Chapter Thirty

Trash may lay on the ground but there were still hints of what the Millennium building used to be.  What it would be again.  Tony sidestepped the debris of time and neglect to make his way to the where Jonathan and Danny stood going over renovation plans.

“So you want to make this the main bar area?” Jonathan surveyed the room with a critical eye, “Wouldn’t require too much alteration of the floor plan although we’ll probably have to gut the whole thing just to bring it up to code.”  He wrote some ideas on the pad of paper sitting on the bar, “Now what do you want to do about downstairs?  Do you still want the offices down there?”

“No.”

Danny looked over in surprise, “You don’t want the offices downstairs?”

No he didn’t.  Every time Tony thought about that office downstairs he was haunted by what had happened years ago.  What had happened to Marah at the hands of Romeo, at the hands of Tony himself.  He didn’t want any remnants of the past tainting the future they were building.  “I think they would be better suited upstairs.   There’s more room up there and since we are going to be running the upstairs this time it makes more sense.”

“Can’t argue with that.” More scribbling from Jonathan on the notepad, “Do you still want the gambling parlor?”

Danny pondered the pros and cons for a while, “I think so.  It was pretty profitable.  But can we have a separate entrance so they don’t have to walk through the bar to get to the gambling area downstairs?”

“Probably a good idea”, Jonathan studied the blueprints again,” It looks like we could put an entrance here along the side wall.  How does that sound?”

“Sounds good.” Danny glanced at his watch and winced, “Damn I’m late.  I’m supposed to meet with Josh to finalize some changed to the new house.”  As he walked out he glanced back at Tony, “You got this covered?”

Tony waved him off, “Of course.  Now hurry up, don’t leave my future father-in-law waiting.  He doesn’t need another reason to put me back on his hate list.”

After Danny left Jonathan just looked at him with a slight grin.  Tony didn’t say a word, he knew Jonathan was building up to something.  “So you’re going to be my brother-in-law huh?”

Tony nearly groaned, first Josh and now Jonathan.  “Yeah.  Are you going to give me the lecture too?”

Jonathan just laughed, “Hardly!  Like I am in any position to judge others.  And believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of a few of Josh’s lectures myself.  No I was just going to say welcome to the family.”

Well that was new, he figured the only person on his side was Reva.  “Well thanks Jonathan.  And just so you know I do love her and will do everything I possibly can to make her happy.”

He nodded, “Good deal.  She deserves it.”  He pointed behind him, “So you want to take a look at some of the ideas I’ve come up with?”

Tony grinned, “You know, I think you and I are going to get along just fine.”

***

When Danny stepped into Company Josh was already seated at the counter.  “Sorry I’m late.  I was over at Infierno going over plans with Jonathan and Tony.”  He sat and ordered a coffee from the passing waitress, “Do you have those updated plans for me to look at?”

Josh just looked at the other man.  Danny sure had changed since he first came to Springfield.  He’d left the mob life behind in favor of being a husband and father.  He knew it had taken years and a few mistakes but Danny just looked…content.  “Yeah I have them but may I ask you a question first?”

“Let me guess, this is about Tony?”

Josh felt like he was stuck in a game of tug of war.  On one hand he knew logically that Tony was not the same man as he used to be.  But there was still that small part of him that worried about the mob life coming back and endangering his daughter.  Once word got out that the Santos family were opening Infierno again it was bound to bring people hoping to capitalize on the venture.  And what kind of father would be he be if he didn’t worry? “Not really….okay maybe a little.  I’m just worried that he’ll be sucked back into that lifestyle again.  And with him marrying my daughter she would be caught in the middle.  Again.”

Danny could understand that worry.  Rick had worried for years and he was Michelle’s brother.  Before he could answer Rick came rushing in, “Whew!  Three surgeries one right after another.  I finally get a chance to sit and eat.  What’s up guys?”

As Rick ordered his lunch Danny looked at him with a grin.  “Why don’t you ask Rick about that Josh?”

The man in question turned around, “Ask Rick what?”

“As you already might have heard Tony asked my daughter to marry him and she said yes.  He says the mob lifestyle is behind him but with them opening up the business again I am worried it will draw that criminal element back into his life. ”

“It’s natural to be worried.  Hell when Michelle first married Danny I had her committed to the psychiatric ward at Cedars to keep her safe.  Remember that Danny?  Not exactly one of my brightest moments.”

Kind of hard to forget something like that.  “Yeah don’t remind me,” He looked at Josh, “And what I told him then is even more true today.  Michelle and I can’t live without each other.  And that is the same feeling that Tony feels for Marah, what you feel for Reva.  That completeness that happens when you found the person who makes you feel whole.”

Josh pondered that for a while, “I have no worries about him loving my daughter.  On that fact I am solid.  I am more worried about him being sucked back into the mob lifestyle, it’s happened before”

Rick swallowed the bite of hamburger he’d been chewing, “I don’t think that’ll be a problem.  Did you see them at the bar-b-que?  Rejoining the mob was the last thing on that guy’s mind.”

Danny laughed at Josh’s expression.  No matter what age no father wanted to even think about that aspect of his daughter’s personal life. “I can’t tell you what to think Josh because my loyalty is to Michelle and our kids first and to Ray and Tony second.  So I am a bit biased.  But I have seen how Tony is around Marah, and there is no denying he’s always loved her. so I don’t think you have anything to worry about.” When it looked like Josh still wasn’t convinced Danny tried another tactic, “Look at it this way, Tony saved Marah from the lighthouse when she was kidnapped, rescued her from San Cristobel in the middle of an earthquake, saved you when photos implicated you for bribery, he protected Reva when she was being stalked, and saved Marah from Romeo…twice.”

“He also helped get you out of the house that night you were shot,” Rick chimed him.

“Tony has screwed up but I am sure you have made your share of mistakes too.  But Tony’s biggest mistake was letting Marah go because without her he is lost.  He won’t be tempted back into the lifestyle, he has too much to lose this time.  Just give him a chance and will prove that he is worth the risk.”

Josh grudgingly admitted to himself that Danny had a valid point.  There was no guarantee that Tony wouldn’t revert back to his old ways…but there wasn’t any proof that he would either.  Marah had given him another chance and so far Tony had shown that he was worth it.  The least he could do is benefit of the doubt.  “Okay you have a point.  I will give him another chance.”

“Sounds good, he deserves it.”  Danny pointed to the plans they had yet to discuss, “So you wanted to show me some ideas you had?”

***

Marah stood in the empty room and after seeing that her mom and the real estate agent were occupied did a little happy dance.  She had found it, the perfect place for her design studio.  It was a little place right on Main Street with large front windows and skylights to create a warm inviting atmosphere.  It was perfect for her and she had barely contained her excitement as she signed the lease.

“Little Miss Twinkle Toes if you’re done celebrating can we head over to the Company kiosk because I am starving?”

Busted.  “Should have known you’d see that.”

Reva rolled her eyes, “I’m a mother, I have eyes in the back of my head.”

“Sure you do mom.” She looked around the room, “It’s scary to do something new but exciting at the same time.”

“Always is that’s what makes it so much fun,”  She placed an arm around her daughter’s shoulders, “All that matters is that you are happy.  Are you happy?”

Happy didn’t even begin to describe how Marah was feeling.  More like she was bubbling over in euphoria. “You have no idea how much mom.” She grabbed her purse and kissed her mother’s cheek, “But I’m going to have to take a rain check on lunch, I am supposed to meet Tony at Infierno so we can go meet with the real estate agent to sign the final papers.”

“Well it’s safe to say what your first decorating job is going to be.”

Marah just grinned, “Are you kidding?  I am already buying things and looking at furniture.  Good thing my rent was cheap and I had no life in Paris.  If not we’d be sleeping on air mattresses and dining on boxes.”

“A little over dramatic aren’t you there Marah?  Why you know you could always live with us.”

Tony and her father may have had a truce but living under the same roof? Talk about World War Three.  Good thing her mom was joking or Marah may have had to get her checked out at Cedars for possible brain trauma, “Funny. ”  She checked her watch again, “Damn now I’m really late.  Love you mom and I will call you later.”

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