Less Risk, More Reward


“Who are you?” I whispered to the man who’d just bought me for a million dollars.

He was not handsome. He was not young. His eyes were bright and blue and cruel.

“You know me, bella,” the old man crooned as he ran a finger down my cheek and along my jaw, pressing under my chin so I had to look up into his eyes. “Say my name.”

“Gabriele de Luca,” I said, my voice a strained whisper as he smiled.

“I do love the sound of that on your tongue.” He clucked, patting my cheek with his warm, clammy hand. He was my father’s age, maybe a little older. I didn’t know for sure.

But what I did know was that they were enemies. Was this why I was taken? Was I kidnapped and sold so he could use me up and then kill me, returning what was left of my body to my father’s doorstep when he was done?

I gagged at the thought, and gagged even harder as he slid his thumb into my mouth and over my tongue. I tasted copper, leather, and tobacco.

“You better be worth the money I spent on you,” he warned, pressing down on my tongue like he was inspecting my mouth, my teeth. I wanted to vomit. I needed to, especially as he pressed his thumb further down along my tongue toward the back of my throat.

I trembled as my jaw tightened and my teeth began to clamp down on his finger.

“Bite me,” he said coldly in warning, “and I will pull all of your teeth out, one by one.” He removed his finger and rose to his full height. He loomed over me, basking in the power imbalance. I didn’t dare look up and meet his gaze. “Although now that I think about it, that might be more fun for me anyway, less risk, more… reward.”

My stomach clenched as his eyes roved over my body to where the chemise was bunched up against my hip, my thigh on full display.

“Yes, you’ll do just fine,” he said to himself.

I knew what he wanted. And maybe he would have taken me right there on the cold, hard ground had a man not shouted through the locked door behind him that his car was ready.

But Gabriele’s eyes didn’t leave my thigh for a long, brutal moment.

I knew without a shadow of a doubt that when I left with this man, my life as I knew it was over, even if I did survive. He’d take me fully, wholly, stealing my virginity against my will. He’d force me, plain and simple. He owned me now. He could do what he wanted with me, and there was no one that could stop him.

Gabriele lifted me up by my arm and walked me out of the room. I kept my eyes on the floor as the hallway opened up to a large outdoor area lined with cars. Men with guns wove between the vehicles. Soldiers, I decided. I knew how this went. While the Dons and Caporegimes drank and smoked and fucked their new women inside that godforsaken mansion, the lower tiers of their crew were made to wait for their leftovers, if there were any. And I didn’t mean food.

Curious eyes burned into my skin as Gabriele pushed me toward a blacked-out luxury SUV.

“Get in,” he commanded, but I hesitated. My body just wouldn’t move. He fisted my hair and pulled so hard tears welled in my eyes as I was forced to look up at him. His free hand groped my ass, fingers digging into my skin. “Don’t disobey me,” he hissed. “Did daddy not teach his little girl anything?”

He shoved me into the car as I choked on a sob.

“Wait!” someone shouted as Gabriele climbed into the back seat, his hand pressing into my thigh to keep me still.

I turned my head to see who was approaching at a sprint but the door closed. I could have sworn that voice… Oh my god. Mattia? My father’s right-hand?

“We need to talk about this—” he said. One of Gabriele’s men talked to him for a moment, but I couldn’t hear what they were saying.  His words were cut off by Gabriele’s guard climbing into the front passenger seat and shutting the door in Mattia’s face. I caught just a glimpse of Mattia’s desperate expression before the guard motioned to the driver, and the car lurched forward.

Gabriele rolled down his window just a touch and laughed, shouting, “Go fuck yourself!” before the car peeled out of the driveway and drove off into the night. But Mattia had shouted something back that I didn’t catch.

I snapped my head around to try to look through the window to confirm it had been Mattia. Oh God, if it had been? He’d go get my father. I’d be rescued, wouldn’t I?

My father had made it very, very clear when I chose to leave the safety of the family and pursue a career—a life outside of the confines of the mafia—that I wouldn’t be safe. He’d been so angry with me. I’d disappointed him. Betrayed him and our family name. At least that’s what he said I’d done when he pointed a finger in my face and told me never to come home.

Would he come for me despite all that?

“We need to talk about this.”

Mattia’s words sliced through me as Gabriele groped his way up my thigh. I closed my eyes, trying to clear my mind of every thought and every unwelcome touch.

“Where to, Boss?” the driver asked.

“Give me the bag,” Gabriele growled. I barely caught his movement before he shoved a black bag over my head and secured it tightly around my neck. His hand curled around the column of my throat, finger tapping on my skin. “Go to sleep now, bella. You need your rest for what I have planned for you.”

I gasped, fighting for air as my body started to twitch. Then I felt myself slip into nothingness, and everything was quiet.

Comments (1)
goodnovel comment avatar
She is still dreaming. DUN understand a Mafia’s life. Is She For Real?

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