Love Scars:Bad Boy's Bride(6)

By: Nicole Snow

Her papa never would've let her date anything like me, much less fuck. I remembered the way that fuckhead squirmed with my knife at his throat when I told him what I wanted to spare his shitty life, forcing him to sign the agreement.

I pushed my hands together and cracked my knuckles. They remembered the feel of that junkie fuck's bones cracking underneath them earlier tonight. Yeah, I gave Boris some shit about it – what kinda boss would I be if I didn't? – but I was glad the asshole was there.

He gave me some way to blow off steam before I got back to managing the business in the morning. Mostly, I needed some distraction, some way to relieve the primal urges throbbing in my veins like a fucking animal's the instant I smashed my lips on hers.

Because if I didn't have something, I was gonna lose my fucking mind when tomorrow came, when I made Anna understand exactly why she was here forever.

III: Impossible Duties (Anna)

In my dreams, I remember the last time I saw my father at the family estate, right before he told me to pack and I was whisked away to a part of the city where no Rossini belonged.

“What is it, Dad? What's happened to you?” I was scared the instant I saw him at his desk.

Our butler, Rocco, had brought me up, telling me my father asked for me. He rarely saw me so early in the evening, but I expected to find him there at his desk, his laptop closed, carefully concealing the world he'd tried to keep hidden like always.

Now, I was looking right at it. Dad's face looked sick, and he had a ruddy line on one lip that looked like someone had split it open. Later, I noticed the discolored swelling around his jaw and the thin faded impression on his neck.

“I need your help, Anna. So does my enterprise.” He stood up shakily, limping over to me. I reached out and tried to take his hands, but he refused.

“God! What's going on here, Dad? You look terrible. You're scaring me...”

“I've made a...grave miscalculation. A certain business campaign didn't go the way I anticipated, and now the entire thing is in trouble. Everything this family's worked for is on the line.” He hung his head, and then looked up, jaw clenched hard for composure.

“Is it the police? Dad, are you going to jail?”

He smiled and shook his head. “If only it were as simple as that. No, the law knows nothing. Listen, my Annaliza, I need your help. It pains me to ask, and you know I wouldn't if I had another choice.”

My heart jumped. He was involving me in the business? What the hell was going on?

I reached out again. At last, he let me take his hands, and I squeezed them tight as he crossed the room to sit with me on the small leather couch in his office.

“Tonight, I need you to pack some clothes and go with the driver. You need to go away for awhile, Anna, all I can do to keep you safe.” I opened my mouth to protest, but he held up one palm. “Don't argue with me, girl. This is non-negotiable. I'm only asking because I want you to give me your full cooperation.”

“Of course,” I said after several seconds.

“Good girl. This is to keep you safe, to clear the air so I can work on correcting this mistake I've made. When thing are sorted out, you'll be home again. You'll understand more later. Just take my love, my gratitude. Keep it right here, and go. I won't let it end this way, I swear...”

He grabbed one hand with both of his and squeezed tight, pushing them back toward my heart like he always did. I tried not to tear up or bury him in the million questions buzzing in my head.

I nodded glumly, wondering what he meant. Won't let what end this way?

Standing, he helped me up, and gave me the tightest embrace ever. When he pulled back, his eyes were cold, determined, as if he were doing business instead of hugging his own daughter.

Was he shaking a little as I held on? One kiss on the forehead and I was gone, off to my room, and then down to the waiting car with the few outfits I could scrounge up in my bag.

I was so rattled I'd done a shitty job of packing. I couldn't believe Dad was sending me away like this, but I really couldn't believe how he was acting. It was like he never expected to see me again, no matter what he said. The guilt in his dark eyes whispered constant apologies, regrets for sending me off to the devil himself.

I woke up to tea and a tray of fruit with toast and several colorful jams, all laid out on a neat silver tray. Well, whatever else was screwed up about this situation, at least the accommodations were decent. Anything was an improvement after that awful house.

I dove in and ate, quickly realizing how hungry I was after the insanity of the last twenty-four hours. Truthfully, it sucked accepting anything from David the Mysterious, but a girl had to eat.

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