F I V E
L I L L I A N A
A month later.
“Fuck,” I cursed no one but myself for being in this condition.
Almost a month went by, Dominic didn’t make a single move ever since he showed up at the cafe. Except for a man tailing me, he had nothing on me. And it was driving me mad.
I didn’t take Dominic for a subtle man. He had lived his life like he fucked the women in his bed - raw, hard, and bold.
Irrationality was his vice.
So, I had to do something irrational to get his attention. If that meant letting a local goon beat me up in a dark alley, well, so be it.
Pain shot through me at every twist and turn of my body as I pick up the ringing cell phone. “What?” I grunted.
“You are missing work,” Andrew said over the phone, pissing me off some more.
“How many fucking times have I told you not to call me for your silly chitchats?”
“Relax, I have news,” he informed with a hint of seriousness.
“Vittelos are dead, wiped out.”
I wasn’t shocked or surprised. If Romanos set a mind on someone, they obliterate them sooner or later. Vittelos was stupid, reckless, and cock-less. His end was inevitable.
“No wonder Dominic was busy,” I said drily.
“That’s not the only thing. The man you hired to rough you up in the alley didn’t show up for the rest of the payment. What kind of a goon forgets to take payment for the job?”
“Least of my concern. Anything else?”
“Marco Alessi is back in Chicago.”
Now, this news got me upright. “Why would Viktor’s deadliest enforcer be back in the city when everything is over?”
“I am yet to find out. But whatever it is, be careful, Lill. Marco Alessi is always bad news. There’s nothing off-limits about this man.”
It was true. Marco Alessi was known as The Butcher in the underworld and was equivalent to an army of hundreds. Worst, he was loyal to Viktor.
“I will be.”
Snapping the call, I hid the cell phone underneath the bed in a wooden chamber. Contemplating that I need a better plan to get into the mansion, I skimmed through several possibilities to get past Viktor and Marco. The Romanos was now more powerful than yesterday with Vittelos gone.
Before my musing could get any further, the sound of the something cracking robbed my attention. The heavy footsteps approached the bedroom as I intuitively grabbed the lampstand from the table.
No sooner than the door opened, I struck the silly object at the intruder.
Only to realize was none other than him.
Dominic, the devil, Romano.
D O M I N I C
The bedroom door was ajar as I strode towards it. I reached out for the knob to push it open. But all of a sudden, something slammed hard against my shoulders catching me off guard. Before the next blow could land, instinctively, I moved away and grabbed the wrist of the attacker.
And when I turned around, I saw the face. Liliana.
Capturing her wrist with one hand, I took the bloody lamp stand with other hand and threw it away. Without another word, I gripped both her wrists in one hand, walked her back to the same creaky bed and plopped her ass down on it.
Crowding her space, I asked, pointing towards the discarded lampstand, “What were you exactly trying to do?”
Hypothetically, if it wasn’t me and it was some low-life breaking into her apartment, and if she’d tried to use that sorry excuse of a weapon, anyone would have crushed her in a second.
She gaped at me for a moment while the fear slowly slipped away replaced by an angry scowl. Her gaze skated between me and the lampstand on the floor.
“What...you... what the fuck are you doing here?” she sneered, looking up at me.
Damn this woman and her foul mouth.
My eyes skimmed over her features. The bloody muggers truly did a number on her. One of her cheekbones bore a mark of a backhand—almost a deep shade of purple, the right corner of her lips was cut, and there were scraping bruises on her hands and knees. Her auburn hair was disheveled and pulled into a messy bun. There wasn’t a single speck of makeup on her face yet she looked beautiful.
“Why didn’t you go to a doctor?” I asked.
She placed her palms on my stomach and gently pushed me away. “That’s none of your fucking business. You can’t get into my apartment like this,” she snapped but winced the moment she tried to scramble back on the bed, clutching her ribs.
Shit! Her ribs were injured, too, if I wasn’t wrong.
Ignoring her childish outburst, I helped to lift the legs onto the bed and silently walked out of the bedroom towards the kitchen. I opened the refrigerator to look for an ice pack. When I couldn’t find one, I had to make one with the help of a ziplock bag and went back to the bedroom.
Liliana’s back was still propped against the headboard, wincing and frowning at the same time when she saw my face reappearing.
“Hold it here,” I ordered, pressing the ice-pack over her bruised cheekbones. Reluctantly, she did.
“Can you lift your t-shirt?” I asked, as blatantly as possible. And before she could glare at me, I added, “I need to see your ribs.”
“I told you, it’s none of your fucking business.”
“And I heard you the first time,” I quipped. Seriously, keeping my cool with her was a challenging task.
“And now you hear me out.” I leaned into her, so my face was an inch away from hers.
“This is me being nice and civilized, Liliana. Believe me; you don’t want to piss me off. You can nicely lift the t-shirt and let me see the damage. Or, I can throw you over my shoulder, drag your ass to the hospital, sedate you, and make sure you get the treatment. Now, what will it be?”
The brown eyes glared daggers. She opened her mouth and then snapped it shut, glancing away from me. But slowly, her fingers clutched the edge of her t-shirt and slightly lifted it up.
Bloody hell! Patches of reddish blotch marred her flawless skin. Her ribs were definitely bruised, if not broken. My fingers gently skimmed over the marks as Liliana grimaced, sucking in a sharp breath.
“Sorry,” I apologized, retreating my fingers. “You need to see a doctor. These pain-killers—” I pointed to the bedside table “—won’t work for long. The bruises are pretty bad.”
“I will manage on my own; they don’t hurt.” She didn’t look up and kept fidgeting with the ice-pack.
I tucked away a long auburn lock out of her face and placed a finger under her chin to lift up her face. Beneath that wild exterior, she had a naive soul—somewhere hidden, locked away.
“Do you know the people who did this to you?” I asked. This time my voice held an edge of softness.
She shook her head. “No. They were masked.”
For a long moment, silence hung between both of us.
Her rage simmered down, and I knew what I had to do.
“Let’s go,” I said, tugging at her elbows gently.
Her forehead creased, and I braced myself for what was going to happen next. “What? No. I am not going anywhere with you, Dominic.”
My name rolled out of her lips so effortlessly that I could not help but smile. It would be interesting to hear her moan with my name on her lips. Ah! Some fantasy, it was.
“Stop right there,” I warned mildly. And then sighed. “I am just trying to help you. Let me take you to the doctor. And before you argue any further, let me make it clear, I am not taking ‘no’ for an answer. Come on, up.”
“Why are you so fucking bossy?” she snarled but complied and stood up.
I smirked. “You tend to bring that side of me. What can I say?”
We drove down to the nearest hospital and got her wounds treated. As I expected, the ribs were bruised but not broken. But even then, her condition was far from better. By the time I brought her back to the apartment; she was exhausted enough to put up a verbal fight with me.
“Thank you,” I heard her murmur as I closed the door.
I turned around to face her and smiled. “So you know manners. Good,” I approved and nodded my head. “You need better locks for the door, by the way. I will send someone to get it fixed.”
“No. No need,” she said. “Look, I appreciate you helping me and all, but now I can manage on my own. I think you can leave.”
I didn’t say anything. I simply stared hard, studied her features and sauntered closer until our faces were close. Liliana blinked, swallowing an audible gulp. Her breaths were shaky, her heartbeat thumped loudly while her bosom rose and fell.
She was nervous—I was making her nervous. Except, I didn’t know it was in a good way or in a bad way.
I inhaled in her scent and cupped her shoulders. Bringing my lips near her ears, I breathed, “Do you really want me to leave, Liliana? Just say the word, precious.” A callous thumb feathered over her bruised lip. “Say the word,” I urged.
One of my hands bracketed the nape of her neck and pulled to her closer as I pressed a gentle kiss on her forehead. By the time I realized what I did, it was too late.
I had seen Viktor kissing Mia the same way a thousand times and I knew what it meant. Fuck! When the bloody lust did turn into something...emotional?
Liliana gaped at me, frozen and equally shocked. Our unblinking gazes locked for a long minute, unsure of what to make of this profound moment between us.
“You should have asked me to leave,” I murmured, breaking the silence.
Her eyes raked over my face, taking in every detail like she was studying me...memorizing me. And when her gaze finally paused over my lips, she craned her neck to the side and pressed her lips on mine.
Every bit of resolve I held tore away at that moment, like a raging tempest wreaking havoc on a ship and along with it, it drowned me, too.
My lips parted and hungrily, I took her in, fisting the messy auburn locks and pulling her into me. Liliana tasted of wild love and a fatal lust—dangerous, titillating, and tantalizing.
Our tongues swirled, drowning in our moans into the kiss as we tasted each other. She welcomed me like a scorching summer craved the wild storm even though it was the embodiment of destruction.
With every passing moment, our kiss deepened. My fingers curled tighter in her hair while her fingers dug painfully into my forearms but every sensation was lost within us except for the kiss.
That one kiss—one moment—undid us. And I knew we’d never be the same again. Either we’d survive together or we’d breathe our last, and only time would tell what it would be. But until then, I wanted her.
I wanted all of her. And she better not deny me.
Pulling away—gasping—both of us struggled to breathe. And when the wave of sensual frenzy receded, the blue orbs met the brown ones—something deep unfolded and wrapped both of us in it.
“You should have asked me to leave,” I repeated once again except, this time, the words held no meaning. They were void.
Without another word, she hurried into the bedroom and locked the door. Was she scared or overwhelmed? I wondered. But I wasn’t going to find out right now. I’d let her recover—physically and emotionally. And then I’d make my move.
How long did she think she could hide from me?
There was no going back anymore, for both of us. She should know. She did know.
Throwing one last glance towards the closed door, I scoffed and walked out of her apartment.
I know a lot of you have already read The Monster’s Addiction, and hence, you all are aware of Dominic’s version of this chapter. So, I decided to update Chapter Six as well so that you all don’t feel disappointed.
Anyways, happy reading! Please vote and comment on the story if you liked it. It would really mean a lot to me.
Oh, and, the next chapter is bomb.com. ;-)