Chapter 9 ~ The End?
I saw her eyes change - darken. That was not the woman I craved, that was someone entirely different. That woman brushed off snapping a man’s neck like it was nothing, and when Ash asked about training, Priya admitted that she was equipped. Who had she been conditioned by? Were my instincts wrong? How did I not notice something so vital? She was so sweet and innocent? I have been played.
~I already know how to fight, and shoot~
Her words slithered across my mind and realisation dawned on me.
~My family life was pretty violent~
Again her words crossed my mind.
~I can see the love you have for your son, my dad loved me the same way, even if he had a temper~
The floodgates had opened.
~I am searching for someone~
She had been communicating this entire time, giving hints as to who she was. I was such a fool, I wasn’t listening.
~I have been talking for two weeks Jakobe, you’re just not listening~
The last revelation hit me like a bullet to the heart, Priya had been fucking talking - her mouth was spitting out information this entire fucken time.
We took the suited assassins into The Cage and roughed them up real bad. Well, until one of the men’s eyes exploded all over me, by then, we’d had enough, and Prez ordered their deaths. I was only too happy to oblige. ‘The Cage’ was a concrete holding cell with reinforced steel bars and completely soundproof. It was wicked hard to clean blood from but necessary in times of interrogation, hell, if I were thrown in here, I’d shit my pants knowing just how violent and gruesome things escalated inside. I was reeling from the information I had pounded out of them fuckers after my woman.
They gave us one name, and a promise he would never stop hunting her. The assassins were awfully tight-lipped, I wondered how much he had actually paid them for their hit. Priya must be worth a pretty penny to this asshole for them to not want to release any other information to save their suited hides.
There was still one person left to talk to, and so help me god, woman or not, if she lied to me? I would kill her. Prez and I trekked to his office where Priya had been held under guard for near on three hours, Prez walked in first, ordering the prospect’s out, and I slammed the door behind them, causing her to jump. My heart clenched, but I was too angry and pushed it away. Priya had secrets, big secrets, and it was time to spill her guts. I had allowed her into my world, and she’d pissed on my generosity.
“Talk!” Prez instructed.
“What do you want to know?” Priya licked her lips preparing, all this time I thought she was strong and brave, but the truth was, she was apart of this fucken lifestyle.
“You have way too much explaining to do, do not get lippy,” Deon warned.
“I thought that’s what you wanted?” Princess sneered back, standing her ground.
“Don’t give us that bullshit, Priya, talk!” I snapped threateningly.
But she sat there coolly, “why don’t you share your past and I’ll share mine... Trigger,” she sneered again. Fuck, why does she have to provoke me?
“You are a fucking inch away from a bullet to the skull...”
“Good!” Priya screamed. “Do it, put me out of my goddamn misery.”
“Alright, fucken hell, this is not solving anything. Priya, is that the first man you’ve killed?” Prez questioned in a growl but attempted to take the calmer approach.
“In total.” She glared at him like she was offended by his question. I guess Priya deemed every life taken, necessary, god knows I did. When you have blood dripping from your conscious, it is the only way to subdue the plaguing horror.
“You wanna know how I killed them?” she panicked.
“No, how have you killed seven men? You were trained, by whom?”
Princess reluctantly answered, “my father.”
“Why did he train you?”
“He had too.”
“Come on, Priya, this is pointless,” Prez was barely keeping it together.
She rolled her eyes and looked away. “How many have you killed? Huh? How many women have you fucked? How many runs have you been on where shits gone wrong? You want me to just openly tell you about my past yet, you get to keep your secrets?” Priya was trying to reclaim her defences.
Prez slams his fists on the desk, “I warned you - I would kill you if you fucked with my family.”
“You’re not fucking killing her,” I spat ferociously. Priya may have secrets, but she was still mine.
“What?” Deon questions.
“Did you fucken threaten her?” I was ready to murder Prez. What the hell is wrong with me?
“Pull ya head in, we are your brothers, this bitch is just pussy,” he roared at me.
“She is not just pussy to me,” I warned him as Priya’s eyes snapped back and forth between us. I moved in front of my infuriating princess, she was mine to punish as I see fit, not for Prez to unleash his fury on. Priya was my woman, my responsibility, and if anyone were going to punish her, it would be by my hands.
“Stop!” She howled, “don’t fight. I may be a lot of things, but I am not worth battling over, not with your family who loves you Jakobe.” Why is she uncomfortable with my protecting her against the club? Did she actually have a conscience?
I sent Priya a murderous glare, “then fucking talk.” My jaw was clenched so tight, but she glanced away defiantly. I was over this bullshit and crouched down in front of my woman, calming my entire being - which for me is really hard to do. “Priya, I think you already know how I feel about you, I need to know the truth. If you felt anything at all for me? If our relationship meant something to you? Please, tell me the truth?”
Priya turned away as tears gathered in her eyes and her bottom lip trembled while she swallows hard. “My father is Salvatore Antony, not Anthony, ” an animalistic roar escaped from deep within my chest, Mafia.
“Why didn’t you fucking say anything?” My temper was shooting through the roof again - as well as hers.
“Because, I am the rightful heir, the only heir. There is a bounty on my head, you think I’m just going to hand my ass over with a fucking bow wrapped around my middle?” Fuck, she owns it all, the Mafia’s princess, the entire empire upon her shoulders.
“Who is Frazier Saltora?” Prez interjects, as calmly as he could be. I had known him a long time, and when he lost control, the world was painted in blood.
“My brother.” Priya drew deep breaths, attempting to control the prominent fear now smeared across her face, “my mother was Takayama Saltora’s girlfriend, as in Yakuza Saltora. She was sent in to win my father’s heart and report back to Takayama, but she went in pregnant, with Frazier. Mum pretended he was my father’s child for years, she wasn’t smart enough, and dad eventually found out, he skinned her alive and sent her back to Takayama in a box. My mother died along the way, lying next to her own flesh. Frazier was frozen out, like completely, thrown on the streets with nothing and now he wants revenge.
“He has a copy of the old will, the one with him still in it, my father is missing - that is who I am searching for. I don’t want this life, I don’t want his legacy, I don’t want to run his businesses even though I have been primed to take over since I could talk. I don’t want his empire. I love my father, but I want him back. There is a code we use via the news reports when we need to send a message, and that’s what I’ve been looking for. Dad’s been missing for months, and I hope he is not dead, but I don’t know, I don’t know if he is still alive?” She wiped the shed tears from her cheeks.
“Baby, are you saying you have Yakuza after you?”
“No. Frazier maybe Takayama’s biological son, but he has no claim to Yakuza anything. They see him as a liability and want nothing to do with Frazier, that’s why he’s after me, he wants what I’ve got, the only problem is, the men that had me bound for days, the men that beat the shit out of me - they are Mafia. Those men were meant to protect me, and they betrayed me. Now, I don’t know who to trust? I have one man on the inside, but I will not contact him until it is absolutely imperative. The way Dad ran business meant all money was collected every week by him personally; he and I have access to the accounts.
“I am the only one left alive, who knows the account codes and passwords - without the money, Frazier has nothing, and everything falls. The night you found me, Jakobe, I had given up. I had escaped, yes, but I was fucken broken, I was done fighting. I opened the door and crawled into the middle of the road, there was more of a chance someone would find my dead body out in the open, then in a car. I swear, I never wanted to hurt your family, and I kept my mouth shut because this is not your problem Jakobe, or the club’s, this is my mess to take care of.”
We sat there with our mouths slightly agape, “so, what now Prez?” I turned and stared at my old friend as his brown orbs flitted between myself and Priya. Both of us left teetering on a very pregnant pause.
Deon leans back with his hands behind his head, “we save the woman you love.”
“What?” She screeches out while I smile at him and nod my thanks. “Are you insane?”
“Same rules apply Priya, we need to be kept in the loop at all stages.” She looks at him with an incredulous look of bewilderment on her face.
Priya was a stunned mullet, she was expecting the axe to fall and yet, it didn’t. I hauled her to her feet and walked her to the doorway as she just eyed me.
I pushed princess down the halls and through the room quarters, up the stairs to our level, and into our room - depositing her onto the bed. She stayed there, completely in shock.
“Well, this is not how I saw this date going?” I laughed humourlessly.
“I’m alive?” She questioned.
“Yes, very much so,” I retorted, leaning against the wall.
That took a while for it to register before she questioned again in disbelief, “I’m alive?”
“Yes, and we are going to kill Frazier Saltora.”
“Why?” She breathed.
“Because that’s what we do for our family.” Priya assessed me through doubting eyes.
“But it puts everyone here at risk?”
“Yes, so you owe us big time. Tomorrow at Gathering, Prez will inform the boys, and we will decide on the next course of action.” I taunted, she owed us nothing, Priya was more than enough, actually, now that I knew just how much of this lifestyle she was submerged in, it solidified my initial impressions.
“Because you are in love with me?” I choked on my own saliva not expecting Priya had registered what Prez said.
“Uh... shower...” I nervously grabbed some boxers, kissed her forehead, and headed for the bathroom, leaving Priya there to watch my awkward and cowardly retreat. I had never been in love before, and I wasn’t sure what the hell that was? But I wanted to tell her, myself, when I was ready, not because the President’s big mouth presumed I was.
I exited the bathroom fifteen minutes later, and Priya still waited there, stunned, and in the same position, I had left her. Priya had not made a move to get comfortable or anything.
“Are you just going to sit there?” I queried.
“Are you going to answer my question? You’ve been rather upfront about your intentions and now all of a sudden you are hiding?”
“You have no idea what I’ve had to emotionally deal with tonight? I thought I would have to end your life.”
“Are you or are you not, in love with me, Jakobe?”