I stare at myself in the mirror. The dress is beautiful, the veil is beautiful, the ring is beautiful, and even the woman looking back at me is beautiful. But on the inside, I am screaming. This isn’t what I want. This isn’t what I’ve dreamed about all these years.
Luca’s steel-gray eyes haunt me the whole night in my dreams. I am terrified. If there is anything beyond terrified, that will be what I am feeling right now. My wedding day is here. And it is with a man I barely know and greatly fear. I sit in the chair, looking down at my palms. I can feel the tears begin to swarm my vision, but I can’t let them fall. If my makeup is smeared, they will know, and I will be insulting my father, Luca and his family, and everyone else from my family that has faith in me. This is their salvation. My marriage to Luca is a gold seal of my family’s protection. They are practically untouchable. But not me. After today, I will belong to him.
A knock sounds on the door, which is opened to reveal my father. He steps in and stands in the doorway for a moment. Just a moment.
“You look beautiful, Elise.”
My breath catches in my throat. My father has finally said something meaningful to me after all these years. And it is the day he is giving me away to a monster. All these years, all I’ve ever wanted from my father is some kind of recognition, some kind of proof that he loves me. And he tells me this the day he is to give me away, against my will. I can feel the hate boiling up inside me.
The music in the church sounds, and that is my signal. With my father by my side, I walk down the aisle, to be handed over to Luca Pasquino for the rest of my life.
Luca stands at the end of the trail, eyeing me, his gaze traveling up and down my body. He looks devastatingly handsome in his dark tux, with his hair pushed back. If I weren’t so scared, I may have been able to appreciate my husband’s good looks.
Once I reach the end of the aisle, my father lets go of me and Luca takes my hands in his. The preacher begins his sermon, but I can barely focus on what he is saying. Luca is staring me down, his gaze never faltering as I repeat my vows.
It is almost as if he were looking at me like I was his new, shiny toy and he couldn’t wait to play. I can see the danger lurking behind his eyes. I can feel it radiating off his every pore.
The church falls silent as the priest looks at me for my answer. All eyes within the church fall on me. I stare at Luca and can see the smirk pulling at his face.
As soon as the words are spoken, Luca leans in and puts his lips against mine. They are soft and warm as he reaches around me to cup the back of my head, claiming me in front of everyone we know.
The reception is grand. There are fountains of chocolate, decorations, desserts—the whole building looks like something out of a movie or magazine. Luca hasn’t said two words to me since we’ve arrived. We are both seated at the table for the bridal party. Everyone dances and rejoices at the expense of my misery.
The night drags on, and so do the events. The mic calls for Luca and me to make our way over to the massive cake that is on the table before us. We each have a slice in our hands, ready to feed each other. I slowly press my piece of cake into Luca’s mouth, and he does the same. As soon as the sweet pastry touches my tongue, I feel a warm mouth envelop my fingers. I gasp in shock as he focused on me, with those steel eyes on me.
He looks as though he wants to devour me, not just the cake he has in his mouth. I feel numb, and terrified, the events of the night scaring me to the point of nothing.
The reception is finally over—meaning, the thing I have been dreading all night is drawing even nearer. I feel a tug on my hand and look up to see Luca watching me.
“Are you ready?”
Even though it’s a question, it comes out as a statement. He is watching me with such intensity that I can only nod in response. A smile stretches across his face.
“Good.” He stands from the table, and hand in hand, we exit the reception hall.
The guests follow us out the door, smiles on their faces, congratulating us all. Our closest family stands at the end of the line. Luca’s father pulls him aside and begins speaking to him. My father stands by me and began talking.
“I’m proud of you, Elise. You have made me and your family proud,” he say.
I can tell it is all rehearsed, though. There is no smile from him or anything. All these years, all I’ve wanted from him is recognition. Love. Affection. Something. And he shows me something the day he gives me away. Bastard. And now all I want from him is nothing. I finally realize my hatred for this man.
I don’t say anything to him. I have walked right past him, intent on seeing Ari, when he jerks my arm, pulling me backward roughly. I let out a small whimper from the tight hold he has on me.
“What the hell are you thinking disrespecting me like that, you ungrateful little b—”
He is cut off as Luca comes to my side. He immediately lets go of my arm.
“As of four hours ago, Elise is now mine. My wife. You have no control over her anymore. So if you handle my wife roughly again, I will sever your fingers.”
I feel a chill rush up my spine at Luca’s words, and when I look at his face, I grow even more fearful. He is dead serious. My father’s face grows red, but he knows better than to mess with the future capo of the North Mob.
I give him one last look before making my way over to Ari. She envelops me in a tight hug.
“I’m so scared, Ari,” I whisper in her ear.
She stiffens as she takes my words in. “You’ll be fine. Everything will work out.” She smiles at me. “I love you, Elise. Don’t forget to come and visit me. It may not be all bad.”
I feel a tug on my arm and look up. Luca is pulling me toward the waiting car. And my future.
The ride to the airport takes about twenty minutes, and the plane ride is about two hours. The whole time, I am a bundle of nerves. He lets me change out of my wedding dress within the privacy of the jet cabin. Once we reach Luca’s home, he will be ready to consummate this wedding. And I am scared to death. He doesn’t seem nervous in the least. Of course he doesn’t—he has done this sort of thing several times. I know because I have seen the magazines and news articles that follow his luxurious lifestyle around, and the women he shows up with on his arm are too beautiful to not be messed with.
“Once we land, the drive is about forty-five minutes to your new home.” His voice pulls me out of my thoughts, and I look up to see him watching me with that intense expression. I nod, too nervous to speak. His face seems to transform into an expression of amusement.
“Are you scared, Elise?”
I can only shake my head. I hear his deep laugh.
“Don’t be nervous. I’ll make your first time pleasurable.” He smiles at me. “I’ve been thinking all night about being buried deep inside you.” He continues to make me nervous.
The plane finally lands, and he ushers me into the car, riding to my new home. Just as he has said, the ride takes forty-five minutes. We pull up to the front gate, and it opens. Lights shine up the driveway to reveal my new home. It is huge. Actually, huge is an understatement. It is massive. It is a wonder how one person can live here by himself.
“I’ll be sure to show you around your new home sometime this week.” Luca’s voice pulls me out of my admiration, and I nod, not knowing what to say.
We exit the car, and Luca opens the front door, revealing a beautiful foyer with a dark staircase. The lights are off everywhere else in the house, so I can’t see the rest of the home, but if it looks anything like this, then it is beautiful.
Luca leads me up the stairs by the hand. He stops in front of the third door down and pushes it open to reveal a beautiful bedroom. A massive four-poster bed sits in the center of the room, dark colors illuminating it. The room is obviously occupied by a male. And expensive.
“Do you like it?” I jump from Luca’s voice. I turn to see him watching me with that same intensity he’s had since we’ve met.
I nod. “Can I use the shower?”
He is silent for a moment before finally relenting. He pours himself a glass of some gold liquid and takes a seat, loosening his tie. He points me to the door on the far side of the room, and I hurry over, stepping into the luxurious bathroom. I turn on the hot spray after making sure the door is closed. I step to the mirror and look at myself.
My hair is falling out of its tight curls, making it look wavy, and my eyes are wide and filled with fear. Luca probably feeds off it. I step under the hot spray, letting it soothe my nerves, and I close my eyes.
I am married. To Luca Pasquino. I am now Elise Pasquino. Married to the most notorious son of the North Mob’s capo. I don’t know what to do. What to think. I just know that when I am near him, danger radiates off him in waves. It is terrifying. He is intimidating. And with good reason. Especially after what has happened with him and that girl at the engagement party.
He was ready to kill her without a second thought. I bet she was one of his exes. A poor, brokenhearted girl. Judging from his actions, he wasn’t going to seek pleasure elsewhere since he was about to kill her for showing up to his engagement party.
I let out a loud scream as I feel hands around my breasts. I am roughly jerked back into a solid wall of muscle as I try to move away from the imposter. It is Luca. I hadn’t even heard him enter the shower.
“Shhhhhh. Don’t move.” His voice comes out very low. My heart begins to beat erratically in my chest. I can feel his hot erection pressed against my lower back.
“Just relax, baby. I’ll take care of you,” he whispers in my ear.
His hands begin to move, caressing my breasts. He grabs my nipples in between his fingers and begins rolling them. I gasp, as pleasure I have never felt before emits from my body, shooting straight to my core, the steam from the shower making me even more aroused by the second. Luca’s hands drift down, running over my stomach and in between my thighs.
“So smooth,” his voice rumbles in my ear. It mixes with the shower. It is customary for everything to be waxed before your wedding so you can please your man.
I can feel myself getting drenched between my legs as he plays in between my folds. There is something building, but I don’t know what. My cousin Ari has told me what to expect when having sex. She has said it will hurt the first time, and if your man cares about you like Angelo has had for her, he will make you orgasm. She has told me it is an amazing feeling you can only get with your husband. Maybe this is what she is talking about. This pressure that is building deep within my core.
I feel myself about to go over when Luca removes his hand, whipping me around and claiming my mouth with his. He pushes me into the wall, the hot spray of the shower drenching both of our bodies. His kiss then is much more passionate than the one we shared when we sealed our union. This is more of a possession, like he is claiming every fiber of me. He thrusts his hand back between my legs, causing me to gasp.
Upon my gasp, he shoves his tongue in my mouth, stroking every corner. He nips and bites at my bottom lip as he thrusts a finger inside of me. I cry out from the uncomfortable feeling it causes, but I don’t have time to register it because he is back at my mouth. His free hand rubs my breast. He inserts another finger, and the pleasure is too much. I can feel myself reaching for something.
“That’s it, Elise. Come for me, baby,” he growls against my mouth. As soon as he speaks the words, my body explodes in pleasure. I can feel myself clenching around his fingers. Involuntary moans erupt from my mouth. Luca keeps on kissing me as I moan into his mouth. He is swallowing every bit of it.
As my waves subside, I can feel Luca remove his fingers. I feel weak, my body like putty. Luca lays me down on the shower floor, the ground beneath me warm from the hot water. The water is still cascading over us from above, creating a blanket of warmth. I feel his warm lips press against my collarbone, and he latches onto my neck, sucking hard. I gasp aloud from the pleasure, already feeling myself get aroused once more.
“You are so beautiful,” I hear Luca murmur.
I open my eyes, and the sight before me takes my breath away. Luca is straddled over me, the water from above causing his hair to fall into his face and drip from the sides. Droplets are falling off his lean body, running down his face and falling from his lips. He is staring at me with those unusually gray eyes. The black within is dilated. He runs his hand up my stomach and leans in to suckle my breast. I moan.
I can feel him positioning himself at my entrance.
“It makes me so hard knowing you’ve never been with anyone but me. All mine. My woman. My wife. My Elise. Mine.” I take in his words with little clarity, the sexual tension clouding my perception.
Before I can take in another breath, he pushes himself slowly into me. I can feel myself spasming around his thick length as he makes himself at home within my body. He does one quick thrust, and I gasp from the pain of him breaking my virginal barrier. I whimper aloud. The pain is unbearable. I can feel my stomach churning.
“You’re so tight,” I hear him groan.
I can’t breathe from the pain. He begins to suck on my neck and reaches a hand between us, massaging my clit. Slowly pleasure begins to replace the pain. Luca must have sensed the change, because he begins thrusting inside of me. He reaches around me and cups the back of my head, pulling me to meet his lips. He thrusts his tongue in my mouth.
The pleasure becomes too much. I begin moaning out loud, crying out from the pleasure. Luca’s thrusts become more urgent; he pushes into me harder and harder with each thrust, making me slide up against the shower floor. He threads his fingers through my hair and forces my head aside, latching on to my throat and sucking. Hard. That is all it takes for me to rocket over the edge and scream as my orgasm rips through me, a thousand times more intense with Luca’s large length pounding in and out of me.
I can feel him getting larger inside of me, if that were even possible. He groans in my ear, uttering a string of curse words in Italian before I feel him release inside of me. We lie like that under the spray of the shower—for how long, I don’t know. Luca rolls me over so that I am lying on my side, facing him, and pulls out of me. He leans in and kisses me long and hard.
I am lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. Luca is lying beside me, with his arms wrapped possessively around my waist. After he finished, he bathed me, dried me off, and laid me to bed with him. Like a loving person. But I am not stupid. There is no telling how long this will last. I am married. I am no longer Elise Trovoli, but Elise Pasquino. I am no longer a virgin, thanks to my new husband.
His deep breathing is soothing. I want to cry, but I have no tears left. I want to scream, but I have no courage to. My life has been planned out for me to a tee. I’ve never had a say. And now that I have fulfilled my usefulness to my father, I am forced to fulfill Luca’s every desire. Because that is what a good wife does.
I am scared. I am terrified. I don’t know what my future holds for me. I don’t know what Luca will do to me. I don’t know how his personality will reflect on me. All I know is that I have to do whatever it takes to survive.
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