Home > Bound By Honor (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #1)(9)

Bound By Honor (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #1)(9)
Author: Cora Reilly

It worried me. I knew it was her way of rebelling against the gilded cage that was our life, but while Father’s soldiers regarded her flirting with amusement, there were others out there that would love to misunderstand it.

“Of course, we have to,” Gianna muttered. “Aria is the happy bride, remember?”

Lily snorted. “Sure.” She sat up abruptly. “I’m bored. Let’s go shopping.”

Umberto wasn’t enthused about the suggestion, even with another of my father’s bodyguards at his side, he claimed it was almost impossible to keep us under control. Eventually he relented as he always did.

***

We were shopping in a store that sold sexy rocker-chick-like outfits that Lily desperately wanted to try on when I got a message from Luca. It was the first time he’d contacted me directly and for a long time I could only stare at my screen. Gianna peered over my shoulder in the dressing room. “’Meet me at your hotel at six. Luca.’ How nice of him to ask.”

“What does he want?” I whispered. I’d hoped I wouldn’t have to see him until August 10th, the day of our wedding.

“Only one way to find out,” Gianna said, checking her reflection.

***

I was nervous. I hadn’t seen Luca in a long time. I smoothed my hair down, then straightened my shirt. Gianna had convinced me to wear the tight black skinny jeans I’d bought today. Now I wondered if something that drew less attention to my body might have been better. I still had fifteen minutes before Luca wanted to meet me. I didn’t even know where yet. I assumed he’d call me once he arrived and ask me to come down into the lobby.

“Stop fiddling,” Gianna said from her spot on the sofa, reading a magazine.

“I really don’t think this outfit is a good idea.”

“It is. It’s easy to manipulate men. Lily is fourteen and has already figured it out. Father always says we’re the weak sex because we don’t carry around guns. We have our own weapons, Aria, and you’ll have to start using them. If you want to survive a marriage with that man, you’ll have to use your body to manipulate him. Men, even cold-hearted bastards like them, have a weakness and it hangs between their legs.”

I didn’t think Luca could be manipulated that easily. He didn’t seem like someone who ever lost control, unless he wanted to and I really wasn’t sure I wanted him to notice my body like that.

A knock made me jump and my eyes flew to the clock. It was still too early for Luca and he wouldn’t really come up to our suite, would he?

Lily dashed out of her bedroom before Gianna or I could even move. She was wearing her rocker-chic outfit, tight leather pants and a tight black tee. She thought she looked so adult with it. Gianna and I thought she looked like a fourteen-year-old trying too hard.

She opened the door, jutting her hip out, trying to look sexy. Gianna groaned but I wasn’t paying attention to her.

“Hi Luca,” Lily piped. I walked closer so I could see Luca. He was staring down at Lily, obviously trying to figure out who she was. Matteo, Romero and Cesare stood behind him. Wow, he’d brought his entourage. Where was Umberto?

“You are Liliana, the youngest sister,” Luca said, ignoring Lily’s flirty expression.

Lily frowned. “I’m not that young.”

“Yes, you are,” I said firmly, walking up to her and putting my hands on her shoulders. She was only a couple of inches smaller than me. “Go to Gianna.”

Lily gave me an incredulous look but then she slinked away.

My pulse was racing as I turned to Luca. His gaze lingered on my legs, then slowly moved up until it arrived at my face. That look hadn’t been in his eyes the last time I’d seen him. And I realized with a start it was want. “I didn’t know we’d meet in my suite,” I said, then realized I should have greeted him, or at least tried to sound less rude.

“Are you going to let me in?”

I hesitated, then I stepped back and let the men walk past me. Only Cesare stayed outside. He closed the door even though I would have preferred to keep it ajar.

Matteo sauntered over to Gianna who quickly sat up and gave him her nastiest look. Lily of course smiled at him. “Can I see your gun?”

Matteo grinned at her but before he could reply, I said. “No, you can’t.”

I could feel Luca’s eyes on me, lingering on my legs and butt again. Gianna gave me an I-told-you-so-look. She wanted me to use my body; the problem was I preferred Luca ignoring my body because everything else terrified me.

“You shouldn’t be here alone with us,” Gianna muttered. “It’s not appropriate.” I almost snorted. As if Gianna gave a damn about appropriateness.

Luca narrowed his eyes. “Where is Umberto? Shouldn’t he be guarding this door?”

“He’s probably on a toilet or cigarette break,” I said, shrugging.

“Does it happen often that he leaves you without protection?”

“Oh all the time,” Gianna said mockingly. “You see, Lily, Aria and I sneak out every weekend because we have a bet going who can pick up more guys.” Lily let out her bell-like laugh.

“I want to have a word with you, Aria,” Luca said fixing me with his cold stare.

Gianna rose from the sofa and came toward us. “I was joking, for god’s sake!” she said, trying to step between Luca and me, but Matteo gripped her wrist and pulled her back. Lily watched everything with wide eyes and Romero stood against the door, pretending this didn’t concern him.

“Let go of me, or I’ll break your fingers,” Gianna growled. Matteo raised his hands with a wide grin.

“Come on,” Luca said, his hand touching my lower back. I swallowed a gasp. If he noticed, he didn’t comment. “Where’s your bedroom?”

My heartbeat stuttered as I nodded toward the door to the left. Luca led me in that direction, ignoring Gianna’s protests. “I’ll call our father! You can’t do that.”

We stepped into my bedroom and Luca closed the door. I couldn’t help but be afraid. Gianna shouldn’t have said those things. The moment Luca faced me, I said, “Gianna was joking. I haven’t even kissed anyone yet, I swear.” Heat crept into my face at the admission, but I didn’t want Luca to get angry for something I hadn’t even done.

Luca’s gray eyes held me with their intensity. “I know.”

   
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