Part Twenty Five
by sarAdora ~~~~~~~~~~
"I apologize, Sporgenza Boss," Francesca's bodyguard coughed when he called the Godfather late in the afternoon. "I know your signora looks forward to working at the shelter but I was unable to see straight... the flu... I'll be able to take her next time. My word on it," he promised.
"Have you seen Francesca?" Giancarlo asked his mother when he had been unable to find her in the house. "Has she gone shopping?"
"It's her shelter day," his mother reminded him. "She should be back any time now."
"Sal called in sick this morning; he couldn't go with her, today," Giancarlo said softly.
There was a poignant moment of silence between mother and son and then the Batali matriarch shook her head, waving the unspoken fears away. "She probably went shopping," his mother replied as she watched her favorite afternoon television program. "Did you call Angelina? Maybe she's with her or with one of her friends. Don't worry, mio bambino. She'll be home soon."
She hadn't answered her cell phone and Angelina said she didn't speak to Francesca that day and she couldn't be found in any of the usual places she favored. Giancarlo imagined the worst but tried to keep his fear in check. If something has happened to her...
Francesca was surprised at how late it was when she looked at her watch. Sal always let her know when it was time to leave; she had lost track of the time and hurriedly said goodbye. She started to call Giancarlo to tell him she was running late but then realized her cell phone was dead; she had forgotten to charge it. Her driver said nothing when she told him to take her home; it wasn't his place to tell the Godfather's wife that she shouldn't have been at the shelter without Sal.
A small contingent of men were just exiting the Batali compound to look for Francesca when her car arrived. The Godfather had given them explicit orders to be careful that she didn't come to harm, but whoever had taken her... whoever had her... he wanted alive. When the men saw her arrive unharmed, they breathed a collective sigh of relief; no one wanted a mafioso war and if any harm had come to the wife of il Padre del Dio della Familia Batali the Godfather of the Batali Family... Hell would be a welcome place in comparison.
It only took seconds for Giancarlo to realize where Francesca had spent the day... alone in the shelter without her bodyguard... a place he allowed her to go with the restriction that she never be there without him. Not knowing where she had been, his imagination had conjured up all the horrible things that could have happened to her as well as all the horrendous events that could have followed if she had come to harm. Only his need to see her safe had kept the adrenaline surge at bay.
And there she was... no worse for wear, getting out of the car as if the world hadn't stopped spinning when he thought she might have come to harm. His fear was quickly replaced by rising anger at her recklessness but he kept it hidden behind a warm smile and an even warmer and heartfelt embrace when she entered the house.
"Go upstairs and wait for me," he told her, his voice soft in her ear. "We'll have a private evening... just the two of us. Put on that pretty red nightgown."
Francesca smiled at his words, kissed him on the cheek and hurried to their bedroom. They would kiss and cuddle and have dinner in their room and kiss and cuddle some more.
Seeing her dressed in the sheer red nightgown and matching peignoir he had bought for her... he almost forget his anger. Her long curly hair brushed her shoulders, the gown's décolletage plunged invitingly and her breasts were clearly visible.
His mouth watered and his libido rose to the occasion.
"Mia amore," he murmured as he reached her, clasped her warm sweet body to his, kissed her deeply and then abruptly sat on the side of the bed, dragging her over his lap.
"Did you enjoy your day?" he asked as he swept her gown and peignoir out of the way, baring her ivory cheeks.
It was useless to deny her whereabouts; the driver would answer any questions directed at him so she spoke truthfully. "It was my day at the shelter. Why are you spanking me?"
"And you went without Sal," he growled as his hand clapped off her bottom. "You knew I would not allow this," he said, each word increasing in volume and punctuated by a hard swat. "You told no one where you were or that Sal was not with you. And worse, you deceived me!"
Francesca squirmed, wiggled, shrieked with pain, begged him to stop and pleaded with him and all her efforts fell on deaf ears. Giancarlo was incensed that she had willfully and thoughtlessly put herself at risk and livid that she had acted so foolishly. He was determined to impart a lesson she would never forget and he set about doing that... his hand spanking hot and heavy and swiftly. In no time, she was gasping for breath, her body prone and limp across his lap, her cheeks flaming red.
"You will not disobey again," he said softly but firmly as he lifted her to his lap, his anger dissipated. "If you do, it will not just be my hand that burns your bottom cheeks. I will use your hairbrush *and* my belt. Is that clear?" he asked.
Francesca remained silent, tears streaming down her face and considered her options as he spoke. When he cupped her chin to stare into her eyes, she lifted a hand and slapped his face... hard.
He was stunned.
The only other person who had seriously assaulted Giancarlo Ruggiero Batali... the boy warrior who had avenged his father's murder... and lived... had been Dominick Marchetti when they were both 8-year olds. In retaliation, Giancarlo had broken Dom's nose and then offered his hand in friendship and his handkerchief to stem the flow of blood. Today, Dom Marchetti was Giancarlo's right-hand man, his personal attorney and consiglieri advisor, the bond between them stronger than most marriages.
Francesca drew her hand back to slap her husband again and when she did, he grabbed it, kissed her hard, stopping her assault. When he let her up for air, he flipped her back over his lap and spanked her again. His hand was swift, heavy and relentless as he turned her cherry red cheeks to a deep carmine, bordering on purple.
At the onset of unbelievable pain, Francesca screamed once and then bit her lip to keep from screaming further. Giancarlo remained silent while he bruised her bottom and when his hand and arm eventually tired, he lifted her and stood her in a corner of their bedroom, holding her in place.
"You will stay here, bambina, until I tell you that you may move."
As he turned away from her, Francesca, barely able to stand after the bruising spanking, turned around and kicked him, catching the side of his knee. "Maiale! Pig!" she shouted just before she lost her balance and slipped to the carpeted floor.
He grabbed her shoulders, lifting her off the floor and went nose-to-nose with his hellion bride. "Don't fight me, Francesca!" he warned. "I assure you, you'll lose."
"Maiale! Pig!" she repeated and spat at him.
Sighing heavily, he pulled her into his embrace, tightening his arms around her and took several calming breaths. "Piccola Little one," he murmured, kissing her brow. "You cannot win. Obey me and life will be easier for you."
"I will *not* stand in a corner," she hissed at him, barely able to breathe while he held her so tightly.
"You will do as I say," he answered calmly considering the circumstances and not at all used to disobedience.
"I will do as I please and corners do not please me," his feisty bride answered with determination in spite of the pain.
"I will spank you again," he promised as he held her gaze. "I will paddle you until the paddle breaks. I will blister your bottom with a hairbrush. Whatever it takes, you will eventually obey me. And if I say you will stand in a corner, you will stand in a corner."
"If you're planning to beat me into submission, you may as well shoot me, now," she murmured, pushing against him. "You may as well kill me. I am not one of your capos or lieutenants or whores. If you cannot accept me as an equal, if you cannot... I don't expect you to love me," she whispered, ducking her head beneath his chin and suddenly wondering how this could be the same man who made love to her so tenderly and then spanked her so harshly.
"I'm not sure if it matters whether or not you even like me..." she said softly, realizing that it seemed he only wanted her near him when she agreed with him. "But..." she paused, gathering her thoughts as she looked up at the man she had married. "You don't need me. Divorce me and marry someone who will say yes to your every command. Divorce me and marry someone who will kneel if you say kneel and... and... someone who will fetch a hairbrush for you and stand in a corner if you say so."
"But... if you want a woman with intelligence and... passion," she whispered, her spine straightening as she uttered the words. "Then you have to take my independence and free spirit as well. It's all part of the package. Accept me as I am or let me go."
"I'll never let you go," he vowed, kissing her once more, his mouth claiming hers.
"Then kill me, now," she said again when she could speak. "And be done with me."
"You are not going to die," he said softly, a giant hole forming in his heart at the thought of losing her. "But you *are* going to obey me."
"No," she said in the same soft tone. "I'm not. If I don't agree with your wishes, I will not obey you."
"I'll spank you and paddle you and..."
"And beat me until I'm unconscious? Then do it now," she said with dignity and quiet determination. "If that's how life will always be with you, ora uccidalo kill me now."