Defying Her Mafioso(7)

By: Terri Anne Browning

“Do you have everything you need?” Vito spoke as Victoria stepped off the last stair to kiss our brother’s cheek.

“Of course, Papa.”

“I’ll take care of her, Papa,” I assured him as I stepped forward to kiss his cheek. As I past Ciro I couldn’t help but pick up the subtle scent of his aftershave and tried to keep my body from reacting, but I couldn’t stop my heart from jumping as that familiar scent brought back so many memories. “Try to be good while we’re gone. No shooting anyone,” I teased to distract myself.

“I’ll try to hold the urge, passerotta,” Papa said with a straight face.

“Am I interrupting?”

I felt all three men tense before I could turn to see who had spoken. I thought I heard Ciro curse under his breath, but I didn’t chance looking at him to confirm if I was right or not. Instead I kept my eyes on my father. The way his face became completely emotionless told me he considered the newcomer an enemy. Turning slowly, I let my eyes fall on the man standing in the doorway that led to my father’s office at the back of the first floor of the house.

It was hard to say which part of the man caught my attention first. He was a few inches shorter than Ciro, who was a beast at six foot six. His black hair was cut short, and there was a dark scruff on his face that suggested he kept it that way. His suit was handmade and expensive, but no more Italian than he was. He was leaner than Ciro, but thicker muscled than Cristiano. The tattoos on his hands looked like gang ink, and I found myself wondering if he had others elsewhere.

His dark eyes went from my father to me. I watched as he ran his gaze from the top of my head to the tip of my shoes, then back again. His appraisal was full of interest, but I was unaffected. Seeing the indifference in my eyes, he turned his gaze to Victoria. The interest that he’d had for me seemed to double in a blink of an eye and the room seemed to grow marginally warmer as Victoria actually stared back with her own interest evident.

“These must be your daughters,” the newcomer who had to be Adrian Volkov said in a voice that had the slightest Russian accent.

The three other men remained close-mouthed, but my twin stepped forward as if they weren’t even there. “I’m Victoria,” she murmured as she offered him her hand.

“Adrian.” His voice deepened when he touched her fingers, his dark eyes flashing with a desire that scorched even me.

I watched with narrowed eyes as Victoria seemed to shiver and left her hand in his. Their eyes stayed locked for a long moment as if they were trapped in their own little world, before Cristiano stepped forward and pulled Victoria back.

His jaw tense, he pushed Victoria toward me, then turned back to our guest. “Shall we?”

Adrian followed Victoria’s every step until she reached my side. Only then did he turn that predatory gaze on my brother. As the two men stared each other down, I could tell that the rumors were true about Volkov. He was a very dangerous man. Then, just as quickly as that dangerous gleam had flashed in his dark eyes, it was replaced with a neutral expression and his lips lifted into a cool smile.

“Lead the way.”

I glanced at Papa as Cristiano disappeared, trying to judge his reaction. Vito’s face remained completely impassive though, until we heard the door to his office close. Then his mask of indifference fell and I saw the anger in his eyes. I couldn’t ever remember him looking at either Victoria or me with that look before, but right then he was incensed with my twin.

“Have you lost your damn mind?” he raged as he took hold of Victoria’s arm and turned her to face him. She’d been so lost in watching Volkov walk away she hadn’t even realized what awaited her until right then. “That is Adrian Volkov. He is a violent felon. You are not—I repeat—are not to speak to him ever again.”

“Papa…” Victoria started to argue, but he only tightened his hold on her arm painfully. I watched as her eyes narrowed, too shocked by everything to move.

What the fuck had just happened? Volkov had appeared and tossed everyone upside down. I wasn’t sure I liked it.

Victoria swallowed hard and then nodded. “I understand, Papa.”

Chapter 3


If the urge to kill Adrian Volkov hadn’t already been burning through my veins, it became an inferno the second I’d watched that Russian fucker run his eyes down Scarlett’s body. The only thing that had saved him was Scarlett standing there to witness his murder.

I doubted she would have blinked if I had. Scarlett Vitucci was so much like her father, I knew she wouldn’t have flinched if I’d pulled out my Beretta and shot that motherfucker where he stood. I had no desire to show her that side of me, though. I didn’t want her to see what kind of a monster most me were so afraid of.