Lucia looked so much like a normal person, you wouldn’t have thought she’d had her husband killed and had attempted to do the same to her daughter. She didn’t look like someone who would control an entire gang from the shadows, she didn’t look like she could start gang wars and tear families apart. But that was her.

“Lisa, lighten the fuck up,” Lucia said. “You wanted to talk, so let’s talk.”

“Cool, let’s. I’d like to ask you to not stab me. When you get around to murdering me, get a fucking gun and get it over with quickly. I hate being stabbed.”

Lucia let out a heavy sigh and rolled her eyes.

“Okay, time for a lesson…” she strolled over to the dresser in the room and leaned nonchalantly against it. She didn’t even look at Vittoria while talking, opting rather to study her nails.


“If you want a guy to stick around, don’t kill his trophy girl. Let’s say I actually kill you – If Gallo comes back and sees that I’ll kill you, he’ll be pissed, and he’d probably kill me. That would be a bad move.”

She ran her fingers through the tangles on her head.

“Even if I didn’t want to piss off Gallo, I still wouldn’t kill you. I think we can strike a deal.” She laughed when Vittoria looked at her incredulously. “What? We’ve worked together before. That’s not weird.”

“I wouldn’t call it working together when one party doesn’t know about it.”

“We weren’t working against each other, at least,” she said. Lucia stretched her arms above her head and yawned. “And we were pretty good. I mean, the plans were mine, of course, but you did the stabbing pretty well.”


“Against my will.”

Lucia shook her head. “In my experience, I can’t make people do what they don’t want to do. I’m good, but not that good. That’s why I want to strike a deal.”

Vittoria snorted. “I’m not interested.”

“At least hear me out.” Lucia sighed. “Wouldn’t it be worth it if we can save that husband of yours?”

At that, she didn’t say anything, and her mother nodded.

“I knew that’d get you interested. See, I sent Gallo on a wild goose chase, because I’m crazy and all that. When he gets back, you stab him and take back the gang. Then we tell Mancini we’re super sorry for the whole treachery thing.” She raised an eyebrow. “Seriously, that part was stupid… and when he takes you back, we’ve got Monte Vista. I’ll even let you keep him.”


“You’re deluded if you think Carlo will take me back after all this.”

Her mother shook her head, unfazed. “See, that’s what you lack, Lisa: People skills. I’ve spent a few days around the guy and he’s mad at you, but I think if you just explain that, I don’t know… it was all a plan to kill Gallo, he’ll take you back. And we could work together again.”

“Until you don’t need me anymore and kill me off.”

Lucia stepped away from the dresser. “You keep focusing on that – it’s in the past. Look, you were really difficult and yes, I did try to kill you; I’m glad it didn’t work out. I forgot all my plans of having you killed once I saw how bad you got Mancini wrapped around your finger. I don’t think I could have even pulled that off. I admit: You’re good.”

“I’m not the one who lacks people skills,” Vittoria said with a sigh. “I didn’t manipulate Carlo to try and wrap him around my finger, as you say. I love him.”

Even now, it felt strange saying it. It felt stupid, saying it out loud to her mother of all people. It was so big in her mind, the words finally coming out, though from the way her mother looked at her, she might as well have been giving her a traffic update.

“Sure, sure, I get it. And like I said, you can keep…”


“No, you don’t get it,” Vittoria said. “I’m not going to help you control his gang behind his back, and I’d like to see you try and pull it off yourself. He’s not like Alessandro or Gallo. You can have me killed and kill Gallo and you may even convince Carlo to keep you around, but it won’t last. There’s a reason you only manipulate violent idiots, because that’s as all you can pull off. You wouldn’t last five days before Carlo saw through you.”

If she had hoped Lucia would get angry at that, she was disappointed. Her mother shrugged and looked out the window.

“I guess we’ll find out soon. I called him and said someone broke in and I’m so scared. Should be here any moment.”

Vittoria shot up in her seat. Her mouth went dry and her hands trembled a little… the little tremble got even worse when she heard car doors slam outside.

“If you hurt him…” she warned Lucia.

“Do you need another lesson?” her mother said, rolling her eyes. “Carlo Mancini is more influential than Gallo could ever hope to be. Why the fuck would I hurt him?”


Lucia made her way over to the door and leaned against the wall. When she spoke, it was barely above a whisper:

“I figure I’ll take your spot. Probably won’t marry him; though if he’s up for it, I guess it could work. There’s a lot of influence to gain in Monte Vista. Oh, and I have grandkids, don’t I?”

“If you touch them, he’ll kill you.”

“The offer still stands, Lisa. You can have him back and we’ll work together in happy mother-daughter harmony.”

Vittoria dug her nails into her palms, glared at her mother, and said: “Fuck you.”

As if she had pressed a button, Lucia’s eyes glazed over. There wasn’t a hint of the person she had been a second ago. Tears filled her eyes and she was once again the pathetic womanchild Vittoria had known all her life.

Carlo entered the room not thirty seconds later.


Carlo heard the wails of Lucia in the bedroom as he moved up, Franco and two others trailing behind with their weapons drawn. The sight that greeted him in there wasn’t what he had expected. Throughout the time she had been here, Lucia had called him for ‘emergencies’ at various times, and they had turned out to be duds.

He had stopped going himself. And yet, this time he went – if only because she mentioned her baby. It was a vain hope that she would be found at this point, in the safehouse he had set up himself, but there she was.

Her hair was dyed a deeper shade of brown and she wasn’t wearing glasses, but it was indisputably her. She didn’t look up at first, but as soon as her eyes fell on him, some sort of emotion – fear? He thought it likely – flashed there, and she turned her gaze down.

The mash-up of emotions he felt himself were impossible to sort. She was tied up, and though she didn’t look hurt, he wanted to rush over and make certain that she wasn’t. At the same time, he remembered the last time he saw her, and he hated her. And yet he loved her. Even the past weeks, stewing in misery and hatred, hadn’t changed that. He hated her and he loved her so badly, his heart ached.


Looking at her hurt, so he turned his eyes to Lucia, who was still bawling in the corner.

“What happened?” he asked her, trying to stay calm and pretend that Vittoria’s presence wasn’t discomforting.

Lucia looked up, rubbing her eyes with a hand. “G-Gallo came, and he hurt my baby.”

“Fucking hell, make her shut up,” Vittoria said. “She’s the reason Gallo is here. She’s been helping him all along, and now she’s-.”

“Shut up,” Carlo said.

She lowered her gaze again. He had to look away from her again, because he couldn’t stand the look in her eyes. For fucks sake – she had betrayed him, so why did she look like it was her heart breaking, her life falling apart?

“Franco, have someone search town for this Gallo person. We’re not going to stay here, just in case.” He turned to one of his men and pointed at Vittoria. “Grab her. Lucia, you come as well.”


He turned, because though it was his own order, he hated seeing her being flung over a guy’s shoulder like a sack of potatoes. He wished, at least, that she would protest, but he heard only a faint groan as she was hauled out of there.


While they herded everyone into the car they had arrived in, he was forced to finally think of all the things he had refused to think about: Like what to do when he found her.

He knew what everyone expected of him, and he knew what he should do. But when he actually imagined doing it, his brain refused to go any further. He thought instead of the smell of her hair and the little snorts she made at his bad jokes. He thought of the concentrated look on her face when she sculpted. Her careful, weary smile as she held their firstborn for the first time.

“What’s the plan?” Giacomo asked from the backseat.

Carlo didn’t answer because he truly didn’t know. He only knew that killing his wife wasn’t an option.

Feeling lost? If you’ve forgotten previous chapters and need a recap you can find my recap page here. Be aware that it contains spoilers for the story.

Author’s note: Hi guyssssssss, I’m back! Posting this kind of late in the day because it’s a huge challenge just posting for me right now. I’m still under severe pressure in my math course and it’s digging up some personal troubles that I’ve been managing since August of last year. I’ve been a lot better for a long time, but the stress is really bringing out the anxiety, the self-loathing, and the self-doubt. It’s an incredible chore getting out AMVS right now because I know the story isn’t perfect. The plot is ALL over the place. I accept it, and I force myself to put it out, but whereas normally I can ignore how much it bothers me, it’s really hard right now. I do not like this chapter, or any of the others – I really, really dislike them right now. I dislike this less than what I wrote before – though it’s still not feeling great. But I’m keeping up the posting just to kick my brain’s ass. I can do this. This will pass, and some day soon, I think I’ll come to see the positives, even of this first draft, again. I don’t know why I’m telling you guys this – maybe it’s more for myself.

So, yeah, thanks for reading if you made it this far. It means a lot to have this community at the moment. Your stories, blog tags, beautiful pictures, and general loveliness bring a lot of light into my life. I’ll see you for the next post – hopefully, it’ll be on schedule 🙂


Edit: It seems I’m ending up in some spam filtres lately, so if you guys note that I’m not commenting on your new chapters as usual, it might be that’s what happened.


freja64 · April 18, 2018 at 6:49 pm

Keep it up, you’re definitely talented and being under pressure screws up anyone’s wits! I liked this chapter a lot, both the pics and the plot, and can’t wait to see what Carlo will do about his wife… Where did you get the ropes, BTW?

loladiamond01 · April 18, 2018 at 7:37 pm

Lucia is such a cruel person. Oh my, if only Carlo believed Vittoria, but how can he do so now after she betrayed him? I wonder what’s bound to happen next.
I am sorry that you are at such a tough point in your life and I hope it does get better for you. I am where you are at with the story, quite honestly I want to scrap the whole thing and forget all about it and still, it means too much to me to do that.
I think you are a great writer and I don’t see why you would think that this sucks because it’s really good 🙂 ♥

    NotJustaBook · April 18, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Yeah, Vittoria really is in a terrible situation… :O
    Thank you, Jowita. I know how you feel – sometimes it’s just a chore to keep going. I can imagine especially with a story like yours, the love for what you’ve created keeps you going. I like your story a lot, and I’m glad you haven’t scrapped it <3
    Thank you so much 🙂 you are so sweet <3

      loladiamond01 · April 18, 2018 at 8:03 pm

      I definitely don’t envy her!
      No, it’s not a chore to keep it going. It’s just hard to satisfy – most of all – yourself as you do this. I know exactly what I want to do and I am just super sad that it doesn’t turn out as perfectly as it does in my head. Plus I constantly get ideas and I don’t know whether they would ever make it into the story or if they just wouldn’t make the cut. Frustrating!
      Ah, you know what? YOU are too sweet! Well, it’s a good feeling not to be the only one who likes your own story. But still, I’m just glad I overall like it despite everything I might hate. I guess I’m just too attached no matter how much it sucks.
      I hope that you can grow to like your story again soon enough. I just love how much work you put into it and how you show us the criminal world and mafia you created in your game. And it’s always interesting to figure out what a character like Vittoria may do next. She and Carlo make a good duo! I can’t wait to see what more you have in store for us, but of course don’t feel pressured. You seem to be overcoming a lot of stress in your life already. I wish you all the best with Math!

        NotJustaBook · April 19, 2018 at 6:33 am

        Me neither! She created part of it herself, but the crazy mother really isn’t her fault.
        I completely follow everything you say – I’ve cut so much stuff from AMVS as I wrote, and even when I did, it never turned out quite how I intended. There are so many things I want to go back and change (hence my edit XD).
        It’s the most magical feeling, to create something from your own head and have someone like it 🙂
        Thank you <3 It's hard not to slip into negativity, but it's so great to come on here where everyone's so supportive and positive. It makes me want to continue, even when it gets bad 🙂 I'm so glad you like it <3 It means a ton.
        Thanks so much <3

Kymber · April 18, 2018 at 9:56 pm

Lucia is really killing me right now. I wish Carlo knew the truth but I suppose that may come in time. Or not. Vittoria did betray him after all. I know you say you don’t like this chapter and the others but I have to say, I really do. I think you are so talented and artistic. Everything you do is absolutely beautiful. 🙂

I’m sorry you’re going through such a tough time. Just try to remember that you have friends here who really care about you. <3

    NotJustaBook · April 19, 2018 at 6:36 am

    She’s pretty terrible… hopefully, Carlo will come to know the truth, though I don’t blame him if he doesn’t believe anyone in this.
    Thank you so much, Kymber <3 It means so much coming from you! 🙂

    I'm really holding onto that fact right now and it brings so much light into my life 🙂 <3 thank you for your kind words!

      Kymber · April 19, 2018 at 1:45 pm

      You’re so welcome. 🙂 I remember how difficult it was going through the nursing program. Once you finished the prerequisites and got into the program, they changed the grading scale to be ten points harder. So, if you scored a 79% or less, you failed because that was no longer a “C” on the test. An “A” was only awarded if you scored 94-100%. Anyway, if you got a “C” or lower on any exam, you were automatically failed and had to wait again to get back into the program which had a seven-year-long wait list. It was a nightmare and most of the people I started with didn’t make it to the end. And the exams were ridiculously hard because they were multiple choice and all the answers were right, you had to pick the best right answer. I shudder thinking about what I went through. LOL

      My point is that I know school is terribly hard, but I’m rooting for you all the way. 🙂

        NotJustaBook · April 19, 2018 at 7:02 pm

        Wow, I have heard that the nursing program is really tough in the US, but I had no idea it was as bad as that :O I think in Denmark becoming a nurse is one of those educations you pick if you can’t get into what you want (sad, but true). You’re so hardcore for going through that!

        Thank you, Kym <3 🙂 This course is, at least, tough. We can't have more than two sick days and we have one exam attempt (three is normal in DK) and then we're never allowed to try again. I haven't had a single sick day, despite my having the flu in the second week of the course. I'm hanging in there, though. Thankfully, it's going well 🙂

          Kymber · April 19, 2018 at 8:22 pm

          I’m so glad it’s going well. You poor thing to have had flu and still gone to class. Talk about hardcore! 🙂 <3 I really admire you.

sempreviva · April 19, 2018 at 5:06 pm

Oh my, Lucia can surely change faces way too easily! :O By the way, I love that you’ve made women in this story so strong and influential (well, Vittoria is in a tough position right now but oh well, you get my point)!
I wonder if Carlo will ever believe her… it seems tough but he still loves her. If only they could het rid of Lucia (and Gallo), although I’m afraid it won’t be that easy!
I’m so sorry to read about what you’re going through… I hope it will get better quickly! I totally feel you about the story (I have a similar problem – the current generation has become too dark and I have totally fallen in love with my next one, so I kinda want to skip the whole thing real quick – but alas, I can’t)! But as far as I’m concerned, your writing is great and I love every chapter you put out there! <3

    NotJustaBook · April 19, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    Lucia is a creepy bugger! :O
    Thank you – I prefer writing female characters, and that’s how my villains often end up female. I also like shaking up gender stereotypes a bit. So glad it’s appreciated 😀
    Yeah, Vittoria’s really shot herself in the foot on that one… Nothing about this situation is going to be easy.
    Thank you very much <3 I'm toughing it out and I think the worst of my stress is slowly passing. It means a lot with all the support from the community 🙂
    Oh, do I ever know the feeling of being in love with the next gen too much. It's been like that with every legacy I've ever done – including this one 😛 I understand why you'd feel that way, but I also really enjoy where you've taken the current gen so far 🙂
    Thank you for all the kind words <3

socallucyfan · April 20, 2018 at 11:32 pm

Wow, and the Oscar for best actress goes to Lucia. The way she can just turn it off and on like that is seriously psychotic. I really hope Carlo can see through her disguise.
Together Carlo & Vittoria can get rid of Lucia and Gallo, but it looks like Carlo can’t seem to trust his wife either. He has to show that he can’t be threatened, and has to punish Vittoria in some way, but how? For now, at least he doesn’t want to kill her (for her sake I hope that that doesn’t change).
I am sorry to hear about what you are going through right now. If you ever want to talk, I am always here. It can be sims related, or real life related. I am always here to lend an ear.

    NotJustaBook · April 21, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Lucia is one shady lady, and I think you’re right that Carlo and Vittoria are going to have to learn to trust each other if they’re to have any chance of coming out of this situation alive… not that that’s easy.

    Thank you 🙂 I’m doing a little better (though still getting stress dreams… – those are never nice) and it’s been so heartwarming to feel all the support from this lovely community 🙂 You’re so sweet, thanks again <3

      socallucyfan · April 22, 2018 at 5:51 am

      Know that I am always here if you ever want anyone to talk to.
      If you want I can give you my email if you want to chat.

        NotJustaBook · April 22, 2018 at 2:11 pm

        Thank you very much – and the same to you 🙂
        I’d like that, yeah!

          socallucyfan · April 22, 2018 at 8:14 pm

          I am trying to figure out how send a private message to you so I can give you my email without sharing it with the whole world.

          NotJustaBook · April 23, 2018 at 4:24 pm

          Oh, yeah, I don’t really know how :/ I’ll think on it and get back to you.

          NotJustaBook · April 24, 2018 at 4:10 pm

          I came up with an idea – I added a contact form to the blog under About 🙂 You can write there, if you like! 🙂

          socallucyfan · April 25, 2018 at 4:36 am

          I will send you a message right now.

Lila Remonn · April 21, 2018 at 9:35 am

The quick, effortless switching between the calm, calculating woman and crazy old lady is just wow. I can really see how people would be fooled by Lucia’s mask, I mean I didn’t really know what to believe about her until now. I agree in that Carlo will be able to see through her, but it might take a long time considering how distrustful he must be about Vittoria right now, and by then who knows what Lucia will have done. I wonder how Vittoria will ever be able to make her husband trust her again…
I’m sorry to hear you are going through that! You can do it, we have your back- we all really enjoy this story even if you think it’s bad 😀
Great chapter!

    NotJustaBook · April 21, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Yeah, Lucia can do some real damage when she wants to D: Vittoria really is in a shitty situation, because if they’re going to have a chance at beating the crazy, they’ll probably have to work together.
    Thank you 🙂 I feel a bit better (still having stupid stress dreams, but classes are over soon, so things should chill out). I’m so glad you guys like the story, even when I don’t. It means a lot and it always makes me want to write <3 🙂
    Thank you for your kind words <3

amyqueen · May 27, 2018 at 11:20 pm

The fact that Vittoria finally says she loves Carlo but she’s in this kind of scenario… 😭😭😭 A part of me was wishing he had the placed bugged or was hiding in the closet listening in to hear all of that but that’s just wishful thinking on my part. Man Lucia is nuts, no one is gonna believe what she’s capable of unless they see her switch firsthand. I really thought she was gonna go for it and try to kill Vittoria, but it’s clear she’s always thinking of the bigger picture and only thinks in calculated steps. I don’t know how this next confrontation between Carlo and Vittoria shall go…
Even though I’m a bit belated to the party, I just want to echo the sentiments of everyone above and say that you are a phenomenal writer <3 <3 <3 This chapter was great, as all of the ones in this story so far have been!
Also, math sucks.

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