- "Who knows what I was born for?"
- ―Cross De Lena[src]
Named after the Don's father, Cross was born unaware of his father's position in the Clericuzio family. His father trained him slowly for this world, by taking him hunting and teaching him to cheat and play poker. Eventually he joined his father's security company, where he met Alfred Gronevelt, the owner of the Xanadu Hotel and casino owned by Alfred and the Clericuzio family. Alfred took Cross in as his student, and after Alfred's death, Cross received his shares in the casino and took control of the day-to-day operations of the casino. Throughout his childhood, he had a rivalry with his cousin Dante that was treated as a family joke.
Making his bones
- "I'll be there the whole time, there'll be no danger, but you have to be the shooter."
- ―Joseph De Lena[src]
Eventually, Pippi decided Cross needed to "make his bones" in the family. The opportunity had arisen when Governor Walter Wavven, who the family had hoped would run for Senator of Nevada, lost his daughter Marcy to a Greek student named Theo Tatoski, who had escaped justice. The Clericuzios hoped that by achieving vengeance for Marcy's death, they would be able to convince Walter to run for senator.
Cross and his father managed to ambush Theo whilst he was visiting his girlfriend. Cross shot the unconvicted murderer, before placing drugs on his body in order to suggest a drug deal gone wrong.
Cross had fallen in love with an actress named Athena Aquitane who he met through his sister Claudia. They had met when Athena's abusive estranged husband Boz Skannet had been threatening Athena, and so Cross took him out in order to guarantee Athena's participation on Messalina, a film Claudia had written. Athena had an autistic daughter named Bethany who began to build a bond with Cross.
During this time Dante and his partner Detective Jim Losey killed Pippi in revenge for the murder of Dante's father Jimmy Santadio. As a reprisal, Cross and and his enforcer Lia Vazzi staged the deaths of both of them at his home during the party for Messalina. Before Losey was just about to kill Cross, he was trapped and executed in his heavily guarded penthouse suite by Lia Vazzi and his men. At the same time, Dante was shot and killed by Cross in his own villa, which was later burned down as a precaution.
Shortly after, the Don and his sons interrogated Cross about what he did, and instead of killing him, he was sent into exile and went to Paris, where he started a new life with Athena and her daughter. Cross was unaware that this had all been a grand scheme by the Don to eliminate the obstacles and achieve ultimate power and legitimacy.
Return to family life
After the death of the Don, the family began to be undermined by an unknown source, resulting in the death of Petie Clericuzio, and Giorgio Clericuzio sought Cross's help in discovering the identity of the enemy. Cross refused, enjoying his life in Paris, until Athena was killed by a bomb meant for him. Heartbroken, Cross returned to the United States with Bethany and her nanny Josie Cirolia in tow, not knowing that Josie was secretly an undercover FBI agent.
Cross assembled the New York Families to discuss the murders but seemed not the wiser as to who had committed them. He reunited with Lia Vazzi, whose family had been massacred in Sicily, to hunt out the killer, beginning by interrogating Frankie Lips, a street punk with ties to Paulie Borgetto, However, Frankie testified that Borgetto was innocent, and Cross released him.
Behind the scenes
|Don of the Clericuzio crime family|