Disclaimer: I don't own any thing except for plot and certain characters. Thought I'd change things up a bit. Please let me know if you like. Enjoy!
Justin Russo huffed through his nostrils and panted as he lifted the heavy barbell over his head and brought it down to his chest, only to lift it once more.
He did this 15 times before placing the barbell back onto it's wrack and staring, from his spot on the cushiony work out bench, up at the far off ceiling of the gym he was in.
His eyes narrowed up at the ceiling and his stare turned into a glare as he played the previous conversation, with his dad, in his head.
15 minutes earlier in Jerry Russo's office at the Miami, Florida base
"Justin you've got to learn to control your temper." Jerry Russo told his eldest son, leaning over the large cherry wood desk before him and eyeing Justin.
Justin looked back at his father, jaw clenched and a defiant look on his face. He'd known right away as soon as he got the phone call from his father, what their conversation would consist of, but he wasn't going to get in trouble for something that wasn't his fault!
"If he hadn't been running his mouth so damn much, things wouldn't have gotten out of hand." The dark haired man argued.
"Justin this is the 5th guy, of mine, you've sent to the hospital since you've been with us! The 5th guy! Anyone else would've been dismissed and sent away a long time ago for this kind of violent behavior!" he explained to the 17 year old. "This can't keep happening Justin –
"He was making jokes about –
"I know what he was doing Justin!" Jerry interrupted. "And I know it wasn't right but 5 guys, Justin?! This has got to stop! The fighting has got to stop!" he finished.
"Well if you didn't hire such low lifes –
"It's got to stop!" Jerry roared, voice seemingly echoing throughout the office.
Justin sighed loudly and his, jaw clenched tightly as he quickly leaned up to the front of his seat. He looked very much like he wanted to say something, but he soon threw himself back into the back of his seat and was quiet. He could tell from the tone of his father's voice that his words were unnegotiable.
"Now…" Jerry sighed, sensing that his son was finally ready to listen. "You're good at what you do, Justin. You're one of the best guys I have, not to mention you're my son…I don't want to do this, but if you let this happen again…you're going to have to leave –
"What?! Leave the business?! You can't do that!" Justin objected, looking both surprised and outraged at his father's words.
"I can, and I will" Jerry spoke with finality." I will not show favoritism just because you're my son, Justin." He informed the young man before him. "Now I don't want it to come to that though, so son…don't let this happen again." He firmly told Justin. "No more fighting." Jerry finished, a stern look on his face.
Justin didn't answer. He just sat there, his face the epitome of the word "agitated." He was never one to let anyone speak to him any kind of way, he knew this and his father knew this; heck everyone knew it. The thought of not being able to do any thing about people who crossed the line, people who disrespected him, or people he just did not like, was not a comfortable thought.
"Understand, Justin?" Jerry spoke, voice loud and strict.
Justin didn't say anything. His jaw clenched tightly and he balled his hands into fist, still livid at the ultimatum his dad had presented to him.
"Understand?" Jerry repeated, voice louder than before.
"Yeah, alright. Whatever, no fighting. Got it." Justin spoke before angrily rising from his seat.
"Hey!" Jerry spoke. Justin could hear the anger in his voice and turned around to meet the disapproving eyes of his, still seated, father. "You don't leave until I dismiss you; don't forget yourself." He reprimanded the 17 year old, glare heated and meaningful on his face.
Justin nodded, suddenly embarrassed by his actions. He knew better than to leave his father's presence before being dismissed. Although he was angry, he still needed to act accordingly and not childishly.
"Sorry" he muttered before retaking his seat.
"I want you and your crew to run out to the docks. There's a shipment coming in today. Should be in sometime between the next half hour and 8 o'clock tonight. I need you guys there to pickup." Jerry finished.
"Alright. We'll be there." Justin told his father, a business-like, non-playing look on his face.
"Good" Jerry spoke. "Now get out of here."
Justin sighed at the thought of the conversation before retrieving the barbell from its position and proceeding to do 15 more lifts.
He couldn't believe it had come to this. He was now on probation for fighting. He couldn't fight anymore of his dad's workers and if he did, he'd have to leave the family business and he was not doing that.
Justin placed the barbell back onto its wrack and then sat up into an upright position. He looked around the large gym of his family's Miami base.
There were many of his dad's workers scattered around the gym. Ten of them were immersed in a basketball game. Four of them were over in the weight section with him and were lifting passionately. Eight of them were watching and cheering on the basketball players and three of them were talking off to the side.
Justin glanced down at the silver Rolex on his right wrist, wondering when his crew would arrive so that they could head down to the docks. He had called them immediately after leaving his father's office and had then decided to work off some of his anger. It had only been slightly effective.
Maybe just a little more lifting will calm me down to the point where I can at least go to the docks with a straight head…the 17 year old thought to himself, moving to lay down once more when suddenly a loud bang resonated throughout the gym as the doors loudly banged open. Justin looked up in the direction of the noise and felt his mood lift substantially at the surprising visitor.
A smile lit the Mob Prince's face as his eyes landed on the one person who could always make him smile, no matter what the circumstance.
It was ironic that the one person, who could always make him smile, was also the one person who could rile him up like no other and make him angrier than a bull trapped in a red room.
Alex walked towards him, eyes sparkling as she did so and a wide smile across her face. She waved at her brother and he casually nodded his head in return, small smile still present on his face as he stared at his sister. She was wearing a white sundress with matching white and brown sandals. She had a pair of simple yet gorgeous diamond studs in her ears. Her make up was minimal and simple as always. She was beautiful, the most delicate display of beauty he had ever seen.
Judging by her cheerful demeanor, she was speaking to him again; Justin realized, thinking back to the argument they'd had that morning. There hadn't been any thing particularly unusual that they'd fought over; in fact Justin couldn't even remember what they'd been fighting over. They fought all the time.
During his journey over her body, Justin's eyes paused as he noticed a small white card in Alex's hand. He remembered right away that today had been the day Alex had planned to finally take her driver's test. Could this be her license? Had she gotten it?!
He looked back up at Alex, a meaningful questioning look in his eyes as he eyed the card once more before looking back up at his sister.
She nodded excitedly, answering Justin's non-verbal question.
It was her license; she had gotten it.
Justin raised his eyebrows at her, a look of jovial interest on his face, but his smile soon faltered as voices broke through his and Alex's silent conversation.
"Look who's here." Justin heard one of his dad's workers say just loud enough for him to hear.
Justin glanced sideways, breaking eye contact with Alex as his eyes landed on Smitty, the 25 year old who had spoken. Justin silently wondered when the man had entered the gym since he certainly would've noticed, considering he had never took much of a liking to the older man, who's eyes were glued onto Alex. Justin did not like the suggestive tone in the other man's sentence.
"Damn." Bobby, a 22 year old worker, muttered in obvious agreement to Smitty's suggestive tone as he stared unyieldingly at Alex.
Justin felt his blood start to boil at the way the man was hungrily ogling Alex and at the same moment he noticed that all of the workers in the gym had seemingly stopped what they were doing and were staring at his sister.
"She sure is sexy." Fabio, one of his dad's older employees, put in.
Justin's jaw began to clench at the 30 year old's comment. Any normal day, this situation would've resulted to Justin angrily punching Fabio in his ribs and beating him and both of his buddies until it hurt him to hit, but today he was on probation and he couldn't do that. He couldn't fight.
"What I wouldn't give to have my way with her." Smitty spoke, the young looking, bald-headed, and well built man biting his lip suggestively.
Justin's hands balled into fists as he glared angrily at the muscular man; he noticed several head nods throughout the gym; this did nothing to calm his rising anger. How dare these men look at Alex the way they were!!
"Dream on. You'd sooner get with a man before Alex Russo gave some to you." Bobby spoke, echoing Smitty's comment. "Everyone knows she's high maintenance."
"I could get her though." The 25 year old spoke with a devious glint in his eyes.
Justin had to bite his lip to keep from saying anything. I'm on probation. He continuously reminded himself. He couldn't get angry and start a fight.
He fiercely fought to control his out of control temper. He'd ruin every thing for himself if he let something happen. It was damn hard to restrain himself though, with the way Smitty was looking at his sister. He wanted nothing more than to beat the living crap out of the guy, or at least knock the crap out of him.
"The boss would kill you if you did." Fabio reminded, not even wanting to imagine the things Jerry Russo would do to anyone who "violated" his precious daughter.
"It'd be worth it though." The 25 year old echoed, looking at Alex with lust filled eyes.
Justin was now struggling intensely to keep his anger in check. His fists were clenched so tightly that it was painful, immensely painful.
"Check out those cups…" Smitty continued, eyes zeroing in on Alex's nicely sized breasts.
Justin's eyes squeezed shut as he willed himself to stay silent and stay stationary, but he was quickly losing his composure at the men's graphic talk about his sister's appearance.
"And those legs..." Fabio echoed, ogling Alex's perfect legs.
"You guys better shut the fuck up." Justin growled, finally breaking as he rounded on the three workers and glared dangerously as he pointed a threatening finger at them. "None of you bitches are even half as good as she deserves so shut the fuck up." He spoke out through gritted teeth, fighting to keep from lashing out and taking on all three of the men before him. Lord knew he would do it in a heartbeat if he could.
Every set of eyes in the gym left Alex and focused instead on the visibly very angry Justin.
"Don't get him started guys. You know he's overprotective of his sister." Bobby told his two companions, looking slightly nervous as he thought back to the fight (more like physical beating) he had witnessed the previous week between Justin and another one of the older workers. Everyone else in the gym seemed to agree with his reasoning and went back to their previous work outs and tasks; his two companions however, appeared unphased by Justin's outburst.
"Calm down Jr. we're only talking." Fabio waved off. This sign of opposition gained the attention of nearly all the workers in the busy gym. They were torn between watching the unraveling plot and running clear out of the vicinity; many soon decided on secretly watching, attempting to be immersed in conversation and weight lifting while really watching the entire altercation that was unfolding before them.
"Yeah, and your old ass is half her age so shut the fuck up before I shove my fist into your fucking throat." Justin roared back at the older man.
"Hey!" Smitty spoke up, coming to stand in front of Fabio as he stared challenging at a livid Justin. "Calm down little tike. That mouth is going to get you into a lot trouble." He sneered.
"How bout we start some trouble now "Smit?!"" Justin threw back, wanting nothing more than to wipe the menacing grin off of the older man's face.
"Now now young one; I don't think daddy dearest would appreciate you getting into a fight with one of his best workers." The 25 year old spoke, feigning a look of disappointment. "Might get you into trouble." He finished, chuckling as he eyed Justin with a boasting and meaningful stare.
Justin glared coldly and lividly at the smirking man before him, wondering how in the world he knew about his probation.
He growled out in frustration, fists clenched at his sides. This man had been talking about his sister! He had been talking about Alex and having sexual relations with her, and now he was openly challenging him, and Justin couldn't do a damn thing about it. He was livid, borderline crazy at having to restrain from fighting the man before him.
"I swear to god I'm going to beat the fucking crap out of you, you worthless fuck." He angrily exclaimed.
"Really?...When?" Smitty threw back, knowing very well that it would not be happening then.
Justin was furious. "Soon motherfucker! That's a promise." He told the older man before turning on his heels.
"Looking forward to it Jr.!" Smitty spoke to the back of a retreating Justin.
It took every fiber of Justin's being to keep him from turning around and punching Smitty dead across his thick jaw. Every retreating step he took was literally painful for Justin who never backed down from a fight. NEVER.
"Here she comes guys." He heard Smitty say before a chorus of "Hello Alex's" was heard around the gym.
Justin continued to storm out of the gym. He had to get out of there before he really did start a fight.
He was unaware of the crowd of nearly thirty guys crowding around his sister as if she were some extremely famous celebrity. Of course they did nothing but attempt to talk to her. They'd be found dead in some river if they did any more.
"What brings you here, baby doll?" he heard Smitty's unmistakable voice through the many other garbled voices.
Only I can call her that! Justin thought furiously as he swore to himself that he would in fact, no matter what the consequences might be, fight Smitty and kick his ass worst than any of the other men he'd fought. He would pay.
"You look very nice today." Justin heard Fabio yell.
"Thank you. I'm here to see Justin though; Where'd he –
Alex started before her eyes finally broke through the crowd and landed on Justin as he walked through the door that led to the locker room. She hadn't seen much of him before he'd disappeared into the room but judging from his tense stance and clenched fists, he was angry. She could tell this. His anger was nearly radiating off of him.
"Excuse me." She suddenly said, her eyes still fixed on the room her brother had just entered. She broke through the crowd and ran across the gym until she finally reached the locker room. She quickly busted into the men's locker room and what she saw inside, made her stop in her tracks. Justin was wildly storming around the locker room, he was punching and kicking the lockers and causing a whole lot of damage to them too. He was a lot stronger than he'd been a year ago.
"Justin!" Alex exclaimed in concern as she watched her brother basically destroy the locker room. He was going to destroy every thing or worst, seriously hurt himself.
"Stop it!" she attempted once more to the wild and out of control man before her.
Alex's voice was only a distant sound to Justin as memories flooded his mind and voices filled his head. He heard Smitty, Fabio, and Bobby's sexual comments and his anger flared. He heard Smitty's challenging words and his anger boiled over as he paused in front of one of the lockers and began to let all of his anger and frustration out of him. He punched it continuously.
"Justin, stop!!" Alex attempted with even more passion than before. "Damn it! Justin please calm down!" she screamed. He was seriously going to hurt himself.
Justin did not stop though. He punched the locker over and over again. He heard Smitty's taunting words, he saw his menacing smile; he saw a young teen being shot and he saw himself running over to the bleeding and dead teen whom was his friend.
At this random but familiar flashback Justin collapsed into the obliterated locker, completely emotionally worn.
His sister's presence became noticeable and less distant to the emotionally defeated man and the voices and images disappeared.
"Justin" Alex whimpered, staring down in horror at her brother's bleeding knuckles. Her eyes became watery at the sight and she wrapped delicate hands around her brother's waist.
He was slightly limp as he fell into her grasp and she led him over to the single center bench in the locker room.
"Wait here." She instructed before running into the hall and heading towards the ice machine.
Justin wrenched his mind away from the painful childhood memory that had invaded his angry thoughts. It was a memory he didn't like to think about, a memory he would not think about. There were more pressing issues, issues that he could change. None of those men would ever be with Alex. None. Ever.
Alex hastily reentered the locker room, a bag of ice in hand.
"Here" she spoke softly, kneeling on the ground in front of Justin, grabbing his left fist into her hands, and gently pressing the ice onto it.
"Gosh Justin! What's wrong?!" Alex demanded staring up at her brother who now looked much less worn out and much more angry. Justin didn't answer; he only silently glared at the clench fists resting in his sister's hands, thinking of the comments the men had made, only seconds ago, about his sister.
Alex sighed before taking a seat next to the angry 17 year old and releasing his injured hand. "What happened, Justin?" she softly attempted once more, voice taking on a more concerned tone. "What's wrong?" she questioned, reaching up and slowly running her fingers into and through the soft, curly strands of hair on Justin's upper neck, an action she knew calmed him.
"Why do you have to dress like that in front of them?" he spoke quietly, more quietly than Alex had anticipated him to sound, anger disintegrating. Then suddenly he jerked away from his sister's gentle touch. "Stop it." He told her, briefly glancing/glaring at her before continuing his silent glare at his hands.
"I need to calm you down." Alex protested lifting and placing her legs beneath her to gain some elevation over her brother. "You need to calm –
"I don't want to calm down Alex!" Justin exclaimed, interrupting his younger sister mid-sentence as he openly glared at her, anger resurfacing. "Why do you have to dress like that in front of them?!" he demanded, looking her over.
"Dress like what, Justin?!" Alex threw back, rising from her seat, anger and frustration in her voice. "I'm not dressed any outrageous way! I'm wearing a simple sun dress; what is the problem?!" she demanded back, pacing in front of her brother, her emotions confusing and scattered.
Justin ran a frustrated hand through his short hair before sighing. He knew he was being ridiculous. He was letting his anger and frustration out on his sister and that was the last thing he wanted to do. She didn't deserve that.
"I don't…" he started, jaw clenched in anger as he eyed his sister with eyes of contempt. "I don't like the way they talk about you." He finally let out, teeth gritted at the mere thought of the men's words.
"How do they talk about me, Justin?" Alex asked a stubborn hand on her hip and a questioning arched eyebrow on her face, still frazzled by his previous rampage. Justin fell silent and Alex sighed after a few silent seconds. "What do they say?" she attempted in a gentler tone.
"Stuff" Justin muttered. He wasn't about to repeat their words, mostly because he was slightly embarrassed by how angry they had made him, more angry than they should've made him. That's what happened when anger mingled with other passionate emotions.
"And when they look at you the way they do…" he growled, remembering the hungry and lustful way Smitty had stared at Alex.
"Oh; it's like that." The beautiful brunette nodded in realization, understanding finally dawning on her as she sat down once more, legs tucked beneath her as she looked down at her brother.
"Yeah. Like that." Justin sighed biting down on his lip in still obvious anger.
"You're too over-protective Justin. I can handle myself in those kinds of situations." Alex told him, slightly amused and a little touched that Justin had been so angry because of comments other men had made about her. "You've got to learn to control that temper of yours." She added in an admonishing tone. Justin didn't need to be wrecking locker rooms whether it was about her or not. At least he hadn't started a fight though…
"Whatever Alex. I don't like it." Justin told her, looking at her with serious eyes. "And I don't want them around you cat calling, calling you baby doll, and acting like a bunch of sex-deprived lunatics." He rambled, gray eyes shining passionately.
Alex eyed her brother affectionately. Sometimes he was just too predictable; she loved it.
"Oh you." she breathed lovingly, a knowing tone in her voice as she elevated herself until she was up on her knees. She ran her hands up Justin's neck and into his hair. "You're too possessive for your own good, you know that." She spoke softly, running her fingers through his soft hair.
"Well you're my sister." He grumbled defiantly, wrapping his arms around her waist in a possessive manner and burying his face into the area below her collar bone.
"And you're my attention seeking – no, attention demanding brother." She smiled, sighing as she felt Justin softly move his fingers up and down her sides.
"Was that a driver's license I saw you holding earlier?" he mumbled into Alex's warm skin, vibrations tickling the brown-eyed girl.
She giggled at the feeling and the playful and proud tone of her brother's voice.
"It most certainly was." She grinned and Justin moved his head so that he was now looking up at her, arms wrapped around her all the while.
"I knew you'd get it." He grinned at the happy smile on his sister's face. "It's a real shame for those other licensed drivers though. They'll have to be way more alert with you out on the road." The dark haired man rambled.
"Ha Ha" Alex laughed dryly, "Well with that kind of attitude you can just find a new sister to be over-protective of." She informed, moving to break free of Justin's hold.
"I'm kidding!" he chuckled, wrapping his arms tighter around the half Mexican, half Italian princess. "I'm gonna take you somewhere to celebrate!...Out to eat…any place, you pick." He told her just as someone abruptly entered the locker room. It was Smitty.
"Hey Jr. your crew is here." He told Justin, taking note of his and Alex's close vicinity and seething inside at the sight.
"Fuck off" Justin said to the man, who was the last person he had wanted to see.
Smitty visibly scowled/sneered before exiting the locker room.
Justin turned to Alex, an apologetic smile on his face.
"I've got to go…business." He informed her, standing up from the bench. "Rain check?" he questioned.
"Yeah yeah" Alex drawled, as they both exited the locker room.
Justin couldn't help but smile at the typical "Alex" respond. He sighed before reaching out and rubbing up and down Alex's arms attempting to warm her from the cold air conditioning inside the building.
"I don't want you hanging around these guys." He told her, hands stilling on her arms for a brief moment before they retreated back to his sides.
"As if I would ever come here if you or dad wasn't here!" Alex scoffed, smiling teasingly up at her older brother.
"Just making sure." He informed before reaching into his back pocket. "Here." He said, retrieving several hundred dollar bills from his wallet and handing them to his sister. "Go shopping with Harper and by yourself something nice." He told her, folding the money up and placing it into her hands.
"Justin, no. It's too much." She told him, like she always did when he gave her money.
"Take it. I'm proud of you." He told her, pulling her into a hug. They both embraced, enjoying the feel of the other's arms around them. Justin gently brought his lips down to Alex's head and affectionately kissed the top of it.
"Thanks" Alex whispered, finally breaking away from the hug. Justin smiled in return before moving his head to the side in a meaningful gesture.
"Get" he told her, eyes twinkling playfully as he smiled down at his beautiful sister.
"Be careful." She told him, a small concerned smile on her face as she turned and finally exited the building.
Author's note: Well that's it for chapter one. There will definitely be more chapters if you all enjoyed this one. I am honestly on the fence about how you guys will react to it. I hope it doesn't end up on my wall of shame. Anyways, there are lots of mysteries to be solved, lots of minimal information to be elaborated on and trust me the light will be shed on these things. Right now you have a little feel of the characters, that indeed APPEAR to be slightly different from their original counterparts but trust me, I love their characters and intend on keeping them true, just wait! Please review and let me know what you though! Sorry for any mistakes (I REALLY wanted to get it up for you guys!) God bless!!