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Falling In Love With The Devil

Episode 40

“I know.”

I kissed her one last time before leaving her to paint.

* * *

I sat in the chair across from my father with a glass of scotch in my hand. He puffed on a cigar, the plume of smoke filling his office. Marcello sat on my left while Bastian and Damian took their usual places on my right side.

My dad flicked the ash into the tray on the coffee table in front of him. “The auction ended last week.”

“So,” I shot back. “That’s the end.”

“Rumors are going around that the Salvatores make deals they can’t keep.”

“I don’t care who won the auction,” I snapped. “We never made a deal with Kurti to sell Alex. I’m not handing over my wife for some sicko to torture.”

“There are strict rules about auctions,” my father intoned. “You know the rules, Luca.”

“I don’t give a fuck about the rules. Alex is mine!”

“I’m not disputing that, son. I am just reminding you that the worst has yet to come. I spoke with our business associates. They will overlook this mistake since Alex was never for sale. But the man who won the auction expects Alexandrea to be delivered to him this week.”

“We should have won.” I blew out a deep breath, attempting to steady my nerves. “Or at the very least one of our associates.”

“Well, we didn’t.” He took another puff, the smoke gathering around his head. “So now, we have more problems to deal with.”

I leaned forward, my hands folded in front of me. “Who won?”

His jaw ticked as our eyes met. “A man they call The Carver.”

“I’ve heard of him.” I set my glass on the table, thinking over my next move. “So that’s why Kurti mutilated Alex’s body. To make her more attractive to the right buyer.”

My father nodded.

Until now, I hadn’t understood why Cal would ruin the merchandise. Was there more to the story? Did the owners of Il Circo rig the auction so The Carver would win?

“No one knows the identity of The Carver,” Dad said in a stern tone, his expression hard as stone. “Until recently, I thought he was a myth.”

“He will come for Alex,” I said with certainty.

“Yes,” he admitted. “I don’t know how to stop him, not without gathering more intel.”

“So we’ll get some,” I shot back.

“The Carver is a ghost,” he challenged. “I’ve spoken to my friend at the CIA, and they have nothing more than a dark picture of a man they suspect is The Carver.”

I held out my hand, teeth clenched. “So let’s see it.”

“It’s of no use to us,” he said in a dismissive tone. “Just a shadow.”

“We’re not in the business of human trafficking,” I countered. “But maybe one of our Sicilian friends could help us track him down. He must have been working with Cal to have an interest in Alex.”

My family dealt with a lot of illegal shit, everything from drugs and guns to colluding with terrorist organizations to take over countries. Still, we had a hard rule about human trafficking. We never wanted to get into that shit, and I never would.

My dad sighed. “There’s one more thing.” His eyes moved from Marcello and me to Damian and Bastian. “The Carver is a known associate of The Lucaya Group.”

Damian’s nostrils flared as Bastian shot up from the chair, enraged by the announcement.

“They killed our parents,” Bastian yelled. “And you’re telling me the same people bought Alex?”


Bastian moved in front of my father, his eyes wild. “You promised us revenge for our parents. We handed over our claim to Atlantic Airlines for your connections. Damian and I have waited twenty years to get close to The Lucaya Group.”

“I have every intention of following through on our agreement,” he assured an insane Bastian.

“We’re not backing down from The Carver.” He hovered above my dad’s chair, so angry he spit as he spoke. “You promised you would find these bastards. This is our chance.”

My dad clenched his fist on the arm of the chair, holding Bastian’s fiery gaze. “They’re also the same people who have tried to steal Battle Industries’ artificial intelligence software. Drake is in danger. So is anyone connected to his current projects. This is a precarious time for all of us. It’s not just Alexandrea’s life that is in danger. You will get everything I promised you, Bastian.” He pointed his finger across the room. “Now, take your seat and let me finish.”

Bastian stepped back, his eyes wandering around the room as if it had just hit him that his outburst was unnecessary and aimed at the wrong person. My family took Bastian and Damian when they had nothing left but their parents’ airline company. Dad gave them a home, a family, and welcomed them into The Devil’s Knights.

“Sorry,” Bastian said as he loosened his tie.

“It’s okay, son.” He tipped his head toward the couch. “Sit down.” Dad shook his head as Bastian sat on the sofa, unhappy with him. “As I said, the man is a ghost. To find him, we need to bring him to us.”


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