Home > Bound by Vengeance (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #5)(10)

Bound by Vengeance (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #5)(10)
Author: Cora Reilly

A violent shudder overwhelmed my body and for a moment I was sure I was going to have a panic attack, but the sound of voices brought me back to reality. I stood, my gaze falling on the knife the Russian had dropped during his struggle. I was about to take it when the words of the self-defense instructor that had given a weekend seminar at our school popped into my mind: ‘A weapon you can’t control is another advantage for your enemy.’

I had no doubt that I’d be disarmed in no time. I’d never learned how to fight with weapons, or to fight at all. My friends and I hadn’t taken the self-defense seminar very seriously. Now I wished I had. But we’d been so busy ogling our instructor that we hadn’t had time for anything else.

How much time had passed?

Talia screamed somewhere in the house, and I started moving without thinking. I stormed out of the room. I wasn’t sure how to help her, but I knew I needed to get to her. I didn’t get very far though. I crashed into someone, my temple colliding with a hard shoulder. My vision turned black and I staggered back, gasping. I dropped to my knees. Pain shot through my legs from the impact. After a moment, I peered up and found myself staring at the man who’d killed right in front of my eyes, the man who’d scared and fascinated me since our first encounter. He was even taller this close up and there was a long faded scar that reached around his throat. Growl. Always Growl. My fascination gave way to nothing but fear when his eyes met mine. He didn’t look human in that moment.

A killer, a monster – nothing human about his expression, or eyes, or him.

He grabbed my arm and pulled me roughly to my feet. My vision swam again. “Take her to the others,” he rasped. That voice, so deep and rough, sent a shiver down my back.

Another man took me by the arm and led me away. I threw another glance over my shoulder but, Growl, the man with the scar and no mercy, was gone. I hardly paid attention to my surroundings and almost fell down the stairs when my captor dragged me downstairs until we arrived in the living room where Father, Mother and Talia were already gathered. Father knelt on the floor in front of Falcone, who was dressed in a pin-striped suit and a high-collared stark white shirt. Talia and Mother stood a few steps back, looking as terrified as I felt. I was pushed toward them and Mother immediately wrapped an arm around me. The other was already holding onto Talia. I gave Mother a questioning look but she was watching Falcone with terrified eyes. Finally, I turned toward him as well. He’d been creepy at his party, but today he looked truly frightening.

Benedetto Falcone, Father’s boss and the head of the mafia in Las Vegas, was in our house and the look in his eyes turned my stomach to ice. That he was in our living room was a horrible sign. It could only mean that Father had messed up badly. And that Father was sweating profusely only confirmed my worries.

Somewhere in the house I could still hear the telltale sounds of a brutal fight. I shivered. The men gathered in this room all looked like they’d come for blood. The dead man in the corner and upstairs in Talia’s bedroom didn’t seem to be enough.

Heavy steps came down the staircase and a few moments later Growl stalked in. His hands and forearms were covered in blood. I wasn’t sure if it was his own but I doubted it.

Falcone looked his way. “All clear, Growl?” he asked with mild curiosity, as if he knew the answer already and I supposed he did. All the stories I’d heard in whispered voices flashed through my mind.

Growl was invincible.

The man in front of me tonight had little to do with the man I’d seen at Falcone’s party. Back then Growl had been in disguise. While other people had to put on masks, that suit and cleaned up appearance had been his, but beneath it the same monster had been lying in wake. Now there was no mistaking who or what he truly was. The best soldier in the rows of the Las Vegas Camorra, and a monster. That’s what people always said behind his back and now I saw it too. He was a fighting machine without emotions, a brutal hand of Benedetto Falcone.

“All clear,” Growl said in that deep rumble that was his voice. For the first time I could see the long scar around his throat. His vocal cords had been injured by the accident that had given him the long scar around his throat. Growl shouldn’t have survived a wound like that but somehow he had, and perhaps it had turned him into the monster he was now, or perhaps he’d only survived because he was a monster.

Falcone turned away from his soldier and Growl faded into the background. I wasn’t sure how he managed to do it; a man with his size and aura shouldn’t have been able to blend into his surroundings that easily, to make you forget he was even there. That was probably one of the skills that made him such a feared fighter.

Falcone stepped closer to Father, forcing him to tilt his head back.

“I hear you’ve been busy these last few months,” Falcone began in a pleasant drawl that made the hairs on the back of my neck rise. His grin was nasty and malicious. It promised punishment.

Father swallowed, but he didn’t say anything. Why wasn’t he saying anything?

“How much of my money have you kept for yourself, Brando?” Falcone asked, still in that horribly pleasant voice.

My stomach constricted. I couldn’t believe Father had stolen from his Boss. He wouldn’t have been that stupid. Everybody knew what happened to people who messed with Falcone.

Falcone’s smile widened and he gave a small nod toward one of his man, who immediately went outside and returned a few moments later, with Cosimo at his heels, as usual impeccably dressed. What was he doing here?

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