The Gem of the Romano Dynasty (Romano Dynasty - Duology - Book One)

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Chapter Twenty-Eight: Taking out the Competition

Aurora looked at her watch for the hundredth time. Where was he? He had asked her to meet him in his bedroom. Her father was out of town, preparing for tomorrow’s wedding. So, she knows he couldn’t possibly be held up by her father.

Martina? She wondered, then shook her head. No, he wouldn’t hold her up for that bitch.

“I see you got my message.”

Aurora spun around and stared at the woman who stood at the entry to the room. “Your message?” She asked, confused as she looked at the note in her hand.

But it’s Ren’s handwriting. She thought as she stared at it.

“I knew you would only come here if he asked you to. So, I snuck into your room and found an old note from Ren, that would work perfectly for this occasion. So helpful that you saved all his little notes. You really should lock your door, and not just when you’re in there screwing my man.”

“He’s not your man!” Aurora hollered.

“He is mine. And once you are gone, your title will be mine too!”

“The title is nothing without me.”

“Liar!” Martina spat. “You would say anything to get out of this.”

“It’s true,” Aurora said as calmly as she could, with her heart pounding in her chest, ninety miles a minute.

What does Martina plan to do to her? That wild look in the other woman’s eyes told her that whatever it is, isn’t good.

“If I die, the title dies with me,” Aurora informed Martina, hoping it would penetrate the woman’s mind, and she’ll believe her and leave.

Martina snorted, “they wouldn’t do that. Where does the money go?”

Aurora shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know. Back to my father, I guess. Or it gets lost in the wind. I only know what I was told.”

“You’re lying,” Martina said with a hiss.

Aurora sighed, “believe what you want.”

“Ren is mine,” Martina said with a snarl.

“Don’t you think that should be up to him?” Aurora asked as she raised an eyebrow.

“He chose me. But you won’t let him go.”

Aurora took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. Okay, there’s no reasoning with this crazy woman. She will have to lie, for now, until her father gets home and can get rid of her.

“Fine, Martina. You win. Ren is yours; I will back off.”

Martina grinned, “nice try, but I don’t believe you. This means there is only one way for you to get out of this.”

Aurora’s eyes widened when Martina pulled a knife out from her back. She recognized it as one of Sofia’s throwing knives.

“The best part of this; is that your precious sister will get the blame. Especially after I tell them about your affair with Nicola.”

“What affair?” Aurora asked in a panic.

“The one you’ve been having for the past month. Oh, didn’t I tell you? I stashed some of your lingerie in their suite,” she said with an evil grin. “Oh, yeah. And his boxers are under your bed.”

Aurora shook her head as she backed away from the crazed woman.

“Sofia won’t believe it,” Aurora cried. “And neither will Ren!”

Martina snorted as she took a step closer. “Sofia doesn’t have to believe it. Only the cops do when they find you stabbed to death with her knives,” she said as she pulled another knife out from behind her back.

Where is Ren? Why isn’t he showing up in the nick of time to save me? Just as he had before.

“Ren!” She called out, hoping he was near enough to hear her.

“Ren isn’t here. He went with Dom to take care of the remaining touches for the wedding. Such a good groom, he is.”

“Ren went with Papa?” Aurora asked.

“Well, yeah. Isn’t that what I just said?”

Aurora glared at Martina when the woman called her an idiot in Italian.

“So, there’s no one here to save you. And once you and your bitch ass sister are gone, I will become the daughter they always wanted, and your title will be mine. Along with Ren,” she said the last part, as an afterthought.

“You don’t love Ren,” Aurora said as she watched the other woman. “You only want the money and the Romano title.”

Martina grinned, “I knew the money and title would become mine when I was offered this gig. Ren was just a bonus. When I saw him, I knew he had to be mine. Besides, we’ll make cute kids, don’t you think?”

Aurora snorted, “he will never touch you. You will never turn him on,” she snarled, then squealed as she dodged the knife Martina threw at her.

It slammed into the wall, next to her head. She stared at the knife with wide eyes. She had thought, she had hoped that Martina had been bluffing about killing her. She turned and looked at the other woman. No, she wasn’t bluffing. And there’s no one here to save her this time.

“I still have this one!” Martina hollered as she raised the knife above her head and lunged herself at Aurora.

Aurora screamed as the knife came down and tore through her skin, like butter. Her first thought as the knife sliced through her; was.

Boy, Sofia keeps her knives sharp.


Sofia picked up a piece of lingerie from under the pillow on a chair in her bedroom and stared at it. She recognized it. It was one Aurora had picked out on their shopping spree. What was it doing here?

“Martina,” she hissed as she tossed the silky garment onto the bed.

That damn bitch just doesn’t know when to stop.

She shook her head as she headed to her sister’s room. She just hoped her sister was smart enough to stay in her room, with their father and the men, all out today. She knocked on her sister’s door, then opened it slowly, just in case Ren was with her.

Though she thought he’d left with Dom and the others. He is the groom, after all.

But no one was in Aurora’s room. She sighed.

Where could she have gone off to?

She hadn’t seen her leave with Isabella and Martina. And Jayme had left earlier this morning to meet up with a couple of buddies.

She spotted a drawer open on Aurora’s nightstand and moved over to it. Inside was a box, with the lid askew. She pulled the top off the box and looked inside. It seemed to be notes addressed to her sister, from Ren. She recognized his handwriting.

She then got a whiff of a familiar perfume.

“Martina,” she hissed.

A funny feeling spread through her body. Something wasn’t right. She tossed the lid into the drawer, then quickly left the room. The lingerie in her suite, the notes… She promptly moved to Ren’s office. How stupid does Martina think they are?

“Ren,” she said as she burst into his office. She stopped and stared at him, her jaw-dropping.

Apparently, very stupid. Sofia thought with a shake of her head.

“Hey, babe,” Ren said as he turned, a rose in his mouth. His eyes widened when he saw Sofia standing there. “I thought you were Aurora,” Ren said as he pulled the rose from his mouth. “Ouch,” he grumbled when a thorn stabbed his lip.

Sofia looked him up and down. He had grown into a very fine man. When had he become a man? Her sister was… She looked down, and her cheeks turned a bright red…lucky…very, very lucky.

“I thought you were in town with Isabella and Martina,” he said as he watched her check him out. Not a bit ashamed of being in the buff in his own office.

Sofia cleared her throat. “I thought you were with Papa and Nicola.”

“I got a note from Aurora and decided to skip out on a fake bachelor party, and have my own, real one,” he said with a grin.

Sofia took a deep breath as she tried to keep her eyes off this very manly side of Ren. He may be like a brother to her, but her eyes kept deceiving her.

“What’s going on?” Ren demanded as he crossed his arms over his broad chest.

“I think Martina played a prank on you.”

“She left with Isabella, hours ago,” he said as he studied her face.

She nodded and told him what all she had discovered, before coming here. Ren’s face paled.

“There are only two places I have asked her to meet me at. Our place by the creek and my bedroom,” he said as he placed the rose on the desk and pulled his pants on.

“I will check the creek,” she said as she headed out the door.

“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone how you couldn’t keep your eyes off me!” He hollered after her.

He laughed when he heard her snort.

Sofia ran from the mansion and headed for the woods. She came to a complete stop and turned when she heard a scream.

“Aurora,” she whispered. “Ren!” She called out as she headed towards his house, hoping he had heard the scream as well.


“Why couldn’t you have just given me what I deserve? What should be mine!” Martina screamed as she raised her hand over her head and slashed the knife down on Aurora.

Aurora dodged most of the downward slashes, but many of them connected. She was feeling weak from the loss of blood but forced herself to stay on her feet. Who knew what the woman would do with the advantage of her being on the floor. She protected her face and stomach. Her arms, shoulder, and chest were getting most of the blows. She continued to scream, as the onslaught of stabbing motions continued.

She didn’t even know how to kill a person properly. Which was lucky for Aurora.

“I will erase you from existence!” Martina screamed.

When the knife didn’t come down again, Aurora took a chance and looked up. Her eyes widened when she saw Sofia’s face next to Martina’s. Her arm was around the woman’s neck, and Aurora could hear Martina gasping for air. Sofia’s arm moved, and Aurora heard a SNAP. Then the horrid woman fell to the floor.

“I told you to stay out of Ren’s house and away from my sister!” Sofia snarled.

“Sofia,” Aurora whispered as she slid down the wall.

“Piccolo!” Sofia cried out as she jumped over the body and squatted down in front of her sister. “Ohmigod!” She screamed when she saw the bloody gashes all over her sister’s arms and chest.

“Sofia,” Aurora whispered with a moan.

Sofia quickly stood, then bend down and lifted her sister into her arms. She stepped over the body of Martina, then ran as fast as she could, out of the house. Once outside, she made her way to the cars in the drive.

“Ren!” She screamed as loud as she could.

“Ren is with Papa,” Aurora whispered.

Sofia shook her head. “Martina had sent him a note too. Probably thought she could seduce him after she got rid of you.”

“Fat chance,” Aurora said, weakly.

Sofia chuckled. “Ren!” She screamed again as she fell to her knees on the gravel.

“I’m too heavy…” Aurora said as she tried to move out of Sofia’s arms.

Sofia held her still.

“Aurora,” Ren gasped as he fell to his knees in front of them.

“Take her,” Sofia said as she handed her little sister over to Ren, “I’ll drive.”

“Ren nodded as he took the woman, he loves more than his own life, into his arms.

There was blood everywhere!

“Quickly,” Sofia said as she held the back door of the family car open for him.

Ren got to his feet and moved to the back seat of the car, where he held Aurora close and whispered reassuring words into her ear.

“Where is the bitch?” He asked as he watched Sofia start the car.

“Dead,” she said without feeling.

Ren growled as he held Aurora close to his chest.

Sofia talked to herself in Italian as she pulled out of the drive.

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