Insatiable Crimes

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• 7 •

X E N A

As soon as his words clicked in, my Ruger LC9 was poised out, ready to shoot. “Get the fuck off my turf.”

He didn’t flinch. Nor did he bat an eyelash.

If only, my words added to his mirth, judging by the flicker that crossed his face. Then, it was all blank again. The perfect mask. High cheekbones, a razor-sharp jaw, full lips. Gone was the previous smirk. In its place resided a coldness. An unsettling coldness that would have sent another person running down the street.

Because this wasn’t some ‘lowlife loser looking for some quick fame’, as my father quoted him to be. In front of me, stood the man people only whispered about.

Ugly whispers of how he had his own father chained like a dog at his heels, after nicking the carotid artery.

The man who chopped off the arms of his Consigliere for giving a wrong presumption.

And the man responsible for putting a target of three million dollars on my mother’s head.

He looked every bit of the merciless predator the underworld claimed him to be. And I would be damned if I let his reputation to hold some sort of control over me.

He may be one of The Five; the Cosa Nostra’s Capo. Except the fact that he was on my land. Not on his high throne in Italy.

He wanted to play?

Come on, buddy. Let’s fucking play.

His eyes were locked on the loaded pistol, marginally away from his heart. “Is that the way to treat a guest?” Even his voice sounded cold and unbothered. But it was the intensity in his eyes that gave him away.

“Would you prefer a ‘Welcome to America’ blowjob? Or does three bullets in your balls sound appealing enough?”

“Tempting.”

“I sure hope so.”

Leaning back comfortably on the dead man, with my six-inch heels on either side, I studied Capo.

His stare burned into me, dark and blazing, holding my gaze unwaveringly, almost in a challenge. My eyebrow inched up at the test, the competitive streak in me refusing to back down. Oh, well.

I was bursting at the seams with questions. Starting with why the fuck did he send those men after me? And now him being here? How did he know I was asking around for him? How was it that he shows up here, right after my father handed me a gun to kill him and his other four associates?

Caleb’s previous words haunted my ears.

He has eyes everywhere. He is everywhere.

And then started the accusations. Was Caleb a spy for him? Did he tip off my location? But then why did he sound so scared?

It could all have been an act.

Damn you, Italian Gelato.

He broke the silence first.

“I’ve got to say,” His voice was low and thoughtful, “I thought the whole ‘ruthless femme fatale’ was a figment of drunken men’s imagination,” His eyes followed the littering bodies on the ground.

As if someone’s imagination could come up with me.

I didn’t move my gaze from him. “Allow me to shoot you awake.”

“You’ve threatened me thrice now.” An observation.

“I’ve heard that the third time is the charm.” My lip curled. “But I highly doubt that you came all the way here to check in on the rumors.”

This was his cue to open his mouth and fucking talk.

His jaw twitched. “And if I have?”

Asshole.

“Then I’m thinking, how someone could be so brave, or stupid to show up on my land unannounced and unwanted.”

He rose a brow, thoroughly entertained. “I’ll take that as you didn’t appreciate my thoughtful present.”

Present? What present?

He saw the confusion on my face, and a perfect brow notched up, almost in surprise. “Interesting.”

I could rip my hair off in frustration. “Make no mistake, I could kill you, right here, right now. Fuck the treaty. All I want to know is why take the risk?”

What could be so damn important that you would send your men after me?

“But you haven’t. Why is that?”

I gritted my teeth, finally getting up from my throne of the dead, cold body, taking a calculated step forward.

We both knew that I couldn’t kill him. The treaty forbade it. No matter how much I hated him for tearing my family apart, creating a permanent hole that no amount of fixture could mend, I couldn’t do a single thing about it.

Until now.

When my father gave the green light, putting forth a blind eye to the risks.

“A gun to destroy the Cosa Nostra with.”

I didn’t agree with the plan back then. But after having enough time to think about it, I didn’t care about the repercussions. I would destroy each and every one of The Five, indifferently. Today’s encounter has only fueled my need for revenge.

No treaty could stop me now.

I knew it. But he didn’t.

Revenge would be sweet. And watching the flames burn the smug glint in his eyes would be even sweeter.

What he didn’t know wouldn’t kill him. Yet.

Play smart,” My father’s warning floated in my thoughts.

“Tell me,” He said quietly, “Do you really think that I would corner you, outside your own club, without any leverage from my part?”

It took everything in me to not tense up. Instead, I laughed. “You don’t know shit about me, Gelato. So let this be your first and last; there aren’t many things in this world that I give a shit about. So,” I tilted my head mockingly, goading him at this point. “Will I get bonus points if I act like I care for your leverage?”

There was a harsh edge in his blatant scrutiny. “Then how about a little warning?”

Just as I was about to give him a good punch in the gut, after all, fists spoke louder than words, slender fingers enclosed my wrist, perfectly, nearly scalding me with his touch. My bruised back hit Capo’s chest, none too gently. Gritting my teeth, I waited for the flash of pain to pass over.

No such luck.

I should have let Blake suffer more.

Waiting with a tensed frame for more such flashes, I was surprised when his nose brushed my ear, awakening trails of goosebumps, down to my spine, my previous irritation long gone.

A ghostly chuckle followed with, as soft as tears, as rich as thunder— and the cold edge of a recently sharpened blade.

“For a ruthless femme fatale, you sure were quick to let your guard down.” Every syllable spoken—sensuous yet insistent, trickled down my skin feverishly, sending my nerve endings aflame. My kind of poison.

I tilted my head, meeting the storm in his eyes halfway. “I find it funny that you think I couldn’t get out of your hold if I wanted to.” The blade on my jugular nicked deeper with every movement of my throat; the burn and the coldness of my blood creating the best kind of high for an addict like me. “I feel insulted.”

A bad day to have violence turn me on.

I knew I stung his fragile male ego when he dug the knife deeper. The corner of my lip turned up even further, as I reveled in the pain.

Men. So easy to antagonize. Makes my job so much more easier.

“Bring them,” He ordered in a clear voice, grey eyes still locked on mine, ignited in cold fury. It was my turn to watch him mirthfully.

Looks like the Capo had finally lost his cool.

Shifting purposely in his hold, I heard his slight growl of annoyance when his little soldier stood in command against my ass. I never promised to not play dirty.

“Stop moving.” He whispered menacingly in my ear, lips lightly brushing the shell.

I sardonically beamed right back. “Just trying to make myself comfortable.”

Before he could retort, two men in shackles came into my vision. Men I knew all too well. Taking a measured breath to keep my anger in check, I let humor play on my features.

My men were my leverage.

“Funny running into you here, Axel.” I took him in. Chains around his hands and feet. No weapon in sight. Turning to Caleb, I stopped when Capo’s low tone voice took over instead.

“Where will you run now, Archie? Or do you go by Caleb now?” His voice was low, threat unmistakably present.

Its then that Caleb’s previous words make sense to me.

“I am on the run from them.”

His face was wiped clean now, no visible show of the break down he had inside.

“I did what was asked of me, Vincenzo.” Caleb’s guilty eyes met mine. “I brought her here for you.”

And yet again I was reminded of why I never trust people.

Because everyone betrays in the end.


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