Chapter 19: The truth

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'I had to lose it all so I could understand, I was just a boy in the shadow of a man'

'I had to lose it all so I could understand, I was just a boy in the shadow of a man'

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^^ Jeremiah ^^

Maria scoffed, rolling her eyes at her son's stage name. "I hated the day you changed your name. That was also the day you started calling me Maria instead of mamma. You wanted to erase yourself from your proud bloodline to protect me, but all you did was make me feel sorry for the man I had raised."

Terrence was still standing behind a stunned Lilianna. Her brain was trying to comprehend all the things she had learned in the past few minutes while still coping with the stress of her kidnapping. Maria was livid, not only had her son opened scars that took her years to heal, but he had lied to the woman he claimed to love. A girl Maria hoped would make her son the boy he once was for her. Maria wanted Lilianna to fall for him and his family out of her own free will, yet here she was. Kidnapped. Afraid. Lied to. She couldn't look her son in the eye anymore, she didn't know who he was. The man that had been locked up three years ago had been replaced by a more coldhearted version of the tattooed killer she gave birth to.

"You know why I did it. I did it for you, for Annalise, for Marelle. I did it for all of you. I wanted to keep you out of this and the only way to do that was to erase who I was from the map and build my own profile. And it worked, I've been the Vendetta for eight years, mamma." He told her, his eyes holding emotions only people he truly cared for had ever been able to see.

"That's not good enough." His mother snapped, shaking the spoon in his direction. "What would your father think if he saw who you had become? How you have come back to my house an arrogant and reckless man with no respect for his mother and even less for his woman. I'm disappointed in you, and you know your father is too."

"With all due respect, Ms. Venetta, Terrence has been in prison for three years and that wasn't exactly mental health central-" Brett tried to defend his boss. The lady's hard eyes cut to him, her scowl deepening.

"His name is Terrenco." She hissed.

"Not anymore mamma."

"Excuse me, did you just correct me about the name in which I gave you after I spent fifteen hours in labour giving your pompous ass life?" She gasped, turning back to her son.

"No, ma'am." He breathed, ducking his head behind Lilianna more.

"Get off me, you wimp!" She snapped, slapping his hands away from her and hopping down from the kitchen stool.

"I hope you all come to your senses and realize the havoc you have caused. And when you do see what you have done, I expect a sincere apology." Maria sighed, shaking her head as she brushed a stray grey hair from her eyes. She walked around the counter and stood by the stove, taking a dish towel and wiping down the sink edges that were wet from the dishes one of the boys had done earlier that day.

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