Isabella’s posture became tense as she heard footsteps coming up from behind her. Footsteps she didn’t recognize. She turned on her heel, shock and fright flashing across her features as she came eye to eye with Leone.
‘’What are you doing here?’’ Isabella said, hostility radiating off her.
Leone took another step into the walk-in closet making Isabella take one backwards.
‘’I’m here to take what is mine.’’
‘’I think you’ve come to the wrong place unless you’ve made a change in wardrobe.’’ Isabella tried stalling time. The second she saw Leone, she speed dialled Giovanni with the phone in her pocket.
Leone let out a light chuckle and diminished some of the distance between them. In response, Isabella widened the gap again resulting in Leone to do the opposite.
‘’Don’t be so cold.’’
If possible, Isabella would have repeated her previous action so he wouldn’t be in arm’s reach but the wall prevented that.
‘’Go away, Leone. There is nothing here for you to take.’’
He grabbed her chin with a tight grip and lowered his voice, ‘’I’m better for you than Giovanni. You can’t trust him. He kept your brother’s side job a secret and will have no trouble doing the same in the future.’’
Her heart thudded loudly against her throat and she did everything to escape panic clawing at her.
‘’And I should trust you?’’ Isabella scoffed and pushed him with everything she had, making him stumble. ‘’You don’t get to decide who is better for me,’’ she said getting angry, her breathing loud and uneven.
Her spoken words were a dagger to Leone’s heart. Even though he didn’t spend a lot of time with Isabella and could only admire her from afar, he believed he was in love with her. Ever since he saw her on Vincenzo’s wedding, he had his eyes set on her and every time he saw her with Giovanni, betrayal flowed through him. The feeling added fuel to the fire within him as it made him feel even more vengeful toward Giovanni. In Leone’s eyes, Giovanni had everything he wanted; the title of Don and Isabella.
With the clock ticking, Leone was getting anxious and grabbed Isabella by the wrist. If talking her into going with him didn’t work, he had no problem using force.
‘’I have to say, I thought you’d be more obedient than this, Isabella.’’
At that exact moment, Giovanni barged into the walk-in closet, rage immediately filling him by what he saw.
With his back now facing Isabella, Leone was quick to reach for his gun in the back of his trousers. Isabella had other plans, she grabbed the gun before Leone did and hurled it across the room so it would be out of his reach.
Giovanni quickly shot Leone in both legs causing him to fall on his knees and groan in pain. It looked like Leone had something to say but before he could, Giovanni hit him into an unconscious state with the bottom of his gun.
‘’Did he hurt you?’’ Giovanni held her, his hands on her shoulders and his eyes searching for any physical damage.
Hearing the gentle tone of his voice brought a tiny smile on her face that was in stark contrast with the trembling of her body. ‘’I’m fine.’’
Giovanni brought Isabella to him, holding her tightly and kissed her on the temple. Chasing her fright away was all he wanted right now. He cooed sweet words to calm her down and asked her if she indeed was fine.
‘’I will be.’’ Isabella leaned back, her eyes moving toward Leone. ‘’What will happen t-‘’
‘’Just leave that to me.’’
Eventually, Giovanni dragged Leone to the basement of the mansion. He dropped him onto the cement floor and called Vincenzo and Raffaele. The three of them waited in the same sport until Leone regained consciousness.
Leone groaned before looking around the room and sitting up, his back leaning against the wall. ‘’Three against one? That’s not really fair.’’ He smiled bitterly.
‘’You fucking traitor!’’ Raffaele spat.
‘’Me? A traitor?’’ Leone scoffed loudly. ‘’Isn’t it a little suspicious that not only the Don himself but the person that would follow in his footsteps are taken out.’’
Leone knew he was physically incapable of getting out of this situation without using manipulation. Making them doubt each other was his only hope.
‘’What are you going on abou-‘’ Vincenzo started saying.
‘’Just think about it! Giovanni has motive to kill them. It’s not strange to think that he’s the one behind it. With Dante standing in his way, he would never have been able to become Don.’’ Leone’s gaze flickered from Vincenzo to Giovanni.
‘’That’s it! You’re crossing the fucking lin-‘’
Leone cut Raffaele of by saying, ‘’Come one, Raffaele. Think! People are selfish and will do anything to get what they want to achieve their goal.’’
‘’Are you talking about me or yourself?’’ Giovanni’s voice was cold enough to make Leone gulp.
‘’Vincenzo?’’ Leone looked with desperation in his eyes at his brother.
Vincenzo shook his head. ‘’Giovanni is the embodiment of loyalty. He wouldn’t do something like that.’’
‘’Are you calling me a liar, Vincenzo?’’
‘’I used to be proud to call you my brother,’’ Vincenzo said through his gritted teeth. The expression masking his face was one of hurt, betrayal and disbelief.
‘’You’re going to abandon me for them? I’m your blood!’’ Leone raised his volume, his voice bouncing off the walls.
Out of guilt, Vincenzo avoided meeting his brother’s gaze, focusing on Giovanni’s back instead. He felt repulsed by Leone’s actions but still loved him. Taking one last look at his little brother, Vincenzo turned around and left the room knowing he would never see him again.
Once the door shut, Giovanni let a bullet graze Leone’s arm and shot him one more time in his leg, the same spot where he hit him earlier that day. It was cruel but Giovanni wanted to make him suffer. A quick and painless death was not on the table.
‘’Why?’’ Raffaele’s question to Leone made Giovanni halt and lower his gun.
‘’Does it matter?’’ Leone mumbled as he barely had any strength left to speak.
Much like his father, Leone was a man who wanted power and money. Two things he believed were unattainable as he wasn’t born a De Rege. He pitied himself because of it. Killing the people he grew up with saddened him but it didn’t stop him. His hate triumphed. The only thing he wished for was the destruction of the De Rege family.
Leone’s shoulders were slumped and had the look of a dead man in his eyes. Similar to Vincenzo, Leone was prideful and wasn’t going to beg for his life. To him, keeping his pride intact was more important. There was no way out; he knew this was the end.
The pool of blood around Leone grew larger while Giovanni and Raffaele waited until Leone lost all of his blood. The younger brother moved closer and checked Leone’s pulse.
‘’I’m alive,’’ Leone said in a weak voice.
Thirty seconds later he died.
Meanwhile, Vincenzo drowned himself in alcohol as that was the only way he knew how to deal with the death of his family.