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Tirone: Chapter 5

Jo

Footsteps and key rattles echoed from outside. My heart thudded in my chest, but I stood still.

Tirone’s gaze that had been settled on me all the time we were waiting in here intensified. “That moment of truth is nearest than your fate…and mine.”

I swallowed, shifting my eyes to the door, as if that would bring my anxiety and distress down. Could Laius do that to me? Give me up? I’d be sad, but it wouldn’t anger me. I didn’t know how powerful the Night Skulls were. I was aware they ruled Houston, but I couldn’t imagine they were a match for the mob. The Mafia wasn’t to be trifled with. By coming here in that fashion, the Lanzas’ boss must have threatened Laius. Laius had no choice but to save his family and club. Someone like me wasn’t worth the sacrifice. In fact, if he chose any differently, that would anger me.

I didn’t wait for the door to open. I marched toward it, ready for what was to come.

When the old metal squeaked, and Laius appeared, his face dark with burden, tears clogged the back of my throat. Nodding, I stretched my lips with a smile so that the tears wouldn’t fall. “Is he still here?”

He shook his head once. “It’s safe.”

“You should have let him wait.”

“What?”

“It’s okay. It’s the right thing to do.” I tried not to cry, but the tears came against my will. Quickly, I wiped them. “It’s your family, and I understand. Do what you have to do to protect it, Laius.”

He stared at me, his beautiful green eyes flaming brightly. “I have no choice.”

“I understand. I swear I do. I’m not angry, and I won’t fight this. It’s what I deserve.” It was bound to happen anyway. I’d rather die now when he still loved me than later when he discovered the truth and killed me out of hate.

“I must protect my family. I have to do whatever it takes.”

I was sobbing uncontrollably now, so I buried my face into his chest, my only shelter even when he was the one handing me to my killers. Slowly, his arms enfolded me. I curled up into him, burying myself deeper into the warmth I’d surely miss. “I love you.”

“You gotta be fucking shitting me.” Tirone scoffed.

Laius’s head moved toward his son. I lifted mine and glanced at Tirone over my shoulder. Then I mouthed in warning, “Shut up.”

“You got something to say, Son?”

“No, he doesn’t,” I said firmly. “This is between you and me. It’s inappropriate to include your son in this conversation.”

“Inappropriate my ass. Are you seriously gonna let him do this to you?” Tirone came over to us. “I told you that’s gonna happen. I told you Furore knows nothing but this shit, and you’ll just go with him? You still fucking love him?”

“Laius, just let’s get out of here, please,” I begged.

Laius dropped his arms off me and stepped between me and Tirone. “The fuck you’re saying, Rex?”

“You heard me. And I swear to fuck if Miss Meneceo is hurt because of you or whatever shit you dragged her into—”

Laius stepped forward, cutting Tirone off. “What? What are you gonna do about it, boy?”

Tirone stood in Laius’s space, and I gulped. Were they going to fight? I couldn’t handle this. I said I’d go to the Lanzas and get it all over with. Why would they fight over me? “I’ll fucking end you before you ruin any more innocent people’s lives. You ruined Mom’s. You ruined mine. I won’t let you do it to her, too.”

Laius scoffed. “You think your mom is innocent? You think I ruined her fucking life?”

“Don’t even think about saying anything nasty about Mom. I don’t think you ruined her life. I know.”

“Well, if you think I’m all kinds of shit, what are you doing here?”

“I thought I’d give you a fucking chance after that fucking letter,” Tirone glanced at me, “which I know now you didn’t write. I thought maybe, just fucking maybe, if I was here with you like you said you wanted, you’d find it in you to change, to make things right.” He threw his hands in the air, and I flinched, thinking he was going to attack his father. It was just a gesture of frustration, though. “But look at you. Some things never change.”

Shaking, fighting the fog threatening to take away my consciousness, I slipped my arm around Laius’s. “I’m begging, please, just let it go and let’s leave this room. Tirone, your son, has nothing to do with this situation.”

Laius jabbed a finger in the air between them. “You don’t know the first thing about anything, but you’ll learn.” He lifted his arm only to wrap it around me. “When I said I had to do whatever it took to protect my family, I meant it. It’s my job to protect each one of you,” he glanced down at me and kissed me on my forehead, “starting with you, Jo.”

I dragged my blurry gaze up to him. “What?”

“You’re my family, too, baby. What, you think I’m just a pussy that will give you to those fuckers to save my ass?”

“No. No, Laius. You can’t jeopardize your club and your son for me. Believe me, I’m not worth it.”

He held me tight, showering me with tiny kisses all over my face. “You’re worth everything, baby girl.”

“But—”

“No buts. I made you a promise I intend to keep until the day I die. You’ll always be safe with me. I’ll protect you no matter what.” He peered at Tirone. “You, too, dickhead. I just have to figure out a way to keep those Lanza fucks away.”


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