Mafia Puppet

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41 | the deadly confession

two weeks later

JUST LIKE ANY Wednesday morning, I woke up early as a 'perfect' housewife would, assigned the extra chores to the new maid after I made myself presentable enough. Even Alessia seemed to get the hang of how things worked around here.

"We're going to Italy tonight," Antonio told me when we all sat down for breakfast.

I coughed at the new information and Alessia quickly passed me a glass of water. Over the two weeks, she and I had gotten closer. She shared everything with me, including her crushes—though I had to warned her not to act on them. We were like sisters—for now.

I had even forgotten about my secrets, occasionally remembering them. I didn't act on them and Arianna hadn't tried anything either. I didn't have any contact with the police considering that I had also thrown away the note the very next day. Everything was going smoothly. Too smoothly. I should've seen it coming.

"You okay, cognata?" Costanzo asked. (Sister-in-law)

I nodded briefly. Figuring that I was fine, the brothers went back to discussing about their plans while Antonio and I would be away. Of course they talked in Italian and I understood bits when I wanted to. Otherwise, I just ignored their chattering.

Alessia tapped my shoulder. I glanced at her. "You didn't know?" she questioned with furrowed brows.

"What?" I asked, confused.

She licked her lips. "That you and Toni are going to Italy."

"I did," I easily lied. "I just forgot, that's it, so it surprised me." But I knew she wasn't buying it. Alessia was a smart girl and the brothers weren't that civil either. They loved messing with her, confusing her. But it was sort of good. At least she would see it coming when we tell her. If we tell her.

"Okay," she said before Antonio interrupted us. He got up halfway and nodded at me to follow him upstairs. He was acting very sketchy lately and it was bothering me.

I had a odd feeling in my stomach. It was the gut feeling that things were going to go downhill and whatever he called me for wasn't going to be anywhere near pleasant.

For the two whole weeks nothing different happened. I was slowly started to forget about Jasmine and Sophia. Sophia didn't contact me again but that was probably because I blocked her. Antonio brought me a new sim and that was the last time we talked. It was four days ago. Other than that he just glared at me. I knew something was wrong but I didn't have it in me to ask him. His glare was terrifying.

"You wanted to talk to me?" I asked him once I closed the door behind me. I wasn't sure whether to be happy that we'd finally sort things out or scared that he was tense.

Antonio stood with his back facing toward me. I couldn't see his reaction but with the sharp intakes of breaths once in a while I knew this was not going to be a normal conversation that we usually had—I being too stiff and he being too closed off. It was already odd for him not to be gone after breakfast since he usually left to work at this time everyday. Small chitchats weren't his thing.

When we left, I had seen Costanzo raise his brows in surprise. Dante even placed down his newspaper down. Hell, Omaro looked perplexed.

Over the two weeks, Antonio and I didn't talk much, but that wasn't what surprised me. I was quick to realize that my husband talked more with silence than words. He didn't say things that weren't absolutely necessary and when he talked it was always on point—with everyone, not just me.

"Francesca, I hate traitors," he said suddenly, his head titling down.

I stiffened. What did he mean by that? Why was he telling me this?

The first thought that came to my mind was Arianna. Did she try to escape again? But that wasn't possible. Father surely wouldn't tell the Don that.

I stayed silent, hoping he'd explain. But he didn't so I forcefully brought some words out of my mouth. "I know," I said. My voice gave away exactly what I was thinking—nothing—and a little tremble.

He abruptly turned around and leaned against the table behind him. "Sit down," he ordered, calmly—too calmly.

I didn't take my eyes off him as I walked toward the couches by the balcony. The sunlight fell on my face and I turned a bit to keep the glare off.

My eyes widened when I saw a knife twirling in his hand. He walked toward me and I had to look up when he stood right in front.

"Antonio, wha—?" I started speaking, suddenly scared for my life.

However, he cut me off. "Shhh, Doll." It wasn't an endearment. No. It was a mockery and he didn't bother to hide it.

He placed the knife on my lips. "You talk when I tell you to talk today. Capisci?" I couldn't reply without having the knife cut my lips and he knew that. (Understand?)

He grinned sinisterly, leaving me breathless. It was full of cruelty and practically screamed crazy yet I couldn't help but think about how beautiful he looked. I had never seen him smile, much less grin. And this wasn't a real grin either. It was sinister and the one that screamed signs of danger. He was a total red flag and I still couldn't look away. It scared me to no end. I felt trembles on my finger and I clasped them together to feel a bit more brave, to not to shake under his gaze.

"So small and so innocent." He tsked before his gaze hardened. The shift was so quick I could've missed it. "But with a heart to deceit."

He finally removed the knife from my lips, but I still didn't speak. My mind wasn't working. I was panicking. What did he know? I didn't do anything!

I watched him as he walked away. At first I thought he was going to go out to the balcony but he didn't. He watched the landscape through the glass doors before abruptly closing the blinds. Darkness fell upon us, it intimidating me to no end. I didn't like the dark. It reminded me of that night he showed me.

When I finally gathered the courage to speak, he continued. "Don't. Francesca, don't you fucking dare speak."

My eyes widened. This was the first time he swore. At least in front of me.

I screamed when he abruptly slammed his hand against a lamb on a small tea table beside him. My heart jolted and I sprang up from the sofa, rushing forward when I saw the small trails of cuts on his right hand. He was in pain!

"What are you doing?!" I yelled, panicked. When I touched his arm he shoved me back.

I stumbled and lost my balance. I didn't even get the chance to scream as my eyes instantly shut when I noticed the glass table behind me that I rapidly came closer to. I was falling with my neck pointed right at the edge of the glass.

But I didn't fall. When I opened my eyes he stood before me. My hand was grasped onto his bloodied one. Tears formed in my eyes as I stared into his dark ones. However, his glare didn't soften. He pulled me up with a tight grip and the glass shards that were plunged into his hand penetrated into mine. I whimpered but all he did was tighten his grip..

Silence. Deadly silence. A silence that I didn't like. A silence that told me that I messed up big time. A silence that reminded me very much of Father. I didn't see my Antonio anymore, the one who had never raised his voice on me or the one who I would graze my finger against for comfort. I saw the replica of a tormentor holding back.

"Antonio, please stop," I begged when the pain became too much. The glass shard pushed deeper. "It's hurting me. It's hurting you!"

He igrnored my statement and pulled me closer, so close that if I looked up over lips would've met. I didn't have the courage to do so, so I just looked at his chest that was covered in a navy Armani suit. "For weeks," he growled out. "Fucking weeks, Francesca."

"Wha—?"

He cut me off and this time he didn't tell me to shut up.

He made me.
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