Page 58 of Code of Silence

“My adopted mother is my biological mother.”

“I don’t understand …”

“My mother had an affair. Got pregnant with me.”

“So who is your father?” Bones asks because I can’t speak. I’m afraid I’ll yell at her. Even in her fragile state, I want to rip her apart.

She takes in a deep breath. “Alberto Rossi.”



A SILENCE FALLS over the large room. Both men stare at me with murderous eyes and fisted hands. I feel I may get sick. Again. I managed to hold my stomach while I stood in Rossi’s … my father’s office at the wedding chapel/funeral home, but the moment I left and took a breath of fresh air, I lost everything I had eaten yesterday in the parking lot.

“He’s lying.” Bones shakes his head.

“He said there was a DNA test. That my mother has it.” I didn’t want to believe him, but the way he spoke about me. About my mother. As much as I wanted to deny it, I couldn’t.

“That doesn’t mean shit,” Bones argues.

“Why in the fuck would you go and see him without telling me?” Luca finally finds his voice, yelling at me. “Do you have any idea what he could have done to you?”

“He doesn’t want to hurt me.”

“Bullshit!” he shouts.

I flinch but shake my head. “He wants to hurt you. He thinks I can help with that.”

“How so?” Bones inquires.

“He thinks you’re forcing me to marry you.”

Like a rubber band, something snaps in Luca, and he comes for me. But Bones jumps between us and places his hands up to stop him. “It’s believable. Have you seen the pictures circulating in the media of your engagement party? Haven looks every bit pissed off at you. As if she even loathes you. He could be buying it because it did come out of nowhere. For two years, the media has been talking about your absence, then you show up, and poof, you’re engaged.”

I don’t state the obvious—that I did hate him at that point. That this is a contract. Luca may love me, but I’m still just a pawn in a game.

“What else did he say?” Bones goes on, keeping his back to me. He’s so tall that I can’t even see over him. So I stare at the bloody skull that covers up the entire back of his Kingdom T-shirt.

“He made a deal with my father. And he informed me that all I had to do was show up at the wedding, and he would take care of everyone there. It was going to be like shooting fish in a barrel. And I wouldn’t be married off to a Bianchi.”

I can’t let him kill Luca. I love him. But the Kings? They have nothing to do with this feud the Bianchi family has with the Rossi family. Not that I know of. Yes, they’re hated by most because of how powerful they are in this city, but that doesn’t mean they should die. I grew up with them. I don’t want their dead bodies on my conscience.

“And what did you tell him?” Bones goes on.

“What do you mean?” My voice shakes.

He turns around, and his blue eyes glare down at me. “I mean what did you tell him?”

“I told him what he wanted to hear,” I admit, and my shoulders fall. “That I would do as he said. I thought if I lied, I could buy you all time. A plan.”

He nods and then steps away from me. My eyes now staring at Luca standing before me.

“Anything else he said that we can use?” Bones asks.

I look at him instead of Luca. “Yeah, he said he has eyes and ears everywhere. Even at Kingdom.”

Bones doesn’t waste a second; he pulls out his cell, dials up a number, and puts it to his ear. “Flush the system.” Then he hangs up after giving whoever it was an order. Without another word, he exits, shutting me and Luca in the large room that seems to shrink by the second.

“I’m sorry,” I say, hating the silence.

I take a step toward him, but when he steps back, tears fill my eyes. “I can’t help who I am,” I croak out.

His brows pull together. “You think I’m mad at you because he’s filled your head with lies?” He shakes his head. “I’m pissed at you because you went behind my back. To a man who hates me and my family. My fucking name alone could get you killed! I’m a dead man to most in this city.” He runs his hand through his hair aggressively. “Fuck! I thought you were smarter than this.”

“I needed to know,” I cry.

“Know what?” he screams. “About your biological mother? Since when do you fucking care about that?”

“About you!” I shout back, fisting my hands. “He started our conversation about you. How you owned Glass. How you were keeping secrets from me. He promised me answers. They just weren’t what I wanted.”

Tags: Shantel Tessier Romance