HBO Owns the Soprano's not me, only the original character(s) are mine. This is part one of an ongoing series on Furio Giunta and his stay in the US.

The Guarantor

Tony Soprano sat chewing the end of one of his expensive cigars, he had a meeting with another New Jersey family and he was hoping things would work out for him, if so; it would bring a lot of extra money for him in loan-sharking and swag. However the two brugads, the Soprano's and the Bucchino's had a lot of bad blood between them. This meeting was to be an olive branch and peace offering, especially since things had begun to heat up with Tony with the New York famiglias. To ensure that the meeting between the Bucchino's and the Soprano's was not a 'set up' two guarantors had been assigned to be held hostage by each family until after the meeting. That way if something happened, some surprise attack, the guarantors would be killed. This was not an uncommon practice, however it was more 'old school' and more of a Sicilian than Neapolitan thing, something used much more in Italy than here in the U.S, but Tony had listened to his Uncle Junior on this advice and demanded the Bucchino's provided a Guarantor. The Guarantors were always held in a secret location, on the opposing Family's territory until a call came from the Boss to release the captive back to their own side.

A few of Tony's men had delivered Sal 'Big Pussy' Bonpensiero to the Bucchino's side as their Guarantor, and now Tony was surprised as Silvio marched in with a blindfolded attractive woman with her hands handcuffed in front of her. Tony knew who she was, Corrina Bucchino the 25 year old daughter of the Bucchino boss himself, Don Vincenzo Bucchino. This development made Tony feel even more confident of himself, after all, what boss would risk his own daughter's life if he were not truly making an effort?

"Ok sweetheart." Silvio pushed her roughly onto a metal chair, "This is gonna be your hotel room for awhile. You know the rules and why you are here." He stood in front of her even though she could not see him, his hands clasped loosely in front of him, his usual dour face looking like a hang dog basset hound. "No takin' off the blindfold or causing trouble, got it? Hopefully things go smooth and you can go back home quickly."

Silvio glanced then at Tony and also at Furio Giunta, the Soprano's newest enforcer and hitman from Naples. Furio had only been in the states a little over a month, so he was a good one to keep in charge of the Guarantor. Both Tony and Silvio also knew Furio would take no shit from her or have any qualms about doing her in if it was indeed a set up. Better to let Furio handle these things than them.

Tony looked again at the bound and blindfolded Corrina. He was impressed that she was showing no fear; she was instead sitting quite straight, her breathing level normal and her voice calm as she spoke softly and respectfully to Silvio, "I understand."

Tony walked silently up to the woman; she was gorgeous, long brunette hair, light olive complexion that spoke of her southern Italian heritage, and a nice long lithe body with long shapely legs, the kind that drove him nuts. Tony breathed a stream of his smoke onto her as one of his hands came down and caressed her cheek. She felt so smooth, so soft under his touch; he would have liked to have fucked her right there and then. "I gotta pretty tough no-nonsense fella watching you." He said in a light tone, almost as if he was flirting with her, "You be a good girl and behave for him, Ok?"

Corrina fought everything inside her not to flinch from the touch of Tony Soprano; she was fairly certain that was who was touching her cheek so familiarly. She knew she must not show them any fear, any emotion or they would feed on it like sharks. She just nodded respectfully at his instructions. Thankfully Tony Soprano stopped touching her and she heard several sets of feet moving against the cement floor, some brief whispering amongst themselves and then the slam of a metal door.

She strained her ears listening for a moment, hoping they were indeed gone and was nearly surprised when she suddenly heard someone speaking nearly right in her face. She had not even heard him come up. "You be good girl, you no get a hurt." She could hear the sharp Italian accent in his voice and knew he was from Napoli and that he was not very fluent in English. She could smell the faintest hint of cologne on him, and wondered who this guard was that was standing over her. Her mind began to swim a bit at conflicting thoughts.

"You father must really be trusting to let his daughter be the mallevadore, eh?" the accented voice spoke smoothly again.

This time she replied to her guard in fluent Italian with Sicilian dialect. "My father is very respected by me, I trust him implicitly. If he says coming here will make an impression on your Don Soprano, then that is a sacrifice I am more than willing to make."

She could hear her guard walking around her now, as though studying her, when he next spoke; he too spoke in Italian with his own sharp Neapolitan dialect. "You are Sicilian, where you born there?"

"I was," Corrina answered slowly, "But came to the states when I was only 4, so I do not remember much of the homeland. My father doesn't speak very good English so I am constantly speaking Italian at home with him and sometimes translating written things for him. However, here in the U.S, men do not tolerate women openly participating as much in 'Our Thing'; the Mafia is different here in the U.S. So instead I adapt and my brother often translates for him at meetings with other famiglias, like today with your Soprano's."

A short sharp chuckle escaped from her guards lips. "Yes, that is true what you say. But I am not from America, as you can tell."

She heard him walk away from her this time, sensed him leaving the space around her as he went off to a chair and began dragging it over to her. "I'm not done speaking to you yet. I want to know more about this whole thing about the Bucchino's and the Soprano's."

This time Corrina did gulp and a tremor ran through her. She knew this fellow was from the Old country, probably involved with the Camorran, which made him a dangerous man to piss off. Normally the Guarantor would not even be discussing 'sensitive issues' like this, but she dare not anger this guard, somehow she instinctively knew he would not be gentle with her if she did.

"Is that fear I sense now?" the accented voice spoke in a silky sound almost like an icy cold garrote. "You don't fear Tony Soprano, but yet you fear me."

His words made an even colder trickle of fear slide down her back, she could only nod briefly afraid her voice would give away the fear and confusion she felt inside.

"Why you so fear me, eh?" the voice demanded. "Tell me."

She was about to shake her head no, when she suddenly felt his hand touch her cheek the same way Tony Soprano had done earlier. However when Tony had done it she knew it was a lewd sexual overture, this man's finger traced her cheek gently almost soothingly and then traced down her jaw line and briefly his smooth but strong hand closed around her throat. He did not squeeze or put any pressure on her, but his strong fingers easily resting on her carotid arteries and jugular veins. It was a brief move that spoke volumes of what he was capable of, but the fingers then traced back up the other side of her face, soothingly again. "I want to hear your story, Corrina." He spoke still in Italian, "The Soprano's they don't tell me very much, at least not yet. I have just recently come here to America, so the only way I learn information is if I listen with my own ears, pick it up myself." He paused a moment, "It is the only way I have an edge, a way of knowing what is going on, you understand? They want me to stay stupid and uninformed, but I will not. The Soprano's they really have no idea the way things are done in the old-country."

His hand left her face and she was aware of him sitting down in the chair in front of her. "Now we talk, you be good and maybe I give you a glass of wine and some lunch, eh?" his smooth voice spoke.

"On one condition, you tell me your name." She dared to speak her mind; if he was changing the rules than she could also.

Corrina heard the sharp intake of breath from him, could sense his anger even through her blindfold as he cursed her out darkly in Italian.

"Stupido woman!" He growled in a low voice as he cuffed her alongside her face. "You want me to kill you? Do you?!?"

Now sheer terror overrode her nerves, she could not help the tears that coursed down her face from beneath the blindfold or the tremor in her muscles as she shivered in fear.

"N-no, please." She half whimpered. "I'm sorry, I just…" she clicked her mouth closed in mid-sentence not daring to piss off her guard any further.

"You what." The man said in a low tone. "You what?" he demanded again more angrily.

"I just thought… I had trusted you as a fellow Italian." She knew it sounded lame, knew he was old school and that made him in many ways far more dangerous than Tony Soprano or his underboss Silvio Dante.

"Trusted me, eh?" he half snorted. "Maybe I am not a man to trust. Maybe you no want to trust me."

She suddenly felt his fingers by her head as he quickly snatched the blindfold away from her eyes. Her fear escalated, this was highly irregular. He was showing himself to her, and usually the Guarantors' never saw their captors or guards. She blinked in the lighting of the dingy apartment as she unconsciously looked at the man in front of her. He was handsome, longish hair that was tied tightly back in a neat pony-tail, his lean face shadowed by a no-nonsense and dark look, and eyes that bore into her very soul like the stormy Mediterranean ocean. "Furio." He said with in an almost unnaturally calm voice, those eyes of his all business. "My name is Furio."

Corrina now truly wondered if her bold tongue had just signed her own death sentence. All this was highly irregular, now she knew what this Furio looked like. She felt her guts churn in watery nausea and thought she was going to throw up.

Furio got up off the chair and strode back and forth. "You calm down, I not going to hurt you." He said quietly but succinctly. "I meant what I said earlier." He stopped and glanced down at her. "You know what they call us here?" he glared at her, "What these American families call us true Italian's?"

"Zips." She barely breathed the term she had heard her brother and father use. A derogatory slang term for any Mafiosi from Italy.

"Yes, 'zips'." Furio's anger shown in his hard eyes, "They think so little of us here in America. We true Italians' who bought the whole 'Thing of Ours' to America and they insult us." Now Furio was leaning over her, his face mere inches from hers. "I will not stay uninformed about what is going on with these Families here in the States, Corrina. Knowledge is my only key at survival and success here in America, you understand?"

Corrina could smell the faint scent of his cologne again; feel the heat of him as his face was nearly touching hers eyeball to eyeball. Slowly she nodded as she glanced away from him not daring to meet his bold gaze.

"Look at me, no look away." Furio spoke in English now and his hand turned her face back towards him. "I asking you as a fellow Italian for you help, for you knowledge. You do this for me, and I will make sure that your famiglia, your father and brother is taken care of. I will give any information I can to you that I hear about the Soprano's; you in turn do the same for me." Furio's other hand came up and again gently caressed her cheek, soothingly again, "You not do this thing, then I have no choice but to beat shit out of you and re-blindfold you. You understand?" this was said in a totally calm voice, not cruelly but matter-of-factly.

"Yes." She dared to breathe, dared to look at him. "I will help you."

"Yes, very good." He switched back to speaking in Italian as a genuine smile tugged at the corners of his mouth and made his hard face appear much gentler. He backed off from her. "Now I going to cook us some nice lunch serve some nice wine and you are going to tell me much information."

Furio reached down and guided her off the hard metal chair over to the small cramped kitchenette. As he sat her down on the wooden chair, his hands lingered on her shoulders a moment, gently caressing them. "I not want to be the bad guy with you. Is like you said, we true Italians; we need to trust each other. I am honorable man, so if I say I will not hurt you, and I will help your Family, then I will. Live up to your father and padrone's expectations of you, Corrina. You are strong woman." He patted her shoulder a moment and then backed off to the stove to cook up some pasta for them.

They would indeed talk over lunch and Corrina would begin the road of Furio's knowledge and information as she briefed him on everything from the various crews to the big boys, like the Lupertazzi's in New York. "There is a friend I can introduce you to." She said as she enjoyed the pasta he had served and the wine, "My brother knows him, the man's name is Enzo Garasi he is in New York, but he is an illegal here as well. I think the Lupertazzi's are looking to scoop him up, but he is not interested. Talk to him, he might be a very loyal connection for you, Furio."

Furio listened and absorbed every word she said, grateful for her information and trust of him. His cell phone rang and he glanced down noticing it was Tony calling. "Yes?" he answered.

"Everything went well, just as I expected. We'll be there in about 20 minutes to exchange the Guarantors." Tony briefly said and hung up.

"Thank you, Corrina." Furio glanced at her. "Everything went good; they will be back in 20 minutes to take you back home. I will not forget that you have helped me, and I will make contact with Enzo Garasi." He stood up and quickly cleaned up the dishes, "I must put blindfold back on you, and have you in the chair before they get here."

"I know." She said and handed him the blindfold. "Good luck to you Furio, I honestly mean it. I hope you are successful here in America. Perhaps someday we will bump into one another again." she smiled pleasantly but respectfully at him.

"Oh, I quite certain we will." He gently fitted the blindfold back around her face and then made sure it was comfortable around her, that none of her hair was caught in the tight folds. One last time his hand came out and gently touched her cheek, a sign of gratitude at her helping him. "I very certain we will."

This story is one of several I wrote kind of my own details on Furio's time here in the states. This is the first one; then comes "Collections" and the series finally ends with "Mistaken Identities".

Ciao If you like my stories or have any suggestions of what you would like me to write with Furio, drop me a line and leave a review. Grazie!