Blame It on the Shame (Blame It on the Shame: Lou-Lou and Ricardo's Story #1) (10 page)

Bruno looks at me. “I've already had Marlene pack your things. And your car has been transported to the parking lot of the apartment complex where I've rented an apartment for you. It's in the same complex as Ricardo's.”

I step back, the impact of what he's doing smacking me in the chest. He never discussed
any
of this with me, not once. Which can only mean one thing.

“You—” I pause and try to gather my bearings. “You're kicking me out?”

Marlene returns to the dining room and smiles from ear to ear.

My hands fly to my face and I force the tears to stay back. I always thought I'd feel relieved if he ever decided this was a done deal, but all I feel is rejected by the only man who's ever claimed to love me. Even if his love is the kind that hurts.

“You don't want me anymore?” I say, my voice barely above a whisper. “But I thought you love—” I don't finish that statement because I remember what happened the last time I uttered it.

Ricardo opens his mouth but snaps it shut. His eyes soften and for a moment, I see compassion swirling in them. “I'll take her with me. It won't be a problem.”

“Thank you, son,” Bruno says, purposely ignoring me and I swear my heart cracks.

Marlene takes a step closer to him in all her french maid wet dream glory, but I bare my teeth and growl, “Don't even try it, bitch. Or I'll tear you limb from surgery enhanced limb.”

Ricardo looks taken back and Marlene takes a few steps closer to me. I don't hesitate to let her finally have it.

She screams when I pull my hand back and send a punch straight into her ugly face. “
That's
for sucking his dick!” I scream.

She reaches for a napkin to stop the blood, which means she isn't prepared when I issue my next punch, which is even harder than the first. “And
that's
for trying to take my man!”

She yelps but I don't care. I'm not done with her yet. I snatch her hair and bash her head into the table. “And
that's
for not giving me any more goddamn wine!”

I feel a strong arm wrap around my waist. “
Jesus Christ
, you gonna do something about this, DeLuca?” Ricardo yells as he hauls me back from a now very bloody Marlene.

Bruno glares at me. “Marlene, go upstairs and get cleaned up.”

“You're not
firing
her!” I scream.

“You just
assaulted
her,” he snaps.

“Since when have you ever given a fuck about the law before?”

“She has you there,” Ricardo whispers.

“Go upstairs and get the rest of your things,” Bruno orders.

“Wait,” Ricardo says while releasing me from his hold. “You sure you're okay to make it up all those stairs by yourself, Mike Tyson?”

“I'll be fine,” I say before I run out of the dining room—but
not
before screaming, “Fuck you, you
prick
,” while giving Bruno the finger.

 

When I get up to my bedroom, I throw whatever things that bitch Marlene didn't pack, which was pretty much
everything
, into a few suitcases.

It's funny, I have about five suitcases stacked in one of my closets and I've never once used any of them.

That's when it occurs to me, maybe this is a fresh start for me after all.

I can't believe all the years I've wasted on him. I can't believe what I let him do to me.

The door behind me closes and I jump. A pair of arms wraps around my waist before I feel Bruno nuzzle my neck. “I love you so much, Bambina,” he whispers.

Now, I'm truly baffled. Not only is he telling me he loves me for only the second time ever in my life, but he's telling me this
after
breaking my heart.

“But you just—”

He puts a finger to my lips, silencing me. “You honestly think I could
ever
give you up, Lucianna?”

I shake my head. “I don't understand what's going on.”

He sits on the bed and pulls me close to him. “I would never give you up, not in a million years. I just need you to do something for me.”

“What?”

“I need you to go undercover and keep an eye out.”

“Huh?”

“My son has gotten very close to the two men he's training. I wanted him to coach them as a way to get him to become closer to
me
in hopes that it would eventually lead to him to taking over when I'm gone. However, I have a feeling that's not the way things are going to pan out anymore. He looks at those two men like they're his brothers. It's disturbing. I think his loyalty lies with
them
rather than his
actual
family.”

“So? I don't get what the problem is. If he doesn't want to be a mob boss, then why does he have to be one?”

His grabs my wrist so hard I wince. “Because he's a
DeLuca
. He's the only son I will ever have and he needs to live up to his name. He needs to take my place when I'm gone.”

“Okay,” I whisper. “I get it...now can you let go? You're hurting me.”

He ignores me and continues talking, “I need you to be my spy for the next few months. Maybe longer, depending on how necessary I think it is.”

“What sort of information do you need?”

“It's not information I need so much as I need you to become a permanent fixture in their life. Stir the pot a little between the three of them. Make their friendship fall apart.”

“How?”

He releases my wrist and I stumble backward. “How do you
think
?”

I shrug. “Beats me.”

He stands up and yanks on my arm until I fall on my knees. “Nothing stirs up a friendship between three men like a pretty girl does.”

I can hardly believe my ears. “You want me to
sleep
with them?”

He clicks his tongue and runs his thumb across my lips. “No.
Never
. Your pussy is for me and me
only
. You
know
that. Don't
ever
let me catch you giving another man what's all mine. You hear me?”

I nod and relief flows through me, until he says, “But you
will
give them your mouth.”

His thumb presses on my lower lip until my mouth opens and he slides his thumb inside. “You will seduce them, suck them off and make them think you're the next best thing since sliced bread. I want them to fight over you, ready to tear each other's hearts out.”

“What if Ricardo catches on?”

“Then you distract him until he's so drunk off you he can't think straight. Until he's willing to sacrifice his 'so called brothers' and takes his rightful place in the family. Trust me, I know my son. A beautiful woman
always
does the trick. Hell, he was almost putty in your hands when he thought you were about to cry before.”

“What makes you think
I
can accomplish all this?”

“Bambina, you managed to make the most feared mob boss in all of New York fall in love with you. And I don't even
like
anyone. I think you can manage to seduce a few young men until they go crazy.”

“Are you sure about this?”

“Positive.”

“I guess I don't really have a choice then. When will I see you?”

“I'll be out of town for a little while on business but I'll make time for you when I can and I'll call you a few times a week so you can keep me updated.”

“Will you miss me?”

He picks me up off the ground and kisses my forehead. “You know I will.”

“Okay. I'll do it for you, mio amore.”

“Good girl.”

I look at my suitcase but he grabs my jaw and forces me to look at him. “This is not a vacation. You're on a special assignment, Lucianna.”

I nod but his face hardens and his fingers dig into my skin. ”And I meant what I said—do
not
fuck them. If I even
suspect
otherwise, I swear to God...I'll slit your goddamn throat and
kill
the motherfucker.”

I swallow hard. “I understand. Don't worry, Bruno. I would never do that to you.”

 

Chapter 3 (Ricardo)

 

I shake my head as I watch her teeter and totter to my car in her high heels. She's so wasted she looks like a baby deer taking her very first steps.

I
knew
all that wine was going to catch up to her before we left.

I dig my keys out of my pocket and a hand clamps down on my shoulder. “Wait a minute, son.”

I grit my teeth because I hate it when he calls me '
son
'. I swear he only uses the term to get under my skin.

And to remind me exactly who I am.

I turn around and face him. “Can you make it quick? I'm trying to make it back to the city before the end of the weekend traffic hits.”

The Hampton's are swamped during weekends in the summer and making the drive back with a drunk girl as my passenger isn't particularly my idea of fun.

Christ, she better not puke in my mustang
.

“This will only take a second.” His gaze drifts to my car where his girlfriend is currently sitting shotgun with her head in her hands.

“I'll be going to Italy for a month on business. I trust that you'll take care of the club for me when I'm gone?”

“Yeah,” I tell him.

Why he's even bothering to tell me this shit, is beyond me, however, I am happy to hear that he'll be out of my hair for a little while.

His gaze turns hard when his eyes shift back to me. “I trust that you'll take care of my bambina for me as well?”

“Pardon?”

“I need you to take care of her for me. This is the longest I'll be away from her and I'm worried.”

“So why don't you take her with you?”

He looks in her direction again. “She's never been on her own before. She's never had her independence.”

“That's probably because she's
still
a fucking teenager,” I say under my breath.

“She'll be 24 at the end of the month,” he snaps. “Anyway, I don't want anyone at the club knowing the extent of my involvement with her because it will make her an easy target for my enemies. Understood?”

When I nod he continues, “I fear that some asshole may take advantage of her since they won't know she's connected to me.”

His eyes soften. “She's the most important person in the world to me and I don't want anything happening to her.”

I fight the urge to laugh. I can't believe this 5-foot-nothing, firecracker with the big brown doe eyes is his weak spot.

He puffs out his chest. “I want her to have her independence, but not at the expense of her safety. That's why I'm entrusting you to look after her. That's the real reason I hired her as a ring girl.”

He looks down. “I know if there's one person in the world I can trust with my most prized possession, it's my own son.” He looks at me. “Right?”

“Right,” I say.

It's not so much that I'm necessarily in agreement...it's just that I want
him
to
think
I am.

Having DeLuca as an ally is much better than having him as an enemy. There's not a line in this world the man won't bulldozer over to get his way. His evil knows no bounds...I've seen him do things that could make a demon cry.

He laughs deep and sinister and if I was a lesser man, I'd be nervous right now. “Besides, if I couldn't trust you—well then; I'd just have to hit you where it really hurts.”

I open my mouth but shut it when he says, “You know, your friends Tyrone and Jackson.”

And therein lies the drawback to letting people in and caring about them.

It makes good fucking leverage.

“Nothing will happen to her. I'll make sure of it. I'll protect her.” I look him right in his dark eyes, which are identical to my own. “You have my word.”

He shakes my hand. “It's a deal.”

I squeeze his hand hard. “I know better than to make any more deal's with you. So you'll just have to take me at my fucking word.”

That fucked up combination of pride and anger flash in his eyes. “Very well. Get home safe, son.” He smiles and I drop my hand. “You've got some precious cargo with you.”

I walk toward my car and all I can think is—
Jesus, what the hell have I gotten myself into
?

I have my hands full trying to look out for and keep everything copacetic regarding my boys and DeLuca...having to look after
her
now will be a headache.

But then I think about the way her face fell and the devastation in those big brown eyes of hers when she thought DeLuca was getting rid of her.

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