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Silent Lies: Chapter 10

Sienna

“I’m taking you to a wedding this weekend,” Drago’s voice comes from somewhere in the bedroom.

A wedding? I open the bathroom door to see Drago standing on the other side of the room, looking sexy as hell in gray jeans and a black shirt with sleeves rolled up to his elbows.

“I have nothing to wear,” I mumble with the toothbrush still in my mouth.

“What?”

I roll my eyes and pull the toothbrush out. “I said, I have nothing to wear.”

Drago raises his eyebrows. “Are you fucking with me?”

“I can’t go in my old clothes. I’ll ask Jovan to drive me over to the store.”

Drago finishes buttoning his shirt and comes to stand in front of me. “I’ll drive you.”

I bite my lower lip to prevent an idiotic grin from spreading across my face. When I woke up, I was afraid he’ll start asking me questions about what happened last night, so I bolted for the bathroom. Looks like he forgot all about it, thank God.

“And how come everyone gets to have a wedding, and I only got a five-minute ceremony at the city hall?”

Drago braces his hands on the doorframe on either side of me and leans in close to my face. “Because those people are marrying for love. And you married for money, didn’t you?”

I force a smile. “I did.”

He dips his head even more, our mouths are almost touching. There’s that analyzing look in his eyes again, like he’s trying to figure me out.

“There’s your answer,” he says. “Get dressed. You have fifteen minutes.”

I watch his broad back as he exits the room. Once he’s gone, I turn around and stomp to the closet to rummage through the mess of clothes I stuffed inside when I unpacked. The space is rather large, but I have way too much stuff. One tear escapes my eye, and I quickly brush it away with the back of my hand.

I don’t understand why Drago’s words hit me so hard. It’s not like I was delusional about our motives. He married me because it was a lucrative business opportunity. And I married him because . . . I’m an idiot. It’s the truth. I shouldn’t have let my fear of being alone lead me into this disaster. Asya was right. I should have waited to meet someone I would like, maybe love, and only then think about marrying the guy. A shudder races down my spine.

Nope. I would never let myself fall in love. People whom I love have ended up dead because of me. Like my parents. Like my sister almost did. All because of me. This is a much better setup. Drago gets the connection to Cosa Nostra, the don gets his intel on the Serbian organization, and I get to not be alone. Zero emotions involved.

When I step outside fourteen minutes later, Drago is standing by the car, leaning on the hood with his arms crossed over his chest. His eyes scan my pink-and-blue striped wide-leg pants then move up to my pink coat, and for a fleeting moment, a slight smile ghosts his face.

“Did that thing shrink in the wash?” he asks, giving my sleeves a quizzical once-over.

“Coats need to be dry-cleaned, not washed. And these are three-quarter sleeves.”

“Will you enlighten me on the purpose of a coat with short sleeves?”

I bat my eyelashes at him “To make me look pretty.”

Drago raises his hand and traces the back of his palm down my cheek. Those green eyes capture and hold mine. “If that’s the case, I’m afraid it doesn’t serve its purpose, mila moya.”

I gasp, shocked and hurt. I know I’m not the type of woman who could make men fall to their knees in front of me. And I’m certainly not in the same league as the woman I saw with him in that picture Ajello sent me. But to imply I’m ugly?

I start to step away from him but his free arm wraps around my waist, keeping me pressed to his body. His eyes are glued to mine, glistening dangerously. Taunting me. Daring me. Daring me to do what? To spit into his face? To start crying? No, that’s not like him.

The hold around my waist tightens. His other hand is still on my face, caressing my cheek. I squeeze a handful of his shirt in my fist and narrow my eyes at him, trying to decipher what this silent game is about. Drago bends until his mouth is just next to my ear.

“Your coat doesn’t serve its purpose,” he whispers in Serbian, his voice is husky and glides over me like liquid honey, “because you’re fucking perfect, Sienna. More beautiful than anyone I’ve ever known.”

My heart stops. And then leaps as if wanting to burst from my chest, beating at a frantic pace. What if he hears it and realizes I understood?

“What did you say?” I quickly ask.

Drago releases his hold on me and opens the car door for me.

“Time to go.” He switches back to English, ignoring my question. “Hurry up. I have a meeting this afternoon I need to attend.”

Plastering a carefree little smile on my face, I take hold of the sides of my coat and lower myself onto the passenger seat. While Drago walks around the car, I purposely adjust the rearview mirror toward me instead of flipping down my sun visor, take out the makeup pouch from my purse, and start applying my lipstick. What was that just a moment ago? Some kind of a test?

“I need that, Sienna.” My husband grumbles and readjusts the mirror back.

“I claimed it first,” I chirp, hoping it’ll help cover up how shaken I feel.

Drago moves his gaze from my lips to my eyes and keeps them there for a few long moments. Then, he starts the car.

 

Drago

 

The curtain of the changing room slides to the side, and Sienna walks out wearing a Barbie-pink dress with a frill on the hem. I watch her from the sofa situated opposite the tall mirror as she scrutinizes her reflection, turning left and right, checking out the outfit. She looks drop-dead gorgeous in it, as she has in all the previous dresses I’ve made her try on. I think this is the twelfth one.

She turns around and sticks out her hip. “And this one?”

I move my gaze down from her delicate chest and along her shapely legs, then back up. “No.”

“No? What do you mean, ‘no’? I’ve tried on every damn dress here. How is it possible you don’t like any of them?”

I lean back and sprawl my arms along the back of the sofa, regarding her. I never said I didn’t like them.

“Drago!”

I close my eyes for a second, letting the sound sink in. My name is one of the rare few words which I can fully hear when she speaks.

“Try on a few more,” I say.

Sienna gives me an exasperated look and disappears into the changing room. The moment the curtain draws behind her, I get up and head to the other end of the boutique where two men are standing by the entrance. I noticed them in the mirror, ogling Sienna when she came out of the changing room the last couple of times. I grab the jacket of the one closest to me and get in his face.

“You enjoy watching my wife?”

“Take it easy, man. I just had a glance.” The idiot grins. “She’s a smokeshow. Hard not to look, you know.”

“Oh. All right then.” I headbutt him.

The other guy grabs my shoulder, so I let go of the man now pressing his hands over his bloody nose, and bury my elbow in his buddy’s stomach. He folds in half, gasping for breath.

“Get lost. Before I throw you out myself.” I turn on my heel and go back to the changing rooms.

Sienna emerges just as I take a seat, saying something about the belt and the waistline being too tight, but I don’t catch all of it because my gaze was focused on the mirror to make sure the two idiots left the store.

When I look at my wife, she’s standing with her hands on her hips, glaring at me.

“So?”

I eat her up with my eyes. The new dress is blue and has a tight bodice that flares from the waist. It fits her beautifully. “You should try on another one.”

“Seriously? You’re just screwing with me, aren’t you?”

She’s fucking adorable when she’s irritated. The thing is, I don’t really care what she wears. I find my wife equally stunning in that idiotic blue and pink monstrosity she’s put on this morning as she looks in this elegant dress. But I do enjoy getting glimpses of the various parts of her body each dress exposes. Her bare back. Cleavage. Those amazing legs.

“Next one, Sienna.”

She squints her eyes at me and walks back inside the partition. A minute later she walks out wearing only a sky-blue lacy bra and matching panties. “Is this more to your liking?”

I spring off the sofa and reach her in three quick strides. Wrapping my arm around her waist, I carry her inside the changing room and pull the curtain closed behind us with my other hand. Sienna tries her best to wriggle free of my hold, but I grab her under her thigh and prop her against the wall.

“What the fuck was that?” I bark.

“You seem indifferent to the dresses.” She tilts her stubborn chin at me. “I was trying to get a reaction.”

“Is that so?” I lean into her so my hard cock presses to her core. “Is this the reaction you were trying to achieve?”

“Maybe.” Sienna bites her lower lip and hooks her legs behind my back. The hold she has on my neck tightens.

I lower my head and whisper in her ear. “I see you, Sienna.” She stiffens in my embrace, but I continue. “I see you hiding something with your chipper acts and those ridiculous clothes. And I’m going to find out what it is.”

Her nails dig into the skin of my neck, the sensation making my already hard cock swell even more. She tilts her head to the side, her lips brush my earlobe.

“Never,” she says.

“We’ll see about that.” I place a light kiss on her bare shoulder and let her slide down my body. “Put your clothes on.”

“What about the dress?”

I bend and take the colorful heap of satin and lace in my arms. “We’re taking them all.”

 

* * *

 

I observe my wife as she picks at the pork chop on her plate. She’s been mostly moving the food around and has barely taken a few bites. I reach out with my fork, stab one of the pieces, and lift it to her mouth.

She looks at my fork. “What are you doing?”

“Making sure you eat something.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“You haven’t eaten anything since this morning. I won’t have you faint on me. Open your mouth.”

Her lips widen slightly. “Fuck you, Drago,” she says with a smile.

“So, she isn’t as sweet as she wants people to believe.” I lean forward. “Open. Your. Mouth.”

Sienna grabs the fork from my hand and stuffs the meat into her mouth while staring daggers at me. I take the fork back, poke a floret of broccoli, and raise it.

“We could have eaten back at the house.” Her lips wrap around the vegetable as she slides it off the utensil.

“Lunch is served at two. We missed it.”

“Missed it? It’s your house. Don’t you have a say when lunch will be served?”

“I do. And I set the lunch hour for two. If you miss it due to business obligations, you have to fend for yourself.”

Sienna looks down at the next bite of pork I’m holding in front of her. “Why?”

“Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if fifty people all had meals at random times?”

“Yeah, I guess so.” She laughs and takes the meat. “I haven’t seen any kids in your home.”

“My men and women with families don’t reside at the house.”

“Why?”

The memory of my childhood home engulfed in flames flashes before my eyes. It’s been twenty years, but I can still taste the smoke as it choked my lungs, and feel the heat of the fire on my burning shirt as it scorched my skin while I was trying to shield Dina with my body.

“Drago?” Sienna places her hand on my forearm.

“Because I don’t allow kids at the mansion. It’s too dangerous,” I say and take out my phone that’s been vibrating in my pocket.

14:20 Filip: We lost contact with the driver. Mirko is trying to locate the shipment through GPS.

“We need to go.” I throw money on the table and grab Sienna’s hand to leave.

As I’m ushering my wife toward the closest elevator, Sienna is speaking beside me. With all the people around and the noise they are making, I only catch the tone of her voice, not the words.

Another message from Filip arrives as we are exiting the elevator, telling me that we have only a general location for the truck because the GPS signal is weak, and that he’s already headed in that direction with a few men to search for the vehicle. The text contains a screenshot of a map with a one-mile radius circle over the area close to our warehouse.

When we reach the car, I place my finger over Sienna’s lips. “Stop talking and listen. Someone intercepted one of our trucks. The driver is not responding.”

She blinks at me and nods.

“I need you to stay on the line with Filip and wait for him to give you the coordinates after he finds the truck. When you have them, enter the location on the map app and show me the screen with our destination marked. Okay?”

“Okay.”

“Keep the line open and listen for any information Filip might have since he’ll reach the truck before we do. All clear?”

She nods again.

“Good. Let’s go.”

 

Sienna

 

Voices speaking Serbian come through the phone. Filip must have put it on hands-free mode because I can hear both him and another male. Their speech is rather quick, but I still understand some of what is being said. Nasty curse words, then something about the Romanians not being happy about the weapons business. I throw a sideways look at my husband. He’s been driving for twenty minutes in absolute silence. Weapons? I thought the Serbian syndicate only worked with drugs. I try to catch more of the conversation, but it’s mostly cussing again. Someone’s phone rings. The other guy, I think it’s Jovan, hollers something.

“Sienna,” Filip says, “we have the location. I’m sending you the coordinates.”

The phone in my hands vibrates. I put it on speaker, then copy and paste two large numbers into the navigation app, and a big red dot appears on the map. We’re about ten minutes away.

“Take the next right,” I say while looking at the phone screen. I can still hear Filip’s voice since I left the call open.

Drago’s hand enters my field of vision. He grabs the phone and looks at the screen, but while he’s doing so, he misses the turn he should have taken.

A u kurac.” He throws the phone on the dash, cranks the steering wheel until the car does a one-eighty, and gets into the lane heading in the opposite direction. The turn is so sudden and sharp that I hit the side of my head on the window.

“Shit!” Drago barks, and without looking away from the road, wraps his right arm around my shoulders and pulls me toward him. “I’m so sorry, baby.” He kisses my forehead and releases me. “Ask Filip if they’ve reached the driver.”

I’m still so stunned by his unexpected act that I don’t even ask why he doesn’t ask Filip himself. The speakerphone is still on.

“Filip? Drago asks—”

“The truck is parked in the back alley,” Filip throws in. “We’re just pulling up behind it. Stay on the line.”

The sounds of car doors opening and closing fill the otherwise dead air, and a few minutes later, a stream of Serbian curses flows across the line.

“The driver is dead,” Filip shouts. “A bullet through the temple. The cargo is still in the truck. Untouched.”

My husband continues to drive, white-knuckling the wheel, his gaze fixed on the road. “Dead?” he asks and glances at me.

“Yes.” I nod.

“When we get there, stay in the car. Filip will take you home.”

“Okay.” I nod again.

Drago keeps driving, and I keep staring at his profile. Thinking.

We reach the truck, and Drago parks a few yards in front of it, then exits the car. I watch him through the back window as he takes a look in the cabin of the truck before he jumps down and faces Filip, telling him something. Jovan comes up behind Drago and places his hand on Drago’s shoulder. The act seems out of place, but I’ve noticed his men doing it often when they approach him from the rear. It almost seems as if it’s to get his attention.

The three of them spend a few minutes in a heated discussion. Filip walks away from the group a few minutes later and gets in the car with me while dialing a number on his phone. He switches to hands-free and starts the car. I listen as he relays Drago’s orders to Adam first, and then to Mirko.

My eyes stare blindly at a ribbon of road beyond the windshield as I dig through my brain, trying to recall if I’ve ever seen my husband talking on the phone.

And I can’t remember one instance.


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