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Don Valentinos Farfalla & Heiress

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Being forged from the trauma that clings to your soul like an additional layer of sin has an elegance to it. When my father and I buried my sister, falling in love with her first love wasn't on the agenda. Don Alessandro Valentino has something I want. Something he refuses to depart with and no matter how much pain he inflicts upon me, I will never give up. I vowed to never let him win. I thought I had escaped his grasp, but his torment had only just begun. Despite everything, he still held the power to manipulate my heart and make me crave to be possessed by him. As secrets come to light and the truth is exposed, can I surrender the battle and surrender what I've been fighting for all along, without hesitation? --- He tore his lips away from mine, peering down at me, brushing the pad of his thumb along his lower lip—smearing my touch as far as it would travel. “You taste like mine.” He said in a cold and condescending tone. Then he left. He walked out of the wine cellar without a second glance over his shoulder as Riccardo locked the door behind them.

ONE.

Some say that Angels mourn for us when we are unable to weep our own tears.

When the pain becomes so overwhelming that we are afraid that if we let the tears fall, they will drown us in our aura of misery.

The air is thick with melancholy as if a heavy cloud of grief continuously hangs over the entire cemetery.

Death lingers in the air accompanied by the faint smell of rain, cheap perfume, and fresh roses.

I shut my black umbrella, letting it slip between my fingers, and I gaze up at the ominous sky as the tears of the Angels cascade down upon us.

It's a cold day.

The sort of day that drills deep into your bones, marking you forever as it licks and nips all over your frigid flesh.

Today, we lay to rest my dear sister, Rose, whose life was tragically cut short.

The coroner's report states she had alcohol and drugs in her system and that’s what caused the car accident, killing her three hours later in the hospital.

But I know better.

I know that my sister was murdered and that someone at the Valentino residence had something to do with it.

Rose was no saint, but she never dared to play God with other people’s lives on the road; meaning that she would never get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Don Alessandro Valentino is in the Mafia. He is the most feared man in our country, and I have a feeling many more.

Making his presence known as his henchmen guard every inch of the cemetery not only potentially puts us all in danger, but it also has everyone on edge.

Had it not been for the little girl standing steadfastly by his side, I would have boldly approached him and told him to leave—to f*ck off.

Because he isn't welcome here.

The memories of him being, Roses' former flame linger in my thoughts like a haunting melody, ceasing my heart every time I steal a glance in his direction.

The little girl, adorned in a pristine dress with a pearl necklace delicately draped around her neck, is none other than my precious niece, Savannah.

She doesn't know who I am, and it kills me that I never got the chance to build a strong bond with her when Rose was alive.

Swallowing past the lump in my throat, I surreptitiously cast my gaze back to the front, away from him, and the mysterious raven-haired beauty hanging off his arm like a cheap knockoff purse.

The priest's solemn prayer comes to a close. The mourners step forward, each one placing a single, pristine white rose atop the casket of our beloved Rose.

“I am deeply sorry for the loss of your sister and daughter, Mr….”

The sound of a nasally feminine voice breaks my trance.

“Bishop,” I sigh irritably.

Since Roses’ passing, my father has not been able to string three words together, nor has he shed a tear.

He is nothing but an empty vessel and it scares me greatly

“Rose spoke highly of you, Ivy. She also mentioned how beautiful you were, and I must say that her description of your elegance has done no justice.”

Sighing, I shift my gaze from Roses’ coffin and I meet her chocolate brown gaze.

“I’m sorry. Who did you say you were again?” I try to keep the bitterness out of my voice because the last time Rose and I spoke, moments before she died, she warned me not to trust anyone affiliated with Don Valentino at the villa.

“My name is Sofia DeLuca, and I have taken it upon myself to be there for Savannah now that she is an orphan,” Sofia responds in a voice that makes my skin crawl with venom.

“Savannah is not an orphan.” I spit out bitterly.

As the mighty Don Valentino approaches us, refusing to give him the satisfaction of seeing my grief-stricken eyes, I turn my back towards him.

Feeling like I am offering it to a predator, but the dire thought alone doesn’t make me turn around to face him.

A prickle runs down my spine at his nearness, and I can feel him glaring at the back of my head, burning a hole in it.

“Mi dispiace for your loss.” His words caress every inch of my body, licking the rage that simmers deep within me.

Curling my hands at my sides, “we don’t want or need your condolences.” I hiss over my shoulder. “Leave. Take your men and your cheap wh*r* with you.”

I grit my teeth, turning my attention to his henchmen standing by the entrance of the cemetery, their hands resting on their weapons strapped to their torsos.

The warmth of his body turns mine to jelly when he stands behind me, his lips a whisper away from the shell of my ear.

“Ivy Bishop.” He hisses my name like it's pure filth sitting on the tip of his tongue. “You should know better than to speak to me in such a manner if you value your life.”

Raising my chin, I straighten my spine. “You aren't welcome here, and if you had any respect for Rose at all, you would have stayed away.”

I spin around on the spot to face him, losing my footing as my heel sinks into the soft soil; he lurches forward, hooking a strong arm around my torso, and pressing my front to his.

“It should have been you in the car. Not Rose!” The harsh words slip between my lips.

Heat explodes across my chest, then my palms as I try to push him off me, but it only coerces the devil himself to press me against his body more firmly.

He smells like sin, whiskey and cigars, making me dizzy with a forbidden lust that sets my skin ablaze.

One of his brows quirks upward. “Then I'd miss all the fun we are going to have. I know what you've been up to, Farfalla, and I'm here to warn you to stop.”

Gulping, “and if I don't, are you going to kill me?”

“Not in the sense that you are thinking,” he replies in a husky tone with an underlay of amusement.

“You don’t scare me,” I whimper, lying, continuing to struggle in his grasp. “Let me go…”

“Liar. You are playing a dangerous game, Ivy. I can feel you trembling beneath my fingertips. Just the way I like my women, at my mercy, bare beneath me like a perfect little doll.”

“You're disgusting…”

Something flickers in his eyes, and he pulls me closer toward him, brushing his lips along my jawline.

“The second my lips touch yours, you will belong to me. Life as you know it will never be the same. All you have to do is ask me. Ask me to kiss you, Farfalla…” He taunts me, sending a pleasant shiver down my spine. “You know you want me. I can smell it.”

I raise my gaze to meet his as something inside me snaps, “get your filthy hands off me, or I swear to the Gods I will scream bloody murder, you arrogant son of a b*tch.” I snarl breathlessly with tears brimming my eyes.

Snickering, he releases me as if touching me suddenly burns him, and he holds his hand's mid-air, taking two steps back.

“Gladly, tesoro.”

Alessandro continues to hold my gaze like he could kiss the hatred out of me, and it makes me sick to my stomach to think that he can achieve the impossible.

“You b*st*rd…” I whisper, willing my pounding heart to slow down.

Looking over his shoulder with a sinister smirk playing on his lips. “Andiamo,” he says harshly, waving his hand forward as he brushes past me with his cheap wh*r* in hot pursuit.

And like a switch going off, I go back to feeling numb.

Vowing to find out the truth behind Roses' death and save Savannah from the Valentino Villa, regardless of what it may cost me eventually.

TWO.

THE VERY NEXT DAY:

I gaze upon the grand villa where Don Valentino resides. Its towering iron gate fit for a king's fortress.

My hands clench the iron rods with a vice-like grip, making my knuckles turn a ghastly shade of white as I wait patiently for someone to show up and face me.

Seconds pass, then minutes, followed by hours.

And still, I refuse to leave until I speak with the great Don Valentino, that makes me shiver with fear every time, he is near.

I expel the weight of apprehension from my body as I watch one of Don Valentinos’ men exit the villa and make his way toward me. Flicking the lower-right side of his jacket open, the man rests his hand on the gun that is attached to the holster, resting his forefinger on the trigger.

“What are you doing here, Miss. Ivy?” He growls in a thick Italian accent that would have sounded hot if he weren’t working for the enemy.

“Well, since we are on a first-name basis, I’m going to assume that

Heroes

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