The Vendetti Coward by Sapphire Knight

While I strive to be as authentic as possible in all languages I incorporate, there may be a mistake in here, although verified through several sources.

It’s fiction. Please read it for the story. Thank you.





Don’t judge my choices

when you don’t understand

my reasons.

- Mafia Style





I have a daughter… The severity hits me again for the thousandth time since my brother told me the news. She deserves more than me. Hell, any of my brothers would’ve been an improvement when compared to me. You see, I’m the drunk of the famiglia. The embarrassment.

Having Romano for a father, can you blame me for wanting to wash everything away? He was a nightmare, yet all we knew, aside from a vanishing mother and the nannies who attempted to fill her place. He was determined his sons would become the perfecto soldati—merciless and cold. He succeeded with a few of us, but not me… I buried myself away every chance I got, always feeling far too much.

I never expected this to happen, to be told I’m the father of an innocent bambina. I don’t remember sleeping with her mother in the first place, but apparently we did on more than one occasion, considering she got pregnant. Not only that, but it never should’ve happened. I’ve had a vasectomy for many years, yet it appears our Vendetti name lives up to its full potential. What am I supposed to do with a child, when I can’t stay sober for more than a month or two?

It’s not just alcohol either. No, I like my poisons in a wide variety, no biases where my escape is concerned, so long as it happens. My not-so-secret habit began as a young teen, sneaking the wine from church. Once the alcohol took effect and it blurred my life, I couldn’t seem to get enough. From there, it blossomed into a full-blown obsession. I was fixated on forgetting the responsibilities bestowed on me by my last name, by the Capo dei tutti.

With Matteo as the first, there was no way I could ever compare, no matter how hard I may’ve tried when I was a boy. Not that I can blame Matteo for being the man he is. If anything, I owe him my life. To say Father wasn’t amused with me shirking my duties is a gross understatement. I was destined to one day be the underboss. I’m number two, and there’s plenty of weight that comes with that title. I fucked off any chance I got, determined to escape. It ruined my life, made me a complete failure to the Vendetti legacy, but in the end, my burden was passed on to the right brother.

Number three, Valentino fucking perfect Vendetti, has so eloquently stepped up to fill the shoes of underboss. I got what I wanted: I won. Romano attempted to beat the failure out of me many times over the years when I was growing up, but Matteo and Valentino took the brunt of it for me. I coped with the guilt by drinking more, drowning out my emotions. What else could I do? I was used to being the coward at that point, the disappointment. It sounds like I’m angry, but I’m not. Quite the opposite actually. I’m grateful Valentino wanted to be Matteo’s sidekick so badly he’d have killed me for the spot.

This is the first time I’ve been sent to a full-fledged rehabilitation center. Romano had people come to the estate, determined to keep my transgressions quiet. Or else he’d threaten to kill me until I’d disappear for days at a time, and he’d become distracted with something else. Matteo, however, has never pressured me like Romano did constantly. I know he’s always wanted me to get better, to be the fratello he could count on, but he never pushed. He’d reprimand me here and there, sure, but he never threatened to send me away or put me through the hell our dear old ‘Papa’ had so often. Matteo gave me options and never took his love from me when I didn’t measure up, and for that, I’d die for him.

The Capo dei capi is one hundred percent the head of our blackened famiglia, and for the first time in my life, he flexed his power over me. Our youngest fratello, Cristiano, was determined we’d get a paternity test, even though we’d previously agreed we never would. I thought it was ridiculous as I’d had a vasectomy, yet Matteo insisted I take part. That test changed my life forever.

I was in a drunken stupor, lying naked in the middle of my bed, when Matteo had furiously stormed into my room, men in tow. His men, who I’d grown up around since I was merely a boy, stuffed me into my robe and carried me out the back of the estate. I was loaded into one of the blacked-out SUVs, and the next time I’d woken, I was craving more of anything to dull my senses, I was in Upstate New York at a ritzy rehabilitation center. Severo, Matteo’s main guard, was left behind, along with a letter explaining what was happening.