“Probably,” he laughs. “He’s a greedy fucker. Always has been. Doesn’t want what’s his being talked to or touched.” He peers over at Draco, who has his forearm on the table now, fists clenched tight. “He’ll be making his way over here at any moment, I’m sure.”
“Why is he letting you walk around freely?” I ask, frowning a bit, and he drops his head to focus on me, his dark eyes flashing from the lights. “I heard what you did—how you’re stealing his things. How can he possibly be okay with that?”
“Oh, he’s not okay with shit like that. But I didn’t steal his stuff. It was stolen from me by that fucking cartel.”
I huff. “And you expect anyone here to believe that, with the way you walk around—all high and mighty, like you own the place too?”
He shrugs, like he really doesn’t give a shit. “He’s never fully trusted me. If my aunt didn’t have my back so much I’m sure he would have killed me a long time ago.”
“Like he killed your father.” I hold his gaze.
His cocky smirk fades, lips growing thin. “He’s told you about that . . .”
“Much about it, yes.” I smile, a sly smile that I’m sure gets under his skin. “The thing is, Thiago, if I were you, I wouldn’t cross him the way your father did. I wouldn’t push him. You of all people should know what’s he’s capable of. Right?”
His upper lips peels back to reveal a full row of straight, slightly sharp teeth. “I like you,” he chuckles. “And I see why my cousin likes you, too. You’re feisty. Smart. You know how to get under a man’s skin, even if his skin happens to be pretty damn thick.”
I quirk a brow, holding the drinks tighter in hand.
“But, Gianna Nicotera, I think what you fail to realize is that I am not the monster here. I’m not a traitor. I do what I have to do to survive, but when it comes to my family’s reputation, I don’t believe in tarnishing it. They assume I work with Hernandez, but he’s the one who sends me on the larger shipments every time. He’s looking for a reason to kill me. They fucking robbed me, killed those guards, and left me alive to deliver the message. Of course Draco doesn’t buy it.” He steps closer, towering over me. My eyebrows draw together, but I keep my eyes on his, unwavering. “He thinks they left me alive because I promised them something. But there isn’t anything they can give me that Draco can’t. He asks, why didn’t they just cut my head off and send it in a box to deliver their message? I say, because I’m a smart motherfucker who knows how to talk himself out of any situation. I did it with him just the other day, and I’m still alive for it. He won’t give me credit for that though—being the smart one. The one that thinks on his toes during the worst of circumstances.”
He looks at Draco, who’s standing now, picking up his shot glass and bringing it up to his lips. “You should go on back to him. He told me to never talk to you. I just couldn’t help myself. I always end up breaking his rules.” He laughs at that, and then he turns around, giving Draco a solid stare before walking out of the room.
I sigh and turn, but Draco is already coming for me. He takes the whiskey out of my hand, roughly setting it down on the bar station. “What the fuck did he say to you?”
I step sideways. “He was being a smartass. Says he would never betray you.”
He scoffs. “Bullshit.”
“He seemed serious, even if he’s a smart ass,” I tell him, handing him his drink. “Do you really think your own cousin would risk the family business like that?”
“His father did—my uncle, remember?” he seethes, eyebrows stitching. “He can’t be fully trusted.”
“You grew up together. Mrs. Molina still trusts him, too, even after everything she’s been through. Why can’t you?”
His jaw pulses. “I don’t trust anyone. This world is full of fucking traitors just waiting to put a blade in my back.”
When he says that, I feel my heart drop. “You don’t trust anyone,” I repeat.
Just hours ago he said he wanted to trust me—that he wanted to make me his partner and do this right. He doesn’t trust anyone now? He’s just drunk. Drunk and stupid, and saying whatever will feed his bloated ego.
I grip my glass and pull my eyes away from his. “I’m going to get some air,” I mutter. “Don’t send your guards after me.”
I walk off before he can say anything. I’m surprised he doesn’t stop me, but I won’t give him a reason to. Instead I keep going, leaving the room and turning to get to the corridor that leads to the library.