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Ruined Secrets: Part 2 – Chapter 17

Isabella

There’s a squeak of the closet door, followed by some rustling. I open my eyes just a crack, squinting at the sunlight coming through the window. Luca is standing by the bed, putting on his pants.
“What time is it?” I ask.
“Half past seven. I’m taking Rosa to buy some things for school. I don’t want to wait until later. It will be madness the closer it gets to the end of summer. After that I’m driving her to Clara’s. They’ll be camping in the backyard.”
“Have her take a jacket. It may rain today.” I turn over so I’m on my stomach, fold the pillow, and prop my chin on it so I can still watch Luca. “I’m seeing my sister later. Are you coming back for lunch?”
“Probably not. I have a meeting with Franco Conti at noon, and after that, another sit down with the real estate agent.”
“I’ll have lunch with Andrea, then.”
“You’ll wear the blue dress today. The one that ties around the neck,” he says and pins me with his gaze. There’s a challenge in his dark eyes.
I tilt my head to the side, watching him. What an odd way to say it. Not “Will you wear the blue dress for me?” or something similar, and he knows I’ve noticed.
“Okay,” I say and watch as his eyes flare. “Can I wear the nude heels with it?”
A look of satisfaction crosses his face, but it lasts just for a second before he hides it. Interesting.
“Yes.” He nods and starts buttoning his shirt.
I regard him, and a realization slowly forms in my head. My, oh my . . . if I’m right, and I’m pretty certain I am, my husband has been hiding some rather interesting things about his preferences. I decide to test my theory.
“I’d like to put my hair in a bun today,” I say, choosing my words very carefully, and regard him closely for his reaction. “Will you allow it?”
His fingers on the button still. Slowly, he turns toward me, and our eyes lock.
“No. You will leave it down,” he says, his eyes daring me.
“Okay. Will you allow it tomorrow? Please?”
“I’ll think about it.” He takes his jacket off the chair, grabs his keys and wallet, and heads toward the door, but then he stops at the threshold. I see his hand form a fist like he’s warring with himself about something, then turns to face me. For a few seconds, he just watches me, the knuckles on his fisted hand going white. “Starting today,” he says, “I will be approving all your outfits. When I’m not here and you need to go somewhere, if you plan to change, you’ll call me to approve it first,” he says at last and keeps his gaze on mine, waiting for my reaction.
“Of course, Luca.” I nod.
He unfolds his fist, a tiny, satisfied smile forming on his face. I wouldn’t have noticed it if he wasn’t facing me, but his pants tightened across his crotch upon hearing my answer. This is turning him on. As soon as he leaves, I grin and roll onto my back. I knew Luca was holding back with me, but up until this moment, I didn’t grasp how much. But I do now, and I’m ready to play.
* * *
“I hear you and Luca made quite an impression at Lombardi’s,” Andrea says over the rim of her cup.
“How would you know when you weren’t there?”
“Milene called and gave me a full report. With all the sizzling details.”
“It was just a kiss.” I shrug. “Nothing particularly saucy about it.”
“Luca Rossi caught kissing in public? The man no one has ever seen so much as touch his previous wife? I’m amazed it wasn’t covered in the morning news.”
“People tend to exaggerate things,” I say. “Why weren’t you there? You said you were coming with Mom and Dad.”
“I was grounded.” She scrunches her nose. “Dad caught me sneaking out the night before.”
“What?” I slam my cup down. “Alone?”
“I wouldn’t have been alone. I was going out with Catalina.”
“Where?”
“To a club.”
“Please tell me you were going to take Gino.”
“Of course not. God, I hate that guy. He acts like he’s my father. And Dad lets him! Why couldn’t I keep Leandro as my bodyguard?”
“Because he’s too old to run after you when you slip,” I snap. “You’re too reckless. Sneaking out in the middle of the night. Running away from bodyguards. You need someone to rein you in, and I’m glad Gino is managing.”
“He’s prohibited me from going to Perla’s birthday party next week!” she barks. “How can he prohibit me from anything? He is a fucking bodyguard! When I told Dad, he said he agrees with everything Gino decides.”
“Where’s the party?”
“At Baykal.”
“You were planning on going to one of Bratva’s clubs? After what happened at Ural the last time? Are you out of your mind?”
“That mess was your fault.” She grins.
“You can’t go to the Bratva’s club! For God’s sake, Andrea!”
“Kostya would have been there.” She shrugs. “Catalina has been seeing him. Kind of.”
“Dear God! Does her father know she’s going out with one of the Bratva’s men?”
“No. And you won’t tell him! It’s nothing serious, they’re just . . . talking.”
“From what I’ve heard, half of the city’s female population have been through Kostya Balakirev’s bed. He’s not the type of man to just talk with a woman.”
“That’s not true.”
“He slept with Amalia Lombardi last month. And their cook. I’m not absolutely sure, but I think he slept with Amalia’s mother, as well. He’s worse than Damian.”
“It scares me sometimes, you know? How much shit you remember about people.”
“You can never anticipate when knowing someone’s dirty laundry may come in handy.” I look down at my phone. “I have to call Luca. I’m going shopping with Milene this afternoon and have to change. He wants to approve what I’m wearing.”
“He what?” Andrea widens her eyes at me.
“I’ve been unearthing some very interesting things about my husband recently.” I smile. “One of them is that choosing what I wear really turns him on.”
“He’s controlling you?”
“No. I’m letting him control me. And enjoying every second of it.”
“Isa, that’s . . . kinky.”
“Yeah, I guess it is.” I grin and call Luca.
He answers on the first ring. “Where are you?”
“Having coffee with Andrea at my parents’ house.”
“Did you take bodyguards?”
“Marco and Sandro are waiting for me in the car. Don’t worry.”
A few moments of silence, and then, “Are you wearing the blue dress as I instructed?”
“Yes,” I say. “I’m going home to change. I have some errands to do. I’ll send you a picture of what I put on before I leave.”
“Good. Call me the moment you get home.”
“I will.”

Luca

The man across the desk keeps talking, showing me and Damian images of houses and condos on his tablet, and listing the benefits and downsides of each. With a load of money from arms deals waiting to be laundered, we need to increase the number and size of the properties that pass through our company. Fast.
“We need bigger properties, Adam. And more.” I throw the paper with the prices onto the desk.
My phone rings, showing Lorenzo’s name. I look up at Adam and nod my head toward the door. “Leave. I’ll call you later.”
When the door closes after him, I take the call and put it on speakerphone so Damian can hear as well. “Lorenzo.”
“One of Octavio’s bookkeepers has been taking money on the side,” he says. “That needs to be taken care of, Boss.”
“All right.”
“Do you want me to handle that?” asks Lorenzo.
I look at Damian who shakes his head, then I reply, “No. I’ll take care of it.”
“We’re keeping him in the back room in Octavio’s casino.”
“I’ll be there in forty minutes.” I cut the call and look up at Damian. “How do we take care of thieves?”
“Kill them,” he says. “You can assign someone else to pull the trigger, but Giuseppe handled thieves personally. It was a statement.”
I lean back in the chair and think it over. Even though I don’t remember killing anyone, the idea of taking someone’s life doesn’t seem to trouble me. “I’ll do it. Do you want to come?”
Damian cringes. “I’d rather not. But I’ll draw you a floor plan. You’ll have to go inside Magna through the back entrance since they have metal detectors at the front door.”
“I know.”
His head snaps up. “You remembered something?”
“No. I don’t have any recollection of going there or meeting people, but I do know how the inside looks.”
“That’s bizarre,” he says and starts chewing on the pen he’s holding. “What are we going to do if your memory doesn’t come back?”
“We’ll just keep going as we’ve been doing so far. I don’t think anyone suspects anything.”
“You don’t find that possibility disconcerting?”
“It frustrates me, yes, and I hate that I don’t remember my daughter or my wife. But the doctor said I can’t do anything about it. And I can’t waste my energy dwelling on things I can’t change.” I stand up and head toward the door. “Instruct Adam to search for more real estate. I’m going home after I dispose of that bookkeeper.”
* * *
Getting to Magna doesn’t pose a problem. I spent two days driving across Chicago with Damian, who pointed out all our businesses, as well as other locations where I may need to go at some point. I remembered everything about the city but couldn’t connect the names of the casinos with any particular location until I saw it.
My phone pings as I’m parking the car in the back alley. It’s a selfie from Isabella, showing her standing in front of the big mirror in our bedroom. She’s wearing a flowing brown dress with white flowers, and there is a mischievous smile on her face. Smirking, I type a quick reply. Approved, tesoro.
I send the message, put my gun in the holster under my jacket, and leave the car. Emilio parks his car behind mine, but I raise my hand, signaling him to wait for me here, and head to the metal door on the right. A man in a dark suit is standing by the entrance with his hands clasped behind his back.
“Boss.” He nods and opens the door for me.
I walk down the long corridor and turn left, heading into the back room. It’s strange how everything around me seems familiar but I have no recollection of ever being here. It was the same with my house the first day I came home from the hospital. I remembered the layout but not who had which room. It was as if someone had erased random parts of my memory and left only crumbs for me to follow.
Two men are flanking the double doors at the end of the corridor. They open it when I approach, letting me inside a medium-sized room which smells of stale booze and sweat. Lorenzo is sitting behind the desk at the far corner, but he quickly stands up when I enter. A man I don’t recognize is leaning on the furthest wall, probably one of the Family’s foot soldiers. I’ll have to tell Isabella and Damian to dig up some photos of the soldiers for me. Until now, I haven’t had time to go over the lower-ranking men in the Family hierarchy.
In the center of the room, a man in his late fifties is sitting on a wooden chair. His shirt is wrinkled and there are specs of blood on it. Based on the bruises on his face and his swollen lip, he’s been roughed up a bit while waiting for me. The thief, I presume. The moment he sees me, he starts fidgeting in his chair as much as the ties around his hands and legs allow.
“Boss.” The man I don’t recognize nods, moves away from the wall, and stands next to the bookkeeper.
“What proof do you have that he’s guilty?” I ask, turning to Lorenzo.
“We found double books on his desk. According to them, he stole close to twenty grand last month.”
“You’re sure they weren’t planted?”
“They were in his handwriting,” Lorenzo says and crosses his arms. A small smile forms on his lips. “If you want, I can take care of the thief, Boss.”
Yeah, I’m sure he’d love that. I don’t need Isabella and Damian to tell me that Lorenzo isn’t happy with me becoming the head of the Family. I can see that quite well myself. He thinks he’s hiding it well, but I’ve been paying close attention to everyone around me, looking for subtle tells or double meanings. A man in my position can’t afford to miss anything because only one slip will be enough to initiate my downfall.
“Yes,” I say and take two steps until I’m standing behind the tied-up man. “You do that.”
The smile on Lorenzo’s face widens as he reaches inside his jacket for his gun. He likes the idea of me being reluctant to kill a man and letting him do the job instead. Especially in front of a foot soldier. I turn, wrap my right arm around the bookkeeper’s chin and place my left hand at the back of his head. One strong twist. The man’s neck snaps.
I unwrap my arms from the bookkeeper’s neck, then turn to face Lorenzo, who’s staring at me, obviously surprised. It would have been easier to just shoot the guy, but Damian said this was supposed to be a statement.
“Make sure the body won’t be found,” I say and leave the room, feeling two sets of eyes boring into my back.
When I get inside my car, I dial Isabella, turn on the speakerphone, and start the engine.

Isabella

I’ve just finished removing my makeup when my phone rings. Luca’s name flashes across the screen, and I hit the button to accept the call, putting it on loudspeaker.
“Where are you?” comes a clipped question from the other side.
“You’re in a nice mood,” I say as I toss the soiled wipes into the garbage. “Did something happen?”
“Seems like Lorenzo is playing games.”
“It was expected. What did he do?”
“I don’t want to talk about my underboss now. Where are you?”
“In our bedroom.”
“Take off your clothes.”
I put the cosmetics and face oil down on the dresser, remove my dress, then my underwear. “Done.”
“The bed. Lie down on your back.”
I smile, walk to the bed with the phone in my hand and lie down as instructed. “Okay. Now what?”
“Put your hand between your legs. You’re going to stay that way and tease yourself until I arrive.”
“And when will that be?”
“In twenty minutes. And Isabella . . .”
“Yes?”
“Don’t you dare come before I get there.”
What? “I’m not sure I can manage that, Luca.”
“Well, if I find out you came earlier than I allowed, we will start again, and this time, it will be an hour instead. Do you understand?”
“Yes.”
“Good. Turn on the speakerphone and leave the phone next to you.”
“It’s on. You’ll be listening?”
“Of course. You can start.”
I let my hands slide down my body to my pussy and start teasing my clit in slow circles.
“Do you know how many times I pleasured myself imagining it was you next to me?” I ask.
“Tell me.” Comes a gruff answer.
I press onto my clit, then add another finger. “Are you sure?”
“Isabella.”
Oh, I love when he says my name with that commanding tone. It’s a request, as well as an order at the same time. Luca gives off much more emotion with his tone than with actual words.
“The first time I did it, I was seventeen.” I moan and keep teasing my pussy. “I’ve done it every single night and sometimes during the day. So, I would say at least a thousand times.”
“And what was I doing to you in those fantasies of yours?”
“You would come into my room.” I smile and slide one finger inside me, enjoying the tingling and building tension at my core. “You would wear a suit. That all-black combination that makes you look both edible and dangerous at the same time. You would approach me slowly, tear off my dress, and throw me onto the bed.” I place my other hand on my clit, massaging it as I push my finger even deeper, imagining it’s his cock. “Then, you would bury your face between my legs and eat me out until I screamed.”
“Without taking off my suit?” he asks.
“Yes.” I bite my lip and pull out my finger, afraid I’ll come.
“And what would I do, then?” There’s a strain in his voice. I can hear it loud and clear.
“Are you hard, Luca?” I ask and press my palm over my pussy, hoping it will help subdue the need to thrust my finger back inside myself.
“Answer me, Isabella!” he barks. “What would I do next?”
“You’d place your body over me, your weight pressing me into the mattress. Then, you’d kiss me, and I would taste myself on your lips.”
“Would I still be clothed?”
“Yes. I’d remove your jacket and shirt first. Your breathing would quicken as I dig my nails into your shoulders and kiss you in the center of your chest. Then, I’d help you remove your pants.”
I can’t take it anymore, so I slide two fingers inside myself and gasp.
“What did you just do?” he asks.
“Nothing.” I breathe out and slide my fingers even deeper, moaning.
“Did you come, Isabella?” he snaps.
“Not yet,” I whisper. “Are you close by?”
“I’m passing through the gate,” he says. “What happens next?”
I smile and keep playing with my pussy, enjoying the sounds of his labored breathing coming from the other end of the line.
“You’d gather my wrists in your hand and pull my arms above my head. Just like you usually do.” I moan as the pressure between my legs builds. “And you would bury yourself inside me in one thrust. Hard. To the hilt.”
The door on the other side of the room bangs open. Without removing my hand from my pussy, I lift my head from the pillow and look between my bent legs at the threshold. Luca is standing in the doorway, gripping the frame on either side of him, his jaw set in hard lines as he stares at me.
I take my lower lip between my teeth and start circling my clit with my free hand. My fingers are still inside me, so I slide them out and move them to my mouth, licking each one of them slowly.
“Tell me, Luca,”—I smile—“how hard does this make you?”
A deep growl comes from him. He takes a step inside, kicking the door closed behind him, and walks slowly toward the bed, removing his clothes along the way. The jacket. Then, his charcoal shirt. The pants. He’s looking at me the whole time. When he reaches the bed, he is completely naked, his cock fully erect. I wet my lips and widen my legs a bit more.
“You’re the sexiest fucking thing that has ever walked this earth.” His voice is a low, primal rumble as he grabs behind my knees and pulls me toward him. Wrapping his arm around me, he turns me around so I’m on all fours on the bed. In the next instant, I feel him entering me from behind.
“So wet.” He brushes his palm down my back. “Did you orgasm before I got here, Isabella?”
“No.” I gasp as he buries himself all the way.
“Good. You’re not allowed to come unless I’m here with you.” He slides out, then slams back inside again.
“Am I allowed to play at least?”
“Only when I say so.” Another slam, his cock filling me completely. The pressure that has been building in my core intensifies. “You do not touch your pussy unless I give you permission. Do you understand?”
I press my lips together and lower my head, my breathing coming hard through my nose.
“Do. You. Understand?” He keeps pounding into me, punctuating each word with a hard thrust making me gasp for air.
“Yes!” I scream.
Luca’s rapid pounding thrusting doesn’t stop. He looks at me and commands, “Come.”
I scream again as the orgasm suddenly hits me. Luca groans and explodes into me.

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