" Tommy repeated. "What did I tell you two dickheads about hot-boxin' it around the merchandise?! Shit, it's like a gas leak in here!"
"Sorry dude. We've been here for hours, waiting for you to collect yesterday's earnings but you never showed."
"Waiting? Why didn't you just go home? What have you been doing for the past four hours?!"
Dwayne and Jethro looked at each others' bloodshot eyes, then started laughing hysterically.
"Never mind, just give me the damn money."
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Yep. There it is...More coming ahead.