Mafia Puppet

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55 | a long drive

ANTONIO QUESTIONED ME with his eyes on what I was doing. I just shrugged at him.

I pulled his arm a bit so he would lean down. I didn't want his men who were all listening in to hear. He titled his head down and even though I was in heels, I had to tip my toes a bit. I was by no means short—around 5'8—but he was just too tall.

"I want to go for a drive," I whispered into his ear.

He looked at me as if I was one of the most confusing creature on earth. "Bambola, we are not going to walk home."

I blinked. When he started to lean away, I grabbed his hand. "No, I-I meant, like—actually nothing."

He shrugged. I wanted to gape at him but refrained to do so in front of everybody. Was he acting oblivious or was he just oblivious? I could never tell with him.

I soon found out when we stepped outside and ordered his men to give him the car keys to his Mercedes.

"Resta a distanza," he told one of his bodyguards. (Stay at a distance.)

"Si, Don." (Yes, boss)

I got inside the car as he rounded to the driver's seat.

Soon enough, we were speeding down the roads. From the rear mirror, I could see the black SUV's following and keeping an eye around.

Antonio was driving. He had taken his grey blazer off. His shirt was neatly tucked into his grey trousers and his sleeves were rolled up to his elbows elegantly. I watched as he drove. One of hand was on his steerling and his other loosened his tie.

"Antonio?" I called.

As expected, he hummed in response.

"How old are you?" I asked, realizing that I actually never knew.

"Five years older than you," he answered.

He could've just told me he was around twenty-nine.

He's too young to be the don.

The old don was useless anyways.

"What's your favourite colour?" I irritated him even more.

"Black and red," he instantly replied.

I furrowed my brows. "No, I meant your favourite colours—not the colours that define us."

He didn't answer so I didn't push for more. We sped through a yellow light. I foolishly thought that the bodyguards would stop but they sped through as well, making four cars crash somehow.

"Oh, my God," I muttered.

"What?" He instantly tensed, his hand reaching for his gun under his waistcoat.

"No, nothing. Stefano and them sped through a red light and the cars crashed," I explained so he didn't think we were in danger.

After a moment of silence, he spoke. "You see, Francesca, a king doesn't follow anyone but everyone follows the king. Hence, the projection of boundaries. I broke a rule so they all broke a rule. I say my favourite colour and they'll all start interpreting it as the colours."

"But I won't tell anyone," I mumbled. "I know the Giordano colours are red and black. I just want to know your opinion."

He didn't answer until we drove onto a bridge and stopped. "Out."

I blinked at his sudden change of mood but did as I was told. He stepped out with me. I left my purse inside the car that had my phone.

My heels clicked against the pavement as I walked toward him. "Antonio, where are we?"

He wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me to the edge of the bridge. I was glad that there was a small fence wall that prevented someone from falling accidentally. Unless they stood on it.

"You see all these acres of land." He nodded toward the dense forest below us. It was a lot of empty land with a lot of trees. I saw a brown creature running around with antlers.

"There's a dear there!" I exclaimed, surprised.

"Yeah," he said. "And all this is ours, Francesca."

I gaped at him. "Really?" That was a big piece of land. I couldn't even see where it ended. It was that big. "What are we going to do here?"

He wrapped an arm around my hips and pulled me closer. My hands fell on his chest as my body smacked onto him. He leaned his head down to my ear. "Business," he whispered before biting my earlobe.

I let out a ragged breath as I flattened my hands on his chest. "Antonio..." I titled my head subconsciously to give him more access. He gave an open mouthed kiss my throat before moving away.

I looked at him through my blurry gaze of lust. There was something in his eyes that I couldn't pin point. They had turned darker and more vicious. Something suddenly felt wrong.

My brown hair ruffled by the wind, coming to my face distractingly and falling on my mouth and eyes. I blinked in annoyance as I looked away from my husband to handle my tresses. I had to close my eyes for a moment as I turned around so the wind would push my hair back rather than the front and then I gathered it behind my ears and put it in a low bun.

I didn't notice until it was too late. I didn't notice, but I should have.

Forgetting about my hair all of a sudden, I whipped around to look at my husband as soon as a heard the cock of a gun, only to face its barrel.

I immediately took a step back in surprise. My heart thudded with fear and I felt dizzy. I was frozen. I couldn't speak. I couldn't see anything other than him and the gun pointing toward me. Antonio stared right into my eyes as his lips tugged up into a small, cruel smirk.

"What are you doing?" I let out, confused.

"You didn't think I'd possibly let a traitor go," he said, tilting his head a little.

I looked around for help, but there was no one around. Not a single soul. Under us was a large forest and around us was no one. Not a single car passed by. And before me stood my husband with a cocked gun in his hand, ready to shoot me dead. The nature suddenly felt claustrophobic. I had to escape.

"I didn't betray you," I spoke, my voice coming out strong somehow. I wasn't a strong woman like Arianna who would boldly tell him to piss off. I couldn't do that. It just didn't feel right to me, and I knew he wouldn't hesitate to put a bullet through my head. My life was in his hands now.

"You have two options." He ignored my words. "One: I shoot you and if you survive, you get a chance at living but on my bounds. Two: you jump and I give you my word that I will let you go after that. Well, that is if you survive that nasty fall of course." A grin formed on his face. "The choice is yours, Doll."

This was a joke. This had to be a joke. Antonio couldn't do this. He couldn't. I didn't want to believe it.

Betrayal. Utter betrayal was all I could feel when I realized that this was a game. It was all fake. It didn't matter that he was the Don or my husband. He slept with me. He made love to me. He gave me hope for us. He played me, and I was naive enough to trust him.

How did I ever think that he may be different? How could I ever believe that he of all people was different. He was the master of manipulation and I fell into his trap so easily. I fell into the most obvious trap.

He knew it. I knew it. There wasn't a choice. There was an illusion. And illusion that he crafted perfectly to make me believe I had a choice. Death was on either end.

"Was this all a lie?"

He didn't even flinch by my question. "This is the Mafia, Doll. I can't let things slide."

"Was this all a lie?" I repeated more fiercely. It felt as if someone pulled my heart and squeezed it with all their might.

He shrugged. "I can't have a Donna with traitorous thoughts. The Family comes first. Always," he said ignoring my question.

I stared at him. He wore an uncaring expression. This was all a game to him right from the start, and I let him play me.

"You have two options now, Doll. You jump off the cliff and I let you go or you stay and I shoot you," he repeated more forcefully. "You have a choice."

I looked over the bridge and suddenly the height made nauseous. Then I looked back at my husband who seemed so determined to get rid of me. I had to make my decision and I had to choose wisely. I didn't want to die. I didn't come this far in life just to die like this. I was the Donna for God's sake and if I couldn't handle my relationship then how could I rule? Was I even here to rule? Or wasn't it solely about surviving? Either way, I refused to die like this and the only way to survive was with using my words—not strength—because I could never outrun a bullet and I could never defeat him.

"You're just going to murder me for something I didn't do," I said over the wind. "Without a reason?"

He didn't answer. His gaze harden and the grip on his gun tightened.

"Don't make me choose for you, Francesca," he growled out.

I stepped away from the bridge and moved closer to him, so close that the barrel of his gun touched my forehead.

"I've made my choice," I whispered.

There was no surprise or guilt. There was nothing that told me he wanted me. Was it really all a game? Did he really not care?

He raised a brow.

"If I die, it'll only be by the hands of the one I adore the most." Despite the low whisper in my voice, it felt like an echo that rang around us both. The tips of my finger trembled as he stepped back and brought his gun down, pointing toward my stomach.

"Why?" he asked with narrowed brows. Was he forgetting that I may be pregnant?

I bit my lips until it bled. A shaky breath left me as I answered. "Because you told me not to submit to anyone else. Not even death."

And then he shot.
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