Defying Her Mafioso(2)

By: Terri Anne Browning

I, however, was so much like Vito Vitucci there was no denying I was his daughter. It took a miracle—or my sister’s persistence—to get me out of bed before noon, and I sure as hell wasn’t happy when I opened my eyes each morning. I was moody—an all out bitch more often than not. I trusted maybe five people in the entire world, because I saw the darkness in everyone. A darkness that was in myself just as much as them.

“If I didn’t love you, I’d shoot you in the face,” I mumbled, only half joking.

Victoria giggled, a sound that rarely escaped me but I loved hearing from her. She was the light to my dark and I needed my twin to survive. “Come on, Scarlett. I’m bored out of my mind and I haven’t eaten since that tiny little sandwich we had on the plane last night. If I don’t eat soon I’m going to be sick.”

She knew which buttons to push. My twin had to eat regularly because of her diabetes. The little minx was always using it to con me into doing things I didn’t want to. “I’m up,” I said with a huff. “But if you think I’m putting on clothes yet, you are out of your pretty little mind.”

“I promise to buy you an espresso while we shop.” She grasped my arm and started tugging, because even though I’d told her I was up, I was still lying there with my eyes threatening to close again. She was twenty-one years old, for fuck’s sake. She could eat breakfast alone in her own home, damn it.

“But…sleep, Tor. I want sleep,” I whined as she grasped my arm with both hands and used her little strength to pull me off the bed. As I reached the end, I just let gravity take hold and I fell to the floor, taking her with me.

She squealed loudly and seconds later my bedroom door was crowded with three huge men dressed in suits with their hands on their gun holsters. Tension filled me as I took the men in, my fingers itching for the gun I kept under my pillow.

Damn, I was going to have to remember we weren’t in Sicily any longer. Things had been more laid back at the compound in Sicily where we’d lived the last three years with our grandmother. Here, everyone was on red alert since we were home again.

“What happened?” I heard my brother demand and I lifted my head to glare at him. His dark eyes were taking in the room, looking for danger.

Really? The compound walls were surrounded by big—mostly ugly—men with guns. Dogs ran freely on the property and throughout the house, and there was a security system that I was sure came straight from the Secret Service. All of that didn’t really matter. I knew that. If someone wanted in, they would get in, but I also knew that, once they did, they would have to face my father’s wrath and there weren’t very many people in the world who had the balls to do that.

No one was stupid enough to show up at the Vitucci compound to hurt us, yet there my big brother stood, ready to annihilate anything he deemed a threat.

“Make Scarlett get out of bed, Cristiano,” Victoria said with a pout as he finally released his hold on his gun and crossed to where we were still tangled together on the floor.

Holding out his hand, he helped her to her feet and then crouched down to grin at me. “Still a grump in the mornings, I see.”

“Still a jackass, I see.” I reluctantly put my hand in his when he offered it and he stood, pulling me to my feet like I weighed nothing. Compared to him, I didn’t. My brother was six foot two of lean muscle. I was five foot eight barefoot, but according to my grandmother, I was too skinny.

He chuckled and glanced down to take me all in. Seeing my choice of pajamas, his chuckle abruptly ended. Remembering the two other men still standing in the doorway of my bedroom, he pulled me behind him and turned to face them. I rolled my eyes. Apparently he had forgotten that I could take care of myself.

“Back to work. Make sure every exit is covered before the meetings start,” he barked at the two men whom I instantly recognized. They had worked for my father since before I could remember.

They gave him a curt nod and closed the door as they left. Only then did my brother face me again. “What the fuck are you doing?” His normally nonexistent Italian accent suddenly was now thick and enraged. “You can’t go around wearing…”—his hands gestured to my camisole top and panties—“that.”

“I wasn’t going around,” I reminded him, holding on to my irritation by my fingernails. In the three years I’d been away, my brother had obviously forgotten that I wasn’t like Victoria and wouldn’t put up with his dick-headedness. The last time he’d pissed me off I’d punched him in the throat. “I was in bed. In my own room where I’m supposed to have the privacy to do whatever the hell I please. You’re the dumbass who barged in and let your men see me like this.” Shaking my head at him, I took the robe my sister handed over and slid my arms inside. Securing it in place, I tied the sash and took Victoria’s hand. I was up so I might as well make her happy. “You said something about breakfast?”