Carlos Santiago sat in front of Lucca Fernando and he looked at his men sitting next to him.They were surprised that Lucca was unaware of the fact that his daughter,Natasha had run away.
Lucca put the paper down and he rubbed his forehead as he looked at Carlos,“Since yesterday Sierra has not come home and I supposed that it was because of her staying the night with her friends after a night out.I am sure now that she has joined Natasha.”
“Where does that leave us,Lucca?You were the one who came to us with this proposal and now your daughter has backed out.There will be consequences for this.”
Lucca looked down and he sighed looking at Carlos,“I have another daughter.”
Carlos looked at Lucca with a raised eyebrow and Lucca continued,“Twenty years ago I had a fling with someone and I forgot about it.Two years later I had social services at my office telling me that I had a daughter.Sierra wasn’t happy that there would be another child in this family and she gave me two choices.Either give my daughter away or hide her from the world.I obviously went with the latter.She was educated at a private school and then went to culinary college using her mother’s surname.She is my secret in this world.”
“Where is she?” Carlos questioned him,and Lucca clenched his jaw.
“You once asked me why anyone isn’t allowed on the west side of the mansion?” Carlos nodded and Lucca continued,“She lives there with her own workers and in her own little world.”
“Will she also do what Natasha has done once you tell her that she is to marry me?”
Lucca shook his head,“She is the opposite of Natasha.If I have to tell her one thing she would listen and obey me,I don’t need to repeat myself with her.”
“Let’s see just how true is that.Take us to her.”
Lucca lead the men to the west side of the mansion.They walked into a lounge and a maid looked down as Lucca stopped in front of her,“Where is you mistress?”
“In the library Sir.”
Lucca walked forward and the men followed him.They came to black double doors and Lucca pushed the doors open.They stepped in behind him and they saw a back towards them.
The woman stood up and turned to face them with a smile on her face that diminished when she saw the men behind him,“Sir?”
Lucca went towards the woman and Carlos lost his breath when she stepped out of the shadows.Her oval shaped face had an accented jaw that held beautiful bow like lips and a sharp yet elegant nose.What really took Carlos’ breath away were her eyes.Magnificant eyes like he had never seen before.The right one was a bright blue and the left one was a green.She was the height of an average woman with accented curves.
“They know Katharina.You can call me padre.”
Katarina looked shocked at the revelation that had been made,“But Sierra?”
She watched her father growl,“Sierra isn’t here she is with her daughter.”
Katharina nodded thou she was confused as Lucca stood next to her.
“Carlos this is my daughter Katharina.Katharina this is Carlos Santiago.”
Carlos walked forward and offered his hand which she shook with her small,feminine curved hands.Carlos held back a flinch at her cold hands and brought it up to kiss the back of her hand.
“It is a pleasure to meet you Katharina.”
She blushed,she actually blushed at the kiss he laid on her hand and lifted her head timidly to look at him.
“The pleasure is mine Signor Carlos.”
She took her hand from his and looked down.
“Katharina,you will be marrying Carlos.”
Katharina looked up surprised at her father,“Forgive me padre for questioning your authority but was Natasha not supposed to marry Signor Carlos?”
Lucca lost the small smile that he had acquired at her words and he nodded his head,“Yes she was supposed to but she has run away and left me to be embarrassed in front of the Bratav.Her mother has left with her.Bloody bitch.”
Katharina nodded her head and Carlos saw as an expression of indecision passed through her eyes before she took a deep breath.
“I thought that she had sorted everything out with Signor Carlos.”
They all looked at her confused at what she had blurted out and she blushed under their gazes.
“What do you mean Katharina?What was she supposed to sort out with me?”
Katharina looked at him confused,“Natasha is pregnant.”
Silence filled the room.Carlos clenched his jaw and looked at Lucca who hit the table next to him causing Katharina to flinch,“That is why she has run away with her mother.They presume no one would find out and they would be able to get away with whatever their plans are.How do you know this Katharina?”
Katharina cursed herself internally as she tried to think of an excuse that would protect her sister,“She approached my friend who is a gynecologist and my friend told me that she said that she would sort everything out with the child’s father who I presumed was Signor Carlos.I was wrong it seems.”
“This girl.” Lucca growled out and Katharina put a hand on his arm as he sat down,“I thought I had her under control.She has left me nowhere.”
Katharina took a deep breath and bit her lip.On one side it was her,on the otherside her father.On one side her wishes,on the otherside her father’s honour.Katharina glanced at Carlos who had his eyes on her and she let out a sigh.
“I’ll marry him padre.”
Lucca stood up and hugged Katharina who hugged him back,“Thank you child.Thank you.”
Katharina only nodded,and she looked at Signore Carlos who spoke.
“I’d like to speak to your daughter for a while.”
Lucca looked at his daughter,“Katharina,is that okay with you?”
The men left the room and Katharina gestured to the chair,“Would you like to take a seat?”
“Are you sure about wanting to marry me?”
Katharina looked out the window,“My father has never asked me for anything in my entire life.He has always given me anything that I’ve wanted before I could ask for it.He has never stopped me from doing anything or taking any money from him whenever I needed.Today for the first time since I could comprehend what the world is,in his statement there was a question and I could not ignore it.”
Carlos nodded his head as he glanced around,“You have been hidden.Do you think that you will be ready for the life that we live,being in front of everyone?”
Katharina shrugged,“It was going to happen one day so what if it’s now.We all got to learn to face the world someday.My day has come.”
Carlos looked at her and nodded,“Well,soon I’ll introduce you to my family and we’ll take it further from there.”
Katharina nodded and Carlos walked out.
She took a seat and looked at the door as everything started to sink in.She was going to marry
King of the New York mafia family.
King of the Bratav.
“What do you mean you marrying his other daughter?What other daughter?” Draco Santiago questioned his son who sat in front of him,smoking a cigar and looking extremely bored.
Carlos shook his head as his old man questioned his decision and looked around the room waiting for his mother to come in.Lavenia Santiago.The only person in the world who could calm Draco down.People always said that her heart was too soft for the Mafia but they forgot that when she left that façade she was the most dangerous person anyone would come across,“Carlos,I am asking you something.”
Carlos looked at his father with a bored expression as he tapped the ash off his cigar,“A hidden daughter,father.She was kept away because Sierra gave him two choices and he made that one.She is perfect,father.She can be molded anyway that we wish to mould her.”
Carlos watched as a contemplating look crossed his father’s face and then one of understanding at where Carlos seemed to be pointing him to.
Natasha had already been molded.She was an ice bitch who knew how to work her way up the ladder and take what she believed belonged to her.She already had her own beliefs and values,that would have made it hard for her to be regulated according to their beliefs and values.
“Are you certain?”
Carlos nodded as he gazed at his father with a serious look,“Yes,she is full of innocence.”
“Carlos,you can’t corrupt her.She will reach that stage on her own but you have to show her that part.”
“Just as your father showed me.” Lavenia’s voice came as she walked into the room with a tray.Draco stood up and took the tray from his wife who came around the table to put a hand on his shoulder.
“If you wish to mold her into your Queen you have to lead her there,but you also have to keep her innocence within her.”
“I will try mother.” He put his hand on Lavenia’s and she smiled at him.
“I know,son.I know.”
Katharina walked out of her closet,brushing her brown,curly hair before setting it into a high bun.She slipped on the boots that sat near her bed and straightened out her clothes.She grabbed the hostler that sat near her bedside table and put it on the belt hidden by her clothes.She took one look in the mirror and after being satisfied with the way she looked made her way out of the room.She walked out of the west wing,towards the main eating table where she found her father and his most trusted men.Elias,Tyron and Devon.Yet there were two men at the table whom she did not recognize.
“Good morning padre.Good morning gentlemen.”
“Good morning Kat.”
The other men greeted her as well as Katharina leaned down to press a kiss to her father’s cheek before sitting down on his right side.One of the maids brought her food and put it in front of her.
“Thank you.” She said to the maid with a smile.
“Katharina.” Katharina looked at her father who gestured towards the two unknown men who sat at the table,“That is Bishop and Trevor.” Each of them nodded their heads as Lucca took their names and Katharina nodded back,“They are your bodyguards sent by Carlos.Carlos has sent orders that when you go to the bakery they will be driving you forth and back.Whenever you leave the mansion you will take them with you.They are to be at your side at all times whenever you are out of the mansion.”
Katharina looked at the men who looked at her and then she nodded,“Of course padre.When Danial comes back will he be relieved of his duties or will he join them?”
“He will join them.I trust these men only because Carlos trusts them but I trust Danial on my own.I presume that you will want someone who you know to be with you as well.”
Katharina gave the men a small,apologetic smile,“I don’t mean to offend you any of you but padre is right.I’ll feel even safer if Danial is with me.”
“Non-taken Madame.” Bishop replied.
Katharina glanced at her wrist watch and looked at the men,“Are you’ll done?”
Bishop nodded,“Yes Madame.”
Katharina presumed that he was the leader between the two as he answered all of her questions.She got up and kissed Lucca on the cheek,“I’m getting late.I shall see you for supper.”
She walked out and the men followed her,“Which car will we be using?”
“The black SUV in front Madame.” Bishop once again spoke,and she smiled at Trevor when he opened the door for her to get in.
The men got in and Trevor took the wheel while Bishop sat next to him. Kevin begun to drive,and Katharina saw a SUV drive behind them.
“How many other cars will be following us,Bishop?”
Bishop looked at her,with a straight face,“One Madame.They are the other security detail that will follow us.Is that a problem?”
His voice seemed almost challenging,as if he expected her to fight his decision but Katharina only smiled,shaking her head.
“No,I have no problem with that after all prevention is better than cure.”
Bishop only nodded looking front once again.In the front seat,she heard Trevor snort while glancing at Bishop.
“Don’t mind Bishop.He got a stick up his ass that he forgot to remove this morning.”
“Shut up Trevor.” Katharina giggled at the growl and glare that Trevor got sent.Trevor
himself ignored the growl and glare,looking at her,through the rearview mirror.
“He gets better with time I swear.He has some trust and lady issues that he needs to work out.”
“If you don’t shut up,you driving with the other details after this.” Bishop said looking forward and Katharina felt a smile dance on her lips at Trevor’s silly smile.
“Forgive him Madame.Trevor tend to act like a child at times.” Bishop spoke for the first time and Katharina shook her head.
“I have no problem with it honestly.Danial can act the same if I’m being honest.He loves making these jokes.I think sometimes he does it because this world can get really dark at times and he does it too stay sane.Something that none of us really are.”
The men were silent at her words and she saw Trevor avoiding her eyes in the rearview mirror.She knew why.Her words had struck a nerve.
They thought she was unaware,living away from the darkness that they lived in.Obviously no one expected her to know let alone understand the true horrors of the world that they lived in.She was the hidden daughter so they probably thought that their world was hidden from them as well,but it was not.She knew what happened in this world.The drugs,the girls,the guns and the blood that covered their hands.No one here was innocent but neither was she.
Katharina knew that Signore Carlos also thought of her as an innocent being who he thought keeping away from this world was better.She had seen the interest in his eyes when he had laid his eyes on her.Katharina had to keep herself in check because the moment she had seen him her mouth had wanted to fall open.His pictures did not do him any justice.
His black hair that looked as if he had run his hands through it,was tousled and messy.His brown eyes had stared at her and looked her over.She had seen them darken in the sunlight.His chiseled jaw sat tight at the mention of Natasha’s pregnancy,the only giveaway that he was furious.His crooked nose had twitched as he had stared out into the garden.He had obviously been in many fights for his nose to look like that.His dry,dark red lips had taunted her with his slow speaking.He was perfection but Katharina knew that under all of that was a dangerous man who could snap your neck into two without blinking.
Katharina felt the car come to a stop and she waited for Trevor to open the door.She got out and looked at the men who glanced around,scouting the surroundings for anything that they perceived would be a danger to her.She walked towards the door and opened the door with the key that she had.
“Katha-whoa who are these men?” Katharina turned to look at her best friend aka her business partner,Kim who looked suspiciously at the men behind Katharina.She saw Kim reach behind her,where she kept her gun.Yes gun.Kim Stevens,the daughter of Lion’s MC president,Micheal.Born and brought up amongst guns.One of the only people who knew her relationship to the Fernando family.
“No need for the Glock.I’ll explain everything inside.”
Kim nodded but her eyes were still filled with suspicion as she looked at the men in impeccable suits as they entered the bakery.Katharina switched on the lights and beckoned to a table at the back.
“Trevor,Bishop you can sit at that table.Usually that is where Danial sits.”
The men only nodded as they sat where Katharina had pointed to.Katharina made her way into the back,Kim right behind her.
“Tell me now.”
Katharina begun pulling out baking ingredients as she spoke,“Natasha ran away.”
Kim rolled her eyes as she donned her apron,“Figured the ice bitch would do something like that but I still don’t understand why are those men out there?”
Katharina donned her apron as well,shaking her head at Kim’s impatience,“I’m getting there.So yesterday padre came into my quarters with Signore Carlos Santiago and his men.”
“Whoa hold on a second.” Kim stopped,to look at her with wide eyes,“Your father actually let someone know that he has another daughter.Did Sierra not throw a tantrum?”
Katharina rolled her eyes as she measured sugar into the bowls,“That’s what I’m trying to tell you.Sheesh let me continue.So he came in and told me that Natasha ran away and that Sierra has joined her.He then told me that I will be marrying Signore Carlos.I agreed.”
Kim had frozen and Katharina winched at her screech of shock,“WHAT?You,Katharina agreed to marry Carlos Santiago.Thee Carlos Santiago also known as The Butcher.Why Katharina?Why?”
Katharina turned to face Kim as the mixer went on and she sighed,“I owe my father this much Kim.He has given me everything that I’ve ever wanted in my life because he was guilty that he could not give me a normal life.I am in a way obliged to give him this much back.”
Kim threw her hands up in desperation,“This isn’t paying him back.This is signing your life away to a man who knows nothing but blood.You are basically handing yourself a death sentence while digging a grave and laying in it,while he covers you with sand.”
Katharina turned to the batch behind her and she shrugged,“You see it like that,Kim but I don’t.I can’t let my father’s head be lowered in shame because of Sierra’s actions.Plus if Carlos is as bad as you say he is then padre would have never told me to marry him.I trust padre’s decision for me Kim.”
Kim sighed as she looked at Katharina as she switched on the machine that would dispense the dough into cupcake molds,“I hope this turns out well for you Katty.”
Even though Katharina had said those words,an uncertainty filled her heart.What if it did not work out?What if she failed?What if this whole thing came apart?What would she do then?Katharina shook those uncertainties off and prayed with her whole heart that everything went smoothly.
Carlos sat in his car and looked into the bakery where he saw Katharina who seemed to be smiling at a customer.He watched as she laughed at whatever was being said to her before giving the person in front of her their box.She seemed to be happy,perhaps in her own little world as she went about her work.
Carlos got out of the car when he saw her turn her attention away from the counter and onto something behind her.He walked across the street and into the bakery.He nodded at his men who sat at the back table as he walked to the counter.His eyes got drawn to her large backside that was sticking out due to the fact that she was bending down.
“Katharina.” He saw her body freeze at his voice before she stood up and turned to face him slowly.Her face went red when she looked him in the eye and came forward.
“Signore Carlos,how may I help you?” Katharina leaned against the counter as she gazed up at him.Carlos looked her over and a smile almost played on his lips.She was definitely in her element.There were flour marks on her clothes along with some chocolate and some other stuff colored her apron.
“There is no need for the Signore.What would you recommend I take from here,Katharina?” He watched as her face flushed when he spoke her name and he smirked as she looked down,seemingly contemplating what to say.
“Katrine,give me my usual’s!” A screechy voice called from next to him,“Move out of the way young man.Have some respect for your elders.”
Carlos looked at the short,wrinkled woman next to him with a raised eyebrow.She glared at him before looking at Katharina who seemed to be holding her laughter back with much difficulty.It must have been a sight,an old lady screaming at the world’s most powerful man.
“My usual’s Katrine.”
“Yes Mrs.Lockwood.Coming right up.” He watched as she pulled out a box from under the counter,“Freshly baked chocolate brownies and cheesecake slices.”
Carlos moved to the side as Katharina handed the woman the box which she inspected before wrinkling her nose with a frown,“They look okay.Here’s the money.I want a refund if they taste as bad as they look.”
Katharina took the money with a smile,“Of course Mrs.Lockwood.Goodbye.”
The woman walked out complaining and Carlos stood in front of Katharina once again.
“She’s a joy.”
Katharina looked at him with a small smile,“As much as she complains she’s back here everyday.Now for what would I recommend.Our Cinnabon rolls and red velvet cake is our specialty.”
“Give me two dozen of each.”
“Of-course Sig-I mean Carlos.” He watched as she turned to grab two boxes that were flattened and with a quick skill she had it up.He watched as she filled the boxes and did not miss the fact that in each of the boxes she put an extra piece.He watched skillfully tie a ribbon around the box and pick up two stickers which she put on each box.
“Here you go.”
Carlos took the boxes and reached for his wallet,“How much would that be?” She gave him the price but he shook his head,“Including the extra pieces that you put in?”
Katharina smilled at him,“This place is called The Sweet Surprise for a reason.”
She took the money from him and Carlos nodded towards her guards,“They aren’t a bother to your business?”
Katharina shook her head,“No they aren’t a bother.My customers are used to seeing Danial here so they just think that they are the shop security but there is something bothering me.”
“Which is?” He asked curiously and she pointed at the outside.He followed her finger to the car filled with other details before looking back at her causing her to speak.
“The details in the cars.I suppose they are given orders to never leave the car that is why they didn’t come in for lunch.I can’t let them go hungry nor can I let them suffer in the heat.I would feel better if they came inside for lunch.That is if you don’t mind.”
Carlos looked at her as she looked down and fiddled with her fingers nervously.She probably thought he did not like her idea but he had to agree as he saw her eyes soften in pity for her security details.
“Okay,I will inform them.”
Her smile sent him joyful chills and he almost chuckled at her excitement of him
agreeing,“Thank you so much.”
“Katharina come check the blue velvet cakes.” A voice called from the back and Katharina looked at him with a dimmed smile.
“I have to go.”
“Katharina,I would like to take you out on a date this Saturday.”
Katharina stopped and she gazed at the man in front of her.What he said was not a question,it was a command and Katharina nodded.
Draco nodded,“Be ready at 6.I shall see you then Katharina.” Saying that he walked out and sat in his car.He watched her retreating into the back of the store.Her words to him had given him insight on what type of a person she was.She cared for her security details despite not knowing anything about them.She cared for the old,rude woman despite being on the receiving end of her attitude.She would make a perfect Queen but with the right amount of corruption.
Katharina browsed through her closet as she looked for an appropriate outfit to wear for her date this afternoon.She shook her head at every piece that she came across until she reached the one side of her closet that she had never touched.The side of her closet that held her birthday presents since she turned 20.Expensive,branded clothing that she had never had an occasion to touch,yet today that section called her.
She begun to browse through it when her eyes came across a beautiful,black dress.She took it off the clothing rack and discarding her towel,put the dress on.She turned to look at the mirror that sat on the wall behind her and she smiled.The long sleeves which started from the ends of her edge of her shoulders molded into a small V neckline,which showed off just the right amount of cleavage.The dress sat tight at her waist and flowed down from there,getting a pleated look at the end.She paired it with a pair of red Louboutin’s and she headed to her dressing table to do her makeup.She decided on a red smoky eye with a dash of courage,she put on a shade of black lipstick.She finished off her makeup and reached for her shawl,which she threw over her shoulders.
A knock sounded at the door and she walked towards it after giving herself a once over.She opened the door and found one of her workers,Emily at the door.
“Signor Santiago is waiting for you in the lounge,Madame.”
Katharina smiled at Emily as she closed her room door,“Thank you,Emily.You can take the night off.I will probably be home late.”
Emily nodded and Katharina made her way to the lounge where she found Carlos looking at the pictures on the wall.She decided to take advantage of his distractedness and she looked over his ensemble.He wore a black suit which hugged his body in all the right places and accented his toned back,which she assumed meant that he spent a lot of his time in the gym.She saw the beginning of a tattoo which quipped her interest as to what art he had on his back.
Katharina cleared her throat and Carlos turned around only to stand still once his gaze fell on her.His eyes travelled down his body and the same feeling that his Katharina the first time he looked at her,took over her body once again.
The feeling that his eyes were not just trailing down her body but they were physically touching her body,leaving a trail of goosebumps beneath her clothing,sending small shivered through her and causing butterflies to cause a ruckus in her stomach.The feeling of him seeing what she hid behind her exterior and the fear that he would pick her apart,gazing at her secrets and righting the wrong that she had been through.
When his eyes met her eyes,Katharina lowered her gaze.She felt as if he looked into her eyes he would find everything that made her and tear it apart only to fill the cracks with what made him.
“Katharina,” The butterflies became ruthless at this point and her breath hitched at the sound of her name leaving his lips,“You look beautiful.”
Katharina felt a blush overtake her cheeks and she glanced up,“Thank you.Shall we?”
Carlos nodded,and they walked out of the mansion to a red Ferrari.Carlos opened the passenger side door and Katharina slid into the car.
“Thank you.” The words although whispered still reached Carlos ears and he nodded.He closed the door before walking around the car to the driver’s seat which he got into.
As he pulled out of the mansion courtyard,Katharina saw two black SUV’s follow them in the side mirror.
“Are those our security details for tonight?” She asked,turning her face to see Carlo nod.
“I don’t just travel alone and now that you’ll be seen with me I need more protection.For your sake more than mine.”
“How are you dealing with having your security details around you?I’ve heard you only used to have one.”
Katharina shrugged,“Danial is the only bodyguard I’ve had since I turned twelve.He was nineteen at that time.It also made sense that I never have more than one since I carried the Kirr surname no one would place my connection to the Fernando family or Italian’s.I presumed I was safe.They no bother to me and Trevor is actually likable.”
Carlos shook his head,“That one is a one of a kind man.He always makes the most unbearable jokes.”
“He loves annoying Bishop.I think that’s his favorite pass time.”
“It’s a wonder Bishop hasn’t shot him yet.”
Katharina giggled,“That’s Bishop’s number one threat to Trevor.The amount of times I’ve heard it since they’ve become my details is insane.”
Carlos parked the car in front of a restaurant and he got off,handing the keys to the man standing there before walking to her side of the car.He opened Katharina’s door and held out his hand which she took.
They walked into the restaurant,his arm around her waist and Carlos lead her to the podium where she supposed the restaurant hostess stood.On seeing him,she immediately reached for two menus as she stepped away from the podium.
“Mr.Santiago,your table is ready.”
Carlos only nodded and they walked past the tables.She could feel scorching gazes on herself after the women around glanced at the specimen next to her.She almost rolled her eyes at the arrows shooting towards her from their eyes.She knew they probably wondered how she may have caught such a handsome man.If only they knew.
The hostess lead them into a secluded area near the window that over looked the river,“As you requested Sir.”
“Send our waiter Cara.”
Katharina rolled her eyes at his rude behavior and she smiled at the woman who did not seem offended.She presumed Carlos had to be a regular at the resturant,“Thank you.”
The woman returned the smile as she walked out,and Katharina sat in her chair that had been kindly pulled out by Carlos.
“I wouldn’t peg you to be a gentleman.” She commented as Carlos took a seat and was rewarded by him lifting a perfect eyebrow.
“Just because I’m a mafia boss doesn’t mean my mother didn’t teach me how to be a gentleman.”
Katharina tilted her head as she assessed the man in front of her,“I mean you look like someone who doesn’t care about anyone but himself.You don’t look like the type to respect women.”
Carlos sat back in his seat,returning the look she had on her face,“You’ve heard about my reputation?”
Katharina shrugged,“Everyone has one and yours is one discussed by many.”
“What about you?”
Katharina looked out the window,her smile lost,“Born from a woman not married to my father who died from drug overdose in front of me.I have only one reputation and that is being an illegitimate child.Someone who should have been put into therapy but instead had been handed into a family that saw this each and every day.” Katharina looked at Carlos,her lips pulled tight,slight dimples showing on her cheeks and her voice unsteady as she continued,“You know,many people at the mansion thought that seeing my mother die in front of me left me deranged because I never flinched at blood nor the wounds that they came with.They told my father to put me in a place where others would be safe from me.They never understood that seeing that happen to my mother had left me with the feeling of helplessness and the need to help others.Yet I was deranged to them and some of them until today see me as being deranged.”
Carlos gazed at the woman in front of him when she looked back out the window.He assessed the stiff posture that she held,the way her visible hand clenched into a fist and the slight tremble to her voice.She spoke the truth yet his usually unfeeling hearty twitched with pain for the first time since forever.He looked at her reflection in the window and saw her eyes glitter with unshed tears.
“Mr.Santiago,I am John.I will be your waiter for the night.Are you’ll ready to order?”
Carlos looked at the waiter in front of him and he saw Katharina pick up her menu,hiding her eyes behind it.
“Your best red wine.I will have the meal of the day.Katharina,what would you like to order?”
Katharina pulled the menu away and he watched her immediately look at the waiter,ignoring his eyes.
“I’ll have the prawn and muscle dish.For starters,we’ll have garlic bread.”
The waiter nodded as he noted the orders down,“Will that be all?”
The two of them nodded their heads and the waiter left.Katharina looked down and she twiddled her fingers.A nervous tick of hers.One that had given her thoughts away often and she knew Carlos eyes did not miss it.
“What do you know of my past,Katharina?”
Katharina looked up at Carlos almost timidly and her blood rushed through her ears at the dark color his eyes had become.
“I know that you became King at a young age and were a force to be reckoned with.No one messes with you because they don’t want to lose their lives.You have zero tolerance for men who harm women and you were the one who got rid of the prostitution rings around the mafia.You are responsible for the safe brothels in the city and the drugs you supply are of amazing quality.You’ve taken off drugs from the street that cause harm to the youngsters around.You pull in children who you think would be better somewhere they have a house rather than fight for their lives on the street.Yoou ruthless when it comes to your business and enemies.You can be a cold hearted bastard according to some and justice is your foremost quality that many admire.”
Carlos seemed a bit taken back at her words and Katharina blushed under his gaze that seemed to be penetrating her skin,seeking her deepest secrets.Before Carlos could speak the waiter came in the room and poured them wine.
Once he left Carlos took a sip before speaking,“I had an elder brother,Saber.When I was fifteen he had turned twenty.Out of the two of us I was more laidback because I knew I’d never have to carry the crown that Saber would have to carry.Saber was everything that my father knew his successor had to have.Everything had been decided,the next year Saber would take over as King and we’d find him a woman fit to be his Queen.Then she came into his life.Triana Savannah.” Carlos hissed out the name as if it burned his mouth to say it,“She came into our lives and Saber found her to be perfect to be his Queen.He fell in love with her very being,he gave her everything that made him Saber.He laid the world at her feet and she took it all.He had finally decided to propose to her and he took me with to go buy her a ring.We bought the ring and he told me he couldn’t wait to propose to her.He drove away without his security details straight to her house.He told me to wait in the car but I wanted to see him propose to her.I wanted to laugh at him in front of his friends and so I followed him in.As I stood at the entrance I heard raised voices and my gut told me something was wrong.I just knew it.I ran back to the car and grabbed the gun that laid under the seat.I ran in and as I got to the lounge the gun shot went off.I saw him fall,I saw my brother fall,blood coating his chest and when I turned my head I saw Triana holding a gun,laughing along with some man.I saw red and I lifted the gun.I shot the man first and Triana scream as she glanced at his body fall but before she could react I shot her thrice.I shot her with no care in this world.She had shot my brother and I shot her.We were equal.I ran to my brother.He was still breathing and I lifted his head onto my lap.He looked me in the eye and gave me three orders before breathing his last.”
Carlos fell silent as he glanced down,stopping his story.Katharina felt hot tears run down her face and she quickly turned her face to look out the window when the waiter.The waiter left and she turned her head to look at Carlos who still looked down.She wiped away her tears and he continued.
“Our guards found us a couple hours later when my father couldn’t reach our phones.They found me holding my brother’s dead body.They immediately called our parents.When my father pulled me away from my brother’s body I scream and thrashed.They had to give me seductive so that I would calm down.When I woke up the next day,my mother was holding me tightly as if she were afraid she’d lose her second son as well.I didn’t cry.They held the funeral and I still didn’t cry.Days turned into months and I turned away from my old self.I started joining the gym and I would take out my frustration on anyone who stepped into there.One day I heard the guards talking that they had found Triana’s father who had been the one who planned the entire façade.I stormed to the basement and when I saw him I lost it.I drew blood from him,lots and lot of blood.When my father finally came to the basement he found me covered in blood while Triana’s father had been holding onto his very last rope of life.I remember my father screaming for me to stop as I plunged my dagger into his heart with no care.I changed that day and turned into the Butcher.”Katharina did not make a sound even when Carlos looked her straight in the eye,“Are you still willing to be with this monster?”
Katharina twisted the ring on her finger around as she gazed into the dark eyes that looked at her.She saw the darkness that spoke to her about his deeds but she also saw the spark that called to her to be there for him.To be his light in the darkness that surrounded him.To give him an island to rest on after being in the rough seas of darkness.
“We are all monsters Carlos.Your scars just run deeper than mine,but I think we can work this out.”
Katharina picked up her fork and begun eating,leaving a very stunned Carlos to do the same before a smile gazed his lips.Perhaps they could.
Katharina set the cake onto the tray and popped it into the fridge display.She picked up the four plates skillfully and walked out of the counter area towards the men who sat at the back tables.
“Here you go.Will that be fine or do you guys need anything else?” All the men shook their head as they busied themselves in eating and Katharina smiled,“Enjoy.”
The second she was behind the counter,she picked up a piping bag filled with blue icing.She held it professionally as she begun to ice the bubblegum cake in front of her.As she got done with the border of the cake,she picked up little bubblegum balls and put it around the cake.
“Excuse me,where can I find Katharina?” Katharina lifted her head when she heard her name being called and turned around only to see one of her employees,Jim pointing towards her.Katharina turned to face the beautiful woman who came to stand in front of the counter here she stood.The woman before her was extremely beautiful.Doe like eyes,the color seemed to resemble someone yet Katharina could not remember who.Her high cheekbones complemented her average size nose and lips that were stretched into a smile.
“I am Katharina.How may I help you ma’am?”
“I have heard a lot about your baking.Can I please have three Cinnabon’s?”
“Sure.” Katharina felt confused as to why the woman had specifically asked for her but then she caught something.The woman had glanced over to the tables at the back where the security details sat.She saw the men bow their heads as if acknowledging the woman’s presence but she also saw the woman’s slight,almost not there shake of her head and that’s when she knew who the woman in front of her was.Katharina felt her palms sweat under the plastic gloves that she used to place the Cinnabon’s in the box and she straightened the end of her apron as she stood.She grabbed a ribbon and kept a composed exterior as her insides shook.
“Here you go,Signora Santiago.”
Lavenia Santiago looked at her with an almost surprised expression but then a smile took over her face,her features lighting up under the effects of the smile.
“Ahh.It seems my façade dropped before it could be continued.You are observant Katharina.” Katharina blushed and Lavenia chuckled,“And you blush,my,my.You are really one of a kind.”
Katharina felt her face flush even more and she cracked a smile which quickly diminished when Lavenia took out money,her eyes going wide as she shook her head.
“I’m sorry but I can’t take money from you.”
Lavenia was taken back by Katharina’s words,“Of course you have to.This is your profession and your way of earning.”
Katharina shook her head once again,“But you are my going to be mother-in-law.Consider this a treat from me.Please.”
Lavenia wanted to argue but the different beautiful eyes were begging her not to.Add on the small pout and Lavenia was a goner.She tucked the money away but narrowed her eyes playfully at Katharina with a smile gracing her face.“Okay but you will have to be treated by me in exchange of your treat?”
Katharina raised her shoulders with a small smile,“I would like that.”
Lavenia glanced around the bakery and back at Katharina,“Are you very needed here or can I treat you to lunch?”
Katharina looked around only for an hand to swat at her arm,“Ouch.”
Katharina glared at Kim who rolled her eyes at her before looking at Lavenia with a smile,“She still needs to have lunch so you can take her with you.”
Katharina kept quiet as Kim lowered her voice to whisper,“Don’t make me scold you in front of your going to be mother-in-law.”
Katharina sighed as she took off her apron and Kim rubbed her cheek where she knew she probably had a smudge of something,“Okay I’m going.There are cookies in the oven that need to be packed away and put the buttercream scones to bake after ten minutes.”
Kim rolled her eyes with a playful smile,“Yeah,yeah,yeah.Now get out of here.I promise not to burn the bakery down.”
Katharina only shook her head as she came to stand next to Lavenia and she looked at the security details who had stood up.The other men who came in the other car walked out first to survey the area.
“Shall we?” Katharina nodded her head at Lavenia who she followed outside and into a blue C-Class Mercedes Benz.
“Wow,your car is beautiful.” She compliment Lavenia after they got in and Lavenia begun to drive.Lavenia glanced at her with a smile before looking at the rood.
“My husband gave me this car as an apology gift when he forgot to inform me that he was leading a brothel raid to rescue one of his friend’s daughter.”
“How did you find out?”
Lavenia gave her a loop side smile,“Well,I am quiet inquisitive when it comes to my husband’s business so I decided to sneak around in his office and I found this file with the details of the raid.I was furious obviously but I knew better then to disturb him when he was busy especially when it was a raid.So I waited until he got home,only to find me in his office with the file.After a few back and forth words I gave him my sweetest smile and pointed to the couch in his office.He knew better then to disobey me and the next evening this beauty was parked outside our mansion.”
Katharina was awestruck at the love that filled Lavenia’s voice as she spoke about her husband.People thought true love was all chocolates and roses,yet Lavenia and Draco’s love proved that it was chocolate,roses and guns.
“I hope you like Italian food.This is my favorite place to eat.” Lavenia said as she pulled into a parking space and Katharina nodded.
“I love Italian food which I blame on my Italian genes.”
As they walked across the street,Katharina noticed that none of the guards followed them and she turned to Lavenia with a confused look.
“Won’t the guards come in as well?”
Lavenia shook her head,“No because they know I can protect myself easily.You on the other
“They don’t want me to run away like Natasha.” She said in an understanding voice and Lavenia nodded.
They walked into the restaurant and were immediately given a place to sit.They got a table on the patio overlooking the lake that sparkled in the midday sun.
“Which type of wine would you like Madame?”
The waiter asked and Lavenia looked at Katharina,“Red or white Katharina?”
“Bring your best red wine.”
Katharina picked up her menu and her mouth watered at the numerous dish names she spotted.
“What will you be having?” Katharina glanced at Lavenia who looked at her with a smile.
“I would love to try their chicken and mushroom alfredo pasta.”
“One of my favorites here I must say.” The waiter came back with their wines and they ordered.Lavenia glanced at the woman in front of her who seemed to be staring out at the lake,seemingly lost.
“My son told me how you agreed to marry him for your father’s wishes.Are you sure this marriage will last on such a foundation?”
Katharina looked at Lavenia as she spoke and she schooled her face to be free of any expression,“My father has had to sacrifice losing me to being hidden for as long as I can remember.I saw his hopelessness and defeat in his eyes every time he looked at me.The loss of hope that he will never be able to show me off to the world as his daughter.The defeat that while he lived freely I was restricted to my quarters.When I requested that I attend culinary school he agreed but had to give me my own exit so that no one would question who I am.I saw his defeated eyes when he could not attend my graduation from culinary school.That day when he sat in my library I saw him looking helpless in front of a man who you never show your weakness to.I could not let my father be helpless while he still has me at his side so I took a decision.Am I right or wrong,” Katharina shrugged,“I don’t know.That time will tell.” Katharina took a deep breath as she finished and took a sip of the wine in her glass.The smooth liquid gliding down her throat as she was gazed at by Lavenia who seemed to be taking in whatever she had said.
Kathrina felt her heart race with fear.She hoped with her whole heart that she did not offend the woman sitting in front of her.She like everyone else had heard all about Lavenia Santiago.The woman who looked as innocent as a cat could turn into a lioness at anytime.No one wanted to get on her wrong side.Getting on Lavenia’s wrong side meant getting on Draco’s wrong side and once you were on Draco’s wrong side,nothing and nobody but God could save you.
“You will make a great Queen.” Katharina was shocked.Lavenia’s response was soothing,she had not anticipated it but she had her approval.
Katharina smiled back at Lavenia,“That means a lot to me.”
Lavenia held her hand as she stared into Katharina’s eyes with a soft,comforting gaze,“I mean it.You have the attribute of sacrificing and that attribute will take you a long way especially when you have to deal with my son.You are prefect for him.”
Katharina felt a blush crawl up her skin and she looked down with a shy smile,“Thank you.”
“You are welcome sweetheart.Here is our food.”
Katharina put one bite in her mouth and she moaned,closing her eyes.“This is delicious.”
Lavenia chuckled at her reaction,“I told you.By the way do you cook Italian food?”
Katharina nodded with a smile.She saw the face of her nan,standing at the kitchen teaching her their family recipes,“Yes.My nan gave me all our family recipes.Natasha wasn’t interested in cooking but I was.I loved it but perhaps I loved baking even more that’s why it became my passion and profession.”
“I think you will have to cook for me now that you have spoken about it.I would love to try out the dishes you would make.”
Katharina smiled widely and she nodded,“Of course I will.Just tell me what you want and I’ll make it all for you.”
Lavenia winked at Katharina as she took a bite of the pasta,“I’ll hold you to that promise.”
They continue to eat,exchanging a few words here and there.Once they were done,Lavenia glared at Katharina warningly when she pulled out her purse casing a chuckling Katharina to put her purse away.They begin walking out and Lavenia smiled at Katharina.
“I had a nice time talking to you Katharina.We should do this again.” Lavenia said as they crossed the road to where the cars were in the parking bay and Katharina would have replied if she did not see a few men walking towards them,with guns in their hands.
“Lavenia!” She yelled pulling the woman down as she pulled her behind a car just as gunshots rang out.