“Hurry up!” I shout at the men as the load the cargo onto the planes.
There are two private jets and two helicopters on the strip being stacked with guns, explosives and other weapons. The men move co-ordinately, effectively packing for the battle ahead.
“Based on the pace we’re going we’ll be up in the air in an hour,” Adonis informs as I walk around the strip, ensuring everything is running smoothly.
My eyes look over to the clearing where Dria and Daniel stoop trying to contact their man in Spain. We will be in the air for two hours and anything can happen within that time so they’re trying to use satellite technology to keep us connected on a specific frequency while in the air.
Watching Giovanni and being knowledgeable of his moves is the main priority, he won’t hesitate to fuck us over and that is not an option.
“We have fifty men accounted for here plus each compound in the states is sending ten. That brings your total up to 120, not including the men scouting out Giovanni’s compound in Jaca,” Adonis in forms as we make our way back to the first jet where Johnattan and Christina are talking between themselves.
Christina has decided to stay back and keep an eye on Indiana. Johnattan doesn’t want to leave her by herself nor does he want her on the battlefield but he is needed for the plan we have to work.
He hugs her, cradling her to his chest whispering something into her ear. Watching them, I can’t help but think about Ana, she is still unresponsive but stable and healthy. Our baby is also in good health and growing at the appropriate pace.
She’s fighting and keeping our child safe, now it’s my time to keep my promise.
“Good, find Jasper and Raphael and ensure each team knows what is expected of them. I want no fuck ups,” I say narrowing my eyes at him, I meant business if my daughter is harmed in any way because of their incompetence, death on the battlefield would be better than what I’d do to them,
“Also has the team secured the landing site as yet?” I ask referring to the men we had sent forward to find a safe and secluded landing area near the meeting point.
“They have secured the area and divided into teams to scout areas to set up near the exchange site,” he advises before I wave him off and he leaves to carry out my instructions.
Giovanni Ferrez has no idea what he just started but I will finish it for him, indefinitely.
“You look ready for war,” Dria states as she approaches me, her hands in the pocket of her jeans pants.
“I’m ready to end this once and for all and have my daughter in my arms again,” I state sternly, crossing my arms against my chest. “Is the connection secured?”
“Yeah,” she nods, wiping the bead of sweat from her forehead. “He says there’s movement in the compound and a few vehicles leaving and entering but you’re men have been trailing them so, I’m sure that’ll be explained as soon as we land,”
I nod my head, happy to know I can trust these men to do what they are paid to do.
“It’s not an easy task to hack into a satellite Dria. I’ve been meaning to ask how you managed that without being tracked down.”
“Let’s just say that not everything the world’s governments mark off as space junk is unresponsive,” Dria smiles, a mischievous look in her eye. “I picked up the signal of a dormant satellite orbiting my area. I successfully got it online after days of slaving over my computer and disconnected it from its main server, now it’s mine.”
She puffs out her chest like a proud peacock and I have to say I am impressed, it takes serious skills to pull that off.
“That’s impressive,” I say genuinely in awe of her skills and she smiles, a broad one.
I nod before scouting the area, Christina and Johnattan are making their way towards us, hand in hand. Christina tries to smile but it doesn’t reach her glossy eyes.
“Hey,” she says softly as they stop in front of us. “How long until you guys leave?”
“An hour,” I reply and she nods, biting her lip.
“W-Well, I’m going back to keep Indie company,” she says with a tight-lipped smile.
She steps forward, releasing Johnattan’s hand, pulling Dria and I both in a hug.
“Stay safe and please come back to us, alive,” she pleads.
“I will,” I say hugging her with the arm around her waist and Dria hugs her with her right arm, gently patting her back.
“We’ll be careful,” Dria says and Christina pulls back, placing a kiss on both our cheeks.
She moves back into her husband’s arms and they move off towards the black SUV that is supposed to take Christina back to the compound. He pulls her into a toe-curling kiss that literally has majority of the horny ass men stopping to watch. Johnattan pulls back looking around at the onlookers and with one glare they get back to their tasks, keeping their heads down.
“They’re like the power couple, aren’t they?” Dria asks and my lips tilt in a smile.
“I guess you could say so,” I reply watching as Johnattan kisses his wife once more and helps her into the car, closing the door and watching as the car drives off.
Johnattan and I may have our disagreements but his love for his family is unquestionable and the support Christina gives him makes them in a sense a ‘power couple’ in their own right.
“It’s good to see that love still exists in this world,” Dria smiles, watching as Johnattan walks towards us, hand in pockets. “It gives me hope.”
I look down at her and a sad smile plays on her lips. “You don’t have-”
“Yeah, had… but no one that I genuinely cared for,” she states and I decide to drop the subject. I do not want to hear about my mother’s sex life, ever.
“Are we ready for this?” Johnattan asks standing beside me and I nod.
“We’ll be prepared for any tricks thrown at us,” I say confidently. “The plan is well thought out and should go smoothly.”
“Let’s hope so…” he says looking at the watch on his wrist.
“Expecting someone?” I ask with a raised brow.
“Ryan was supposed to meet us here,” he states folding his arms. “He should’ve been here by now.”
Ryan is ex-military so it is no surprise Johnattan called him in for backup. Plus, he’s practically family and once one member of this family is in danger, the entire family step in.
“I had the same idea,” I grin as the sound of motorcycles reach my ears.
The three of us turn towards the sound and I watch as two mountain motorcycles make their way into the clearing before drifting to a stop.
“I called in for backup as well,” I say as I make my way towards the newcomers.
They step off the motorcycles, decked out in bodysuits and helmets. The woman is the first to pull off her helmet and judging by the look in her eyes… I know I am in for it.
“Dylan,” she grits out stomping towards me. “I let you out of my sight for two weeks and my niece is in a fucking coma and her child kidnapped?!”
Aunt Shan’s eyes are lit with anger as she reaches me her finger pointing in my chest. Uncle Dimitri is behind her walking towards us, deadly calm and that puts me on edge.
“How could you let this happen?!” Aunt Shan yells out pulling my attention towards her.
“Elia betrayed us. She was working with Ferrez and orchestrated the attack, shooting Ana,” I explain, my expression controlled. “She then attacked Johnattan and Christina, taking Diana.”
“That fucking bitch! Cuando ponga mi mano sobre esa perra ... la voy a matar!” When I get my hand on that bitch... I’m going to kill her
“Calm down sweetheart,” Dimitri says pulling his wife against his chest, a firm arm around her waist as she lashes out in anger. “Save that fire until we’re on the battlefield.”
“I see Johnattan is here but what about Christina, is she okay?” he asks looking me in the eyes and Shan calms down, looking at me awaiting my answer.
His look relays multiple silent messages to me. I know he can see the distress and darkness clouding my eyes by the disapproving tilt of his lips. I can almost hear him telling me that I need to practice better control but I pay no mind. He may be my mentor but his words pale in the extremity of this situation.
“With Ana,” I answer. “She wants to stay with her while we rescue Diana. She trusts us to bring her back and decides she is better needed tending to her daughter.”
He nods in understanding, his eyes holding a look of determination, a determination in completing this mission, successfully. Dimitri and I are alike in the fact that we both have a dark side but we work hard to keep them concealed. His is an obsession with completing his mission, getting everything right and ensuring every mark is killed. This is a mental strain placed on him for years of being a bastard son but over time, he has gotten a wrap on it.
He is now stable but with me, it’s like walking in a minefield.
“Dimitri? Shanice?” I hear behind me, followed by footsteps coming towards us.
“Does he know about us?” Dimitri asks and I shake my head.
Johnattan joins the group with a confused look on his face, Dria behind him and both De’Santos freeze as they look at Dria.
The next fifteen minutes consist of both parties explaining questions asked and everyone being told the plan and what is expected of them.
“I can’t believe it’s you,” Shan smiles hugging Dria who hugs her awkwardly before pulling back.
“Capo, we’re ready,” Adonis says as he approaches us, going awestruck as he gazes at Dimitri.
“M-Mr. De’ Santos. I-It’s an h-honour,” he stammers bowing to Dimitri in respect.
Dimitri is well known in the business and well protected too so his face is known but no one dares to try him. He’s like an idol to Adonis, hence his idiocy.
“Adonis,” he nods at the blubbering idiot I call my second in command.
“Tell the men to start boarding. We’ll be there soon,” I say dismissing Adonis and he nods, scampering off.
“How long until Ryan is here?” I ask Johnattan, causing him to check his watch before looking behind Dimitri and Shanice.
We look in the direction he is facing to see a camouflage mountain jeep tearing towards us. The vehicle comes to a dusty stop beside us causing us to shield our eyes as the dust clears.
The man within the vehicle raises his sunglasses smiling at us. His grey and blonde hair is in a buzz cut, his grey eyes crinkling as he smiles and his complexion tan, indicating he’s been spending a lot of time in the sun.
“Ryan,” Johnattan says. “Good to see you again…though I’d prefer under better circumstances.”
“Me too, my friend. It’s good to see you Dylan, Dimitri, Shanice…” he greets climbing out of the jeep before locking his eyes on Dria. “…and who may I ask is this?”
Dria smiles, raising a brow before biting her lip and I narrow my eyes.
“Alexandria,” she replies holding out her hand to him and I raise my brow at the flustered look on her face.
“Beautiful just like its owner,” Ryan says kissing my mother’s hand, a look of interest in his eyes and I find myself clearing my throat, loudly.
“We leave now,” I say eying his hold on my mother’s hand. “We can brief you on the plane.”
Ryan nods while Dimitri, Shanice and Johnattan look amused at the situation.
“You’re right,” he says releasing my mother’s hand before reaching over and pulling a bag from the passenger seat. “We have some fuckers to kill and a princess to rescue.”
I nod and we start to walk towards the plane.
“So Dria, are you a family friend? Can’t say I’ve seen you around…”
At those words, I find myself glancing back at Ryan and Dria who are a bit too close for my liking. Ryan is what you call a man of no commitment and I would not hesitate to fuck him up if he plays my mother.
Aunt Shan who is beside me looks back at them and smiles before chuckling. “This is going to be a fun flight.”
I do up the buttons of my suit, a bulletproof concealable body armour strapped to my body and a gun tucked in my waistband. Straightening the navy blue suit, I walk towards the flaps of my tent and make my way outside.
The camp is noisy and busy. The men are rushing about, collecting weapons and uncovering the camouflage jeeps, hopping into them. Everything goes down in an hour and those who have not left yet are scurrying to their post.
I make my way through the crowd, entering a tent to my left and the occupants look up, a mood of sobriety in the room.
Johnattan, Dimitri and Dria stand in front of me dressed in full black with weapons strapped to their body. Daniel, Ryan and Shanice left half an hour ago to fulfil their tasks, now it is just us.
“Shanice and Ryan are at their posts. Their team is ready when you are,” Johnattan informs and I nod looking to Dria.
“Daniel is in position also and our hacker was able to pinpoint the vehicle your daughter was in and with your men’s help we tracked her to a warehouse not too far from the meeting site,” Dria adds. “It’s near the sea so we can make a clean escape when necessary.”
“We’re ready. You need to set the plan in motion,” Dimitri says and I see the darkness in him ready to be released. The demons in me itching to do the same.
“Let’s do this.”
Dimitri smiles, a sadistic smile that sends shivers down your spine and his eyes seem to bleed into black. Johnattan nods and Dria walks over to the bag at the corner of the room grabbing one of its contents.
“Earphones,” she says showing us the small dots laid in a clear plastic surface. “They are created to be almost invisible to the naked eye.”
She starts to work the room placing the microphones in our ear. “They look like ear moles to the average person so they aren’t noticeable. They are signed on to a special frequency that our guy will monitor, but they can still be scrambled. That’s where Daniel comes in.”
The device adheres to my skin and the line comes alive, causing me to wince at the multiple voices.
“The line is busy now because everyone is signed on but it will be clear in a few,” Dria says putting her own and the line starts to calm down.
“Okay so, I hope everyone is here.”
They reply in the affirmative, multiple voices filling our ears.
“Okay, that’s good. Now leave this line clear. You can turn off your mic by gently tapping the small button on the device,” Dria informs and soon the line is practically silent. “Now, Cristiano is the only one that should have his mic on throughout the mission. You turn yours on when it is absolutely necessary.”
“When Cristiano enters the meeting the connection will more than likely be scrambled,” Dria says looking at me. “Daniel will be onsite with a device to nullify the scrambler’s signal. That means for a window of five minutes, everyone will be deaf… This is just a heads up; we can’t have anyone freaking out on us.”
“Everyone knows their jobs so stick to it and don’t go off-script during this time,” Dria then presses her mic. “Anything to add, Cristiano?”
“This mission is important; therefore I expect it to go successfully. You all are capable, that is why you were enlisted. So don’t fuck this up.”
“He goes all out doesn’t he,” Adonis comments as the jeep turns the corner, the canopy of trees giving way to a large clearing.
A mansion occupies the space, the beauty of such a building breath-taking. With stone and concrete structures, multiple arches, columns and multiple balconies, the European Architectural styles pop out. The building has three floors respective to the ground floor. On the single slabbed area is a helipad on the roof, surrounded by shingle decked, hip roofs.
It’s like a resort nestled in nature.
“That he does,” I grit out watching as the man of our discussion steps out with a smile on his face.
The jeep pulls to a stop, the second one stopping behind it. My men exit the second vehicle, surrounding ours and Adonis opens his door leaving the front passenger seat to open my door.
I step out, Raphael exiting on the other side and the salty scent of the ocean hits me. The atmosphere is gloomy, the sky cloudy. The cool air surrounds us, leaves flying about in the wild wind.
I straighten my suit making my way towards the welcoming party.
Giovanni Ferrez stands in the centre of the crowd, clad in a black suit with his blonde hair brushing his shoulders. Roberto is beside him wearing a similar suit, a pleased smirk on his face. To Giovanni’s left is a teen that bears a striking resemblance to him, having the same blonde hair, facial features and blue eyes as his brother and father. He stays neutral wearing a grey suit, with a vest rather than a jacket, his gun tucked in his waistband.
“Silvestre,” Giovanni greets with a cunning smile. “Welcome.”
“Ferrez,” I say as I walk through the group of armed men positioned on either side of the pathway. “Quite a place you have here.”
I stop three feet away from him, keeping eye contact with a straight face. His face is relaxed and carefree but I know better than to believe that. Giovanni thrives on people taking him lightly, something I will not do.
“It is, isn’t it?” he grins before looking at Raphael and Adonis who flank me. “Adonis Divato… I remember you from the last time the late Mr. Silvestre and I did business but this one is new.”
“Raphael, my second in command from the states,” I supply an answer, eying his companions.
“I remember that son,” I say looking over at Roberto, my eyes not hiding the hate I hold for him before looking at the younger Ferrez. “…but this one is new.”
“Ah, this is my youngest, Shavanni,” Giovanni says looking over at his son with a proud smile. “He’ll be taking over soon in the states… He’s what you call a well-trained heir.”
The words cause me to tense but I don’t let it show. My father used those same words years ago when they did business. He always loved to entertain his partners with a show, using me as the main attraction. A son that could withstand fifteen lashes and stand the entire meeting without uttering a sound of pain. A well-trained heir.
Roberto’s lip twitches into a smirk at his father’s comment, having been there but I remain unaffected.
“I’m here for business not pleasantries,” I say sternly, narrowing my eyes at Giovanni. “Let’s get on with it.”
Nodding Giovanni gestures to his guards who circle my men, pointing their weapons at them. My men react instantly weapons out, aimed and cocked.
“You and those two may come but the others remain.”
Giovanni then turns his back heading into the building. Roberto and Shavanni watch us, expectantly and I step forward, walking past the brothers, my men behind me.
A frying sound greets my ear and I know the scrambler has been activated. Five minutes.
We walk through an impressive living area before making our way to a patio, my eyes alert, observing the room. The sea breeze blows harshly as we step onto the tiled patio and I take a deep breath, trying to calm the demons within me.
The occupants in the area look towards us, one a self-glorified smirk. Elia sits around the patio table in a stylish jumper, her hair in a ponytail and a deceitful look in her cold blue eyes. The other occupant is a teen in a well-tailored pantsuit; she has short brown hair, a tan complexion and big brown eyes. Her resemblance to Daniel is uncanny, confirming that she is his daughter.
Giovanni takes a seat next to Elia, placing a kiss on her lips before look up at me with a raised brow. Elia smiles at me coyly, tilting her head and a playful look in her eyes.
“Take a seat Silvestre,” Giovanni smirks and it takes everything in me not to pull out my gun and fuck up that bitch sitting next to him.
I do, however, take a seat opposite them, Adonis and Raphael staring daggers at the traitor in front of us.
“Anything to drink?” Giovanni asks and I decline but he sends the young girl into the house to fetch him and his bitch a drink.
“Cristiano, so good to see you again,” Elia smiles, taking a sip of the mimosa that is handed to her. “How is Indiana? Dead I presume?”
The men on either side of me make a move to end that bitch’s life but I hold up my hand, indicating for them to stop as Giovanni’s sons and Daniel’s daughter aim their guns at them.
Not yet… Get Diana out first then we can kill them all…I think calming the rage building in me. Diana’s safety comes first.
Adonis and Raphael both return to their posts, grunting under their breath. Both parties lower their guns, eying each other. Looking up at Giovanni who takes a sip of his liquor, I don’t miss the satisfied look on his face. He’s trying to rile me up but it won’t work.
“I’m here for my daughter not for small talk. I have no reason to want to be in your presence any longer than I have to,” I say with a tilt of my head, regarding him with a hard gaze. “Let’s get this out of the way.”
Elia looks at him and Giovanni nods, saying instructions in Spanish to his youngest causing Elia to pout. The kid returns minutes later with a large envelope in his hands before handing it to his father.
Putting down his drink, Giovanni sits up straight pushing the envelope towards me. I eye it before taking it and removing the papers and reading through the contract.
“It’s quite simple, Silvestre. I want more than just access to your area. I want a partnership.”
His words cause me to pause looking at him, marvelled by the balls this man has. He wants to stake a partial claim over my Mafia.
The frying sounds blare in my ear but not loud enough to startle me nor my men.
‘Finally Daniel, you went over time!’ I hear Dria hiss into the line.
‘It took a while, the wave current was harsh. It took a while to swim to shore,’ Daniel replies quietly, rustling sounding over the line. ‘I’m not too far from the Mansion; I can see Silvestre’s men being guarde-’
“You have a lot of balls Ferrez,” I say, reading over the contract while listening to those two bicker. “You expect me, to sign over half my father’s business to you when I have no proof that my daughter is actually here.”
The last part is more for Dria, Dimitri and Johnattan. They are tasked with rescuing Diana and I wanted an update.
’We’re on the first floor of the warehouse,’ Dimitri supplies. ‘We haven’t found her yet… Keep stalling.’
“She is here in the vicinity and you will have her once you sign that contract,” Giovanni states pushing a pen towards me.
“I’d be an idiot to trust you, Ferrez. Your bitch did shoot the mother of my child in the head,” I grit out, glaring at a giggling Elia.
“Guilty as charged,” she chuckles before leaning forward with a pout. “… I only did that because you were Charles’ and that whore’s bastard child and you needed to suffer as they made me.”
She tilts her head with a coy smile as I narrow my eyes at her.
‘Whore of a mother?!’ I hear Dria hiss into my ear. ’That fucking bitc-’
‘Alexandria, focus!’ Daniel hisses.
The line goes dead once again and I zone back in on Elia’s words.
“I took her from you just like your whore of a mother took him from me but whereas she took him emotionally, I took her physically so in away less painfully,” she says with a shrug, A fucking shrug.
“Enough, Elia,” Giovanni says waving his hand dismissively at her before looking at me. “You will get your daughter once the papers are signed.”
“I will not sign anything until I know where my daughter is and I want proof that she is indeed alive,” I drop the papers to the desk watching him, wanting to know what is next move will be.
“You know I can kill her with just one call,” he threatens and I harden my resolve.
“…and you know that if you kill her, everyone here dies. I have nothing else to live for if she’s gone Ferrez and I will take you all to hell with me,” I say my voice strong leaving no room for doubt. They don’t know that Ana is alive so my partial bluff won’t be underestimated. “Now, either you show me proof or I assume you’ve fucked me over and return the favour.”
‘The second floor is clear,’ I hear Dimitri say. ‘We are approaching the final floor, but something is wrong. We haven’t come across any guards as yet.’
‘Maybe they’re on the last floor,’ Johnattan chips in but even I can hear the doubt in his voice.
‘Just be on alert,’ Shanice says to them before addressing me. ‘We’ll be waiting on your signal once they’ve found her, Dy-Cristiano.’
Giovanni observes me and judging by his tight-lipped smile, I can see my words upset him. He taps his glass impatiently before holding out his hand and Roberto places a phone in his palm.
He dials a number and the man answers in fluent Spanish.
“Necesito hablar con el nina,” he says his, eyes never leaving mine. “Su padre quiere hablar con ella.”
He places the phone down on the table, pressing the speaker button.
The sound of her voice causes a wave of relief to go through me but I don’t break eye contact with Ferrez. He studies me, hoping to get a reaction but I don’t give him the benefit of one.
“Princepesa, are you okay? Are you hurt?” I ask.
“I’m okay Daddy. The Blonde man says you are coming for me today. I want to go home and see mommy,” she answers and I can hear the sadness in her voice.
Elia scoffs, sipping her drink before rolling her eyes. I grip the pen in my hand tightly trying not to jump this table a strangle her.
“It’s okay, you’ll be Daddy soon. Just think of Nala and what she told you.”
“To be a brave cub just like Kiara.”
Those words are the only indication I need to know this isn’t fake. Had it been pre-recorded they couldn’t have anticipated the question and had she been hurt her reply would be ‘to be a brave cub just like Kovu’.
I have no idea who came up with the code but it gives me a true insight on her state of being I don’t care how childish it sounds.
“Yes be Nala’s brave cub,” I reply and Giovanni looks amused as he reaches for the phone.
“Okay Da-” the call cuts and Giovanni hands the phone to Roberto before looking at me expectantly.
“You have your proof, now sign,” Giovanni quips looking at me keenly. “Adonis if my memory serves me right is a legal lawyer and over the years, Elia has also gotten her degree and the others serve as witnesses. Now sign the paper and get reunite with su hija.”
I hand the papers to Adonis who takes them stiffly, reading through. Elia looks around, boredom etched in her features and the teenager looked visibly the same. The girl, however, looks uncertain of herself and why she is here. The boy takes her trembling hand in his and they share a look, one I’m sure Daniel will have a field day with when he finds out.
‘On the third floor but there is no sign of her yet,’ Dria says, panic in her voice. ‘Something isn’t right Cristiano…’
“Capo, all is in order,” Adonis says handing me the papers. “A partnership, neither party allowed to kill the other after the deal is finalized. The deal uses The Mafia code of conduct. By raising a hand against the other party, the offending party loses its position. It will also become open season on said party and everyone in connection with them will be lynched.”
“That’s a lot of rules Ferrez. Scared of me, are you?” I ask trying to buy time. I need them to locate Diana.
“It’s a precaution. You can never trust anyone in this business plus hand this has been a partnership on friendlier terms… I still wouldn’t trust you,” he states with a straight face, his eyes suspiciously watching me. “Now sign the papers or are you trying to buy time?”
“Now why would you think that?” I ask placing the papers on the desk and clicking the pen. “I have no reason to scheme; after all, you are a fair business partner aren’t you?”
Giovanni narrows his eyes at me, his aura changing. His true self coming forth. His eyes become cold, calculative and his face as hard as granite.
“Make the right choice Silvestre. I am not one to take deceit lightly…”
‘We’re at the last room,’ Dria says and I hear a door being kicked in. ‘She’s not he—fuck! Johnattan get out of the way!’
An explosion goes off to our left miles away from the mansion, at what looks like a warehouse, catching everyone off guard. My ear rings as the sound waves from the explosion bang against my eardrums. It was a fucking set up!
A split second later, everyone is to their feet with their guns drawn, all except Giovanni who stands coolly fixing his suit. His blue eyes look with my twitching blue-green ones.
The line becomes frantic as Shanice, Ryan and Daniel call out to their respective loved one/friend, the confusion scaring them shitless.
‘Dimitri! What’s happening?!’… “Dria! Are you okay?!”… “Johnattan! Answer me!”
“I see you’ve made your choice, Silvestre. I hope it was worth it,” Giovanni smirks and the rage inside of me reaching its boiling point.
Giovanni Ferrez is a dead man.
I don’t know who fired the first shot or when my body went into action but everything went to hell in a matter of seconds. Each side out for blood, but none as bloodthirsty as the demons within me.