Her Empire, His Dominion

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Chapter Two

Sapphire twisted and turned in bed all night. She couldn’t seem to catch a minute to sleep.

Her mind had been swirling with thoughts about what she saw today. She couldn’t understand how it could be bothering her this much. What Enrique did for a living wasn’t her concern, and what his empire had become had nothing to do with her.

Still, the thought had constantly been coming back to her, that perhaps if someone should overrule the new boss, things could become better for the people. But, who?

Sapphire knew the answer too well but refused to accept it. The only reason why she even opened the diner with Tiffany was that she wanted to lead an honest life, being a law-abiding citizen and contributing member of society.

What business would she have going to Russia anyway? She couldn’t be sure if the men there would follow her, either way. What if they are entirely loyal to this new boss and gets herself killed! Undeniably, it would be a challenge, especially since the fact still remains that men—strong men—could also be reluctant to follow her—a woman.

Groaning, Sapphire rolled from her bed and switched the lights on before staggering over to her mirror. She used the back of her hand to rub her eyes, getting rid of the blur that lingered when she opened them.

Her image stared back at her, scrutinizing and judging. There was a constant budding in the back of her mind that she could help and be the answer to this political problem. But then again, Sapphire didn’t know the first thing about the Mafia, let alone running it.

There was no doubt that the don would fight back, too. He wouldn’t just give up his power like that, just because she shares the blood of the most feared Mafia boss to ever rule. She had Enrique’s eyes and the same piercing gaze he held that could have any one of his affiliates bowing in a second. She also acknowledged that she had an aura of dominance and authority. Whether she liked it or not, ruling was in her blood.

But bravery was another thing.

To risk her life like this, would it be worth it? By the time she opens her mouth to tell them who she was, they’ll probably have her head before.

If she was actually considering this, she knew she needed to find something that could put her to an advantage right away without even saying a word. Biting down on her lip, Sapphire ventured to her closet and to the very back. She sighed as she bent to the loose floorboard, sliding it open with shaky hands.

Inside, she retrieved a series of documents that were sent to her adoptive parents’ house years ago when Enrique died. In her hands, she held land titles, statements to accounts and a Russian Passport. She had no idea how Enrique could get this done, but he had organized everything she needed to travel and live in the country. She opened the passport as her fingers trembled. Her black and white headshot stared back at her, seeing her fifteen-year-old self with eyes stripped of all innocence. The information was accurate, and the expiration date was set two years from now.

She took a deep breath as the papers trembled between her fingers. Sapphire couldn’t believe that she was actually considering this. Perhaps it was a suicide mission, but she also knew that her conscience wouldn’t rest, knowing that she could’ve at least tried.

But as she skimmed through the papers, something caught her eyes that nearly had her falling back.

Among the documents was a title of the Trevoga—in other words, Enrique’s gang name of the Russian Mafia. That was it. That was all she needed.

There her name sat, in bright red, as the new capo if something should ever happen to Enrique. It gave her the ultimate claim to the empire. And attached to the paper was a gold chain with a falcon pendant hanging from it, with the name ‘Nieto’ scribbled on its back.

That was Enrique’s last name, and though she went by Gordon from her mother, if she should do this, she had no choice but to take his name. It was, after all, the name that sat in the passport.

Her eyes fluttered closed as she wrapped the chain around her hand. She stood from her crouching position and exited the closet with the papers clutched to her chest. Sapphire knew that her father left her his fortune, but she didn’t think he signed his business to her too before his downfall. This only meant that when the men, probably his underboss, learnt of his death, they expected someone else to take over. Obviously, being fifteen was a dead giveaway that someone had to be in control until she came of age, and perhaps that did happen. But after eight years of no show, someone else had probably made it their duty to claim the seat to the throne.

Could it be possible that she could easily sweep in and do what her father obviously wanted her to do? The thought made her sick, but Sapphire told herself that she wasn’t doing this for Enrique, but the people of Moscow.

They had suffered far too much, and maybe if she should get some order in a somewhat fitting way of running the Mafia, people won’t be living in fear and distress. The last thing Sapphire wanted to do was uproot her life and move to a foreign country where she had only been a few times, but her conscience gave her no relief, especially now, knowing that there was something she could do.

She only hoped that it wouldn’t kill her first.

She climbed onto her bed and grabbed her laptop, immediately opening the search engine. If this was actually happening, then she definitely needed to know what she was walking into. So, Sapphire went from article to article, reading all about Mafias, not only in Russia but worldwide too. She studied every word that she read, holding onto the knowledge of what people had to say.

Subconsciously, her finger caressed the scribbled letters on the pendant she found as she read article after article. She didn’t know how much time had passed until the ringing of her doorbell echoed through her house. The light hue of sunlight that peeked through her window showed her that she had been up all night.

Shaking her head, Sapphire tumbled from the bed and crawled down the stairs to the front door, swinging it open as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes. The sunlight caused her to squint, and through the slits, she recognized that her visitor was D’Andre.

“I was going to let myself in and make you breakfast like I always do, but then I remembered that I no longer have a key,” he said as he stepped inside. “Good morning, by the way.”

Sapphire only groaned before following him to the kitchen, where he instantly grabbed pans and pancake mix.

“So, am I getting it back?” he asked suggestively, keeping his back turned as he ducked his head in the fridge. Again, Sapphire only mumbled as she sat by the island and dropped her head against it.

D’Andre’s exaggerated sigh echoed through the small space as he leant against the island across from her.

“Are you still mad?”

Sapphire lifted her head then, seeing his sad, brown eyes watching her in question. There were evident dark circles under his eyes, showing her that he didn’t get much sleep either. That, to her, was odd, considering D’Andre is a sucker for his’ beauty sleep’.

His blonde curly hair was unleveled, too, as if he ran his fingers through it a hundred times. He was also wearing the purple jacket that he knew was her favourite. Perhaps it was a subconscious act that let him choose since he knew they didn’t part on good terms yesterday.

“No,” she finally said, deciding to relieve him. “I’m not mad. I don’t think I ever was.”

With another sigh, D’Andre moved towards her and lifted her face to analyze it. Her drooping, tired eyes didn’t hold any resentment for him, but he acknowledged that they definitely were troubled.

“How much did you sleep last night?”

“I didn’t.” She sighed as she snuggled her head to his chest. “I’ve been up all night.”

“Whatever for?” In his mind, D’Andre couldn’t understand what would’ve kept her up all night when he knew how important sleep was.

Sapphire hesitated before speaking, considering whether she should tell him the truth or not. The last time she told him about her father’s wealth, he made it his personal duty to remind her every day.

“I’ve been thinking. . .”

“Well, obviously.” He simply couldn’t get over the fact that she didn’t sleep.

“Do you think. . . Do you think I could. . . run a Mafia?” The question had taken D’Andre by surprise. His raised eyebrows and parted lips showed her this much. “You know what? Never mind. It’s a dumb thought.” She quickly tried to escape, but D’Andre stopped her.

“No, no. It’s not. I just—I just didn’t think you would ever consider it. You know? After how you’ve reacted and all.”

Sapphire nodded as she rubbed her eye again. “I know. But seeing what has been taking place in Russia has got me thinking. And I found something last night that messed with my entire train of thought.”

She escaped quickly to go to her room, but D’Andre was right behind her. She shuffled through the loads of papers in hopes to find the one that pierced through her chest last night.

She handed the title to the Trevoga to him and watched as he skimmed over it quickly. Soon, his eyes grew wide as he looked between Sapphire and the paper.

“Whoa—”

“I know,” she said as she threw herself on the bed. “I got all these things years ago when he died, but I never bothered to look at them.”

But D’Andre wasn’t hearing what she had been saying. There was only one thing spinning in his mind.

“Sapphire. You’re a freaking Don.”

“I’m not,” she protested. “Not. . . yet.”

“So, you’re going?” D’Andre seemed and sounded more eager than Sapphire had expected. She raised an eyebrow as she slowly retrieved the paper from him.

“You do know that I can be killed on the spot, right?”

“Nonsense!” he laughed as he grabbed her and spun her around. “You don’t only have your father’s riches, but you have his entire business too!”

“It’s barely a business,” she scoffed. “It’s criminal activity.”

“So?” D’Andre laughed again, his eyes swimming in poured excitement. “Look, you don’t have to do the dirty work. You can change what you want to and still make a fortune a day.”

“It’s not about the money,” she told him, pulling away from his embrace. “Have you not seen the news?”

D’Andre scanned his mind for the events of the things he had watched and read about over the past days before remembering the state of panic that citizens have been in. It hadn’t been like that all the time, but over the years, it got worse.

“You are amazing, you know that?” he mumbled as he laid beside her, pulling her flush against his chest. “You can do this, Sapphire. You’re powerful, strong and everything that a leader should be. You’re the boss, so you can do whatever you want with the Mafia. I’ll be here, waiting for you when you get back.”

He pressed a long kiss to her cheek as her eyes fluttered closed, sleep finally deciding to relieve her.

“Sleep, love. I’ll call Tiffany and tell her that you’re not going in today. Then, I’ll help you figure it out once you’re awake.”

D’Andre’s voice faded as the subconscious world pulled her in, with her mind now made up.

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