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 Falling In Love With The Devil

Episode 24

“You’re out of shape,” Marcello joked as he slapped me on the back, draining the air from my lungs. “You should come running with me when we get back to Devil’s Creek.”

I rolled my eyes at him. “I work out seven days a week. I’m good.”

“Follow us,” a dark-haired man said to us. “Damon is waiting for you.”

I glanced over the side of the boat and waved to the Knights. They were heading home after they landed in Key West. Then I followed the men into the cabin and down a long hallway. My cousin Damon owned the boat and had decorated the interior like one of his casinos.

He had inherited The Portofino Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City after a rival family murdered his father last year. It was one of many legitimate businesses our family used to launder drug money.

We entered the last room on the right. Damon DeLuca sat behind a long mahogany desk with his younger brothers, Angelo and Gio, in chairs across from him. They dressed in expensive black suits, their dark hair gelled into place. They rose from their chairs as we entered the room.

Damon moved out from behind the desk. “Cousin,” he said as he gave me a one-arm hug. “I wish we saw each other under better circumstances.”

“Thanks for helping us out.” I hugged him back. “How is Alex?”

He tipped his head toward the couch at the far end of the room. “She passed out the second her head hit the pillow.”

I sighed in relief when I saw Alex sleeping on a plush couch, her head propped up on a stack of pillows. Someone had covered her broken, bruised body with a blanket.

“She’s a fighter,” Damon said with his hand on my back. “I can see why you chose her as our Queen.”

My cousin was powerful, a ruler in his own right, but he knew his place within The Devil’s Knights. I was about to become the Grand Master, and once Alex accepted my marriage proposal, she would be Queen. No one could handle me or this world like Alex.

“She’s always had that fight in her,” I muttered as I approached the couch with Damon at my side. “Did she say anything before she fell asleep?”

“She tried to punch me.” He laughed. “Thought I was another man trying to kidnap her. I explained that we’re cousins. It took her a while before she remembered meeting me when you brought her to Portofino for her birthday.”

That was a good night. We stayed in a penthouse suite with a balcony that overlooked the Atlantic Ocean for her twenty-fifth birthday. I knew that night I was in love with her, even though I had no words for my feelings. It had been too long since I’d felt anything that resembled love. But with Alex, I felt so many emotions that I latched onto anger and hatred when I should have shown her more love and compassion.

I dropped to my knees beside the couch, studying her beautiful face. She had bruises on her neck and arms, her face free of markings. There were so many slices into her once beautiful skin it made my heart ache.

“She needs water,” I told Damon.

Hands in his pockets, he bobbed his head. “I made Alex drink a bottle of water before she crashed.”

“She could use more. And something to eat. I’m going to wake her, make sure she’s okay. See if she needs a doctor.”

Damon snapped his fingers at his brothers. “Run down to the kitchen and have the cook prepare one of everything for our guests. Get the girls in here with drinks for everyone. And a few bottles of water.”

I brushed Alex’s hair off her forehead and pressed my lips to her skin. No matter what condition, I would always want her. She was my girl from the moment I laid eyes on her. Beautiful and pure, I had dreamed of all the ways I would break her. But I never anticipated that she would change me. I never expected her to make me feel again.

“Drea,” I whispered into her ear. “Wake up, baby girl.”

I stroked her cheek with my knuckles, and she stirred from my touch. She rolled onto her side and curled up into a ball.

“Luca,” she breathed with her eyes closed.

“Yeah, baby. It’s me.”

Her chest rose and fell quickly, as if she were having a panic attack.

“You’re safe now,” I whispered. “I won’t let anyone touch you ever again.”

Her eyes were bloodshot and watery. “Luca,” she sobbed. “Luca, they…”

She couldn’t even get the words out.

“I saw, baby.” I swiped her hair behind her ears. “I know what they did. They will pay. I promise.”

“I want to do it,” she muttered.

“Do what?”

“I want to kill them.”

I tipped my head back and laughed.

“I’m serious,” she fired back.

“You need to eat something first. Can you sit up?”

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