My mind was still reeling.
The knowledge Jax had revealed to me was almost more than I could bear. I’d never suspected this – never suspected her.
I felt like such an idiot, which of course enraged me further.
She fucking played me like an instrument – manipulating me with those innocent eyes and delectable curves. The entire time, she was a married woman. Married to the man that had just recently declared himself my enemy.
Had this been the plan all along?
Had she been sent by her piece of shit husband to spy on our operation? To scope out my defenses and report her findings? Had fucking me been part of the plan, too?
I felt sick.
“I told you what you wanted to know. It’s your turn to hold up your end of the bargain.”
I barely registered Jax’s words, the sting of the truth he’d just revealed too big of a distraction. It weighed down on me, making me feel helpless for the first time since I was a child.
I pulled my gun from my hip and pressed it against his forehead – my hand shaking with rage. “Shut. The. Fuck. Up.”
“B-but, you said –”
“I know what the fuck I said,” I growled, pressing the barrel into his forehead, “you’re the idiot that fell for it.”
His eyes widened in disbelief. “Wait a min –”
I pulled the trigger.
Jax’s brains exploded against the cement wall behind him, splattering fragments of his skull and red matter across my face and suit. I could care less.
I had originally intended to let him live. I had meant to uphold my promise – but it seemed irrelevant now. Being honorable was what got me into this mess to begin with. By trying to help a woman in need – by taking her into my home and providing her with shelter and protection.
This was my consequence. Her betrayal.
There was no point in being honorable. It was unproductive. Meaningless. I was a creature of the underworld - a killer. And killers didn’t live by a code of conduct.
I’d thought I meant something to her. She’d breathed life into my lungs and made my dead heart jerk to life, but now it reverted back to stone.
The gentle, considerate person she’d brought out in me was dead once more – never to return again.
I left the stockade, calling Gio as I made my way to my office.
“Pull every man from the penthouse immediately. I want everyone here in the next 30 minutes.”
“But what about Raven? You wanna leave her exposed?”
“Fucking right, I wanna leave her exposed,” I growled. “Do as I say; I’m calling an emergency meeting at the warehouse. Now.”
I wasn’t surprised to find the penthouse empty when I strolled in past 8:00 p.m. She must have figured out what I knew and made a run for it.
Because if I ever saw her again, I’d put a bullet in her brain myself.
The men were up to speed on her treason. They were instructed to take her into custody the moment they saw her. My orders were clear; no one laid a hand on her.
She was mine.
If anyone deserved to torture that bitch, it was me. Part of me longed for the satisfaction of crushing her bones beneath my hands and strangling the life out of her. I yearned for the moment the light left her eyes.
Those beautiful fucking eyes.
Even now I couldn’t stop thinking about her. My affection had twisted into hatred, but she was still the object of my obsession – still the only woman on my mind. Her deception hurt me deeply.
I couldn’t believe I fell for her treachery. Some Don I turned out to be; letting a woman come between La Famiglia and me.
I bypassed the fridge and headed straight for the liquor cabinet. Pulling out a bottle of scotch, I twisted the cap off and drank straight from the glass bottle. The familiar burn as I swallowed it down was almost soothing.
I didn’t bother with dinner – having lost my appetite the moment I knew the truth. The scotch would have to do. I finished the bottle, feeling the drunken haze come over me like a blanket of reassurance.
I let it pull me under – into the blackness that resembled my soul. The dullness was a comfort. I welcomed it.
Things were better this way. I’d always been ruthless; had always been isolated. Even being surrounded by family couldn’t chase away the darkness.
I was alone – like I’d always been.
Like I always would be.