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mercy_moretti in into_the_future

Hit!; Mercedes, Augusten, Vin

'Irritated' wasn't quite the word for how Mercedes Moretti was feeling as she hung up her cell phone and hauled herself up off her beach towel, snarling and snapping as she gathered up her things and headed for her rental car.

Apparently Sal didn't understand the concept of "I'm taking my vacation this week," and thought it meant that he should call her whenever some new interest struck his tiny little pea of a brain. She already did the work of three executives for the pay of a secretary, and for some reason the fact that they were cousins seemed to make Sal think he could boss her around in a way he wouldn't dare an unrelated male, just because he happened to be a few years older. If she didn't always feel the need to be on her toes if her uncle Amadeo was even so much as mentioned, she would have shoved Sal's goddamned desk nameplate down his throat a long time ago.

Now, though, not only was he cutting her Italy vacation short (her first real vacation in five damned years), but he wanted her to take on the duties of one of his Italy contacts who he did not feel the need to interrupt the vacation of. Not for the first time, Mercedes wished Sal would choke to death on something, like the very expensive pen she was going to stab him in the face with when she got home.

She snapped open her cell phone on the way back to the car, making two phone calls as she headed for Positano. She was starting to debate on whether it was really worth it to have principles, figuring maybe it was time to just give in and start sleeping her way to the top somewhere else, if for no other reason than to get the fuck out from under Sal. It was an idea she only toyed with, knowing full well that if she ever left the walls of a Moretti-owned company they'd probably stab her in the back so she couldn't tell anybody anything she knew.

Mercedes was expected when she arrived in Positano, by a group of five men who didn't take her seriously until she kneed one in the balls for trying to grab her ass, a pleasant group she made a mental note to ask for a raise just for having to deal with. She gave them the address of a villa by the coast, a description of who was there and what they were to do (kill the three kids and the security personel, take the tall brunette male as a useful hostage with minimal damage), and gave them half of their payment in advance for the job.

From there it was a wait, about an hour or two, before the brunette in question came out to go shopping. He had the two baby boys with him, as well as two security guards and the very recognizable head of Giovanni security, who took the wheel of the car instead of the usual driver.

There was a stretch of road into town, mostly quiet and perfect for their needs, and Mercedes remained back safely on high ground where she could see everything clearly. She'd already put together the sniper rifle from the case at her side, set it up on the tripod and settled in to wait. As the car finally came into view, she waited until hit had reached a good speed on the open road before she fired twice.

The first bullet was intended for the driver but missed and hit the lower level security guard in the passenger seat, killing him instantly. The second hit the front tire and blew it out, and between the two distractions the car went into a spin on the road and the hired hit team moved into action, opening initial rounds of fire from where they were hidden just a small distance up the road.

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Augusten wasn't sure at that point what was possibly more scary. The fact that someone was shooting at them, and had killed one of the security personnel, or that the car was spinning around and then slammed into the embankment.

It seemed to take forever, the car swerving and then the sudden stop, but as soon as the vehicle was done moving, he removed his seatbelt without hesitation. Kneeling on the floor, he checked on the boy's, both of them crying now but seemingly unhurt. Silently thankful to have nimble fingers, Augusten did the next thing that came to mind. He unbuckled first Amadeus and then Gabriele, sweeping away the broken glass before laying them on a blanket on the floorboard between him and the side of the car that was against the bank. If anyone came to the side of the car that was exposed, he could at least shield the boy's bodies with his own.

"Allen," he called out, voice shaky at best. "ALLEN! Are you okay? What's going on?"

Though he was remaining outwardly calm, on the inside he was in a blind panic. Someone was trying to kill them, it seemed like the only thing anyone wanted to do these days, and now Serafino wasn't here. He was a world away, in the States, way out in Wyoming and far away from his family. Now it was just Augusten and Allen, and the only thing to be thankful for was that at least Jolee wasn't there.
"Just stay DOWN!" The other security guard exclaimed, pulling out his gun and peeking over the top of the seat. Allen was ducked down in the front, the car's front end shielding him from the hail of bullets.

"Everybody okay back there?" Allen called, unable to sit up to see.

"Fine, for now," the other guard, Joey, called back. "How many?"

"Five!" Allen called back. "They're still down the road, but we only have a few minutes before they start moving in. The car is armored...Joey, on my word throw open the door and use it as a shield to return fire. Augusten, you get those kids and you go, got it? Get around the bend, find somewhere to hide and stay there. We can't stay in the car, we'll be target practice when they move in!"
"I can't," Augusten said, starting to feel the panic setting in. "That's fucking crazy, Allen! You want me to take the boy's out into open gunfire?"

Closing his eyes, he took in a deep breath and collected himself. He knew that, in theory, Allen was right. They'd pick them off one by one if they stayed here, and they'd be dead either way.

Picking up the boy's, he held them against his chest and covered them with the blanket, staying low as he crawled over close to Joey's legs.

"Where am I gonna hide? We're right out in the damn open!"
"They're gonna have to duck when me and Joey start firing," Allen answered irritably, "And they're going to be more worried about getting rid of us first because we have the guns. You're gonna have until we open those doors until me and Joey are dead, and I have no fucking clue how long that's going to be, so get the fuck out and figure something out! Go!"

He kicked open his door, and Joey did the same with his, both sliding out and falling to their knees as bullets hit the windows and broke the glass. Both raised their guns and started firing at the same time, momentarily stopping the bullets coming at them as they surprised their ambushers with the offensive. Joey motioned for Augusten to get out and go as Allen fired and managed to take one of the shooters down.
Augusten scrambled out of the car with the twins and just started to go. He didn't look back, and he didn't stop, thanking God silently for all the years he'd played baseball and had built up quite a bit of speed. He turned the bend and the shooters disappeared from sight, and soon the sound was faint and far away. He ran until he couldn't breath anymore, pausing only to scope out a place to hide.

Here the road gave way on one side, dipping down gently into a rolling hill, the ocean now visible over the next curve in the road. He made his way over the slight ditch line and sat down, sliding over the bank until he couldn't be seen from anyone passing from above. It was grassy here, and quite, so he laid the twins down on their blanket, curling up around them protectively. There wasn't anything else to do now but wait. For enough time to pass to consider it safe, for Allen to come, or someone else to come. The twins grew quiet finally, cries softening to whimpers as he whispered to them soothingly, crying silently so they wouldn't know.
From her perch, Mercedes had seen Augusten run with the twins when the men down the embankment hadn't. Cursing, she shouldered her rifle and ran down and around, bypassing the fire fight on the safe side and darting after her prey. Augusten was fast, not only in shape for running but also fueled by fear, but she managed to keep him in sight until he disappeared over the hillside.

Unshouldering her rifle she followed, making her way further down before slowly slipping down over the embankment to where she could take aim from a slight distance. She lined up her shot and pulled the trigger, but to her disgust the bullet buried itself harmlessly into the side of the hill as Augusten just suddenly wasn't where he had been a moment ago.

A little ways down the embankment, Vin Giovanni pulled his pistol out of its holster and opened fire from where he lay, having thrown Augusten to the side and flattened himself over top of him as a shield. Mercedes ducked the first bullet, taking the second in the soft skin of her upper arm, which made her flatten herself to the ground for safety.

"Up," Vin exclaimed, grabbing Augusten by the arm and hauling him to his feet. He grabbed Amadeus, cradling the baby against him with one arm as he kept his gun trained on Mercedes with the other. He gestured to the road, where the black sedan had skidded to a stop, sitting idle with the door thrown open. "Up! In the car, now."
Not in the mood to argue, Augusten took Gabrielle and skidded up the bank, sliding into the backseat of the car. Breathing hard, he peeked out at the guy and had to blink hard, convincing himself it wasn't Serafino...

...even though they very easily could have passed for twins from a distance.

Scooting over to make room, he flattened himself up against the door and took Amadeus as soon as he was close enough, holding both babies tightly. Breathing in again, he rocked the babies as they started to sob again, the gunshots hurting their sensitive ears.

"Can we go? Get in the car! Let's go!"
Vin let off two more shots, making sure Mercedes stayed, down, the slid into the car. He hit the gas before his door was even shut, taking off full speed in the direction of the gunshots.

"Get your head down, hold on, this is gonna be bumpy."

Augusten got down just in time as they rounded the bend, Vin hitting the breaks and spinning the wheel. The car spun to a stop in front of the stranded Giovanni car, acting as a shield between it and the shooters. It took some damage from bullets but nothing penetrated, and he threw the door open for the security guards.

Allen was the only one left standing, bleeding from a graze on his head and a wound at his side, and he didn't question as he threw himself in and pulled the door closed. Vin threw the car back into gear, slamming on the gas and heading back the way they'd come at full speed.

He didn't slow down as they passed the place where Mercedes was only just getting up from the ground, keeping up their speed as he headed back toward the villa. He reached over to press a hand against Allen's side, driving with one hand as he looked at Augusten in the rear view mirror.

"Everyone okay?"
"Yeah," Augusten said softly, breathing hard still and trying hard to soothe the screaming baby's. He had a lot of questions but asked none of them just yet, glad when they pulled up to the villa.

Getting the kids, he climbed out and went ahead, yelling at the security guy at the door to get more men in and to lock the place down. He called for the nanny who assured him that Jolee was fine, going straight into the living room with the twins.

"I want someone to get a look at Allen, he's been shot. I don't want him leaving the villa, it isn't safe, get someone here and now. Has Serafino tried to call here? I want someone to contact him right away, and I want all of our stuff packed up NOW! We're leaving as soon as he arrives to escort us."
"He can't have called, your phone line's been cut," Vin answered, having let the security guards take over to carry Allen in. He had picked up the phone to check it, and tossed it down, useless. "They planned to get you here if you hadn't gone out."

He accepted the clean towel that was handed to him by one of the staff, carefully wiping Allen's blood away from his hands. "He's been told, he should be on his way here, though."
Augusten looked up at the stranger, still cradling both boy's and refusing to let the nanny come near enough to touch either of them. "How the hell do you know?" He snapped, eyes flashing a little. He was starting to freak out, on the verge of a total fit, even though he was trying hard to hold back for the sake of the kids.
"Because word travels fast," Vin answered, shrugging before kneeling down to make sure the man tending to Allen was careful. "Your cousin's house was robbed. They realised that only information about you and the kids was missing and tried to call you, but couldn't get you on the line. So they called Serafino instead, and then Uncle Marc was told. He called ahead to my father, and that's why I'm here."

Allen had clearly lost a lot of blood and he was woozy, but he still had enough coherence to stare at Vin and know who he was looking at, even if he wasn't sure how it was possible and it showed.
"Who are you, then?" Augusten asked, sitting down on the sofa. He laid the boy's next to him, a pillow on one side so they wouldn't roll off and get hurt. "Who's your father? Why did he send you to protect us? I want to know, so tell me. How do you know my husband?"

He rubbed the baby's bellies, sending the nanny to get warm bottles of milk. He looked up at the man, studying him. God, he looked so much like Seri it was almost frightening.
Augusten sighed and curled his fingers with Vin's, leading him through the villa and into the front hallway. He took a breath when the security guard unlocked the door and opened it from the outside, Serafino coming into view.

He let out the breath he'd taken in and held, squeezing Vin's hand a little.

"Papi..."
Serafino broke away from the brief conversation with the security guard as soon as he heard Augusten's voice. He ignored everything and everyone else, closing the distance between them and pulling him into a tight hug. He was in the middle of asking if Augusten was okay, and how the boys were, when his voice completely died.

Vin just stood there as Serafino stared at him, absently marveling at how like looking into a mirror it was. They even had the same nearly impossible height. Serafino's mouth started working, but no sound came out, and Vin could tell he new exactly who he was, and that unlike Allen he did believe what he was seeing. He clearly didn't know how, but he did know it wasn't some trick of the eyes.

Serafino stepped away from Augusten and Vin tensed automatically, waiting for his brother's notorious temper to take over. A punch to the gut, maybe a hit to the jaw, Serafino's way of dealing with things like this often left much to be desired. But Vin wasn't prepared for what did happen, which was that Serafino suddenly hugged him just as tightly as he'd hugged his husband a moment ago, surprising him and making him let out a little squeak.
"Look who showed up and saved me and the boy's, papi," Augusten said softly, stepping back to let Serafino have his moment with his brother. He bit his bottom lip, looking back and forth between the two of them and this time when he teared up the tears just started to fall.

"If Vin hadn't showed up...we'd...well...it wouldn't have been good..."

Wiping at his eyes, he took another breath and excused himself to the living room to peek in on Allen again. He exited hastily, trying to keep his emotions in better check.
Vin had expected a lot of screaming and yelling, maybe things thrown. But marriage and children had apparently changed Serafino at least a little for the better, and instead the conversation was calm and quiet. They moved to the kitchen, because Serafino definitely needed a glass or two of wine at this point, and Vin told him about their father and about where he'd been. That he'd been at Serafino's wedding, and at the baby shower for his sons, at the concert in Rome and one of his performances during a bigger tour for August Skies. He hadn't missed anything.

When they were done, Serafino went to go and see the boys. He'd been told they were safe, but he wanted to see with his own eyes, and finally he came back down to find Augusten.

"You're packed, good," he murmured, gently hugging his husband again. "I wanna get you out of here. Get you and Allen back home, where it's apparently safer."
Augusten hugged Serafino back, kissing him and then hugging him again. He didn't let go, not right away, just wanting to be held and to hold onto him in return. It was a safe feeling, and one he didn't want to lose anytime soon.

"God, I was so scared," he whispered, hiding his face against Seri's neck. "I didn't know what to do, because you weren't there. You're always there, baby, always and this time you weren't and I just...I don't know. Let's go home, and stay home, please. I thought we were gonna lose our boy's."
"I shoulda taken you with me," Serafino said softly, lightly rubbing Augusten's back. "I thought about it, but I didn't wanna be dragging the boys back and forth on a plane..." He shook his head, pulling away slightly to look at Augusten's face. "I'm sorry, babydoll, I should've kept a better eye on you guys."
"It doesn't matter now. The only thing that does is that we're all okay," Augusten said, brushing back Serafino's hair. "Let's go back to our house, and we'll take Vin with us. You two can catch up, and we'll get the boy's settled back in where they should be, and we can get somewhat back to normal. I should probably go call Atticus, while you load up the car. Lysander tried to call."
Serafino nodded, giving Augusten a light kiss. "Yeah. Call him and get Jolee and the boys ready. I wanna be on the plane in an hour."

He let him go, very reluctantly, and then he and Vin went to load up the car and get Allen settled in comfortably. They didn't speak, but one would have thought they'd choreographed their movements for efficiency, each simply seeming to know what the other was thinking.

Finally Serafino asked where Vin was staying, and was told that his brother had flats in Rome, Philadelphia, Paris and Ontario. There was no need for him to pack, he'd been going back and forth recently and the Philadelphia flat was ready and lived-in.

Serafino helped Augusten get the boys out to the car, which was flanked now by two other black sedans with security personnel to escort them to the airport.
Augusten was glad to be in the car and heading for the plane that would take them home, one arm around Jolee and the other holding Serafino by the hand. He felt tired now, drained and just worn down in general, laying his head on his husband's shoulder.

"Vin, come and stay with us for awhile," he said, looking at him from across the narrow aisle way. "We have plenty of room, and I know that Seri will want to spend time with you. Him and Allen can stay in the guest rooms, papi. Can they?"

He tilted his head to look up at his husband, a pout on his face. "Please?"
"Um, that's nice of you," Vin answered, looking both surprised and fairly awkward. "But I do have my own place, and it's not all that far from yours. I'd feel like I was intruding."

Serafino shrugged, looking down at Augusten, settling an arm around him. "It's fine with me, baby, but if he doesn't want to it's not like I'm gonna make him. But I do think Allen should have a room at the house whether he wants it or not. Old man's gotta take a breather for once in his life."
"I want you to come and stay," Augusten said, looking at Vin. He said this in one of his special tones, the very pouty 'I want this make it happen' tone that was reserved for very special sorts of occasions. "In the guest room. So I can take care of you for awhile. Because that's what I want."
Vin looked at Serafino with an uncertain expression on his face, one that Serafino knew well. It was the 'oh my God help me, I'm getting female in distress must help vibes from the boy sitting across from me and it's confusing my brain' expression, one that he was sure he'd had on his face quite often when first beginning to deal with Augusten.

"Don't look at me," he answered, raising his hands in surrender as they arrived at the airport. "It'll only get worse from here if you keep saying no."

Vin looked back at Augusten again, looking torn between giving in and standing his ground, and after a moment seemed to deflate.

"Um...I guess I could pick up some stuff and stay a few days," he said finally. "Look after Allen's duties until he's up and around again."