20 | the romantic sparks
And then I remembered the bullets that had made the car rattle. My senses slowly started to come back and the beeping in the room started to increase. I didn't dare open my eyes till I was sure I had no choice but to do so.
It felt as if my eyes were glued together and that I'd have to peel them off. Why were the lights so bright?
My eyes squinted as bright dots appeared in my line of vision before I completely snapped them shut. I had an oxygen mask clunk to my face and the movement from my arm told me that there were needles pricked to my skin. I tried to speak but the mask was stopping me and moving my hands hurt too much. Shouldn't someone be here with me?
"I see you are awake." My head snapped to the side to see my husband casually sitting on a comfortable couch placed there. It seemed like a private room with the fancy stuff but I was too busy staring at him to admire anything else.
I stared at him, waiting for him to continue but he didn't. He just stood up and walked towards me. Even though I was on a hospital bed, he didn't seem to care much. As long as I was okay it wouldn't matter. It was painful to know that the only reason he cared because I dying would ultimately decide him unfit for leadership.
A man who can not protect his family is no man at all.
A hand on the oxygen thing made me snap out of my thoughts. His tired eyes were gazing down at me as he carefully pulled the mask away from my nose.
"Hi," I croaked before cringing. That was so stupid.
He eyed my face, making me look away. His looks were always lethal. I don't even think I'd ever know when he's joking or serious. Who was I kidding? He's always serious.
His hand reached up and pushed my hair a bit back. I moaned at the discomfort. My head was throbbing. "How bad does it hurt?" he asked.
"Bad?" It came out more like a question.
The door slammed open making me flinch. I hated loud noises, especially now.
"Dante." There was an edge to the Don's voice as he removed his hand from my forehead as if I burnt him.
"Sorry," the raven-haired man muttered before glancing at me. Out of respect—I'd like to believe—his look didn't waver below my face where I knew I was sporting a skinny gown. "I didn't know she was awake."
Antonio hummed in response. Him being in an expensive suit in contrast to his brother's shirt and jeans and myself in a hospital gown, Antonio looked quite odd. "Go call the doctor," he ordered.
Dante did not even flinch at the cold glare his brother sported. It was as if he was used to it or just didn't care. His pale brown eyes met mine as he gave me a curt nod before leaving to room.
I turned to look at my husband who stood beside me. All his tiredness was masked by a rough look. He looked too professional for my liking.
"I'm sorry." I felt the need to apologize. Surely, he would be less brutal and my punishment would be less.
His stare compelled me to not look away as he raised an eyebrow. "An apology is for someone who is at fault. I was under the impression that Micheal Lastra's daughter knew the difference."
My eyes widened at the remark. "Ugh, yeah. Sor—" I stopped as a blush formed on my cheeks. I was doing it again so I decided to change the topic. He surely wouldn't hit me right now, right? "What had happened?"
I didn't get an answer. There was a knock on the door and he took that moment to call in the doctor. If I didn't know better I'd think he was avoiding the conversation on purpose.
The Ace never forgets.
Everyone knew that. The Giordano Don—also known as Ace—held grudges. He never forgot and his memory was one of the best of the best.
The doctor was male and older. With his slight greying hair and face as pale as the one of Edward Cullen's, he smiled at me. But it wasn't anything respectful. I instantly knew that he didn't like me but with the Don, he had to show some respect.
"Check her and discharge her." By the calm tone my husband sported, I would never have guessed that he was mad but I knew better. It was the calm before the storm and I guess the doctor figured that too or he was just scared.
The man didn't waste another second in degrading me in his head. He got to work. His fingers added pressure onto my forehead making me hiss in pain. Antonio's gaze never wavered. He was straight-faced and there was absolutely no warmth. He was like the ice in the Arctic that never melted.
"What's wrong with me?" The question was supposed to be for the doctor but I couldn't help but look at my husband because I knew that even after the torture he would pull on me, he was the only one who could protect me.
Antonio's eyes met mine before his finger touched mine that laid at my side discreetly. It was difficult to not think much of it. It was just grazing the top of my pinky finger.
Do not fall for it, Franci.
And I didn't but my heart skipped a beat. His coal eyes never left mine as he chose not to answer. The doctor did instead.
When I turned toward him, the man was not looking at me but rather my husband. I wasn't even surprised. I had no power whatsoever. He looked at my husband and after a slight nod, he started speaking.
"We did a brain imaging that scanned whether the injury is severe or not. Luckily, it is not severe enough but I encourage lots of rest and less stress. She may have blurry vision, ringing in the ears, and even a buzzing sound. Confusion or short memory loss could also occur as symptoms. I would like to perform a neurological examination?" It wasn't supposed to be a question but it sure did sound like.
Personally, I thought they were over exaggerating. Even though I didn't remember how I got hurt, I knew I only had a concussion. There were others who needed the attention more.
My husband gave a curt nod before glancing down at me. His hand left mine and I almost sighed at the absence. For a second, I'd like to imagine everything was normal and that I had a normal life. But that wasn't possible at all. I was a mafia wife. Love was as rare as not dying before old age in this life.
• • •
I was attacked. Out of the chaos of finally gaining consciousness through the tests presented by Dr. Pugliesi, I had not really gotten a moment to myself. Now that I did, I realized how much danger I had been in and what this would end as.
Attacking me meant a brawl—a sign of war.
If I had died then Antonio would be seen unfit for being the capo. Whoever attacked knew I was going out which meant that he was an insider. Maybe a bodyguard sent with me. (Don)
Where is Silvio?
I looked around in the car. My husband, for my safety (I'd like to believe), was sending me home with him. I tilted my head as I watched him from the corner of my eye. He was gazing out the tinted window as the scenarios passed. His best and tidy suit was crumpled up as if he wore it in a rash. Did he wear it in a rash?
No, and I wasn't going to ask.
"Antonio, where is Silvio?" It wasn't my place to ask but he didn't seem that mad at me. Maybe he'd answer.
I found it odd that the bulky man was not sitting in the driver's seat. I was so used to him than any other man as my guard made me wary. I trusted Silvio. He was following me around for five years. Whilst the other bodyguards of mine constantly moved, he was always there.
"Dead," he answered without any remorse. He didn't even bother glancing at me. The car suddenly felt too small and cold. Dead? Dead.
No...that can't be it. I just couldn't bring myself to believe that the only constant thing in my life was also gone. But what had I expected? He died because of me. It was his job. I was the cause of his death.
I willed myself not to cry and by the perks of being used to it, I didn't but my eyes did water. The man was one of the few I trusted. He was my protector.
"Oh," I hesitantly replied. Antonio preferred words more than gestures. I knew at least that much from living with him.
The BMW was quiet once again. Even though there were two bodyguards sitting in the front I didn't mind much. I was used to them but without the mope of blonde hair, it felt like I was in constant danger and maybe I was.
"Trust no one, sister. Not a single soul," Arianna's words echoed in my head. Despite being so young she had known what was going to happen to me. I was eighteen and she was even younger but she was smart and I trusted her words. Trusting no one seemed the safest option.