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 Falling In Love With The Devil 

Episode 16

He gripped my shoulder and pushed me forward, moving me down the long hall. Hardwood lined the floors, a perfect cherry color that shined when the recessed lights hit it just right. The walls were bright white and decorated with expensive paintings.

At the end of the long hall, we stopped in front of a wooden door. He knocked, and a man on the other side told him to come inside. Dressed in a black suit, crisp white shirt, and blue pinstripe tie, a handsome middle-aged man sat in an oversized armchair. He ran a hand through his short, dark hair and smiled when he gazed upon my body.

He held out his hand, gesturing at the table in front of him, full of seafood and different plates of pasta. The scents hit my nostrils at once, the smells so intense my stomach rumbled.

“Have lunch with me,” he said.

The man behind me pulled out the chair and forced me to sit. I stared at the man across the table, sizing him up. Powerful men all had the same air about them. They sat with their shoulders squared, their faces full of determination.

We held each other’s gazes for a minute before he poured a glass of wine and slid it across the table. “Drink up.”

I sipped from the glass, hoping he wasn’t poisoning me. I was so thirsty I didn’t care. The grapes were divine, pure perfection as they hit my tongue.

“Where are you taking me?”

“Isola del Diavolo,” he said with a creepy grin.

It translated to Devil Island in Italian.

Heart pounding out of my chest, I choked out, “Who are you?”

He shoved a plate in front of me, then lifted two steak knives from the table and rubbed them together as if he were trying to sharpen the blade. “My friends call me The Carver,” he said with a crooked grin that sent a shiver down my arms. “Eat, Alexandrea. You’ll need your strength for the finale.”


My heart sank to my stomach when I’d received the call from Marcello. The DeLucas had almost retrieved Alex from the car, but someone else had gotten to her first. For the first time in years, our enemies had outsmarted us. I was usually ten steps ahead, already plotting their next move before they made it.

I should have been more on point with Alex, but my head was all fucked up. I wasn’t on my A-game. We boarded a private jet at an airstrip outside of Atlantic City and headed toward Florida. We were about an hour into the three-hour flight with the Knights. A few of Marcello’s men from Alpha Command sat in the back of the plane, talking strategy.

From Key West, we needed to charter a boat to the island where they were holding the Il Circo auction.

I finished the rest of the scotch in my glass and pushed myself up from the chair across from Marcello. I gestured for my younger brother to follow me into the back of the plane, away from the Knights. He hadn’t spoken a word about his ex-hookup and the fact they sold her at Il Circo.

We entered the bedroom, and Marcello shut the door. I sat on the bed and leaned forward, resting my elbows on my thighs.

“We’ll find her,” Marcello assured me as if he were reading my thoughts before I could speak. He dropped to the bed beside me and sighed. “I have a plan. It will work. Trust me.”

“I know. That’s not what I want to talk to you about.”

He blew out a deep breath. “Rhiannon O’Shea?”

I nodded. “What do you want to do with her?”

Marcello glanced over at me, and then his eyes went to the door as if he were afraid someone would overhear us. “The Knights can’t know what happened five years ago.”

“And they never will.” I tapped his knee with my hand. “This is a family matter. We will handle it the Salvatore way.”

“I’m afraid for Alex,” he said with the usual sadness in his eyes. “They’re going to mentally and physically destroy her before we get her back. She may never return from this.”

“You helped me bring her back before,” I said with certainty, though I wasn’t sure I believed my words. “We can do it again.”

I hated how much I needed help with Alex, but my brother had the magic touch. We pulled her out of her head last time. But could we do it again? We were both unsure if we could replicate our past efforts to save Alex from losing herself to the thoughts racing through her mind.

Marcello shook his head. “I don’t know if it will work this time. Alex has been through hell but nothing like this. We may need to hospitalize her after this is all over. She was already fragile before the kidnapping. Kurti and whoever took her to the island will make sure she’s broken by the time we find her.”

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