Home > Salvatore: a Dark Mafia Romance (Standalone)(9)

Salvatore: a Dark Mafia Romance (Standalone)(9)
Author: Natasha Knight


Salvatore’s estate was large and very private. Tall iron gates opened upon our arrival. Only moonlight illuminated most of the grounds, until we drew closer to the house, and I got my first glimpse of the mansion with its huge garage, outbuildings, and extensive and various types of landscaping lights. The grounds, from what I could make out, were expansive, with woods circling most of the property. It seemed to me that the driveway was at least a mile long before it finally circled at the main entrance to the residence. A woman came outside and waited for us. As soon as the car stopped, I climbed out on my own, needing to stretch my legs after so many hours of sitting. I’d grown up surrounded by wealth, but I’d never lived in a house this grand. It seemed pretentious of Salvatore, maybe another weakness. I walked toward the woman.

“Ma’am.”

“Just Lucia,” I answered, attempting to give her a warm smile. I’d need allies. I didn’t want to be hated.

The woman smiled back and nodded. I turned to the guard who’d flown with me. He looked as tired as I felt.

“When will Salvatore arrive?” I asked, wanting information.

“I’m not sure.”

“Come inside,” the woman said.

I followed her in, looking around the house—my new home—for the first time. The large circular foyer led off in several directions, one of which had to be the kitchen, considering the delicious smell coming from that direction. I could see the living room through a large archway. At the far end stood a wall of glass, and large doors led to a patio. Dim, colorful lights shone off the glass-like surface of the swimming pool, inviting even now. The rest of the interior doors stood closed. I turned my attention to the large marble staircase leading to the upper floor.

“Are you hungry?”

I shook my head, stifling a yawn. “I’m just very tired.”

She nodded. “I’ll take you to your room.”

I touched her elbow to stop her before she turned. “What’s your name?”

“Rainey.”

“Rainey. That’s a pretty name.”

“Thank you.”

I figured her to be in her early forties. It felt strange to have her wait on me. I’d always hated that, actually. I felt uncomfortable and awkward even with servants. I didn’t mind a housekeeper or cook, but a servant felt different.

I followed Rainey up the stairs and toward the double doors at the end of the hall. I assumed that was the master bedroom. My heart thudded as we approached, knowing he’d expect to have me in his bed. Of course he would. Why not? What sense would it make for him to take possession of me but not fuck me?

But before we reached the foreboding doors at the end, we turned to the right, where Rainey opened a single door.

“This one’s yours,” she said, switching on a light and gesturing for me to enter.

The room was huge and richly decorated with heavy dark curtains draped from each of the windows. Exposed brick made the space appear darker and gave it a masculine flair, but I liked it, especially the large fireplace I wouldn’t have need for just yet. Rainey pointed out the bathroom, which I barely glanced at, because my gaze had fallen on the large, four-post, king-size bed in the room with a thick duvet and overstuffed pillows at the head.

“Shall I help you unpack? We’ve already moved your other things into the closet.”

“Other things? Oh.” I’d forgotten. Salvatore had had my things packed up and brought here a few days ago. I didn’t have much, hadn’t needed much at a Catholic school, but what I had was neatly organized in the open walk-in closet Rainey stood at the entrance of. “I’m actually tired. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll just have a shower and go to bed.”

“Of course.”

She closed the closet doors and moved over to turn down the bed—another thing I didn’t like. I could turn down my own bed.

“Thank you, Rainey,” I said, dismissing her.

Once she left, I went over and peeked inside the closet. Huge. The racks were full and contained my clothes as well as items that did not belong to me. I checked the size of a dress. Four. He’d probably bought them for me. Or had them bought. I couldn’t see Salvatore Benedetti shopping.

Apart from the bathroom, there stood another door Rainey hadn’t pointed out. I walked over to it, but when I tried to open it, I found it was locked. I’d ask about it tomorrow.

I went into the bathroom and saw the separate shower as well as a bathtub set in the middle of the large space. It was old-fashioned, one with copper feet and fixtures. All surfaces were sparkling clean, and on one of the shelves stood several of my favorite brands of shampoos and body washes. Even bubble bath. I hadn’t had a bubble bath in years. I decided I’d have one instead of a shower.

I turned the taps on in the bath, checked the temperature, and poured in the soap, watching as champagne-pink bubbles began to appear almost instantly. I found a hairclip in one of the sink drawers and piled my hair up on top of my head. The deep auburn mass would fall to the middle of my back when I let it down. As I undressed, I checked out the rest of the space. Everything was high-end, from the gold-veined marble on the floor and countertops to the copper fixtures on the taps. A stack of towels stood on a shelf. I touched them. Soft and luxurious. Brand-new.

The bath filled. I turned the water off and dipped a toe inside. I caught my reflection in one of the two mirrors. I’d lost a few pounds in the last two weeks. I ran almost daily, and at 5 feet five and 120 pounds, I was healthy with long, lean muscle, small but pert breasts, and a bubble butt. That was the yoga. The sisters at the college actually allowed a woman to teach classes three evenings a week, and I never missed a single one. It was that and the running that kept me sane, that kept me from tearing my hair out in frustration at how life had turned out for me.

I sank slowly into the bath. Steam rose off it, but the warmth felt good compared to the relative coolness inside the house. They must have had the air conditioner cranking, since it was July and the heat outside was stifling, with the evenings offering only the slightest relief. I wadded up a small towel and lay my head back against it, closing my eyes. Between the heat and my exhaustion, I must have dozed off, because the sound of someone clearing his throat startled me awake.

My eyelids flew open, and I caught my breath when I saw Salvatore standing just inside the bathroom, watching me.

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