A lot has changed in my life within the past few months. I left Chicago, I had to. After learning that I had fallen into bed with a man in the mafia, the same man that killed my father, I had no choice but to escape the city and go as far away as I possibly could.
I settled on Toronto, a new country that isn’t too far from Chicago. As I settled in Toronto I managed to get a job at the Fairmont hotel in downtown. It’s right across the street from the concert venue so weekends are crazy. I had only been working there a little over a month when I learned that I’m pregnant.
There was no question about it, Luca Acerbi is the father. I hadn’t been with anyone else within the timeline and this brought a whole new fear in me. I was afraid of Luca learning about my pregnancy and I feared for my unborn child. I would do everything in my power to keep this baby a secret from him, from his family and from anyone.
My plan is to stay in Toronto forever, I never want to return to the United States because that would only make me closer to Luca and one step closer to losing my child. The thing is, I have no intentions on keeping my baby - it’s too dangerous. As soon as I give birth, the baby will be taken from my arms and given a better life, somewhere they can grow up safely without being a part of a deadly family.
Like any other typical Friday night, the hotel was busy which led for an even busier Saturday morning. I arrived bright and early to be ready for the eleven o’clock check outs and once the guests began to leave I joined the other maids and headed from room to room.
We have a strict protocol for cleaning the rooms, especially having such a highly populated hotel so each room took close to an thirty minutes to clean. I got to the third room on my list, swiping my card to open the door and walking inside.
My first duty is to put fresh bed sheets on the bed so I strip the bed of the dirty sheets, tossing them on the floor. I walk to the hallway to get a clean set, rubbing my baby bump and humming ”This Little Light of Mine" as I do every day.
When I was younger I would go to church with my mom and this song was my favorite. It’s a fond memory and since I won’t be able to pass it down to this child a part of me hoped that they would get a feeling of familiarity if they heard it in the future.
"This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine..." I sing softly, pulling the fitted sheet onto the bed, leaning over the mattress the pull it over each corner.
I hear the door to the room close as I pull the sheet over the last corner of the mattress and I look over my shoulder, “This room is being clea--”
My voice drifted off as my body froze, seeing him standing there in front of me. His tall frame was intimidating and his brown eyes stared at me while his lips stay pressed in a firm line.
He’s angry. I can see it all over his face as he stares at me and my body feels cold, because now that I know the family he comes from I’m terrified. Luca says nothing as he walks over to the lounge chair in the corner of the room, overlooking the view of the CN Tower. He silently stares out the window and I’m not sure what scares me more, the quiet atmosphere or the man sitting across from me.
I glance towards the door, taking note that he has it locked which would take me longer to get out if I were to run.
It’s almost as though he read my mind because his voice finally breaks the silence, “Don’t even think about it. I have men outside the door in case you try to be stupid.”
“Luca, I thought I made it clear that I don’t want to see you. I rejected money any time you attempted to transfer some to me, I blocked your calls before deciding to just get an new phone all together. Luca, I left the freaking country, for God sakes. What more do I need to do for you to get the hint?” I have no idea where the confidence came from, but talking to Luca enraged me. He flipped my life upside down, he lied to me for months and killed my father. Yet, he thought a simple apology would have fixed everything.
For the first time since he sat down, Luca looks at me with the same serious expression he entered with. His eyes move down to my stomach and I realize the biggest factor here - my baby. He knows I’m pregnant and that will change everything I have planned.
“You have something to tell me?” He asks, surprisingly calm.
I shake my head no, deciding to go with the oblivious approach but I know it won’t get me far. Luca stands from the chair and takes a step towards me, his eyes focused on mine and then he takes another step.
He takes his time until he is standing in front of me, silent and unwavering. I gulp, not knowing what to expect from him but as he shoves me onto the bed I let out a yelp while attempting to push him off of me.
With one hand it pins my arms above my head, using the other hand to rip the buttons off of my dress until it falls open, exposing my body to him for the first time in months. His face inches closer to mine and he spats in my ear, “What the fuck is this?”
His hand touches my belly and I close my eyes tightly, shaking my head, “It’s not what you think.”
“There’s no baby in there? What are you eating too much fucking poutine and Canadian carbs?” He stands up and looks at me with disgust on his face, “How dare you try to keep my child from me. How fucking dare you, Caroline. You should have known better.”
I slowly sit up, pulling my torn dress over my chest to try and cover my body as much as I can. My eyes glance anywhere but towards Luca, I can’t look at him because anytime I do I allow fear to overcome me.
“No child deserves that lifestyle. You know that.”
“You don’t get to decide that!” He raises his voice at me, turning around and pushing the lamp off of the desk. Once he faces me again, he points his index finger in my face and speaks through his clenched teeth, “I didn’t get to choose and neither will my offspring. We fucked and this is what happens when you fuck the mafia, bambina.”
“I didn’t know!” I stand from the bed, no longer caring about my body being exposed to him. I’m defending myself and I won’t allow him to act like I knew all of the information, “I would have never touched you if I had known who you are. This side of you was well hidden, Luca. But don’t you dare put this on me when I wasn’t made aware of who I was falling into bed with.”
Luca chuckles, scratching the back of his neck before walking towards the door. I have no idea what he’s doing so I simply stare until he stops in his tracks and turns to look at me, “Are you coming?”
I can’t help but laugh, “No. You’re kidding me, right?”
“Okay, il mio amor. Have it your way.” He opens the door and I can hear him muttering a few words in Italian to the men that’s outside before he disappears into the hallway. Within seconds men are coming at me with guns and I take multiple steps back until my back hits the large window behind me.
I should have known better. I should have seen this coming. There’s no way to run from the mafia and I have a feeling that I’m going to pay for trying.