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Bound By Hatred

By:Cora Reilly

s at her sister. “You see, Lily, Aria and I sneak out every weekend because we have a bet going who can pick up more guys.”

Big words for a girl who’d probably never seen a cock in real life. From the look Luca shot me, he’d probably thought the same. And Gianna really didn’t know anything about my brother if she thought it was a good thing to taunt him like that.

Luca stalked toward his little fiancée. “I want to have a word with you, Aria.”

Gianna jumped to her feet like a tigress determined to protect her young. “I was joking, for god’s sake!” She actually tried to get in between Luca and Aria, which was a fucking bad idea. Before Luca could lose his shit, I grabbed her wrist and dragged her away.

Gianna’s blue eyes flashed with fury. I’d been wrong. Her face hadn’t got rid of all of her freckles. This close up I could see the soft dusting of freckles on her nose, but somehow they made her look even more beautiful.

“Let go of me, or I’ll break your fingers,” she hissed.

I’d love to see you try. I released her with a grin that seemed to enrage her only further if the narrowing of her eyes was any indication.

Luca started leading Aria away. “Come on. Where’s your bedroom?”

Gianna stared between me and Luca. “I’ll call our father! You can’t do that.”

Of course Luca didn’t give a fuck. Scuderi would have given Aria to him years ago; he definitely wouldn’t care if Luca sampled her goods a few days before the wedding. The door fell shut and Gianna stalked toward it. I gripped her hand again before she could piss off Luca even more. This girl really didn’t know what was good for her. “Give them some privacy. Luca won’t rip Aria’s clothes off before the wedding night.”

Gianna shook me off. “Do you think that’s funny?”

“What are they talking about?” Liliana asked.

The door to the suite swung open and Umberto stepped in, sending a glare my way. The old man still hadn’t forgiven me for insulting his wife three years ago.

“Gianna, Liliana, come here,” he said sharply. I cocked one eyebrow at him. Was he worried I’d hurt them? If that were my intention, they definitely wouldn’t be standing next to me unscathed. Romero rolled his eyes behind Umberto’s back and I smirked. Of course the old man caught it and his fingers moved a bit closer to his knife holder.

Do it, old man. It’s been too long since I had a good fight.

Liliana obeyed at once and walked toward her bodyguard. As expected, Gianna stayed beside the door to her sister’s bedroom. “Luca dragged Aria into her bedroom. They are alone in there.”

Umberto started to head toward the door but I blocked his way. Romero was close behind him. Not that I would need him to stop the old guy. Umberto tried to stare me down. He was at least four inches smaller than me, and no matter how good of a knife fighter he was, I’d cut him open with my blade before he could even blink. My fingers actually itched to do it.

“They aren’t married yet,” he said like that was news to me.

“Her virtue is safe with my brother, don’t worry.”

Umberto’s lips thinned. I had a feeling that he wanted to start a fight as much as I did. Before things could get entertaining, the door to the bedroom opened and Aria walked out. She looked as if she’d seen a ghost. I gave Luca a look. Did he really have to scare the shit out of his fiancée a few days before their wedding?

“What are you doing here?” Umberto asked.

“You should pay better attention in the future and keep your breaks to a minimum,” Luca told him.

“I was gone for only a few minutes and there were guards in front of the other doors.”

Bored by their argument I turned my attention back to the redhead.

Gianna put her hands on her hips, somehow pushing her chest out. She really had a body to die for. I wondered if Scuderi had already set her up with some loser from the Outfit.

Gianna met my gaze. “What are you looking at?”

I let my eyes wander the length of her. “At your hot body.”

“Then keep looking. Because that’s all you ever get to do with my hot body.”

“Stop it,” Umberto warned.

Gianna really shouldn’t have said that. I’d always enjoyed the hunt. While Luca didn’t bother once a girl proved to be work, I’d always preferred going after a difficult conquest.

Gianna’s narrowed eyes followed me when Luca, Romero and I left the suite. I smiled to myself. The girl had fire.

Luca sighed. “Don’t tell me you’ve set your sights on the redhead. She’s a major pain in the ass.”

“So what? She’d definitely make my life more interesting.”

“What? Killing off Russians and having a new girl in your bed every other night isn’t doing the deal for you?”

“I like to change things up now and then.”

“You can’t have her. She’s off limits. I won’t tell Father you brought war with the Outfit down on us because you pawed at Scuderi’s daughter. There’s only one way you could have the redhead in your bed and that’s if you marry her, and that’s not going to happen.”

“Why not?”

Luca paused. “Tell me you’re joking.”

I shrugged. I didn’t really want to marry yet, or ever for that matter, but Father had been on my case for months. Every woman he’d suggested so far had been boring as hell.

Luca gripped my shoulder. “You won’t ask Scuderi for his daughter’s hand tonight.”

“Is that an order?” I asked quietly.

“No. A piece of advice.” Luca smirked. “If I ordered you, you’d do it just to annoy me.”

“I’m not a hotheaded teenage boy,” I said, then grinned because Luca knew me too well.

“I just want you to take your time. You might find Gianna’s bitchiness fascinating now, but I doubt that’ll last more than a few days. I know you. The moment the hunt is over and you got what you wanted, you’ll lose interest. But this time you’d be stuck with her forever.”

“Don’t worry. I have every intention of scoring tonight. That’ll make me forget all about Gianna.”


Aria’s & Luca’s wedding


This wedding was