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 Falling In Love With The Devil 

Episode 13

The DeLucas were a Mafia family from Atlantic City. They were close friends of the Salvatores and would have helped Luca and the Knights find me. Relief washed over me because that meant Luca had sent them. My Devil would burn down the world to find me.

“Did you take care of them?”

“We didn’t have time. You said to extract the asset and get to the boat.”

“The Salvatores got an invitation to the island. So did The Devil’s Knights. All of their known associates will be in attendance.”

“They’ve gotten in our way for long enough. It’s time we eliminate them.”

Fear shot through me, my body growing rigid from the threat. My system went into overdrive from the adrenaline coursing through my veins. I wanted to fight with everything I had left, but I couldn’t move a muscle.

This wasn’t about me.

It wasn’t even about the Kurtis.

Someone had set Luca and the Knights up. I wasn’t a bargaining chip they would use to get something out of them. No, they wanted to wipe everyone I loved from existence.

I wished for death. It would have been better than what was coming for me. At least in death, I would find peace. They would tear me apart limb from limb just to watch Luca suffer.

There was no escaping this version of Hell. This was the seventh circle—violence. In Dante’s Inferno, fire and blood filled the outer ring, reserved for criminals and murderers, where all of us belonged.

I’d studied Dante for years and drew inspiration from his work. Luca wasn’t just the Devil in my paintings because he was a monster from Devil’s Creek. He was flawed, a sinner who never wanted to stop sinning, and I loved him because he was unapologetically himself. He never gave a single fuck about what anyone thought about him.

As the man led me toward a boat, I thought of Luca and Dante and all the Devil-themed paintings I had created over the years. I thought of how my love for him bled into every inch of the canvas, how he made me feel, even when I wasn’t myself, when I had lost my sanity. He was my constant, the one thing in my life that never changed. And because of my stupidity, I would never see him again.

Never see my twin brother again.

“Throw her in,” a man growled.

In the water? His words caused me to panic, and with the fabric stuffed in my mouth, I couldn’t breathe.

We walked onto the ship, which smelled of raw fish and saltwater. The man stopped and pushed open what sounded like a heavy metal door. He moved forward a few feet, then lowered me to the ground. My shoulder broke the fall, and a searing pain shot down my arm.

Every bone in my body hurt from the drugs and lack of sleep. But now, a red-hot blaze licked my skin, creating a dangerous fire I couldn’t contain. I rolled onto my side. A lumpy mattress, which had a rancid smell emanating from the material, was beneath me, and my stomach lurched all over again.

A girl made a muffled sound.

“Shut up,” the man yelled.

He hunched down so I could feel his breath on my cheek. then jammed a needle into my neck.

* * *

I woke up to the sound of water splashing against the side of the boat. Thunder boomed so loudly my heart raced at the sudden bolts striking the water, one after another. I rolled onto my side, surprised to find my hands and legs free from the shackles—no more blindfolds or bandanas around my mouth.

Someone tapped me on the shoulder, whipping me out of my drug-induced sleep. “Hey,” a woman said. “Are you okay?”

I blinked a few times, attempting to focus on the dark-haired woman in her early twenties. She had black streaks under her wide blue eyes, but I could tell she was beautiful on a good day. She had straight hair, where mine was curly and wild. And after days of being drugged and tortured, I must have looked like an animal.

“Where am I?” I sat up and leaned back against the wall.

Like me, she had bruises on her arms and legs. Instead of cuts and deep lacerations, she had welts on her inner thighs and arms from being struck. She looked as if she’d been through the same fucked up shit as me, drugged and thrown around like trash.

“We’re on a ship,” she said.

I rubbed the pain from my sore thighs, avoiding the worst of my cuts. “Yeah, but where are we going?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. Men kidnapped me from my house in the middle of the night. It happened so fast. They knocked me out cold.”

“Who are these men?”

“They’re criminals.”

“I got that much,” I shot back. “Have you overheard their conversations? Anything that can help us get out of here?”

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