Daniele glanced down at the woman who was kneeling before him, her palms pressed against his knees while she looked up at him with pleading eyes. He knew he could not refuse her when she begged him to save her, not this woman who made his heart mysteriously skip a beat. After those months of misery he was convinced that he could no longer open his heart to another woman, but now he was proved wrong. Lena Costos had opened his heart and made him play a dangerous game with not only his life but hers as well. Her platinum band sparkled in the sun, the evidence of his life threatening mistake. He was conflicted between saving her and punishing her, and she knew that.
He placed his hand on top of hers having a platinum band around his finger that matched hers perfectly. He had seen how his brother and his wife looked at their matching rings with awe, but he did not feel the same way. His own ring was the reminder of a rash decision he made and would regret a life time.
He heard her inhale sharply, she probably feared he would push her away yet he couldn’t find the strength to do that. His fingers trailed softly over her skin to her elbow, gripping her tightly in his hand to pull her up to her feet. She struggled at first but then managed to find her balance. She blinked at his sudden roughness, a soft sobbing sound leaving her lips. Her face stained with her dried up tears.
“Please Daniele… “
Another plea leaving her lips. The only thing she did the past two days was begging him to listen to her, to save her to do something if he ever cared about her. Of course he was torn between his family and this woman, how could he not listen to her pleas when she asked him that question. ‘If you ever cared about me’
They were never officially dating but he spent a lot of time with this woman. She slowly penetrated his heart and now she took advantage of that. Yet another woman messing around with him. Slowly he started to believe his younger brother who was convinced that Daniele Gavino was not meant to have the kind of relationship Luciano and Cassidy had.
He raised his hand, “Don’t.” He warned her in a hushed tone, she knew he was dead serious.
He saw her eyes averting to his platinum band and swallowed painfully. He believed holy in marriage, his own father and mother were together for years. They were the example of the perfect marriage. A husband who respected, cared and loved his wife with all he had – Michaelangelo Gavino was known as a bad man to many but his wife knew the real him.
He had married Lena Costos, now known as Lena Gavino. He had to keep true to his vows. This woman was his wife and he needed to protect her. He would keep faithful to his promise to her, so this once he had to go against his family.
She must have seen the hesitation in his eyes because in an instant she flew in his arms and clenched her hands on his crisp white shirt, “I promise you Daniele I never meant to hurt you nor your family.” His eyes were dull and bored but she kept going, “I had to avenge my parents’ death, I know you can understand that. You’d do the same for your father and mother, don’t try to convince me otherwise.”
He’d already been there, because of his crazy ex-girlfriend his father almost died. They didn’t do anything drastic like wiping out everyone who could have harmed his father. He knew though that in his uncles’ old days they would have done the same thing as Lena. His family was probably the cause of Lena being in this state.
He stared down at her feeling how anxious she became with his intense stare, “We’ve been there. We let the authorities handle it.” He grabbed her chin to make her look at him, “We don’t run around with guns and knives to bring justice to those who harm others.”
Her question echoed through his mind. Once, his father let Luciano take revenge on the abusing ex-boyfriend of his wife. That was close to running around with a gun, but he was certain that no one knew about that. Uncle Rodolfo knew how to clean things up without leaving a trace. Lena couldn’t know about that meaningless death.
“Do you want to go back and have this conversation with Michaelangelo then?” He asked her and saw her step back with frightened eyes, “I mean you’re sure that my family would understand, so maybe you should make them understand?”
He stepped closer to her while she only stepped back. He frightened her which was never his intention, though it was good that she knew her place. Her threats didn’t scare him, and Lena needed him to clear her name, though he was convinced that his father would never understand her intentions. She’d killed more than once, in their eyes she was a cold-hearted murderer, and she was. She killed multiple people who she was convinced had anything to do with her parents’ death.
She shook her head, “I don’t…”
“You don’t what?” He folded his arm across his chest and awaited her answer.
She bit her lip almost close to drawing blood, “I don’t think Michaelangelo would understand.”
“So we find a way to make him understand.” Daniele explained to her getting her full attention, “But until then we can’t go back. Not with a good and solid explanation for your actions.”
There was not a real solid explanation for her actions, they both knew that. He didn’t even know her real story yet, he didn’t listen to her when she rumbled on and on about the past. He had been seeing red while trying to contain his fury. If he listened to his gut he would have hurt her, so with all his might he tried to stay calm and tolerate her babbling. But it seemed like a good time to ask her for her story.
He walked back to the bed and took a seat on the edge. His eyes never leaving her trembling form, “So our hitmen are the reason why your parents are dead?”
She shivered hearing his direct question, but she still replied, “Your hitmen, uncles and father wiped out my whole family twenty years ago.”
A whole family, it sounded like something his uncles and father would have done in their younger years, but he kept an impassive face. He could not let her know that he had doubts.
He frowned at her explanation, “You want revenge on something that happened twenty years ago?”
A fire burned in her eyes when he sounded so sarcastic about her motive, “I was there when my family’s blood painted the floors. Your father dragged my mom by her hair and let me and my dad watch how he killed her.” She broke out in a sob while she clutched her hair to a painful grip as if she tried to push back the vivid memories, her pain very familiar to his own, “Then he killed my dad. I was the only survivor because apparently the innocent child would not be harmed.”
Twenty years ago…His own nightmares started twenty years ago, they were as vivid as hers. The people who kidnapped Luciano, his mom and him were vicious. Tortured Gabriella till she screamed in front of her own children. His father was furious…
His eyes widened, “Twenty years ago bad people kidnapped me, my brother and my mom. That was the only time I had seen my father lose it, really lose it. He promised he would haunt the people down who tortured my mom in front of their children and would give them what they deserved.” He narrowed his eyes on Lena who was now completely cornered shaking her head hysterically while she sobbed loudly, “Twenty years ago my dad gave your family what they deserved.”
His statement made her scream while she dropped to her knees and broke down. All her righteous believes about her family were shattered, there was nothing left of Lena Costos.