Captured By A Sinner: Chapter 23

Rosalie

I could only take two bags and a carry-on and had to leave the rest of my belongings behind. I wasted as little time as possible, only changing out of the dress into jeans and a t-shirt, then I grabbed the luggage I never unpacked and made a run for it.

My nerves are shot to hell when I take a cab to the airport. I’ve decided to fly to Toronto. It’s another country and the last place I was with my family. Hopefully, the Cosa Nostra won’t follow me there.

I have no idea what I’ll do if they come after me.

If I go back to Viktor now, it will be because I need his protection, and that’s not fair to him.

My thoughts are inundated with so many things it’s hard to focus.

I loved every second of the last two days I spent in Viktor’s arms, but I still feel guilty. It’s hard to explain. Making love to Viktor felt right, but my conscience can’t forget that he took part in killing my grandfather and uncle.

It makes me a bad person. Right? I slept with the man who wiped out my family.

I fell in love with my kidnapper.

I let out a burst of laughter that turns into a sob.

God, it feels like I’m being torn in half. Part of me wants to be with Viktor, and the other part can’t betray my family.

And now the Cosa Nostra is threatening to kill me.

Because your grandfather stole ten million dollars from them.

“Shit,” I whisper, my eyes blind to the scenery passing us by as we drive to the airport. “What did you do, Nonno?”

When we pull up to the departure terminal, I quickly settle the fee and climb out. The driver unloads my luggage, then wishes me a safe flight.

Grabbing my luggage, I hurry into the terminal and rush to the section for American Airways to book the flight.

Just as I’m about to join the queue, a man steps in front of me. He pulls his jacket to the side, exposing his gun, then says, “Mr. Parisi wants to see you.”

My eyes dart to the man’s face, and I take in the brutal expression, warning me not to try to run.

“I’m instructed to kill you if you give me any trouble,” he threatens.

Oh, God.

The shock of being stopped right before making my escape knocks me back a step.

The man nods in the direction of the exit. “Walk.”

My legs turn to lead as I start to move.

Would he really shoot me if I tried to run?

Yes. This is the mafia you’re dealing with.

With every step I take, my heart beats faster and faster. I start to slow down as we approach the exit, but the man grabs one of my bags from me and takes hold of my arm with a brutal grip. I’m yanked forward, and a soft cry escapes me.

“I will fucking shoot you,” he threatens again.

All the other people are too busy rushing to their destinations to notice I’m being forcefully dragged out of the airport.

Another man comes to take my luggage. I try to twist my arm out of the painful grip the man has on me while I’m strongarmed into the back of an SUV. I’m shoved so hard, I sprawl over the backseat.

No!

I scramble into a sitting position, and while the men are busy climbing into the vehicle, I quickly pull my phone out of my handbag.

Just as I press dial on Viktor’s name, the device is ripped from my hands, and the call is ended.

Shit. Please, let it show a missed call.

“Try a stunt like that again and…” He pulls his gun out of the holster and presses it to my temple, then shouts, “Bang.”

My whole body jerks with fright, and fear sends shivers rushing through me.

He doesn’t holster his weapon again but rests it on his thigh as the other man drives us to the Parisis’ mansion.

I’m forcefully yanked out of the SUV and dragged into the house. Music is still coming from outside, where Alissa is celebrating her birthday.

Was she in on it? Was that why she came to visit me and invited me to her party?

A sense of betrayal rocks me to my core as I’m hauled to the study and shoved into the room. The door slams shut behind me, and with wide eyes, I stare at the five heads of the Cosa Nostra.

Mr. Parisi gestures to the chair I sat in earlier, but I ignore it. I’ll rather stand.

My heart is pounding a mile a minute, my mouth dry from the breaths rushing from me.

I should’ve left all my belongings. I should’ve taken the cab earlier out of the city before they could get guards to watch me. I should’ve told Viktor what was happening while I had the chance.

Shit, I was so damn stupid.

When I don’t move, Mr. Greco gets up, and with three steps, he reaches me. His palm connects so hard with my cheek, I fall to the side. Pain engulfs the entire left side of my face, my skin prickling as if tiny flames are licking at me.

“I’m not surprised you tried to run,” Mr. Parisi says. “I haven’t met a Manno that’s not a coward.”

My emotions are all over the place as I push myself into a sitting position and press my palm to my flaming cheek.

It’s the first time in my life someone has hit me, and it has my mind reeling with shock.

Not even Viktor hit me when he took me captive. He might’ve yanked me around and forcefully restrained me, but he never hit me.

“Did you really think we wouldn’t watch you?” Mr. Amato asks.

God, I’m so stupid.

The man who stopped me at the airport steps forward. “She tried to make a call, but I stopped it. The phone is locked.”

Mr. Parisi takes my phone and glares at me. “What’s the password?”

I shake my head desperately because God only knows what will happen if they read the texts between Viktor and me.

Anger tightens his features. “Who did you try to call?”

“Nine-one-one,” I lie as I scramble to my feet.

“The woman doesn’t have the money to repay us,” Mr. Amato says. “Just kill her and be done with it.”

NoNoNoNoNo.

Before I can plead for my life, Mr. Messina snaps, “The debt needs to be settled!”

“How do you propose we get the money out of her?” Mr. Parisi asks.

Panicking, I’m about to say I’ll get it even if I have to ask Viktor, but Mr. Greco comes to stand in front of me, his eyes sweeping over me with depraved hunger that makes me feel physically ill.

“I’ll pay the debt on the condition that she marries me.”

What? There’s no way in hell I’m marrying a man three times my age.

Mr. Greco is easily fifty years old, and the evil glint in his eyes just makes him look… gross.

“Have you lost your mind, Salvatore?” Mr. Parisi laughs.

I’m shoved into the chair as the men start to argue.

“I vote for a quick death,” Mr. Amato mutters.

This isn’t happening.

“I’ll find a way to pay,” the words burst from me, but no one cares to listen.

Frustration floods my chest, and my hands tighten into fists.

“I can do with a young wife after the old one died on me,” Mr. Greco says.

Dear God.

I start to shake my head, but Mr. Greco backhands me right off the chair. I fall with a hard thud, my vision going black and a copper taste fills my mouth.

“You really want to marry the woman?” Mr. Parisi asks.

“Yes. I think it will be poetic justice seeing as her family traded in sex slavery.”

What? No!

Shocked out of my ever-loving mind, I stare at all the men as Mr. Greco’s words sink in like burning coals.

“We didn’t,” I argue as I climb to my feet.

“Shut up, bitch,” Mr. Greco roars. “Why do you think we cut ties with your family? They were selling pussy on every street corner.”

The things I’ve found out today… Jesus, there’s so much about my family I didn’t know. The debt. Sex trafficking. How my father really died.

God, was everything my grandfather and uncle told me a lie?

“Christ,” Mr. Amato curses. “I’ve had enough of this.”

“I’ll pay her debt on one condition,” Mr. Greco continues with his vile plan. “The wedding has to happen before I go on my trip to Sicily.”

“You’re leaving in four days,” Mr. Parisi replies.

As the men discuss my fate, intense fear fills every inch of my body until I’m a trembling mess.

There’s a moment’s silence, then Mr. Parisi says, “It goes to a vote.” He looks at the other men. “Who’s in favor of the marriage?”

One by one, hands go up. Only Mr. Messina disagrees.

“It’s settled then,” Mr. Parisi says, his eyes coming to rest on me. “Mr. Greco just saved your life. You’re to be married in four days.” He turns his attention to the man who’s so much older than me, while Mr. Greco looks at me as if he’s going to rip me to shreds. “We expect the funds to be transferred before the vows are said.”

Horrified by what just happened, I give Mr. Parisi a pleading look. “I can get the money. I just need time.”

Mr. Greco lets out a dark chuckle, then grabs hold of my arm and yanks me against his body. Revulsion hits me so hard, bile churns in my stomach.

“Unlike your grandfather, we don’t go back on a deal once it’s made.” He chuckles again, the sound making me feel sick.

“Please, don’t,” I beg while trying to yank free. “I can get the money to pay you.”

“What’s done is done,” Mr. Parisi mutters, waving a hand to the door.

“Nooo,” I cry.

I yank against Mr. Greco’s hold, but he pulls his arm back, and even though I try to block the blow, his fist connects so hard with my jaw, lights explode behind my eyes before I sink into a pit of darkness.

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