Page 54 of Code of Silence

“Listen, Haven.” She licks her lips, her eyes pleading with me. “I did what needed to be done. And one day when you become a mother, you will understand.”

“Mom …”

“You needed to be a Bianchi.”

My confusion deepens along with my brows. “You’re not making any sense.”

She pulls me in for a hug, holding me tightly. My arms stay down to my side, feeling heavy. “I love you, Haven. Just remember that. No matter what, I love you.” She pulls back and looks me in the eye. Hers are filled with tears. “You were always meant to be my daughter. And I know that no matter what happens, Luca will take care of you.” She reaches up and pushes some stray hairs behind my ear. “He will make a great husband and a loving father.” She gives me a sad smile. “He can give you things that I never could.”

“Mom …”

The door to the room bursts open, and my two new bodyguards enter.

“We found her, sir,” Max says into his cell phone.

“Did you follow me?” I demand.

My mom pulls away from me and turns to face them just as the guy hangs up his phone. “You need to come with us, Haven,” he orders.

I take a step back. “I’m not going anywhere with you,” I snap. “I’m here to see my mother. Tell Luca that I’ll be home once I’m done.”

He shakes his head. “I’m afraid I can’t do that. We were given orders …”

“And I’m telling you that I will be home when I’m done,” I snap.

“Haven …” My mother grabs my hands and tightens her hold on them. “Go home.”

“But Mom …”

She pulls me in for another hug, squeezing me so tight that she takes my breath away. I hear her sniff in my ear. “Let him protect you, baby. Let him do his job.”

_______________

I barge into the house and head straight to his office with my two babysitters right on my ass. I know that’s where he is. I shove open the door to find him alone sitting behind his desk on his phone. He doesn’t even bother looking up at me. I walk up to it and slam my palms down on the surface.

“I’ll have to call you back,” he says into his cell.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I demand the moment he sets it down.

His eyes go to the two idiots who I know are standing behind me. He gives them a nod, and then I hear the door shut when they let themselves out.

“Funny.” He leans back in his seat, glaring up at me. “I can ask you the same question.”

“I was talking to my mother,” I snap. “Not running away.”

“You went without protection.”

I snort and shove off his desk. “I don’t need them breathing down my neck.”

“Haven—” He stands.

“No,” I interrupt him. “I’m serious, Luca. I will not let you treat me like your father treats Mia.” His eyes narrow on me. “I won’t allow you to …”

“To what?” he growls. “Keep you safe?”

“Make me a prisoner,” I correct him.

He runs a hand over his face and lets out a sigh. “Haven, there are things going on that you don’t know about.”

“You mean the six men you slaughtered years ago and now their leader is after you for revenge?” I arch a brow. “Or how about when you left me and made me think it was for another woman?” I yell. “You could have just told me about Mia. I would have kept your secret or went with you, but you didn’t even stop to think of that as an option.”

“You were in college.”

“I dropped out anyway!”

He nods once, and his jaw clenches. “Is this how our marriage is going to go? Always bringing up the past?”

I say nothing.

“Oh? So it’s like that?”

“Yes.” I cross my arms over my chest. “It’s like that.”

He walks around his desk and pushes his body into mine. I glare up at him. “You don’t want to challenge me, Haven.”

“What are you going to do to me, Luca? Send me to my room? Take away my phone? Make my two babysitters watch my every move?”

He lifts his hand, and instinct has me flinching.

His hand pauses by my face, and I realize that he was just going to tuck some hair behind my ear, but the damage is done. I thought he was going to hit me, and he knows it.

He fists his hand, snatching it back, and places both hands in the front pocket of his slacks.

We stand in an uncomfortable silence for a few seconds before he turns, giving me his back, and sits at his desk. “You are no longer allowed to leave the house.”

“Luca—”

“You will not leave this house!” he shouts, interrupting me. “Not without the guys at your side. And you will stay the hell away from your mother.”

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