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

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Chapter Thirty-Six: Debris

“I don’t think you should go to Church,” Ren said as he watched Aurora slip into a dress she liked to wear to Church.

“I’m tired of just sitting around doing nothing,” she said with a groan as she pulled the dress over her stomach.

Ren chuckled as he helped her. Her stomach was getting bigger by the day, it was like as soon as everyone knew she was pregnant, the baby decided to show himself.

“Trevisani didn’t try to kill Papa two weeks ago, everyone thinks he’s in hiding,” Aurora said as she settled herself into the dress. It was a tight fit, but it went over her stomach.

“Aurora.”

“Lorenzo,” she said as she placed her hands on his shoulders.

Ren groaned. She knows she gets whatever she wants when she calls him by his full name like that.

“Fine, but stay by my side,” he finally conceded.

She grinned as she leaned up and kissed him. “I love you.”

He grunted, “yeah, and I’m thinking that loving you is going to get me killed.”

She laughed as she kissed him again. “Let’s go.”

He watched her as she glided through her room and picked up her shawl and handbag. He shook his head. She sure is something to look at. Now that everyone knows about the baby, she finally admitted that the baby was the reason she had said no, to plastic surgery. Once the baby comes, she would be happy to have the doctors patch her up, as she said. Ren shook his head. He didn’t care if she never got the damn surgery; she was beautiful just the way she was.

~💎~

“We’re late,” Dom said as he and his family exited their cars.

“I’m sorry,” Aurora said with a pout.

“You can’t blame her, love,” Isabella said with a laugh. “Remember when I was pregnant with Aurora. I peed so much; we joked about putting a toilet under my seat.”

Dom grinned as he pulled his wife to his side and kissed the top of her head.

“If we hurry, we will just make it before the Preacher starts,” Nicola said as he wrapped his arm around his wife and headed up the stairs towards the church.

“See,” Aurora said as she wrapped her arms around Ren. “Everything is just fine.”

Ren smiled as he kissed the top of her head and followed the rest of their family up the stairs. As he and Aurora got to the entry, the bell on the church chimed, ten o’clock. Ren felt something crawl up his spine and stopped in the doorway.

“Ren?” Aurora asked as she looked up at him.

Ren felt the blood leave his face as he looked up at the bell that was chiming the hour. “Get down!” He hollered as he pulled Aurora under him and blocked her with his body.

An explosion, so loud and so horrifying, blew the church to the next block.

~💎~

Ren opened his eyes and moaned. His ears were ringing, and his back and legs were killing him. He felt something soft under him and quickly looked down to find Aurora under him.

“Aurora!” He hollered over the ringing in his ears.

She didn’t respond, and he panicked. He looked around but couldn’t see much through the debris.

“Ren?”

“Oh, thank God,” he breathed as he looked down at her again.

“What happened?” She asked as she rubbed her head.

“Bomb,” he said as he looked behind him with a grunt. A large piece of cement was on his legs, pinning him to the floor. “Can you move?” He asked as he looked back at her.

She moved every part of her body to be sure, then nodded.

He sighed with relief. “Good, because it seems that I can’t.”

Her eyes widened as she tried to look around him. “What’s wrong?”

“Cement on my legs,” he said with a grunt, “I told you we should have stayed home.”

She frowned as she tried to look around them. There was so much debris, she couldn’t see much of anything. “Let me see if I can get out from under you,” she said as she shuffled her body upwards.

Dust fell from the ceiling. Ren stopped her from moving as he covered his head with his hands and her body with his own. A few chunks of the ceiling fell over them, then stopped.

“Be careful,” he whispered.

She nodded, then tried pulling herself out from under him again.

“Is the baby okay?” He whispered as he watched her squirm out from under him.

“I think so,” she said as she pulled herself to her feet and looked around. “The church has been demolished. Who would do such a thing?”

“Trevisani,” Ren grumbled.

“Where’s everyone else?” She asked as she looked around.

“Hopefully, alive,” he said as he looked down at his legs again.

“Let me see if I can move that,” she said as she moved to the cement.

“Don’t you dare,” he said with a growl.

She stared at him.

Ren cleared his throat. He didn’t want to scare her any more than she already was. “You don’t want to stress yourself too much and hurt the baby.”

She nodded, then leaned down and moved smaller pieces away from him.

“Let me help,” someone said as they picked her up and set her aside.

“Father,” Ren said as he stared at the large man standing over him.

“Sorry I’m late Son, looks like I missed all the fun.”

Aurora snorted, “yeah, tons of fun.”

Riccardo looked at Aurora then at Ren and grinned at his son. “You’ve got yourself a good one there, boy.”

Ren smiled, “I know, I’m lucky. Brains, beauty, and a sense of humor.”

Aurora snorted again and watched as her future father-in-law quickly moved the cement off his son’s legs, enough that Ren could pull himself out from under it. She shook her head. Like father like son. She rubbed her stomach. She hoped their son turned out like his father and grandfathers.

“You okay?” Riccardo asked as he looked at Aurora then down at her stomach, where she was still rubbing it.

Aurora stopped rubbing her stomach and nodded. “Ren covered me just before the explosion.”

Riccardo looked at his son. “Smart, boy,” he said with a grin. “Can you stand?”

Ren looked down at his legs. He was able to wiggle his toes, and his legs didn’t feel like they were broken. “I think so.”

Riccardo held his hand out to his son, and Ren took it. He helped his son to his feet then steadied him when he swayed.

“You good?” Riccardo asked.

Ren nodded, “good.”

Aurora moved to her fiancé and wrapped her arms around him. Ren sighed as he wrapped his arms around her and held her close.

“Whereabouts was everyone else?” Riccardo asked as he looked around.

“Not sure,” Ren said as he looked at the piles of debris.

“I guess we start anywhere,” Riccardo said as he moved to the debris and moved large chunks out of the way.

“You stay here,” Ren said, then kissed Aurora.

Aurora shook her head. “I’m helping. Even if I only move small chunks.” She said as she eyed him.

Ren sighed, “all right, but the moment my father or I say move, you move.”

She nodded in agreement, then walked over to the debris and moved it out of the way so they could look for her family and eventually all the innocent people trapped inside.

~💎~

“Dom,” Ren said when he uncovered his boss.

“Ren,” Dom said as he looked up at him.

“We’ll have you out of there in no time,” Riccardo said as he lifted a large chunk out of the way.

“Take Isabella first,” Dom said as he helped his wife up and pushed her towards them.

“Mom,” Aurora cried when her mother was pulled over the rubble.

“Aurora,” Isabella cried when she saw her daughter standing beside the rubble.

Mother and daughter embraced, and cries rang out around them.

“People are starting to wake,” Riccardo said as he looked at the debris.

“Get me out, and I’ll help,” Dom said as he held his arms out to them. Riccardo and Ren helped Dom out of the small hole he and Isabella had been suck in. “Sofia and Nicola weren’t far from us,” Dom said as he looked around. “I think I last saw them this way,” he said as he wiped the sweat from his brow and moved over to where he had last seen them.

They found the two unconscious, Nicola covering Sofia’s body the same as Ren and Dom had done with Aurora and Isabella.

“Your scream to take cover had Nicola and myself taking cover over our women.” Dom said as he helped them move the debris off the two, still lying on the floor with rubble over them.

“Papa?” Sofia whispered as she looked over Nicola’s shoulder at them.

“Hey, girl,” Dom said with a smile as he and Riccardo pulled Nicola off her and dragged him outside to the sidewalk.

“I called 911 when I got here,” Riccardo said as he looked at the demolished church.

“Where’s Jayme?” Isabella asked with panic in her voice.

“Was he here with us?” Aurora asked as she looked around at the others.

“He was behind us,” Sofia said as she leaned against the car.

“Looks like we’ve got more digging to do,” Dom said as he headed towards the church.

“Paolo was already in the church,” Isabella said as she leaned against the car next to her eldest.

“We’ll dig for Jayme first,” Dom said as he, Ren and Riccardo, entered the church.

“Good Lord, what happened?”

All three women looked down at Nicola.

“Nicola, oh darling,” Sofia said as she knelt on the sidewalk next to her husband. “You’re okay,” she said as a tear ran down her cheek.

Nicola smiled as he wiped the tear away. “What happened?” He asked again.

“Trevisani blew up the church,” Aurora said as she stared at what was left of the beautiful church.

“What a horrible, horrible man,” Isabella said as she shook her head.

“Look what we found,” Dom said as he walked down the stairs from the church with his son at his side.

“Jayme!” Aurora hollered as she ran to her brother and buried her face in his chest. A very muscled chest, when had her little brother become a man?

“I’m glad you’re okay too, Sis,” Jayme said with a smile as he wrapped his arms around his sister. “Is the baby okay?” He asked as he looked down.

Aurora placed her hand over her stomach and smiled with a nod. “He’s tough like his daddy.”

Jayme grinned, “don’t forget his mama too.”

“Dom!” Ren called from inside the church.

Dom left his son in his daughter’s care and ran back inside the church.

As Aurora and Jayme joined the rest of their family on the sidewalk, beside their cars, the sirens for the ambulance and firetrucks could be heard from several blocks away.

“About time,” Nicola groaned.

“You’re bleeding,” Isabella said as she looked at her son’s face.

Jayme grinned, “just a small cut, Mom. Nothing to worry about.” He sucked in a breath when she gently touched the cut above his right eye.

“Still, I want the paramedics to look at it.”

“Will probably need stitches,” Aurora said with a smile.

Jayme grinned at her. “Do you think it’ll leave a scar?”

Aurora shrugged, “probably.”

Jayme chuckled, “what a great conversational piece.”

Aurora looked down at her arms and frowned. “Yeah, great for conversations.”

Jayme frowned as he pulled her into his arms. “I’m sorry, Sis. You’re still beautiful.”

Aurora smiled as she hugged him back.

“Get off me, boy!”

They all turned to watch Paolo brush Ren’s helping hand off, as he headed down the stairs towards them.

“You may have a concussion, Paolo, let me help you.” Ren said as he followed the large man.

“Go help those who need it,” Paolo said as he shrugged away from Ren.

Ren followed him to the others and watched the man as he sat on the sidewalk next to Nicola.

“Watch him,” Ren said as he pointed to Paolo and looked at Nicola. “He had caught a large chunk of the church to keep it from falling on a family of five.”

“How are the family?” Aurora asked.

Ren smiled at her. “More scared than anything. They should be out here any time now.”

And they were. A mother, a father, and three little ones, who ran down the stairs and headed straight for them. The three children jumped into Paulo’s lap and hugged him so tight, they squeezed a tear from the large man’s eye.

“Thank you so much,” the woman said as she and her husband stopped in front of Paolo.

“Just did what anyone else would have done,” Paolo grumbled.

“He’s so modest,” Aurora said with a laugh.

“My church!”

They all turned to the entrance of the church, as the Priest was led out by Ren. He was walking backward as he stared at the destruction of his beloved church.

“How many people had shown up for church, Father?” Ren asked as he made the man sit on the sidewalk, next to Nicola and Sofia.

“Three families, and a newlywed couple,” the priest said as he looked around him. “Two families,” he said when he noticed the family standing around them.

Ren nodded. “How many in the families?”

“Four adults and seven children.”

Ren nodded, then turned and headed back to the church.

“Here comes help!” Aurora hollered when the fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars pulled up against the curb.

Aurora and Isabella talked to the firemen while Nicola and Sofia spoke to the cops. The captain was a friend of Dom’s, so it was easy to get him to fully understand what had happened. The Firemen joined the other men in rescuing the families who were still trapped under the rubble. Within the hour, the others were found and rescued. Only two were hauled off to the hospital by an ambulance.

Aurora and her family drove themselves to the hospital to get checked out.

Jayme did indeed get stitches, as well as Sofia, who had a cut on her leg. Ren’s legs were a bit worse off than they’d thought, but nothing was broken. A couple of days of bed rest in the hospital so they could keep an eye for infection, and lots of pain pills once the adrenalin started to wear off. Nicola had a cut on the back of his head and a concussion, which they kept him for a night of observation. Paolo had a gash on his forearm that needed stitches, and a slight concussion, a night in the hospital for him as well. Dom, Isabella, and Aurora were given a clean bill of health.

As Aurora knew, the baby was just fine.

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