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Chapter 74 : Madelyn

Chapter 74 : Madelyn
Friday, September 10th, 2021

I swear I could cry from how happy I am, the reassurance that they loved me back burning true not just in their words but in their touch as well.

In fact, I did cry when Caleb scooped me up into his arms similarly to the way Xavier did a week ago, just holding me and failing to hide the biggest smile on his face.

For the first time in twenty three years, I think I finally understand what it feels like to have a home, and while I’d always imagined it as a house with four walls, it turned out to be the embrace of three men instead.

No words could describe the way I was feeling right now, but content was a pretty good second.

“I love you too, darling.” Caleb whispers into my hair, the warm press of Alec’s body appearing at my back. “And I hope you also know my name is being tattooed onto your ass now whether you like it or not.”

I pulled back teary eyed as I laughed, and as if for good measure he grabbed a handful of my backside playfully yet more than serious at the same time.

It felt so good just seeing all of them happy like this, and I damn near choked on air when Xavier tried to tickle the side of my body his name was on, falling back into a fit of giggles as I tried to kick him in retaliation.

“I hate you.” I gasped when the other two ganged up on me as well, my hips trying to twist away from their touch.

“Liar.” Alec smiles when he ends up pinning me down on my back, kissing me because we both knew what was true. I don’t think I’d ever truly experienced a love like ours until now.

It was so easy to just get lost in all of them, and I feel like that’s what happened for the majority of the night that led to us all naked in the hot tub off of Alec’s room, almost a bottle into the champagne Caleb popped open.

“Come on, you have to tell me something.” I laughed when Xavier suddenly pulled me into his lap, the blue lights colouring the water fading to a faint purple.

My head easily rested against the hard muscle of his shoulder, but it was more than comfortable with his hands wrapping around my middle.

I almost became breathless when his thumb slowly stroked over my left hip, but he wasn’t even looking as he did it. The action just seemed natural now.

“Well I could tell you how beautiful you look right now.” Alec smiles in full sincerity, his eyes thoughtfully dropping down to my lips as I squirmed until Xavier was forced to tighten his arms around me. “I could tell you that your smile is one of my favourite sights or the fact that the little blush across your cheeks right now makes me want to do very sinful things to see if I can make it deepen.”

He was teasing both me and Xavier as he let out a pained groan, forcing my movements to stop all together. We were done with sex for tonight, but I had to bite my cheek to stop from smirking at the fact Xavier’s dick very clearly didn’t get the message.

“He likes you, okay?” He chuckles, kissing my cheek before resting his chin on my shoulder from behind. I can’t help it as I happily snuggle into him, rolling my eyes at the fact he just spoke about himself in the third person.

“Does he have a name too?” I tease, splashing water when both Caleb and Alec grab my feet. I thought they were trying to tickle me again but when they just propped my legs on their knees, I sighed as they started to massage me.

It felt as close to heaven as things get and I nearly wanted to give into sleep from all of the tension being loosened from my body. The key word being nearly, because I was much too happy right now to cut this short.

"He responds to a lot of things as long as it comes from your mouth.” Xavier winks, nipping my ear when I laughed at his horrible innuendo. Shaking my head, I relaxed into his chest until I was able to look at the stars above us, a faint fog created from the clouds. We were far enough out to miss the busy lights of the city, though.

I only realized how far we’d strayed from my initial question when I realized it had partly been an evasion tactic on their part, and while I wasn’t mad in the least, I was persistent.

“For real, though.” I say, closing my eyes as I let the hot water surround me up to my neck. “Why did you have to go to France last minute?”

It wasn’t a planned trip and it wasn’t for Rush either. I’m starting to come to better terms slowly about the whole Mafia thing, but whether it was ideal or not, it was a huge part of their lives. I can’t change it, however that doesn’t mean I don’t want to learn still.

They’d promised me that we could talk when I was ready, and I think I was now if even just to be able to understand them better.

I could feel the intensity of Caleb’s stare especially at my question, and based on the small pause of silence, I knew they were all choosing their words right now.

“How much do you want to know?” He breaks first, staying true to their agreement. I knew if I directly asked, Alec and Xavier would answer too, but I didn’t care who it came from as long as it was the truth.

“I don’t want you to shelter me.” I shake my head, tucking a slightly dampened piece of hair behind my ear as I readjust myself. “I meant it when I said I loved you. That includes these parts too.”

Even if I feared it would one day be the cause of a lot of complications for us.

I watched as Caleb nodded once—the act so small you’d only be able to notice if you were looking for it—but he nodded nonetheless.

It was clear all of them wanted to protect me, and I loved them for it, but we all knew that wasn’t their decision to make. Them choosing to talk told me they respected that.

“When you search our names, you’ll hear about Rush and the strains of hotels and casinos we own, but those provide very little to our actual worth.” Caleb started, moving up from my foot to my leg to massage. “It’s the hotels that house some of the most wanted criminals as a hideout and the casinos meant for dealings where the players spend large and go home with larger.”

My mouth stayed shut as he spoke, simply listening even though I wasn’t sure what this had to exactly do with France.

I could tell it was important, however, just by the way Xavier’s thumb continued to run over my hip as a nervous impulse he needed to relieve.

“I’ve always been good with numbers, and that’s why I can understand cheats without a second glance just through observance. Either way, people have to pay up at some point and that’s when Alec tries to talk. He reads people and when he finds they’re ingenuine, stubborn, or straight up crooked, Xavier comes into play.”

Tilting my head to the side, I looked at him as I regarded the new slight cut along his chin—barely noticeable but still there.

Had that been from France? Did he hurt the people Caleb called cheats?

“We’ve only ever shown you the... well behaved side of us, but we have a reputation pretty much everywhere for what happens when you cross the line in our territory.” Alec adds after a second, and I knew he was still trying to soften things for me.

“What happens?” I ask. “When someone crosses the line?”

I had a feeling I already knew, but I didn’t fear their answer. At this point, I’m fairly sure there’s pretty little they’d be able to tell me that would make me scared of them.

Xavier tightens his hold on me just as his mouth falls down to my ear, his breath a whisper against my neck.

“Like Caleb said, people have to pay up somehow. We give them three days to gather what’s due. When we find that hasn’t happened, their life becomes a statement instead.”

My breath held as he spoke, and it may make me fucked up, but I couldn’t help but feel a little warm at the idea of them taking what’s owed to them themselves. I would never accept it if it were innocents being killed, but the thought of them getting their revenge—making those who’ve double crossed them regret even thinking it in the first place...

“Careful how you’re looking at us or we might believe you to be a little more like us than we thought, princess.” Alec’s eyes flash with something, because he knew the light flush of my cheeks had nothing to do with the champagne.

Shifting yet again on Xavier’s lap, I didn’t say anything for a moment considering this was all very new waters for us to be in.

When I first found out about the mafia, I was more mad that they hid it from me than the fact they were in it themselves. I know there’s still loads of things I don’t know about them yet, but I want to.

“So that’s what happens when someone steals from you?” I raise my eyebrow, Xavier keeping a hold of me as I lean forward to grab the bottle of champagne.

“Among other ways.” Xavier says against my neck as I refill my glass, but he didn’t add more and I think I was fine with that for today.

To an outsider’s eye, the fact I wasn’t trying to run in the opposite direction of them all right now might make me seem crazy, but while I’m kind hearted, I never said I was good. I’m not running for the same fact I didn’t stop them from killing that man at the hotel. I’m not running for the same fact that one day I’m going to kill Andrew, and when Xavier’s ready, I will offer to help him kill Vincent too.

Sometimes there’s not always good and bad, heroes and villains. Sometimes there are just two sides to differently similar stories.

“Can I ask you one more question?” I ask, a laugh mixing with my gasp when my feet were suddenly tugged forward until I was positioned into Alec’s hold with my legs over Caleb’s.

The tips of my hair dampened from the stir of water, Xavier somehow looking even hotter from watching me from that slight distance.

“You can always ask us anything, darling.” Caleb says, his hands smoothing up and down my legs as an excuse just to touch me.

They were all a little more intimate as they held me, their words sweeter when they spoke. I think it had everything to do with my confession and the fact that what we had wasn’t going away anytime soon.

It was a good feeling, and I think it was one we were all a little high off of right now.

“It’s a little random and it might not even matter...” I kind of trailed off as I leaned into Alec’s front, exhaling as his hand came to play with my hair.

Hopefully it wasn’t personal or saddening, but I knew the mafia wasn’t exactly any of their first choices in career paths. I wanted to know more about what they dreamed of—in a life where the world wasn’t so complicated.

“Nothing will ever not matter when it comes to you, Mads.” Xavier says, moving to sit beside Caleb as he holds my eyes. He meant every one of those words, and the sincerity in his gaze made me blush a little bit.

I loved how they never shut me down when I spoke. It was something so small, but so big to me.

“This is just imagining, but if the Mafia never existed and you could choose any job you wanted, what would you want to do?”

I know this would never happen, but that didn’t change the fact I wanted to know what their aspirations were.

Your dreams are always a huge part of you whether you get to live them or not.

Just by their eyes I could tell my question hadn’t been what they were expecting, but when I watched a small smile appear on Caleb’s face, I knew no boundaries had been crossed.

“I’ve always been good at drawing, and if I could, I would open my own tattoo studio.” He admits, surprising me enough for him to chuckle a little.

“How did I not know this?” I grin, slightly amazed because one, Caleb doesn’t have a single tattoo on his body, and two, I’ve never seen him draw anything before.

Though there also hasn’t exactly been a lot of time recently for me to learn these things.

“Half of our ink was done by him.” Alec says, lifting his arm from the water before tracing his fingertips across his skin. “This one’s my personal favourite.”

I tipped my head down to look over the design of a raven with its wings outstretched, the design residing on the top of his right hand above his pointer and middle fingers. While small, I couldn’t help but furrow my eyebrows in question about the fact the bird was cut into several pieces as though a knife had slashed clean through the image multiple times.

“Why is it split up like that?” I ask curiously, noticing the way he shivers slightly when my own fingers start to touch the intricate design. It started with me watching and ended with me holding his hand, only making things all the sweeter.

“Ravens and crows are both seen as bad omens to most, but they’re also birds of high intelligence and adaptability.” Two things that Alec had in every way.

I waited for him to continue as his free hand wrapped around my stomach, my side still pressed to his chest and my head resting under his chin.

Caleb smiled at me when I glanced at him but I could see the tiredness in his eyes from that single look alone. I didn’t even know what time it was here, but I know it’s probably late.

“Madelyn.” Alec says to break the soft silence, lifting his fingers to run through my hair. “It’s a reminder that even those of the highest intelligence and most efficient adaptability have limitations. My mind is a weapon, but it’s not one I use without thought.”

My eyes widened slightly as I looked back at the tattoo in an entirely different way, one in which I never would’ve expected.

The raven represented a part that made Alec who he was, and there was a type of vulnerable beauty in that that made a part of me fall for him all over again.

“Thank you.” I say after a small stretch of quiet, feeling just a little closer at what he’d shared. Now I wanted to ask about every tattoo and so much more when I knew we should all be sleeping.

I could already feel my body slipping away, even though my mind was far from settled.

If I had things my way, I would’ve fought the feeling harder. Only, Xavier was the first to notice my decline in energy followed by my tired yawn into my hand.

“How about we talk more tomorrow, darling?” Caleb suggests when he realized next, squeezing my leg with the hand he just was previously running up and down my skin.

I quietly groaned the second he tried to move away so I could get up, shaking my head in a weak protest. I know none of them were going to let me stay up though now that I’d shown my exhaustion.

“If you sleep I’ll tell you about the time Alec almost killed me with a potato.” Xavier says suddenly as he lifts himself from the seat below, water rushing across his skin all the way down to the hard length of his cock.

“What?” I asked in a slight daze, licking my lips before realizing I was ogling.

When I guiltily looked up at him, not fighting the fact the other two stood with me in Alec’s arms, all he did was smile because he knew he’d won.

Damn it.

Xavier’s promise was so ridiculous I wanted to know more, and now I was caving when I was lifted gently out of the hot tub, my muscles loose from the aftercare we all gave each other.

“Good girl.” Caleb whispered in my ear when he stepped out with me, the praise making me melt just as much as the gentle kiss he planted to my cheek afterwards.

I felt all warm and tingly right now as my head rested against Alec’s chest, but that soon led to me being transferred into Caleb’s arms, the other two moving into the bedroom and leaving us behind.

The way things happened felt natural, however I still raised an eyebrow in question when Caleb sat me down on the edge of the tub, his body spreading my legs and taking up the space between them.

My breath hitched when his pointer finger hooked under my chin, slowly tilting my head up until I could fully see him and everything he was feeling.

“I love you, Mads.” He whispers as he slowly leans in, keeping his eyes on me until I could feel his exhale across my mouth. “I’ve loved you since I first dropped to my knees and kissed you in front of that mirror and likely even long before that.”

I didn’t even blink before his lips were against mine, soft and inviting and full of an affection like no other. I think we both fell for each other our first night together, but nothing compared to hearing the words across his tongue and feeling the passion flowing within his touch.

Just like that the world faded away and a new sliver of myself became mended after so many years of being broken.

“Caleb.” I spoke his name simply for him to hear it—to show that I was his as he was mine.

“I know.” He said, understanding what I was too tired to say. He knew because he felt the exact same way. “I know.”

- End of Chapter 74 -

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