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Chapter Two: 199

October 5th

Tuscan, Italy.

She looked beautiful her mother said, like a princess from a fairy-tale.

Her mother was not surprised when her father announced her engagement at dinner, she too knew that this day would come. She was however sad, sad that her daughter never got to experience what she had experienced, that instant connection.

She was heartbroken because her daughter would not live out her dream of escaping this world that they live in but would have to remain and play with the beast among men.

Contessina knew that her mother loved her and her siblings more than anything in the world but she also knew that her mother understood this world and understood that she had no say in her lives. She did not go crying and pleading at her mother’s feet but approached her peacefully to ask for her blessings.

She went through it with courage because she knew that there was no way out. Her mother and sisters helped with the wedding preparations, she had no part in it. They chose her favorite flowers, white lilies, ordered the decorations, hired the caterers and designed the cake themselves.

She took no part in it, she nodded when they asked questions and smiled when they showed her pictures and designs. She was in limbo, not in shock but in limbo. Her body refused to be festive and play the blushing bride. She could not be overwhelmed by a situation so demented and sad.

Yes her heart was breaking, breaking for the future that she could not predict. Breaking for the broken dreams of love and escape. Yes, she was naive, but she was human and as a human, she had desires and dreams but she also had a duty, a duty to her sisters.

She never met him until the eve of her wedding. As a custom, a rehearsal dinner is held and no matter who you were you were expected to attend. Her mother threw a grand rehearsal dinner with her father’s money. Hundreds were invited, persons she didn’t know existed were invited to celebrate the Consigliere’s daughter’s wedding to the Don’s son, the underboss.

She wore green as expected, a beautiful green gown with sleeves to portray modesty and that was close fitted to portray appeal. Her hair was styled to perfection and her makeup done light but flawlessly. She looked beautiful just as her father requested.

She arrived late to the meeting as instructed, in order to make an entrance. Her mother stood beside her, her younger sister’s behind her. The door opened and she entered with fake confidence and practiced grace. The crowd looked at her with awe and admiration in their eyes, but it wasn’t her that they were praising, it was her father. He got the glory for having a beautiful daughter even if she was black, or half black.

Piero met her halfway. He stood out amongst the crowd. Tanned skin with blond hair that hung in his face. Tall and well built in a two thousand dollar suit that clung to him like a second skin.

He was beautiful she must admit. A sight to behold, high jawline, perfectly sculpted eyebrows, unblemished skin and a straight nose. He bowed when she came before him, like a true gentleman with a smile on his face.

“Signora Moretti, a pleasure to make your acquaintance” He said. He sounded like you typical Italian, husky voice with a deep accent. His fingers curled around her hand and he placed a small tender kiss on the back of her palm.

Contessina wanted to play the haughty princess for him but she could not. He was not like the other men who tried to capture her attention day after day, he was a prince in this world. A man destined to be King of five families, more powerful than any government in the world.

So she played the role that was assigned to her, she forced a smile and greeted him in return. She allowed him to guide her to the high table and allowed him to present her to the King and Queen , the Don and Dona of the five families.

They ate and drank like your normal Italians, sand songs loud enough to wake the heaven. He was not reserved but outgoing, he was not somber but festive. She looked at him and thought maybe, he will be a good husband but that was before his eyes caught hers, before she saw the wickedness flash across the hypnotic orbs, before she felt his mother breathing down her neck.

This was not her world any longer, she was no longer in the shallow waters, away from the predators that ruled the deep seas. She used to be prey and now she was food, food to the second most powerful man in her world.

This was not her end but her beginning.

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