It’s a two-hour and twenty-minute flight from London to Olbia Coast, Italy. When we arrive at the airport, a car is standing by for us at the airport. After thirty more minutes of driving, we got to the resort where we will stick around for the next week. We check in to our room and immediately both Briand and I fall on the bed. This has been a tiring trip.

I have always wanted to visit Italy for the summer. Last year Veronica and I planned a trip to Italy, then my papa’s fourth marriage happened. His wife, Genelia, is not someone I count on. I will never depend on her with my pet, let alone my siblings.

She is the most reckless person I have ever encountered. Seriously, sometimes you require to be vigilant, but she is consistently lost somewhere, and that somewhere is not the place she is present in. I could have left them on Maria, but Genelia always kept Maria busy with her unnecessary work.

She didn’t take no from anyone; she ruled our house like a queen, so I knew my babies would be neglected under her eyes. So I opted out for the last minutes of the trips.

Hazel wanted me to go, as she was also going to summer camp with her friends. She thought it would be great if I got out of Chicago and enjoyed some me-time in my most desirable destination.

Then again, Miles will be alone at home with Genelia, she already asked my father to send Miles to boarding school at the same time. I somehow managed to make sure that never happened, but then I couldn’t take her casually. Trish was also out of Chicago to attend a consultation at that time. So I remained home with my baby brother.

I didn’t regret that, but I felt sorry deep in my heart for missing the trip, but here I am on my honeymoon with my new husband in my dreamland.

Now, talk about my husband, he really stunned me with this trip. He told me clearly we were going to London for our honeymoon; he has some work here, so I lessened my hope on the honeymoon, not that I had any high hope from him.

But when he told me, we were flying to Italy for a week; I was so astonished, over the moon, and nervous. All the excitements were all over the place. I couldn’t hold my emotion and pressed a kiss on his cheek. I mean, he seriously deserved a kiss for his thoughtfulness. I also thanked him after the gentle kiss.

This still feels surreal, so I made many plans to turn to this place all failed until now. This unknown hasty surprise finally brings me here, in Italy. I stand on the balcony, the sea view from our bedroom is just to die for.

The exquisite blue ocean fills my heart with tranquility, the salty smell hung on the air, fresh, crispy breeze touches my face, I inhale a deep breath and a smile comes to my face naturally. This place feels so good, God. I am going to come to Italy one time every year.

I love this so much, it’s been so long since I got out of Chicago, I’ve been too busy with schoolwork and attending parties I forgot I needed some break too. But now, this is it, I am going to enjoy this week in Italy fully.

“Ready for breakfast?” Brian asks me.

I turn around and see him in his black shorts and a white t-shirt. This is the first time I have seen Brian McCoy without three pieces of business wear that he wears everywhere. The sun glass is sitting on the bridge of his nose, his brown hair is styled with gel perfectly, a little messy than his usual style, but this gives him a carefree look, a boyish nature. This man has the Greek gods type of looks with a perfect six-pack-wrapped body. No matter what he does or wears, he is bound to look like a prince of some continent, no one can argue with this.

I nod and he holds his hands for me. Another surprise. He never did anything in these two days of our marriage like this. I mean, we both are having sex at night in the bed, but he sort of avoided any closeness outside the bed. Here he is giving me his hands to hold is the genuine shock.

I take his hand; he laced our fingers together as we go downstairs to restaurants in search of breakfast.

My heart leaps a couple of times. I don’t know what to think or what to take with this changing attitude.

We sit down at an outdoor breakfast table with a view of the ocean. I think I am getting addicted to the shore, this week I am living by the sea with no thought. They serve a classic Italian breakfast. A pot of coffee, eggs, bread, butter, jam, cheese, and a conversation with Brian is just what I needed.

“So, your friend Veronica Gomez?” he asks, sipping his hot coffee. “You two are quite a pair.”

“What do you know about us?” I ask, biting my bread with jam.

“I saw you two at the parties. Almost everywhere two are inseparable.”

I smile. “She has been with me since elementary, I can’t think of my life without her.”

“Luke Hall too?”

I frown, although I shouldn’t. I know every history between these two families, not from gossips on the parties or rumors but a solid source.

Luke himself told me everything between McCoy and Hall that happened a decade ago, all details he laid in front of me when we became friends. None of us knew that time I would be married to McCoy, not that I would be a part of the Halls family.

This current situation is a tremendous disadvantage for me and Luke. Sometimes I feel we will be fine. Again, this fear comes into my mind where I can see I have to lose him in order to work on my marriage. The hate I witnessed in Brian’s gaze at the gala night when he saw me in Luke’s arm says a lot. Maybe he felt that as a Deja Vu in the same way where his father found his mother in Richard Hall’s arm, the same happened to him when he saw his wife-to-be in another Hall’s arm. Brian’s reaction was aggressive, outrageous, vicious. It almost scared me. If I didn’t pull him back at the party, he could start a war with Luka on that balcony.

Was it normal? I don’t know, I never witness a man shedding his blood for a woman, that doesn’t happen in modern societies, maybe in romance novels or movies. I would love to see Brian fighting for me, getting blow by blow, punching back. That will be a pleasant scene to watch.

He will be injured, true, but I think I am worthy of all the pain.

I knew someday he will ask me to break things off with my dear friend Luke; I ask myself countless times what I do at that time. The answer is still unknown; I am not ready to scarify my marriage at any cost; I vowed to make this work, no matter how hard it is. At the same time, Luke is too precious to me to lose.

Losing a friend because my spouse doesn’t like him doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. I am his wife, life partner, better half, true all of these are. But I am Inessa first, a woman, an individual, a woman with her own voice, choices, rights, belief. I don’t want to lose myself just to become someone’s wife.

I will give my everything for this relationship, but at the same time I will not lose myself in for that as I will not lose my friendship with Luke.

Like, it is nothing but sweet to me all the time. When we are together, we are just Inessa and Luke, two normal people with daily problems in life. Our surname, the power of our family, or the animosity doesn’t come between us, we talk, laugh, have fun, enjoy one another’s jokes as any other friend would do.

I refuse to lose him to anyone. Luke will always be present in my life; unfortunately, Brian needs to come in a term with this. It’s up to him how he digests my friendship with Luke. I am not helping him in this area.

“What about him?” I ask without showing any sign of emotions.

“He is a part of your life.”

“Yes, he is. One of my dear friends.”

“You know the history between us and the Halls, right?”

“I do.” I stop eating and look at his frown face. “Luke told me everything.”

“Now, you are a McCoy Inessa.”

I stare at him. It doesn’t look as if he is hearing his words, or even if he’s “not a big deal” acting is too good.

“I don’t know what that means.” I take a sip of my coffee.

“You will know very soon.”

“Are you asking me to break my friendship with Luke?”

“I am not asking anything.”

“Good, don’t ask that. I will never lose my dear friend. He is too precious to lose.” I smile and continue my eating.

We don’t talk about this anymore; he doesn’t ask, but three clear lines appear on his forehead with the tension around his shoulder. He gets the idea, good, it should be clear as water between us.

Your enemy is my friend, and you need to live with that.

The rest of the day goes smoothly, I keep myself busy with Veronica; she called quite a few times when I was busy with breakfast. I will call her back to tell her all the information she wants to know. If I ignore or delay her a little bit more, I believe she will come to my honeymoon with the motive for the murder.

I tell her everything from the beginning to the day before our honeymoon.

“You are married to your family enemies.” Amusement rings in her voice. “How cool this is. It’s like a Shakespeare tale, tragic yet beautiful.”

I cringe at her words, doing a bachelor’s degree in theater is making her more dramatic. Sometimes I think she forgets she is not on the stage in the real world, but this girl never stops being melodramatic even when it’s serious around her.

After she finds out her boyfriend is cheating on her with a random girl, Veronica Gomez made a sex tape for both of them. She hid a camera in his bedroom, took the video, and exposed him in front of the world, played the victim card so well the moment the sex tape was out; pretended not to know anything, behaved like a heartbroken girlfriend who was blindsided by her boyfriend, whom she loved endlessly. She even slapped him in front of everyone, threw a glass of water in his face, and ran away from the place with fake tears in her eyes. The perfect climax.

She was the talk of the town for several weeks after that, so many women came to her and expressed their sympathy. At every party, they would see her as their mentor. The whole thing was a circus if you ask me. Some even asked advice from her, some complicated her saying how brave she was.

I would say that was one of the most epic and bold things I ever saw in my life. This girl is unpredictable, so is her mouth. Spoiler alert: My mouth is pretty decent in front of her.

“Oh, God.” I sigh. “You are hopeless.”

“When are you coming back?” I ask her as I fall into bed.

“After fucking Nathan Hall.”

“Is he with you?” I raise my eyebrow. “I thought this was your family vacation.”

“In my dream, I am having some hardcore sex with him, but at present, he is in front of me, swimming in the pool as a Greek God. Damn, his abs are just about to die for. And those muscles, I need to poke them during our time in bed.”

“Control yourself.”

“Yeah, whatever. I am having fun tonight with the younger Hall, my baby.”

“Oh, God. Luke will kill you if he finds out.”

“Don’t you dare to tell him? This is a private thing between adults, Luke the junior Hall doesn’t need to know how his brother is on the bed.”

We talk a little bit more before hanging up and getting ready for dinner. I heard that the server at the morning that dinner is their highlight. They also prepared a gift for me and Brian for our wedding. Some local singer is going to sing live tonight, I am excited about that too.

I hop in the shower, blow my hair dry, choose a strapless knee-length dress. I am struggling with the hook of the dress when Brian enters our room. His precious laptop is in his hand while his the other is holding another lifeline, his phone. I want to see how he lives if I took away his phone and laptop from him; I am sure he will die in an hour, two maximum.

This man is even working after coming back from our honeymoon. I saw him in the morning during breakfast, and then he evaporated himself in his work. He was in the lounge working, making calls while I was in my room the entire day. He could have come for lunch or at least have the courtesy to send a text or call to know if I ate or not.

But no, he was too busy enjoying his work to do that.

I don’t give him much attention when I find out he is on the phone talking to someone about his work again. God, I have married a workaholic; I don’t think I will ever forgive myself for that.

I engross myself in the hook of my dress; I make this my only mission but am rebuffed the whole time. I feel a hand against my bare skin; I raise my hand to look at the mirror. It’s Brian.

He is still on the phone, I can tell, as two earbuds are still in his ear. I keep my eyes on the mirror, on him while he hooks up my dress.

I mouth him thanks and am about to go away from him, but he stops me by my arms, our eyes are locked in the mirror, and slowly he lowers himself to my shoulder and places a kiss before sucking between my shoulder and throat while talking on the phone.

My eyes go wide open when he licks the place where he leaves a picture-perfect hickey for everyone to see and know. I can’t even think of anything after that. I feel as if my mind was blank and my body is dead the moment Brian touches me.

The thudding noise of the door brings me to life. The romance, or whatever that was, is over as Brian steps into the shower. Wow, this makes me sick, his behavior is so loathsome. The way he touched me and then disposed of me as if chewing gum makes me nauseous.

This is the second time he disrespects me, good news for him, I am almost near the line. We already have a problem, but I am keeping that to myself, but very soon we are going to talk about this.

His touch heated up my body, as his rude attitude did the same thing as my rage. I leave him alone and make my way towards the dining hall; I am so pissed up with him right now.

It’s been only three days in my married life, and I am already past the timeline of anger. I am a quiet person. Anger is not my thing, not for me, but this man brings out that ugly side of me with his arrogant talk and manner.

It’s better if he stays away from the entire trip. It’s not as if it will not bother him at all. I can enjoy the honeymoon myself, I think I will be better without him.

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