Mafia Puppet

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67 | the death penalty

THE BARREL OF my gun was opposite his chest, right above his heart that was beating with life. Just one bullet and I could kill the mighty Don just like he killed his rival's wife.

"What are you doing here?" I asked with wide eyes.

Mrs. Colombo stood behind him with trembling hands. Alessandro and Enrico, Antonio's consigliere and head bodyguard walked in and grabbed the doctor before throwing her on the floor and pointing a gun at her.

I glanced back at Antonio who was examining me from head to toe. He suddenly walked forward. The gun in my hand didn't dare lower even though I knew I was safe. He didn't care though, even when the barrel touched his chest. He gently pushed my hand away.

"Are you okay, bambola?" he asked softly, cupping my cheek.

I licked my lips and nodded before throwing the gun down on the basin. I wanted to hug him but I knew he may not feel comfortable with the company of Alessandro and Enrico around.

Antonio pulled his blazer off and wrapped it around my shoulders. It was large on me but I felt comfortable and safe. His musky cologne engulfed me and I sighed. This was enough for now. But the relief soon disappeared when I saw Angelina's body on the ground. I quickly pushed past him to see if she was alive.

"Did you kill her?" I shrieked.

God, no, no, no!

This was hell. Now rather than sorting out our differences, Antonio made things worse! And she was pregnant for God's sake.

"What did you do?" I shouted in despair as clutched the collar of his navy blue shirt, forgetting the two men in the room with us.

He gripped my wrists tightly. "Everybody, out. Now." Despite the low tone of his voice, everyone immediately obliged and shut the door behind themselves.

He softly pushed me toward a wall. I clenched my eyes shut as I felt tears come in. "Do you know how much worse you made things by killing Vincent's wife? Now we would definitely go to war." I sniffled.

"She's not dead, Francesca," he said slowly.

"What?" I glanced at her limp body on the floor. She looked as good as dead. "Oh, but she's pregnant. What if something happens to her child?"

"I sedated her, nothing else. I know I can't kill her and I know she has nothing to do with this," he said.

We stared at each other for a moment. His coal eyes met my hazel brown ones and they softened. "Come here," he said. He didn't give me a chance to pull away, not that I was going to. Cradling my body delicately in his arms, he held me for the first time.

I shuddered and hugged him back instantly, letting out silent tears. I wasn't weak, but even I didn't know how much I needed this. It felt so good to know that he was mine and mine only. No one could take him away from me. We were each other's only and he was always going to be there for me. He was my solace.

"I didn't expect you here," I mumbled into his shirt.

He kissed the top of my head before burying his head into the crook of my neck. His hand pushed my hair back as he dropped a light kiss on my throat. I licked my lips, strumming my fingers through his dark locks.

"You said I wasn't showing any fatherly traits," he replied.

My heart bloomed and I beamed. He was here for me. He was here for our child. He made us his priority. Not his work.

"What about your business stuff?" I asked, not wanting to be selfish either. I knew he had work.

"Family comes first and you are family. You are my wife and you deserve everything you desire." He looks away and met my state with a heated gaze. "And you desire me."

I raised my brows and grinned. "That's very high of you to think."

"So you're saying you don't?"

I tilted my head, my lips curving upwards. "I never said I don't."

He looked away before I could spot the unwanted smile on his lips, but I saw. I cupped his cheek and pulled him towards me.

"I'm sort of desiring a kiss right now," I muttered, my cheeks red.

He chuckled but the surprise was evident in his eyes. "How about we save that for tonight? We have Vincent's issue to deal with right now."

I pouted. "Sucks. I was hoping Vincent wouldn't come in between us again."

"What do you mean?" he asked.

I placed my hands around his neck. "Even yesterday, all of our conversations mentioned his name at least once."

My husband frowned. "You're right actually."

I grinned.

He pushed a strand of my hair behind my ear. "Francesca, are you sure you have—?"

"—forgiven you?" I tightened my hold around his neck. "I have," I said, honestly. I had forgiven him because today I realized that if he hadn't done what he did then I wouldn't have been able to look Angelina in the eye and talk to her without trembling. He had taken the fear of facing a gun away from me. It was wrong in so many ways but since when have I lived in the right world? And right now, with him by my side I wouldn't change it for anything.

I believed him when he said that he was mine only—that he wasn't ever going to cheat. He swore an oath and oaths were everything to him. His promises were never false.

"Francesca, I also need you to understand that whatever we had before that stunt I pulled was real. Everything was real. From my apology to us making love, I meant it. Trust is something that doesn't come easy to me but I'm trying. I trust you, bambola, more than I have ever trusted anyone other than my brothers. I need you to know that," he said. His voice was like an echo of whispers in my ears.

I instantly pulled him down for a hug. He didn't know how much those words meant to me. Every night I had wondered if whatever we had was real or not and it felt so good to hear him say it. I knew words didn't mean anything to him but to me they did and he was starting to understand that.

"I want to go home," I mumbled. "Take me home."

He nodded. "How about you get your stuff and I deal with all this?"

I nodded my head toward's Angelina. "What about her?"

"I'll take care of it," he said.

I shook my head. "She meant no bad. She came here to tell me that Vincent didn't kill Raffaello. When Raffaello died, Vincent was in Italy looking for his sister. When he was tipped off that she was in our territory, he must've sent men or something but he didn't get Raffaello killed."

"What makes you think she is speaking the truth?" he asked.

"Because when I met Vincent that day, he reminded me a lot of of you. The same aggression, the same power. The only difference is that he is rash and you are more cautious. You both are very much the same but different at the same time and I think that if it was the other way around, you also wouldn't have wanted the criminal dead by someone other than you. Vincent's revenge was stolen from him and he isn't happy about that. His anger is justified, Antonio. Think about it. For me, please."

Antonio stared at me blankly as I finished my rant. "What else did she say?" he finally asked.

"Angelina thinks that Raffaello was killed by Luciano Lambardi to initiate war between us," I told him.

"Luciano does have a lot to gain from this," he said thoughtfully. "I have considered it. All of this could have been staged. Mya's betrayal, the attack on you, a fucking FBI coming onto you, and then blaming it all on the Bianchi. Fuck!" he swore. Antonio pulled away from me and pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration. "If Luciano is behind this then I'm not going to fucking spare him. All this while, he was trying to create a fight between us so he could use it to his own purpose. Someone sold Valentina to Raffaello. If we find out who, then we find out the real guy."

"If only Mya was alive we could've asked her who sent her to attack us. What about Raffaello's girlfriend? What was her name? Rose? She might know something." I sighed. Too bad Antonio probably killed her too.

My husband froze and looked at me with a twinkle in his eyes. He then glanced down at Angelina's sleeping body.

"Alessandro! Enrico!" he yelled, opening the door.

Both men rushed inside.

"Yes, Don?" Alessandro spoke glancing at me for a second.

"Nobody finds out about Angelina being here. Take her out of the back door and into the other warehouse. Treat her like a guest but don't let her escape," he ordered.

"What about the doctor?" Enrico questioned.

"Kill her."

I coughed and all the attention turned to me. "I think Stefano knew about it as well," I whispered. "He didn't tell me there were two people when he brought me in here. Angelina was hiding in the bathroom."

"Kill him too," Antonio improvised his order.

"He meant no harm. I think death is a bit excessive," I mumbled quietly, looking down so it didn't seem like I was questioning his authority in front of his men.

"He allowed Angelina to keep a gun. He saw danger and thought it would be okay," Antonio explained. "Stefano is not the authority here. He had no right to drag you into danger obliviously."

I nodded. Did I just give out Stefano's death warrant?

"His death would be a fucking example to the other men," Antonio seethed out. He was angry. No, more than angry; he was raging because Antonio wasn't the one to swear or show emotions in front of people.

"Alessandro, make sure that woman sleeps off the sedation and make sure she stays safe. Protect her with your life."

"I will, Don."

Antonio grabbed my hand and dragged me back.

"What are you going to do to her?"

"Don't worry about it, bambola. We need her. She's safe."

And that gave me peace. The moment we passed Stefano, he gave me an apologetic look. Antonio didn't spare him a glance. He acted oblivious and I did the same. Stefano was stupid for just confirming what he did.

"If Angelina doesn't come down, Stefano would get suspicious," I pointed out quietly.

"Stefano is still loyal to the Family. He wouldn't say anything and he'll be shut down before he does anything, bambola."

"Then is it necessary to kill him?" I asked.

Antonio opened the door for me and helped me get in. Fabio sat on the passenger seat of Antonio's car. He gave me a nod through the rear window and I returned the nod with my own.

"He broke the code and there is only one penalty."

Death.

"What happens next?" I changed the topic. I didn't want the guilt to settle in.

"We go home and you rest while I deal with this," he said. When he saw me open my mouth to speak, he placed a finger on my lips. "Quiet. The case is closed. The judge has announced the penalty."

I smiled. "Yes, Your Highness."

I was glad for the partition separating us from the others. I didn't want anyone other than me seeing this side of him. It was ours and it will always be ours. He was mine and mine only.

And then his lips curved into a smile. "Shut up, bambola."
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