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Masquerade: His forbidden Obsession

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“You promised.” He hisses. “I did promise not to ghost you again and I didn’t! The rest is nothing you get to control.” A sly smirk appears on his face as he presses his lips to my ear and whispers, “We will see about that.” Grabbing my body as if I were made out of cotton candy, he lifts me off the floor. He presses my back fully into the cold wall once again, standing between my legs, and bites into my neck, having me mewl lowly. “What the hell are you doing? The cameras, Ru. The cameras!” I panic, freeing myself from under his teeth. His eyes capture mine as he looks back up at me. “This is my building, remember? The security guards are instructed to delete the tape. And to not call for help or check on anyone stuck in the elevator.” *** Ginevra and Ruggerio are meant to hate each other. As heirs to rival families, they have been taught nothing else. As they spend the night together at a masquerade ball without recognizing each other, they ignite a series of events that are as dangerous as they are tempting. Now it’s up to them to decide. Stand by the rules of their families. Or give in to their forbidden desire. ⚠️ TW: explicit and foul language, steamy scenes, abuse, SA ⚠️

Chapter 1

Ginevra

The sun beams are the gentle cause I wake up. Stretching in my bed, I get up groggily and get into my in-suite bathroom. After collecting my long black locks into a loose bun, I wash my face quickly before putting on some make-up. I love to highlight my dark-brown eyes with eyeliner, especially as it makes me think that it hides my nose that I perceive as too big. Checking my phone shortly, I crack up at my best friend’s text about her walk of shame back home she had to do this morning. I get out of my room and close my door behind me. Like my room, the entire home where I live with my family is designed in earthy colors, typical for a Mediterranean display. The amount of natural light streaming through the spacious rooms and the archways in eclectic tiles give the immense property the feeling of a cozy vacation home.

Unfortunately, it is not.

I pass the textured stucco walls decorated with expensive and utterly boring artwork and walk down the marble stairs of my home to get to the kitchen. A maid is already working to set the table and I pass her to make myself a cup of coffee.

“Ginevra, what are you doing? We are eating in about 20 minutes!”

My grandfather stands in the door to the kitchen, looking at me with his dark brown eyes sparkling. He is dressed in one of his signature tailored suits and has a large newspaper clamped under his right arm.

“I just got up, Nonno. I need a coffee and I’m not going to kill my appetite because of it.” He steps up to me and pinches me in my cheek playfully.

“Ah, you have to learn to get up sooner, or you’ll lose any winning margin you could have against your enemies.” I chuckle before taking a sip of my coffee, soothing my nerves.

Enemies! Right!

My grandfather is old school and was born in a territory controlled by the Camorra. He always had some trauma he carried around, even if he had long gotten out of that kind of situation and was living far away. As he came to live here in New York all over from Naples situated in the south of Italy and built a billion-strong group in the building industry, he achieved what many others dream of. He slowly started living more peacefully even if he never lost his usual paranoia. I guess not even an ocean separating you from a problematic place you come from can give your soul some peace.

“I have Fede, he is up early enough for both of us.”

He laughs while wiggling his finger at me.

“Give your brother some credit. He works hard for the family.”

I smile, sipping my coffee.

Sure, and he got the job I was supposed to have because he is a man.

My family is horrendously traditional, even if emigrated. I’m the first born but my younger brother is the first-born male, hence he is the primary heir. I’m just supposed to marry well and have a lot of children. Actually, as the first born, I’ll have to exceed in any marriage choice compared to my younger siblings, as they expect a lot from me.

Hurray me.

As my grandfather receives a phone call, I walk out of the kitchen to get to the small living room facing the large gateway leading to my family’s mansion. I’m just in time to see my sister’s car drive up the driveway, the gravel scrunching under the tires. She drives around the big round flower bed which constitutes the center of the gateway in front of the house and halts in front of the main entrance. I observe her getting out of her car and waving at me with a big smile. She ties her long black hair in a loose ponytail and proceeds to get my baby-nephew out of the car. As she balances her son and a diaper bag in her arms, our butler runs to her with one of our manservants by his side to help her carry her bag. She doesn’t give her son out of her hands though, she never would. I can’t see her husband with her, must be on a business trip once again. In my humble opinion I think he is sketchy as hell, but my parents love him, so good for her. If I was a tad more malicious, I would say he is with his second family. Good thing I’m not. As she climbs the stairs to the entrance, I begin walking to the foyer to say hello. She walks in with Rupert and Armin wearing a big smile, flashing me her flawless white teeth.

“Hey, baby-sis!” I shout in a singsong while opening my arms to her.

It looks as if we haven’t seen ourselves for years, rather than 2 days ago. But that’s what it is with my family, it stands over everything.

“Ginny, hi.” She flashes me a happy smile and is about to walk into my hug as she gets interrupted.

My sister is 5 years younger than me and the pride of the family, after Federico, of course. That’s not because she got an awesome degree or a special high honored award, but because, at the tender age of 21, she is already married and has gifted my family with another male descendant. As soon as she is through the door and about to hug me, she gets attacked by two little rascals appearing like a summer storm.

“Roberta, Roberta!”

My two twin brothers hug her at each side shouting her name out loud. She laughs as she ruffles Gioele’s black hair.

“Let me say hello to Ginevra, you two ankle-biters.”

She finally gets to free herself to hug me, and I squeeze her tight.

“How are you doing?” I whisper, caressing her back.

“Alright, a bit lonely.” She sighs and I squeeze her arm gently with a sad smile before leaning down to my nephew.

“And how is our baby boy?”

I’m tickling my nephew in her arms as my grandmother appears under the archway separating the foyer from a small reception living room reprimanding us like she, and she unfortunately does, owns the place. Her dark gray eyes move down to the cup in my hand in disgust.

Chapter 2

Ginevra

“Are you drinking coffee at that time of the day? You’ll get rid of that immediately.” My grandmother speaks in such an outraged tone as if I had been something horribly scandalous and was dragging all the dirt into the house.

My Nana, as I have called her since I was a child, is an elegant woman and is always dressed up stylishly. She is usually not really loving and surely reigns her kingdom with an iron fist. It is a miracle I got to actually call her by the silly pet name I had for her until now. Normally, she would have had me trained to call her else already. Her designer clothes just emphasize her authority and there are just a few people in the world that would have the guts to contradict her.

And I’m not one of them.

I’m not allowed to get back at her as she doesn’t take it as well as my grandfather. So, I hand my cup to a maid that has appeared next to me, for her to pour my delicious mood-enhancer down the drain.

Heroes

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