In The Shadows

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Ch. 5: Escort

His father was apparently best friends with my parents. A bond in which was unbreakable in the world of mafia. Apparently, they made each other rich and whilst there were some complications of money they argued about, it was made clear that the whole family (besides me) would be having dinner with them once every month. According to Caio, who talked to me right before we came inside the dining room, everybody agreed that it was time for me to know their family.

To which, he agreed with me that it shouldn’t happen.

His golden eyes kept landing on me whenever nobody was looking and when he also thought I was distracted. What he didn’t know that I could practically feel his eyes boring at the side of my head. If it wasn’t there, it was mostly directed at what I was doing with my hands and I knew that if he was smart to capture and hold Sapphire, then I knew that I had to act right.

It meant that I had to act nervous because I was seen as the innocent and wasn’t around with the business that much and I had never seen anyone that was involved with this line of work except my parents. He had a lot of time to observe me—especially when everybody was talking to the other five men. They never introduced themselves to me because before they could, the maids called us over to tell us that the dinner was already and my parents and uncle and aunt led everyone onto the dining room.

The talk of their business had me more tuned in what they were speaking of rather than before. They never fully revealed anything except asking business transactions at Moscow and Yekaterinburg as of recent but what had everybody’s full attention was when all the maids were called off, paused in bringing in dessert as everybody finished their own food.

“Of course, you’re welcome to stay here,” was my mother’s sudden reply as she turned to every men at the table and nodded. “The guestrooms are already ready for you and I’ll have my daughter give you a tour of the place so that you’ll know where to go.”

My brows furrowed, shaking my head. There was in no absolute way I would be alone with him and the others so vulnerable. The whole thing was making me feel that way and I could feel my resolve breaking down little by little and my anger was just letting on. “I can’t, I have a—”

“Whatever it is, cancel it,” she interrupted, staring at me down with those eyes of hers that could make any man tremble beneath her feet. “Besides, Roman’s father is your father and I’s best friend. After everything, the least we could repay him is to give his son a nice welcoming to the place he’ll live for a few months.”

“Months?” I resounded, almost choking at my mashed potatoes. “How come I’ve never even—”

Fletcher grasped at my elbow that was out of shot from their eyes. I laid down my hand and let him clasp it, knowing that he was making me feel better and was also warning me that my tone was slightly raising. Sometimes, I just forget about my whole assassin part of life when I was here, home, but not anymore. I had to make sure that they wouldn’t be able to see anything through me.

They have Sapphire. She’s the target that I need to save.

So, I coughed, clearing my throat and just nodded. “I’ll cancel it,” I ran my eyes towards them and gave them a smile. “We’ll go after the dessert.”

Fletcher squeezed my hand and I did the same thing, acknowledging his presence. He was my comfort blanket, the one who could calm me down easily besides from my brother or dad.

I stayed quiet, staring down at my plate and easily dissecting my steak from the bone and slicing it up without even breaking it.

The mission had been placed onto me due to the fact that I was basically Sapphire’s twin when it came to skills. She had molded me into becoming her and if I call in and say that it would be impossible for me to kill him due to the fact that he’s staying inside the estate, they would immediately send somebody else to do the dirty work and the information on where they would be keeping Sapphire would disappear. Just because they all think she’s dead, doesn’t mean that they should stop looking for her.

She is my sister and she does not get left behind.

The dinner soon finished and I stood up at the same time as all of them did, different pairs of eyes that were staring at me. Clearing my throat, I gave them a small smile and gestured with my head towards the door. “Follow me. I’ll take you to the guest rooms.”

Soon as we went out, Fletch and Caio were by the door and I could see my cousins, uncle, dad, and mom’s silhouette disappearing, already going to their own rooms. “Hey,” Caio nodded towards them and glanced at me. “I can show them around if you want? I’m sure you’re tired, sorellina.”

Immediately, I shook my head. “I got it, fratello.”

Without another word, they nodded at me and walked away.

“Wow, protective family?” I turned towards the voice, facing a man with rainbow dyed buzzcut hair. Those green eyes of his were similarly identical to the one beside him. Only difference was that he had brown hair instead of a dyed one. From the same stature and shape of lips, it could easily be deciphered that they were siblings.

Chuckling, I waved my hands around. “Yeah. Only girl in the family so… I mean, I did just meet you guys for the first time.”

The rainbow-dyed person gave a grin. “Oh yeah. Hey, I’m Nolan,” I clasped my hand around his extending one, shaking it as I moved around the group and he kept pointing at his other friends. He first pointed at his sibling. “This is my brother Brooks,” and then onto the buffy man with dark eyes, black hair, and exceptional tanned skin. He was a little shorter than the rest but still quite tall. “That’s Abbas,” and onto a person with dark eyes, dark skin, and dreadlocks. “That’s Emiliano.”

“Emi for short,” he spoke, giving me a grin too.

Then, I stood in front of the man next to him with blue eyes, brown hair with green highlights, and was the same height as their leader, only he was lanky out of them all. “Levi.” His accent was as thick as Roman’s.

“Hi,” I shook his hand and pulled back. “So, I’m guessing you guys have different specialties?”

Emi nodded. “Yup. I handle tech, Abbas is the guns and security, Nolan and Brooks are snipers, and Levi’s expertise are knives.”

For smart people in the business, they sure do give their information very quickly.

My eyes landed on their leader; the golden-eyed Adonis known as Roman Kozlov. He merely stared at me, just like what he had been doing ever since we first met. “And yours?”

Brows furrowed, I slightly frowned at the question. “Sorry?”

“Your specialty, Miss Lorenzo,” his thick accent was basically tickling my ear, sending shivers down my spine. “Do you suppose you have one?”

“Nothing that would prove useful to the family’s job,” I answered, shrugging and letting out a sheepish smile that could only say that I was embarrassed that I wasn’t involved in the mafia business. “I only travel the world, take pictures, immerse in different cultures… all that kind of stuff. I just came back home days ago actually.”

Brooks soon spoke. “Oh? Where did you go?”

“Moscow,” I, then, said with a huge grin. As much as possible I needed to give every detail that would make it believable. Already talking about traveling and going to Moscow was the first step. They didn’t need to ask what I did because if they had to, it meant that I wasn’t open to saying anything unless they asked, deeming me suspicious in their books. “I went skiing, visited some places, and even tried on the bus tours that they offer. It was beautiful.” Shrugging once more, I walked past them. “Come on, I’ll give you a tour of the place.”

One thing that I was grateful of was that guest rooms were placed on the left whilst mine’s and the family’s rooms were on the right wing, absolutely far away from them that I knew I wouldn’t be having a problem to actually be myself when I’m in my room. After I showed them the place they would stay with each one of them on their own, we went downstairs with the guards and maids staying out of our ways as we walked.

The first room was the target shooting range with guns and knives displayed and the door in front of the first one was to the gym where there were mats, a ring, sandbags with boxing gloves, bandages, and a few medicine supplies on the sides.

I heard them, specifically Emiliano, Nolan, and Brooks, be at awe at the training room.

“Okay, let’s go,” I said, “I’ll walk you guys to your rooms just so you wouldn’t get lost—”

“Can we stay for a minute?” Levi spoke, his and the other’s eyes trained onto the men and women that were fighting, especially the two men at the ring. “I think we’d like to see where this goes.”

Glancing at all of them, they definitely were pleading with their eyes while Roman only observed me. Nodding, we leaned onto the walls.

The bare tattooed man swiped the bald one that he was fighting with his feet and he fell. The man thought he had already one but soon as he came closer to land a punch, the bald man had grasped the nape of his neck and sent his enemy’s nose spluttering blood all over by knocking it with his forehead easily, catching him off guard and giving the bald man the opportunity to kick him straight at the sternum.

One: never go near an opponent thinking you’ve won. Two: even if you’re bloody and broken, you never let pain lower your defenses. That gets you killed. And three: you should have seen the foot move before it landed anywhere on you.

Now with the air knocked out of the man’s lungs, he gave the bald man an opportunity to tackle him down and continuously punch him.

“Uhh,” my eyes landed onto Nolan who looked absolutely spooked. “Abbas, is this how you deal with newbies?”

The tanned man merely shrugged. “More or less.”

“You don’t seem bothered by the blood or the violence.”

I looked to Levi, catching his friends’ attention as he watched me with curiosity.

“I got desensitized early. Accidentally walked on with my mom torturing someone,” I chuckled. “that was way much worse than this one. I don’t like violence but I’m not really squeamish at the sight. That wouldn’t make me much a part of this family if I am, right?”

Levi nodded in agreement.

“Anyway, you guys wanna go back to your rooms?”

As all of them agreed, we started walking back.

“Is it your family or you that never wanted to be part of the business?” Emiliano asked.

“Both,” I said. “Dad was overprotective and so was everybody else. I never really saw the point of me being part of it anyways. While everybody was busy into growing the business successfully, I was more focused with getting the college experience and where I could enjoy freedom. That’s why I traveled after college.”

Soon as we arrived onto their rooms, I let them be and turned around. They didn’t hesitate to go inside their rooms and I didn’t hesitate to walk over to my room and call onto Sapphire’s number.

I waited.

And waited.

Then, it rang.

Yes!

But the one who answered it wasn’t Sapphire.

It was Nolan.

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