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Chapter Twenty-Six| Dario

I stare at the sleeping beauty in my bed. I sigh, rubbing the stubble on my face.

This is where she belongs.

It's eight in the evening now and she's been asleep for about five hours. I've cooked her some dinner but I don't want to wake her yet because I know she needs the rest.

I reach forward and stroke her hair. She sighs and my heart warms when she leans further into my touch.

But then the thought of Cane laying a hand on her makes me clench my jaw.

I release another small sigh and decide to take a quick shower. I get dressed in the bathroom and then I step out, back into my room, I jump a little when I see Leona sat up on the bed looking around with wide eyes.

Those beautiful brown eyes then land on me and I give her a small smile as she clutches the duvet closer to her.

"You okay?" I question cautiously and she gulps nodding her head. "You're going to stay with me tonight, princess." I crouch down in front of her and I watch as fear begins to show in her eyes as she frantically shakes her head.

"I-I have to go home to C-Cane." I purse my lips.

"No." I simply say and she freezes, her eyes beginning to water. "I can't let you go back there." I shake my head and stand up.

A small whimper escapes her lips as she tries to climb out of the bed. I stop her from leaving and she gives me a pleading look.

"You d-don't understand." She sobs and I clench my eyes shut. "H-He won't be happy if dinner is n-not ready and it's already late." It's taking me a lot to not go and kill him right now.

"Baby." I whisper. "He hurts you, he physically and emotionally abuses you." I grab hold of her face gently. "He's not in love with you, someone who loves you wouldn't abuse you to the point you're not yourself anymore." I whisper.

She sniffles, grabbing hold of my wrists with shaky hands. She doesn't pull my hands away she just gently keeps a hold on me.

"I want my Leona back." I can't stop my own eyes from watering as I stare into her empty ones. "Please, baby." Her hands tighten a little around my wrist as her lips tremble.

And to my surprise she throws herself at me, wrapping her arms around my shoulders, burying her face into the crook of my neck.

"Rio." She whimpers and I bite my trembling lip, wrapping my arms around her.

"I've got you, princess." I pick her up and sit on the bed. She straddles me, keeping her arms wrapped tightly around me. "When was the last time someone hugged you like this, hey?" I chuckle lightly and she just responds with another squeeze.

We sit in silence together for another fifteen minutes before I decide to get her up and give her some food. It takes a while to peel her off me but eventually she gives in and lets go.

She grabs hold of my hand as we walk into the kitchen. I sit her on the island chair and she looks at me with wide eyes as I try to pull my hand away from hers.

"It's okay, I'm just going to get you some food." She shakes her head and I sigh. "Baby, you need to eat, you've lost so much weight, I'm worried."

"C-Cane says I've put on too much weight, I need to fit into my wedding dress." Don't flip, Dario. Stay calm, stay fucking calm.

"You shouldn't be changing yourself for him. There was nothing wrong with your body, Leona, baby, can't you see how much he's bringing you down." She looks away from me and bites her lip.

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