LaKeisha Chestnut finds herself entangled with Nekechie Randle, a notorious mob boss.
When I started my law firm, I made it a priority to deal strictly in corporate law. I wanted to be a successful corporate lawyer. I studied at Yale Law School and graduated Magna Cum Laude. My first client was Lockett Enterprises. Then word got around about how good I was, and then I had all kinds of clients. John Grayson trusts me when it comes to real estate deals. When I met Nekechie Randle, the notorious head of Antonloni Family, my world was change forever.
Nekechie Randle was a southern man by birth, but his heart always belonged in New York City. His Godfather, Vincent Antonloni was one of the most powerful mob bosses in New York. When Vincent offered Nekechie a chance to become part of the family, he jumped at the chance. Nekechie just graduated from Georgetown University with a degree in Business, and he wanted a chance to show his stuff. Vincent had other reasons. He wanted Nekechie to take over the family. When Vincent died, Nekechie was declared the head of the family.
Nekechie was a force to be reckoned with. He was ambitious, determined, and ruthless. Wherever he went, death followed. Many families were afraid to do business with the Antonloni family. Anyone crossed Nekechie, and it meant death to anyone. The family’s long-time lawyer died, and he needed new counsel. I was featured in an article in Newsweek. Nekechie knew he found his new lawyer, and he was determine to get me.
I was in my office working on something for John Grayson, when my secretary, Jasmine came in.
“LaKeisha?” Jasmine said peeking her head around the door.
“Yeah, Jasmine?” I said never looking up.
“Someone is here to see you, and they demand your attention. They want to hire you as their legal counsel” Jasmine said nervously.
“Jasmine, you know I can’t take on any new clients. Could you please respectfully decline whoever it is, and tell them that?” I asked.
“You want me to tell Nekechie Randle that?”
Suddenly, my door flew open and Nekechie and his two associates made their way into my office. My office was under siege.
“Nekechie Randle. Please forgive me if I’m rude, but I like to make a grand entrance.” Nekechie spoke.
"I'm not big on grand entrances, Mr. Randle." I said.
"Now, why do you wish to not to be in my employ, Miss Chestnut?"
"I have enough clients, Mr. Randle."
"Well, you have acquired one more, and I will not take no for an answer. You have to understand, in my profession, I must have the best lawyer. It is my understanding that you are."
"I'm the best corporate lawyer money can buy."
"I know you are a corporate lawyer. I'm hiring you as legal counsel to the Antonloni Family."
"Wait, you are Nekechie Randle, head of the Antonloni Family?"
"Indeed, in the flesh. I assume you've heard about me."
"Yes, I have. The newspapers cast a real bad light on you."
"Well, don't believe everything you hear."
"Look, Mr. Randle, I would love to be your legal counsel, but I have my hands tied right now. I just can not take on another client."
Nekechie walked closer to my desk. His eyes filled with determination. This was one guy that hates to be refused.
"You don't have much of a choice, Miss Chestnut. It's either you take me on as a client, or I make life hard for you. What is your choice?"
"I guess my hands are tied. You hate people who refuse you."
"That is why I am who I am. I will see you first thing tomorrow morning. I have something to go over with you. I will have a car pick you up around 8am. Please be ready."
"I haven't even discussed my fee with you."
"Don't worry, Miss Chestnut, you will be rewarded. Till tomorrow, Miss Chestnut."
Nekechie walked out of my office. I sat there bewildered, wondering why was he so determined to have me as his lawyer. This was starting to look like the start of an interesting partnership.
My morning started off like any other morning for me. Shower, breakfast, watching MSNBC, and reviewing my appointments for the day, but today, my only appointment was Nekechie Randle. I grabbed my keys and briefcase and made my way to the parking garage where my Lexus was parked. As I was walking toward my car, a bright car light flashed in my eye.
"Miss Chestnut, Mr. Randle is waiting for you." One of Nekechie's associates spoke.
I walked over to the awaiting limo and inside was Nekechie, going over the New York Times.
"Good Morning, Miss Chestnut. You're looking absolutely lovely this morning." Nekechie spoke.
"You know I could have met you somewhere. I do have a car, you know." I said as I was getting in the limo.
"I'm glad you do. We can go to my office, and dis..."
"Miss Chestnut, we can discuss matters on our way to Rome."
"No, Rome, Italy. Family business."
"Wait, I'm not packed for Rome, and I have a practice to run."
"Your secretary, under my orders, has cancelled your appointments for the next few days."
"Look, Mr. Randle, I don't take kindly to people rearranging my life."
"As I told you, I am your only client right now. No one else is important."
"You're taking away my livelyhood, Mr. Randle. My practice is my life."
"Well, now, I am your life."
I looked out the window wondering what kind of mess I had gotten myself into. When we arrived at the airport, I realized my passport was back at my penthouse, but Nekechie had government officals in his back pocket. His travel was definitely not limited. I sat in the seat next to him on the private jet. Nekechie looked at me with reassuring eyes. Already he was taking over my life, and I couldn't do anything to stop it.
We arrived in Rome and was immediately taken to the Antonloni Family villa. I was led to my room, which was very beautiful. It had a wonderful view of the gardens in the back of the house. I sat down on the bed and laid back. It was late, and I was ready for sleep. As my eyes began to close, there was a knock on my door.
"La sig.na Chestnut, il sig. Randle spera che lo godiate per il pranzo questa sera. Spera che portiate stasera questo." The maid spoke in italian.
She handed me the most beautiful black Armani dress I ever seen. My hope was that it was in my size
"Dica prego al sig. Randle che lo unisca questa sera." I repsonded in italian.
She left promptly, and I laid the dress down on my bed. Soon, the maid came in with toiletries to help me prepare for dinner. This was starting to feel like pleasure than business.
It was 8pm when I arrived for dinner. There were other people at the table, talking and mingling. I was seated next to Nekechie. I guess he didn't want me out of his sight.
Nekechie was standing in the study talking to his god brother, Giovanni. They were discussing what to do about the Grazi's.
"Nekechie, you're the head of this family. The Grazi's have dishonored you by taking over one of your many businesses. What are you going to do?" Giovanni asked.
"You know how I feel when people cross me. I have told Dante Grazi not to cross me. That kind of deed does not go unpunished." Nekechie said.
"All you have to do is give the word."
"You know what to do."
Nekechie stood looking out the window. Dante Grazi had crossed him for the last time he thought to himself. He determine to control everything. He was not to be denied.
I sat at the table wondering if Nekechie would ever show up. I got tired of being hit on in italian. When Nekechie showed up, I was relieved. He looked devestatingly handsome in his black Versace tux.
"I'm sorry, Miss Chestnut. I had to attend to a family matter. Were you waiting long?" Nekechie asked.
"Actually, no." I said.
"Well, I must say that dress is definitely you."
"Thank you. You look handsome yourself."
"Look, let's get to the matter at hand. I want to go legit, and I want you to help me get there."
Nekechie looked at me with conviction. It seemed he was ready for the task at hand.
The next morning, I was already up and walking around. I called Jasmine to check on the office. Everything was fine according to her. I wanted her to find out all the businesses the Antonloni Family owned, including the illegal ones. I wanted no surprises. I walked over to the window and peered out. The view was amazing. I had never been to Rome and always wanted to go, but I never had time for a vacation. I was always working. I looked over to the chair in the corner and there was my business suit. I was starting to get a little hungry. So I got dressed and made my way downstairs to get some breakfast, but that was all to change, when I laid eyes on Nekechie.
"Good Morning, LaKeisha. I take it you slept well." Nekechie said drinking coffee.
"I did, thank you." I said sitting at the table next to Nekechie.
"I understand you called the office last night. You know you don't need to have your secretary do any research on my family. I can tell you all that you want to know."
"Well, I figured that you wouldn't tell me everything, Mr. Randle. In order for me to help you, I have to know everything, including your illegal activities."
"I would have been honest with you. I know it's important for you to know your client before you embark on something big."
"So why go legit now? What do you plan on gaining doing this?"
"I plan on finishing what my godfather started. He wanted to go legit even before he died. He made me promise I would. I have nothing to gain. I just want to fulfill my promise to my godfather."
"And that's commendable, Mr. Randle, but a piece of paper is not going to make you legit. You have to change who you are."
"Who I am got this family where it is, now!"
"Killing innocent people just to get what you want?"
"I never killed anyone!"
"You're a mobster, plain and simple. Too many people have died that've had a connection to you."
"I'm a businessman, Miss Chestnut. I'm not a mobster or gangster. I have a degree, and I'm smart. I have a mind for business. I run this family like it is a corporation. It is the reason why my godfather made me head of this family."
"Well, I'm going to do all that I can to make that happen, but I will not be apart of any illegal activities."
"I understand, Miss Chestnut. Do what you have to do to make this happen."
"That I will do. What do you need from me?"
"Your confidence and your assurance that nothing will deter you from your goal."
"You have it. Now, let's have some breakfast."
After breakfast, Jasmine faxed me the information I needed on Nekechie and the Antonloni Family. I began the painstaking process of making Nekechie a legit businessman.
It was around dinner time when I looked up from my laptop. Nekechie was standing in my doorway with a tray.
"I thought I would bring you so dinner. You must be hungry." Nekechie said, walking in.
"I didn't realize it was so late. Thanks." I said.
"I'll leave you to your dinner and work. If you need anything, let me know." Nekechie said after he placed the tray down and walked out of the door.
Though I was eating, I still had work to do. As I went through the family books, there were businesses that were fronts for gambling rings. There was even an escort service. I was working on a plan that would break these up and filter them through the legit businesses. It was practically impossible. Nekechie wasn't lying when he said that he was a savvy businessman. He knew what he was doing.
It was 12am when I finally climbed into bed. I had worked practically the whole day. As I got under the covers, I heard a noise outside my door. Then a scream and shots fired. I jumped out of my bed and hid under my bed. I didn't know what was going on. It was scary. After 20 minutes passed, I saw someone come into my room wearing women's heels. I didn't move. I was too scared to move. Then someone else came into my room. I heard a voice that I recognized as Nekechie's.
"What are you doing here, Crystal?" Nekechie asked.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset the house. I should have called first. I just wanted to see you." Crystal responded.
"I told you I was here on business. You could have waited till I came back to New York."
"I see. She's more important than being with me?"
"No, she's helping me fulfill daddy's wish."
"I told you this family is fine the way it is. Why change it?"
"Do you want me to end up like John Gotti? In jail?"
"No, baby. I want you home."
"That's not going to happen now. Family business comes first."
"I am part of this family, too! Don't shut me out, Nekechie."
"Crystal, go back home to New York City. I'll call you when I return."
Nekechie walked out of the room. I was still unmoved under the bed. Crystal walked around the room. I knew she was looking at my things. Then she said something that made me almost jump up and run back to New York City.
"Your days as this family's attorney are marked. You won't live to see another month, Miss Chestnut. Nekechie will not change this family. I'll make sure of it."