THE PROPOSAL

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THE PROPOSAL

Italians knew something about big houses. When the sleek town car stops in front of Salvatore Manor I can't help but appreciate not only the size of the estate but the architecture as well. Tall stunning columns contrasted against the dark brick and dark wide windows. Vines crept up the sides of the house in a manicured kind of chaos — the house looked old, a sanctuary passed down through family and this particular family was incredibly old. The wide cherry wooden doors open and a man presents himself. He's tall, angular, everything about him is sharp and piercing. Eyes the color of sand, hair so dark that it could disappear into the shadows, and the largest nose I've ever seen.

Carter Donaldson opens the car door for me before I slip out of my seat. Cool summer air flutters across my face as I adjust my coat jacket, I did not know what was worse in this moment — the fact that I was about to tell a man that I was marrying his daughter without his permission or the fact that it was Nehemiah Salvatore's reputation to shoot people without a flicker of emotion in his eyes. The door slams behind as I wait for the man to meet me halfway down the grand entry way. Harvey and Adonis are so close to me that I can feel their body heat, their hands resting on their guns. The man grins at me but it is not as friendly as I believe he intends it to be. I do not smile.

"Darnell Davidson. What can I do for you, miss?" His voice sounds like gravel. Shivers roll up my skin and raise my hairs in alarm, somehow he was triggering my fight or flight senses.

"A meeting with Nehemiah Salvatore."

He scoffs, "and who are you to demand such a thing?"

I slip out a card from my jacket pocket along with the pretty Angel necklace that I had confiscated from  Alana when I had searched her. The card has my gangs crest on it. I wrapped the necklace around the card and presented it to him. His eyes narrowed before widening.

"Where is she?" Darnell's voice becomes threatening and I have to wonder how long he has known Alana to know her necklace by glance. Before he can swipe the necklace away, I pocket it. "You are the leader of the Northern Dragons."

"You're so smart. Now that meeting or I text my friends and you can have the neck to match the necklace."

"This way." He turns swiftly and before I know it he is taking me through the maze of a house. Hallways after hallways and so many stairs that anyone could get lost and be discovered five years later. I didn't like the fact that he was taking me this way simply to confuse me, they had designed this house simply to leave people lost and hopeless — unaware how to escape. Surprisingly, I was not that dumb.

I could feel the eyes of my bodyguards on me as soon as I stepped into the dimly lit hallway, they were on high alert like me. We didn't like being cornered and though we had walked into this prison on our own accord, we were going to make sure that we would not get trapped. This hallway screamed old and important, it also gave off the vibes that it had experienced bloodshed and horror in the past. My feet clacked against the wood in the dead silence and each step felt closer and closer to danger. This place held secrets and a darkness that I have yet to known and a big part of me was scared to discover. Had this been the home Diana was terrified to return to that night? Flashes of rain and cries and promises that I have yet to keep  hum in my ear.

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