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

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Chapter Seven: The Target

Aurora stared out the window as they drove down the road, in yet another rental car. It seemed that every state they crossed the borderline, Ren would change cars. She guessed that was a good thing.

She sighed heavily and watched the scenery go by.

Ren didn’t say anything. He hasn’t said anything to her since their kiss last night. Nope, not one peep. Well, except to tell her to go to the bathroom if she needs to; when they stop for gas. But she didn’t consider that talking to her, not really, because he never looked at her when he said it. It was like he was talking to the breeze.

She felt sad and disappointed. After their kiss last night, Ren had walked her back to their room. She had thought things were going to go further, but he had led her to the bathroom and handed her her bag, then closed the door in her face. She had showered and changed, then walked back into the room, to find the couch closer to the bed and Ren laying a sheet, he must have gotten from the maid’s cart, over it.

When he’d looked at her, she’d seen a look on his face, that had made her heart plummet. He had had no thought of bedding her, he never had, and he regretted kissing her.

She had silently cried herself to sleep.

The day was going by too slow for her taste. At least no one has tried to kill her today. Yet.

“We will stop here for the night,” he grumbled as he pulled into the parking lot of another hotel.

“Why don’t we just drive all the way there without stopping?” She asked as she turned to look at him. “Then, you can be rid of me faster.”

He looked at her with a stunned look on his face.

She guffawed as she pushed her door open, then opened the back door and pulled out her bag.

“Whatever, I’ll wait over there,” she grumbled as she walked to a dark corner to wait for him to check-in.

Ren shook his head. What had she meant by that? Did she really think he wanted to be rid of her?

You haven’t exactly been talking to her since last night. Maybe even ignoring her. A voice in his head reminded him.

He shook his head as he got out of the car. He walked into the office and over to the check-in counter. He rang the bell and waited for someone to come to the desk. The man who walked to the desk wasn’t the check-in clerk.

“Shit, me,” Ren grumbled.

“Ren,” the man said with a broad smile.

“Leoni,” Ren said with a nod.

“You looking for the girl too?” Leoni asked as he leaned against the counter.

“Yeah,” Ren said with a nod.

“From what I’ve heard, she has a nasty bodyguard, who has already killed three of our guys, and escaped Manny,” Leoni said as he leaned across the counter.

Ren nodded, “yeah, I’ve heard the same.”

“I also heard that her mother escaped off the ship, and no one has seen her.”

Ren sighed with relief. Now he has information to tell Aurora about her mother.

“I wonder who her bodyguard is. Do you think her father found out we know where she is?” Leoni asked as he studied Ren.

Ren shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t see how. Maybe it’s a boyfriend or something.”

Leoni nodded, “could be. Hey, did you hear that Marco was killed while trying to get to her?”

Ren faked a shocked look. “Marco? What was the kid doing taking this on by himself?”

“Beats me. I guess he was trying to prove himself to the boss,” Leoni said with a shrug.

“Well, I’ve been on the lookout, but haven’t seen anything out of the ordinary. I guess the clerk is dead?” He asked as he tried to see over the counter.

Leoni smirked, “as a doornail.”

“So, I guess my room will be free tonight?” Ren asked with a wide grin.

Leoni laughed as he tossed him a key. “Since we’re both here, share if you find anything.”

Ren nodded, “will do,” he said, holding up the key in a, thank you and farewell, as he exited the office.

Damn it all to hell.

Leoni Gucci is an assassin that puts all other assassins to shame. If Leoni is out here, Trevisani is desperate. At least they hadn’t gotten Aurora’s mother. That’s something.

Ren walked to his car and grabbed his bag from the back seat. They’re going to have to ditch this car here, he knows Leoni saw the vehicle. Leoni sees everything. He grunted as he slammed the door shut. Ren hadn’t thought Trevisani would have sent Leoni after her so soon. But he guessed after her mother had escaped his clutches, he was desperate to snag the daughter.

“Aurora,” he whispered into the dark corner.

“Here,” she whispered back.

“We need to go,” he said once he found her.

“Aren’t we sleeping here?” She asked as she looked up into his face. They were in the shadows, but she could still see the worry in his eyes. “What happened?” She asked.

“Don’t worry, everything will be okay,” he said as he took her by the arm and started to head to the field behind the hotel.

“Ren,” she hissed as she stumbled behind him, “tell me what has happened.”

“Yes, Ren, do tell her what has happened.”

They both spun around to the voice. Aurora stared at the man who held a gun in her direction.

No, not another one.

“Leoni,” Ren growled.

“I knew something was up, the moment you came into the office,” Leoni said as he studied Ren and the girl.

“You’re not going to hurt her,” Ren growled as he pushed Aurora behind him.

“I would say that you’re in it for yourself, but the way you are protecting her, you care about her. Tsk, tsk,” Leoni said as he shook his head, “number one rule, don’t fall for the target.”

Aurora stared up at Ren. The target? She’s his target?

“Who says I have fallen for her? I just don’t want you to get your mitts on her,” Ren said with a growl.

“Ah. So, you want the money for yourself then.”

“Target?!” Aurora hollered, making both men look at her.

“Not now, Aurora,” Ren whispered.

“You never planned to take me to my father, did you?” She cried as she backed away from him. “This was all a game to you.”

Ren grumbled as he watched her stumble backward. “We will discuss this when there’s not a gun pointed at us.”

“I’m not staying around here,” she cried as she dropped her bag and took off through the field.

“Perfect. I do love a moving target,” Leoni said as he pointed his gun at Aurora’s back.

Ren growled as he tackled Leoni to the ground. The gun fired, and the bullet narrowly missed Aurora.

Aurora stopped running and turned to the commotion. Ren was on the ground with the assassin, fighting for the gun. The man hit Ren in the face, then Ren hit him back. They hit back and forth as they wrestled around, taking turns pinning each other to the ground. The gun fired again, and Aurora screamed when the bullet hit the rock next to her. The stone shattered, and several pieces embedded into her legs. She fell to her bottom and tried to look at her burning calf.

“Give it up, Mancini, she’s my target now, you took too long!” Leoni hollered as he punched Ren in the face.

“You’re not going to get a chance,” Ren growled as he punched the man in the throat.

Leoni choked and let go of his gun as he brought his hands up to his throat. Ren took the opportunity to slug the man in his side. Leoni grunted as a couple of ribs snapped and punctured his lung.

Leoni kicked Ren off him and coughed as he tried to catch his breath. Leoni reached for his gun, but Ren was faster, he kicked the gun out of the man’s reach, then kicked Leoni in the head, knocking him backward.

Ren picked up the gun, then stood over Leoni and watched the man stare up at him.

“You really should live underground, you pathetic mole,” Leoni said as he glared up at Ren.

“You first,” Ren said, then put two bullets into the man’s head.

Ren turned to where Aurora sat on the ground, moaning. Crap, did she get hit? He placed the gun under his belt at his back as he ran towards her.

Aurora looked up and screamed when Ren came up to her.

“Aurora, we’ve been through this. I’m here to help, not hurt,” he said as he knelt beside her.

“I was your target,” she cried as she cringed away from him.

Ren sighed, “don’t listen to that idiot. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

She looked behind Ren at the dead man on the ground. “You killed him,” she whispered.

He laughed, “I did.”

“You knew him like you knew the others,” she said as she looked at him.

He nodded, “I did.”

“Why are they after me?” She cried.

“Because your father did something that ruined Trevisani’s life, so Trevisani has vowed revenge,” he said as he looked at her.

“Did my father kill someone Trevisani loved?”

Ren shook his head.

“Then why does he want to kill me?” She squealed.

“Because your father helped Trevisani’s wife and son, disappear.”

“What!?” Aurora screamed.

“Trevisani is a horrible man. He abused them and treated them as property. So, when your father offered to help them escape, they agreed. Somehow, Trevisani had found out that your father was the one who had helped them escape and promised he would have his revenge. Dom didn’t know he meant by killing you and your mother. And if Dom ever has an heir, then…”

“Then what?” Aurora asked in a panic.

“Then he will move the stars to destroy him. Just as Dom had destroyed his own heir.”

Aurora started to cry, “Jayme.”

“You never did tell me who Jayme is,” he said as he eyed her.

She stared at him with her bright blue eyes full of fear. “He’s my brother. He’s my father’s heir.”

“Shit,” Ren grumbled as he stared at Aurora. “Your mother had a son?”

Aurora nodded, “when I was four. She got pregnant just before my father died, I mean…,” she stared at him. Should she really believe that her father is alive?

“Damn it,” he grumbled as he pulled out his phone.

She watched him press a single button on his phone then wait for whoever it was to pick up.

“Sir, there was another attack… Yes, sir, she is alive. Sir, she told me about her brother…” Ren looked at her and smiled. “Good to hear, sir. Yes, sir, we’re about two states out…. Of course,” he said as he hung up the phone and placed it back into his pocket then looked at her. “Your mother and brother are safe. They are with your father now.”

“Thank God,” she groaned as she leaned back and looked down at her legs, “uh, Ren,” she said when she saw the blood dripping down her legs.

Ren looked at her legs and grunted. “What happened, did you get shot?” He asked as he started to look for a bullet hole.

“Kind of,” she said as she sucked air between her teeth when he moved her legs.

“What happened?” He asked as he continued to look at her legs.

“The bullet shattered a rock beside her and the rock kind of embedded in me,” she said as she watched him with her legs.

He paused as his body started to shake with laughter.

“This isn’t funny,” she said with a pout.

He looked at her with mirth in his eyes. “It is…a bit.”

She folded her arms over her chest. “Not even a little.”

He grinned as he turned and got to his feet.

“Hey, where are you going?” She asked as she watched him walk away.

“To get our bags.”

Oh right, their bags. Aurora sighed, then tried to get to her feet. Her legs hurt too much to stand on them, so she plopped back down onto her bottom.

Ren retrieved their bags then turned to head back to Aurora. She was something else, all scared and alone one minute, then all fearless and annoyed the next. He could so easily fall for her…

Stop thinking like that!

He shook his head as he stood beside her. “We need to find a different hotel to stay in tonight.”

“Really?” She asked as she eyed him.

He smirked, “really.”

“I can’s seam to stand,” she said as she tried to get up again.

He smiled as he placed the bags over his shoulders, then leaned down and lifted her into his arms. “If you wanted me to carry you, all you had to do was ask.”

She guffawed, “yeah, sure, I let a psycho shoot at me just so you could hold me.”

He grinned down at her. “I’ve heard worse excuses.”

She sputtered as her mouth opened and closed.

He laughed, “let’s get to a hotel, so we can get those legs looked at.”

She grunted as she laid her head on his shoulder. She’s had worse ways of travel.


Ren looked through the bathroom in the hotel, he had found, a couple of miles down the road. He knows they have to have a first aid kit here, somewhere.

He was exhausted. Carrying a woman for two miles; does something to your body. Not to mention he’s had a massive hard-on, all night.

He grunted as he found the first aid kit.

He grabbed a towel, then walked back into the other room, and found Aurora still on the bed, where he had left her. She looked about as wore out as he felt. She had just technically been shot. He shook his head as he moved to the bed.

“Sorry, no hospital, this will have to do,” he said as he held up the first aid kit.

She nodded, “I know. Too dangerous to take me to a hospital.”

He smiled. Smart girl.

Aurora watched him as he sat on the bed next to her and opened the first aid kit. She hoped she didn’t need stitches in any of the cuts.

“Okay, this is going to hurt like hell,” he said as he pulled out the tweezers and snapped them together a couple of times.

She nodded as she stared at them. Ren laid the towel out on the bed between them, then used his hands to motion for her to turn over onto her stomach. She gulped as she did as he asked.

Ren stared at her well-shaped ass when she laid on the bed on her stomach, then shook his head. He’s here to do first aid, not ogle her ass.

But what a fine ass it is. Ren mentally slapped himself.

“This will hurt,” he repeated as he looked at her legs. Damn, she has some beautiful legs too. He didn’t think he was going to survive this. “There are some chunks of rock, bedded in you left calf,” he said as he wiped the blood from the hole.

“Okay,” she grumbled as she closed her eyes.

He took a deep breath, then started pulling pieces of rock from her legs. She cried out when he dug the biggest chunk of rock out with the tweezers and his fingers. Once her legs were clear of any rock debris, he picked up the peroxide and started pouring it over the cuts. She screamed when the peroxide slid into the wounds.

His heart raced at the sound of her cries.

Once he was done, he took the towel and dried her legs. The bleeding had stopped, and the cuts looked much better.

“All done,” he whispered.

She groaned with a cry as she turned her head to look at him. “Thank you.”

He smiled, “don’t move yet,” he whispered when she started to roll over.

She paused as he took the towel out from under her legs and tossed it by the bathroom door.

“They will be sore for a while,” he said as he looked into her eyes.

“Can I sit up?” She asked as she started to move, then groaned when her legs hurt.

He chuckled, “I guess not.”

She grumbled as she laid her head on the pillow and sighed.

Ren swallowed past the lump in his throat. How much longer can he resist her?

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