“The only reason you’re breathing right now is because I know you have something to do with her disappearance.”

Lucca’s eyes fill with sadness, and he looks, dare I say, guilty.

“I know you have no reason to believe me, but I didn’t touch her. I came here to help. I might be out of the loop, but I’ve heard the rumors. I heard that some associates of the Volcove family were going to strike tonight. They are still pissed about you messing with their operation. I came to warn you, but it seems I’m too late.”

“Warn me?” I hiss and slam him against the wall once more, hoping the impact will rattle some sense into his head. Lucca is a big man and was one of my best, but looking at him now, you would never know it. He is a liar, a thief, and he deserves nothing but death.

“Let me help you find her. Let me prove myself.”

“There is nothing to prove,” I spit, wanting to smash his face in, needing to kill him. He betrayed me, betrayed us. Almost got Elena killed.

And yet, I hesitate…

“I can get her back. I can find her. They think I’m a traitor already. They’ll never expect me to be helping you. Let me do this. If not for you, for Elena.”

“And why should I trust you? You betrayed me.” The words burn as I speak them.

“You shouldn’t. I did what I had to do for the same reason you’re doing what you have to do right now. Love has that effect on people. I didn’t want to betray you, but they had her…”

Her?

I shake my head. I’ve wasted enough time. I need to find Elena, and if trusting Lucca even for a second means I can save her before it’s too late, then I will. I have no other option. Releasing him, I take a step back, putting space between us. I want to destroy him—my entire body trembles as I withhold the revenge I desire.

Lucca sags against the wall for a moment before straightening and gathering his wits. “Have they left yet?”

“I have my men posted everywhere, and none have said anything.”

Lucca smiles, but it’s sinister. “Follow me. They most likely went to the basement. They know your men are here and that they wouldn’t be able to get away without you knowing.”

This could be a trap, my mind tells me, but it could be a lead too, and right now, my main concern is finding Elena.

“Lead the way,” I order impatiently.

I’m hesitant as I let Lucca take the lead. My heart thunders in my chest with each step we take, each beat becoming louder, making it hard for me to hear or feel anything besides that heavy thumping. The door leading into the basement is unlocked, and as we head down into the darkness, I reach for my gun.

It’s hard to make out, but several doors lead into what I assume are rooms, and I wonder briefly if she is in one of them. Lucca moves along the wall, slowly twisting the knob of each one and shoving the door open.

Then we hear it. “Don’t cry, sugar. You don’t have anything to cry about…yet.” Everything in the world around me fades. Taking a step forward, I’m ready to go in guns blazing. I don’t care about calling for my men or how many might be on the other side of that door. I only see one thing: rescuing Elena.

“Whoa, slow down. We need a plan.”

“We go in, kill everyone who is not Elena. Plan over.”

“That’s too risky. Think about it. Chances are she is going to get caught in that crossfire.” I know he’s right, and I hate it. “I need you to trust me, okay?” he whispers, his voice holding me in place.

“Then what’s your plan?” I grit through my teeth.

“Be smart. We both don’t want anything to happen to Elena. You go in and assess the situation. Make sure she is out of harm’s way. I’ll come in as a surprise. We’ll take them down together.”

“Fine, let’s do this,” I growl, knowing I’m being forced to put every ounce of trust into a man that had previously betrayed me. A man that I should have already murdered.

6

Elena

Tears spill out the corners of my eyes, leaving wet tracks on my cheeks as they run down and fall onto my beautiful satin dress. I try not to fully sob, try not to show them how scared I am, but it’s no use. Tear after tear runs down my face, giving away how I feel on the inside.

Defeated and utterly afraid.

“Don’t cry, sugar. You don’t have anything to cry about…yet.” Someone next to me snickers. Moving closer, he raises his hand and wipes the tears from my skin. I cringe from his touch as much as I can with being tied to the chair. I don’t want this man to touch me. I don’t want anyone to touch me besides Julian.


Tags: Cassandra Hallman, J.L. Beck The Moretti Crime Family Erotic
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