I hope you enjoy this small teaser of The Bartello. If you have any questions or comments, please email me. I am looking forward to your thoughts and ideas.
Today was the end of the beginning for Franco Valencia. His life was all but perfect until this unfortunate event happened. He had everything to live for and nothing to gain. Never in his life had he a reason to fear anything. Love has a way of bringing every man to his knees. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
“I’m so scared."
“Don’t be afraid, I’m right here beside you," Franco reassured her.
Those words from Cecilia would resonate with him eternally and lead him on a path of torment and devastation. He would learn the true meaning of being scared and embrace the fear he felt inside. It would be the last time he would hold her in his arms. Eventually, all things wither away and die.
An hour earlier, Franco Valencia had lowered his martini to look over the crowd in the room. The smell of booze lingered but it didn’t seem to bother anyone. In fact, the patrons seemed to relish in the fact there was an over abundance of drinks for everyone. Waiters dressed in black suit coats served bottles of gin with a small white cloth draped over their arms. Beyond the steps leading down to the main floor of the room, people were dancing to the live band playing up on stage. Many of the men dressed in black tuxedos wore a top hat above their head. Franco was one of them and the tall hat seemed to fit his image perfectly with a small white flower pinned to his lapel. He leaned back against the bar watching the beautiful woman dancing in their sleek evening dresses that flared out to the hem.
Walking towards the bar was the most gorgeous woman in the room. The black dress she wore highlighted every single perfect curve of her body and her bosoms were gushing out the front. She walked with a swagger of a woman confidant of her beauty, swinging those sensual hips back and forth, as if hip checking every guy in the room. Slowly stepping up the stairs her eyes locked onto Franco’s and her ruby lips puckered up. Every man in the room was envious when she wrapped the feathered boa around Franco’s neck and tugged at his tuxedo.
Franco grabbed the woman tightly by her slim waist pulling her close and kissed her lips. He knew every man in the club was looking at him now but he deserved it. An older gentleman himself, he was equally as handsome with dark flowing hair and a tinge of gray on the sides. A well-dressed man and everything about him seemed to ooze with confidence.
“Why am I so lucky to have the wealthiest man in the room?” she asked, leaning her head into his side.
“You know why Cecilia. You’re the most beautiful woman in all of Chicago.” Franco stared into her crystal blue eyes.
The band was playing a version of ‘I Got Rhythm’ by George Gershwin and people were dancing on the lower floor in the room. The man on the piano seemed very happy, pounding on the ivory keyboard, the trumpet players blaring to the side. Woman were kicking their feet back and forth to the rhythm, tossing the pearls about their necks. Men laughed holding martinis that spilled and smoke filled the air. Everyone in the place seemed so alive, laughing and dancing to the music that was playing.
“Not everyone is so lucky. They say we’re in a depression, since the stock market crashed,” Cecilia told him.
Franco started to laugh and held out his martini glass for another while a waiter poured it, “Don’t you worry about a thing, that stock market thing is a fluke and it’s going to blow over real soon, you’ll see.”
“I hope so.” Cecilia tipped her glass to his.
“To us. He smiled and downed the next martini.“To us.” Her sultry eyes were locked on his while she sipped her martini.