Insatiable Crimes

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• 11 •

X E N A

Breaking the Capo’s nose for being an irritating motherfucker… probably wasn’t the best way to go.

Can’t say that I regret it, though. He deserved it for the brief and infuriating answers he was giving me.

Blood spurted from his nose, dripping down the curve of his lips. I smiled at the clear restrain in his pose, just as an involuntary tear cascaded his cheek.

Beautiful.

“All that blood looks good on you,” My fingers suddenly had a mind of their own as they trailed his bloody cheek. An almost shiver escaped him, as those silver-grey’s stared right back at me.

His dark gaze swept over me languidly, eyes unreadable. There was something sinister in his eyes, a hunger prominent within.

Anger and lust— the perfect combination.

I traced his busted lip, pressing down on it harshly. He shuddered lightly, closing his eyes, almost reflexively.

“It really brings out your eyes,” I murmured, having way too much fun.

“Now,” I brushed my hand callously, taking a respectable step backwards. His eyes flashed open. “Do continue your explaining. Preferably without any more incoherency or stupidity. I have places to be.”

He didn’t budge. He never once looked away from me.

Raising a brow at his defiance, I looked at Axel in the shadows. “I’ll get the Don. Watch-”

A low, unhurried voice called out something from behind. That ‘something’ being absolute gibberish to me. Italian. I heard closely, the way his voice deepened and turned into a dragged drawl, lilting at certain words. Hot.

I tilted my head to the side, not turning around. “I don’t talk lasagna.”

A few other incomprehensible words joined in, and I could feel the heat behind his glowering at being given my back to talk to. He recognised that as a sign of blatant disrespect. I let a slight smirk curl at the corner of my lip.

When his mutterings wouldn’t come to an end, I came to the conclusion that he was cursing me in his home tongue.

Such flattery.

“Stay,” He demanded, rather than told, his voice as flat as his expression.

I matched his neutrality, finally turning around. “Beg for it.”

He didn’t. But I did receive a death glare, along with the slight widening of his eyes. Small wins, every day.

“No.” The look he shot me then was enough to make me believe that he was more insulted by my words, rather than angry.

A new point in his armour for me to gnaw at.

“Why not?” I tilted my head, studying him curiously. “You’d look pretty on your knees.”

I wasn’t lying. But maybe pretty wouldn’t be the only words I’d use to describe him. He’d be a domineer, even lowered to his knees.

“I’m glad you think so.” Was his icy reply.

“If that is all—”

Vincenzo did not hesitate. He knew or at least had an inkling of an idea of how my brain worked. “I’ll make you a deal.”

My love language.

I rose a brow. “I’m all ears.”

“He goes out.” He tilted his head towards Axel dismissively.

I ignored the sound of disbelief that came from said assassin, and instead studied my painted nails. Damn it, I chipped one. “I really fail to see how this benefits me, Vincenzo.”

While he didn’t bother commenting at my impatience, fast learner; that one, a muscle in his jaw twitched at my comment. Or perhaps was it at the disdainful way I pronounced his name?

“I can give you all the information you want.” His eyes were pealed on me, no doubt waiting for my eagerness to show.

Tough shit, Gelato.

I lifted a shoulder indifferently, even though that was the last emotion I was feeling. My insides were burning with curiosity. Why had my own father not told me that we were nearing a war with the Bratva? Let alone the fact that I had no fucking idea why Vincenzo simply said ‘it’s you’.

My gaze swept over him speculatively. “And now, I fail to see how this deal compensates you.”

He was expecting this question, I later realised. He raised his arm up, as far as the shackles let him, and that was when I saw the gunshot wound. Studying the gash as inattentively as I could manage, I felt a brow go up. It was likely infected. I’ll send in someone later.

Dragging my eyes down, I noticed scratches and uneven lines all across his wrist. Recently bleeding. Fresh wounds.

He’d tried breaking himself free. Of course, he did, I thought, thoroughly humoured. Unfortunately for him, the restraints were very well done, with the loose ends bolted right under the ground beneath his feet.

“A chain for an answer.”

His voice startled me. Amusement, as rich as honey, as lethal as poison, trickled into my voice. “What makes you think that I won’t get you to talk… in some another way? More beneficial for me, don’t you think so?”

He didn’t beat around the bush. “And what makes you think that torture will get me to talk?”

He was right, I begrudgingly admitted, keeping my face clean of the inkling of reluctant respect that formed in my head. For him. If he had gotten even a fourth of the torture priming I had gotten, his mouth would stay sealed shut.

Hunger, thirst, waterboarding, sexual torture, electrocution— I had been through it all. Nothing had made me cave in.

My father liked to add in a ‘yet’.

And if Vincenzo was prepped to be one of the Capo’s, I was pretty sure that he’d gotten a similar training to try.

“It can’t hurt me to try. But you on the other hand?” My voice was matter-of-fact.

“Hitting a man when he’s down. Sounds fair to me.”

Red hot rage consumed me. There was something about the callous way he spoke about fairness, about the insensitive way he framed his statement as if he wasn’t the one who put a target on an innocent woman’s head. My mother’s head. Her blood might as well lie on top of his bloody head.

As if he wasn’t the one who had sent his men after me, and told me half an hour earlier how it was all because of me. A war with my name stamped on it from all angles.

Suddenly, I wanted to break more than just his nose.

I wanted to fucking end him.

What was a gunshot wound as compared to what I wanted to do to him?

Absolutely nothing.

And I would. After I made my father look at Vincenzo in here.

A gun to destroy the Cosa Nostra with, starting with the death of the cold man in chains in front of me.

My tongue burned to reply. “Yes, let’s talk about fair when you had your men cornering me at every fucking place I went. One of them groped me too, thanks for that.” My tone was bitter. Resentful.

I saw his head inch to the side. A flinch.

“It was necessary.” He insisted in a low voice.

“The groping or the cornering?”

His eyes flashed at my accusation, and his hands clenched into fists. Just as he was staring at me, the grip on the chair went slack, expression crumbling. His head turned to the ceiling way too quickly for me to register the change in his emotions.

“The cornering.” He said quietly.

I didn’t like the change in him. Not one bit. Where was all that temper gone from seconds ago? I wanted it back. Because dealing with a Vincenzo who unveiled even a flicker of an emotion under that arrogant, pompous mask?

I did not want to meet him. The man under. The man who felt.

That was the only reason I found to blame after which— I fucked up.

Deal.”

Vincenzo’s head slowly lowered, warily, as if his ears misheard me. Or if it was a ploy from my side.

Heck, I wasn’t sure myself.

A choked voice started from behind. “Xena, I don’t think-”

“Then it’s a good thing that I don’t pay you to think, Axel. I pay you to kill for me when I’m not in the mood.” I nodded once towards the door, without turning to him.

I could feel him pause behind hesitantly, no doubt shooting the Capo his infamous, mistrustful glare.

But I needed him gone for my answers. “Some time today, Axel.”

Slowly, the footsteps receded and the door slammed shut. A series of clangs and bolts followed with, my ears perking immediately at his use of one of The Codes.

Bringing backup.

Which could only be… my father.

The perfect start to a total shit show.

“Now,” I smiled roguishly, taking a seat opposite the hawk-eyed Capo. He was on guard around me. That really wasn’t good for my already inflated ego. “Where were we?”

NEXT CHAPTER IS VINCENZO’s POV!! ah.

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