The weekend passes quickly. I meet Hanna for drinks on Saturday, which turns into more drinks and suddenly we’re in a night club and I don’t get home till gone 3AM. I spend the first half of Sunday asleep, and the second half hungover and wishing I hadn’t woken up.
Monday is catch up day. The restaurant is closed, so I get out all the books and spread myself out on one of the larger tables. The building is silent and empty, allowing me to make quick work of the accounts. By six o’clock, I’m satisfied that everything is in order.
I pour myself a glass of wine and grab the guest book from the stand next to the front door. I keep it there for customers to write their reviews and feedback. If they’re spending £30-40 for the main course alone, I want to make sure they’re happy.
I sit down, take a sip of my wine, and start leafing through the pages, reading the lovely comments people have left. A knock on the front door makes me jump.
Can they not read the sign?We’re closed.
I sigh heavily and stand up. I walk over to the door but halt in my step when I see who is standing there. Through the glass door I can easily see the Italian hunk standing at the doorstep.
What the hell is he doing here?
Confused and a little nervous, I cautiously open the door. I tell him that we’re closed and the man smiles at me. Even his smile has the hairs rising on the back of my neck.
He’s so tall. Six and half foot, maybe? I can’t be certain about the exact measurement, but he towers over me.
“I’d like to speak with you, Miss Castillo,” he says smoothly and my mouth parts in surprise.
It’s not too shocking that he knows my name, but it still surprises me. What catches me off-guard, is the sexy-as-hell Italian accent coating his voice.
“Sorry, do we knew each other?” I reply and his smile widens into a grin, which both sends shivers down my spine and makes me clench my thighs together.
He’s so attractive, it hurts.
“Not yet, Miss Castillo. Now, may I come in?” He asks and I hesitate.
I look over his shoulder and see a black Range Rover and two bodyguards, stood waiting by the car. I’m not sure why a man like this would need protection, he’s huge himself. Not only is he really tall, but he’s also broad and muscular too.
“What do you want to talk about?” I question, eyeing the bodyguards.
I’m outnumbered and I don’t like it. My restaurant is on a busy street, but I still feel uncomfortable.
“If it would make you feel uncomfortable, my men will stay outside. How about that?” He offers, his voice doing sinful things to my body.
I curse myself for its reaction to this man.
“Fine,” I concede and step to one side to let the man enter.
He nods at the two bodyguards, and they don’t follow him when he walks inside. He brushes past me, and I get a whiff of his expensive cologne. It’s strong and sexy and innately masculine.
Fuck.Is everything about this man attractive?
I close the guest book and put it to one side. He pulls out a chair opposite mine at the table, I consider offering him a drink, but I don’t want to give him reason to stay longer than necessary. I still have no idea what this is about.
I watch as he undoes the button of blazer and slides it off, revealing a white shirt that shows every muscle in his arms and chest. My eyes widen at the gun holster, currently empty, strapped to his shoulders.
I knew this man was dangerous.
He takes a seat, and my eyes drop to his rolled up sleeves, which reveal his tanned, inked forearms. I think my eyes must bulge out of their sockets when I spot the cartel brand on his inner right arm.
I was right. He’s in the mafia.
This city has many problems, and gangs are one of them. There are a couple of low-level gangs that work for the mafia here, there was an exposé on it last year. I would recognise the mafia’s logo anywhere; the crest is of the Italian founding family of this mafia.
I remain rooted to my chair, unable to move out of fear. I’m alone with a member of the mafia. I watch him like a hawk as he makes himself comfortable, leaning forwards and resting his elbows on the table. He watches me in return, an amused smile on his plump lips. He knows I’ve seen his tattoo, it was intentional, probably to scare me.
“Now you know what sort of person I am, Miss Castillo, I can probably introduce myself,” he says smugly, and I narrow my eyes at him.
“I don’t want to know a member of the mafia, thanks,” I snap.
I’m not sure where that sudden burst of confidence came from, but I quickly bite my bottom lip, this is not that kind of man I want to piss off. He laughs at me, an evil chuckle that tells me I’ve said something wrong.
“I’m not a member of the mafia, gattina,′ he pins me with his dark brown eyes, ’I’m the don.”
I swallow hard. My pale, scared face is the complete opposite to his amused, tanned one.
“My name is Domenico Lencioni.”
I quickly lick my dry lips, I’ve heard of the Lencioni family, they’re frequently quoted as the founding family of our city’s mafia.
“So, tell me,” I say and cough to try and make my voice sound less scared. “What does a mafia don want with a small restaurant owner?”
He smirks at me, and the stupid act goes straight to my pussy. I clench my thighs under the table and clasp my hands together. “I have a proposition for you,” he muses.
“I don’t need any investors, I have enough already,” I interrupt him, and he narrows his eyes in disapproval.
“This isn’t about your restaurant,” he retorts. “This is about you.”
My mouth goes dry. This is so much worse than what I was thinking. How can this be about me?
“I want you to come and stay with me for one week,” he says and lets the words sink in.
“Excuse me?” I ask, frowning with confusion.
“You intrigue me, gattina. I always go after what I want, and I want you,” he replies. I stare at him in shock. He laughs softly at my stunned expression and continues. “I want you to come stay at my house, for seven days. In return, I will gift you one million for each of your restaurants.”
My mouth drops open, completing my what-the-fuck-did-you-just-say look.
“You must be joking,” I blurt out and he frowns at me.”
“No, I am being perfectly serious.” He leans back and crosses his arms over his chest. “Like I said, you intrigue me, gattina. You’re gorgeous, successful, in many ways unattainable, and I want you.”
I stare at him for a few moments longer and he remains silent, letting his offer sink in. My restaurants are successful, but the overheads and expenditures are high, meaning my profit is good but not good enough that I’ll easily turn down two million pounds.
Is he for real? The serious look on his face tells me he is. If he’s a mafia don, he’s probably very used to getting what he wants. But why on Earth does he want me?
“You want to pay me two million to act as a prostitute for a week?” I ask and he scoffs with derision.
“No, gattina, do not think of it that way.”
“So, you don’t want to sleep with me?” I check and he narrows his dark eyes again.
“No, of course I would sleep with you, gattina, and I’d give you the most pleasure you’ve had in your life. You would leave completely satisfied,” he says calmly, and I raise an eyebrow in disbelief.
Sure of himself, isn’t he?
“Is it normal for you to go around propositioning women for sex?” I ask bluntly and he laughs at me.
“No, gattina, you are the first. You should feel special, I don’t take time out of my busy schedule for just anyone.”
I roll my eyes, but I feel more relaxed now. He has a dangerous vibe about him, but now that we’ve talked, I am less scared of him. I think about what he is saying, what he’s offering.
I know ‘gato’ is cat in Spanish, and ‘ita or ito’ means small.
“Are you calling me kitten?” I ask bluntly and he grins.
“You know Italian?” He asks, his voice oddly hopeful.
“Not really, but I’m fluent in Spanish.”
Perks of having Colombian family.
The mafia don nods in approval. “I will give you until the end of the week to think about it,” he says and reaches into his blazer pocket.
He pulls out a business card, an address, and a picture of a house.
“Text me if you have any questions, and I will call you on Friday for your answer. If you agree, you will join me that night and I will bring you home the following weekend.”
My hand shakes a little as I reach across the table and pick up the photo of his house. It’s beautiful, all white and glass. I bet he even has a swimming pool.
“And other than sex, what exactly do you want to do with me for the week?” I enquire and he gives me a genuine smile that has my knees going weak.
Fuck! So many women would have said yes immediately to this, he’s fucking gorgeous.
“I want to get to know you, I want to treat you. I will buy you whatever you want, feed you whatever you want, we could even go abroad, if you would like to.”
This seems too good to be true in a way.
“Why me?” I echo my thoughts and he smiles again.
“I’ll explain more if you accept, gattina, but just know that I’m fascinated by your ambition and your beauty. The women I meet are usually only looking for two things from me; my body or my money.” He smirks. “But you are feisty and smart and have a mind for business. You have worked for your success, and I appreciate that.”
His compliments make me blush, and once again, I curse my traitorous body. “Please, at least consider it. You should treat yourself; I imagine it’s been a long time since you went on holiday.”
I look down, breaking our eye contact. He’s more accurate than I care to admit, I haven’t been on a proper holiday in years.
He stands up from the table and I do the same, as he slips on his blazer. “It was a pleasure to meet you properly, Alejandra.”
He takes my hand and kisses the back of it, making my stupid cheeks heat up again. “Please, contact me if you have any questions. I will speak to you on Friday,” he says, and I freeze as he reaches out and brushes his fingers over my cheek. “I really hope that you say yes. I want to treat you like the queen you are, if only for a week.”
Well fuck, what’s a girl to say to that?
I don’t say a word as he leaves the restaurant. I remain immobile as the men get into the car and drive away. It is only when they’ve well and truly disappeared down the road that I collapse into my chair.
What the fuck just happened?