His nostrils flare, and he clenches his fists together. It's quiet again, and I want to speak, but what the hell do I say?
Toni did this to him? But why would he? He had to have had a reason. Maybe Draco's father was after him, and he got to him first . . .
"Lion came in twenty minutes, picked me up, and then stopped by the place my father was killed. He went inside to check on things but came right back out. Toni wasn't there. The place was empty, minus my father’s dead body. When we heard police sirens, we knew it was time to go. We left, and I started shouting at Lion to do something—to help him—but he simply ignored me. He didn't speak much other than to say calm down or to tell me to relax. We pulled up to some house that wasn’t their real one and he helped me get out of the car. I think they were on anniversary or on a date. I don’t know, but Mrs. Nicotera was waiting at the door and he told her to get me washed up and in bed. I couldn't sleep and I knew Lion knew that because he came up to the room after I took a shower and talked to me. I hated what he had to say. I thought he was going to tell me that he was going to find the man. Or maybe he would help me find him. I had already been ranting about how I would hunt that man down and kill him myself, but Lion was too patient. He just nodded his head and kept his lips sealed.
"He told me, ‘Draco, there are things you should and shouldn't see. And what you saw tonight, you should not have seen. I know you're angry, but Carlos is gone. Okay? And he's not coming back, kid.' I couldn't handle his words so I did the only thing I could.
“It finally hit me and I broke down. I let it all out that night, but the following morning I completely shut down. I didn't eat. I didn't speak. Lion kept trying to get me to interact, but I wouldn't. He kept asking me if I saw the man that did it, or could give a description of him, but I wouldn’t.”
"Why?" I whisper. "Daddy could have helped you."
"Because the next morning I found out the man that killed my father worked with Lion too. It's obviously how they met. Through Lion. There was a picture of them all on his wall in the den. I took the picture. Did my research. I wanted to handle it myself."
"So what are you saying? That you blame Daddy?" I tense up and grip the knife again.
"No, I don't blame him. I never would."
I ease up a bit.
"But I couldn't tell Lion, because I knew if I did, he would have handled it himself, in his own way. So I kept quiet for a very long time about it. I'm certain Lion figured out later that it was Trigger Toni. He kept sending people over to watch me, way before Henry Ricci showed up. The others were smart enough to run. Henry was dumb enough to get too close and get caught. Lion even reached out to me and told me that I could no longer have you because he couldn't tolerate my behavior. He said I was becoming too unstable."
"What?" I gasp.
"Yeah. Your father told me when I was sixteen that you were promised to me. When I came to the U.S. for the so-called “training” with my father and him, he was preparing me for you. I thought you would always be mine, but then I turned twenty-one and finally got some wits. I think he only said the part about me being unstable to protect that motherfucker Toni. Your father was torn because once a promise is made, it can’t be broken. If you were promised to me, then it’s simple. You are mine, whether you like it or not.
“So here you were, in love with my father's murderer, and he knew it, but he never told me because he wanted to protect you. He knew I knew, though. But what kind of father would he have been to forbid you from falling in love? He knew you would have hated him if he sent you to me, or if anything happened to Toni on his watch, so he let you stay with him, but he failed to realize that you were only making a fucking fool out of yourself and he was going to regret it.” He shakes his head. "If only your father had listened to me, he would still be alive today."
I sit up rapidly, glaring hard at him. "What is that supposed to mean? That you are the one who killed my father?"