~Ace Romano~

I don't know why but I was anxious to finish this trade we have tonight. My fingers kept tapping on my lap against my cell phone while Luka drove us to the port. We need to make sure that the goods were of excellent quality and will be delivered in time to John Gray from the American mafia.

It was only a fifteen-minute drive from the warehouse and we'll be meeting up with Angelo and the team in the port with the merchandise.

''How's the girl?'' Luka broke the long silence blanketing over us inside the car.

''I don't know and I don't care'' I snapped. That was a lie, that girl has been bugging me since we caught her two weeks ago. Her face, the way her innocent golden chocolate hues stared at me with amazement when I told her that we’d be staying in one room. Just the thought of her reaction sends shivers all over my body, giving me the excitement to surprise her again.

My best friend chuckled ''I saw what she did to Mario.'' Mario was our chef who tried to stab her this morning. It amazed me how fast her reflexes were and how she felt the threat and blocked it at the same time.

''Did you find anything interesting about her?'' I said instead to change the topic. No one can know that that girl is affecting me this much.

''Not much'' Luka handed me a file from the backseat as we hit the red light. ''She's an orphan and Dante adopted her at age seven. Since then she was living under his roof but he treats her like a slave. He allowed her to finish high school and that's it.''

''She was on the run from him since'' I finished reading the report and wonder why Dante would legally adopt a little girl if his only purpose was prostitution. No sane man would go to those lengths just to earn money from a slut.

The report on her was good, exceptional even. Valedictorian from elementary to high school. Sharpshooter, knows kickboxing, Muay Thai, Wing Chun? What the fuck is Wing Chun? Hobbies: cooking, reading, and so on. I closed the file before I could finish reading it because a siren blared behind us.

''Can we just shoot him?'' Luka grumbled as he pulled over the car.

It was Lieutenant Martinez again. He was hot on our trail since we moved here in New York three years ago. He suspects that we are from the mafia but he doesn't have any proof or will he ever find any for that matter.

Martinez knocked on the driver's side and Luka reluctantly rolled down his window. ''Evening Lieutenant'' my best friend's voice was laced with mockery ''still on traffic duties?''

I nearly burst out laughing as the officer grimaced. He made a mistake of taking us in a year ago for a drug-related case but our lawyer was hella good that Martinez was demoted for tarnishing my ever prestigious name in the business.

I still own legal businesses apart from those unknown to the world. As a respectable businessman in the eyes of the world, I would never allow someone like Martinez to ruin my reputation. 

''It's late for a stroll gentlemen'' the officer said after clearing his throat.

''We need to find release, Lieutenant'' Luka motioned on his crotch.

Martinez's face contorted ''drive on the speed limit, Mr. Rossi.''

Luka faked a salute before we could continue driving. Martinez was still on our tail and we had to make a detour in order to not lead him at the port.

I dialed Angelo's number and he answered on the first ring ‘’take care of the trade. We got Martinez in our asses again.''

Angelo chuckled ''don’t worry about the trade boss. I got everything covered. Bring Martinez to Stacy's.'' Stacy's is one of our legally owned clubs. Martinez once tried to break in and accuse us of dealing drugs inside the club. It was true alright but then again he has no proof.

''Stacy's'' I instructed Luka as he drove over the speed limit, grinning like a Cheshire cat. He loved pissing cops off, especially when it’s Martinez. The officer tried to catch up with Luka’s SF90. My best friend is kind, calm, and composed all the time, just don’t put him behind the steering wheel of a fast car and everything will stay cool and peaceful.

As we enter the club, the smell of sweat, sex, smoke, and alcohol met our senses. The smell of a good life as I knew it. Growing up as the Don's bastard wasn't easy. Good thing my father didn't have any child after me. I've always liked the adrenaline this life gave me, it was the only thing that kept me moving forward, fueling my desire to live after mom died.

This was the same club where I saw Alexa's doppelganger dancing. My mind swirls with images of that gray-haired vixen who was now staying in my room as my fake fiancée. I knew she'd choose to accept my offer, besides, I gave her no choice after all.

Luka and I headed to the VIP where the good stuff lays. Naked girls roamed around the room and served our club patrons wearing only their g strings and high heels. Some of them had nipple clamps dangling on their chest while others are now pleasing some of the guests. This isn't prostitution per se, at least not in my book, all the girls working in this club are here by their own will and are allowed to leave any moment they wanted to.

''Good evening boss'' Sarah, one of the girls greeted us as we headed for the office. ''The usual?'' she asked and Luka nods.

''Not for me'' Luka arched his brows in my direction but I walked away before he could speak.

There was only one girl I’d like to entertain me and unluckily for me, she looks like the girl who I detest. I don’t know what has gotten into me for having her in my room, I haven’t even slept in my own bed for fucks sake, and now I have a girl sleeping on it.

I’m starting to believe that I’m wrong in the head like what my cousin Jonah has told me over and over. This is gonna be pure torture for me.

''What's up?'' Luka asked as he entered the office.

''I'm not in the mood'' I poured myself a glass of whiskey as I checked all the CCTV cameras from my desktop computer.

My best friend tilts his head ''does it have something to do with the Alexa look alike?''

Before I could answer, there was a knock on the door. Luka opened it, revealing Maggie, one of his favorite strippers. 'The usual' with us means an all-nighter private dance from one of the girls.

Luka didn't even give me a second glance as he wrapped his arms around Maggie and headed for one of the private booths. After making sure that Martinez was gone from the club, I headed out and took Luka's SF90. For the first time in almost a year, I will actually go home and sleep in my own bed at my father's estate.

As I entered my room, I was met by apricot and lavender scent. She must've used the soaps I asked Agatha to buy for her. It was dark, apart from the sliver of moonlight sipping from the balcony, there was nothing more that would help me to see in the dark. My senses were finely tuned, years of training to be the best in every aspect of this life had made me this way.

When my vision adjusted to the darkness, I saw that the bed was empty and my eyes wandered, looking for that little vixen. She could never escape from me, I had strict orders to watch my room from the door to the windows, to the balcony, and even exhaust in the ceiling. I can't let her escape from me. I need her for the success of my plans, I kept convincing myself with this over and over the whole day since I left her this morning.

Flicking the lights on, I found her sleeping on the couch, a blanket covering her lower body. Her pride and stubbornness made me smile. As I walked closer to her, I saw that she was wearing one of my old Queen shirts. It's been a long time since I saw that souvenir shirt. Scooping her in my arms, I groaned, she felt so fucken' perfect against my body. She’s as light as a feather and I wonder if she’s even eating properly.

As I lay her on the bed, I caressed her cheeks and watched her sleep peacefully. She is so beautiful, her cheeks so soft against my rough hands, her perfectly tanned skin made my skin look pale. Long dark lashes were kissing her cheeks, her golden chocolate hues hidden behind her closed eyelids. Taking a few locks of her ash gray hair, I twirled it around my fingers. How I wish she would look at me the way she looks at Luka like she adored him.

Sighing, I stood the laugh at myself for wishing such stupid thing. I would never show her compassion, she’s the fucking spitting image of the girl who holds my heart in chains.

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