Luca you will be mine.., p.12
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       Luca - You Will Be Mine (Sicilian Mafia #2), p.12

           Jaimie Roberts
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  Luca shook his head. “No. All our family is here, and everything has been arranged for tomorrow.”

  My eyes widened. “Tomorrow?”

  Luca nodded. “Yes. It gives my family little chance to arrange the kind of stag night they know I don’t want to have.”

  Everyone around us chuckled, but now I could feel a different kind of emotion rising. “What kind of stag night?” I hadn’t even thought about that.

  Giovanni leaned in and whispered in my ear. “The kind of stag night that involves women wearing little or nothing to the imagination.”

  My eyes widened again. “If you’re having that, then I want one, too.”

  It was Luca’s turn to widen his eyes. “Over my dead body. No way are you going out tonight.”

  I stood my ground. “Are you going out?”

  He gave an exasperated sigh. “I have to. It’s tradition.”

  I gritted my teeth. “Well, it’s tradition that the wife-to-be also gets her hen night, isn’t it girls?”

  Belinda and Mia giggled. “Yes,” they both said in unison.

  Suddenly Alessandro and Tony looked uncomfortable. “I don’t like the sound of this,” Alessandro piped.

  “Me either,” Tony said.

  I rolled my eyes. “See, this is where it all goes wrong. It’s supposed to be perfectly acceptable for you to go out and watch naked women jiggling their bits about, but it’s completely wrong if we want to do the same.”

  Giovanni laughed. “You want to watch women jiggling their bits?”

  I smirked. “You know what I was trying to say.”

  Giovanni gave me a cheeky grin back. “Touché.”

  Luca growled. “Will you two stop flirting? We have more important things to worry about.”

  “Luca!” The sound of the voice made me jump.

  All our heads turned at the sound, and the man who appeared made my heart race a little. This man looked almost exactly like Luca, but he was younger and thinner. “Pietro!” Luca shouted back. They raced into each other’s arms, and eventually, he motioned for him to meet me.

  “Clara, how nice it is to see you finally. I’m Pietro, Luca’s younger brother.”

  I felt my heart rate drop a little when I realised he seemed a lot more inviting then Luca’s mum. “It’s lovely to meet you, too. I just wish you mother felt the same way about me.”

  Pietro hugged me and kissed both cheeks. “Ignore Mama. She’s been away a long time and is finding it hard to adjust. She’ll come around. We have a big feast at the back of the house that we were planning to have before nightfall. That is when I assume the action will start.” He winked in Luca’s direction and smiled in mine. All that did was make Luca groan.

  “I don’t think us going out tonight is a good idea.”

  Pietro frowned. “You have to. It’s tradition. I’m sure Clara won’t mind if you go out for a couple of hours.”

  I shook my head with a smile. “No. Not as long as Luca doesn’t have a problem with me going out tonight either.”

  Luca looked about ready to punch someone. “You shouldn’t go out. It’s not safe.”

  “If it’s not safe for me, then it’s not safe for you. It works both ways, Luca. Don’t fight me on this. You know what happens when you do.”

  Pietro smiled. “It’s not good for a couple about to get married to argue before their wedding.”

  I huffed. “Well, if you can tell your brother to stop being so pig-headed, I will be happy to not argue.” Everyone was laughing apart from me and Luca. All we did was scowl at each other. There’s no doubt what would have happened next if Luca and I had been alone. Being angry with Luca always seemed to mess with my loins for some reason.

  As I was thinking this, an older gentleman, who looked to be in his late forties, came out. He was handsome with his dark, slicked-back hair and dark eyes. He was tall and wore a very expensive-looking navy suit. Once Luca saw him, he smiled widely. “Giuseppe,” he sang. “It’s been so long.” They both smiled and patted each other’s backs as they hugged. Once they pulled apart, Luca turned to me. “Sorry, amore mio. This is my uncle, Giuseppe.”

  Recognition came straight away. “Ah, the one who raised you.” I smiled sweetly in Giuseppe’s direction as he took my hand and kissed it. “Nice to meet you.”

  “Likewise,” Giuseppe purred. “I have heard so much about you already that I feel I practically know you.” He smirked a little. “I must say, you really deserve a medal for putting up with Luca. He was never very easy to live with.”

  “Hey,” Luca grumbled with a smile as everyone laughed.

  I quirked my eyebrow. “That, he definitely isn’t,” I joked.

  Luca snapped his head to me with a smirk. “You’re so going to get it later.”

  I smiled back. “Oh, I’m counting on it.”

  I heard Pietro clear his throat. “There’s plenty of time for that. For now, you must come out back and meet everyone. I think the family just wanted to give you some space, but they’re all ready to meet you.”

  Pietro’s statement was like an ice cold bucket of water. Luca noticed, and his face softened as he pulled me to him. “You’ll be fine, amore mio. Everyone will love you.”

  I bit my lip as we started following Pietro and Giuseppe. “But your mother doesn’t, and she’s the most important person, don’t you think?”

  Luca smiled and kissed the top of my head. “My mother is always like this when she first meets someone.”

  My eyes widened. “And you couldn’t have warned me about this?”

  Luca chuckled as we walked towards the front door of the house. “Would it have made you feel any better?”

  I guessed not, but my nerves were certainly kicking up a notch. No matter what, I couldn’t take away the fact I wasn’t Italian. If she couldn’t accept that, then our relationship was already doomed to fail.

  Trying not to think on that too much, we ventured into the house. The house was homey, but it was decorated to a high standard. It was definitely a house made into a home, but one could also tell that people with money lived here. The marble everywhere was a dead giveaway to that.

  As we ventured even further towards the back of the house, I could see a mass of people through the doors. There were tables as big as three whales lined up side by side in a huge expanse of garden. The garden itself was a beautiful mass of flowers with colours ranging from pinks to blues and oranges to violets. It was simply magical.

  “Clara!” everyone sang, making me jump and everyone else laugh. The only person not laughing was Sophia. I smiled, but watched her closely as she scrutinised me. Although nervous, the old brand of the alpha female in me rose to attention. Luca may be her son, but he was going to become my husband. He was now mine, and I wasn’t going to give him up without a fight.

  “Hello,” I chimed as everyone smiled. I pulled Luca to me and made a show to Sophia that I was staking my claim. She saw this, and her eyes darkened a little in my direction. I knew this was supposed to intimidate me, but the old Clara was rising and rising fast.

  “Come, sit,” a gentlemen next to the nearest chair said. He pulled out a chair and Luca and I ventured over with the others following. Pretty soon, all chairs were occupied.

  “Clara, this is my cousin, Paulie, and his wife, Adalina.” Luca pointed to the man who had offered us the chairs. Sitting beside him was a pretty, petite little thing, who didn’t look old enough to be a wife.

  I nodded my head to them. “Nice to meet you.” One by one, I was introduced to all of his uncles, aunts, and cousins. Then, lastly, I met his two sisters, Daniella and Chiara. They were both beautiful and also looked a lot like Sophia. Chiara was the younger of the two sisters, but she was also the tallest. Everyone in the group could speak English—apart from Sophia. The rest all learnt from school and travelling, but Sophia had been stuck in prison for so many years she hadn’t had the chance. Despite my trepidation towards Sophia, I had to hand it to her. I admired and respected her a gre
at deal for what she had sacrificed for her son. That and love for her son were about the only things we had in common for the time being.

  As I scanned the tables, I noticed there was enough food to feed a whole village. So many bowls of different types of spaghetti were on offer—along with ham, fish, breads, and wine. Definitely lots of wine. My head was swimming with it all. “How do you all stay so thin?” I asked, earning a few hearty chuckles.

  “I think it may have something to do with the fact that Sicilian men are always chasing, and all the women keep running away. We always love a good chase.” Paulie winked, and I turned to look at Luca. I made a show of rolling my eyes in his direction. It seemed to be a trait within the male population of this family.

  I felt a familiar hand wrap around my waist and smiled as he pulled me closer. “Are you okay?” Luca whispered in my ear.

  I smiled. “I’m fine, thank you. You’re family is lovely.” Just as I said this, my eyes landed on a man at the far table. He looked big in every way. Although his eyes smiled, I could tell there was something very sinister about him. I could sense danger lurking, but for me, it wasn’t intimidating. It was actually rather damn sexy. I wouldn’t say he was an attractive man, but there was definitely something about him... A certain je ne sais quoi. “Who’s he?” I motioned with my head in the guy’s direction. I looked at Luca and saw him look to where I was motioning.

  “That’s Lorenzo Belatoni, my cousin. He runs things in America.” He smirked, so I knew he was thinking about something funny. I was about to ask before he carried on. “He recently divorced his wife, who had been having an affair with the gardener. Now, he’s dead and buried underneath his chrysanthemums in the Hamptons. Apparently, they’re blooming better than ever.” He started laughing, making me gasp.

  “Luca, that’s not funny.” I couldn’t help the smirk that spread across my lips. I felt really bad for the gardener—whoever he was—but it still sounded comical.

  “Sorry, amore mio.” He kissed my head and tugged me tighter to him. “Rumour has it he has a crush on his assistant and had sent her to Sicily to oversee a house he’s having built here. He wanted to make sure he was divorced and had lost weight before she got back. I think, in one sense, he wants her away, so he can stop crushing on her, but in another sense, he wants to look good for her when she returns. I think he secretly hopes that something will start between them eventually.”

  “I wonder if she feels the same way about him,” I mused. It sounded rather sweet. It was definitely something I would ask Luca about in six months’ time.

  I looked across at Lorenzo, wondering how such a dangerous looking man could have a warm heart underneath. “I think it’s kind of romantic. Is he going to see her while he’s here?”

  Luca shook his head. “He doesn’t want her to know he’s here. I should imagine he’ll be tempted, but he’s telling everyone that he’s here for the wedding and nothing else.”

  I smiled as Luca buried his head in my hair, but as I turned my head, my eyes landed on Sophia. She was still watching me. Still scowling in my direction. To say it was uncomfortable would be an understatement, but luckily, I didn’t have too long to dwell on that as the minute I had eaten my last bite, Chiara and Daniella rose to their feet and offered me their hands.

  “We need to take Clara away for a few moments,” Chiara said, smiling.

  Luca made a show to get up. “Maybe I should come.”

  Daniella put her hand on his shoulder and forced him back down. “Ah-ah. This is one thing, my brother, which I will have to refuse you. We won’t be long.”

  Luca looked at me with a pained expression, but I just shrugged my shoulders, took their hands, and got up with them. Everyone watched as the three of us disappeared into the house. I wasn’t sure what was going on. Maybe Sophia had set a trap for me and was getting her daughters to go along with it.

  As we got inside the house, Chiara turned to me. “We wanted to show you something. It’s in the room where you’re staying.”

  My eyes widened. “I’m staying here?”

  Does Sophia know this?!

  They both laughed. “Yes. Where else would we put you? You’re our family now.” Daniella rubbed my arm, but no amount of comfort could alleviate the pressure I felt.

  “Is your mother okay with this?” They saw the look of horror on my face and smiled at each other.

  “Our mother is fine. Don’t you worry about what she thinks. We all know how much Luca loves you without witnessing it for ourselves. Our mother is conflicted. She desperately wants Luca to be happy…”

  “But I’m just not from the right country.” I sagged my shoulders in Chiara’s direction.

  Chiara shook her head with a scowl. “You are not allowed to be upset on your wedding day. Vi, vi. We have lots of work to do.” She waved her hands in the direction of the stairs, and I followed behind. As we got to the landing, Chiara opened the first door she came to, and as she swung it open, the first thing I saw was the light beaming through. The second thing I noticed was a dress. It was hanging in front of the window on a single hook. It was a white dress with lace and a trail that looked like it was a mile long. Intricate patterns were sewn into the fabric, making it such a stunning piece that I couldn’t help the gasp which left my lips.

  “I hope that’s a good gasp.”

  I turned to Daniella. “This is not my…” She nodded. “It’s stunning.”

  Chiara visibly sighed. “Thank the Lord! We were worried you weren’t going to like it. We heard you didn’t really have time to get a dress, so we thought we would have one designed for you. I hope you don’t mind?”

  My eyes widened. “Designed?”

  Chiara nodded with an amused smile. “This was designed with your measurements in mind. We just hope you like it and that it fits. If it doesn’t, then we can always get it sent away again for alterations. We have a designer who would drop everything for us.”

  I couldn’t help my smile. I bet they did. If the Sicilian mafia was twenty-third in a line and wanted something, then one had better drop everything and serve them first… Or else!

  “So, will you try it on?” I nodded, eager to see what it looked like on me. “Great!” Daniella clapped. “We will leave you to get changed, but please call us once you’re in the dress, so we can help fasten it for you. There is a zipper you can probably manage, but there are also quite a lot of buttons; they make the dress look more authentic that way.”

  They both smiled and hastily retreated out the door. I just stood there for a moment, staring at it. I couldn’t believe I was getting married tomorrow, and not only that, but I was getting married in a dress which looked like it was fit for royalty.

  As I shook my head with that thought, I made my way towards it and felt the lace on the arms of the dress. It was see-through with the most beautiful flower patterns flowing up each arm. I had never seen anything so beautiful.

  Knowing that I couldn’t hold Luca’s sisters off much longer, I quickly scooted out of my dress and carefully pulled the dress off the hook. It was hard not to be careful, since I didn’t want to spoil this dress in anyway. It looked as though it should be stuck in a glass cabinet on display rather than on little old me.

  Very carefully, I slid the dress above my hips and pulled each arm in one at a time. “You can come in now,” I shouted through the door.

  Daniella and Chiara entered, and when they saw me, their eyes lit up. It was an awesome reaction and one I hoped Luca could beat once he saw me.

  “Oh, Daniella, look at her! It’s beautiful.” They both came running over to smooth it out, and one by one, they did up all of the buttons. It seemed to fit me perfectly.

  Once done, they stepped back and admired me. They’re eyes glazed over a little, and it made me wonder what I looked like. When they saw my face, Chiara stepped out of the way and motioned towards the mirror. “Take a look.”

  I very carefully walked over to the mirror, feeling a tad nervous about what I
would look like. As I caught the first glance, I gasped. Surely this wasn’t me? Surely I didn’t look that good in this dress? It was simply perfection. Although the dress rested on my breasts, the lace around my arms and shoulders helped to keep it looking elegant and sexy. It came in at my waist perfectly and spread out beautifully towards the floor. The trail behind still looked like it was a mile long, but I didn’t care. I felt like the most beautiful woman in the world.

  “What do you think?”

  I started stuttering, and it was only then I realised I was crying. “I feel like a princess.”

  Chiara and Daniella started with the tears, too, and pretty soon, we were all a mess. The laughter started soon after that until a thunderous knock on the door could be heard. “What’s going on in there? I’m coming in.”

  “No!” we all screamed together once we realised it was Luca. Chiara and Daniella raced to the door and stopped him from entering. “You can’t come in here. It’s bad luck to see the bride in her dress.”

  “Clara is in her dress? Let me see.” He tried pushing the door open, but Chiara and Daniella weren’t having any of it.

  “Go downstairs,” Chiara warned. “You are not getting in here.”

  “Luca, can you get my girls for me?” I shouted.

  I heard a grumble. “So, all the girls get to see you, and I don’t? That isn’t fair.”

  Daniella rolled her eyes. “Stop being such a baby, and go get the girls. You will see Clara in her dress tomorrow.”

  Luca grumbled something, but we heard his footsteps disappearing. “That was close.” Chiara visibly sighed.

  “I’m actually surprised he walked away.” I chuckled, thinking this was so unlike Luca.

  The girls laughed, too. “I think he realises he hasn’t got a chance of going up against us girls. He knows his life wouldn’t be worth living.” Chiara laughed louder, and just then, another knock sounded.

  “It’s just us!” Belinda shouted.

  Daniella raced to the door and once opened, Belinda and Mia walked in. They stopped dead still—eyes wide open—as they stared at me. Both girls gasped, and both ran over to feel the fabric.

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