Escaping the curse

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I sit at the kitchen bench with Angelina and Luca, coffee in hand as Marco and Tony whip up a breakfast feast. If I've learnt anything in the past three weeks, this family never cooks in half measures. It's either a ten course meal or nothing. I can't help but watch Marco as he flips pancakes in the skillet. He is just.... beautiful...

From his chiselled jaw, piercing blue eyes and full plump lips, to his masculine frame and tight ass. He truly is a fine specimen. I'm watching closely as he purses his lips in concentration when flipping the pancake into the air and catching it in the skillet. Damn those lips... I wonder what they would feel like against my skin... He turns and catches me watching him, a small smirk appears on those delicious lips and he winks at me. I blush and quickly turn away, causing him to chuckle. Damnit Nicola, get it together!

I can't help but feel guilty about my impure thoughts for this beautiful stranger. It was only three weeks ago that I gave my virginity to Brandon. I should not be thinking about someone else's lips on me just yet. Although I'm not sure what Brandon and I were... friends definitely, but there was no declaration of love or even feelings for each other. We enjoyed each other's company and certainly had a lot of fun together, but was it more than that? I really don't know.

The front door opens and Rafael, Alessandro, Mario and Angelo rush into the kitchen. Rafael wraps Angelina in his arms, kissing her passionately. I've never seen love like theirs before. My father never loved any of my mother’s like that. It was never an equal partnership like it is between Rafael and Angelina. I suspect that my father wouldn't have actually cared if any of his wives had been injured or killed. Yet Rafael treats Angelina with a tenderness that warms my soul. Would I ever have that?

Rafael lets Angelina go and walks over to me. He places his hands on my shoulders and kisses both my cheeks, being careful to avoid my bruises.

“Thank you.” He says. The look of love and pride in his eyes makes tears well in my own. I simply nod, unable to speak as I'm overcome with emotion. No one’s ever looked at me like that in my life. He wraps me in a hug and I return it gratefully. He pulls away and kisses my forehead, patting my cheek tenderly.

“Foods ready, lets eat!” Tony says as he claps and rubs his hands together. We all grab a dish and move it to the table, before sitting down and loading up our plates. I sit next to Rafael with Marco next to me and Tony in front of me.

“Before we dig in...” Rafael speaks. Everyone stops and looks to Rafael. I admire how he commands a room. He exudes power that's not overbearing, although I have no doubt if you crossed him he could be scary. “This couldn't have come at a better time.”

He places a large envelope in front of me and I look at it confused.

“Open it.” Rafael encourages. I look up at Rafael who has a proud smile on his face. I give him a shy smile and open the envelope, spilling the contents onto the table. I pick up a sheet of paper and read it. Certificate of Birth: Nicola Maria Valentino. My jaw drops and I look to Rafael with tears in my eyes.

“I went with my gut on you and you proved me right with your actions tonight... it may not be legal but I'd be proud to call you my daughter.” He says. Tears roll down my cheeks and I quickly wipe them away.

“I... I don't know what to say...” I look from the piece of paper to Rafael in awe.

“You don't need to say anything my dear, you earned your place in this family.” Angela says, looking at me with motherly pride. I simply nod and sniffle back more tears.

“Thank you.” I whisper before moving to inspect the rest of the envelopes contents. I pick up a small card, a driver’s license and smile.

“Do you even know how to drive?” Tony raises an eyebrow at me and I giggle.

“Sort of... Bryan let me drive around the Showgrounds, but never on the road.” I tell him.

“Well, we will teach you before we let you loose on the poor other drivers.” Luca teases. I laugh and nod in agreement. We finish breakfast as Luca and Tony talk about their trip to Italy.

After breakfast, Angelina and I start to gather the empty plates.

“No no, you two go rest, you both had an eventful night, we will look after this.” Rafael says, intercepting us and removing the plates from our hands. I look to Angelina who simply nods her head.

“Thank you darling.” She leans over and places a kiss on Rafael’s cheek. He looks at her adoringly. “I'm going to go and have a nap” Angela says.

I stifle a yawn, telling them that I will too. Angelina and I walk up the stairs. She stops me at the top before we head to opposite ends of the house.

“Thank you Nicola... I hate to think about what would have happened if you weren't here.” She says earnestly. I pull her into a hug.

“I'm just glad you're ok.” I say, forcing back the tears that form at the thought of her getting hurt. She pulls away and gives me a tired smile.

“Go and get some sleep, I will see you in a few hours.” I smile and head to my room. I collapse on the bed, completely exhausted, sleep finding me quickly.


The next day the sun is out, defrosting the earth from the cold winter. It's late August, so it's still cold, but the sun has a nice warmth to it, signalling the nearing of spring. I sit out by the pool in one of the loungers and open the book I found in the small library the Valentino's have. I'm completely absorbed in the book when a shadow casts over the pages and the lounger next to me squeaks. I look over to see Marco plonk down next to me.

“What are you reading?” he asks. I show him the front of the book.

“To kill a mockingbird.” I say.

“Ahh a classic!” he says with a nod. I smile at him. There's something about his accent... it's hot. No, that's not the right word. Sexy? Yes... his accent is sexy. But then again he exudes sex appeal. I don't think I'd find anything not sexy about Marco De Paulo. “So Tony told me about the cult you grew up in.” Marco says. I close the book and give him a sad smile with a simple nod of my head. He lays back on the lounger, raising his arms above his head. His shirt rises slightly, showing his tanned skin and defined V tapering down his shorts. My god how I'd like to lick down that V. Marco clears his throat and I quickly look away making him chuckle.

“So what was it like?” he asks and I shrug my shoulders.

“I really didn't know any better... but now that I'm out...” I sigh. “It's scary that he has that power and influence over people.” Marco nods in understanding.

“And now you’re with the Valentino's?” I see amusement in his eyes and I just shrug my shoulders again. “You do know who they are don't you?” he asks, a small smile on his lips. I give him a tight smile.

“I know they are more than winemakers…” I say carefully.

“You're not curious as to what else they do?” he says, looking me in the eye. Curious? Yes. But do I want to know for sure? No.

“I figure I'm better off not knowing.” I say, looking away from his intense gaze.

“And whys that?” he asks.

“I'm not a good liar... the less I know the better.” I tell him and he nods in understanding.

“Ahh... that way if you are ever asked you can answer honestly.” He says, looking deep in thought. “So what do you think I do?” he asks, amusement clear in his eyes. I smile sweetly

“A fellow winemaker from Italy.” I say and Marco taps his nose.

“My father owns several vineyards... let’s just say that of all the Italian winemakers around the world... he's in charge.” He says. I let out a low whistle. I know what he isn't saying. His father is the head honcho of the entire Italian mafia.

“And will you take over from him?” I ask.

“Eventually... yes.” He nods. I should be scared. I should be running away. Bryan told me about the mafia, not just the ones in Australia. They are dangerous and bad people. But for some reason I find Marco even hotter than I did before.

“So how long are you in Australia?” I ask, changing the subject.

“A few weeks.” He replies.

“Have you been here much before?”

“Yes, our family makes the trip out every year. This time it's just me.” He says. I roll over to my side to face him.

“So what are your plans while you're here?” I ask, wanting to know more about him. He mimics my movements and faces me.

“Just looking into the business here... not much else.” He says as he looks into my eyes. His eyes are a stunning blue, a contrast to his dark hair and olive skin. I simply nod and smile. I'm not sure what else to say to him, for some reason I find I'm nervous around him. Nervous and aroused. Marco leans forward and tucks a piece of my hair behind my ear, his eyes studying me closely.

“sei veramente sbalorditivo Nicola,” he whispers. I look at him curiously, I recognized my name, but not much else from his beautiful language.

“What did that mean?” I say quietly, unable to look away from give piercing gaze. He smiles and leans closer, whispering in my ear.

“I said... that you are truly stunning.” I blush, unable to form words to respond. He doesn't give me a chance to anyway. His lips crash on mine, his mouth firm. I gasp at the sudden contact and he takes full advantage of my open mouth, sliding his tongue over mine. His hand wraps around the back of my head, pulling me closer as his tongue dominates my mouth. The kiss is hot, sending desire and electrical impulses straight to my core. I grip the front of his shirt, needing to hold on to something, anything to keep me grounded. We pull apart to catch our breath. I look into his darkened eyes.

“I've wanted to do that since I saw you drop that guy.” He says with a smirk making me giggle.

“Nicola!” Angelina’s voice breaks out moment and we both pull away quickly turning back in our chairs. I take a deep breath to steady my racing heart.

“Nicola?!” she calls out again before coming around the corner and towards the pool area. “Oh there you are!” She comes over and sits on the lounger to the other side of me.

“Marco! How are you?” she exclaims, smiling brightly at him. He smiles kindly at Angelina.

“I'm very well thank you Angelina, how are you?” he says politely.

“I'm great, just hoping Nicola will accompany me into town in the morning.” She says. I look to Angelina, excited to get out of the house.

“Sure! What are we doing?” I ask. She simply smiles and pats my knee.

“You will see.” Angelina stands up. “Well I better get started on dinner.” She says before turning to leave.

“I'll help you.” I say. I stand up and give Marco a shy smile. He grins and winks at me, making me blush. I quickly hurry after Angelina to the sound of Marco chuckling.


It's later that night, I step out of the shower and dry off. Wrapping the towel around my body, I walk out to my bedroom to get dressed into my pyjamas. As I open my drawer to pull them out the bedroom door opens. Marco steps in and closes the door. I hear the click of the lock.

His eyes are dark as they travel down my body, burning my skin as they touch. He walks towards me, his long legs making short work of the distance. I watch as he licks his lips, an almost predatory look in his eye. And I am his willing prey.

He grabs my hands and spins me into the wall. Pressing his body plush against mine, he traps my arms above my head, holding them with one hand by my wrists.

“Do you know what you do to me bambina?” he asks as he presses his hips against me, I can feel his hard length against my stomach. My body aches for him and I can't help but let out a soft moan. He smirks and leans in, his warm breath tickling my neck. “You affect me the same way I affect you.” He's not wrong, just the slightest touch from him sends my body into a frenzy.

He places soft kisses down my neck.

“Now what are we going to do about it?” he says huskily. His free hand travels lightly down the side of my body, setting me on fire. As he gets to my thigh, where the towel hangs, covering just the tops of my legs, he moves back slightly and tugs the towel from my body.

The towel drops to the floor around my feet. His eyes scan my body hungrily, his tongue licks his lips.

“Beautiful.” He whispers. His mouth crashes on mine, hungry and passionate. I can't do anything else but kiss him back. He releases my wrists and his hands travel down my body, over my breasts where he squeezes them roughly, making me gasp. I squeeze my legs together as my core starts to ache with need.

He breaks the kiss and kisses, bites and sucks down my neck to my breasts. He takes a nipple in his teeth and tugs, making me cry out from the sensation. He's not gentle, but the way he sets my body alight, I'm a squirming mass in front of him.

“Marco...” I moan. His hands move around, cupping and squeezing my ass before one hand moves straight to my core. His fingers stroke me roughly and I can't help but grind against his hand. He pulls away quickly. Reaching to the back of his shirt, he pulls it off his head and throws it to the side. He makes quick work of his pants and boxers. I can't help but gasp at the size of him as his hard cock springs free. His mouth crashes on mine, stifling my gasp.

Marco grabs my ass and lifts me up, pushing me hard into the wall. I wrap my legs around him to support myself. I feel his hard cock rub against my core. He wastes no time, thrusting into me hard, stretching me around him, his mouth covering my moans. He pounds into me hard, fast, and it doesn't take long until my orgasm is building deep inside me.

I break the kiss and throw my head back as he hits that delicious spot deep inside me. His lips find my neck, sucking, biting, and licking as he thrusts hard into me. I can feel myself coming closer and closer to the edge before I'm at the point of no return.

“Cum for me bambino...” And I do. I come harder than I ever have before, my body a shaking mess in his arms. He thrusts through my orgasm, then pulls out quickly and shoots his load on my stomach. I rest my forehead on his shoulder, trying to catch my breath. He holds me for a moment while we both recover, then let’s go of me and lowers my feet to the ground. He grabs the towel and wipes me off as I slump against the wall to keep myself upright.

While I'm still recovering, he quickly dresses, then pulls me into a searing kiss. He steps back and winks at me, then leaves the room. I'm left on my own, naked and breathless and wondering what the hell just happened.

One things for sure... Marco De Paulo is the devil. And I just succumbed to the sizzling inferno of hell.

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