5 Years Later - Ending to LAL
**** This is the ending of Lusting After Lucifer and takes place approximately 5 years after the prologue. Feel free to skip if you have already read it. ****
Lexie - 5 Years Later
“Let me hold her. You’ve had your turn.” My older sister Lilly impatiently grabbed for our niece, gently pulling her from my arms with a smile. “Look at those red curls. She’s going to be stunning, just like her mom.”
She was right. Her large emerald, green eyes that she had inherited from our side of the family, along with her beautiful red curls were definitely going to make her into a beautiful young woman one day.
My sisters twin, my older brother Lucian, walked up with a smug and proud smirk on his face. “Isn’t she something? My little Delilah.” He sighed contently as he leaned down and kissed the crown of her head. He was definitely a proud father. It was amazing to see that side of him, especially considering the brother that I had known growing up. I never expected him to be a family man.
I hurried away when I heard the doorbell ring, rushing towards the front door. Our parents were having a large family dinner tonight to celebrate the birth of Delilah as well as the completion of my cousin Ethan’s first year of Harvard.
Throwing the door open, a smile plastered on my face, I took in the sight of the four men in front of me. My heart instantly slammed inside of my chest as my smile faltered.
Why mom? Why did you invite them?
“My beautiful Lexie. How is my favorite niece?” My great uncle Luca stepped through the doorframe, pulling me into a tight hug.
My cheeks heated as I pulled back from his grasp. “H... Hi Luca. So nice of you to come.”
I sounded like a seventy-year-old woman the way I had greeted him.
“Always so polite, this one.” His hand ruffled my hair and he patted my head as if I were a dog.
Ducking my head, I pulled away, moving from his reach as the three other men entered. Victor was the first to follow, Luca’s son. He was the same age as my parents and always wore a scowl on his face. The first time I met him in our parents house, I had remembered his voice from that night so long ago. He had been there.
His son Darius breezed past us, a grin on his face as he said hi and went off in search of my brother.
I fought back my instincts to slam the door in the last man’s face. I inwardly groaned as Marco entered through the doorway, his large muscular frame turning slightly as he passed through.
"Sfinge.” He said the word low, only my ears picking up on the greeting as he entered, his forearm brushing against the bare skin of my knuckles where they were squeezing the side of the door tightly. The contact sent tingles shooting into my forearm.
I knew I was blushing profusely as I snatched my hand back as if the contact had burnt my skin and slammed the door shut a little too hard. The thud echoed through the entryway as the door rattled on its hinges.
The men didn’t even acknowledge my actions. They were used to it by now, I was sure of it. I was always skittish around them and making a fool of myself.
Waiting until they were out of the entry way and making their way towards the living room, I sagged against the door, taking deep breaths. Whenever I was in their presence, it was like I couldn’t breathe, and my heart was working double time.
Okay... maybe not all of their presence. Just one in particular.
“There’s my little Indominus Lex. What are you doing? You look like you just had a stroke. Are you sweating?” My best friend and roommate Joshua skipped over to me, placing the back of his hand on my forehead. “Are you getting sick?”
Grumbling, I shoved his hand off my forehead, pushing myself off the door and stalking towards the stairs. “I don’t think I can do dinner tonight.”
Before I even got two steps away, his hand caught mine, bringing my body to an abrupt halt, nearly ripping my arm out of its socket. I growled at him, my free hand reaching up to rub the tender joint.
“There is no way in hell you are leaving me to have dinner with your crazy family alone.” He tilted his head to one side as his eyes twinkled. “Even if I am as crazy as they are and fit in perfectly. I still don’t get it Lex. They are all so loud and boisterous. How did you ever become the quiet one?”
I ignored his question, the same as I always did, tugging my hand free from his and walking to the first bathroom in the hallway. “I will meet you in the living room.”
After using the toilet and washing my hands, I splashed cold water over my face, staring at my reflection in the mirror as I pushed my long brown locks out of my face. He didn’t understand it, even when the answer stared back at him every single day.
Children are cruel and mean when it comes to things that aren’t what they are used to. Being called a freak, a monster and an alien from as young as I could remember was enough to make any sane person want to try to hide and fade into the background.
People noticed the quiet ones less than the loud ones. My siblings, my cousins, my friends were all loud, confident people who were noticed everywhere they went. If I kept my head down and my eyes on the ground, less people noticed me.
Taking a deep breath, I opened the bathroom door, walking toward the living room. It was completely empty, telling me that everyone had already moved into the dining room.
I can do this.
It’s just one dinner.
It wasn’t just one dinner. These were a regular occurrence. But it was just one thing to get through today, then I could run and hide away from them. From him.
Letting out the breath I had been holding in a soft whoosh, I entered the dining room. Everyone was already seated in their usual spots. I walked down toward the end of the table, taking my place between Marco and Joshua.
Marco’s presence next to me was overwhelming. His thick, tattooed arm brushed against mine causing my entire body to shiver and go tense. I could smell his cologne. At least I thought it was his cologne. He always smelt of leather and rainforest, manly and musky.
Joshua filled my glass of wine, and I gratefully took it in both hands, chugging back half of it at once. The warmth instantly flowed through me as the chilled liquid settled in my stomach.
“Be careful, my sfinge.” I felt Marco’s hot breath on my ear as his arm pressed tighter against mine. “We all know how feisty you get when you drink.”
Squeezing my eyes shut tightly, I ignored the tightness in my chest and the dampness between my thighs. His voice alone was enough to make any woman melt in their place.
When I opened my eyes my brother’s wife, Abby, raised an eyebrow at me from across the table when she saw Marco leaning in close to me, his arm touching mine. It was no secret that he despised human contact and once broke a guy’s hand just for grabbing his arm.
Marco was known as ‘The Enforcer’ within the Moretti organization. He was a very scary, very dangerous man that people avoided at all costs. I had heard the stories over the years and even seen it with my own eyes.
The Moretti’s were our family. Luca was my father’s uncle and the twin brother of my grandfather. Over the years, our father had tried to keep us away from them but over the last few, they had been coming around more and more.
Which meant Marco had been coming around more and more. Every time I was near him, flashes of that night five years ago invaded my memory, both the good and the bad. I shuddered at the thought.
Marco wasn’t a Moretti. He was a Caporali. I didn’t know the story of how or why he lived with the Moretti’s from a young age, but I knew that his father had been killed due to the ‘business’.
I chugged back the rest of my drink, earning a grunt from Marco and a smile from Joshua. My best friend refilled it the moment I set the empty glass back down on the table.
Sitting quietly, I listened to everyone around the table talking exuberantly about what was new in their lives as they ate dinner. Not feeling particularly hungry, I managed to push my food around my plate absentmindedly as I sipped my wine. My body was reacting way too strongly to the powerful man sitting next to me.
Everyone else was nearly finished and my plate sat in front of me, mostly full. A hand came into view while I stared down at it, nudging my plate closer to me.
The one-word demand had my stomach flipping and my hand picking the fork back up on instinct. The four glasses of wine had gone straight to my head, and I didn’t hesitate to turn and glare at Marco as I set my fork back down defiantly.
A low growl rumbled through his chest as he once more nudged my plate closer, picking up my fork and placing it in my hand.
What was I? A damn child?
Staring over at him, my head cocking to one side, I lifted my hand and slowly opened it above my plate, allowing the fork to clatter loudly against the fine china. I stood abruptly, nearly knocking my chair over and swooped my glass of wine from the table. “If you will all excuse me, I need some fresh air.”
I didn’t meet anyone’s gaze as I felt my cheeks tinge pink, all eyes on me. Hurrying from the dining room, I rushed through the kitchen, grabbing a bottle of wine off the counter as I stalked past. I exited out the patio doors, gulping deep breaths of fresh air as I walked down the pathway that led to the lake down below.
I knew there would be questions about my sudden departure, but I didn’t care in that moment. Doing something so hasty and reckless was outside of my nature but the confidence boost from the wine had been enough for me to act on impulse.
I had to get away from him. Being around him was too much. It was like he sucked all the oxygen out of the air around us and I was struggling to breathe.
Memories flooded my intoxicated mind as I sat down on a rock on the edge of the lake, taking off my high heels and letting my feet fall into the water below. I hated that I couldn’t keep him out of my thoughts. He invaded them night and day. I should be terrified of him. I should be running in the other direction every time I saw him but for some reason, I was drawn to him.
The things I had seen. The world that he had shown me. I didn’t belong anywhere near it. It was the reason why I moved to Paris for school the moment I graduated high school.
Sighing, I finished the rest of the wine in my glass and set it to the side, working on opening the bottle I had grabbed from the counter. Thank goodness it was a twist top.
I didn’t even bother with the glass, lifting the bottle to my lips and pouring the sweet liquid into my mouth.
“That’s not very ladylike, my Sfinge.”
My entire body was back to tense as I slowly lowered the bottle and set the bottom of it on my thigh. I hadn’t even heard him approaching. For such a large man, he sure could sneak up on people. “I never claimed to be a lady.”
His deep chuckle spread warmth through my body as I felt his body heat from how close he had moved. His arm brushed against me as he reached around, grabbing the bottle of wine and removing it from my grasp. “I think you have had enough.”
Quickly snatching the bottle back, I brought it back up to my lips, a small dribble falling down my chin in my hurry to drink more of it.
I saw his body in my peripheral even before I heard the low growl next to me. His large hand darted out, grabbing my chin roughly as he turned my head to face him. His dark, narrowed eyes were focused on my lips.
Gulping loudly, my eyes fell to his mouth where his tongue darted out, sliding over his bottom lip, wetting it. My heart pounded loudly in my chest, the roar of the rushing blood taking over my hearing.
His hand released me, one finger sliding over my chin, swiping where the trail of wine had fallen. His eyes flitted up to mine as he slowly pulled his hand away from me, his finger going up to his mouth as he licked at the glistening digit.
Oh, sweet baby Jesus.
My body reacted instantly, goose bumps spreading over my soft tanned skin, mesmerized by the sight in front of me. My core clenched as memories of how that tongue felt along mine came back in waves.
“You’ve definitely had enough.” His eyes were on mine as he reached forward and pulled the bottle from my grasp, throwing it into the lake in front of us before quickly standing. “Get back to the house. Now.”
I stared stupidly at him as he turned his back to me, walking back up the path that he had come down, the clear sound of the red rocks crunching under his black boots.
Snapping out of my daze, I jumped to my feet, scooping up my shoes and chased after him. He was nearly at the house by the time I caught up, my light jog no match for his long steady strides. I grabbed his wrist, tugging hard, bringing him to a stop.
He turned slowly, his head falling as his gaze landed on my small hand wrapped around his large wrist. He reached down, peeling my fingers off one by one before letting my hand drop down. He didn’t say another word, simply turned back around and walked back through the front door entering the house.
My heart was hammering, my legs shaking and my breath quivering as I pushed through the front door, closing it softly behind me.
What had I been thinking?
Why the hell did I grab him like that?
I knew that alcohol was the answer but Jesus Christ, was I trying to get myself killed? He had been right about one thing. I definitely had more than enough to drink.
As I walked down the hall, a loud yelp escaped when I felt large hands grip my waist, dragging me backwards through the bathroom door. It shut quickly behind me, and I was plunged into total darkness as I was spun around.
“I thought you knew better than to touch me, Sfinge.” His hot breath fanned over my cheek as I felt the tip of his nose run up and down over the skin. I tried to jerk backwards but my back was already pressed up against the bathroom door. His large meaty hands were still gripping my hips as his chest pushed tight against mine.
“W... Wha... What are you doing?” I cursed at myself internally as my stutter took over. I always had amazing control over it until I was near him.
His nose slid over my cheek and up to my ear, nudging it gently as he spoke, his hot breath sending shivers down my spine. “Do not touch me unless I give you permission. Do you understand, little Sphinx?”
My breath hitched as my body stiffened, the deep menacing growl flowing through it in tidal waves.
I yelped when I felt his teeth nip at my earlobe. “Do you understand?”
My head nodded eagerly when he asked the second time, his fingertips digging in hard on my hips. I felt my body roughly jerk to one side and I blinked rapidly as the light filled my sensitive eyes.
I was standing alone in the bathroom, Marco nowhere to be seen, as if he hadn’t even been there to begin with.
My hands shook as I opened the bathroom door, walking slowly into the living room, the feeling of where Marco had held my body tingling with each step.
I sat down on one of the couches, watching my family laughing and visiting with one another as if they didn’t have a care in the world. When the Moretti’s rose and said goodbye, Marco walked over to me, leaning down to whisper in my ear. “Until next time, my little Sfinge.”
The goosebumps took over as my body shivered beneath him, the feeling only intensified when he pulled his head up, the tiniest of smiles tugging at his lips.
I had no doubt there would be a next time. And I hated how much I looked forward to it.