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

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Chapter 59 - The fresh air of countryside [Republished]


Come on in, sweetheart, don’t just stand there,” my mom says, opening the way for us. “Mike, it’s so nice to see you again,” she says and gives him a short hug.

Again? I wonder. She sounds like she has seen him yesterday.

We all walk in the living room and I can’t take my eyes from mom. She looks so good, healthy and not by far lost in a world where nobody is allowed. She is glowing with happiness and her eyes shining with joy.

“When did you return to NY?” she asks, and I’m getting suspicious. I thought that running away she would never want to know anything about anybody from her past, but it seemed I was wrong.

We’ve lost contact after that awful night. All my life I knew her so phased out, never in touch with the present day and yet, here she was, totally connected to reality, being the mother I had always wished her to be.

But I guess the one that has lost connection with her past was me only.

“Couple of weeks ago. I... I didn’t know you knew I was away,” I tell her.

“Mike called me when he found you. He also wanted me to give Lucas full control over the company. I did it without blinking. There was nobody else better than him for the job, so yeah, I had been informed about things,” she smiled to me, and I could read the admiration for Lucas in her eyes.

I frowned hearing his name and my heart stung at the memory of seeing Lucas with another woman, which didn’t go unnoticed.

“Sweetheart, what is it?” she asked, worried.

“I... think I better go, Ms. Downhill,” Mike said and stood up. “I have thinks to attend and I have a long way back,” he continues, and I know she just wants to give me and mom time alone.

“So soon?” my mom said, standing up to walk Mike to the door.

“Yeah. Rebecca will stay, for a few days. Just let me know when to come back and pick you up,” he tells me and I nod.

I hear them whispering something when they reach the door and Mike leaves.

I didn’t have any drop of power in me, so I don’t bother to ask what was the whispering about. I only want a shower and a good sleep.

Mom’s hand lands on my right shoulder and I flinch at her touch, pulled out of my thoughts. I give her a small smile and she gives me one back.

“I... think I will have a shower before dinner,” I tell her.

“Of course, baby. Come, let me help you to your room.”

I pick my bag and purse and follow mom upstairs.

“My room is down the hall. You may come to me anytime if you need anything,” mom says as we stop in front of a door which supposedly is mine and I walk past her into the room and she follows.

It is one astonishing room, I must say. Clearly my grandparents have saved more than enough for their old age. The room is big and designed in shades of white and gray.

“Where are grandpa and grandma?” I ask.

“Oh, boat trip. I swear, we have a thing or two to learn from them. They are some constant travelers,” she chuckles.

My phone buzzes in my purse and I pick it up, seeing a text flashing on the screen.

It is Lucas.

L: I am leaving the office in half an hour. Will I find you at your place, love?

I shut the screen and throw the phone on the bed, sitting myself on the bed, defeated and angry, crushing my head with the chin pinned in my chest. My mom stands in the middle of the room, quiet and watching me. I can almost feel her stare burning crown of my head.

“Rebecca, are you alright, sweetheart?” she says and walks closer to me, sitting next to me and laying one hand on mine, squeezing lightly. “What is it, honey?”

“I am okay, mamma, just a little tired,” I reply, doing my best to look confident in what I say.

She nods and decides not to insist.

“Dinner will be ready in an hour,” she says, caressing my head in soft touches. “I am so happy you came. I missed you so much, sweetheart,” she says and plants a kiss on my forehead. I feel her nose diving into my hair, sniffing my scent.

I nearly burst into tears. The latest events have crashed over me in such a short time, and they nearly feel like stones on my chest.

“I am so sorry, mamma,” I tell her.

“What, on earth, for?” she seems genuinely surprise.

“Because I didn’t come earlier to see you.”

“That’s okay, sweetheart. You came when you felt was right. And I am grateful for it.”

I turn to my right side and give mom a strong hug, cuddling in her arms, needing nothing more but her warm arms.

“Now, refresh and get comfy, sweetie,” she says with her voice almost in tears.

“Sure, mamma. I will be down stairs once I am done,” I say, trying to pass quickly the awkwardness of this moment of closeness between mom and I.

Don’t get me wrong, it is lovely to reconnect with mom, but I haven’t expected it to happen to fast and it was overwhelming.

“Okay baby,” she says, standing up clumsily and walks out.

My phone kept buzzing after I disposed it on the bed, but I didn’t care. I know it is Lucas, probably going nuts because I don’t reply.

I picked the phone from where I threw it earlier and saw four more messages.

L: Becca, honey, are you sleeping?

L: Honey, I am on my way to your place. I can’t wait to give you that punishment you deserve for keeping me horny all day.

L: Where are you, baby? Still waiting your reply.

L: Rebecca, this is going to generate one more punishment. If you keep quiet, I am going to double the spanks. That’s a promise. You better be waiting me, naked and ass up, like a good girl.

A tear escapes my eye while I read all those nice words.

All lies.

I wipe off my tears, manning up and standing to pick out some fresh clothes from my bag when suddenly my phone rings.

Of course it is Lucas!

Most probably he reached my home and didn’t find me. God, he must be fuming! But hey, he should have thought twice before betraying me and lying to me.

I look at the phone for a moment, my heart aching, squeezed in a deadly grip of an unseen claw. I already miss him and I am almost tempted to answer, but I confront the urge to hear his voice and decide not to.

If I answer, most probably he will trace the call and find me in matter of hours. I don’t want to see him, not right now, anyway.

I am hurt and angry and I am here with another task to which I want to give my full mind.

So I reject the call and turn off my phone, throwing it back on the bed.

I take my sweet time under the shower, the hot water relaxing my stiff muscles, and when I feel it is enough, I get out, drying my skin with a puffy towel. It felt so homy here, in the same house with mom.

Putting on a pair of leggings and a loose top, I get downstairs to find mom in the kitchen, having dinner ready.

“Feeling better, sweetheart?” she asks when I come to her vision.

“Yeah, much better. And I am starving,” I tell her, sitting at the table already prepared for dinner.

It smelled heavenly.

Mom cooked chicken pasta with olives. One of my favorites. I don’t even remember when I felt so hungry last time. This is new, really, because lately I eat just to keep myself alive, feeling hungry almost never.

But right now, I could eat the entire pot.

“Smells really good, mamma,” I tell her and I see happiness growing in her eyes.

She sits as well across the table and we start eating in silence. Or at least this what I have hoped for.

“So, how is Lucas?” she asks a bit reluctant, not knowing what to expect from me.

“Good, I guess,” I answer coldly.

“Have you two met?”

“Yes, we have,” I reply without too many details. She nods and doesn’t insist more.

We finished our meal in the silence I wanted, and I felt really good having some food in my stomach.

“Shall we have tea on the patio? Maybe catch up with things,” she suggests, and I understand from her tone that she knows I have a reason to visit her besides wanting to see her.

“Sure, I said,” standing up and helping her to clean up the table.

“You can just leave them in the kitchen. Ms. Thompson will take care of them tomorrow morning,” mom says I do as I was told. “Go on, now. Go to the patio and relax, sweetie. I will bring the tea.”

“Okay, mamma,” I say and leave the room not before I give her a short hug.

The evening air is quite chilly here. It smells clean and refreshing, unlike the stiff air of NY. My mom’s place is out of the city, with plain land around the mansion.

I breathe in the air and a scent of freshly cut grass teases my nostrils.

I sit on one of the chairs and lean my head against the backrest, enjoying the peace around, the silence that allows me to hear only the beats of my heart, my poor broken heart.

I hear the door opening and here comes mom with two steaming mugs.

“If you feel chilly, there are some blankets in the box next to the table,” she says, putting one mug on the table and sitting on the chair next to me.

“Oh, that’s great. I really need one,” I reply and pick a blanket from the box, spreading it over me and tucking it under my chin. “It is really peaceful here,” I say, gazing as far as the open land allows and let me tell you, it is endless.

“It is. I came back here when I felt my life all broken and no future for me in NY. This peaceful place and the fact that mom was here helped me a lot. It wasn’t easy though,” her voice cracked and she suppressed her emotions, sipping from her tea.

“I think I will stay for a while, if that’s okay with you,” I say, breaking the awkward moment of silence and turning my eyes towards mom.

“If that’s okay with me? Sweetheart, it is always okay with me, for as long as you need this home is yours.”

“Thank you, mamma,” I tell her and move my glare back to the landscape.

My eyes get sleepy and I close them for a moment, cuddling some more under the blanket, a wave of comfort washing over me and it makes me smile.

I don’t know what it is, maybe being far from NY and thus from the heartbreaker Lucas, being here in the country side where the air is so fresh and chilly or maybe just because I am with my mom, but there is this feeling of satisfaction making me sleepy and hungry, somehow... normal, I could say.

I know I’ve come here with a certain reason, but right now it seems to have taken the second place.

I don’t have my mind to Salvatore or Marciano and mom, I just throw myself into this peaceful moment, being with my mom, breathing in the freshness around.

I must have dozed off because when I open my eyes it is already dark out and my mom is bent over me, smiling and calling my name.

“Rebecca, sweetheart, wake up. Let’s move you to your room,” she says, and I gaze into her eyes for a second before I completely clear up my mind.

“Oh, my God, I fell asleep here,” I reply.

“Asleep? You were rocking the patio snorting, honey,” she laughs while I stand up and wrap the blanket around me.

“Mamma, can we go out tomorrow? I feel like eating ice cream,” I tell her while we both walk in the house.

“Ice cream?” she asks, dumbfounded.

“Yeah...” I said, chuckling. “Can you imagine? In fact, do you still have some leftovers of the dinner, please? I feel a little hungry,” I said but I lied.

I feel hungry, like a bull.

“Of course, baby. Come on, go in your room and I will bring some to you after I warm it up.”

“Thank you, mamma,” I reply and lean forward to kiss her cheek.

I went upstairs and as soon as I entered my room I felt the air heavy, difficult to breathe. I thought it was probably because I got used with the fresh air outside so I go straight to the window, opening it wide as sudden wave of heat makes my cheeks burn.

“What on Earth is going on with me?” I ask myself, tapping lightly on my heated cheeks with the back of my hands.

I walk into the bathroom where I splash some cold water on my face, hoping to bring my face to the normal temperature. Couldn’t say it worked.

As soon as I am back in the room, the door opens and mom comes in with a tray in her hands, bringing with my food.

My eyes widen like I haven’t seen food for days and rush to sit on the bed so I can eat.

“Thank you, mamma,” I say, stuffing the food into my mouth.

“Welcome, sweetie,” she replies, sitting on the bed in front of me, tucking a strand of my hair behind my ear. “Mike called, honey. He said he couldn’t reach you. Your phone is off.”

“Yeah, something is wrong with it. It doesn’t turn on anymore. I might need a new one,” I lie and do my best not to look her into her eyes. She would have definitely understood I was lying.

I’m lying too much lately.

“Here, you can call him from my phone and tomorrow we will get you new one,” she says and picks the tray with the empty plate as I’m done eating.

I rub my belly with my both hands, feeling satisfied with a full stomach and releasing a sigh.

“That was good. Now I am better,” I say and escape a light belching which embarrasses me to my cores and I cover my mouth with my hands, looking amused to my mom.

She laughs loudly while walking towards the door.

“That’s the best compliment to my cooking I had in years,” she says, and we both laugh this time. “Good night, baby. See you in the morning,” she says.

“Good night, mamma,” I reply before she closes the door behind her.

I pick her phone and dialed Mike’s number.

“Rebecca, how are you?” he asks, answering after the first ring.

“I am well, how are you?”

“Your phone is fucking off, Rebecca,” he continues, not bothering to answer my question.

“I know, I turned it off.”

“Why?” he asks, and I hear him shifting with a groan of pain escaping his mouth.

“Are you okay, Mike? Are you hurt?”

“A bit. Don’t worry about me. Lucas is going crazy over here. He turned all NY upside down. He has his men all over the place and your home is being watched 24/7.”

“He hurt you, didn’t he?” I ask him, worried.

“Don’t worry, Rebecca. I won’t tell him where you are. He will find you eventually, but until then you can have some quiet time over there,” he replies and I am almost tempted to call Lucas and give him nicely for being such a brute. “How is your mom treating you?” he asks, and I smile.

“Really good. Seriously, she is so much different from what I remember her,” I reply and yawn into the phone.

Mike laughs and I apologize.

“I don’t know why, but I feel so sleepy since I arrived here. I guess it is the fresh air of the countryside,” I tell him.

“Go to sleep now, Rebecca. We will speak tomorrow some more,” he says.

“Thanks,” I say laying down almost falling asleep even before I had the chance to hang up.

We say our goodbyes and let myself drift in a blessing sleep.

"You have the power to create change."
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