Page 34 of Code of Silence

“The word was my mom cried for days, weeks, even months after he killed her firstborn. I was born ten months later. Then she was gifted with Matteo. Then my twin brothers. But that wasn’t enough. My father wanted one more son. Well, I was six when another girl came along. I stood outside their bedroom door and listened to the baby cry when she delivered. My mother instantly started bawling. She knew the child’s fate would be the same as her first daughter. But she begged my father not to kill her.” He kneels in front of me. “Do you know what she said?”

I just stare up at him through watery eyes.

“She said, ‘Let me keep her. I’ll train her to be a lady, so she can be useful to you as a woman.’”

My body begins to shake, and I swallow that knot that forms in my throat.

“You see, Haven, we all play a role in this life, and a woman is very useful if she knows her place.” Then he stands, turns, and walks out of his office.

Leaving the threat hanging in the air.

LUCA

I walk down the hallway, nodding to guests and shaking hands with a smile on my face.

Fuck them all!

I invited then to show off my bride-to-be, so they can see how powerful I am with her. My father looks at my mother like she is nothing, a toy to use, and I don’t want that with Haven. No matter how hard on her I am, or what I say to her, I want her to run this city with me. I want her to be the Mafia wife my father always wanted but never got, and I know she can do it. No matter how much she fights it right now, she will be the best damn thing I ever do.

Walking out onto the back terrace, I spot the Kings standing over by the pool.

“Nice party,” Bones says, lifting his glass of champagne as I approach.

“Thanks for coming, Kings.”

“I never pass up free booze,” Titan replies. “Or a hot piece of ass,” he adds, his eyes glued to a brunette walking by us. Without saying another word, he follows her.

“Grave? May I speak to you for a moment?” I ask.

He nods, stepping away from the guys, and we make our way over to the other end of the pool. The white lights floating on top of the calm water give off a soft glow along with the strand of white lights hung from one end of the patio to the other. I wanted to make this place as pretty as possible for Haven, but I don’t even think she’s been out here to see it.

“Did it work?” he asks immediately once we’re out of earshot.

“Yep,” I answer, sliding my hand into my pocket and pulling out a baggie. “Thanks for the help and make sure to share with Lucy.”

He places it in his pocket and chuckles. “Anytime.”

_______________

The party has started to die down. Checking my Rolex watch, I see it’s a little after eleven p.m. I haven’t seen Haven since she found me with my pants undone in my office. And no one has bothered to ask me where my future wife went. To most of these men, women are insignificant. To them, her absence is just her way of obeying my commands. As though I ordered her to go and wait naked in our bed until I was ready to fuck her.

“Nice play, Luca.” My father slaps me on the back. He looks to the left as Bones walks past us. He smiles to himself, conjuring up a plan in his mind. He wants Kingdom, and he knows exactly what to do to get it. “I look forward to this business plan of yours.” He’s referring to my marriage. And I’ll die before I allow him to fuck it up. “But I still think Maria would have been a nice fit to the Bianchi family.”

I fist my hands at his words but give him a smile. I’ve been trained to stay silent when you don’t agree with him. “Where is Mother?” I ask, changing the subject.

“She left earlier.” He tips back his champagne flute and eyes one of the waitresses who works for the catering service I hired for the evening. She’s currently talking to Titan who is eye fucking her. “Wasn’t feeling well.”

I bet she wasn’t. She doesn’t want me to marry Haven. She’s disappointed in me and felt that such a sweet girl deserved better. I don’t disagree with her.

“I got a call last night,” he says. “Heard that Rossi’s wedding chapel was hit. And Anthony is missing.” Diaz’s son.

Matteo snorts from beside him. “They won’t find a body.”

“I did what needed to be done,” I offer.

I expect my father to argue, but instead, he just takes another drink.

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