“Traded for love” [Book 1 - Mafia in love]

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Chapter 43 - Bringing her back home [Republished]


Healey was coming twice per day, just as I asked her, morning and evening.

The moment I snapped when I saw the divorce papers had put her in a bit of defense mood, which didn’t bother me much, to be honest.

I wasn’t in any mood of bonding, friendly or any other kind.

I threw the papers away and told Gio to keep them till I felt to deal with them.

I didn’t want to sign it. I wasn’t stupid.

Giving her freedom means opening the way for Vincenzo Benito to snatch her from me and I’ll be damned if I let that happen.

Becca belongs to me, whether she likes it or not and right now time is of essence. The sooner I am back on my feet, faster I’m going to bring her back home.

So I pushed myself to almost impossible limits. Sometimes I even doubled the therapy sessions, working out alone in the gym, and I was doing really good.

I was walking by myself already, with the help of a cane, of course but that would not be for too long. I’ll make sure of it.

I got back to the business from the day one, things were going well.

As planned, I was gradually taking steps back from the shady businesses with Benito but kept the deals with the legit ones.

It was loads of money and Benito was keeping it clean. It suited me just perfect.

“Gio, I need you to pass by my house this evening,” I told him over the phone.

“Sure, Lucas. Anything I need to do before I reach you?” he asks, reading my mind.

“Yeah. I need you to find me the contact number of Mike Saphiro.”

“Downhill Inc.?” he says after a few moments of silence.

“Yeah. And the divorce papers.”

“Alright,” he confirmed and hung up.

I threw the phone on the desk of my home office and with a sigh I ran my fingers through my long, dump hair after the shower I just took.

Since I woke up from coma I felt the need of a change so I decided to keep the hair long, reaching I to my shoulders that I would always tie in a bun on the top of my head and the black short stubble covering my jaws.

It was a total change from the neat look I used to have before, beards always freshly shaved, short hair, always combed and fixed in style.

But like this, it felt like a new me, less sober, less stiff.

It was the time to move with my plans and reach Becca. I took that decision one night before, when her memory tormented me till early hours of the morning.

Nothing new about that. It became a way of life for me, one that I couldn’t accommodate with and obviously, I never wanted to.

I had to make a step towards her, give her a sign I was finally awake and see what would be her next move.

For what I knew, she could have been sure I was dead, less to talk about Benito having a direct interest in keeping me dead.

But what if she knew I was alive and she wasn’t interested in me anymore?

Why would she? I inflicted her pain and terror for years in a row and she made it clear more than once that she wanted out of our marriage.

But I had to try to bring her back home.

That night before she was taken away from me could never be a lie. Who the fuck lies shivering like she did under me? Who the fuck lies while loving and crying in the same time?

I will bring her back and cherish her like she deserves and if I were to fail, I would try again and again, till she learnt that her place was only by my side.

She was the only woman that ever made me happy. She was a kind and warm hearted woman that any man would die to have.

I need her back in my life like I need the air to breathe. I need her to feel alive, to feel loved and to love her back.

She is my obedient kitten but she also has me wrapped around her fingers. What a beautiful mixture in a woman! The perfect woman.

The kind of woman that makes you feel the dominant half but in reality, she is the one to rule. And I loved the way Becca was ruling my heart. One could say I don’t have one. Well, I don’t. Because she has it.

I love her madly and I know that our bond can never be undone. Nobody ever loved me more than she did and I need to know if she still does. She is the one to complete me and without her I am lost.

So no, I was not going to give up on her, not now, not ever.

If only I could fucking travel and take her by myself.

Gio arrived right after dinner and he was brought to my office, just as I asked dad.

“Evening, Lucas,” he said and we hugged tapping manly each other’s back. “You look good, brother.”

“Thanks, Gio. How is everything?”

“Just the way you like it, Lucas. Here, you asked for this,” he said and placed a black card on my desk while I hand him a glass of whiskey that I fixed for him and filled one more for myself.

“How is her business doing?” I asked as I knew Gio was keeping close eye to everything about Becca.

“Not very well. Mike is struggling but doesn’t have much power. The hyenas from the board are sucking everything and steal her money bit by bit.”

“Hm...” I hum, nodding my head a few times, taking in the info. “And her mother?”

“She ran away to her parents after her husband and her son were killed. She is a soft woman, Lucas. She couldn’t take the pressure.”

“But she has the majority of shares after her husband’s death, right?”

“Right,” Gio confirms.

I pull my phone from the pocket, standing up and leaning the weight of my body against the cane I have as aid to walk.

I dialed Mike’s number and the call rang three times before he answered in a cold, even tone.


“Mike, this is Lucas Tate,” I say in a raspy, determined voice.

He paused for a few good moments. It was obvious I was the last person he expected to hear.

“Mr. Tate. What a surprise! To what do I owe the honor of your call?”

I couldn’t tell if he was mocking me or just just being cordial and I didn’t give a shit on any of it. He answered my call. That was all I needed.

“I’d like you to come to my home office tomorrow morning. I will send someone for you. It concerns Downhill Inc.”

“What about it?”

“I know it goes down the hill, Mike. And... I have a deal for you.”

“We’re not selling.”

“I’m not buying. Nothing will change, Mike. I promise. We will talk more details tomorrow and I have a hunch you will like my offer.”

He paused again and I gave him time to take it in and asses his options.

“Alright. I will see you tomorrow then.”

“Great, Mike,” I said hanging up and putting the phone away.

From the leather chair behind my desk I glare at Gio, who’s sitting across me and stares back at me, saying nothing.

I know he is waiting my orders.

“I need you to bring him here tomorrow at ten,” I finally tell him.

“What if she doesn’t want to come back, Lucas?” Gio replies, totally ignoring the order I’ve given him and boy, why do I wonder?

“She will come back. I just need to try harder. Until then Downhill Inc. needs to keep floating. I will have to keep it standing, Gio. For Becca. Did you bring the papers?”

“What is she doesn’t want to, Lucas? What will you do? Spend your life running...”

“I’m not giving up, Gio! Not now not later! Now give me the fucking papers.”

Sometimes he can become really annoying.

He takes out an envelope from the inside pocket of his black suit jacket and gives it to me.

I pick out the divorce papers and sign, folding them back and hand it to Gio like it was nothing but in reality my hand was shaking while signing the damn papers, barely scratching my name properly.

But fuck, no paper will decide if Becca is mine or not. She is mine, with or without the damn papers.

“I need my lawyers to send the papers back to her. If she still is Becca that I know, she will react. She will come back,” I answer to his question and wait him to pick the envelope from my stretched hand.

“Whatever floats your boat, Lucas,” Gio says not looking very convinced with my plan nor determined to insist anymore.

Well, I never cared very much of what others say. And I will definitely not start now.

And no matter how stupid my plans were, I would build new ones if the last ones failed, and again built new ones, till I had her back.

The next morning I started work quite early.

I was anxious like shit and didn’t have much sleep during the night.

Healey was supposed to come at 11am for the therapy session and I had to be done with Mike by then.

I tried to work some contracts, papers were scattered all over my desk and I was already gulping whiskey since morning.

Nothing was sitting right with me since I heard Becca left and now I was supposed to wait for another three months till I was able to travel.

I would have traveled already but mom and dad have insisted way too much that I should wait and reluctantly I gave in.

Waiting was the hardest. It has never been my strong point. I was missing Becca. I was lost, hurt and lonely and the days felt like years without her.

I was trying to gradually pull myself out of the mafia but I had strong doubts it wasn’t going to be that easy.

Arrangements for my parents to leave back home were in place as I needed time, space and less people to worry about.

I was doing much better and I had a strong will to get back on track with new deals but not before I met Becca.

She was my priority now. We were my priority.

I missed my kitten in my arms. I missed her smiles and whispers. I missed the innocence in her green eyes pooling in tears whenever I kissed her and loved her and told her she was my world.

Because she was my world, she was my nest, my home, my whole life.

I felt sweat forming on my forehead like every time when my thoughts were traveling back to her. It was torture, it was my hell.

A knock at the door made me snap my head up and I saw Gio coming in, followed by Mike.

I grabbed my walking stick and stood up, strolling around my desk, stretching my hand to him and shaking it in a stronghold.

“Mike, happy you could make it. Have a seat,” I told him showing him one of the chairs in front of my desk while the other one was taken by Gio.

“I have to admit that your call has taken me by surprise, Mr. Tate,” he said while sitting.

His face was hard, emotionless but I had a hunch he wouldn’t refuse my proposal.

“Call me Lucas, please. I believe we have the same interests over here. We are in the same boat, Mike.”

“Okay. I am listening,” he said stretching his legs and leaning against the backrest of the leather chair.

I walked to the mini bar and fixed three glasses of whiskey handing him and Gio one each and bringing mine on the desk, taking my seat back on my chair.

“I will be as straightforward as I can, Mike. My intentions are to bring Becca back home,” I said bluntly and I see him frowning his eyebrows, piercing his eyes into mine.

“Go on,” he encouraged.

“But that is not going to be easy. As you probably know... or not, Vincenzo Benito has her in Italy and it is going to be easy to take her back. Meanwhile I want to secure her financial independency and for that we need to keep Downhill Inc. floating. So my proposal is that you travel to her mother’s place and have her convinced to sign an empowerment paper to me, to handle the board of Downhill Inc. Any decision to be made will be discussed with you before it’s taken. The board will stay the same although I know what they are doing but I will have power of decision and the moment Becca is back, she’ll take control as CEO and I pull myself out.”

Mike kept listening to me patiently and nodded a few times.

“It will be all legit,” he said in a deep voice. “Nothing fishy, Tate. I won’t have Rebecca dragged into your mafia world again.”

“All legit, Mike. I am cleaning all my shady businesses as well and Downhill Inc. will not be touched.”

He nodded again, pressing his lips in a thin line and took a few moments to think.

He rolled the liquid in his glass with a slow movement of his wrist before he threw all of it down his throat and stood up with a snap.

“Okay, Lucas. You have a deal. Let’s bring Rebecca back home. She doesn’t belong in a place swarming with murders, guns and drugs.”

I smirk in satisfaction and stand up, walking around the desk and shaking his hand.

“Good choice, Mike. I am happy we are on the same side. We will plan together the return of Becca back home. Gio will let you know how to find her, at the proper time.”

He nods and turns towards the door but before he exists he shifts his eyes back at me, staring intensely and my heart shrunk. I was afraid he had second thoughts.

“But Tate, if you hurt Rebecca again... I will kill you with my own hands.”

I was not surprised. I knew he would do it the first chance he had.

“If she doesn’t do it first,” I answer confident that it won’t happen. “Mike, I rather die before hurting her again.”

"You don't grow when you're comfortable."
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