I stand face to face with a tied up Jason. Seeing him in a situation like this was like a punch to my face. He had a look in his eyes that I couldn’t quite understand.

I’d never seen anything so dark in them before. They were nothing like once before. I knew it wasn’t realistic for me to see the smile on his face reach his eyes, especially not now.

When he first arrived, I pushed myself between Giovanni and Stefano trying to get a better look. As if he was the last cotton candy at the fair. I forced Stefano’s hands away from me, following the guards who dragged him.

I knew it was him even with the black bag that was over his head. I could barely hear Stefano’s protests of my appearance over Jason’s loud arguing.

I glued myself to where I stood, crossing my arms over my chest. One guard left, leaving the other in his place. I didn’t recognize him, it was like Stefano had different guards every day of the year.

I would like to think as much anyway, and that nothing bad happened to them. The room eventually became quiet, only the sound of Stefano’s shoes hit the hard floor.

“Carmen, are you here?” My heart stopped as I faced Stefano nervously. I mouthed a what, receiving a gentle nod from him. “Asshole.”

The door opened, welcoming Paul in. Giovanni threw a silent hand up, silencing any words from him. “I’ve missed you.” A genuine laugh almost escapes my lips, but i’m cut off my Stefano.

“Lying so quickly, figa?” I recognized Stefano’s tone as his work voice. I should already know if there was one person standing in this room who would be safe from Stefano it would be me, hopefully.

“You pried your way into The Stefano Genovese’s life? I taught you well, huh?” I spoke too soon. My mouth dropped, whipping my head around to look at him. The four of them watched me carefully, analyzing my every move.

“What are you trying to say?” My outburst, high pitch and squeaky.

“Tell them Carmen, it’s over.” My nerves crash onto my chest full force. “I-I don’t know.” I shake my head, breathing heavier. I was in a room with hit men for crying out loud.

“Tell everyone how this was all a ploy to take Stefano down.” He held confidence in his voice. Not an ounce seemed untrue.

The heated stare I knew Stefano held over me was almost ground breaking. I couldn’t look at him, I wouldn’t.

“Stop lying.” My voice falters towards the end of my words. “Is this true?” Stefano’s words cut through me like a knife. “No! He’s lying.”

“Don’t listen to the manipulative bitch men.” His chair is kicked over by Giovanni. Creating a small groan from Jason’s body on the ground.

He was tied to the chair well enough to know he wasn’t going to get out anytime soon.

“What is this some sick joke?” Paul accused, gripping the gun on his belt. Jason’s laugh falters before he spoke again.

“Beautiful girls can do anything to a mans mind. Like give information to the enemy, Carmen?” That’s when I freaked the fuck out.

“Stefano he’s lying! I don’t know-“

“Tell them the truth!”

“What are you trying to do Jason? Get the both of us killed? I promise you it won’t work!”

“So you are fucking Stefano?” Paul knocked him out cold, and I couldn’t move. My hair hung down hiding my face.

Hiding my angry tears threatening to spill out of my eyes at any moment. I never though i’d fear Stefano standing next to me.

Now I did, and if it scared me enough for my body to start trembling. I couldn’t imagine what others felt around him.

How had I been so comfortable with him? Thoughts of the night I googled him were restored in my head.

“Move him into the basement.” I couldn’t even recognize Stefano’s voice. Unlike the many times i’d been near his enemies, this one was different. Feet we’re bearing down hard into the floor while the guard slung Jason of his shoulder like he was nothing but a feather.

I knew I was the only one left in the room with Stefano one the door slammed closed. I also knew the walls were soundproof, due to the foam at each corner of the room.

He came closer to me. What I felt like doing was curling up into a ball and begging for my life. Just ten minutes ago I trusted him with my life. Where was that trust now?

His hand reached for my hair, gently guiding it out of my face and to my back. Moving his hand back down, he placed it on the left of my chest.

The fast beating of my heart hit his hand as if he was holding it. “You’re scared?” I nod without thinking.

“You should be.”



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