Luca you will be mine.., p.23
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       Luca - You Will Be Mine (Sicilian Mafia #2), p.23

           Jaimie Roberts
 
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“You know he may have already escaped.”

  I looked up to Tony. “He won’t get very far. I’ve got full cooperation from Adamo. Whatever hole he crawls into won’t save him this time. We’ll find him.”

  Tony nodded. “Good. I will let the rest of the men know.” He got up, digging his hand in his pocket to retrieve his phone and walked out.

  I turned my attention back to Alessandro, who sat there looking just as fucking lost as I was. “You shared a moment with my wife that I will never have. Do you know how much that fucking hurts?” I wasn’t angry. I was upset, and for some reason, I needed Alessandro to know that. He knew my wife was pregnant before I did. That was a moment Clara and I should have shared together, and it fucking killed me.

  Alessandro stared at me, looking torn. I could see the stress in his face. I knew he was hurting for me. “You know I never intended this…”

  I put my hand up. “I know. I’m not blaming you. It is something I will carry with me for a while, and it will hurt, but in no way will I blame you for it. I just wish she had told me. If she had, then I would have been with her, she wouldn’t have gotten out of the car, and she wouldn’t have gotten shot. We would be home celebrating right now.” I sighed, closing my eyes as I imagined a happier picture. A picture that was now lost. “I know hindsight is a fucking glorious thing, and I know I shouldn’t dwell on it. What’s happened has happened, and I just have to fucking deal with it. How Clara’s going to cope with the news, I have no idea. But, she needs to pull through this operation first.”

  Alessandro closed his eyes on a sigh. “That’s what I’ve been sitting here praying for.”

  Looking at him, I realised something in that moment. “You care for my wife.”

  “I love your wife.” I grimaced, feeling my anger rise, and he saw me. “But not in the sense you love your wife. Not in the way I love Mia.” He shook his head. “I just wished I had known she was going to pull a stunt like that. I would have made sure I stopped her before she got out of the car.”

  No matter how much easier it would have been to blame everyone, I knew it would only end up following me to my deathbed. What’s done is done. “You weren’t to know. Let’s just leave it at that.” He nodded his head with a tight smile. “Does Mia know?”

  “Yes. She and Belinda are on their way. Some of the other girls wanted to come too, but Mia felt it would have been too much.”

  I nodded. “Clara needs support, but the last thing she will want is a crowd of people around her.”

  “What are you going to do with him?” I knew full well who he was referring to.

  “He will regret the day he ever laid a finger on my wife. It will be slow. It will be painful. He needs to experience everything, and I’m going to make sure that happens.”

  Alessandro nodded. “Good.”

  The door flew open, and in walked Tony with his phone still in his hand. He looked directly at me. “Antonio’s jumped ship. He’s on a plane to Sicily.”

  I shook my head. “Silly fuck.” I sighed. “Okay, contact Giovanni for me and have them intercept him on his way. He needs to be kept somewhere until such time as I can get to him.”

  “Yes, boss.” He nodded before walking back out the door.

  As he walked out, Mia rushed through with tears streaming down her face. “How is she?”

  “She is okay, but still in theatre. I’m still waiting on the doctor to give me further news.”

  Mia sobbed. “Oh, Luca.” She came rushing towards me, and I offered her comfort despite my arms feeling dead to me. Everything inside me felt dead.

  After a couple of minutes, Tony walked through with Belinda and he simply nodded in my direction. That was all I needed to know. No doubt, in a couple of hours, I would get the news I had been waiting for. But, right then, I needed to know that Clara would be okay. I needed to know she would pull through.

  As we waited a little more, the police arrived, asking questions regarding the shooting. We all told the truth as much as possible—minus the fact that we knew full well who did it. I wasn’t about to tell them that major detail. That was left to me. I was going to become judge, jury, and executioner as far as Antonio was concerned. The sentence I had in mind for him was the only one he deserved. And I couldn’t wait to give it to him.

  We all sat for a while in silence—waiting, hoping, and praying that Clara would make it. The whole time, my stomach was in knots. I wasn’t a patient man … far from it. I was someone who was used to getting things done, but that. That was something beyond my control. That was something only the Lord Himself could decide. And it fucking killed me.

  It was about an hour later when the doctor arrived back in the waiting room and told me she was out of theatre. She was stable, but slipping in and out of consciousness. I asked to see her, and he took me into the room where she was being kept. As I walked through, the first thing I noticed was just how pale she looked. Normally, my Clara had the brightest of faces. A face full of love, mischief, happiness, and sass. There was no evidence of any of that now. It was almost as if I was looking at a stranger.

  I approached her bed, sat down, and took her hand. She was sleeping with the steady beat of the machine letting me know she was still alive. My Clara was alive, but in no way did that mean she was full of life. A part of me wanted to keep her asleep so that she wouldn’t have to know the truth. I wanted to protect her from the evil… From the news I knew would break her heart in two.

  I’m not sure how long I had been sitting there for when her eyes started to flicker open. She saw me, but there was confusion in her eyes. Then, they widened. “The baby,” she whispered with a croaky voice.

  I shook my head, tears starting to sting my eyes as I watched her break down. I knew I had to tell her about the operation, but my mouth was wired shut. I was a coward, and it remained that way until the doctor came in to check on her and deliver the news that I should have given her. She remained silent at first, but then the most gut-wrenching wail left her lips. I tried to comfort her as best I could, but the sound of her pain brought me to my knees.

  The doctor left us, and we sat there crying in each other’s arms for a few minutes. As Clara’s tears died down, all that remained was an empty shell. She stared blankly ahead as if I wasn’t even in the room. That scared me more than her crying had.

  As the afternoon wound into evening, my mother arrived, and I got the news I had been longing to hear. Giovanni had Antonio and was keeping him in his basement until I arrived.

  “Do you want me to torture him a little?”

  I fisted my hands together, wishing I was there already. “Just warm him up for me. I’ll get there when I can. I have a lot I need to get off my chest.”

  “Understood,” Giovanni answered. “How is she?”

  I sighed, closing my eyes. “She won’t talk to me. She won’t talk to anyone. I would prefer it if she were shouting and screaming… Anything over this fucking deadly silence.” I banged my fist against the hospital corridor wall and leaned my forehead against it.

  “Give her time, Luca. She’s in shock.”

  I sighed. “I know. This is not the Clara I know. I feel like I’ve lost her as well as our baby. The thought is tearing me up inside.”

  “Once you deal with this fucker, you can start to learn to heal… The both of you. Just cling to that fact.”

  I closed my eyes, hoping and praying he was right. “I know.”

  “Do you need me to do anything else? You name it, and it’s done.”

  I pushed myself from the wall and ran my fingers through my hair. “Just don’t keep the fucker comfortable.”

  “Consider it done.”

  We hung up after that, and I walked back to the room where Clara was. I looked through the window, and I could see my mother on one side and Belinda and Mia on the other. They were holding her hands, but she just stared as blankly at the ceiling as she did with me. I could tell in that moment that she had lost her fight … lost her spirit. And that, to
me, was the biggest fucking loss of all.

  In that moment, my cowardice came back with a vengeance. I found myself scared for the very first time in my life. If I was being brutally honest, I didn’t want to face my wife’s pain. I didn’t want to watch her as she disintegrated more and more into her shell. That thought alone didn’t just frighten me. It scared the living fuck out of me.

  But then, what kind of man would I be? I was frightened, I was lost, and I was beyond despair with my grief. But, I had to be strong for Clara. I had to be the man I promised her I would be when I vowed to stick with her through thick and thin.

  In sickness and in health.

  So, I took in a deep breath, pushed open the door, and stepped through to find everyone but my wife acknowledging me. It broke my heart. I would rather take her blame and her anger. I would have taken anything over that nothingness. “Has she said anything?” Three sets of heads shook at the same time. They all looked just as worried as I was.

  “I hope you’re planning on getting this son of a bitch?”

  I turned to my mother, who spoke to me in Italian. It surprised me to learn that she could speak English, but I understood why she wasn’t using it now. She wasn’t being rude; she just didn’t want the others—especially Clara—to be privy to our conversation.

  “Giovanni has him,” I answered back. “As soon as I know Clara will be okay, I will go over to Sicily and deal with him.” I took a chair and sat down. “Can I ask you to stay and look after Clara until I get back?”

  She held out her hand to me. “Son, you don’t need to ask.”

  I sank back in my chair and sighed. “Thank you.”

  “You look tired,” she acknowledged. “Do you want to get some rest?”

  I shook my head. “No. I want to be here when she snaps out of whatever this state is that she’s in. It’s killing me to watch her like this.”

  She patted my hand. “Give her time. She’s just found out that she will never be able to have children.”

  I sighed. “She can; it’s just that she can never have the gift of carrying them and giving birth to them.” I looked over to my wife’s vacantly beautiful face. “I feel like I’ve lost her, too.”

  Grabbing my hand harder, my mother leaned in. “Now, you listen, and you listen good. You are a Belatoni. You will fight like a Belatoni, and you will get through this like a Belatoni. I will not have any of this defeatist talk from you. You will hold your wife’s hand, and you will get through this, and you will both come out of this stronger than ever. Don’t ever let me hear you saying different.”

  I nodded, knowing she was right. Tough love was what I needed, and I was sure as anything that if we hadn’t been in the room with Clara, Belinda, and Mia, my mother would have slapped me. I got the gist through her words, and by fuck, I was going to cling to those words… For Clara’s sake.

  The anger was there in the pit of my stomach, boiling and stewing; I was eager to get to Antonio and give him the punishment he deserved. I imagined that Giovanni would be making him sweat, but it would be nothing—and I mean nothing—compared to the reception he would get from me.

  Luca

  It had been three days, and there had still been no word from Clara. I had been frantic, trying to get the doctors to check on her. I thought that maybe the surgery might have affected her somehow, but the doctors told me that physically, she was okay. She was suffering from grief, and this was her way of dealing with it.

  She was in no way ready to go home. Under normal circumstances, she would have been discharged already—if it had been just a simple hysterectomy. But, my Clara had been shot, and for that reason, she had to remain in hospital for at least another two weeks. I was torn. A part of me wanted to get to Sicily and get my revenge. In fact, the more I thought about it, the more my hands itched, and my palms sweated at the thought. I had never wanted revenge as much as I wanted it then.

  “It’s been three days, Luca. You need to go and do what you have to do. Nothing has changed here, and nothing will. Clara has a lot of people who will take care of her. You will be no husband to her with your mind on something else.”

  As per usual, my mother was right. I knew it, and I had been a stubborn fool for not admitting it to myself. “You’re right, but I need a few moments with my wife before I leave.”

  My mother placed her hand on my arm. “Of course. I will let Tony and the others know, and they can arrange a flight for you.”

  I nodded. “Thank you.”

  She patted my arm. “I’ll be right outside,” she said before she opened the door and left.

  As I heard the door close, I looked at my wife with a heavy heart. I would do anything to have her smile at me. Anything to have her tell me what a chauvinistic, overbearing prick I was.

  With that thought, I sat down and took her hand in mine. I gave the back of her hand a kiss and just held her for a few seconds before I spoke.

  “I don’t want to leave you, amore mio, but I need to do something for us. That man,” I gritted my teeth, “who did this to you is being held by Giovanni. I have to go to Sicily and do what I need to. You will never have to worry about him again. I promise you this. I will make him pay, and I will make him sorry. You don’t need to worry about that. Once I’m done, I will be right back here with you. I will be the husband I vowed I would be on our wedding day. I promise you that.” I got up and kissed her head, but she remained motionless. I thought she would have said something or at least reacted to the fact I had been talking about the man who had ripped everything from us, but nothing. It was almost as if she didn’t care. I knew that wasn’t the case, but it made it even harder to leave her because of it. In fact it killed me inside to leave her like this.

  But I had to.

  With that last thought in my head, I kissed my wife’s hand, lay it gently back on the bed, and walked towards the door. As I was about to open it, I heard her voice.

  “Don’t make it quick.”

  I spun around, shocked to find Clara staring at me. She had tears in her eyes, but there was also hurt, anger, and desperation. If it were any other time, I would have rushed to her and scooped her into my arms, but I knew that wasn’t what she wanted. Only hate was in her heart, and revenge would be the only chance she would have to heal.

  Against every muscle in my body that willed me to go to her, I fought back and simply nodded in her direction. Once she got that from me, she turned her head and returned to staring blankly at the ceiling.

  With renewed determination, I opened the door and walked through.

  As I got off the plane, the Sicilian air hit my nostrils, giving me renewed strength. For me, this was my home, but a part of me felt distant from it now. This place held bad memories, but at the same time, it also held a memory I would cherish forever in my heart—my wedding day.

  I was about to enact my revenge on a person who had almost taken everything from me.

  Almost.

  He needed to be eradicated like the vermin he was. And I was going to enjoy every fucking second of it.

  “You took your time,” Giovanni joked. “Antonio’s a pain in the ass.”

  I fisted my hands together and gritted my teeth. “Antonio can go fuck himself.”

  Giovanni smiled. “I’m sure that can be arranged.”

  I smiled, despite my anger. Anything that caused Antonio pain sounded good to me. “I want him to experience everything.”

  Giovanni smiled. “I thought you might say that. In the meantime, I have kept him warmed up for you, and I took great delight in it after what he did.” His smiled vanished. “How is she?”

  I closed my eyes, sighing as we got in the car. “She’s not talking to me… She’s not talking to anyone. Her only words to me in the last few days were spoken after I told her where I was going. She said only, “Don’t make it quick.”

  Giovanni shook his head. “She’s going through a lot. Not only has she been shot, but she’s also had her womb taken from her. The very thing t
hat gives life to another human being. It’s not something you get over in a hurry. She just needs time.”

  Even though I didn’t like it, I nodded. I was someone who needed to control everything and everyone around me. The one thing I couldn’t control was time. Time I desperately wished I could go back in and erase everything that had happened since she left me that morning. Instead, I would have gone with her. I would have made sure she stayed in the car at all times. I would have made sure that Antonio never got anywhere near her. I just … would have made sure she was safe.

  When we got to the house, I was greeted by a few family members, who had gathered to offer their condolences and a helping hand if I needed one. I thanked them all, but shook my head. This was something I needed to do on my own. Something I needed to do for myself, but even more so for Clara and our baby.

  I was offered food, but I wasn’t hungry. I was planning on spending a little quality time with Antonio to work up my appetite. I had hardly eaten due to everything that had happened, so I knew my strength wouldn’t be at its fullest. That was something I could deal with later. “Consider this a warm up,” I said to Giovanni. “I need to pace myself because I made a promise to Clara, and I’m going to make damn sure I fulfill it.”

  Giovanni patted me on that back. “Whatever you need. But, I would suggest you have me in there with you. You might need the help, but more than that, you might need to be reined in a little.”

  I nodded, thinking he was right. I knew my temper could get the better of me at times, so I would need someone to pull me back if it got out of control. “You’re right. Thank you.”

  He nodded and motioned towards his basement. “Are you ready?”

  I nodded. “By fuck, am I ready. Let’s do this.” We walked down the stairs to the basement door, and all the way down, I could feel my adrenaline pumping from the knowledge of what I was about to do.

  Once at the door, Giovanni patted me, turned the handle, and said, “He’s all yours.”

  I took a few steps into the room, taking in everything I could. The surgical table was there, but Antonio wasn’t on it. Instead, he was strapped in an upright position with rope at either ends of his wrists. He had been hit a few times; that much I could tell. His face was bloody with a massive bruise next to his cheek. It was swollen very badly, so I could tell he must have had a fracture there. He was blindfolded, but he also had a set of headphones on. I turned to Giovanni and frowned.

 
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