Home > Salvatore: a Dark Mafia Romance (Standalone)(2)

Salvatore: a Dark Mafia Romance (Standalone)(2)
Author: Natasha Knight


I sucked in a breath, heavy and wet, drowning me.

I poured myself a drink, slammed it back, and repeated. Whiskey was good. Whiskey dulled the scene replaying in my head. But it did nothing to wipe out the image of her eyes on mine. Her terrified, desperate eyes.

I threw the glass, smashing it in the corner. One of the whores came to me, knelt between my spread legs, and took my cock out of my pants. Her lips moved, saying something I didn’t hear over the war raging inside my head, and fucked up as fucked up can be, she took my already hard cock into her mouth.

I gripped a handful of the bitch’s hair and closed my eyes, letting her do her work, taking me deep into her throat. But I didn’t want gentle, not now. I needed more. I stood, squeezed my eyes shut against the image of Lucia on that table, and fucked the whore’s face until she choked and tears streamed down her cheeks. Until I finally came, emptying down her throat, the sexual release, like the whiskey, gave me nothing. There wasn’t enough sex or alcohol in the world to burn that particular image of Lucia out of my mind, but maybe I deserved it. Deserved the guilt. I should man up and own it. I allowed it all to happen, after all. I stood by and did nothing.

And now, she was mine, and I was hers.

Her very own monster.

 

 

1

 

 

Lucia

 


Five Years Later

Calabria, Italy

 

The last time I walked down the aisle of this cathedral had been my confirmation day. I’d been a child. I’d worn a beautiful white dress, and my mother had wound a rosary through my fingers, binding my hands in prayer.

I hadn’t prayed, though. Instead, I’d thought of how I looked in my dress. How it was the prettiest of all the girls. How I was the prettiest.

Today, I wore black. And I no longer cared who was the prettiest. Today, I followed my father’s casket to the front of the church.

Black lace hid my face, so I could take in the audience without them seeing me. The pews stood empty until we reached the front rows, where ten were occupied. Fifteen mourners on the right—my family’s side. Double that on the left. Did soldiers count as mourners, though? Because that’s what the Benedetti’s had brought.

I ignored them and looked at each of the fifteen faces who had dared show up on my side. My father did not have many friends. In fact, of the fifteen, two were his brothers, my uncles, and one, his sister. The other twelve made up their families. Only the women sat in the pews, though. My male cousins carried my father’s coffin.

As the procession neared the front pew, I prepared myself for the moment I would see his face. The face of the man who had, five years ago, sat across from me in a cold, sterile room and signed a contract, declaring his ownership of me. A vow, like a marriage vow, perhaps. But the words cherish and love had been absent from the pages; take and keep having taken their place.

No, we had a different sort of contract. My life to spare my family. Me as the sacrifice, the payer of the debt. Me to show anyone in the DeMarco family who had any fight left that the Benedetti’s owned their daughter. The Benedetti’s owned the DeMarco princess.

I hate the Benedetti family. I hate every single one of them.

The procession halted. My sister, Isabella, stood close enough behind me that I felt her there. At least she wasn’t crying. At least she knew not to show weakness. In fact, no sound came from her at all.

Seeing her today, it had surprised me.

Seeing my niece, Effie, for the first time, it twisted my heart, reminding me of yet another thing that had been taken from me.

Six pallbearers laid my father’s coffin down on the table arranged to receive it. It would be a closed-casket funeral. No viewing. He’d blown half his head off when he’d shot himself in the mouth.

My cousins turned to me. Luke, who was the adopted son of my uncle, looked just beyond me, though. Beyond me and to my sister. His eyes, a soft, pale blue I remembered from childhood, had hardened to steel. I watched, wishing I could turn back and look at my sister, see what her eyes said. But then his gaze shifted to me. He looked very different from the boy I’d grown up with. But he was very different or had become so over the last five years. We all had. Through the lace shielding my face, I met his eyes. Could he see the rage simmering inside me? He gave me a quick, short nod. An acknowledgment. I wondered if anyone saw it. He could be killed for it. The Benedetti’s took no prisoners. Well, apart from me. But a woman. What could a woman do?

They would see.

A man moved into my periphery and cleared his throat. I knew who it was. Standing up straighter, steeling myself, I forced my heart to stop its frantic pounding and turned to face him.

Salvatore Benedetti.

I swallowed as my gaze traveled from the black silk tie he wore upward. I remembered him. Even though we’d only met once before, I remembered him clearly. But the suit seemed to stretch tighter over muscle now, his chest broader, his arms thicker. I forced my gaze higher, pausing at his neck, willing myself to slow my breathing.

I could not show weakness. I could not show fear. But that day, when they’d forced me onto that table—I still shuddered at how cold it had felt against my naked thighs—he hadn’t spoken. Not a single word. He had looked at me, watched my struggle, watched me bite my tongue as they shamed me.

But I also remembered something else, and that gave me the courage to raise my eyes to his. He’d turned away first. Was it that he hadn’t been able to look at me? To witness my degradation? Or could he not stand the thought of me seeing him for what he was?

Our families had decided. I’d had little choice. I wondered for a moment what choice he’d had, but I wouldn’t consider that. It didn’t matter. Salvatore Benedetti would one day rule the Benedetti family. He would be boss. He would become what I vowed to destroy five years ago.

I masked any emotion as I turned my gaze up to his. I’d learned to hide my feelings well over the last few years.

My heart stopped for a single moment. Everything seemed to still, as if waiting. Something fluttered inside my belly as cobalt-blue eyes met mine.

Not steely but soft.

I remembered how I’d thought that five years ago too. How, for just the briefest moment on that terrible day, I’d thought there was hope. That he’d stop what was happening. But I’d been wrong. Any perceived softness, it only deceived. It hid behind it a coldhearted monster, ready to take.

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