Pure Poison (Pure #1)

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Raphael smashes his lips against mine and me as if on auto-pilot, wrap my arms around him. There is a taste of cigarette that lingers on his lips, and I am addicted to it. Rafael is like molten chocolate, so sensual. He parts and looks into my eyes. They are so hungry.

A dirty thought comes to me. I grin and climb on the counter. Rafael moves forward. His eyes are like that of a hawk, focussed on every movement of mine.

“You look hungry, Rafael,” I whisper and giggle.

I am so playful.

Rafael realises my intentions because the next moment I see a devilish little smile on his face. I get off the counter and open the fridge. His brows furrow but then raise when he sees me taking out the chocolate syrup. I saunter towards him like a lioness. I must look so sexy, with my unkempt hair, mushed lips and red satin nightie. I lick my lips.

“You are a dirty girl,” Rafael chuckled.

“Take off your shirt,”

“Yes, my queen,”

His husky voice leaves me wanton. I am acting like a thirsty dog, and I am not ashamed by that fact. Rafael unbuttons his shirt and throws it on the ground. I pull him towards me, taking a spoonful of ganache I smear it across his chest.

“Oops, I created a mess,” I flutter my eyes shyly. The thirst in his eyes grows.

“And what are you going to do about it?” Rafael whispered.

I giggled and slowly licked the ganache on his chest. Rafael groaned, I wrapped my legs around his waist and continued my assault. His chest was so well muscles and toned. He was one bronze roman god that I would like to decorate my living area with. Somehow the chocolate tastes better on him than a spoon, I am sure my lips must be covered with chocolate because in the next moment I see him smashing his lips, really sucking on them and groaning loudly in my mouth. Oh, why is he so delicious? Why is it so difficult to resist him?

“Tina, you are a goddess,” Raffaello whispers to me, “I am sorry for yelling at you.”

I am taken aback. It takes a lot for a strong Capo to say sorry, and I am grateful that he acknowledges his mistake.

“I don’t like being yelled at,” I whisper, “all my life I have seen my father do the same to my mother, and I have hated it. I know you are not used to it, but I am going to stand up to that sort of behaviour.”

“I know, and that’s one of the many attributes I love about you. The phone call had caught me off-guard that’s all,”

“Is everything okay?” I ask Rafael.

“I think you were right about Christian.”

“What happened?”

“The shipment that was to leave for Ukraine was busted by the authorities. The DEA had come, it could’ve become a lot serious.”


“I trusted Christian, more than I should’ve. How could he have forgotten about the senatorial elections? That is not something that you let go off. You are right, he needs more experience in life. He is way too young to be consigliere.”

“I think this mistake would stay with him, Rafael. This will teach him a lesson to not take things lightly.”

“Absolutely, I am calling him and Enzo first thing in the morning. It is best to give them the news here. I don’t want the entire fucking syndicate to have something to gossip about more than they already have,”


“I know! I cannot believe my associates love to gossip, idiots.”

“C’ mon, just let it go, will you?”

“I cannot, your father had a fifteen-million-dollar worth of shit with mine, and I gave him my word.”

More like mocked him but I sit by and listen.

“Silvano would be mad, your Papa is one person I would be most ashamed to disappoint,”

“What do you mean?”

“Disappointing a Ricci, that would be new low,” Rafael grins.

I am appalled by his blatant comment. What has Ricci become to him? Who are we as a mafia family in this society? I instantly school my features, but I am sure he has seen my expression because he sighs and runs his fingers through his hair.

“What exactly do you think of the Ricci?” I ask him, “and don’t you dare try to pacify me and shit. I want the truth.”


“No, I want the truth.”

“You want the truth? Well, I think the Ricci are a bunch of weaklings. Your organisation is barely off the ground, you have no foundation. Your father is the most incapable Capo I have ever seen! Do you want to hear more? And I want to wipe away the Ricci name forever!”

“Then why did you marry me, Rafael. Why did you marry a Ricci girl?” I snap. Angry tears threaten to spill on my cheeks.

“I didn’t want to. I seriously didn’t want to marry you for the longest time. In fact, I once even wanted to break off my engagement. But I saw you, and I couldn’t stop looking. God, Tina, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and I like that fire and spirit in you. I forgot all about cancelling the engagement. And also, it served my purpose for revenge,”

I wipe my tears away and get off the counter. I start making my way towards the guestroom, I don’t think I can sleep with this man. Not after what he has said about my parents. He is the most despicable human being. How dare he insult us? What did we do that no other syndicate hasn’t threatened to do? There is something about his animosity with the Ricci, and I am going to get to the bottom of it.

“Where are you going, Tina?”

“I don’t think I can sleep with you, just leave me alone.”

Rafael does not say anything, maybe he realises that I wouldn’t budge from my intention. Good. Perhaps he is getting to know me. But is that really a good thing? I wonder.

“We will talk about this in the morning,” Rafael whispers.

“I will be with my parents.”

And with that, I closed the door of the guestroom on his face.


“Hey, Mom,” I whisper and hug my mother. Lily looks to be a former shell; her eyes hold nothing but sadness. I don’t even know what to do. I may have had my complaints with both of them, but I still loved them with every fibre of my being. And they were Ricci. I had my loyalties with them.

“How are you, Valentina?” Lily asks.

“I am doing well, where is Father?”

“Silvano is in his study with some of the associates, I was just taking his tea and medicines to him before you came,”

“I will take it,”

Lily smiles and passes me the tray. I balance it in my hand before going towards my father’s room. It takes me a while to find his office, and I realise how little I know my own parents’ house. I have lived with Nonno for most my life and Silvano and Lily are little more than strangers. I don’t know how to feel about that.

I knock on the door and hear a faint come in.

I enter.

A couple of associates are standing around my father. Silvano looks bad with purple circles around his eyes.

“Leave us, gentlemen. I would like to spend some time with my daughter.”

It is not a statement that I have heard before. My father has objectified me for the most part of my life, but something says that the recent events are making him more and more grounded. But I don’t want that, I want my father to have that arrogance, that glow on his face. The pride of being a Ricci. But it is all gone now. Silvano is not who he was before, but I see an opportunity in him.

I see an opportunity for uniting the family.

“Dad,” I whisper.

I place the tray on his table as he gets up to give me a hug. It is tight and warmer than any hugs he has ever given to me before. It feels genuine, and I cannot help but return it with same vigour.

“How are you?”

“I am good. How are you? I hope that husband of yours is treating you well,”

“How could I be okay after what happened to you?”

Silvano’s eyes glaze, and he clears his throat.

“It was a fifteen-million-dollar deal, Valentina,” Silvano whispered.

“I know I am so sorry. I wish I could do something.”

“Things are not going the way I intended, I expected so much more from him. I expected the glory of our family to grow, but…” Silvano’s voice cracked at the end, and I gulped back my own tears.

“You were naïve. You didn’t understand his truest intentions. Rafael himself told me that he wants the Ricci name to be forgotten,” I whisper, “I was so hurt, I didn’t know what to do.”

“He said that?”

I nod, wiping away a tear.

“What does he want from us?” Silvano snapped.

“I don’t know! But Rafael also said that he wanted revenge on Nonno and that’s the only reason why he even decided to marry me. The marriage was an act of revenge on Nonno!”

Silvano’s eyes are wide.

“And Raffaello has absolutely no remorse about your loss. He is the worst, Dad. How can I be with a man who cannot respect my parents and dearest Nonno?”

The light in Silvano’s eyes dimmed, and I knew my words had finally had an effect on him.

“I didn’t know, Valentina. I always thought of Raffaello as an honourable man, I didn’t know my judgement would go wrong.”

“Promise me one thing, Dad,”

“Anything my sweet child,”

“Promise me that we will all stay a family, the Ricci before anyone else,”


I hug my father once again.

“What are you going to do now?” I ask him.

“I don’t want him handling my shipments again, I don’t think I have any respect left for him. My only connection to Rafael is you. That’s all. I cannot reverse this mistake, Valentina. Raffaello is way too powerful for me.”

“Will you be able to handle those shipments alone?”

“I will have to try,”

“What about Joe?”

“Joe is the son of a traitor,”

“Rafael is a traitor too, who can you trust?”

Silvano became quiet.

“It seems I have no one around me to take care of our family,”

This man is not even considering me!

“It will all come together, Dad. Do try delegating some duties to Joe as well, he is the only one here to take care of you.”

“I will try, he visited me yesterday, which I thought was very nice.”

“Joe is a nice guy.”

I spend the rest of the day at my house, lounging and preparing for my interview the next day. I am nervous. I want the deal with the club more than before. I want to do everything that Raffaello claimed he would do to my family. My goals are all the clearer now, Rafael wouldn’t even see it coming.

It is late in the evening when the car is sent to me. Christian is waiting by the door.

“Hey,” I whisper as I sit in the car.

Christian just nods. I can sense his sombre mood.

“I heard what happened last night,” I say.

“It all went down, and I don’t even know how it happened,” Christian admits, “I had checked everything and went through all the security systems myself. This was a high-profile case, and I understood the implications which is why I was almost extra careful.”

“I am so sorry,”

“Now, I am not getting considered for the post of consigliere. Capo Raffaello was obvious, he decided to overlook every accomplishment of mine because of this one mistake.”

“Why did he do that?”

“Apparently, and these are his exact words, ‘I listened to the words of a very close person.’ And now because of this close person, I have lost every chance at becoming a consigliere.”

Alarm bells are ringing in my head. I know Rafael would never admit my name. He wouldn’t want his wife getting credit in front of others, it could make him look weak. So I was an anonymous ‘close person’.

“I bet it is Lorenzo,”


“You would be above Lorenzo in the power hierarchy, something which he wouldn’t accept. You are younger than him. Also, I think there is no one closer to Raffaello as much as Lorenzo. Sometimes even I get jealous.”

Christian looks deep in thought; I know I have planted a seed in his mind. I will have to be careful, though, keep an inventory of everything I am saying.

“But don’t listen to me, I am just making conversation,” I giggle.

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