Page 3 of Mafia Sinner

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Pietro talks over me. “Clock’s ticking.”

“I’ve been out five years. Why now?”

“No one leaves the Belucci famiglia.”

“I did.”

“You think because you’re the Don’s daughter, you get special privileges? He let you go but he was always planning to bring you back at some point.”

“I gathered that when you broke into my fucking apartment at two in the morning.”

I step out of the bathroom, wrapping a scarf around my neck before looking for my shoes. “Can’t you just tell him you couldn’t find me?”

“We’ve had eyes on you the whole time you thought you were out. You think he’d believe that for a moment?”

“Please, for me.” I can’t keep the fear from leaking into my voice. “I want to stay out. I don’t want to go back. The only future I’ve got if I go back is brood mare for some rival famiglia.”

That makes Larry laugh for some reason.

Pietro jabs him in the ribs before pointing at me. “Get your coat and don’t try anything funny.”

Larry and Ken fall in either side of me as we walk out of the apartment and over to the elevator. I think about screaming but Pietro’s guessed my plan, showing me the gun in his shoulder holster.

“You won’t shoot me,” I say to him, my voice wobbling. “My father would kill you.”

“Gave me permission to do whatever I need to in order to bring you in. You come quietly or you go back in the blankets with a bag over your head and cable ties around your wrists. I don’t give a shit either way.”

“And the paintings,” Ken adds with a snort. “Don’t forget that.”

“Oh, yeah, and he said we should burn those pretty paintings you’ve been working on all these years.” The elevator opens and Pietro steps in first, turning to grin at me. “Don’t look so glum. You had five years of freedom. That’s more than most mafia princesses get.”

“Am I supposed to be grateful?”

“You’re not supposed to run from the famiglia when you’re sixteen, I’ll tell you that much. Just because mommy died, you thought you could make a break for it? Immature, that’s your problem. Toughen up, Toots. Twenty-one now. You’re an adult. Time to stop acting like a kid.”

Larry’s sniggering next to me. “I can’t believe she thought she was out.”

I turn and glare at him. “What was that, Tweedledum?”

He looks past me at Pietro. “Can I slap her?”

“Go ahead,” I tell him. “Let’s see you explain it to my father.”

“See,” Pietro says, poking me in the shoulder. “That’s your problem. Pretend you're out but happy to invoke the Don when you’re threatened. One foot in, one out. Time to come back to the fold.”

“Look,” I reply. “You know what this is about. I can tell. Just give me a clue at least.”

“You should be happy,” he says, a grin spreading across his face. “You’re finally going to be of some use to the famiglia you so rudely turned your back on.”

“Some use? What kind of use?”

“You’re getting married,” Ken blurts out. “To a truly evil fucker. Real hardcore bastard. I hear he’s got no soul at all.”

Pietro reaches past me and slaps him around the head. “You’re not supposed to tell her about that, you dumb fuck. You’ll scare the shit out of her.”

“Ow, that hurt.”

“So will my gun up your ass if you say another word.”