Grand Theft Auto: The Love Story
by Cynthia Taz

For summary and such please refer to Chapter 0. Thanks.


Chapter 11.2 - Ma Cipriani


~.~.~.~.~

Toni was just on his way out when Tara reached the Gentlemen's Club. "Kid." He gestured Tara to follow him. "Today's ma's birthday. I've picked out something for her at the jewellery shop on the main street. Go pick it up and take it to my Ma's. I'll be waiting there." He looked at his watch. "Make sure you reach there before six."

Tara nodded, and watched as the limo left the club.

~.~.~.~.~

Tara drove to the main street, and parked just outside the one and only high ended jewellery store in Liberty City. With the amounts of gangs and thugs living in this city, it was not surprised for Tara to find that even with the two guards standing just inside the entrance with their shotguns, the entrance to the shop was locked. Pressing the button on the communication unit, she ignored the piercing eyes of the guards. "My name is Tara. I'm here to pick up something for Toni?"

"Mr. Cipriani? Ah yes. He said to expect you." The door buzzed. "Please, c'mon in."

"Thank you." Tara pushed the door opened and went inside.

Taking the escalator to the second floor, Tara matched towards the counter. "Please wait here for a moment." A woman behind the counter greeted Tara. "Someone will be with you soon."

Tara waited, and started looking around. None of the jewellery on display had a price tag on it, but Tara guessed each would probably cost more than her apartment. She was staring at a particular blink-y watch when a man with grey suit ran out from the back to the store. "Miss Kasen. Mr Kimura." Tara turned, surprised to find Willow and a young Japanese standing there. Willow must had not been expected Tara too as she just stood there, staring at Tara. "Your engagement rings are ready. Why don't we talk in my office?"

"Of course." The man that was with Willow nodded. When Willow did not move, the man placed his hand on Willow's back. "Willow-san?"

Willow finally torn her eyes from Tara, and nodded at the man. Tara watched as the pair followed the man into the back of the store, but only one word stuck in her mind.

Engagement.

~.~.~.~.~

Tara made her way towards Toni's mother's restaurant at Saint Mark's, and found couple of limos had parked nearby.

It must be some party Toni is throwing for his mother.

It would also give Tara an opportunity to meet more high ranking Mafia, an opportunity Tara would normally look forward to. But her mind refused to move away from the word that had stuck in her mind since she saw Willow walking away with that Japanese man.

Engagement.

When did she have gotten engaged to another man? How?

Why?

Tara sighed, stepping out of her car. She had assumed that Willow was gay - was she wrong?

Might be Willow had been playing her all along?

Sighing again, Tara made her way into the restaurant. She could see groups of Mafias nearby, most surrounding an old woman with grey-white hair, and it did not take a genius to figure out she was Toni's mother - or Ma Cipriani, as most Mafia had called her. She was at least a head shorter than Toni, but about the same weight as her son.

"Ah Tara."

Tara turned towards the voice. "Toni." She handed the jewellery box she received earlier.

Toni opened the jewellery box and smiled. "Good." He looked around. "Why don't you go have a drink? Joey had setup couple of tables outside."

Tara nodded, not really expecting she would have been invited to sit with Toni in the first place, and made her way at one of the tables at the courtyard, just near the entrance. Nodding at couple of the Mafia nearby, she was about to pour herself a drink when her cell rang. Frowning, she picked up her phone. "Hello?"

"T? You with Toni?"

The urgency underlying Faith's voice caused her to put her drink down. "Faith?"

"You need to go, NOW!"

"Faith, what's wrong?"

Any reply was cut off when a huge explosion rocked the yard. Tara fell to the ground, her ears ringing from the unexpected noise. She looked up, and found a group of Triad appeared, guns blazing. Quickly jumped onto her feet, she rushed into the restaurant. "It's the Triad!"

"Damn it! C'mon ma!"

Toni was pulling his mother towards the back door when, out of a sudden, Toni's mother slapped Toni in the face. "They disrespected your mother! Are you going to let them get away with it?"

"But ma-"

The old woman made her way towards one of the Mafia nearby, grabbed his gun, and shoved it into Toni's hand. "Go and be a MAN!"

Toni blinked at her mother, just as the rest of the Mafia stared at the old woman with new light; she might be old, and fat, and had a big mouth, but she was also a Mafia woman through and through. Not needing further prompt, Toni and a dozen Mafia matched towards the door. "Tara, take ma to the Gentlemen's Club."

Tara nodded, and pulled the old woman out towards the back door.

~.~.~.~.~

It was luck that Tara found a Banshee parked at the back of the restaurant. Wasting no time, she unlocked the door, and pushed the old woman into the car, before jumping into the driver seat. She was expecting the Triad to show up and started shooting at them - but she was not expecting the sound of helicopter and the gunshots coming from above.

The LCPD was shooting at them.

"Hang tight!" Tara screamed, and stepped on the gas pedal, hard. The car shot forward, and Tara navigated her way towards the Gentlemen's Club, while trying to duck the bullets that were aiming at them. Her mind was half wondering how the police would appeared so quickly, but any question would have to put aside when she found two police cars parked at the entrance of the Gentlemen's Club, effectively blocking the entrance.

"Hit them!"

Tara bit her lips, ignoring the brave (or rather stupid) suggestion from Ma Cipriani; Banchee might be fast, but it was not built to be a bumper car; with the police cars chasing after them and the bullets coming from the helicopter above, Tara was sure the car would not last any longer, let alone driving through two police cars. Instead, Tara pulled hard on the hand brake while turning the wheel, making the car spun and did a 180 degrees turn, before speeding it down towards the Red Light District.

The only hope now was to reach Pay'n'Spray before the car exploded.

"What are you doing? Go back!"

Tara ignored the old woman again and focused on the road as she dodged the police cars that were chasing after them. She could see smoke started to come out from the car engine, just as their saviour appeared as the form of the Pay'n'Spray just around the corner.

Pulling hard the hand break for the second time, Tara did a 360, and drove into the Pay'n'Spray.

~.~.~.~.~

Tara drove towards the Gentlemen's Club, her eyes keeping watch for any cops or Triad on route. Ma Cipriani had gone quiet once she noticed the massive damage to the car at the paint shop, and Tara was grateful for it.

Finally reaching the Gentlemen's Club, Tara sighed in relieve that the two police cars had gone, and drove straight to the garage. "Where's Toni?" She asked one of the Mafia as they made their way towards the main floor.

Before anyone could answer, Toni, along with number of the Mafia, appeared. Ma Cipriani went to him, and the mother and son immediately fell into each other's comforting arms.

Not wanting to intrude the moment, Tara nodded goodbyes to other Mafia and left.

~.~.~.~.~