Home > Luca Vitiello (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #0)(9)

Luca Vitiello (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #0)(9)
Author: Cora Reilly

I could hear people running our way. My hand went to my gun. Cesare and Matteo did the same as we turned the corner. When I saw what caused the commotion, I relaxed. Children were chasing each other, hurtling straight toward us. The boy managed to stop, but a young girl rushed toward me, her arms flailing, and crashed into my body. My hands shot out to catch her. She stared up at me with wide eyes as I held her by the shoulders.

“Liliana,” one of the other girls shrieked. My eyes snapped toward her, then her golden blond hair, and I knew who she was. Aria Scuderi, my future wife. She was the oldest of the bunch, but damn it, she looked so fucking young. I mean, it wasn’t as if I’d expected a grown woman, but I’d hoped it wouldn’t be so fucking obvious that she was only fifteen. When I was that age, I already felt and acted like a man. I wasn’t sure what I’d have done if Cavallaro and my father hadn’t agreed to wait until she was eighteen.

She was beautiful in a childish way, but there was the promise of breathtaking beauty under her young features. She was small but, with my size, most women were. In a few years when she’d become my wife, she’d be stunning. She’d better learn to hide her emotions better until then. She looked fucking terrified. I was used to people giving me that kind of look, but with women I preferred admiration and lust to terror any day.

“Liliana, come here,” she said. It was pretty obvious that she was trying to look strong and grown-up. She would have been more convincing if her voice wasn’t shaking and if there wasn’t that petrified glint in her eyes. I loosened my grip on her sister, who bolted toward Aria as if the devil were at her heels. Had these girls never met other men? Scuderi probably kept them in a golden cage, which suited me just well.

“That’s Luca Vitiello!” a redhead blurted and actually wrinkled her fucking nose at me. I wasn’t used to so much rudeness. People knew better than to disrespect me. Not Scuderi’s brats, however.

There was a hiss and the boy shot in my direction and actually attacked me. “Leave Aria alone! You don’t get her!”

Cesare made a move to interject as if I needed help against a midget.

“No, Cesare.” I stared down at the boy. His fervor was almost admirable if it wasn’t so futile. I caught his hands.

Aria crept toward me as if she thought I might snap her brother’s neck and then her own. Fuck, what had her family told her about me? They should have lied. I knew I had a reputation and I was fucking proud of it, but Aria didn’t need to know about it—yet.

“What a warm welcome we get. That’s the infamous hospitality of the Outfit,” Matteo said, as usual letting his fat mouth run free.

“Matteo,” I warned before he said more. These were children, even my future wife, and they didn’t need to hear his colorful vocabulary.

The midget was squirming in my grip, snapping and growling like a wild dog.

“Fabiano,” Aria said, her eyes darting up to me for a millisecond before she grabbed her brother’s arm. “That’s enough. It’s not how we treat guests.”

Despite her breakable appearance, Aria seemed to hold some power over her siblings. Her brother stopped struggling and looked at her as if she were the center of his world. “He’s not a guest. He wants to steal you away, Aria.”

Sorry, buddy, nothing about this fucking arrangement was my idea. And yet I had to admit that, after having seen Aria, I wouldn’t let her slip out of my grip for anything in the world. She was mine now. I regarded her as she smiled down at her brother with so much kindness, stunning me.

Matteo chuckled. “This is too good. I’m glad Father convinced me to come.”

“Ordered you.” Our father never tried to convince anyone. He ordered, bribed or blackmailed.

Aria had a hard time meeting my gaze; she was obviously embarrassed by my attention. A deep flush had spread on her cheeks. I released her brother, and she clutched him against her body protectively. She was so shy and terrified that I wondered if she’d dare to oppose me if I actually made a move toward her brother. Not that I’d ever do that. There was no honor in attacking children and women.

“I’m sorry,” Aria said feebly. “My brother didn’t mean to be disrespectful.”

“I did!” the boy shouted. Aria’s hand shot out and clamped his mouth shut. I almost laughed. It had been a while since a woman had made me want to laugh, even by accident.

“Don’t apologize,” the redheaded girl hissed. “It’s not our fault that he and his bodyguards take up so much room in the corridor. At least, Fabiano speaks the truth. Everyone else thinks they need to blow sugar up his ass because he’s going to be

Capo—”

I sent Matteo a look. That girl had the same bad temper as him.

After more bickering, Aria finally got her siblings to leave. I was glad to see them gone. They grated on my nerves. It was no surprise that Scuderi wanted to marry his daughters off as quickly as possible.

Aria squirmed when she looked at me. “I apologize for my sisters and brother. They are—”

“Protective of you,” I helped her out. “This is my brother, Matteo.”

Aria barely glanced his way, but she wasn’t really meeting my eyes, either.

I nodded to my side. “And this is my right hand, Cesare.”

She blinked. She looked like she would bolt if I took a step in her direction. “I should go to my siblings.” She whirled around and hurried away until her blond head disappeared from view.

“You’ve still got it, Luca. Terrifying girls left and right with your rough charm,” Matteo said.

“Let’s get going. Scuderi will be wondering what’s taking us so long.” Scuderi was the last person I wanted to meet, unless said meeting involved knives and guns and a bloodbath. I hated him without ever having met him. What kind of father married a girl like Aria off to a guy like me? She looked like an angel, and she was as shy and innocent as one, and I had absolutely no illusions what I was: a cold bastard on the best of days, and a monster the rest of the time. At least, she had three more years before I got the chance to destroy her life with my darkness.

 

 

There wasn’t enough booze in the world to make Scuderi and Fiore Cavallaro’s presence more bearable. I wanted nothing more than to slice their throats open and watch them bleed to death. Matteo shot me a sideways glance, probably knowing exactly what I was thinking. He wouldn’t hesitate a second if I asked him to pull his knives. Matteo was always ready to stick his knife into the next person who annoyed him.

“She’s a real beauty, Luca,” Scuderi said proudly. “You won’t regret your choice.”

There hadn’t really been a choice on my part, but I kept the words to myself. There was no use in starting an argument, especially with Father watching me like a hawk.

“She’s completely pure. She’s never allowed to go anywhere without her bodyguards. She’s only yours.”

I forced a smile. Not that I didn’t appreciate it. The idea that someone might touch Aria made my blood throb furiously in my veins. I felt fucking possessive of her. I’d never cared if the girls I’d had affairs with fucked other men, but with Aria I’d kill anyone who dared to look at her the wrong way.

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