"He shot her on purpose."
I looked at Giovanna, surprised. She rarely talked about her past, rarely talked about the Outfit. This was both, this was in some ways the Ur, this was Chicago Now beginning.
"Marco was lots of things but he hit what he aimed at. He aimed at that girl so I wouldn't kill him. It worked. For that day."
She got up from her chair, picked up my glass and refreshed our drinks. Giovanna Marcone is the organization behind Chicago Crime, the first mortal 'lord', entitled as baroness of Chicago, and my liege-wife.
I'm Harry Blackstone Copperfield Marcone, nee Dresden and I'm Chicago's Wizard. I'd made some enemies out of things with gnashing teeth, literal and metaphorical, and I saw no way out but plea for Giovanna's protection, to ask her to take me to husband. I took my glass back.
"I found out he hadn't killed her. Vargassi, Marco's father, he'd hidden her away in a nursing home, should a trial ever happen. Her parents had thought her dead for two years by then. I had the girl moved to a better facility, and sent someone to break the good/bad news." She sipped.
I looked at my wife. I loved her, I think she's at the least fond of me. The boundaries are still evolving.
"Coma. She's still in a coma. The Becketts survived their daughter's death but not her life. Her father got himself into some trouble. Helen visits her daily."
After I'd talked to Murphy, after Giovanna had 'interviewed' me in her car, I'd done some research, thanks be that microfiche and 'film readers are about as simple as technology can be--if I stay calm their bulbs don't burst or burn too bright and burn out. The Becketts had tried crucifying Giovanna--even then she'd been distinctive. She's a tall woman, all muscle and dangerous curves. There was a picture from one of the cases, her dressed quite somberly. She looked like a gorgeous nun in civilian dress.
She'd taken the Mob apart and put it back together, 'better', 'stronger' and clearly more profitable. She held the reins in her exquisite, strong hands. She executed her will such that regular people didn't have much more to fear than random crime. There's a grove out on the grounds, the clearing the final thing more than one person ever saw. It's gained a serenity pool after an incident with a loupgarou. She doesn't hide the past, she knits it into the present, lets the future cling to it seeking the light.
"May I take you to bed? May I be your heated brick?" No answer, I might have overstepped. She grasped my hand, looked at me.
"Not yet, but yes. I'll sleep with you."