Defying Her Mafioso(5)

By: Terri Anne Browning

“Well, for something that is three years old, it looks good on you.” She stood, smoothing out the wrinkles of her yellow sundress that looked like it had been made to fit her slender yet curvy body.

I was in the process of slipping a pair of small hoops into my ears when I noticed the way she was fidgeting with her dress. “What?” My twin didn’t just fidget for no reason. Something was on her mind and she was just waiting for me to make her talk.

“Are you sure you’re up for this?” She lifted her lashes and assaulted me with a pair of brown eyes that matched my own, yet held an intensity I didn’t know how to mirror.

I turned away, pretending like I didn’t know what she was talking about. I didn’t want to deal with that shit right now. “When am I ever up for shopping, Tor? I mean, that’s your thing. I’d rather be outside, under a shady tree, reading or something.”

“Stop it, Scarlett.”

Her tone commanded my attention, but I finished securing the earrings before I turned back to her. Putting on a smile that didn’t even come close to my twin’s normal brightness, I took her hands and gave them a firm squeeze. “I’m fine, Tor. I swear. Seeing Ciro won’t be bad. I’ll pretend like the last time I saw him never happened and he’ll go about being his normal, cold self.”

“He’s such an emotionless jackass. I want to shoot him with his own gun and see if he’s actually human.” I preferred her temper to the sadness that had been in her tone just moments before.

Everyone knew I was the temperamental twin, but Victoria was so delightfully happy the majority of the time that they didn’t expect her to have a temper under that sweet little voice of hers. Yet it was her they should worry about. With me, what they saw was what they got, and a lot of them were a little scared of me. But when the wrong buttons were pushed, Victoria Vitucci was more dangerous than our father.

My sister had no qualms about getting her hands bloody. She could slit a person’s throat and smile sweetly while doing it. I wasn’t completely sure our father realized that or not. To him, she was a delicate little flower who should be watched over and protected by everyone, especially me. Because of the severity of her medical condition, he’d always worried after her. The way she reminded him of our mother only made his overprotectiveness of her that much more intense.

My clasp on her hands only tightened. “I’ll be fine,” I assured her. “I’m not going to chase after Ciro Donati this time around. I learned my lesson. Want to help me move on?”

Her dark eyes brightened once again. “What do you have in mind?”

“Dancing. Lots and lots of dancing.” I gave her a sly wink and released her. “Come on. I think I need something sexy to go with the dancing.”

“Which club?” Victoria was already making plans, and I was thankful her mind was no longer on Ciro.

I let her do her thing. It was going to take all her scheming to get us out of the house later, but it was better for her to find a way to sneak us out than for her to plan the death of our father’s best soldier and capo. To be honest, my sister scared the hell out of me when she lost her temper. I was the fearless one, yet she terrified me in that mood. Probably because I’d seen her at work.

Mentally shaking my head, I grabbed my purse and we headed downstairs. It had taken longer than twenty minutes for me to get dressed, so I was sure our father was about to send a search party for us. A search party that would include Cristiano, and I wasn’t up to dealing with him again right then.

As we descended the stairs, I heard deep voices speaking in low tones. They were speaking in English, but their accents were so prominent I knew it was a heated conversation without having to listen to what they were saying.

“He’s gone MIA. I have all my men looking for him. Every snitch in the city knows that if they see him, I’m to be informed.”

I stopped on the last stair as a new voice joined in the conversation. My heart leapt in my chest but I clenched my hands into fists, forcing myself not to openly react to him. Ciro’s voice had always had the ability to turn my normally calm self into a mass of hormonally induced anxiety.

“Hannigan has first rights to him for causing all that trouble in California and then bringing it here. Make sure it’s taken care of properly, though, Ciro. I don’t want any sloppiness,” Vito said with the coldness I recognized immediately.

Papa was pissed.

“If he’s still on the East Coast, he’s a direct threat to the girls,” Cristiano interrupted. “Should we still let them go out?”