The Games of The Heart

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“Yes, we have, but I still want you to stay.” “Stefano, we just finished arguing, and you did not give me a single reason why I should stay, so I am leaving.” “No, you are not,” He says, dangerously coming close to me “Excuse me,” I say, backing up the wall “You heard me; I won’t let you leave me,” He says as his breath fans my face with every word that comes out of his mouth. “Then give me a reason to stay,” I say, looking down on the ground due to our proximity. I feel shy to look at him with how close we are. ***************************** Andrea Lopez is a beautiful woman with a wonderful life. Any woman would wish to have her life, but you can’t be so sure her life is great. Andrea has everything but the one thing she desires most, Love. All she has ever received from Love is pain in return. There is no love in her life, but everything changes when she takes a trip to Italy. She reunites with her first Love, Stefano Costanzo. A cold, ruthless man who hates Love. He would rather pull his heart out of his body than feel Love, but for how long?

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Chapter 1

I feel the sunlight on my face, I don’t understand why but I’m sure the curtains were closed last night before I went to bed. I hear footsteps around me, I finally understand why my beautiful sleep was interrupted. I turn away from the sunlight and try to go back to sleep. That all goes out the window once I hear her voice.

“Honey, I know you are awake, do yourself a favor and open your eyes,” My mom, Rosalia, says.

“Good morning, Mom,” I say, peeling my eyes open and look into the same eyes as mine. They are as blue as the ocean, the prettiest eyes I have ever seen in my life. Her wavy pitch-black hair flows down to her waist against her beautiful tan skin. Her oval face holds a smile on those rosy lips of hers, which says she is happy to be disturbing me from my sleep. Like every little girl out there, I believe my mom is the most beautiful woman in the world, even though I am far from little. The only things I inherited from her are her beautiful eyes. I am the female version of my father.

“I can’t say the same, Dear; you need to get up and get ready. Our flight time has changed, we leave in an hour.”

“An hour! Weren’t we supposed to leave tonight? Why are we leaving so early all of a sudden?”

“Something came up, so we have to leave early. Your father will explain at breakfast, which you have twenty minutes to get ready for.”

“Wow, Mom, I have not even finished packing.”

“Why aren’t you done packing? We have been talking about this trip for a week now.”

“I planned to finish during the day since we we’re going to leave at night.”

“Sorry Dear, get ready for breakfast. I will have someone help you finish packing.”

“Alright,” I say, getting up from the bed to walk to the bathroom.

I walk downstairs for breakfast after I finish freshening up. I walk outside to the pool area, where my whole family is seated. I join my father, my mother, and my brother at the table.

“Good morning, everyone,” I say, taking my seat.

“Good morning, Dear,” My dad, Leonardo, says while reading the newspapers. He is six feet tall, well-built for a man of his age, he has dark brown hair like mine and grey eyes. I am not as tall as him; I’m five foot six inches.

“How was your night, little Sis,” My brother, Santiago says taking a bite of his French toast. He is six foot tall like my father, has a well-built body and dark brown hair. Neither of us have our mother’s hair. He has the same ocean blue eyes as mine.

“It was disturbed by our beautiful mother here.”

“Sorry about that, Dear, but we had to move the time of our flight to Italy,” Dad says.

“Why is that? I still had something I wanted to do today before we leave.” My whole family is travelling to Sicily. Dad has a business meeting over there and asked us if we would like to come along.

“My business partner asked me to come earlier than planned, he might not be available for the rest of the week.”

“Oh, alright then.”

We left for Sicily a few hours ago, the plane is about to land. During the flight, I wrote new chapters for my new book. I’m an author, I studied business management in school with a minor in English literature. I haven’t published any works of mine, but I plan to someday. I’m afraid people might criticize my work, more than they will like it.

The last two days have been spent sleeping, the power of jet lag is no joke. I hear a knock on my door, I drag my lazy ass up to open it. I open it to reveal mom at the door; I step aside for her to enter.

“Good morning, Mom,” I say, walking back to my bed.

“It is far from morning, young lady,” Mom says pulling the blinds. I shield my eyes with my hands from the sunlight, removing them once I realize it’s dark outside.

“Oh my God, I slept through the day again.”

“Yes, you did, I need you to get a grip on your sleeping pattern.”

“I will, Mom.”

“Good, I wanted to ask you if you would like to come along with me tomorrow. I am visiting an old friend; her daughter is also one of your friends.”

“You are visiting Mrs. Costanzo?”

“Yes, I thought you might want to see Aurora. I know it’s been ages since you guys last saw each other.”

“Yes, it has been ages since we have seen each other. What time are you leaving tomorrow?”

“11 a.m. Katherine and I plan to have brunch together, so make sure to skip breakfast like always.”

“Don’t worry, Mom, I will.”

The next day I wake up in the morning for the first time since we arrived. Mom and I are on our way to the Costanzo estate, we will be arriving in a few minutes. I still remember the first time I met Aurora and her family. It was one of the most terrifying days of my life. If I remember correctly, I was a junior in high school at that time.

Mom had picked me up from school, and we went to the mall together. We had a lovely time shopping, when we were about to enter the car and go home, everything went south. I was about to step into the car but stopped, I felt someone was following us. I looked around,

I couldn’t see anyone, so I brushed it off. Little did I know those few seconds I spent looking around were what saved mom’s and my life. The second the driver opened the door; the car went up in flames. I was never more afraid for my life or my mom’s like I was that day. You would think being born into the mafia world would prepare me for such moments, but it doesn’t.

The minute our car went up in flames, and all the glass windows around us were shattered by the gunshots fired around us. The bodyguards were quick to fire back, but it didn’t stop my pounding heart that day.

Mom and I ran back into the mall to get away from the shooting. She quickly called Dad, telling me to hide in the bathroom of the store, handing me the gun in case I needed it. I prayed that I wouldn’t. Coming from a mafia family does not mean I like the idea of killing someone, I understand sometimes it’s necessary for me to staying alive.

Dad was quick to send reinforcements, making it possible for us to leave the mall alive that day, it did not mean the fight was over. What caused the attack on our lives, was another gang that was angry at dad because he stole client of theirs. They felt killing us was going to cause him far more pain than killing him. To keep us safe, Dad sent Mom and I to Italy. We stayed with Aurora and her family until Dad made it safe for Mom and me to go back to California.

I heard the driver talking to someone through his window realizing, we have arrived at the Costanzo estate. The driver drives through the gate that leads to a magnificent home. He parks the car in the driveway, I step outside to be greeted by Mrs. Costanzo on the doorstep. Her face brightens up as she lays her eyes on Mom and me. Their front lawn is adorned with beautiful red roses all around.

“It’s so good to see you, Rosalia, it has been ages,” Mrs. Costanzo says, pulling mom into a hug.

“It is good to see you too, Katherine. I have missed you. Mom says, hugging her back.

“I have missed you too, how are you doing, Dear,” Mrs. Costanzo says, leading us into the house.

“I am fine, thank you for asking.”

“That’s good, Dear. Rosalia I can’t wait to show you my new wine cellar; you are going to love the wine bottles I have added to my collection.”

“I can’t wait to taste them,” Mom says, smiling.

We walk into a majestic entryway with crystal chandeliers hung from ceiling and two stairways with a black handrail. We walk towards the right into the living room. Like everything in this house, the living room is also beautiful. There is a golden chandelier that compliments the white and golden painted walls and ceiling. The armchairs and loveseat in modern white, and in the center of them is a golden glass table. I take a seat on one armchair while Mom and Mrs. Costanzo sit on the love seat.

I hear footsteps coming towards us, and I assume it’s Aurora, but it is the maid with drinks for us. I decide to ask because I can’t imagine sitting with these two women as they complain about their husbands and other topics, I have no interest in.

“Mrs. Costanzo, where is Aurora?”

“Oh, forgive me, Dear, I totally forgot to tell you, she’s training in the backyard. I didn’t tell her you were coming, because I wanted it to be a surprise for her. Let me get someone to call her for you.”

“There won’t be any need for that, I would rather surprise her when she least expects it”

“Alright then, do you still remember your way to the backyard.”

“Yes, I do,” I say and get up from the sofa to walk outside.

I find my way outside with no problem. I find Aurora in hand-to-hand combat with a man, and I must say, I feel sorry for him. Aurora is finishing him off with punch after punch. The man blocks a few, but Aurora is still winning, she has him between her legs with him on the floor, forcing him to tap out or choke to death. I walk closer to them so she could see me, thinking I just saved that man’s life because his ego was stopping him from tapping out. She releases her hold on him, and quickly gets off the floor, to pull me into a bone-crushing hug.

“What in God’s name are you doing here,” she says while crushing the life out of me with her hug. Aurora has blue eyes, brunette hair and is five feet, six with a body that can bring a man to his knees.

“My family and I are in Sicily on vacation, I know you are very strong, please, stop crushing me.”

“Oh, I am sorry, I’m just so excited to see you. Can you remember the last time we saw each other” she says, releasing me from the hug.

“I can’t remember, and I am thrilled to see you too.”

“I can’t wait to hear about everything going on in your life, we have a lot of catching up to do.”

“I know, I can’t wait to hear yours too, but you need to shower first.”

“I know, give me a couple of seconds to put my guns away, then we can go inside together,” Aurora says walking back to where she was training.

She puts her guns in their case holders and ask the guys around, to clean the place before they leave. Aurora’s family is like mine; they are also in the mafia. That was one of the reasons it was so easy to become good friends with her. I did not have to worry about her finding out my family’s secret, because it was not a secret to her. Our fathers are long-time friends who hardly see each other. That is why we are not real close.

Aurora and I walk back into the house while talking about everything that has happened in our lives these past years. After Aurora is done freshening up, we have brunch and continue catching up.

“So, tell me, Andrea, any men in your life I should know about?” Aurora says while enjoying her food.

“Unfortunately, there is no one, how about you?”

“You won’t believe it but I am not dating anyone right now.”

“Are you serious? What happened? The Aurora I know always had a boyfriend or had a thing with some guy.”

“Let’s just say I grew up and decided I wanted to experience real love, I’m tired of those men wasting my time.”

“Good for you, I am happy you realized they were wasting your time and want to experience true love.”

“Thank you and I hope you started dating.”

“Yes, I did, but so far, no guy has wowed me yet, I’m still searching.”

“I know how you feel, with time, we will find them.”

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