Chapter 13

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I couldn't help thinking that if I just gave myself up, this would all be resolved. Sophia was safe now, she wouldn't be alone. No one had to know she was my daughter. Niklaus and Stephanie would raise her. Niklaus and the Italian mafia wouldn't be at risk anymore. The war against the Colombian cartel would end and my family would no longer be in danger.

The thought of never seeing Sophia again broke my soul but the thought that I was putting her danger killed me. I have had 5 beautiful years filled with nothing but absolute bliss and happiness with her. I would happily give my life for her safety. I just had to make sure Niklaus was a match first, I had to make sure she was going to get better. My absence right now would surely be her death.

"Mommy, are you okay?" I snapped out of my thoughts to look over at a concerned Sophia, still sitting on Giovanni's lap. I looked around to see the same face plastered on Niklaus and Giovanni. I cleared my throat, hoping my words wouldn't fail me.

"Perfectly fine, baby." Flashing her a reassuring smile. Sophia's face smiled back at me but the two men shared a look that told me I hadn't convinced them in the slightest.

The rest of the meal I stayed quiet, I couldn't break myself from the trance I was in, my mind not giving me a minute of peace. I was giving myself a migraine. I heard Niklaus and Giovanni talking, but I didn't understand a single word, my brain wasn't even processing what they were saying, completely consumed with plaguing my mind with a suicide mission. My life for everyone else's.

"Cattleya, let's go."

What? Who? Where? How long had I been in a trance?

Giovanni was already standing with Sophia resting on his arm, giving Niklaus a look my brain couldn't decipher at the moment. Niklaus was waiting for me to move out of the booth so he could get out. I shake my head trying to stop the plague infecting my mind, as I get out of the booth, letting Niklaus out.

"Sophia, come with mommy. We'll wait in the car." I felt this overwhelming need to hold her close, like our days were numbered. I hold my arms out to her and she wraps hers around my neck, nuzzling close. I squeeze her tightly, before walking towards the door. I felt a strong hand on my arm pull me back. To my surprise it was Giovanni. He leaned down to give Sophia a kiss.

"Giving yourself up won't solve anything, Cattleya. You'll only hurt Sophia." He whispered in my ear so low I almost thought I imagined it.

"I'm doing this for Sophia." I whispered back.

He gave me a small kiss on the cheek, before looking so deep into my eyes I was convinced he was trying to read my mind. His eyes screamed worry and concern but admiration soon consumed them.

"It was good seeing you again, Gio." I stood on my toes to return his kiss and walked out of the restaurant. The valet already had the black SUV parked out front. I slid in with Sofia still in my arms. I adjust her body so I'm now cradling her like a baby.

After a few minutes, I heard a gun shot, then screams coming from the restaurant. My heart started racing, I felt like it was going to burst through my chest. I reach for my gun and look at Sophia, but she's already fast asleep. As I was going to tell the driver to take her to safety, when Niklaus pushed the restaurant doors open, adjusting his gun in his suit jacket he had put on before leaving the house.

"What the hell happened in there?" He furrowed his eyebrows, like I was a mad woman and I hadn't just heard a gun shot and screaming. He looked at my face morphed with fear and my knuckles white from holding the gun so tight.

"I shot Giovanni." He shrugged, it was said so casually I thought I heard him wrong.

"You what?" My voice came out with force.

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