Chapter 28: Told you so
"What?! I-I-" I stammer but he grabs me by my waist and pulls my body flat against his. He tilts my chin up with his thumb and forefinger.
"Bambina, when he met you, it was like he fell in love with you. He told me you would be the perfect match for me, and I thought he was trying to sell me on the idea of you so, I thought he was exaggerating. But you are perfect. And I know your secret now. No one will hurt you. I promise you, Belle," he explains to me and I relax in his hold, clutching into his big arms into a hug. He's not a hug type person however he squeezes me into his chest, attempting to be comforting. It's good enough for me though. He's right, it'll be fine, meeting his father again after all this time. He'll protect me.
I let him pick out my clothes for lunch, we have been having sex all morning. Although having a controlling boyfriend can be annoying, when I'm tired and can't be bothered with simple outfit choices, he's very useful. That's when I remember. The mole. Ranger.
"Enzo, I need to tell you something." He looks up from his desk and cocks his head at me, narrowing his eyes. I guess the last time I was saying something along these lines, I told him I am the niece of his enemy. "I was trying to tell you before. I don't have any proof but just hear me out. I think Ranger is the mole." Enzo's nostrils flare in confusion and agitation as he stalks over to me. Why do I always find ways to anger him? It's better than endangering him, and me.
"What are you talking about, Belle?" he growls lowly, grabbing my wrists.
"Enzo," I wince and when he sees my pained expression, he releases his tight hold. "I-I don't know. It's just a feeling. But he can't know that I'm a Moretti."
"Belle, you don't know what you're saying." His eyes lock with mine as he drags me closer, searching my face for the truth. "Is that why you've been off with Ranger?"
"Yes." My hand slips out of his and cups his cheek, relaxing his features. "I know that you would need proof. But can we just keep my secret between your blood family, please?" He stares at me with an unreadable look.
The silence almost becomes unbearable, until he says, "okay. I'll look into it, gattina. We'll only tell my father and brothers." God, I love this man. He bought me, threatened me, told me he owned me. And yet, now, I love him and I believe in him. He'll protect me, care for me, keep me safe.
I face the body length mirror and gaze at my reflection. I am happy with what I see, for once. I’m not too skinny, or bruised and damaged, or tired. I’ve never been healthier in my life. The glow of my skin radiates, my eyes pop with a vibrant blue, a shine takes to my chocolate hair. He’s chosen a blue crop top with a black skater skirt for me to wear.
He leads me away once he’s ready in his slick black suit black shirt look. It still looks as sexy as the day I first saw it, and him. Although the dark qualities weren’t so welcoming then, when I had struggled so long to get away from it.
The brothers all seem to adorn relieved exoressions when they observe us walking into the dining room for lunch. His father is yet to get here so we take our usual seats with Enzo’s hand eating casually on my thigh. I know he does it to ease my anxiety, as much as he does it in an instinct of control.
“Thank God you’re not dead, principessa,” Luca half jokes, looking warily between the two of us. Why would they think I was dead?
“Why would I be dead?” I ask genuinely and Rafael responds with a chuckle.
“We didn’t see you at the party, there was a lot of noise last night and this morning. We wondered whether you were being murdered,” Rafael teases playfully. “I can see it’s the opposite.”
“Enzo told us you were ill last night, then you two sounded like you have other days, when having sex. You often have sex when you’re ill?” Luca questions. Enzo stays silent, rolling his eyes at their interrogation.
“I heard the best cure for my illness is sex,” I reply and the brothers laugh. I look over to Enzo and watch him stifle a laugh.
“Our father is quite a brutal man,” Luca tells me. “He won’t take too kindly to a match he hasn’t made and can’t help in controlling the city. But he might like you.”
Just at that moment, a familiar man stoically enters the room, the boys, aside from Enzo, get out of their chairs to greet him. But his eyes gloss over all of them until they reach mine and he stands as a statue would, blank, unmoving, frozen.
“Father, this is Belle, my girlfriend,” Enzo declares and his brothers snap their heads over to look at him, as if Enzo has been taken over by aliens by calling me his girlfriend. I’m his first girlfriend. He’s my first boyfriend. How very inexperienced we are at all of this.
“Isabella,” Tony breathes out, and the boys whip their attention back over to their father. Tony takes a seat at the table as the boys sit back down. His eyes never leave me as he watches every move I make, which is very little under his watchful stare.
“I think her name’s just Belle, father,” Luca says, confused at why his father is so struck.
“Do you know?” Tony asks Enzo, raising his eyebrows.
“Since yesterday, yes.” Enzo’s response creates a wide grin on Tony’s face as he leans back in his seat.
“Did I not tell you the truth?” Tony asks me.
“The first thing you say to me is ‘I told you so’?” I joke and he chuckles.
“You always had a smart mouth,” he replies.
“I’m confused,” Leo states, saying exactly what the other brothers are thinking too.
“She’s Moretti’s niece. Christian’s daughter,” Tony reveals and the brothers’ expressions grow more confused.
“My real name is Isabella Moretti,” I clarify. Luca scoffs in disbelief while the other two sit there in a puzzled daze.
“And you’re okay with this?” Luca questions Enzo in a raised tone. “This is why you went on about his niece yesterday. Because you actually have her here. So she’s a rat, planted here by Moretti. She’s loyal to them. But now you know so it’s ruined that plan. What’s the plan? Ransom her?”
“No,” Enzo growls, slamming the table and making everyone look his way. “She’s mine. No one else is ever having her. This is where she belongs and this is where she’ll stay.” I take hold of his hand on my thigh and draw circles with my fingers, calming him a little.
“Alfonso wants me dead,” I mutter. Tony’s eyes narrow at something he doesn’t know.
“Why?” he asks.
“I killed my father, his brother, Christian Moretti,” I announce, and that got the attention of all three brothers and Tony. “Alfonso knows, and he’s been searching for me for over three years. I was working in that diner, in hiding. I’m not a rat, no one sent me here, I just wanted to be away from my family.”
“You can’t trust a girl that kills her father,” Luca argues, throwing his arms about in exasperation at Enzo’s protectiveness of me.
“You can trust a girl who kills a monster. There isn’t anyone braver than the person responsible for Christian Moretti’s death,” Tony declares with a smile, a small genuine smile. “I knew you were smart, but I didn’t think you were that dauntless.”
“I’m not,” I state. “It was stupid of me, reckless. I should have planned his death, not taken my chances. Alfonso saw and hasn’t stopped looking for me.”
“I’m glad that he’s dead. You deserved much better than what he was doing to you. Now you are willingly with my son?” he asks and I gladly nod. “Isabella or Belle?”
“Belle. Isabella is a name he chose for me,” I reply.
“I told you that you would like her,” Tony says to Enzo. He loves the ‘I told you so’s clearly.
“I need to take down Alfonso. Not just for the Mafia anymore, but for my queen.” He glances over at me before looking back out to his family. “I don’t want to use her, but she’s a good card to play. But anything that puts her in harms way, we’re not doing it.” He turns to me in his seat and stands us both up.
“Enzo?” I say in question. I look over to the others who seem to watch what he’s doing. My chin is gently twisted towards Enzo again so our eyes lock.
“Belle, I want you to marry me.”