Mrs. Molina is here, and she hasn’t said a word since I’ve shown up. Her eyes scream it all, though. She wants to apologize a thousand times for what’s happened, even though it wasn’t even her fault.
Patanza stands at the door, along with another guard. He’s bulky, but not so bulky that it’s intimidating. They both have their eyes on the wall across from them, jaws fixed, stances straight.
After finishing off my pineapple juice, I sit back in my chair, allowing my meal to settle.
“You were hungry,” Draco notes.
“Yeah,” I respond.
“Glad to see you eating.” Draco looks at his mother. “Mamá you’ve barely touched your food.”
“I don’t have much of an appetite, son,” she says in Spanish, avoiding his eyes.
He notices and focuses on his plate, pretending he’s not bothered by it, but I know he is. “Gianna, I want to show you something. Are you up for it?”
I sit up a bit. “Show me what?”
“Come.” He pushes out of his throne-like chair and walks past mine to get to the door. He stops right before walking out and looks back at me, tilting an eyebrow.
I push out of my chair as well, meeting up to him. When I’m right beside him, he turns right and walks down the corridor that leads to his galería.
Ugh. Not this again. I’m not up for manipulative sex today.
Would he even dare, after knowing what happened to me? I shouldn’t be so shocked if he does. I can’t forget that he’s still a heartless, cruel bastard, just like the rest of them.
We make it down the staircase and to the door. He unlocks it and walks in. I follow after him, and when he steps to the right, I do the same.
“I remember this when I used to visit the U.S.” His voice is mellow. I have no idea what he’s talking about, and frankly, I don’t care right now.
He walks forward and up the stairs. I hear rustling and things moving, but then it stops.
And then I hear a violin start to play.
The song is so damn raw, bittersweet and familiar, that I freeze exactly where I stand. I look toward the sound, eyes stretched wide, mouth halfway open.
Draco comes to the top of the stairs with the violin in his large hands, his chin resting on the chinrest and the body extending out.
His head is at an angle, and he is focused on the instrument, strumming slowly during some notes, quickening at others.
Tears creep to my eyes—unwanted, annoying tears.
That was . . . Mom’s lullaby.
She hummed it to me when I was a little girl and even as I got older.
She played it for me and even tried to teach me, but I wasn’t as gifted as her. I’m still not, but Draco?
He hits every chord and note to near perfection. He plays so well that I feel like Mom is here, playing for me. I feel her spirit dwelling, and her angelic arms wrapping around me, silently telling me things will be okay again.
I feel her—like she’s standing right beside me.
When he stops, the silence is deafening. Her warm arms are gone.
I hear my pounding pulse.
I feel hotness rolling down my cheeks.
I see him. Draco. There. Looking down at me.
“She taught you,” I breathe out.
“The whole thing. During the summers, Mamá would make me go to your mother’s music studio for two hours every day just to learn. She was a patient woman. She had to be, dealing with someone like me.” He smirks, just barely. I’m still stuck.
I don’t even know what to say.
Or how to react.
Mom loved music. She loved her violin. It’s still in storage back in the U.S . . . well, I hope it is. Knowing my people, they’ve probably presumed us dead and sold all of Toni’s belongings and mine as well. Mama’s violin was mine.
Fire streams through my veins. My tears continue falling, even though I’m fighting hard to make them stop. So many feelings overwhelm me, all at once. Too many to handle.
Oh, how I miss them.
I swipe my face, catching a glimpse of the red nail polish.
Daddy. Damn it, Daddy!
I turn away and burst through the door, zooming up the steps.
“Gianna!” Draco calls after me. He sounds sad, maybe even a little worried.
But I don’t stop.
I rush down the corridor and then I hear boots on the marble. Patanza and the other guard must have heard Draco’s voice, because they step around the corner to look in my direction.
They watch me dash by them with my head down, my arms pumping.
They don’t dare stop me.
But something else does.
Well, someone else, rather.
As soon as I slam into the heavy, thick body, I hear guns cock behind me.
I stumble away and look back at Patanza and the other guard, their guns raised in the air, pointed directly at this stranger.