“I’ve got something to tell you about anal,” Carina mumbled as she took a long drink from the bottle of Irish Cream and then poured more over her bowl of ice cream in front of her. “As a matter of fact, I think we need to discuss your entire menu.”
Brianna grimaced as she watched Carina eat her second bowl of Irish Cream covered chocolate ice cream. “I’m pretty sure I’d die if I ate that.”
“I’m pretty sure I’d die if I had to drink vodka and club soda to get lit.” Carina made a gagging sound. “Why is it always vodka with you?”
“It has the least amount of sugar. No carbs.” Brianna took a drink out of her glass pointedly. “I add lime. It’s not that bad.”
Carina made another gagging sound before she went back to her ice cream. “What was I talking about?”
Brianna blinked, realizing she may have had too much vodka and club soda. “I dunno, a menu?”
“Yeah, a menu,” Carina agreed as she took another bite of her ice cream. “I want cake. Do you think it’s too late to order something?”
Brianna picked up her phone and looked at the time. “It’s past midnight. Probably too late for delivery, but we could go somewhere.”
“Ugh, no thanks. I’m too stupid to go somewhere drunk. It’s amazing I manage it sober. Fuck Nova. I don’t have depth perception problems. I’m a great driver, right?”
“Sure.” Brianna nodded. “I mean, I don’t drive, but it looks like you’re doing it right.”
“Why don’t you drive?” Carina barked at her. “I want you to get your driver’s license.”
“I live in Manhattan now. Why do I need it?” Brianna shrugged. “I’m too busy to learn and there’s always a car when we need it. I bet you could call ten people right now to get your cake.”
“I could,” Carina agreed with wide eyes. “And I need cake. If I get it will you eat it with me?”
“No, thank you. I have rehearsal tomorrow.” Brianna took another sip of her drink. She tried very hard to ignore the look of hurt from Carina. “Come on, no. I have been partying way too much lately. I need to get back on track and—”
“Your whole life is on track,” Carina warned her. “And one day you’re gonna be old and gray and wish you’d enjoyed being young.”
“Carina, you don’t need someone to eat cake with you, just like you don’t need someone to drink with you. That’s irrational reasoning.” Brianna was really certain of it as she took another sip of her drink. “It doesn’t make sense.”
“We’re getting the cake.” Carina held up her phone as evidence. “We’re going to text him and he’s going to bring it and you know you’re going to enjoy it when you eat it with me.”
“You really want to text someone and ask them to bring us cake to eat together at midnight. There’s already rumors about you eating cake.”
“That’s pie!” Carina shouted so loud Brianna flinched. “There’s rumors about me eating pie! Brianna, how are you my friend? You have to know the term for licking pussy is eating pie. My brother fucks you. I know he tells you these things.”
“I know it’s pie. It sounded right in mind, but I do know it’s pie,” Brianna assured her. “Your brother loves pie.” She raised her eyebrows wistfully. “When he eats it—.”
Carina coughed over the Irish Cream she was drinking out the bottle. “I think you need to lay off the club soda and I had something to tell you about that. I remember now.”
“About him and your pie.” Carina picked up her phone and handed it to Brianna. “Text him. If I try it right now, I’ll fuck it up and he’ll be all judgmental after Nova’s shit. Tell him no pie. Since apparently, he tells everyone my shit. I don’t even like pie that much. I’m more of a salty sausage woman.”
“No strawberry pie,” Brianna added as she started texting on Carina’s phone. “So he understands that you don’t like my pie. You only like highly religious pie and salty sausage.”
“Right? Religious pie is a novelty. Everyone likes it, but no strawberry pie. Only cake. I want weed too. Weed and pie sounds good.”
“I thought pie was bad.” Brianna was still texting. “You told me to tell him it was bad.”
“Right, no pie. Only weed.”
“Did it taste like sacramental bread?” Brianna asked curiously.
“The pie,” Brianna clarified.
“She went down on me. I didn’t even eat her sacramental pie, but I guess Tino forgot that part.” Carina pointed at her phone in Brianna’s hand. “Tell him that.”
“I’ll tell him, but I think it’s bullshit,” Brianna whispered, even as she typed the opposite. “I would’ve tasted it, that means you did. You tasted it, Carina.”
Carina was quiet for a moment, before she turned and gave Brianna a wide, unapologetic smile. “Yeah, I tasted it.”
“Was it good?”
“Tasted like the bar soap in Nonno’s shower.”
They both burst out laughing, and the conversation just went downhill from there. Brianna wasn’t really sure how much time had passed, because in the name of being a good friend she had started drinking right when she got home from rehearsal and skipped dinner. She hadn’t had two bowls of ice cream like Carina, so it was all going to her head.
Most of the time they discussed cake and texted about pie. Brianna was starving now. Fuck rehearsal tomorrow. When the door opened she shouted, “Did you bring pie?”
“No, I brought cake.” There was a long pause. “And weed.”
“Oh!” Carina jumped up and ran to the front door, then pulled back in horror as she stared at her brother like she forgot until that moment how angry she was at him. It was obvious reaching out to him when she needed something had just been an instinct, one she got over as she shouted, “I told you not to come over! I hate you!”
“You changed your mind about that. I have about a hundred texts to prove it.” Tino held up his hands, presenting two pieces of cake in plastic containers. “How long has Brianna been sending your texts for you?”
“She doesn’t send my texts for me,” Carina growled at him. “You’re just thinking that because of what Nova said. He’s not always right, you know?”
“Really? Cause, uh, you’ve been talking about me eating your pie for at least the last thirty texts. I really hope the government never gets ahold of your phone,” Tino said with an arch of his eyebrow. “Why didn’t you just tell me you have trouble reading, Carina? You obviously told Brianna a long time ago. Don’t think I don’t remember how she would always read out loud when we were studying. I get it now, and you know Nova would’ve helped you if you told me. You think I didn’t have issues when I was a kid? He knows all the tricks to make it easier.”
“I can read, motherfucker. Just not fast. Or drunk,” Carina said defensively. Then she walked back and yanked the phone out of Brianna’s hand. She stood there staring at the screen for a while, then she raised her eyebrows. “Porca puttana.” She lifted her head and glared at Brianna. “Your menu. What are you? An all you can eat buffet? What the fuck do you have left for his birthday if you’re just laying it all out on the table?”
“I like your menu, baby,” Tino assured her. “I’ll eat at your buffet any time.”
“And yet, no pie.” Brianna held up her hands as evidence. “Maybe I would like pie. I’m not boring, you know?”
“I never said you were. How ‘bout I eat the pie and you just provide it. Does that work? Since you’re more a salty sausage person.”
“Strawberry pie,” Brianna added.
“That’s my favorite flavor.” Tino said it like he meant it. “I fucking love your strawberry pie.”
“What is this word?” Carina asked him as she pointed to her phone.
“Sacramental,” Tino said with a smile. “I think that’s the best part.”
“I could do that for your birthday. That’s new,” Brianna said thoughtfully. “I’ll steal the costumes from school. Except, oh my God, baby, your birthday already passed.”
“Or we could do it on Thursday after class.” Tino smile grew broader and more devious. “And pretend it’s my birthday.”
“Yes,” Brianna agreed as she took another drink. “I’ll be the nun on Thursday and you’ll be the priest on Tuesday. We’ll take turns being different flavors of sacramental pie.”
“Madonn’.” Carina rolled her eyes. “I need the weed. I’m clearly not as fucked up as her.”
“Baby, you can’t text about weed.” Tino sat next to Brianna at the coffee table. He placed the cakes in front of him. Then he leaned over and grabbed both Brianna’s cheeks in his rough palms. He kissed her forehead tenderly. “Promise you won’t do that again. The last thing we need is another raid. Especially if you’re going to start packing all the time. I really don’t want to register a gun in your name in case you have to use it. Don’t text about weed.”
“I don’t even like weed,” Brianna reminded him as she picked up her drink. “Makes me feel lazy.”
“I know, don’t drink any more of this.” Tino took her glass away and took a big gulp of it. Then he coughed and spit most of it back into the cup. He wheezed, “Cazzo, what is it? What the hell are you drinking?”
Carina burst out laughing. “That was so worth you coming over.”
Tino stuck out his tongue like the taste on it was making him sick as he looked at the glass. “Seriously, what is it?”
“It’s club soda and vodka with lime.” Brianna took her drink back when Tino set it down like it was toxic. “You’re overreacting. It’s not that bad.”
Tino wheezed and reached for Carina’s Irish Cream. He grimaced at the bottle, like the thought of drinking it straight wasn’t much of an improvement, but it was clearly better than club soda and vodka. He took a long drink, and then set the bottle down.
“This is the most fucked up pity party I’ve ever seen.” He reached into the back of his jeans and pulled out a small, brown bag and tossed it on the table. “Your weed.”
Carina sat on Tino’s other side at the coffee table and snatched it up like Christmas had come early. She opened it and smiled. “You got me candy bars too.”
“Yeah, peace offering.” Tino shrugged. “I hope you know you’re sharing that weed if this is all you have to drink.”
“I’ll share,” Carina said as she moved her ashtray over and set herself up.
“You need to go back to the dentist,” Brianna mumbled as she watched Carina line up the different chocolate bars her brother bought her. “You have to have cavities.”
“Not one,” Carina said confidently “I’ve never had one single cavity. We have strong teeth. Have you had one?”
Tino shook his head. “Nope.”
“Good thing.” Brianna went back to drinking. “She’s been eating ice cream all night. Now there’s cake and candy.”
“You need to eat the cake.” Tino pulled the drink out of Brianna’s hand and put a piece of cake in front of her. “Trust me, the cake is going to hurt you a lot less at rehearsal tomorrow than this vile merda.”
Tino set the drink out of reach on the coffee table, so Brianna had no choice but to eat the cake. She opened the container, because she was starving, and it did look delicious. This wasn’t cheap dessert. It high quality, like Tino had gone to a fine dining restaurant and demanded they reopen. Triple layer chocolate cake, complete with a little mint leaf decorating the swirl of whipped cream on top.
“Oh my God.” Brianna groaned, because it tasted amazing. “I think I just came.”
Tino snorted. “That was easy.”
Brianna didn’t care that he was laughing. “I’m serious. I think I’m coming right now. I’m having an orgasm.”
“That cake is starting to make you look bad, Tino,” Carina observed dryly.
Brianna kept eating her cake, closing her eyes to really taste it because it was an indulgence she rarely allowed herself. She licked her fork and Tino grunted. She blinked at him, seeing that dark gaze was trained on her mouth, so she licked her lips slow and deliberate.
Tino made another low sound in the back of his throat and asked, “What’s it taste like?”
“Like sin,” Brianna whispered as she stared back at him, feeling the familiar jolt of need in her stomach Tino always brought out of her.
“Do you want the weed or what?”
“Huh?” Tino sounded a little dazed.
Carina shook her head. “You two are so weird.”
Tino obviously didn’t care because he dipped his finger into the chocolate frosting and then leaned over to smear it across Brianna’s bottom lip. She parted to him rather than complain. His gaze was still trained on her mouth, making her feel like dessert now. When he leaned back into her and licked at her lips, she threaded her fingers into his hair rather than push him away. He sucked her bottom lip into his mouth and she started falling back against the carpet, wanting to feel his weight over her.
Something stopped her before they could get there. Tino made a choking sound, and Brianna blinked, realizing that Carina had caught the neck of Tino’s shirt under the collar of his jacket. It was either let him go or allow his sister to choke him to death.
Carina didn’t release her hold on his shirt until Tino sat back up and growled at her, “Cosa?”
“We’re not doing that.” Carina lit the joint and took a drag off it. After she blew it out her voice was raspy as she went on, “I didn’t say anything about the A on your menu. Even though you know you deserve to lose it after telling Nova my shit. The least you could do is spare me the trauma. I’m already having a bad day.”
Tino took the joint she offered to him but didn’t smoke it. Instead he asked, “Why didn’t you say anything?”
Carina shrugged. “I don’t know.”
Tino took a hit instead of respond. He didn’t hold his breath as long, but his voice was still gravelly when he said, “I love you, Rina.”
“Whatever,” Carina huffed, clearly not so willing to forgive him.
So, they smoked while Brianna ate her cake. Then, seemly out of the blue, Carina and Tino noticed the other piece of chocolate cake. Tino ripped the lid off the container before the two of them dug into it. They took turns between smoking and eating cake and neither of them seemed to know who was getting the better deal.
“I gotta tell you something,” Tino confessed as he tore the wrapper off a chocolate bar because Carina was finishing off the cake. The joint was left to slowly die in the ashtray, making it obvious the sugar had won in the end. “I didn’t know the A wasn’t supposed to be on her menu. I wasn’t tricking her, or lying to her, I just didn’t know it was such a big fucking deal.”
Carina licked her fork and looked at him. “What?”
“How was I supposed to know it wasn’t a thing everyone did?” Tino looked anxious despite the weed. “I assumed it was. Where I learned to fuck everyone did it.”
Carina just blinked at him several times and then promptly dropped her fork and reached for the joint. She waved her free hand, like what he said freaked her out. She took a long drag, and then held her breath for an extra-long time.
“Not her,” Tino said like he understood what was making her anxious. “Carina, come on, you know it wasn’t her. I didn’t—” He grunted when Carina started choking and coughing. “I swear—”
“I don’t care.” Carina’s voice was barely a whisper as she fought to hold her breath. “It’s okay. Stop. I just—”
“I didn’t fuck your mother in the ass,” Tino confessed like his barrier between mouth and brain had been completely wiped out. “You know how she is. How could you think she’d be into that?”
“Oh my God,” Brianna whispered because they all made big efforts not to talk about Tino’s years of sexual slavery at the hands of Carina’s mother for obvious reasons. None of them needed that acute of a reminder about how badly Cosa Nostra fucked up their childhoods, Tino especially, but Carina wasn’t far behind. “What is in that weed?”
“That came out wrong. I’m wired and it mixes weird with weed,” Tino confessed, which made it obvious he had lost his protection mechanisms. “I mean, not wired, just high strung because I was working before you started texting.”
“You stopped working to bring me cake?” Carina asked before he could finish. “Really?”
“Yeah, you’re more important than jumping for the don. I’m a fucking stronzo for telling Nova your shit. I feel like merda,” Tino said earnestly. “And I didn’t fuck your mother in the ass. I promise that has never been on her menu. Not even our father gets it and he’s a coglione. That’s probably why he left her at home and fucked my mother because we all know she did it.”
There was a deadly silence for a long moment, before Carina cracked and put a hand to her mouth. She was practically gasping for air with her valiant effort to stop herself from laughing.
“I’m not laughing at your dead mother,” Carina gasped as tears rolled down her face. “I’m not. I promise.”
It might have worked. Carina could’ve pulled herself together if Tino didn’t start laughing and he didn’t even try to hold it back, “But I am laughing at your mother,” he confessed. “Cold, mean, bitch. She wouldn’t know how to do anal with a GPS giving directions.”
“Puttana,” Carina agreed, before they both just collapsed in fits of laughter.
Brianna was very drunk, but even with way too much vodka in her system she knew enough to say, “I think you both need massive amounts of therapy.”
It just made Tino and Carina laugh harder.
And just like that, all was right in Tino and Carina’s world again, over the most fucked up topic possible, with the help of weed and whatever Tino was wired on from work.