Chapter 2 - Hawk Eyes & Bad Guys
Hayley never forgot being forced against the wall, she never forgot his chocolate colour eyes, and she never forgot his threatening tone. Even more than twenty-four hours later she hadn’t forgotten.
The dress Ava had picked for her was a low cut black dress with tie fastened halter neck, it was flowing and came a few inches above her knees. She wore a lot more makeup than normal-thanks to Ava- and she wore her hair in bouncy curls.
Hayley had to admit to herself she was nervous, she hadn’t been out drinking for a long time, she always feared someone from her past would find her. She put the chain link handle of her little clutch over her shoulder and prepared herself for her night out.
Ava looked gorgeous in a bright red tight strapless number, she wore heels that made her taller than most men. Ben looked great in a plain white shirt and some dress trousers, the trio were ready and Ava led the way to a place she knew she would be able to skip the entry queues.
“Vivace.” Was a club that had a strict dress code and had a queue round the door, Ava walked casually up to the bouncers and we were allowed past. It was similar to the Venetian, it had booths, a stage and a dancefloor but it was purple and black as to the Venetian which was red and gold. Ben made his way to the bar and grabbed a tray of shots.
“Ladies.” He said as the three of them walked to a tall circle table and stood around it as Ben put down the tray of shots, they each took a shot glass, and knocked back the strong liquid, they all pulled faces and made a gagging noise as the burning clear liquid hit their throats, but it made them all laugh at each other’s reaction.
“Nic.” Frankie called for his friend who was sitting in the velvet deep purple booth, Nic looked at Frankie who was standing looking over the black metal railings that looked over the entire club. Nic stood up excusing himself from the conversation that was taking place with Luca and his good for nothing brother Marco.
Nic stood beside Frankie. “Is that Ava?” He asked as Nic looked at the table where blonde Ava was laughing with Ben Lusziak and that new girl.
“Yep,” Nic said simply as he watched as the trio picked up their second shot and threw it back. Nic felt a presence to his other side, he looked to see Luca at his side. “Isn’t that the girl who had your balls last night?” Nic chuckled as Frankie looked at the beautiful brunette.
Luca had already caught his sights on her, he laughed a little as he watched her throwback her third shot and Ava quickly grabbed her arm to dance.
“She never had my balls, I could take her on.” Frankie scoffed trying to defend his manhood.
“And I said no, she’s not a feather girl,” Luca spoke firmly to his friend, as he watched as she and Ava danced to a Pink song that was blasting. Luca couldn’t keep his eyes from her, the way she moved. Her smile was light and bright, she had no darkness within her, not like him.
“Yeah, I know. But she’s not in the Venetian.” Frankie pointed out, Luca just looked at his friend and Frankie just laughed. Luca watched as the girl separated from Ben and Ava and forced her way to the bar.
“Can I get another vodka and coke?” She shouted over to the bartender, who turned from her to make her drink. Out the corner of her eye she saw a group of guys and one guy started to approach her, the bartender placed down her drink and she paid.
“Hello, beautiful.” This guy spoke as he stood beside her. He was quite close, this was unnerving for Hayley and she took a slight step back, well as far as she could but the bar was busy and crowded.
“Hi.” She said simply, her eyes flashed to the group behind him who was watching, they had smirks on their faces. She knew what was going on here.
“So, what..” He began but she cut him off.
“Listen,” she caught his hazel coloured eyes with her own. “I’m not interested, so whatever bet you have going on with your dick buddies, find another girl to fool.” Her words were forceful, making it clear she wasn’t interested.
Hayley heard the guys buddies laugh as she rejected him, his face hardened he was clearly embarrassed and pissed off. Hayley turned to walk back up to the dance floor but he grabbed her arm, she looked from his hand to his face.
"Fucking bitch,” he spat and she removed her arm from his hand. “You’re gonna regret you did that, whore.” He spoke in a low dark and threatening tone, to which Hayley laughed.
“You think I’m afraid?” She put her hand on her little black clutch which held her trusty flick knife, “you think I’ve not been threatened by bigger and scarier men?”
Her heart raced as she thought of the men she ran from and the dark eyes of the man who threatened her yesterday. She then confidently walked away from the man and back to the group.
“She’s like fire.” Frankie laughed as he and Luca watched the brunette take down a guy who tried it on with her. Luca watched as Hayley walked back to the crowd trying to find her friends, she pushed her way through the crowds of his busy club.
“Where’s Nic?” Frankie tried to change the subject even though he knew Nic was probably off doing a job for their boss, Luca.
Luca wasn’t listening to Frankie anymore, he was watching. Hayley walked through the crowd, her face innocently looking for her friends. However, Luca looked back at the dark look of the man she rejected, he knew that look. It made his protectiveness interfere with his judgement, as the man watched Hayley, Luca carefully watched him.
“Ben?” Hayley yelled over the music to Ben who was dancing with a dark-haired girl. “Where’s Ava?”
He shrugged and she looked around the heavily crowded club, she had no clue where she could be, but the bathroom would be a good place to start.
She pushed her way through the masses of dancing bodies, her head was light as a feather from the alcohol. Hayley tried to keep her drinking controlled but with companions like Ben and Ava, it wasn’t possible.
She walked into a hallway consisting of various toilet doors and seated couches where people were sat, making out as if there were only them in the entire club, some taking it a little bit too far, for public eyes anyway.
“Hello, Beautiful.” The voice made her stop in her tracks and she turned to see the sleazy bar guy. There was no denying she was shaky on her feet, the alcohol had dulled her senses, but she could sense this wasn’t going to end well.
He moved closer to her. For some bizarre reason, her feet stayed glued to the floor. Hayley simply stood as he approached her and grabbed her hair. Everything at that moment happened fast. The guy had managed to open a nearby cleaning closet and throw her in first and followed her in slamming the door closed.
Hayley was flung into some wooden shelves, losing her balance in the process and ended up on the ground, bringing two of the shelves down with her. Her back ached from the harsh landing and she hissed in pain. He approached her, with an evil glint in his eyes.
She watched as he adjusted his belt to remove it, she wasn’t going to let this happen. She picked up her foot and kicked him in his manhood, he crouched in his pain holding his little man. Hayley used this to get herself up from the floor and dash to the door but he wasn’t going to let her go that easy.
He managed to grab her hair again and forced her to the wall with a thud. He turned her so her back was to the wall and gave a loud and sharp slap across her dress.
“Fucking whore.” His body shook with anger as his hand, once again, went across her cheek. She went for him, she wasn’t going to let this happen, she wouldn’t be a victim.
She dug her nails into his face, breaking the skin and drawing blood. The action caused him to groan out a curse before grabbing her and violently chucking her to the ground.
Hayley was careful with her head as she fell and prevented it from hitting the floor, but that didn’t make the matter any better as he climbed on top of her.
“No!” She felt her tough exterior melt away and the tears gathered in her eyes. He moved the fabric of her dress to her waist then she heard his zipper.
“Stop fighting, it’s gonna happen, bitch!” He let out the words blunt and harshly through his gritted teeth. He held her down whilst she constantly struggled. All her attempts were leading up to failure and soon she heard the ripping of her dress.
As she wrestled with the man above, her hands touched her clutch. She could see her way out of this as her hands rummaged through to take out her little flick knife.
He was too distracted, trying to get his little member out to notice her movements. She used the knife to plunge it into him, causing him to scream out in pain and topple off her body. She used this time to move, and get out of the danger.
She didn’t look where she was going, she just ran until two hands, each on one of her shoulders, restricted her from doing so.
Her eyes looked up to see his dark eyes looking back at her
Luca had seen the bastard follow her to the hallway and he called the security room, where they told him about a guy pushing a girl into a cleaning closet, and that they were on their way, but it appeared he had gotten there first.
She watched as he took the knife from her hand, cleaning it quickly with a handkerchief from his tailored suit jacket pocket before closing it and placing it in his dress trouser pocket. She was unsure of what was going on.
Then two familiar faces showed up. The cocky one, Frankie and the smartass, Nic. She also noticed men who looked like bouncers appear. She felt her stomach churn, she had just stabbed a man.
“I’ve just-” She was interrupted by Luca who seemed to know what had gone down even if he hadn’t seen the closet footage.
“There is a guy in the cleaning closet, Ricardo and Dominic can you deal with him. Frankie can you check the CCTV please.” Hayley was confused with what was going on, people were looking at the group. Was Hayley going to be arrested?
“You are coming with me.” His words were laced with dominance as he looked at Hayley, calmness evident in his tone as he gently shrugged out of his jacket and placed it carefully on her shoulders.
He guided her through the ‘staff only’ part of the club, the staff watched as Luca led Hayley up the staircase to his brother’s messy office. Nic was loyally behind them.
Hayley looked round the room, taking in its contents which consisted of a large glass office desk that was chaotic with paperwork and files covering the smooth surface. A huge black leather office chair and two leather armchairs backing the door and facing the desk.
There was a glass wall that looked out over the club, where two black leather couches faced each other with a glass coffee table, which was littered with empty glasses, a decanter and an ashtray that could do with being emptied.
Hayley watched as Luca quickly cleared the coffee table and put the littered objects and the full ashtray on the main office desk. Luca was annoyed his little brother had one job in the Family and that was to look after the legit clubs, yet the office was a mess, a mess Luca hated.
“Are you going to call the police?” Hayley questioned as she stood in his jacket, she eyed Luca who was taking a seat on one of the couches, letting out a throaty chuckle when he heard her say the word police.
“Why would I do that?” His voice was calm as he nodded to the opposite sofa. “Take a seat, Bella.”
She was sceptical at first before shaking her head and resting herself on the sofa. Luca’s eyes wandered over the marks on her face and legs which were covered by the ripped skirt.
“We can call the police, that’s if you want to file a police report.” Luca raised one eyebrow. He certainly did not want the police sniffing around, but if it would make her feel better, he wouldn’t hesitate to do so. He watched as she violently shook her head.
“I can’t- I mean no, I don’t want to.” She answered in a haste. How could she file a police report? She wasn’t supposed to be in the USA!
Luca looked at her as she kept her stare on her hands that were placed on her knees. Luca then looked at Nic who looked just as puzzled by what she had said. She couldn’t file a police report? Was she scared because she stabbed him? No detective would arrest her and if they did Luca had lawyers, who would get her off with self-defence no problems there.
Luca knew he would do all he could to help her, she was attacked in his club, a place she should have been safe and she wasn’t. He knew he would take action, no one got hurt under his care and got away with it.
“Nic, can you grab us something to drink?” He instructed his cousin who nodded once and then left the room.
Hayley looked over her shoulder and watched the guy called Nic to leave the room and she was just left with him. She looked back at him, he sat casually on the sofa, she took him in.
He was smartly dressed, a white dress shirt and a dark tie. His trousers matched the jacket she was wearing; his shoes were stylish and everything he wore was a designer. His eyes were dark but had a warm brown to them when he was in the light, his features were sharp and very handsome. This man looked after himself, that was clear.
“I stabbed a man.” She uttered, still in a state of horror as she tried to think about what she had just done.
Yes, she carried a knife but she never expected to ever have to use it. The knife was merely for some sort of ease in her mind.
“He tried to hurt you first Bella.” He stated so easily. In his world, death and violence were as natural as breathing. He watched as the girl put her hands up to her face, looking as distressed as ever.
His ears picked up the slight murmurs against her hands, repeating the words; “I’m not going to be a victim again, I won’t get hurt again.”
Luca parted his lips to ask what she was on about, but a light knock at the door stopped his words from passing through.
“Excuse me, Bella.“He excused himself out of the room to his waiting cousin.
“Luca, Dom and Ric have the guy locked in the cleaning closet.” Nic then pulled his hands from behind his back and Luca looked harshly at the two items he held in his hands, both belonging to the girl. One was her black clutch handbag and the other was some black lace underwear.
"Bastard, do you think he managed to hurt her?” Luca asked as he took the handbag, and did what Siobhan always warned him never to do; he looked through the bag.
There were some cash, her cell and a British passport. He opened it up and looked at her ID, her name was Hayley Tate and she was twenty-three years old. He placed the ID back in her bag. Nic felt uncomfortable as he held the girl’s underwear.
“I don’t know, he claims he didn’t, Frankie is still looking at the footage.” Nic explained as Luca took Hayley’s underwear from Nic who went into his jacket pocket to show Luca something. “The guy came in looking for trouble.”
Luca looked down at the little packet of pills, he recognised them easily as the date rape drug. This pissed Luca off, he was planning on hurting a girl tonight shame he picked the wrong club, the wrong girl and the wrong owner.
“Take him to the lock-up, ” Luca commanded with a cold voice Nic who nodded solemnly. Luca looked down at the underwear before Nic spoke again. “I’ve called for Doctor Luciano he is on his way, her friends think she took a tumble outside the toilets, I put Ava in a taxi but Ben Lusiak is insisting on staying for her.”
Luca just nodded, he could imagine Ben Lusiak being the hero kind.
“Boss?” A voice called out Luca looked down at the man who had spoken. He, like everyone employed by him, was in his best attire. He was the family doctor, a man who had seen so much in the short years he had worked for Luca.
“What happened? Direct me to the patient.” The Doctor spoke, taking Luca’s hand in a firm handshake with a brown leather bag in his other hand. He couldn’t help but notice his boss holding a woman’s underwear and a clutch.
“She’s in the office,” Luca explained, Luciano looked puzzled. He was normally called when a man had been stabbed, shot or beaten to a pulp. “She was attacked in the club, a guy managed to get these from her,” Luca explained in a low voice as he held out her underwear. Something inside him stirred and his stomach churned.
“Perhaps we should call a female doctor?” Nic explained, Luciano knew plenty but he shook his head before looking back at the boss.
“They will insist she reports it,” Luciano explained he wasn’t stupid to know that Luca Marcello would not be happy with cops sniffing around.
“That’s not a problem, the bastard who did this won’t be found again,” Luca said firmly, and Nic took that as his cue to go and tell Ricardo and Dom to get the bastard to the lock-up.
“Look, boss, I will go in alone. I’m highly trained, we, unfortunately, deal with assaults like this a lot. I will talk to her to find out what happened and look at anything I need to look at.” He gently took the clutch and underwear from his boss as Luca sighed and nodded.
Luca would make sure the attacker’s death was violent and painful. But for now, all he could do was wait.
Hayley shifted in her seat as the young doctor questioned her whilst examining her face where he had slapped her.
“Hayley,” Luciano sighed and held out her black lace underwear, making her stomach drop, “did he hurt you, anywhere else?” He said with a soft voice.
She shook her head. “I never gave him the chance.” She said boldly to which Luciano smiled. There was a spark in this little British girl, her bright blue eyes intoxicating and her boldness was quite charming.
“Look, I really have to go. My friends will be worried.” She smiled, and he closed up his bag.
“Well, if you are sure you are okay.” He watched as she nodded and slipped her underwear into her clutch and stood up, with Luciano copying her actions.
She walked out to find Ben and Luca having a standoff. Ben was demanding to know where she was and Luca was calmly but assertively telling him to go home and she was taken care of. Both of their eyes fell on her as she left the office.
“I’m fine now.” She assured Ben before turning to Luca. “And thank you, Mr Marcello, for calling the doctor.” Luca only nodded once in response. He was a cold man, she thought.
Ben put his arm around her shoulders and led her down the stairs and the pair headed home. It made Luca grit his teeth as he watched Hayley walk away with Ben. What was making him feel this way? She was a loudmouth, disrespectful girl, yet something inside made him want her.
“Mr Marcello?” Luciano called from behind. “He never touched her. Well, not in the way we were concerned for because she never gave him the chance apparently,” He smiled. “Good night.” He departed, leaving Luca standing alone.
He sighed and placed his hands in his trouser pockets and felt her knife. A smirk graced his lip because he knew she was like fire, and he wanted to play with it.