A/N: Hi! The Devil is back! OMG! I'm so sorry to leave fanfic the way I did! Sorry! I am just meeting new people and my social life is going up all over the place. I am quiet and shy so this is all new to me so as you can see I am dedicating most of my time to my new friends and relationships (not romantic!) that I want to be forever. So excuse my leaving and hopefully the next chapter of 'The Queen of the Ace' will make up for that! Oh and please review!

xxx

Chap. 2: Returned

Arturo

I suddenly reached Rome, it was a long drive and I stopped in a small roadside inn to keep myself going but I could not sleep, when I couldn't sleep I decided to do something productive and at this moment it was driving.

I knew the dangers from driving tired however I ignored them. I didn't felt like stopping, I was still running away from Buttercup. I needed to leave her in order to be…normal. The only feeling I could feel for her was…indifference, nothing but that. She was everything but she was not mine.

I pushed the accelerator. I was suddenly going to the speed limit of 100 m/h.

Buttercup, Buttercup, Buttercup…I thought as I remembered her face. Her heart-shaped face, her flawless pale rose skin, her bright light green eyes that shone like light green emeralds, her perfect full lips, and her choppy but dark hair…

I suddenly slowed down because I finally reached where I wanted to be.

The Taker of Heads Casino where I made my mark, the 'Ace' was back.

xxx

I checked in the hotel and the receptionist was a middle-aged lady who looked like life had gotten the worst of her. She was worn and she looked older than she really was. Her eyes went wide as she saw me come in.

"The Dark Lord!" she cried. I narrowed my eyes. Antonio had made me false papers in order to mislead the Gagliano gang however that was not possible, the Gagliano had connections nearly all over Italy.

"Hello Marta," I said simply. I remembered the woman, if it wasn't for her I would have died after I came to Rome.

"Il mio re," she said. I had never told her my real name. I told her my name was Julio, Angelo, Leonardo, and Paciano and so on. It went to the point that she told me that she will call me 'maschio' I though, was indifferent to her nickname.

"Marta," I said. "I came looking for a man." I said as I took out a picture of Marcello. I showed it to her and Marta narrowed her eyes.

"Il mio re," she said. "That man has strong connections here, he's known as the 'Falco' or falcon."

"Who are his connections?" I asked. Marta shook her head.

"He came here a few days," she said. "Already he is infamous with our Roman underworld. You must go to the 'Taker of Heads' casino and confront the man. He is a gambler as well." She said.

"Thank you Marta." I said and left her.

xxx

I wanted to go in the casino dressed as my former self. I was wearing an expensive dark Italian suit with an onyx ace pin, my old insignia. I looked at myself in the hotel mirror and saw that I still had my rebellious and dangerous face, I felt alive unlike when I lived in Cittá Ville.

I left the hotel and calmly walked over the 'Taker of Heads' casino. It was a short walk and I saw everyone's face in worry and suspicion. They all knew instantly that I was a dangerous man. As I went in the casino I ignored the common games and looked at the end of the room, where there was a heavy velvet red curtain. I walked towards there and saw a security man with a Gagliano symbol, a cross with a snake wrapped around it. I immediately knew who the man was working for. He was working for Santiago Gagliano, the oldest and most dangerous of the two Gagliano brothers. He had a younger brother…or use to.

"Si fermano qui," stop right there, he said in a hard and cold voice. I stopped but he instantly regretted it. I saw him recognizing me and he stopped cold. "Scusate, mio Re oscuro." Pardon me, my dark king, the man begged in a low voice. The other people didn't look our way. I grinned.

"I will only forgive your stupid mistake if you tell me one thing." I said. The man looked at me nervously. Got you, I thought with satisfaction.

"Anything, Re oscuro." He said.

"Who is connected to the 'falco'?" I asked.

"'The Dark Queen'," He said. I frowned. A queen…a woman is protecting Marcello?

"Very well," I said. Santiago Gagliano doesn't forgive any man that reveals his secrets so I stopped asking. The man had no idea how close he was to death if anyone knew of our conversation. I went in and found that instead of another room, as it would have been expected, there were was an elevator. I stepped in and I looked at the buttons but there was only one. I pressed it and the elevator went down.

BING

I stepped out and saw men and women in the room, drinking and gambling dangerous. I walked calmly to the man in the bar. He had soundproof earplugs so he would not hear a thing. It was a way of protecting secrets. I sat down and ordered vodka by writing it down for him.

"I've noticed you are new, boy." I heard a woman say behind me. I turned and saw a fake blond, gray-eyed woman. She looked older than she wanted to be. I chuckled.

"You don't know me, signorina." I said. The woman laughed, throwing her head back. She had a tight dress on and she was holding a champagne glass that was halfway full.

"I am delighted, boy." She said. She crossed her legs and grinned. "So would you care to play with us?" she asked. I faked to frown.

"I don't know who you are referring to." I said. The woman's gray eyes twinkled darkly as she grinned again.

"You know who I am talking about." She said as she stood up and led me to another heavy red velvet curtain. "Let's play with the best, boy." She said and she shoved me in.

"Serafina," I heard a man say, his back was to us. There were 2 other people beside us in the small and fine room. There was a man and a woman. The man looked familiar and with sudden realization I saw that it was Marcello. He had changed. I was not too familiar with the man but enough to see that he had done plastic surgery on his face to appear sharper and even more dangerous. The woman on the other hand, was completely unknown to me. However she was familiar…she looked like someone I knew. "I told you to look for a young man," he said as he turned his leather wheel chair and stopped. "Yet I see you found the 'Ace'." The man and woman blinked and got up hand in their guns. "Peace," the man said with a dark grin. "My brother is back." He said as he chuckled.

"Santiago," I said with a dark grin of my own. "Is good to be back, isn't?"

xxx

Rome, 8 years ago

"We've noticed you, Englishman." Arturo heard a man say behind him. Arturo turned and saw a man with a strange pin.

"Hello." Arturo said with his Italian heavy with a British accent. The man sat down, he had dark ink black hair with icy hazel eyes, he was overweight yet he was wearing an expensive Italian suit. "How may I help a sir like you?" he asked as he went back to his poker game. The man looked at the young boy with interested eyes since he already caught the interest of his small yet rising gang.

"Oh I am not a sir," the man said with a dark grin. "I am not that much older than you, Arthur." He said. Arturo turned and smiled. He was glad that he was able to pass as a British man, thank the Almighty One for his mother who sent him to a London private school where he picked up the British accent.

"Who are and what do you want then?" Arturo asked. The man chuckled but the men behind him who were his guards placed their hands on their guns, prepare to teach the young boy respect.

"I am 'Snake'." The man said as he had Arturo see his ring which had a bronze gold cross with a jade-decorated snake wrapped around it. Arturo turned around and looked at his cards.

"I know who you are." Arturo said as he sipped his beer. "Why are you here with a small man like me?" he asked sounding a little bored. The 'Snake' ordered a beer and sat more comfortably beside Arturo.

"You are just like me," The Snake said. "Confident and smart." He said and looked at the poker game that Arturo was in.

"So?" he asked as he politely ended the game. The people who were with Arturo quickly left since they sensed there was something dangerous on their hands. "What do you want from me?" Arturo asked as he sipped his beer calmly.

"I want you to be my partner." The Snake said. Arturo looked at the Snake, he was confused, was this man serious?

"Depends," Arturo asked. "What do you offer me?" he asked as he challenged the Snake. The Snake grinned.

"Everything," The Snake said as he threw his hands in the air. "Do you see how I am dressed, how I live like a king? This I offer you, all I need you to be is my eyes and ears here."

"A casino?" Arturo asked as he began mingling the cards. "A tad too much for a simple job sir, you want something else." He said as he analyzed the Snake further. The Snake grinned darkly. Arthur had everything he wanted in a partner since he was indifferent, smart, and realistic.

"True," the Snake said. "I am looking for a brother," he said as he looked at Arturo in the eye. "I want someone who will be loyal to me, who would know me inside and out, and one who is smart. You have everything I ask for and the fact that you are a gambler that only adds to what I want." The Snake said. Arturo looked at the man, he looked sincere and the fact was that Arturo was tired of a simple game, he wanted to have a more exciting life and the Snake looked like he had that.

"You have a deal," Arturo said with a dark grin. He was already convinced besides what Snake offered was to have the world at Arturo's feet. He suddenly felt powerful over everyone as he joined the Gagliano Gang.

xxx

"We cannot trust outsiders," the woman growled dangerously. Her dark blue eyes looking dangerous, her long golden hair all over her back, she looked like a dangerous Barbie doll, she had high and sharp cheekbones, a heart-shaped face and full lips. She saw me looking at her and she hissed.

"Calm down, Regina," Santiago said as he sat down bored. Serafina went towards the seat next to him and she sat down with dark grace. "Ace is an old friend."

"Old or not, the boy is untrustworthy." Regina said as she still held her gun. Santiago raised an eyebrow and turned to Marcello. I, on the other hand was more shocked by the way she called me a boy than anything else. We looked as if we were the same age, perhaps she was a bit younger but I was not worried about her threats.

"Renzo," Santiago said sounding bored. "What do you say? Let Ace my good friend, my brother and my old partner stay and play or leave and kill your irritating niece?" he asked in a dark voice. Renzo-Marcello swallowed. Regina narrowed her eyes angrily.

"You wouldn't dare, Santiago!" she said through her teeth. Santiago shrugged.

"You don't know me, beautiful." He said. I sat down, already bored with their bickering.

"What do you say, Renzo?" I asked sounding darkly amused. Renzo squirmed under my cold glare. I have proved that he did not recognize me. Of course he wouldn't, the signore barely saw me back in Cittá Ville. I simply refused to be near the descents of the royal family.

"L-L-Let the boy stay, Santiago." He said after a quick second. "Leave my niece alone."

"Now there is the answer I am looking for!" Santiago said darkly amused. "Ace, welcome back!" he said, I nodded.

"Should we play?" I asked. Santiago laughed, amused by my sudden desire to gamble. However I did not come here for the most wanted man in all Italy but for the man that almost killed Buttercup Ubertini, which was more important than him.

"First thing is first," Santiago said. "Ace, this is Serafina Scarani," He said as he pointed to Serafina. "He is Renzo Merlino," He said as Marcello stood up respectfully but I could tell he was silently enraged to be told what to do. "Lastly this is Regina Donatelli," He said as he looked at Regina. Regina sat down looking bored and monotonous. Her blond hair was everywhere and her dark blue eyes looking like dark blue beads.

"What's his real name?" Regina asked. "He knows mine and I want to know his."

"Arthur Greenwich." I said using my old name. Santiago nodded. I was happy that I had not revealed my real identity to anyone. Regina narrowed her eyes but she looked composed.

"You're not even Italian?" she asked and she chuckled darkly. "Great partner Santiago." She said and I widen my eyes. Santiago had told her his real name? Santiago hissed, thus giving him his nickname 'Snake'.

"Let's play." I said and sat down comfortably. Serafina smiled and Renzo shrugged and went to shuffle the deck of cards. Santiago sat down as well as Regina. Regina's face light up, her eyes twinkling darkly as she was handed her deck. I looked at min and saw an ace of diamonds and spades. I grinned and saw Renzo and Serafina frowning.

"A bet anyone?" Santiago asked as he ordered some cocktails. Regina grinned darkly.

"You know I'm in." she said with a grin. Renzo chuckled.

"I'm in debt, Snake." Renzo said. "I won't dig myself deeper."

"Gambling again?" Serafina asked suddenly bored. "I'll go outside and have fun instead, see you later!" she said and left. Santiago grinned darkly.

"Seems as if I am on my own with the best of the best," Santiago said as he ordered Renzo to shuffle the cards again when Serafina and he decided not to play. Both Regina and I raised our eyebrows. "This should be interesting, am I wrong Renzo?" he asked. Renzo shook his head.

"No you are not, Santiago." Renzo said. "I have heard rumors of the Ace."

"But Regina is the Queen." Serafina said as she gracefully came in like a panther, she looked at Santiago. "You have both the King and Queen against you." She said as she leaned to his ear and spread her arms around his shoulders and chest. Santiago laughed.

"Yet they are against each other, are you not?" he asked us.

"Of course," Regina said sounding disgusted at the idea.

"It seems we are." I said in my usual monotone voice. Santiago grinned.

"Shall we?" Santiago asked. For the first time I felt my heart quicken, the excitement of gambling making my head sharp and my heart beat quicken.

I looked at my cards and saw that I had my signature card.

The Ace of Spades,

From the corner of my eye I saw Regina's lip twitch.

"Yes." Regina and I said at the same time. Regina frowned. Obviously disgusted by the way we talked at the same time. I wanted to chuckle, the way she reacted was hilarious.

It's on.

xxx

A/N: So what do you think? I want to hear from all of you! ^_^