Page 69 of Code of Silence

“Dear Lord …”

“No dick December. No fuck February.”

“You skipped over January.”

“Why is it so hard to find good dick?” she asks, ignoring me. “Like I don’t wanna be loved.” She laughs. “I just want someone who will lick my pussy and fuck my ass.” She spins around, her hands slapping Nite. She looks up at him with her heavy eyes. “I bet you know how to fuck a woman.” She reaches out to grab his crotch, but he moves quickly, capturing her wrists and holding them away from him. “The silent and brooding ones are always the dirtiest.”

The door yanks open, and I turn to see Luca. It’s three a.m., and he stands there dressed in a button-down and slacks. “Why are you standing out here?” he demands.

“I couldn’t find my key.” I hiccup, not sure why Nite didn’t use his. Maybe he was enjoying the show that Jasmine was giving him.

“Trying to get laid.” Jasmine smiles.

He steps to the side and gestures for us to enter. Jasmine trips into the room, and Nite reaches for her and keeps her standing. Her knees buckle, and he slides one hand behind her back and the other underneath her knees and picks her up. Her head falls back over his arm, and she closes her heavy eyes.

Luca sighs as Nite walks through the door and takes her over to the guest room off the side of the kitchen.

“I guess you had fun?” he asks me, closing the door.

I ignore him and head to our bedroom. I trip over my heels and silently cuss myself.

“Haven, I’m talking to you,” he growls.

I snort.

“Haven?” He grips my upper arm and pulls me to a stop. I spin around to yell at him, but words die on my tongue as I catch sight of the TV that hangs on the living room wall.

It’s the local news channel. A woman stands outside of a cathedral. The cathedral we plan on getting married at next week. It’s gone. “What …?” I stumble away from him, and he releases me. I fall onto the cream leather couch in the living room and watch as the reporter explains there had been a fire. St. Mary’s Cathedral is a complete loss, but thankfully, the place was empty. “At this time, some are throwing speculation out regarding arson, but nothing has been confirmed yet …” The reporter goes on. “The fire marshal …”

“We were going to get married there,” I say, turning to look over my shoulder at Luca.

He stands behind the couch with his arms crossed over his chest. His dark eyes are focused on mine. He doesn’t seem the least bit concerned. Or surprised.

My heart begins to pound as I stand on shaky legs. I turn my body fully so I can face him. “Did you do this?” I ask.

He just stares at me.

“Luca.” I lick my numb lips. “Why?” I ask. He doesn’t have to admit it out loud because I know he’s responsible.

“We needed to change the venue.”

“What?” I ask, cupping my forehead. The room is starting to spin, and my eyes are heavy. I’m either going to get sick or pass out very soon. “Why …?”

“We need to bring Rossi to us. And we needed to do it without tipping him off that we’re onto his plan. He can’t know that you are on our side.”

“So you burn down a place of worship?” I ask in horror. “Dear Lord, it’s like college all over again. When Cross …” I pause as my words sink into my foggy brain. I look to my right where he stands there next to Bones. “You had Cross do it,” I say breathlessly, falling back down onto the couch.

Cross got his name in grade school. He had marks all over his back that looked like crosses. We could only guess where he got them from. And we all came to the same conclusion. His father. But Cross got his revenge. He doesn’t carry around a Zippo for nothing. He likes fire. The heat of the flames. He’ll burn you with no remorse.

I begin to rock back and forth. “It’ll never work,” I say even though I don’t know his plan. The Dark Kings obviously had a hand in it as well. Rossi will take them all out. He’s too smart. Too protected. They’re going to serve themselves up on a silver platter.

“Haven …”

“Not to mention the fire marshal … They are going to investigate.” I continue blabbering. “He’ll get caught. Arson …”

“Haven!”

Hands grip my shoulder, and then I’m being shaken.

My heavy eyes land on Luca’s as he kneels before me. “Calm down. You’re drunk and overreacting. Trust me, I have it all handled.”

“And if you don’t?” I can’t help but ask. I’m still mad at him, but that doesn’t mean I want us all to die. All I’ve ever wanted was him. I look down at my ring. I thought I still had time to escape this wedding, this life, but the joke is on me. I’m already in it. Then I wonder if I had a chance to get out, would I? I’m not sure. I’ve always loved Luca. What if I lose him now? It would hurt too much.

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