James is a child stuck in a grown man’s body, and a struggling musician working full time as a bartender to support his ex-girlfriend and her son, whom he has taken to treating like his own (because really, his mother is a terrible person who couldn’t care less and never really wanted him); his situation with her is very complicated and he doesn’t share the details with anyone for fear of being lectured. Although he still cares for her and hopes that she’ll one day dig herself out of her depressive rut, he has very little faith left that she even can, and while the child is not his he does not believe that he should be condemned to a life with an apathetic mother and no father just because he isn’t blood. As such, James is a wonderful father to Noah, sacrificing everything he must to provide for him the life he deserves.
Eventually, however, James gets dragged into a mafia war when he’s kidnapped and beaten brutally, having been mistaken for Luciano Moretti, the reigning head of the Moretti crime family in the Chicago area. After misunderstanding the situation and ratting on the Don, James finds himself at odds with the Moretti’s and having to hide amongst Lucy’s enemies, which he soon learns is an even worse place to be. It isn’t long before James makes contact with a very carefully placed mole for Luciano, Ricci, who explains in detail the current war and the implications it has on not only the state of the “good family” keeping Chicago afloat, but also what it meant for the safety of the general public. After learning that Pisani (the the crime boss opposing the Moretti’s) is nothing more than a rabid dog, James sides with the Moretti’s and vows to make things right with the man he had wronged, the man who had protected his family when he could not.
At work Mike is closed off and reserved- while he may seem aloof most of the time, he is very attentive of his surroundings and quick on his feet to diffuse trouble before it arises. He only holds the position of Soldato so he does a lot of low-level work for those that work directly under the Don, which mainly involves running security at the family loft and various family-owned businesses. He’s not one to get into a fight he can’t finish, but he will also try like hell to not have to get to that point.
Michael’s a bit of an oddball in terms of his personality because he loves to socialize but he’s very picky about the kind of people he will associate himself with; he’s also very shallow when it comes to physical appearances and will make faces at people until they allow him to correct their fashion faux-pas. This can make him seem condescending even though in reality he isn’t judging the person so much as the way they choose to present themselves (He has an “inner diva” guiding his sense of fashion and she just can’t keep her trap shut and be polite).
Although he is confident and stable now, he was quite ashamed of admitting to anyone other than himself and a few close friends that he wasn’t who he claimed to be. Having been brought up in traditional Roman Catholic upbringing, he was reminded every day of what his family truly thought of him, even if it wasn’t aimed directly at him. In addition to persecution that he received from other kids his age, Michael hid the fact that he was gay from his parents until he was twenty three years old, and only then with the help of his sister and a friend that had defended his honor countless times over. When they found out they completely disowned him, asked him to leave and told him he was no longer welcome in their home until he “turned from his path of destruction and repented in the eyes of the Lord”. He learned a hard but necessary lesson that day- family doesn’t always mean blood, and needless to say Michael turned and walked right out that door and never looked back.
I haven’t been able to finish any sort of painting of Ricci for myself, so I commissioned Ulvar to paint him for me. I couldn’t decide if I wanted his eyepatch on or off for this, since I didn’t have a good reference of him without it, but he really never takes the patch off unless he’s at home… so I asked her to do both.
Angelo recently went through some life-altering trauma that has significantly impacted his day-to-day activities. He and two other family members were in a safe-house when a bomb went off, blowing off the majority of his arm and badly burning both him and his girlfriend at the time. Before the event, currently present aspects of his personality were much less prevalent- his anger was much slower to flare, he didn’t really pick fights unless he absolutely had to… and more importantly, he was a much happier person overall. While I would love to give some more positive aspects of his personality, the loss of limb coupled with intense pain and overwhelming frustration with basic things like dressing and personal hygiene have him in a constant state of depression and aggravation. For the first few months he avoided anything that was too much of a chore unless he had help (his girlfriend helped for as long as she could stand to be around him); the ordeal gave him an inferiority complex that has caused him to lash out in anger, just to prove his worth. But he has finally gotten to the point where he has begun to think about things that could make the situation easier to deal with. (specialized shoulder holster, tailored clothing so he would not have pieces dangling, practicing tying his shoes with one hand) Luckily for Angel, the explosion was the worst of his luck. He’s still a strong fighter, a good shot, and an intimidating soldier, which is all he really needs to be able to continue working for Antonio… and being able to continue to gain respect as a one-armed hitman has earned him an even more feared reputation among the underbelly of New York.
The Moretti’s have a smaller branch running things down in New Orleans, of which Nash is the head. It’s a much more lax organization that really acts more like a modern gang than a true Mafia family, but it does its job and keeps the peace.
Nash, like Lucy, has a natural knack for making people trust him, and that has brought him a long way over the years. Aside from his love for women and Jazz, he enjoys lively atmospheres and spends most of his time surrounded by strangers and making friends. He is one of Mave’s remaining friends in the south, and they have been close since childhood, even keeping in touch in spite of the distance.
Jesse’s history with the Moretti family goes back pretty far. If he were asked what happened to his parents, he’d say he was adopted by Luciano when he was a young boy, but it wouldn't be the whole truth. Jesse’s parents were shop owners from Sicily under the protection of the Moretti’s who were murdered in cold blood by a rival family to get a point across… or so the story goes. He was taken in by Luciano when he was about five years old, becoming accustomed to the lifestyle long before he reached maturity. Once under his wing he steered Jesse in the direction that he seemed to be the most gifted in, and was in the best interests of the family- by putting him through law school. He studied both Foreign and Domestic Law and now serves as a personal Lawyer to the Moretti and Calidori Families, often travelling between Chicago, New York City, and his home in Sicily to represent members of the family when they get into trouble with the law.
Jesse is very social by nature, charming, and an agreeable person to be around, which gives him an edge both in and out of the courtroom; however like most of the mafiosos he was raised around, he has a vicious streak in him. This was most apparent during his teenage years, when he would often jump to defend Michael from school bullies and end up in violent fist fights. Lucy broke him of this, however, reminding him that if he were going to be a respectable Criminal Defense Lawyer he could not “soil his hands with civilian blood”, and that if he must no one should ever bear witness. To remind himself of this Jesse tattooed the words “Onore” and “Verita” across his fingers, which are “Honor” and “Truth”, so that every time he raised a hand he would be forced to remember the promise he had made to his father. Over the years he has forgotten this and has adopted the attitude seamlessly, though his fearlessness never quite left him.
Viewed by his peers and family members as a “perfect gentleman”, he is adored by nearly everyone he meets. Although he doesn’t have much “free time” with all the traveling he has to do, he always makes time for his friends and family and prefers to put their happiness before his own; in what little time he has left between work, lunch and dinner dates with his friends and family, and his girlfriend, he can usually be found reading and cooking.