1 - Prison
*This is not a standalone book. Please read the first four books - His Nightingale, His Dreamer, His Daredevil and His Sunshine because you need to know important information as you progress through each book.*
*The Spanish language is used but incorrectly I’m sure so any corrections are welcome.
Marcella Quintana’s P.O.V.
The door opens with an echoing groan and I squint up at the man standing before me. His hazel eyes that I have also inherited find my exhausted body leaning against the wall. They regard me with a stony and emotionless stare before he steps inside.
He’s dressed in an all-black outfit as usual with his black hair gelled back and tattoos covering his caramel brown skin. He’s muscular and in shape for his age…but I suppose you must be with the job that he has.
“You know I don’t like teaching you a lesson mija.” He sighs as he gestures for me to stand up. [My daughter]
I do so wordlessly and keep my eyes pinned to the floor. “I know.”
“Then why do you constantly disobey me Marcella?!” He frowns angrily as he grips my chin to make me look up at him. “I’ve told you time and time again that this is our world! When will you understand?!”
I bite the inside of my cheek and force myself to keep my gaze pinned to the floor. When will you understand that I never wanted to be a part of it? I wonder to myself as he runs a hand through his hair in frustration. I feel him burning holes into the side of my head before he steps back.
“Go and get changed. We need to discuss your next assignment.” He orders gruffly and I walk away mutely.
The guards don’t dare to glance at me as I make my way out of the basement which serves as a prison. My father had thrown me in a dark cell to spend a week in isolation with as little food and water as possible. All because I helped a minor escape who was being forced into a sex trafficking ring…run by the man I call a father.
I feel my blood boil all over again as rage threatens to consume me. As I enter the main floor of the house my mother reaches out to hug me but freezes when I glare at her murderously. She’s the opposite of my father appearance wise with her British roots, blonde hair and green eyes. I inherited her tall frame with the most delicate features to match. Sometimes I hate the features I got from her. They serve as a painful reminder of my past.
“Not now.” I grit out as I step around her to go to my bedroom.
“But you’re bleeding…” Her concern dies down when I turn towards her with a humorless laugh.
“How dare you act like you care.” I narrow my eyes as I step closer to tower above her. “Need I remind you that you’re dead to me mother?”
As always my harsh words sting and her eyes fill with tears. “I – Mar…”
“Save it.” I roll my eyes as I start making my way to my room again. “I don’t have time for your fake concern nor your sob stories.”
My heart tugs painfully at her look of worry and when her face falls every time I act like she doesn’t exist. Then I remember all that she’s done to me and it’s like the walls around my heart jump ten feet higher than before.
Abusing drugs, alcohol and me just because she was in a loveless marriage doesn’t exactly make your child still love you. But the cherry on top was when I was kidnapped by one of dad’s enemies at the age of twelve, because of her lack of attention, and she hung up with a disinterested “whatever,” after the men threatened to rape me.
She had a wakeup call after I was found but I knew that was only because dad threatened to divorce her and cut off the money she gets along with any extra assets from his empire. She’s been dead to me since and any interaction I have with her now is always forceful.
I lock my door before stripping and walk into the bathroom for a much-needed shower. My skin is covered in patches of red by the time I’ve scrubbed off all the grime, sweat and blood. I close my eyes as I pamper my hair and body until I no longer feel disgusting.
After I’m done I wrap a towel around myself and with a barely audible sigh I pad over to the mirror before wiping my hand across the fogged glass. My tired eyes stare back at me framed with dark long lashes. I rake a hand through my wet jet-black hair before glancing at the mirror again. My light brown skin is paler, indicative of the days spent in darkness.
After slathering on some moisturizer to my skin I walk out to my bedroom. Grabbing my sports bra and leggings, I start changing into them before catching sight of my body in the mirror. People think I’m addicted to tattoos with how many I have but they’re just a coverup for my scars. A new scar equals a new tattoo. If people only looked hard enough they’d realize how strategically placed they all are.
The thought brings tears to my eyes as my gaze roams over all the flaws I find. It’s so hard to love you now that you’re ruined, I think to myself. I never wanted tattoos but then again, I never wanted scars either. I guess beggars can’t be choosers.
With a deep exhale I quickly finish changing before throwing a hoodie and shoes on. I make my way down to the gym where someone is always working out. People bore holes into my head with their stares as I walk up to the ring where my brother, Cameron, is winning a spar by a mile.
He knocks the guy out with ease before his green eyes find mine. We’re both mixed because of our mother but Cam looks less like he was born in Venezuela than I do. Our mother got to pick his name too whereas our father picked mine. Relief fills them only to be shadowed by concern when he notices how bruised I am.
“You up for one more round?”
“You just got out of isolation.” He grunts as he crosses his arms angrily.
“Yes, I’m aware.” I drawl sarcastically with a playful smile. “I’m being sent on another assignment so I might as well see if I’ve still got it.”
“You’re one of our top fighters and a killer sniper. I don’t think you need to test that theory out…ever.” A familiar, feminine voice cuts in and I smirk before turning to face the petite woman.
“It’s Els or Ellie!” My best friend snaps like usual before pouting. “Come give me a hug.”
I chuckle before giving in. Cameron sighs in defeat when I turn to him again before gesturing for me to enter the ring. I wrap my hands before we start sparring and it doesn’t take long for everyone to wander over and watch us. I smirk when I dodge multiple blows from him before striking his jaw.
“Too slow and unfocused Marcie.” He drawls teasingly right after he lands a brutal uppercut.
He chuckles when he lands a punch to my ribs next but it’s cut off when I kick his side. The pace picks up and I manage to draw out blood, knocking him to the ground before he taps out. The crowd of people holler and cheer my name which makes me smile. He rolls his eyes when I grin at him before shoving me so I smack against the ropes.
“You know I’m better! Mal perdedor!” I exclaim with a laugh as I steady myself. [Sore loser]
“Cállate! One day your head’s going to be too big to fit through any doors around here.” He grins cheekily as he takes a swig of his water. [Shut up!]
“O hablas en español completamente o no lo haces.” [Either you speak in Spanish fully or you don’t.]
Everyone stiffens at the sound of my father standing by the doors. Ugh, here we go! I think to myself as me and Cameron glance at each other knowingly. He always hates it when we mix the two languages together. Mom isn’t good with learning new languages so she only knows the basics of Spanish therefore me and Cameron speak English most of the time.
“Sí.” I reply with a terse nod and he stares at me before tilting his head towards the hallway.
Sighing me and Cameron get out of the boxing ring before walking out. I hear everyone behind us exhale in relief and murmur to each other. We follow him into his office and stand in front of his desk while he pours himself a drink. He glances up at us as he turns before sliding a picture across to me.
“Jason Andrews…I want him dead.”
“When and where?” I ask as I memorize his face.
“London, UK. He’s a regular at our strip club.” He sits down and links his fingers. “Your flight leaves tonight. Scope the place out, lure him in and don’t leave a mess.”
“Understood.” I nod and he starts talking to Cameron about logistics.
The strip club my father owns is crawling with his men so I don’t need any extra protection but Cam is responsible for ensuring that the police co-operate since Jason Andrews is a hot shot in England’s politics. We discuss a bit more and confirm all the details before I leave to go and pack.
Cameron follows me to my room as I throw my essentials into a duffel bag. He perches at the end of my bed with a stressed look as his gaze switches between me and the bag. I glance at him knowingly and shoot him a reassuring smile but it does nothing to calm him. With a dramatic huff I round the bed to stand in front of him with my hands on his broad shoulders.
“Stop stressing.” I enunciate both words and he shakes his head before standing.
“I’ll get us out of here soon. I’m working on it…I promise.” He presses his lips to my forehead with an anxious sigh and hugs me to him. “We’ll go to Europe or America and finally live a relaxed, fun life.”
Our father, the don of the Quintana gang in Venezuela, has been training Cameron for months now to take over as his heir. But me and Cameron want nothing to do with this life so we’re looking for a way out. He’s getting members on our side that hate our dad and want out but it’s a slow process because he needs to be careful with picking the right people.
“I told you to stop feeling guilty every damn time. It’s not your fault.” I huff but my voice comes out muffled.
“I’m your older brother…” He smiles sadly as he tucks my hair behind my ear. “It’s my duty to protect you and I’m failing miserably.”
“You do protect me…you’ve done so much for me Cam.” I hug him back tightly. “I love you but I won’t hesitate to punch you in the throat if you don’t stop feeling worried and guilty.”
“Alright, please be safe okay? Keep me updated at all times and don’t do anything stupid.” He grabs my bag from me once I finish packing. “I’ll drop you to the airport. Ready?”
“Bring back a British hottie while you’re at it please!” Els leans against the door with a cheeky smirk.
I roll my eyes before draping an arm across her shoulders before we follow Cam out. “I’ll see what I can do.”
“Don’t you dare bring me back another blow-up sex doll.” She narrows her eyes at me playfully.
“No promises!” I sing as I blow her a kiss before taking my bag from Cameron and hugging him tightly. “I’ll see you guys soon.”
“Good luck!” Elenora wishes as I get in and shut the door before leaning out the window.
“Bring me back some chocolate!” Cameron blurts before turning to Ellie. “Have you ever tried it? It’s way better!”
“Seriously?” She deadpans as she crosses her arms.
“Oh my god you haven’t lived!”
“Clearly!” She exclaims as she gestures to the building we call a prison.
“Bye guys!” I cut off their pending discussion about chocolate with a wave.
They wave goodbye before the driver sets off with me in the back. I exhale deeply as I rest my head against the window and watch the scenery. The building we live in is in the middle of nowhere and covered up with vacant properties and woods to avoid suspicion from the authorities. I know it’s going to take over an hour to get to the airport so I let my eyelids shut and slip into a deep yet thankfully dreamless sleep.
I know I won’t have this luxury during the next few days.