Home > Luca Vitiello (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #0)(3)

Luca Vitiello (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #0)(3)
Author: Cora Reilly

“No, it’s not,” I said firmly. Didn’t she understand? If Father found out that Matteo was crying after our mother, especially when Cesare was around, he’d punish him. Maybe he’d burn his eye out like he’d threatened to do to me. I couldn’t let that happen. I glanced to Cesare who stood a few steps back, unwrapping his tape from his wrist.

“Our mother was a sinner. Suicide is sin. She doesn’t deserve our sadness,” I repeated what the pastor had told me when I’d visited church with Father. I didn’t understand it. Killing was a sin too, but the pastor never said anything to Father about that.

Marianna shook her head and touched my shoulder with sad eyes. Why did she have to do it? “She shouldn’t have left you boys alone.”

“She was never really there for us before, either,” I said firmly, balling my emotions inside of me.

Marianna nodded. “I know, I know. Your mother…”

“…was weak,” I hissed, drawing back from her touch. I didn’t want to talk about her. I just wanted to forget she’d ever existed, and I wanted Matteo to stop looking at the stupid knife as if it would kill him.

“Don’t,” Marianna whispered. “Don’t become like your father, Luca.”

That’s what Grandma Marcella had said before she’d died.


Grandma looked thin and small. Her skin appeared too big for her body, as if she’d borrowed it from a person twice her size.

She smiled in a way no one ever smiled at me and stretched out her old hand. I took it. Her skin felt like paper, dry and cold.

“Don’t leave,” I demanded. Father said she would die soon. That’s why he’d sent me into her room, to understand death but I already did.

Grandma squeezed my hand lightly. “I’ll watch over you from heaven.”

I shook my head. “You can’t protect us when you’re up there.”

Her brown eyes were kind. “Soon you won’t need protection anymore.”

“I’ll rule over everyone,” I whispered. “Then I’ll kill Father so he can’t hurt Matteo and Mother anymore.”

Grandma touched my cheek. “Your father killed his father so he could become Capo.”

My eyes widened. “You hate him for it?”

“No,” she said. “Your Grandfather was a cruel man. I couldn’t protect Salvatore from him.” Her voice got raspier and very quiet so I had to lean close to hear her. “That’s why I tried to protect you from your father but I failed again.”

Her eyelids fluttered and she released my hand but I clung to it. “Don’t become like your grandfather and father, Luca.”

She closed her eyes.



I scowled, then glanced back at Cesare who was watching with his arms crossed. Had he heard what Marianna had said? Father would be angry with her. Very angry.

I turned on my heel and walked toward him, stopping right in front of him and narrowing my eyes. “You didn’t hear anything.”

Cesare’s eyebrows rose. Did he think I was kidding?

I didn’t have much I could do. Father held all the power. “You won’t tell anyone anything, or I’ll tell my father that you talked shit about him. I’m his heir. He’ll believe me.”

Cesare dropped his arms. “You don’t have to threaten me, Luca. I’m on your side.”

With that, he turned on his heel and went into the locker room. Father always said we were surrounded by enemies. How was I supposed to know whom I could trust?






Screams tore through my nightmare, through the images of red rivulets on white marble. I sat up, disoriented, listening to shouting and gunfire. What was happening?

Light flared up in the hallway, probably the motion sensors. I rolled over to the edge of my bed when the door opened. A tall man I’d never seen before stood in the doorway, his gun trained on my head.

I froze.

He was going to kill me. I could see it in his expression. I stared into his eyes, wanting to die with my head held high like a real man. A small shadow dashed forward behind the man and, with a battle cry, Matteo jumped on his back. The gun fired and I jerked as hot pain sliced through my middle.

The bullet went a lot lower than it was supposed to. He would have killed me if it hadn’t been for Matteo. Tears shot into my eyes, but I stumbled out of the bed and wrenched my gun out of the nightstand. The man lifted the barrel at Matteo. I raised my gun, pointed it at his head the way Cesare and One had taught me, then pulled the trigger. Blood splattered everywhere, even over Matteo’s shock-widened face. For a moment, everything seemed to stand still—even my heartbeat—and then everything sped up.

The man tumbled forward and would have taken my brother with him had he not jumped back in the last moment, still looking stunned. He blinked at me, then peered down at the body. Slowly, he dragged his gaze back up, lingering on my belly. “You’re bleeding.”

I clutched the wound in my side, shaking from the force of the pain. My hand with the gun shook, but I didn’t drop it. Shots and screams still rang out downstairs. I nodded toward my closet. “Hide in there.”

Matteo frowned.

“Do it,” I said sharply.


I staggered toward him, almost passing out from the sharp pain in my body. I gripped Matteo by the cuff of his pajama and pulled him toward the closet. He struggled, but I shoved him inside and turned the lock.

Matteo hammered against the door from inside. “Let me out!”

Trembling with anxiety and pain, I crept downstairs, toward the living room where the sounds were coming from. When I stepped in, I saw Father crouched behind a sofa in a shooting match with two other men. Both had their backs turned to me. Father’s eyes flitted to me, and for a moment, I considered not doing anything. I hated him, hated how he hurt Matteo and me, and even his new wife Nina.

Still, I raised my hand and shot one of the men. Father took care of the other. The man fell to the floor clutching his shoulder. Father kicked the gun away then shot him in both feet. Somewhere in the house I heard more gunshots, then heavy steps. One stumbled inside, bleeding from a wound in his head.

Father frowned. “Did you kill everyone?”

One nodded. “Yes. They got Two.”

“They shouldn’t have come as far as they did,” Father muttered. Without warning, he aimed his gun at One and pulled the trigger. I cried out in surprise as the man fell to the floor beside me. I’d known him all my life.

My legs gave away, my wound throbbing. Father regarded me as he lifted his phone and spoke into it. “Send for the Doc, and come over with Durant. No one else until I know who the rats are.”

Father stalked toward me and pulled me roughly to my feet. Holding me upright, he shoved my hand away from my bleeding wound. He prodded at it, and my vision turned black as I jerked in agony. Father shook me. “Get a grip on yourself. Don’t die on me.”

My eyes peeled open. Father shook his head then released me, and I sank back down to the ground. I braced myself on my hands, wheezing.

Father moved out of the room, leaving me alone with the attacker who was moaning as he tried to crawl away. When Father returned, he carried rope. He tied up the man then pulled out his knife and touched it to the man’s forearm. He screamed when Father began to cut his skin off his flesh. It’s like peeling an apple. That’s what Father always said but an apple didn’t screech and beg.

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