“Sit, Sofia,” Father murmured as he gestured towards the seat positioned before himself and mum, I sank into it gracefully and thanked him before he continued.
My heart was already beating fast, it had started racing wildly since the moment our housekeeper came to my room to inform me that my parents would like to have a word with me this very instant. A part of me already kinda figured out why they had summoned me, I’ve been dreading this particular ‘talk’ since the day I turned eighteen, two months ago.
“Do you know why I had you summoned?” Father asked and I shook my head immediately, silently praying it wasn’t going to end up being what I was already starting to think it was. Father picked up his whiskey filled glass and took a sip before returning it back to the table. My mother was seated beside him with a blank face as usual, her hair was pinned on her hair neatly and tightly, a single strand wouldn’t be able to slip out until she took out the pin herself.
“You’re eighteen years already, Sofia.” My father started to say and I felt my heart sink into my stomach with a drop, what he was about to say was already pretty obvious.
“You’re ripe for marriage already, which is why we’ve started your wedding preparations the moment you clocked eighteen. You’d be getting married in a week's time and all you have to do is to relax and do whatever your mum and her sisters ask you to do.”
“What?” I demanded urgently with my heart squeezing tight against the inside of my chest, blinking unbelievably and glancing from father’s face to my mother’s expressionless face.
I knew I was going to get married to one of the soldiers or generals' sons right since I was thirteen, I had been aware and had been brought up to be a good and obedient wife to whoever would end up getting picked out for me. It was tradition for fathers in our own world to marry their daughters to eligible men holding posts worthy enough to benefit them one way or the other.
“You’re getting married to Luca Ricci in a week's time.” Father stated and my mouth fell open immediately.
Mr Luca Ricci?
“Um, Mr Luca? The mafia lord?” I whispered out with my eyes blown wide and my heart beating wildly against my ribs, my hands were starting to shake due to how close I was to losing control of my emotions and I squeezed my hands together and dragged in deep breath as quietly as I could.
“Yes, Sofia. Mr Luca Ricci has requested your hand in marriage and everything has been in preparation ever since. You should be really honored that someone as powerful as him would want to marry from our family, despite the fact that there are higher generals with daughters in which he could pick from.” My mother finally said from the moment I got into the office and I blinked at her with tears stinging my eyes.
“But he’s really older than I am,” I tried reasoning with them in a strained whisper, my voice breaking unashamedly, feeling weak and powerless as ever. What could I do?
Wasn’t he like fifty?
“Age is just a number, and besides he’s just eighteen years older than you are.” My father dismissed my protest immediately as he took another sip of his whiskey.
“I don’t want to marry him, father.” I started to say, knowing that I was digging my own grave by voicing out my own thoughts but having no other choice left, “Anybody but him, father. He’s scary and ruthless, you’ve said so yourself countless times. I’ve heard so many rumors about him, scary details about him. Please father...”
“Sofia!” My father barked out and I jumped and swallowed emptily, shifting in my seat and staring pointedly at my quaking hands on my thighs.
Not him please.
“Those are just rumors, and when did you start believing whatever you hear without enough proof?” Father snapped and I swallowed again, trying my hardest to blink my tears away.
“He’s ruthless because he has to be as the mafia lord, and you’re going to learn to be fierce like him once you become his wife. Nothing’s going to happen to you if you do whatever he demands of you as fast as you can without questions. Luca hates stupid questions and you females are fond of that instead of obediently doing as you are told immediately.”
“So he wants a slave and not a wife? That’s it? I’m just going to become his slave?” I demanded before I could stop myself and father got to his feet immediately and threw his glass which was half filled with whiskey on the wall exactly where my head was positioned a second ago had I not ducked immediately with a panicked scream. I scrambled to my feet instantly and raced to the doorway with tears streaming down my cheeks, mother was on her feet as well, wringing her hands together but not interfering as usual.
“This is why you women need a husband with an iron fist, someone to discipline you until you learn how to obey whatever you’ve told to do without stupid, unnecessary questions.” Father shouted angrily at me with a finger pointed in my direction and I cried harder. “Knowing how Luca is, I’m sure he would be able to make you obey him without questions a day into the marriage unlike me, it took me years to train your mother into being an obedient wife, because she was just like you are now; stubborn, disrespectful and disobedient.”
I shook my head with tears still sliding down my cheeks, I didn’t want to end up being like mother, I didn’t want to have to live life the way she did, I didn’t want to have to agree with whatever my husband says without questions, I didn’t want to live like a slave in marriage the way my mother has been doing since the moment she got married to father.
I’ve never expected to marry because of love, nor have I thought that I’d be marrying someone of my own choice. But I’ve been hoping I’d marry someone in my own age range who’s already open minded and won’t want to live in the past the way the people in the past generations did.
But then I had to get given to someone almost two decades older than I am, it wasn’t even just anybody, it was Luca. Luca Ricci.
Everyone’s worst nightmare.
Everyone was scared of him, including my father.
“Get back into your room this instant and don’t leave there until you’re asked to.” He ordered before turning around and heading toward the bar hanging off the wall in his office to pour himself another drink. I remained in my current position, knowing it was stupid of me to still hope he’d change his mind. He turned back around with another glass of whiskey and I noticed the way his nose flared angrily the moment his eyes landed on me.
I glanced helplessly at my mother, hoping she’d back me up for once but she only shook her head and glanced away from my direction. With another wayward sob bubbling in my throat, I whirled around and fled his office when he started advancing towards me.
I flew up the stairs with tears streaming down my cheeks and past the rows of doors upstairs leading to my room. I didn’t stop to acknowledge my younger brother who was standing outside his bedroom door watching me silently and slammed my bedroom door shut the moment I got in.
I turned the keys and locked it despite the fact that I knew father has the rest of my door keys and could get the door open anytime he wants before sliding down against it and burying my face in my palms, more tears spilled out and I didn’t bother trying to stop it and instead allowed it to flow out quietly.
I was going to be identified as Mrs Ricci in a week's time...
The thought of that alone was enough to make me sob even harder, hating life and my parents with so much passion all over again.
Sofia’s POV I sat up on my bed the moment I heard a key turn in my keyhole with my heart pounding in my chest, a part of me thought it was father and that thought was enough to send a chilling fear sliding down my spine. It was currently some minutes after ten in the night and I had no idea who it could be.The door cracked open and I felt the breath I’ve been nervously holding in my throat whoosh out a relived sigh on seeing my younger brother standing at the doorway with a proud grin spread across his face.“Come in fast and shut the door.” I urged and he quietly got in and closed the door before turning my keys until the door was locked again.“Did you just pick my lock?” I asked once he got to my bedside, he shrugged with a sly grin before hopping on my bed and waving a tiny nail in my face.“New skill unlocked, yes I did.” He gushed out and I cracked a small smile at his proud facial expression.“Where did you learn that? I thought you weren’t going to start trailing until nex
Sofia’s POV The housekeeper brought me breakfast the next morning which made me assume father wasn’t as angry with me as he was last night. I told her I wasn’t hungry and she returned the breakfast tray back downstairs, leaving me to myself once again. I wasn’t hungry since I ate a bit of the snacks Angelo left me last night, the rest was currently in my closet since I wasn’t feeling hungry one bit.I closed the book I’ve been trying to read to no avail out of frustration and sat up on my bed, staring at the rack of gold and silver medals which I had won throughout high school in the far end of my room. Father thought medals were not as important as award cups, which means the medals I won while growing up stayed in my room, while the award cups I won got placed in his office. I let my mind wander aimlessly like it has been wanting to do since the moment I woke up from the thirty minutes sleep I managed to catch after staying up and talking with my brother from ten pm to two
Sofia’s POV “Remember to smile once he unveils your face, hm?” Father said as he handed me a bunch of blue flowers which were as big as the dress I was currently in.“Yes, father.” I replied with my heart racing uncontrollably, I was going to be walking down the aisle in a few minutes time with my father and I was about to have a panic attack to my utmost horror.“I am going to miss you so much, Sofia.” Father continued as he pulled my veil over my face, I would have quietly snorted at his words had I not been silently trying to fight the panic attack back.Father stepped out of the car and held his hand out for me but I hesitated, afraid my legs was going to give out on me if I dare stand up.“What are you doing, Sofia? We’re going to be called in a minute.” Father demanded impatiently and I tried really hard to push the dizzy feeling back but it was only getting more intense and threatening to pull me under its waves.“Can you get me water please?” I whispered and father cursed
Sofia’s POV The crowd cheered loudly as Luca and I got called to the dance floor for our first couple’s dance. He took my hand and led me into the middle of the dance floor. My veil and tiara had been taken away from me by the designer the moment we arrived at the reception hall, leaving my shoulders and upper back completely bare. Luca placed my hand on his shoulder and slid his left hand around my waist before clasping my left hand in his right one and proceeded to lead me in a slow dance.My head was barely reaching his sharp looking jawline despite the fact that I was in tall heels, our eyes locked for the fourth time today as we moved from side to side. He moved his hand over my waist ever so lightly and I puffed out a flustered breath and ducked my head immediately. I felt another shiver slid down my spine when he pulled me closer to him, our clothes brushing against each other’s.“Look at me.” He rumbled quietly, his vibrating, deep voice eliciting goosebumps over my bare a
Sofia’s POV My heart was hammering hard against the insides of my chest and my rib cages, my pulse rate has spiked high up to the level of me feeling it vibrating fast on my throat. I shivered slightly as fear started to crept into my veins once again and stubbly leaned back when Luca’s fingers started to slow trail over my robe covered arm. To my surprise– and in the very next second, horror, Luca pulled his fingers away from my arm almost immediately. My eyes widened in horror as I realized what I just did and I held my breath fearfully, my whole body going numb as I waited on the slap that was surely going to hit me any second from now.A few seconds passed, and… nothing.I blinked a few times and turned my head around and– locked eyes with Luca. He was staring at me the same way he had been staring at me since the start of my wedding, there was nothing standing out about his facial expression. I silently prayed he wasn’t already thinking up different ways in which he cou
Sofia’s POV Luca had asked me to sleep which my over analyzing mind had broken down into multiple meanings even though it only had one actual meaning. I had hoped he wouldn’t find me attractive, so he wouldn’t have to take me against my will because there was no way I’d ever consent to…Was the word ‘consent’ even available in the vocabularies of the men in the mafia?There was no way my mind could even be relaxed enough to the point of me falling asleep, that fact was sparkling clear in my head. I puffed out a slow breath, not wanting to make unnecessary sound since I was supposed to be sleeping like an obedient wife like I was asked to.The lights suddenly got turned off and i sucked in a harsh, audible breath before widening my eyes and slapping my hand over my mouth in the next second. The feeling of the bed dipping made my heart pound even harder and faster against my chest and I inched towards the edge of the bed until I was lying on the very tip, any further and I’d find mysel
Sofia’s POV I slowly ascended the row of stairs and paused three stairs to the final landing on seeing two men standing there. I stared confusingly at them, wondering what it was that they were looking for. My eyes zeroed in on their weapons strapped on their similar attire as I brushed my hair out of my face. Oh, Luca’s guards. But Luca wasn’t home… or was he?“Good morning, ma’am.” They both echoed at the same time and in sync, bowed their heads down a little. My mouth widened and I shook my head immediately with a wave of my hand.“No, no… are you sure I am the one you actually want to speak with?” I asked in confusion.“Yes, Ma’am. We were ordered here by Mr Ricci and starting from this moment, the both of us are officially your two bodyguards.” One of the two men responded immediately and I breathed out a small sigh, of course I was going to be assigned body guards immediately who were going to monitor every bit of my life starting from this moment, like they said.“Don’t ad
Sofia’s POV “Matilda, Mrs Ricci has been waiting on you for a while now.” Sarah, the housekeeper admonished the young woman who just walked into the kitchen. The said woman footsteps slowed down as soon as she spotted me sitting by the counter.“Oh it’s fine, Sarah. I don’t mind.” I quickly added once Sarah was done admonishing the Chef, Matilda. And also because I didn’t mind waiting here in the kitchen for the chef to arrive since for one, I didn’t have any else to do and forcing down a cup of coffee while exchanging a few, polite words with Sarah was way better than me sitting on my own, doing nothing.“Hello, Mrs Ricci. I’m so sorry I took so long, the laundry wasn’t dried off yet so I thought I could wait there until it dries off finish, because I thought you’d still be in bed, tired from all the stress from the wedding ceremony, and your wedding night–” Matilda choose the moment to mention my wedding night when I was about to force down another mouthful of coffee, which ma