Chapter 21 - The Ugly Truth
“This is exactly who I am.” He watched as she just looked at him, her face was pale and her eyes were still bloodshot from the crying she had done earlier.
“I’m a fucked-up son of a bitch,” he spoke with all the honesty he could muster, she just sat and looked at him. “I kill people who get in my way, I hurt those who try to hurt me or my family and I am not even sorry for that.”
He was trying to frighten her, he wanted to scare her and have her running never come back.
“I am trained to show no remorse, to torture people for information and to bury people without them ever being found.”
Hayley couldn’t lie, she was petrified as she sat across from him, she could feel her body shake at his dark and violent words. Yet, a part of her couldn’t help but be reminded of the man who took her to the casino, the man for who she nearly gave her life for.
“Why are you telling me this?” She whispered as she looked at his deep, intense chocolate eyes.
Why was he telling her this? He shook his head and pushed himself off the counter and walked away so his back was to Hayley, who remained seated on the stool. The pair was silent, Hayley just watched as he sighed loudly but kept his back to her.
“You’re a confusing man,” She spat as she jumped off the stool and walked to the kitchen door. “You know what, fuck you.” Her words were harsh as she spoke as she stood in the doorway, he never moved.
“I’m out of here.” She began to walk down the hallway and was just about to reach the door, but his hand was on the door. Her heart was racing as she felt him behind her, and she never moved.
“Let me leave, Luca.” She demanded. He could hear the fear in her voice as he looked down at her.
“I can’t.” He spoke in a low voice, she let go of the handle and turned to face him and her eyes fierce on him, and his on hers.
She was frightened, she couldn’t lie about that. She had just witnessed this man kill, he had just confessed to anyone who gets in his way is killed. Could he not let her go because he wanted to kill her? Did she know too much? She could feel her body shaking, was this the end?
“I know too much, right?” She used whatever courage she had within her, she was scared but she would go out fighting. “Kill me Luca if that’s what you have to do, just do it.” She cried out, her heart was beating in her chest.
Luca’s face was hard as he removed his hand from the door behind Hayley, he could see the fear in her brilliant blue eyes. Hayley watched with caution as Luca moved to her face, he pushed the mask that covered her face and pushed it up and over her hair and held it in his hand for a second before discarding it.
“You do know too much, how many men have you heard me kill?” He asked her.
His voice was smooth like velvet. On a normal man, it would send shivers of passion. However, with Luca, it was shivers of fear. She swallowed back a lump that formed in her throat.
“Four?” His mind reminded him of the three assholes at the poker game and then the joker Artem. His hand went and removed a stray curl that covered her face, and he felt her shiver as he put it behind her ear
Then he did something neither expected, and neither could have anticipated he cupped the side of her face and kissed her gently, and tenderly.
She closed her eyes and fell into his kiss, she was just as fucked up as Luca. The part of her that craved for Luca enjoyed the moment, but her mind reminded her of what he had just told her!
Luca felt the force in his chest as she used her hands to push him away from her.
“You bastard.” She shouted as she looked at Luca who calmly took a step away from Hayley who stood with her back to the door. She felt her anger making her shake, as she looked directly at the handsome devil in front of her.
“You tell me you don’t want me, you push me away and then you kiss me!” She shouted, Luca said nothing she was right he shouldn’t want him, she shouldn’t need him as much as he wanted and needed her.
“I’m a fucked-up son of a bitch, Hayley.” He repeated, and she shook her head, shuffling out of his warm, heavy suit jacket so it pooled to the floor.
“I’m used to fucked up men, Luca. But you,” she shook her head and turned to open the door, before looking at him over her shoulder. “You’re beyond fucked-up.” Tears began to fall as she went out into the cool night air, she was still wearing her Venetian clothes. She walked down the gravelled drive.
“Hayley.” She heard him behind her, and she used her hands to wipe away the tears he mustn’t see her cry, she had more pride in her than that, she never stopped.
"Fuck it Hayley come back inside, now.” He demanded keeping his voice firm. He stopped when she did, and she turned to him fiercely.
“Why Luca? So you can toss me out in the morning, tell me nothing is between us. I am not a feather girl, I’m not a whore.” She shouted.
“Hayley, get back in the damn house, you will die of hypothermia before you even get anywhere near a road.” He kept his voice firm but calm even though this woman was capable of making him lose all self-control.
“A risk I’m willing to take!” She shouted before he watched her turn from him and begin to walk, clumsily in her stilettos in the gravel, he shook his head.
“Hayley, I’m warning you I will use force to get you back if I have too.” He warned as he took slow strides towards Hayley, who was struggling to walk away from him and he could hear her muttering under her breath.
Hayley wanted to leave, she couldn’t be around him any longer, but these damn heels were making her getaway almost impossible.
"Fuck you, Marcello.” She spat. Then she felt two hands not-so-carefully grab her waist and she let out a shriek. She noticed an SUV pull into the driveway just as Luca threw her over his shoulder.
“Luca Marcello, you let go of me now!” She screeched as she watched Frankie and Nic get out of the car laughing at the scene.
Hayley put up a good fight, she punched his back, kicked his chest and tried to claw him. Luca didn’t seem fazed with anything as he kicked open his front door, and walked up the stairs kicking his bedroom door wide open, and plonking Hayley on the bed.
She recognized the room as the bedroom she slept with Luca in, when he left money on the side.
She could have killed him with the look she gave him as she sat on his super king-size bed, but he turned and walked to the door and turned to look back at the beauty.
“You missy are on a time out until you learn to behave.” He chuckled with a devilish glint in his eyes. He left the room shutting the door, Hayley flew at the door trying to pull it open, but she heard a key in the lock, she screeched banging an open palm on the door.
“Luca Marcello, open this fucking door, now!” She shouted through the door, “Luca, I mean it!” She cried out.
She was furious with him. She began to panic and felt trapped, she hated being locked in anywhere. “Luca!” She cried out as a tear slipped down her face.
“Calm down, Hayley.” She heard his voice and it was oddly reassuring. “I want to talk to you but right now you need to calm the fuck down. Now, you’re not going anywhere anytime soon.” He chuckled darkly, and she banged the door once, she was a little firecracker and a part of him loved it.
“You’re going to fucking pay for this Luca, I mean it.” She threatened, and she heard him chuckle again from behind the door, which pissed her off and she repeatedly bashed the door.
“Oh, I’m scared Hayley.” He laughed at her threat, he watched as Frankie and Nic headed into the camera room.
Hayley, frustrated with the jerk behind the door she banged the door so hard she could feel the bruises forming.
“Stop assaulting my door!” He said through the door.
"Sorry,” she said sarcastically. “I was imagining it was your head,” her words were dark but she heard him chuckle lowly again.“Stop laughing at me!” She demanded as she slid down the door and put her ear against the door.
“I can’t help it, you’re funny when you are trying to be hard,” his laughter was just ticking her off. “Now, be good. I’ll be back to discuss it later properly. If you want my shirts are in the wardrobe, and there are towels in the bathroom.” He offered before she heard him walk away.
She was annoyed at him, she was angry, but her heart did flutter at the last things he said maybe deep down somewhere he did care. She slowly got up off the fluffy carpet and walked over to the dressing table where she noticed her feathered headband sat.
She took a deep breath before she sat back on his amazingly comfy bed and admittedly did as Luca said and calmed down.
Luca walked into the camera room, she was a frustrating creature yet there was something about Hayley that made him go back for more.
Frankie was sitting at the camera monitors and Nic was standing up against the wall behind the chairs, Luca took the chair next to Frankie.
“She’s a handful boss.” Frankie laughed, Luca said nothing as his eyes went to the camera monitor that had Hayley sitting on his bed. He watched as she looked around the room, and then she ran her hands through her brunette hair.
“She’s probably in shock, she has just witnessed a murder,” Nic spoke solemnly behind Luca. Luca exhaled, he had to remember not everyone was in tune with his world. Hayley was too nice, innocent and not supposed to be in his world.
“Who did Artem work for?” Luca asked, and Frankie shrugged. Luca wasn’t happy with that reply.
“You killed him before we could torture him to death to get information.” Frankie pointed out, Luca looked darkly at his friend who laughed a little.
“What about our member who was supposed to be watching him?” Luca asked, Frankie could hear the impatience in his voice.
Frankie used the keyboard to bring up the monitors in the lock-up. Luca looked at the young man, who was sitting tied to a chair, it looked like someone had already given him the once over.
He could see Ric and Dom standing silently at the entrance to the room, and the young guy using his energy to protest his innocence to them, but they said nothing back to him.
“Thomas was the guy,” Frankie informed Luca.
Frankie was angry that another guy that he had trained had betrayed the family, first Nate and now Thomas. Luca looked at them, he nearly helped Artem kill him, a shot that could have killed Hayley.
Luca stood up and looked at Nic, Nic just stood quietly up against the wall.
“Nic, you take care of things here, make sure she doesn’t destroy my door.” Luca used his head to look at the screen which still had Hayley on, but she was now pacing the bedroom.
“Frankie, you and I are going to have a chat with our little friend.” Luca instructed and with that he and Frankie left the house and drove to the lock-up.
Hayley was angry, he had no right to keep her trapped in his bedroom. She heard voices pass the door, and footsteps but she knew screaming would do no good. Nobody will let her out and rescue her, they all worked for him and he was God round here.
She decided she needed a shower, so grabbed a clean shirt from his impressive walk-in wardrobe and headed to his luxurious en suite. It was all grey, white and black marble. She removed the corset, placing her switchblade on the sink.
What did he want from her? She pondered as the water cascaded down her body. Did he want to kill her? Did she know too much? Was he going to punish her?
She thought of the day he called her baby, she remembered as he tucked her into his chest, somewhere behind his hard man exterior she felt there was a decent human inside of him.
“Leave us,” Luca spoke with firm authority and without a whisper, Ric and Dom left the room.
Frankie shut and bolted the door behind them and stood stoically beside the entrance, as Luca walked towards the lad Thomas, his eyes were petrified, he was petrified.
Luca picked up a chair that had been knocked over in a struggle of some form. Thomas was smart; he never made a sound he just watched as with a loud bang Luca slammed the chair in front of Thomas and silently sat on it.
“Hello, Thomas,” Luca said smoothly yet he laced it with dark undertones. In his eyes this man had committed a betrayal, risking his life, his family’s life and Hayley’s.
“M..Mr, Mr Marcello, s..s...Sir.” Thomas’ voice was shaky, filled with fear, as were his eyes. Luca remembered his father always told him the eyes were the gateway to the truth, a gateway to the soul and the mind.
“Who was Artem working for?” He asked him, as he pulled out his gun.
Luca opened it to check how many bullets he had, before closing it, he looked back at Thomas who shook his head, the sweat was flowing down his face.
“I...I.. have.. n..no Idea. Capo, I have no idea. Frankie-” The boy looked from Luca to Frankie, Luca snapped off the safety and fired a shot at the wall. Thomas whelped and looked back into the eyes of the most feared man in New York City.
“Don’t fucking look at him,” Luca growled as he used his gun to indicate Frankie before he pointed the gun at the boy. “He won’t save you, we don’t tolerate traitors.” Luca hissed, Thomas shook his head violently.
“I am not a traitor, I swear.” Thomas had tears slipping from his face, Luca shook his head. Luca fired a warning shot into Thomas’ leg, it skimmed his leg causing the boy to scream in pain.
“Shut up!” Luca demanded. Thomas quickly clamped his mouth shut, breathing and crying through the pain. “You see, you were right next to Artem, correct?” Thomas simply nodded, fearing if he opened his mouth a scream would escape
Frankie was watching the whole thing, Luca meant business, yet he was relatively calm. But, Frankie knew Luca was a storm and this was the calmness beforehand.
Frankie knew the evil bastard Luca had hidden inside him was dancing with glee at this, he knew there was a dark part of Luca Marcello that loved a good torture session.
“Well, how come a bar girl heard Artem on the phone talking about killing me, your fucking Capo!” He shouted, Luca, stood up and put the gun to Thomas’ forehead.
“He spoke in Russian or polish, or fuck I don’t know what language it was sounded, Russian. The girl must understand, I swear on my mamma I never heard a thing.” Luca was not going to buy this bullshit, he used the butt of his metal gun and whacked the little shit across the head.
“Your mamma will be dead if I find out you are fucking lying to me,” Luca shouted, Thomas, shook his head.
Luca couldn’t believe that Hayley understood Russian, and she never mentioned the man speaking in a different language. He looked at Frankie, if -and it was a big if - the lad was telling the truth and he dies his men may have doubts over Luca, but if he is lying he is dead and his mamma too.
“I swear Artem was talking in some other language. I would never have let him kill you, I would have taken the bullet myself. Capo, you and Frankie helped me when I needed a job, my mamma would be dead without you.” Thomas begged. Luca exhaled but didn’t lower his weapon.
He knew Thomas’ story: his dad died from alcohol poisoning, his older brother hung himself and his mother was sick, and Thomas was all she had, he needed money for her medications. Frankie offered him work, and the rest is history until now.
"If,” Luca said darkly. “You are lying, boy. Your mamma will be dead, and you will watch, understand?” Thomas nodded frantically.
Luca walked away, and Frankie unbolted the door and Luca turned to Thomas and shot him in the foot and he yelled out in pain.
“Something to think about Thomas,” Luca said simply before he left the room followed by Frankie.
Luca was trained to be harsh, violent and cold. This was his nature, all in a day’s work. This was the side he was protecting her from, this dark, twisted and evil side.
“Ric, get him the doctor, I don’t want him dying,” Ric nodded and left, “Dom find his mamma and keep her under surveillance, if the bastard is lying bring her in.”
“What are you going to do?” Frankie asked, Luca as he followed his boss out the lock-up to the car.
“I’m going to ask Hayley, if she tells me Artem spoke English then Thomas and his mamma are dead.” Frankie smiled at the evil and simple plan.
Luca was ruthless but fair. His father wouldn’t have cared whether he was telling the truth or not, he would have killed Thomas. His father would have also killed Hayley for simply knowing too much.
Luca marched through his home passing Nic who was sitting having a coffee in the kitchen. He unlocked his bedroom door and there she was. He sighed as he looked at the bed, Hayley was under the covers and sound asleep.
He quietly removed his jacket and his tie placing them on the chair, before sitting on the bed, looking down at her beautiful face. He looked at the switchblade he recognised as being hers, he picked it up from his bedside table.
He looked at her innocently asleep in his bed as he idly played with the blade in his hand. What could he do with her? She knows too much, she was too sweet, too caring for his dark underworld. He smiled as he thought of simply holding her in his arms, having her close to him. Inside Luca knew this girl was going to be the death of him.