Page 48 of Code of Silence

I shake my head. I can’t tell her. I can’t let her know. She’ll never forgive me. My sister will never forgive me. “It doesn’t matter. It’s done.”

She slams her fists in my chest. “That’s the same thing my father said to me before he gave me over to you,” she yells.

“Listen.”

“She can’t live here. She’s isolated.”

I’m getting a headache. “She’s safe.”

“That’s no life.”

“Tell that to the thousands of Mafia women who have been beaten and raped.” Her eyes widen. “Tell that to the ones who were sold into sex slavery. Or the ones thrown in a jail cell for crimes they never committed.” I sigh, rubbing my temples. “Tomorrow morning, we are getting on that plane, and we will leave Mia here.”

Tears fill her eyes. “Just when I was starting to tolerate you, you remind me of who you are. And I remember just how much I hate you.” She jumps out of bed, rushes out of the room, and slams the door behind her. I have no desire to fight with her or even try to explain the Bianchi way of life to her, so I let her go.

CHAPTER ELEVEN

HAVEN

I STORM THROUGH the large house and toward the kitchen. Flipping on the light, I shriek when I run into a small body.

“I’m so sorry,” Mia rushes out. “I didn’t mean to frighten you.”

“You’re fine,” I tell her, letting out a long breath. “What are you doing up so late?” I ask, noticing that she’s changed out of her bathing suit into a purple silk nightgown. It has lace straps; one has fallen off her shoulder. The hem touches the floor, but it has a long slit up her side, showing off her thigh. Her face is clear of any makeup, yet she still looks runway ready.

“Can’t sleep. You?”

“Same,” I mumble. I think all that sleep I got on the plane screwed me over. Then add in the time change and all the new information I’ve learned. Any one of those things could be the cause.

“Want me to make you something?” she offers.

“Oh, no. You don’t have to do that.”

“Nonsense.” She waves me off. “Do you like biscuits and gravy?”

I smile. “They’re my favorite.”

“Then that’s what I’ll make.”

“Do you cook a lot?” I ask, pulling out a barstool and sitting down at the kitchen island.

She nods, grabbing stuff from the stainless fridge. “I love it. I have a lot of time on my hands, so over the years, I’ve learned to cook all sorts of food.”

“Do you go to college?” I ask, being nosy.

She snorts. “I wish. I’m not allowed to go to school.”

“What do you mean not allowed?” I don’t know much about Italian education.

“Women in my family aren’t supposed to have a brain.” She rolls her eyes. “I never even went to high school.” My eyes widen. “I had nannies who taught me all that I know, which I’m afraid isn’t much.” She smiles at me. “I’d love to go to college. Not only to learn, but the parties.” Placing her elbows on the island, she drops her chin into her hands, giving me a smile that lights up her face. It makes her look younger than I know she is. “Do you have any wild stories you can tell me?”

I laugh, thinking about the time me and Emilee were with Bones and Luca in the game room. “Not that you’d want to hear.”

She frowns.

“They involve your brother,” I inform her.

Her face scrunches. “Yeah, I don’t care to hear those.” And then she straightens herself.

“So you’re here all alone?” I change the subject.

“No. There are always guards and house cleaners. The twins are somewhere around here tearing up Italy. They come and go.”

I thought my father selling me was bad, but he didn’t ship me off alone and forget about me. This girl has been completely abandoned. She’s been left in her own world and closed off from anyone. “What about your mother?”

She shakes her head. “My father won’t allow her to leave New York. She rarely gets to go to Vegas.”

Fucker!

“Boys?”

A blush fills her cheeks. “Oh, no.”

This woman is so innocent. “Have you ever been on a date?”

She shakes her head and laughs. “No.”

“Oh, you like someone, though,” I observe. I know the look a girl has when she’s got a crush. “Who is it?” I know it’s no one I would know, but again, this is just me being nosy. And plus, it’s felt like forever since I’ve had some girl talk. “Tell me all about him.”

“Well …” She bites her bottom lip. “I’ve never told anyone this, but I’ve always liked Oliver.”

My eyes widen. “You have a crush on Nite?”

“Shh.” She laughs softly, her eyes darting around the large kitchen, but we’re all alone. “He would never like me, though.”

What? “Mia. You’re absolutely gorgeous. Not that looks have everything to do with it, but he’d be lucky to be with you.”

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