Home > Bound by Vengeance (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #5)(13)

Bound by Vengeance (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #5)(13)
Author: Cora Reilly

A scream ripped from my throat. I couldn’t fathom what had happened. It seemed too surreal, like something from a movie, something that couldn’t possibly happen right in front of my eyes.

“No,” Mother screeched. This time she managed to tear herself away from her captor. She stormed toward Father and fell to her knees. She patted his chest helplessly, as if that would wake him. It almost looked like she was looking for his wallet and for a horrible moment something like a laugh wanted to bubble out of me, but at the same time my throat felt so tight that it hardly seemed possible to draw enough oxygen into my lungs, and perhaps that wouldn’t have been the worst thing right now. Mother cradled Father’s head in her lap but when she pulled back her hands, they came away covered in blood and something white.

My vision blurred and bile traveled up my throat. I swallowed hard, forcing myself to keep face among the horrible creatures surrounding me and my family. For some reason, I looked down at my own hands as if they, too, could be covered in blood. They weren’t and after a moment of relief, I couldn’t help but wonder how it would feel if Falcone’’s blood covered my hands, how it would feel to end his life like he’d done with Father’s. I suspected it would feel marvelous, and it scared me that I even entertained those thoughts.

“Your job here is done, Growl. Mike and Mimo will take care of the rest. Take your reward home and enjoy her. I’m sure she’ll keep you entertained for a while.”

It took a moment before I realized he was talking about me. Before I could react, Growl appeared in front of me, massive and tall. My gaze flitted up to his face but the look in his eyes made me recoil and I stared at his chest instead. He gripped my arm. His grip was tight, on the verge of painful, but I didn’t pull away. Behind him, my mother was still kneeling beside Father, a horrible empty expression on her face I’d never seen before. Growl nudged me in the direction of the door and when I didn’t react he started pulling me along. Talia’s tear-filled eyes met mine. I tried to rip away from Growl’s grip but it was like he wasn’t even human. He hardly seemed to notice my resistance. I was a bothersome fly attacking a lion.

“Wait!” I screamed and to my surprise Growl actually halted, an uncomprehending expression on his face. I twisted until I could see Falcone again. “What about my sister and mother? What happens to them?”

“That’s none of your business,” he said with that malicious grin. Then he glanced at Growl. “Take her out of my sight. I’m growing tired of her.”

Growl tightened his grip and dragged me away despite my protests. Talia tried to run toward me but was stopped by another of Falcone’s men. Mother was beyond our reach, trapped in her sadness.

“Cara!” Talia cried, her eyes pleading with me to do something, to help her. But how?

Growl opened the door and then we were outside. Talia screamed again but her words weren’t intelligible.

The door closed between us, and Talia’s terrified cries died away. I walked on autopilot. Not that it would have changed a thing if my legs had given away. Growl would just have dragged me along. I finally drew my eyes away from my home. I couldn’t bear looking at it a moment longer knowing that I might never see it again. As my gaze settled on the tall man pulling me toward an enormous black Hummer that was way too fitting, the fear for my sister and mother took a backseat as my own fate registered. Falcone had given me to his cruelest fighter. If I survived today, would I even still want to live? Maybe death would seem like the sweetest mercy after Growl was done with me.

CHAPTER SIX

Growl

Growl’s mind was racing as he pulled Cara toward his car. He’d often thought about the first time he’d seen her at Falcone’s party. He’d regretted attending the party, especially because her image had haunted his sleep in the weeks after.

He’d felt like a monkey in a suit, and he knew he looked that way too. He knew his boss only invited him, so people had something to talk about. Even after all these years they still regarded him as the monster to fear.

He was a monster, no question. But he wasn’t the only monster in that room. He wasn’t even sure he was the worst. He’d killed the most people with his own hands, that he couldn’t deny. And he didn’t want to. He was proud of what he’d done. Most of it, at least. It was the only thing he was good at, killing. He was the best. And maybe his talent for killing made him one of the worse monsters but he knew how easily the order to kill and maim rolled off the tongues of many men gathered at this ball, how they relished in their power to do so. He wasn’t sure if that didn’t make them just as bad. But it wasn’t his place to decide anyway. Maybe one day all of them, Growl included, would have to face a higher power. That day wouldn’t end well for either of them.

Growl wasn’t too worried, however. He’d lived through hell, still lived it. There was nothing to fear for him. Nothing waiting for him beyond death could possibly do worse damage than had already been done. There was nothing of him that hadn’t been broken, nothing left to destroy, except for his body perhaps, but he wasn’t worried about that either. He knew pain, agony even. It was the only constant in his life. He’d almost come to see it as a friend. Something he could count on, something predictable.

No, he didn’t fear pain, or death for that matter. Falcone always said that made him such a valuable asset. And that was something Growl was proud of, even if the words coming from Falcone’s mouth left a bitter aftertaste.

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