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 Falling In Love With The Devil 

Episode 19

I would wake up from fever dreams on that dirty mattress in the dark room and wonder if they were real. Were my nightmares more lucid than ever? Or was it the drugs playing tricks on me?

We stepped into the foyer of a Tuscan-style mansion. The ceilings were high, the walls various shades of cream and decorated with fine art. This didn’t look like a place you would hold a secret online auction. It looked like a wealthy man’s home.

I recognized some paintings on the walls as we walked down a long tiled hallway. My fingers itched to be back in Evangeline’s studio, creating the final pieces in the Many Faces of the Devil Series. I had one painting left—The Devil I Love.

I’d waited years for Luca to confess his love for me. And because of that, I could never complete the final painting. I was about to add the finishing touches before my kidnapping. With my show at Tate Modern around the corner and Evangeline Franco’s twentieth-anniversary showcase right after my wedding, I had work to do.

For a moment, I wondered if I would ever hold a paintbrush again. My heart ached at the thought. I would rather be dead than live in someone else’s Hell. I painted my Devil and his criminal underworld in my paintings because he consumed my thoughts and dreams. He was the man in every nightmare. I was angry with Luca for hiding my brother from me, but I assumed there had to be a reason for his secrecy.

Even after he’d confessed his feelings, he wouldn’t tell me the truth about Aiden. He had every opportunity to come clean with me. I wanted to believe they lied to me for a reason, that it was for the greater good. Luca did nothing without a purpose. And Aiden wouldn’t have run away for the hell of it. He would never leave me behind.

The men forced me upstairs, with one in front of me and the other man grabbing my ass to push me up each step. I swatted at his hand and yelled for him to take his hands off me. When we reached the top of the landing, The Carver waited for us in the hallway.

“Take your hands off the merchandise,” he growled at the man.

“Sorry, sir.” He lowered his head. “It won’t happen again.”

“You wouldn’t touch the paintings on my walls,” he said in a cold tone. “So why would you think you can touch the woman I own?”

“You don’t own me,” I shot back before the man could answer.

The Carver smiled. “Yes, I do. And I can see you were worth every penny of that thirty million.”

My jaw dropped. “You paid thirty million dollars for me?”

He nodded. “I would have paid more just to watch the Salvatores suffer.”

A shiver ran down my arms.

“Take Alexandrea to her room. Make sure she gets cleaned up before the auction begins. We can’t have the Devil’s Queen looking like a castaway.”

“Auction?” I choked out. “I thought you said you bought me.”

He grinned like the Joker. “I see your fiancĂ© hasn’t explained how Il Circo works. You will soon enough.”

Then he spun on his heels, taking off down the hallway without another word.


After we landed in Key West, Marcello joined the members of Alpha Command. They boarded the scuba boat beside us and readied themselves for their mission. My brother shouted orders to his men, trained soldiers who were damn good at their jobs. They would anchor their boat a few miles from the island and swim the rest of the way. With guards surrounding the property, they couldn’t be too careful.

On the books, his team handled security for Salvatore Global. But off the books, they were mercenaries, an army of trained men for hire. Kind of like a Navy SEAL team, but for the criminal underworld. The extraction of Alex and Rhiannon was no sweat for Alpha Command. They had pulled off far riskier jobs in the past. I had every faith they would help us bring her home.

We left Key West, headed toward an island between the Florida Keys and the Dry Tortugas. As we sped toward the island, The Knights gathered around me on leather couches in the living room. I ran our plan past the Knights. Everyone was on board with the dual-prong attack on the island. We would arrive as expected, while Marcello and his men would eliminate the guards on the West side of the island, working their way around the permitter until we had control of the island.

“We’ll only get one shot at taking Alex and Rhiannon off the island,” Sonny said, his voice sounding rougher than usual.

None of us had slept much in the last few days. If it weren’t for the adrenaline coursing through my veins, I would have passed out. Knowing Alex was in the hands of more sick fucks twisted my stomach into knots. I had feared nothing in my life, not until now.

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