Chapter 12. Arabelly.

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Belle's POV

"Victoria, before we continue, may we welcome the newest member of the Wives Circle?" Said one of the wives to Victoria, the one presiding the meeting. Mrs. Stepford looked like she did not appreciate the suggestion at all and she's not even trying to hide it. I admire her though, she doesn't seem to care that Nikolai and Alexei are in the audience. She dislikes me and she's owning it.

"We have begun our meeting more than twenty minutes ago. She came crashing and interrupting the meeting with not so much of a courtesy. I don't think the lady needs any more introduction." Replied Victoria, glancing at me momentarily and then looking back to her notes.

I can hear chattering from the people outside the velvet rope the moment she said that. Some of the wives on the table have smiles on their faces while others, I mean most of them looked surprised.

So this is why the people close to my heart warn me against attending this meeting? Just because of some petty and insignificant power struggle? I'm just holding back myself from rolling my eyes so hard. The Conglomerate is a criminal organization, it's not like we are doing good for the world or something. Part of me regrets going through the hassle of facing my acrophobia and punching my husband in the face all because of this. I could have been sleeping my pregnant ass at the rest house at this very moment but no, Mary Arabella Volkov wanted to prove a point.

I notice that the wives are also wearing their own unique rings representing each crime families. And the one that Victoria is wearing is almost dark purple. I know very well that she only has one vote and perhaps she will get some other votes from the other wives.

I let out an automatic scoff. Victoria is being a bitch but she can't back it up. That's so friggin lame.

I made sure that Nikolai's ring is in place before I connected my gaze on Axel, who is now drinking and smoking a cigar with some other Bosses. I showed her the back of my hand hoping he gets my signal. A naughty smirk slowly appears on his face when our eyes met. As much as I hate his guts, I know that if push comes to shove his two votes will play a huge difference. Since Axel is single, according to the rules, he can assign his ring to whomever he wants. Same as with Artan, the man who always has my back and fought my husband, the devil himself, just to get me.

Axel De Alba downs his liquor and then went to Artan. They talked for a few seconds before Axel signaled the person guarding the velvet rope to let him in. Like the Boss that he really is, he walks with that certain electrifying presence and approached the wives table like a friggin god. Upon his signal, his own Conglomerate chair was placed beside me, to the amusement and bewilderment of the people around us. He crossed his legs over the other and smoothly removed the royal blue vintage diamond ring from his ring finger. I try so hard not to roll my eyes on him. He could have just lent me the female version of his ring. Not his own damn ring! And he could just have someone deliver the ring to me. But no, he really wants to make a scene.

He then gently caught my hand and inserted his ring around my pointer finger. He kisses his ring first and then the back of my hand. "Mi amorcita Belle. I never thought my ring would caress such a delicate hand."

"Yah yah. I got it from here De Alba." Said Nikolai who just appeared from nowhere. He removes my hand from Axel's and then sat to my right. He forces my right hand to his lap and then placed an icepack to my now bruised knuckles.

I don't know if I'm going to be mad because of his possessiveness or I'm just going to appreciate his sweet gesture of tending to my bruise -- the result of the punch that landed on his beautiful face.

Alas, my love for the man prevailed over everything else. I squeeze his thigh gently, letting him know that I appreciate him doing this. He's looking down straight on my knuckles, his dark green eyes laced with worry and madness at the same time. It's quite frightening really.

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