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5

~Lianna Black~

'Be my fiancée'

What did this gorgeous Italian mean by that? I blinked my eyes once, twice, he is still here. Does he think that I'm selling myself to him? Can't he see that I just ran away from my Russian betrothal?

I knew he's from the Italian mafia and that’s the end of it. Hell, I don't even know what his ranking was in this crime family but what I know is,  he's somewhat in a higher rank to offer me something like that.

"Look," he spoke after a long silence of me ogling his beautiful features.  "I'll give you enough compensation, name your price."

Freedom, I mentally laughed at my answer. Will they ever let me walk out of this place if ever I say yes? That was the only thing I crave for since I can remember. Not designer dresses, bags, not brand new cars and houses, or even jewelry. Freedom, just thinking of the word makes my insides tossed and turn into happiness.

I wonder how it would feel to travel the world without looking over my shoulder, without caring if Dante’s men are following me or not. I want to feel how fun it is to live life at its fullest, have my own family, hmm.. fall in love, a lot. Just those simple things and feelings, I want to feel them, I want to experience them and not this kind of life. 

I swallowed the growing lump in my throat and hid my curiosity. "Why? I'm just a regular whore."

He seemed taken aback by my declaration but he blinked it away so fast that I almost missed it. This man is good, his words and body language would be hard to read if I wasn’t trained to scrutinize people. I made a mental note not to show any weakness in front of him... "I don't think so. Tell me, Lianna Black, why is it that the Orlov's are willing to marry their heir away to you?"

"I don't know" it puzzled me too. The moment Dante announced that he sold me to the Russians, I ran away and never bothered to ask why. That old Mexican scum treated me like a slave growing up, although he gave me the chance to go to school and learn things, he made sure that I knew my place in his mansion.

"You see, Lianna," my name rolled off this Italian's tongue smoothly "a mafia family will not enter some marriage out of love, it will be for the benefit of their clan and not for some stupid fantasies of happy endings.’’ He eyed me from my face to my chest, his icy gray eyes lingering longer on my chest. I felt the urge to cover my not naked body from his gaze. He is looking at me that way again as if he was stripping me in his imagination. ‘’You are not Alek’s type. You are too… uh… plain looking for him, no. You must have something they want and I want to know what it is."

"I-I don't know what you're talking about" this man doesn't make sense. Besides, why would I help him when he just insulted me. Plain? Me? Like a porridge without toppings? Like a soup without seasoning? I know I’m not the most beautiful girl in the world but no one deserves to be called plain. I am special in my Mom’s eyes.

He tilted his head to the side as if studying me fully. "But I do." He stood up and turned his back on me. "Think about it. I'll come back in the morning.''

''Wait...'' I stood up from the bed, preventing him from leaving the room, ''what will I get out of this.''

He angled his body back to my direction ''me.'' he mumbled as if that two-letter word answers my question.

I rolled my eyes, his jaw thickening. oops, my bad ''can the terms be negotiated?'' 

His offer already sounds tempting, and if pretending to agree with this man means I'll get the chance to get out of this hellhole then fine, a deal with a devil might be good.

A knowing smirk played on his full lips ''follow me.''

With that, he walked out of the cell. I'd be lying if I say I'm not excited to get out of this shitty cell. A puff of fresh air would be good, better than this basement which smells like wet old cardboard. With each step he took, I did two to match his pace. With this hurried movement, I took deep breaths in and out, to calm my nerves. The pain in my chest is strong, making me wince with each movement I do but I have to bear everything. He can’t know my weakness. My body still hasn’t healed fully from that accident, the one that this man caused.

As we walk along this bricked chilly dark hallway, I get to admire the gorgeous Italian's back. He was wearing jeans today with a black tee and a black leather jacket. Those biker boots he has on only made him look more devilishly handsome and that hair or his, don't even get me started. The moment I saw him at the club, I dreamt about running my fingers through his dark locks.

We climb up a few stairs, which must be at least two floors from the long hallway. The bright lights made my eyes ache, I rubbed the back of my hands in my irritated eyes before I got a glimpse of the house, a mansion if I may add. There was another long hallway in front of us but this time it was warm and the little framed daffodil paintings every five meters confused me.

Mafia and flower painting? Huh?

The long hallway led to a massive room which I think was the receiving area but I didn't get the chance to admire it, the Italian man turned on his right. The kitchen was pristine as if it was newly made. How I wish I can use this kitchen. All the appliances look brand new, or unused. What a waste of money. Even the black marbled island and kitchen tops were spotless. Everything is neatly placed from pots to utensils to cups and glasses.

I was startled when clattering and glass breaking sound from somewhere in the room. Before I could even see where it came from, the wind was disturbed from my left. My senses weren't in their best condition from being detained in that small cell but I knew how to defend myself even if I was crippled. Raising my right hand above my head, I got a grip of a big rippled wrist, twisting my body to the right as I evaded his blow. A butcher knife dropped on the ground, missing my foot by an inch.

The man's eyes were blazing with anger as he stared at me, the same anger I saw with everyone in this place except for the friendly Italian. He was twice my size, beard-covered face, and damn he is strong.

We got into a staring battle, whoever blinks would lose. If he could spit fire with his eyes I would’ve turned to ashes by now.

He gave a questioning look to the gorgeous Italian beside me before he lowered his arms. Without another word, he turned his back on me and disappeared somewhere behind us.

The glass was scattered on the white marbled floor, each step the gorgeous Italian made, glasses would crack into smaller pieces. He took a basket of fruits and some green colored liquid from the fridge before walking out of the kitchen.

Like a lost puppy, I followed him again, pushing back the thought of someone just trying to kill me from behind. My heart pumping out of my chest as fear crawled into my every vein. Everyone here is angry at me and I bet my bottoms, the girl named Alexa has something to do with it.

There was a grand staircase just across the living room but the man I was trailing behind entered a lift just beside it. He pressed the button on the top with no number in it, just plain silver metal. The lift opened and I followed him as he stepped inside it. It halted into another set of hallways. The open space design of this floor gives way to natural light to grace the hallway. It was the break of dawn and the slow fading darkness can be seen on the opened ceiling-high windows of the floor. I admired each painting on the wall as we walked along. This man must be a painting collector or something, and I wonder why it was all about flowers.

He opened the black door at the right end, and a man's room met my gaze. Everything was dark and a light contrast. Black and white to be exact, from the curtains to his bed linens. His sheets are also of that same shade except for his pillows. They are gray like my hair. Ash gray. A few books were resting on the bedside table and a couch was adjacent to the door. The slightly cold wind of fall was seeping inside the room through the open balcony, the white thin curtains being blown softly.

''Whose room is this?'' I nervously asked as I fiddled with the hem of the white shirt they made me wear.

He casually walked across the room to the balcony ''ours.''

° ° °

AN

Hey Babes, hope you’re enjoying Christmas even with these pandemic. I love you all and stay safe.

Much love,

lj

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