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Chapter Six


Illaria’s POV.

We circle each other, waiting for the other to make the first move.

Most of my training is in defence, not offence. I don’t like making the first move, I like defending myself.

He smirks at me and fakes lunging at me, to try and make me jump. His jaw ticks in irritation when I don’t flinch.

Marco lunges forwards and I dodge out of the way. My eyes don’t stray from him, I watch his every move, trying to predict his next one.

The alcohol makes him slower, I’m gonna use that to my advantage.

He throws a punch, which I dodge. As his body moves closer, I punch him in the throat. He wraps his hands around it and splutters, desperately trying to breathe. His eyes widen in shock and he stares at me.

‘You bitch,’ he hisses, his voice strained.

He tries to punch me again, but I grab his arm and twist it behind him until he yells out.

This is too easy.

His friends step forwards, Marco gestures for them to stay back.

‘I’ve got this,’ he growls out.

He’s pissed that I’m beating him.

He pulls free from my grasp.

The thing is, I’m not very strong. I don’t have the muscles or power that he does, but I know his weak spots.

He tries to tackle me, but when his arms go around my waist and his head digs into my stomach, I pinch both of the pressure points on his trapezius muscles.

He yells out in pain and drops to his knees, releasing me.

‘Give up yet?’ I ask, releasing his shoulders and stepping back. ‘Seriously Marco, I wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself.’

He looks as though he’s frothing at the mouth. I’ve never seen someone so angry.

’Fucking puttana!′ He shouts and throws two punches at me. (whore)

I dodge the first one, but the second one catches my jaw. It flicks my face to the side and gives me whiplash in my neck. I react instinctively and kick him in the balls.

He yelps and falls to his knees again. I open and close my mouth, testing my jaw.

I curse under my breath as his two friends help him up and then approach me.

‘Hey, the fight was against Marco, I didn’t agree to this,’ I tell them, backing away with my hands up.

‘Leave her alone!’ Georgie shouts, but the friends want blood, I can see it.

Trust mafia men to fight dirty.

The first one tries to punch me. I duck to miss the blow and then I punch him in his solar plexus, winding him.

I grab his arm, turn my back on him and pull forwards. He stumbles towards me, falls onto my back and I flip him over, onto the ground.

Shit, he’s heavy.

I can hear Georgie cheering behind me. I turn around just in time to miss the punch the other friend throws.

‘Hey! I don’t want to fight you!’ I tell him, but he ignores me and lunges for me again.

I dodge out of the way and jump behind him.

I kick the back of his knee and he drops to the floor. I give him a knife hand strike to the neck, hitting his stomach-9 point. It knocks him out instantly and he falls to the ground.

‘Aria, watch out!’ Georgie calls out and a second later, I’m grabbed from behind.

Marco has wrapped his arms around me, pinning my arms to my sides. I throw my head back, it collides with Marco’s nose with a loud crack.

He groans and releases me.

’You fucking troia! You broke my nose!′ He shouts, blood dripping down his face. (Bitch)

‘You’re the one who couldn’t admit defeat and had to get your friends to help out, you should have just accepted that you lost to a girl,’ I snap, irritated that he took it further.

I haven’t done any permanent damage, apart from Marco’s nose, and I’m not sorry about that. The other two might be a bit sore in the morning, but nothing was hurt too badly.

I know I’m going to be sore in the morning, that was insane.

‘Let it go, Marco,’ I call over my shoulder as he continues shouting profanities.

Georgie hugs me and we go to the main street to get a cab home.

‘That was incredible! I love you forever, although I was scared I was gonna wet myself at one point,’ she gushes and I roll my eyes.

‘What if they go to the police?’ She asks worriedly.

‘I doubt it, three grown men like that will hate to admit that a girl kicked their asses.’


Lucca’s POV.

‘It’s been three days, what the fuck do you mean you can’t find her?’ I shout at my men as they stand in front of my desk.

‘There is no Illaria listed as working at any bar, Boss,’ Rocco replies and I glare at him.

‘What about her friend, Georgina Stanton? Maybe she’s with her?’ I suggest and Valerius shakes his head.

‘No, Boss. She left for university yesterday.’

Cazzo!′ I roar and fall back into my chair. ‘Where is she?’ (fuck)

I run my hand down my face and try to calm down. I’m used to getting anything I want. I have never wanted something this badly before.

I got one taste of her and it wasn’t enough, it will never be enough. I won’t rest until Illaria is mine.

Someone knocks on the door and I call for them to come in.

Rocco, Valerius, Marcello and I, watch as Marco, Fabio and Tioto enter.

I frown at the state of them. Marco has a splint on his nose, Fabio has a bruise on his throat and Tioto winces with each step.

‘What the fuck happened to you three?’ I ask angrily, getting to my feet.

If it’s that fucking Russian mafia getting involved in my business again, I’m going to...

’Marco challenged a girl to a fight, and the bitch was well-versed in self-defence,′ Fabio spits aggressively.

It’s silent for a moment, before the guys and I burst out laughing. The three idiots glare at us.

‘All of this, from a girl?’ Rocco asks.

‘What the hell did she do to you?’ I question and Marco clenches his fists.

‘She fucking cheated with pressure points and shit, she made Fabio pass out!’ Marco splutters.

‘Are you going to be alright for the mission tonight? Marco, maybe you should sit this one out.’ At my suggestion, a vein pulses in Marco’s forehead.

’That fucking puttana, I’m going to end her fucking life,′ he shouts angrily and heads for the door, ‘Fabio, Tioto, come with me.’

‘Careful boys, don’t let her beat you up again!’ Marcello calls after them.

They slam the door on their way out. I let the disrespectful act go, just once.

‘Bet you’re glad they’re not on your security detail, Boss,’ Valerius jokes and I nod in agreement.

Those three idiots are used on missions, nothing else. If they die, they die, they’re collateral. I would never let them protect me, not if one person can do that to them.


I’m a little sore after the fight last night, but I’m okay. I curse myself for being stupid enough to get into something like that, I should have known better.

I had been drinking and I wanted to hurt him to make my friend feel better. It was impulsive and stupid, I could have gotten seriously hurt.

It was scary and reckless. I teach self-defence, not fighting skills.

I feel good about it, sure, and it make Georgie happy, but I’m not doing that again.

Or at least, that’s what I think.

Until, at the end of my shift at the bar, at three AM, I step into the alley behind my work.

Five guys are waiting for me. Three of them I recognise.

Marco steps forwards and if I wasn’t terrified, I’d be pissing myself with laugher at the splint on his nose.

‘Hello bitch,’ he taunts, walking towards me. ‘I thought you could meet my friends, show them some of your moves.’

I subtly reach into my bag and wrap my hand around my pepper spray.

‘I don’t want any trouble Marco, please leave me alone,’ I tell him and he laughs at me.

’Oh, really? That’s not what you were saying last night, you wanted the fight last night. Well, congrats puttana, you’ve got another.′

I back towards the door, wondering if I can just run back into work. Marco nods and two of the men start running at me.

I grab the can of pepper spray and hold it up at the last moment, spraying both of them in the eyes. They scream and cover their faces with their hands.

Zuia!′ I hear Marco shout behind them.

I kick one of them in the balls and the other in his stomach, they both drop to the tarmac. A third man comes running at me, I see his knuckledusters glinting in the streetlight.

I dodge his punch, knowing if he hits me, he’ll probably break my jaw. When he tries again, I push the heel of my hand up, into his jaw. His head snaps back and I take the opportunity to kick him in the stomach.

The fourth guy and Marco come at me. I drop to the ground as they lunge, ducking from their blows. I grab the pepper spray can and kick out the fourth guy’s feet from under him. He drops to the floor and I spray him in the eyes.

Marco grabs me by my hair from behind and throws me to the ground. He kicks away the can of pepper spray before I can reach it.

He grabs my top and pulls me up, before throwing me down again. The impact jolts through my arms and I hit my head on the ground, momentarily dazing me.

I blink a couple of times, trying to get my brain to focus. Marco sneers at me and takes the chance to punch me.

My face flies to the side and I taste blood in my mouth. I turn back to see all five of them stood in front of me as I lie on the ground.

This is not good.


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