Mafia Puppet

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15 | the breakup line

"HELLO," A RASPY voice answered. It felt like my heart was going to jump out of body. I was so relieved to hear her voice again.

"Arianna," I breathed out, my voice trembling. "Ar-are you okay, Anna?" I asked.

"Yes, of course I am. Are you okay? I am sorry that I couldn't be at your wedding and I didn't know if you were allowed to call," she rushed out.

I looked toward the door to make sure no one was there before talking. "It's not as bad as I thought and it's okay. I understand why you weren't. Is everyone okay at home?"

She sucked in a sharp breath. "If you're asking if Father changed his ways then no, nothing is different. In fact, it's worse because the Don's bodyguards have left with you. We are fucking stuck in this life! We women are always puppets in the hands of these men. We are the dolls that they could ruin whenever they want. We are the things they could play with and throw away. It just gets worse with the stupid so-called husband. I hate this! I hate everyone. I just want to leave," she spoke so bitterly that even I flinched but nevertheless, I knew everything she said was right.

We were puppets. I was a mafia puppet. And the fact that everyone in the Family knew and decided to do nothing about it disturbed me by a ton. Instead of fighting together, us women fought each other for their attention. We were utterly pathetic and it was no secret that women tended to be smarter and more vengeful than men but when one tried to speak up, another woman would shut her down. Women were also the enemies of women, not only men.

"Arianna," I warned. There was a panicked edge to my voice. "Don't do anything stupid. There is no escape."

It was the bitter truth. If I could have then I would've. I even laid out my options when I was studying but Father caught up to my plans and gave me a solid beating. I was in the hospital for days. Arianna was my sister who always acted in rash and one day it would get her in major trouble. Father wouldn't give a damn because he had me—his golden puppet.

"You haven't even tried!" she cried.

I was silent as I let her sob. "Trust me on this Anna. If there was an escape, we wouldn't have been here and I could even tell you that this call is probably being taped."

"What?" She didn't know?

"Yeah, so don't make any stupid decisions like running away or even stupider decisions like killing yourself. I live because of you, sunshine. You are my light because I know you'll always be there when others turn away."

She chuckled. "Likewise. I love you."

"I love you too."

"Call me later, okay. I think someone's coming."

I huffed out in annoyance before mumbling a farewell. I wanted to talk more but I didn't want to get her in trouble either. If the Don found out I've called someone without his permission then he'd slaughter me. Not only that but I picked up Sophia's call too.

Fudge! Sophia!

Her dad was an FBI agent and a high ranked one. If he found out something was suspicious he could know about my family. He could use me. Antonio needed to know and I wasn't going to hide anything from him. I wasn't the idiot here.

Time went by slowly. I skipped lunch. I was used to it. Back home lunch was something as small as a granola bar. I simply didn't have the time. I decided to unpack my things rather than laying around. I quickly opened my suitcase and separated my formal wear and party dresses from house clothes and night clothes. I had much more but the main ones were those.

It took me a few hours till I was done with setting up my clothes. I wasn't disappointed. I was a neat freak. I hated something out of place. It irked me.

• • •

Antonio didn't come till late. His brothers were already here but I didn't have the courage to ask them and they went straight to their rooms. I sighed as I waited in the living room, the show Shadowhunters playing on the TV. I wasn't really interested even though it was one of my favourite shows after Teen Wolf and TVD.

Due to my lack of attention on the show, I saw his shadow loom behind me as the lights were off and the only reflection was coming from outside the room where he had opened the door. I liked the darkness better than the brightness.

I quickly turned around to see him leaning against the door, a cigarette in his hand. Despite the tiredness radiating off of him, he still managed to look dominating.

"I'll heat the supper." I barely walked past him before his hand latched onto my arm. My eyes lowered in submission.

"Come with me upstairs." I followed him like a lost puppy as he made his way to the top floor.

The mansion was a three story house and I barely explored it all. By the end of today, I had finished exploring the whole second floor. The third was still left for me to see. The doors to it were apparently locked.

"What's on the third floor?" I felt like I was taking a big risk. As if I should jump over the wall or not by asking him.

I couldn't see his expression as he was walking in front of me but I knew he had stiffened. I didn't think he was going to answer until he did. "The home base office. You can check it out but it should be stayed away from."

"It's locked," I stupidly pointed out.

"I couldn't leave it open with the guests in the house."

I wanted to slap myself for being so stupid but why would he need to lock to door with his trusted members? However, I wasn't going to kill myself for it. Curiosity actually did kill the cat. I wasn't going to be that cat and I wasn't really a curious person.

"Right, thank you," I mumbled.

He pushed our bedroom door open and I walked pass. Once the door shut behind me I felt claustrophobic. His musky scent was overpowering and even though he was standing away, it felt like he was invading my privacy. But after one look at him it felt like I was rather invading his privacy by being in his life.

After an annoying silence, I decided to get it over with. "You wanted to speak to me, Antonio?" It was more like a question than a statement.

"No." My eyes widened at his reply. Then why did he call me up with him? "Help me get out of my suit," he ordered before turning around and making his way to the closet.

I paused at the sight before following. The place was cleaned up and my suitcases were away. My dresses hung neatly and I was proud of my work. I helped him shrug of his dark blazer before putting it on the counters there. He turned around and stared down at me. It took me a moment to move my fingers and start unbuttoning his shirt.

Fiery heat creeped up my ears as my fingers grazed against his olive skin, last nights memories didn't seem too far away. His hand fell on my hips as he pulled me closer. Due to the soreness from before, I stumbled slightly.

"What's wrong?" It took me a few moments to realize it was him who asked me why I stumbled.

I shook my head. "It's nothing."

His grip on my body tightened. He gave me a look that I was awfully familiar with. "I'm just sore from last night," I answered.

I squeezed my eyes shut to get rid of the picture of Father hitting me for lying but the pain never came. I felt a feathery touch burn against the skin of my cheeks as he pushed a stray hair behind my ear.

My eyes snapped open in confusion. He wasn't going to...hit me?

My eyes were as wide open as saucers when I realized that I had my hands flat against his chest. "Sorry," I mumbled as I snatched my hands away. I wasn't actually sorry though. He was warm.

He nodded at me, his gaze hard again as he continued to unbutton his shirt as if that didn't just happen. It was probably normal for him though.

I gulped as I strayed my eyes away from him. He threw his shirt on the counter and unbuckled his belt to take his slacks off. I quickly looked to the floor.

"I, uh, need to talk to you about something. I mean, we need to talk."

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