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

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Chapter 61 - Marce’s love [Republished]


When I woke up, the sun was raised and shining, peeking his rays through the parted curtains of my room.

With my face buried in the pillow and only one eye clear to open, I rolled my eyeball around the room while clearing my head and slowly shaking up my senses from the deep sleep I’ve had, recognizing the room in my mom’s house. Since I’m with mom, I’m having some of the deepest sleeps and in the morning I need some long moments to come around and be aware of the place I am staying right now.

My stomach growls, feeling damn hungry.

“Jeez, I’m becoming an eating monster,” I mumble before sitting up, my legs hanging down the bed’s edge while I rub my hands on my face, clearing my eyesight.

I walk in the bathroom with a full bladder and I smile, grateful I made it in time to empty it.

I had a good sleep, a very good sleep actually, and I was wondering what time was it when a knock on the door made me raise my eyes from my lap.

“Rebecca?” I hear my mom calling me softly.

“In the bathroom, mamma,” I shouted her back and then I realized I didn’t call her mamma since I was a child.

And it surprised me how naturally that came to me and I smiled to myself, feeling good at its comfort.

The way I saw my mother now filled my heart with an unexplainable peace, as if some part of myself that was long lost got back to its place.

I used to feel so lonely before, like I had no one in my life but myself and Lucas. Now it feels like there is this one woman filling the gaps and soothing my lonely heart, and that woman is my mom.

“Honey, it’s 10am. Did you have a good sleep?” she is asking while I hear her shuffling around the room.

I open the door of the bathroom and I see her collecting my clothes from the floor, probably to take them to the laundry room and I melt right there and then, feeling to have recovered the motherly love I’ve been missing so much along the years.

I couldn’t stop myself and jumped into my mom’s arms, holding her strong and smiling happily.

She made a step back, bouncing under the force of my hug, and she wrapped her arms around me, holding me tight.

“I’ve missed you so much, mamma,” I tell her.

“Oh, honey...” she whispers, tears blocking her breath, swallowing her words. “I’ve missed you too, my baby. I am so sorry, sweetheart, for not being the mother you deserved and thank you for giving me the chance to catch up with that now.”

“It’s okay, mamma. We all had our reasons and we did the best we thought it to be at that time,” I tell her and I am truly honest by saying that.

I had my own mistakes and wrong doings to deal with and so was my mom.

Maybe, just maybe she had with Marciano what I had with Lucas and we both did stupid things for the men we loved and actually that was what lifted us up to humans with heart, loving, doing stupid things for that love, suffering and loving again, putting our lives on the line and loving again.

It was the best time I had with my mother since… ever.

Ten days have passed since I came to her place and we did so many silly things together.

Shopping though was the best. She was a queen of shopping, not by spending enormous amounts of money but knowing exactly the right places we could buy the best things.

Today she took us to a mall and while we were passing by a White Company shop my eyes got caught by a baby crib, all white with pink and gray blankets and pillows, and a plush puppy laying on it.

I slowed down my steps, staring at the most beautiful baby crib I had ever seen, and my heart stung strongly, thinking of my baby that I’ve lost and remembering Lucas’ pain in his eyes that day in the hospital.

It was no doubt he suffered just as much as I did.

Suddenly the feeling of missing him overwhelmed me and my eyes become watery while I was still staring at the crib through the window and I knew the tears were not for my baby anymore, they were for Lucas, tears of missing him so damn much because I somehow had always known I was not alone in this suffering of losing our baby, it was the two of us, sharing the feeling of loss just as much as we were sharing the feeling of love.

I felt my heart melting at the thought of Lucas. I was falling in love with him all over again, if that was even possible, because I never stopped loving him, but this time was different, stronger and truthful, that much that the woman I saw with him that day stopped existing.

I haven’t heard about him since I switched off my old phone.

I’ve got a new one but he never called and it was not like him not to dig the entire earth to find me, even if he had to do it with his bare hands. I was absolutely sure he knew where I was.

I definitely knew he had found me by now and most probably he was somewhere out there, watching me, or Gio was keeping an eye on me. I was so sure of that because it was too quiet around me.

And it was quiet only when he knew where I was and when he had me under his watch. And the fact that he didn’t insist to come out and fetch me back home came to me a sign of our love becoming stronger and more mature.

We never spoke about it in actual words, but I had showed him more than once that I needed to change and be stronger in order for our relation to become stronger, our love to grow unbreakable by any of my depressed moods, stupid acts or evil coming from outside.

I will always regret trying to kill myself because I’ve never seen Lucas so weary, so sad and broken like he was in those days in the hospital.

Yes, he was rough and possessive but exactly that possessiveness was melting my heart because that’s what Lucas was, a brute in love head over ears, who would turn the entire world upside down, over and over again, for me and as strange as it might seem, by his side was where my place had always been, as part of his wholesome and him a part of mine and it was about time I claimed my spot back, in his life, with him, in his home.

So I decided that this evening I would have that talk with my mom, clear the things up and let her know I have learned about her past and help her come clean with it.

I had a strong feeling that their story would be a big part of solving the matters with the Benitos and we could finally put it behind us, all of us.

“Mamma, you are the best cook, I swear,” I tell her, leaning back against the backrest of the chair to stretch my filled stomach, releasing a long sigh of satisfaction.

“Well, I do believe you, honey. You’ve been eating like a wolf since you came. That’s healthy, you know?”

“I don’t know about healthy, but I know I really enjoy your cooking.”

I was eating like a wolf alright. I was living like a healthy woman since I came here. I had some of the best sleep, it felt like all things in my life were taking their rightful turn.

“Tea, on the patio?” she asked and I don’t know why she did that because it was already our evening routine and it always went without saying.

“Is that even a debate, mamma?” I said and stood up, rubbing my hand on my belly.

Damn, I was doing this way too often lately, but it felt natural, although there was nothing sexy about it.

I felt like a bear pleased with a stuffed stomach after devouring its meal, and then I mentally wondered what Lucas would think about it, seeing me every time walking around like a stuffed chicken and sighing all along for feeling so full.

Mom came out onto the patio where I was already sitting, daydreaming about me and Lucas.

“Thank you,” I smiled to her when she gave me the steaming mug of tea.

“You’re welcome, sweetheart,” she replied and took a seat next to me. “So...,” she said, and then she paused for a moment and I grabbed the opportunity.

“Mamma, there is a reason I came here for,” I start.

“I know, sweetheart,” she replies, confident, looking nowhere around surprised. Mamma is a smart woman.

“There have been things going on, mamma, things I’ve learned about and...”

“I am so sorry, honey,” she said abruptly. “I am so sorry I couldn’t keep you safe. I am so sorry I allowed your father torturing us for so long. I am so sorry for shutting you out and never having been the mother I should have,” she continued and by now her eyes were pooling in tears she couldn’t control.

My heart breaks seeing her like this, but I have to go on. I have to find a way to end Benito’s story, and that solution might be my mother.

“How did you meet Marciano?” I asked bluntly.

She snaps her head towards me with a sharp breath, my question being the last thing to expect.

She sighed deeply, preparing herself. She wiped her tears and took her sweet time to choose her words.

“You were seven years old at that time. Your father was in businesses with Marce for two years already and he had been visiting us quite often.”

I raise my eyebrows in surprise hearing my mom still calling him by his pet name and it melted my heart. It sounded heavenly coming from her lips.

“The businesses they had could only be discussed in the perimeters of our home where they were safe. I never agreed with your father’s way of life. It used to put us always in danger, always having to look over our shoulders, always having around men with guns to protect us. I had two kids and I couldn’t stand the thought of something happening to them. I used to talk with your father about it but it never ended good... for me,” her voice cracked, most probably reliving the violence of my father.

“Marce was coming to our home quite often, maybe more often than it needed for the business. Whenever our eyes met, I could see them softening and piercing to the depth of my heart,” she smiled as if shaping him in front of her eyes and then I knew she still kept some of her love for him deep in her heart. “I used to attend their meetings, your father was proud when he had me cooking their dinner or making their coffee or filling their glasses when they were in his office but the times when I was not... presentable, I used to sit in my room, hiding. It soon became suspicious to Marce until one evening when I saw him flinging the door opened and barging in, giving me no time to hide my face...,” she paused again.

I should have stopped her right there and then. She was tormented by those memories, but I needed them.

“I tried to run but he just flew next to me and grabbed my shoulders, pinning me in front of him, staring at my bruised face and arms and the more he looked, higher the flames in his eyes were growing. Without a word, he scooped me in his arms and ran out of the house to his car and took me to his home. I should have stopped him. I should have known better than leaving that night because that was the cause of all our suffering, but I was in love. I was so much in love and I knew he loved me too because every time he was around our eyes would never wonder anywhere else but to each other. He promised me he would take you and your brother, too. I trusted him with my life and I knew he would do anything to bring you two to me, but your father proved himself to be worse than I believed and he threatened to harm you and Peter if I didn’t get back home. Soon war started, and one night he did manage to get in Marce’s house and took me by force. And then the war between Marce and him was even higher, and the beatings got even harder. Mike had to take me to hospital a few times and in one of those times I learned about... having lost my baby.”

I gasped, and only then I realized the tears streaming out of my eyes.

“That was the moment I decided to end all things. It was enough death around us, enough blood on my hands, enough killing because of me, because I knew for a fact that Marce will not stop until he had me back and I knew your father will not stop either from harming you if that would have happened. So I asked Mike to drive me to Marce’s place straight from the hospital. I told him to stop everything. I told him I was lost for a moment and that actually I didn’t love him and I didn’t want him anymore. I told him I was in love with you father and I wanted to stay with him.”

“Oh, mamma…” I whispered and crouched in front of her, taking her hands in mine, squeezing lightly.

My always lost mother that seemed to live in a parallel world was actually a deeply bruised woman, not only physically by the hand of my father but also emotionally, by loss of the man she loved.

No wonder she shut everyone out, living in her own dimension for the rest of her life, and yet here she was, in front of me, very much connected, with eyes still flickering with love whenever she would roll Marciano’s name on her lips.

"Doubt kills more dreams than failure will."
Suzy Kassem
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