Page 76 of Code of Silence

“What sins?” I demand.

“You know, your father and I were friends once.”

“What the fuck does that matter?” I want to run to her, but I’ll let him waste time venting about the past.

“We worked together. Had plans to take over Las Vegas. But he took something from me. Something that could never be replaced.”

“What?” I ask, taking a quick look at Haven. Her eyes are closed, and tears run down her bloody and dirty face.

“She meant everything to me!” he shouts, getting angry all over again.

“Who was she?” I ask, not believing a damn word he says.

“Ava.”

“What?” I ask. That name makes my heart skip a beat. He must be mistaken.

“Ava,” he repeats, still holding the barrel to Haven’s temple. “I was in love with her. We had been sleeping together when your father took her from me.”

He was sleeping with my aunt? “I don’t understand …”

“Your uncle Marco … He was a conniving little bitch!” he screams. Shaking his head, he yanks Haven’s head back even farther, and she whimpers. “And now I’ll take a Bianchi …”

Just then, a light shines on all of us. When he takes the second to look over his shoulder, I pounce, running at him. My shoulder hits his chest, knocking all three of us to the ground. His gun falls to the dirt, and I pick it up, pointing it at Donatello running toward us and fire. He drops dead.

Then I punch Rossi in the face, knocking his ass out cold.

I hear car doors open and close. I ignore them, knowing they’re my backup, and storm over to Haven. I rip off the tape that covers her mouth.

“Luca—”

“You okay?” I ask, interrupting her. Gripping her face softly, I look over her bruises and busted lip. It’ll all heal. She’ll just need some rest and pain meds for a few days. “Does anything feel broken?”

“No,” she chokes out, shaking her head.

“Here.” I look up to see Titan come over to us. He kneels and cuts her bound wrists with his knife.

“Thank you,” she cries, rubbing them. “My mother …”

“Bones is helping her out of the limo,” Titan answers her.

We help her stand, and I push her into him. “Take them both to my car,” I say when Bones rounds the back of the limo with a crying Misty. She doesn’t have a scratch on her, though.

“No, Luca …”

I kiss her gently so I don’t hurt her busted lip. “It’s going to be fine. I promise you. We’re almost done.”

She nods, letting Titan guide them to my car and get them settled inside. Then he comes to stand next to me.

“Get him ready, Kings,” I order.

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

ROSSI

Sixteen years ago

“WHAT HAPPENED?” I ask, entering the house.

I find Ava sitting at the kitchen table in her underwear. She holds her face in her hands. “Ava! What in the fuck happened?” I demand, yanking her hands away.

Her brown eyes look up at me with tears running down her face. Makeup smeared all over.

“I didn’t know … what to do …” She sobs. “Who to call …”

“I’m here. You did the right thing. What is it?” I ask, pushing her hair back off her face and behind her ear.

“He’s in the living room.” She bows her head.

I stand and walk into the living room. I see her husband and my best friend, Marco Bianchi, lying in a pool of his own blood. He was shot between his eyes. One bullet. Instant death.

Placing my hand over my mouth, I suck in a deep breath. What in the fuck? Did she kill him? Is she wanting me to get rid of him? Turning around and rushing back to the kitchen, I find her in the same position I left her.

I grip her hair and yank her head back. “Who the fuck did this?” I demand. She wouldn’t have the balls. She also doesn’t know much about guns. There’s no way she’d be that good of a shot, even if she was standing right in front of him.

She’s sobbing uncontrollably. Her bottom lip quivering and body shaking. I don’t have time for it. “Who?” I shout, making her flinch.

“John Bianchi. He and Luca showed up …”

I let go of her and run a hand through my hair. “What did you say?” I growl.

“Nothing.”

“Bullshit!” I snap. “You ran your mouth. You had to have. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have shot his brother.”

Italians are big on family and loyalty. But if they fear someone has stepped out on them, then they put a bullet in your head. They take their code of silence very seriously.

Case in point.

Something more happened tonight that she hasn’t told me.

“Tell me,” I order.

She looks up at me. Dark eyes wide and red from crying. “I told you I would leave him …”

“I told you that wasn’t an option,” I bark out. We’ve been fucking for over a year now, and she’s wanted to leave him for most of that time. But the mafioso doesn’t allow divorce. The only way out is death.

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