Page 47 of Code of Silence

My head spins, but it all makes sense now. Why he doesn’t talk. The vow of silence. It was a lie. “I didn’t know …”

“No one does. If it got out what happened to him, then my secret would be blown.”

“But … I don’t understand. Why keep you a secret?”

Her silver eyes meet mine. “Because a player never shows his cards.”

My chest tightens. Mr. Bianchi is going to use his daughter. He has a plan for her. He saved her by sending her here, but what kind of danger does her future hold? What could he possibly do with her?

I look over at Nite, who now stands by the pool with his arms crossed over his chest and a pair of Aviators on his face even though the sun has almost set. I see him in a different light now. We were never friends, but I never disliked him. I can’t imagine what he went through and what kind of guilt Mia holds, knowing what happened to him.

“With Luca being here, that can only mean one thing.” She sighs.

My head snaps back to hers. “What?” My heart picks up at her words because until now, I didn’t know why the hell we were here.

“They’re coming for me.”

LUCA

It’s late. My watch tells me it’s after one a.m., so I haven’t slept in over twenty-four hours. Things needed to be taken care of before I got that option. I shut the door to the bedroom behind me and lock it. I’m removing my gun from my holster when the bedside lamp turns on.

Haven sits up. With her eyes wide open and lips set in a hard line, it’s clear she’s been waiting for me. “Why didn’t you tell me about Nite?”

I place my gun on the nightstand. I see my sister and her have been chatty. “Didn’t seem important.”

She gasps. “They cut out his tongue, Luca. They—”

“I know what they did, Haven,” I interrupt her. I’m not in the mood to do this with her. She slept on the plane, but I didn’t, so I’m pissy and tired. Not a good combination.

“Mia told me that you, Nite, and another guy took care of the ones who hurt him.”

I nod.

“What did you do to them?” she asks.

“You don’t want to know.”

“I do.”

“No, you don’t,” I growl, removing my shirt.

She runs a hand through her dark hair. “I don’t understand. How did you know to come here?”

“Yesterday when I was meeting with Bones, he informed me that there had been talk. Rossi had men together, and they were ready. He suggested they might come after you, but I know who they would go after.”

“Mia,” she whispers.

I nod.

“Why don’t we stay here with her?”

“It’s not safe. I have to go back. We have to go back. I have businesses to run, and we have a wedding to celebrate. If I stay too long, they’ll start asking questions and possibly track me, which would lead them right to her.”

“Bring her back to Vegas with us,” she argues.

“I can’t.”

“Call your father. You had him send her here, so you can talk to him …”

“I can’t!” I shout. “I’m not her father. I have no control over her.” She doesn’t know what it feels like to have your hands tied. I’ve spent all my life protecting Mia. From the moment I saw her, I knew I was all she had.

Six years old

“Please …” my mother cries. “I’m begging you.”

I knock on the door before twisting the knob and entering. Not waiting for permission. My mother lies in the center of the large bed. A woman stands off to the side, a crying baby cradled in her arms.

My sister.

No one pays me any attention.

My father walks over to the woman who has been staying at our house for the last month to help my mother get ready for the baby. “Let me have her.” He holds out his hands.

The woman hands her over, and my mom shifts on the bed. “Please!” she cries. “Don’t do this! Not again …”

“Silence!” he barks, causing her to push herself into the headboard. He holds my sister in his arms, softly rocking her back and forth. A smile spreads across his face as he stares down at my little sister, and it makes me nervous. I’ve seen that look before. It’s the same one he gives before he takes a life. “She may stay,” he finally says, and my mother begins to sob. “But a time will come when she will earn her last name.”

“Yes.” My mother nods, brushing the tears from her cheeks. “Of course.”

“She can live with us. I’ll help hide her.” Haven goes on, cutting through my thoughts.

“No,” I growl.

“Luca …”

“Do you know what I had to do in order to get him to put her here?” I snap.

“What? Luca?” She gets up on her knees. “What did you do?”

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