Defying Her Mafioso(8)

By: Terri Anne Browning

Vito released Victoria and turned his cold glare on me. “Make sure they get off safely, Ciro. You said you were sending two of your men with them. Your best men.”

I inclined my head. “Yes, sir.”

“Scarlett, watch over your sister.” His coldness seemed to disappear when he lifted his hand and tapped her lovingly on the nose, twice. “Be safe, passerotta.”

“Yes, Papa,” she murmured, and I had to clench my jaw to keep from reacting to her slightly husky voice. Fuck me, her voice was like a softly caressing hand across my cock.

Vito shot me another hard look, one that said a thousand different things, and turned to follow Cristiano. I waited until he was out of sight before turning to face the twins. How was it that Scarlett and Victoria were identical in every visual way, yet when I looked at Victoria my body remained completely unaffected? As I took her in, I didn’t feel anything except maybe a brotherly sort of affection.

Shifting my gaze to the older twin, my heart contracted uncomfortably and my dick came to life immediately. Her long red hair was pulled back into a simple ponytail. There was no trace of makeup on her alabaster skin, and her light brown eyes were looking at something behind me. I would have given my last breath to have her look at me—to have her eyes devour me as they once had—but knew it was better for everyone if she didn’t.

“You look as if you haven’t slept in days, Ciro,” Victoria commented as she turned her full attention on me.

I shrugged, dismissing her concern. In truth, I hadn’t slept in two days, but I wasn’t about to explain that to either of them. “Shall we?” I moved to open the front door. On the other side, two men in suits stood at the ready. I gave them each a curt nod, but they didn’t move from their posts.

In the driveway, Vito’s Town Car was already waiting. The car looked like a typical sedan, but the windows were bullet-proof. Behind the wheel, a man with an entire arsenal of guns and knives sat, ready to protect the Vitucci twins with his life if he had to. Two other men were already standing by the back passenger door, waiting for Scarlett and Victoria.

Three men. Not nearly enough in my opinion. Fuck, twenty men wouldn’t be enough to protect Scarlett if it were up to me. Gritting my teeth, I pulled out my phone and snapped a command to the man who answered. I trusted all of my men, but Desi was the only one I would entrust with Scarlett’s life.

Without answering me, he appeared from beside the house where he normally waited for me when I was at the compound. Beside him was Paco. The two were brothers, and I knew they would keep Scarlett safe. Vito’s two men didn’t even blink when my guys stepped up beside them. It might have been three years since they’d had to worry about protecting the twins, but they knew not to question any extra men being added to their security detail.

Victoria stepped around me and descended the steps to the car without another word, but I felt Scarlett pause just behind me. Stilling myself to look at her, I slowly turned to find her eyeing the compound grounds in front of her. The compound was over thirty acres, with a wall up around the borders of the property. Men patrolled it day and night, but the men had learned to fade into the background, and all anyone really saw was the beauty of the many trees, tended lawns and gardens, and the long, stone driveway.

Scarlett’s eyes seemed to drink all of that in as she stood on the top step. I watched as a small smile teased at her luscious lips and her lashes drifted down as if trying to savor every little detail. She was so damn beautiful, my heart virtually stopped just watching her like that.

“I’ll never get tired of this sight,” she murmured, and I wasn’t sure if she was speaking to herself or if she was actually gracing me with conversation. “No matter the season, this will always be my favorite view. I’ve missed it.”

“You didn’t like Sicily?” I asked before I could stop myself.

She shrugged without turning her gaze away from the scenery. “I loved it there. It was beautiful and it was wonderful getting to know some of my extended family. But…” Her brown eyes turned to me, looking at me for the first time. I saw the way her pupils dilated, knew she was just as affected at the sight of me as I was. “There’s nothing like home, you know?”

Before I could question what I was doing, I reached for her. Clasping her hand gently in my own, I lifted it to my lips and pressed a kiss to her knuckles. “I do know.” Slowly, I released her, mentally cursing myself for the need that had consumed me to touch her. Ten fucking minutes and I was already finding it hard to keep my hands to myself. I knew if I didn’t stop I would become addicted to the feel of her softness under my fingertips. “It’s good to have you home, Scarlett.”