Copyright 2023 @Anise StormMy mind was stronger than my flesh and bones. I let those men hurt me in so many unimaginable ways, but I knew they did it with love even during those times when there was no mercy shown. It was never something I’d begged for, and it wouldn’t have been given even if I had. No amount of physical or psychological pain mattered when thinking about Stefano’s miserable life being cut short at my hands. It actually got me off in ways I never knew I could. Now, that motivation was gone, but like father, like son. Nazario had robbed me of my destiny and stolen my future. One day, I’d steal his life and we’d finally be even. I knew he was distrustful of me. No matter how many times we fucked, his suspicions never waned. I was like a damn machine. I moaned, cried, and came on command, so he’d never be the wiser. All of that was a front, though. When alone with my thoughts like I was now, there was a vulnerability I despised, yet couldn’t ever completely shake. The last two weeks had been spent in a daze. The days blurred together, and I found myself lacking a reason to live any longer. “Why are you keeping me here?” I asked aloud to myself. I knew Nazario didn’t love me. The only things that man could love were money, power, violence, and the thrill of the chase. It was all good because the only things I lived for were vengeance and sex, and with the former mostly done, I could only cling to the latter. At least, Nazario’s touch made me come, without having to think of other men. Damn, the things that man did to my body. My hands moved to my robe and I cupped my breasts through the silk material. “You’re fucking mine now,” he’d told me hours after his father’s murder. “Am I?” I’d asked, and he’d spent the next several hours bringing me to so many orgasms that I’d forgotten what I had even wanted to know. Tonight, he seemed a bit possessive, too. I knew it was more for the crowd than anything else. He needed everyone to recognize him as the man in charge; and his father’s mistress being his was like the icing on the cake. I loved that dominant side of him. He exuded power, and now he had an unlimited amount of it. What would he do to me now? Would he drop me off and leave without so much as a damn word? I rolled my eyes. I couldn’t just stay in this fucking fortress day and night, playing the dutiful wife. I needed to get out of here. Some fresh air would be nice. I grabbed my phone just in case I got lost on this massive estate, and I headed outside. I started to walk through the gardens. Stefano had told me once his first wife loved flowers. He’d also told me how painful they were to see each and every day after she was violently murdered. “You never told me you’d arranged the entire thing,” I muttered as I walked along the stone pathway. It was dark, so the type of plants and foliage were hard to identify. I’d taken this same walk many times in the light and I could understand why he would want to hold on to something so beautiful. I also remembered the things Nazario had told me, including how Donna had died. God, how I wanted to drive a stake through his cold, cold heart. I almost had my fondest wish come true. My blade was sharpened and already coated in his blood. If I would’ve bypassed tormenting him and just fucking did it, this would’ve been over. “Aren’t we done here?” I’d asked Nazario that day. He’d smirked. “We’ll never be done, and if I’m wrong, you won’t be able to survive without me?” I took that as a challenge, and it was now the only motivation I had to even wake up in the morning. As easy as it was to imagine Stefano’s demise, his son was a harder task because all my body needed was his touch. He set me aflame like no one else ever had, including my friends in Sicily. This had to be fate’s way of sticking up its middle finger at me. I tightened my robe around me and continued to walk. As the night sky grew even blacker, the only thing illuminating it was the lightning off in the distance. There were barely any stars above this wasteland, and that realization made me smile. It stayed on my face until a loud boom of thunder overhead made me jump. God, I hated storms and they seemed to be a lot more frequent nowadays. I stopped and turned to see how far I had walked away from the house and it seemed to be a lot farther than I had thought. My gaze then scanned the horizon. There was nowhere to go if the skies opened up beside… My eyes zeroed in on the mausoleum where Stefano and others in the Vaccaro family lay at rest. It was mere feet away from me, while the house was a good half of mile or more. Another loud rumble made my decision for me. Hurrying over to the large burial place, I managed to get the door open just before the skies opened up. Once inside, I shuddered at how dark it was. I slapped my hand against the cold stone until I located the light. The bulb flickered once or twice when I turned it on, and I decided to light the candles near the tombs in case the electricity went out. I grabbed the book of matches and inhaled the sulfur smell as I lit one and proceeded to move up and down the walls, lighting the wicks in each candle. When done, I held the flame in front of my face. Donna’s funeral flashed in my head. It had been so beautiful, but tragic at the same time. When I’d held up the flame that fateful day and lit a candle for her, I had decided then and there that I would make sure all those responsible for her demise would pay. I later learned the one with a death sentence was none other than a dangerous and feared man. I wasn’t afraid to die. I was only afraid of one thing and that was… My eyes flew open. No, I wouldn’t allow that to happen. I couldn’t. I would never live a normal life again, because the man in the farthest tomb from me had made that impossible. I ignored the loud rumbling and scary flashes of light right outside of this building and moved down to where Stefano lay. His body was there, but his soul was in hell, where he belonged. “Are you suffering,” I asked him as I traced the letters of his name. God, how I hoped he was. I needed to believe that even if I didn’t believe anything else. I covered the match with my hand, extinguishing the flame. The slight burn was barely felt. I tossed the stick onto the floor and moved to the stone casket, which would one day house Nazario’s body. I couldn’t take out the father, but maybe I’d fare better with his son.
About Anise StormAnise Storm is a USA Today Bestselling author of Contemporary and Dark Romance. A Southern transplant, Anise is married with children. She has a love of football, shoes, and tall, dark heroes. When not spending time with family or traveling, she can be found either curled up with a good book or writing.
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