“Well, go on,” Yessica sighs, as if bored. “Get in.”
Draco hesitates, focusing on her. He looks her over repeatedly and then at the guards. Several come out of the front door, jumping into the SUVs parked up front. The one that led the way steps aside, clutching the gun, daring him to try something.
Knowing he can’t do anything, Draco steps forward and allows me to enter the van first. I climb in, sliding over to the farthest window, heart still pounding. I still have this uneasy feeling, like something bad is about to happen.
If she goes back on her word—if she does something . . .
Draco looks over at Thiago. Thiago’s face is complacent. Even while being tossed like an abused mutt, he’s still him. Still fighting.
Draco tips his chin, a silent thank you, and then climbs into the van, across the bench to sit beside me.
Thiago looks over at Yessica, spitting in her direction as he snatches himself away and takes the step up. But before he can climb in completely, Yessica snaps her fingers, a large arm hooks around Thiago’s throat, and he wheezes as he’s dropped to the ground.
“What the fuck, Yessica! You said we could go!” Draco barks, sliding across the bench, but the guard with the rifle holds the gun up, pointing it at me.
Draco realizes and breathes raggedly, sliding back just an inch to get in the way of the gun. My eyes are wide now as I peer over his shoulder, watching the other guard yank Thiago up and force him onto his knees.
“You said we could go!” I shout over him. “Stop this, please!”
Thiago chuckles. “Told you never to trust this bitch,” he mutters to Draco.
Draco squeezes the top of the seat so hard his knuckles turn white. He’s useless. I know he’s never felt so powerless in his life—not since that breakfast with his uncle. Since he saw his father die. I know he’s never wanted to feel like that ever again, yet here he is.
He hates this. I hate this!
“You thought you could just walk out scotch free like that, Draco? After all you put me through before. And after what you did to my fiancé, you have to pay somehow.” Something rolls across the dirt and it’s a person in a wheelchair.
And not just any person.
I nearly stop breathing when I see who it is.
My heart, it fails me. Thudding slow. Dangerously slow.
My blood runs so cold, my hands shaking now.
In the chair, stitched up and much cleaner than he was yesterday, is . . .
“Oh my God,” I breathe. “Henry.” Henry Ricci. He’s rolled over by one of the guards, right beside Yessica, who now has her cheetah print gun pointed at the back of Thiago’s head.
This explains the explosions.
“Taking those cities isn’t enough. My baby here,” Yessica says, stroking his cheek, “needs more. Seeing as he appreciates your pet back there for risking her life to save his, he doesn’t want her dead, but he thinks someone should go after what you did to him and to one of his family members. Why not your loyal, bulldog of a cousin? Take him out the same way you did Trigger Toni. Quick and easy.” She puts on a snake-like grin.
“Yessica, I swear to God if you do this—”
Draco’s sentence goes unfinished.
“It’s her or me, Jefe,” Thiago pants. “Don’t even worry about it. I was starting to get bored with this shit anyway.” He shrugs. “Besides. You need her more than you’ll ever need me. Fuck it. Move on.”
Draco starts to say something to him, but it’s too late.
The gun sounds off, causing my ears to ring and my heart to sink to the pit of my belly. Blood splatters everywhere, most of it landing on Draco’s face. His clothes. Some of it even gets on me. It spills across the entrance of the van.
Thiago’s body crumples forward and then falls.
Yessica lets out a small humph and then she turns, grabbing the handles of Henry’s wheelchair and pushing him aside. “How’s that, baby?” She kisses his cheek.
Henry doesn’t speak. He only glares at Draco. And then at me.
“You were right about one thing, Gia. It was Lion who hired me to watch after Draco,” he finally says, eyes cold and dead. “But my cousin needed me more. Toni. You remember him, right? Lion died, but I stayed here to keep an eye on Draco for my cousin. See, Toni heard about the promise Lion made to Draco Molina—how you were promised to him—and he wanted him dead as soon as he found out. They were out for each other; Draco probably just didn’t know Toni was coming yet. Not sure how Toni found out, but he wasn’t happy to hear it. My lovely fiancée here wanted Draco dead too, so we all worked together.” He looks up at Yessica before focusing on me again. “We tried to figure out ways to take him down, but then he caught me, tortured me,” he spits out, “and then he killed my cousin. It set Yessica back a few steps, but I knew she’d figure out a way to get to him. I let his men find and catch me on purpose when you set me free from the basement. I did it so she could get you.” He grins. “I’m sure you know the truth about Toni—how he killed Lion in his sleep while they were traveling. I remember him telling me that he enjoyed it.” I wince, tears of fire falling down my cheeks as he sneers. “He was so glad to get rid of him and so ready to take over—so ready to get rid of Draco, just to have you all to himself. He had to marry you first and then take care of business. But you . . . you were so fucking clueless.” A smirk weaves its way across his lips and I stare in horror. “You trust anyone you meet, including me, and for a Nicotera, I’d say that is pretty fucking stupid of you, Gia.”