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 Falling In Love With The Devil

Episode 9

“They keep moving her,” Drake said as our helicopter landed in the center of a baseball field at the edge of Atlantic City. “Her tracking chip is back online. But the signal is bouncing off multiple cell towers.”

“The auction ended ten minutes ago.” I climbed out of the helicopter and extended my hand to Drake. “We placed our bids. The invites will come soon.” I turned to look at Marcello. “Coordinate the extraction with our ground teams. Take Sonny with you.”

He nodded, his phone in hand, as he walked toward the parking lot with Sonny at his side. Marcello hadn’t taken the news about Rhiannon O’Shea well, though he was doing his best to hide his irritation from the Knights.

My attention snapped to Damian and Bastian. “Work with the DeLucas to see if they’ve heard anything.”

My cousins on my mother side, the DeLuca crime family ran Atlantic City, including several of the casinos, brothels, and strip clubs. If anyone knew where they were keeping Alex within the city, Damon DeLuca would know. He was the oldest son of an old school Mafioso and had taken over after a rival family had assassinated his father last year. Out for blood and revenge, Damon was usually down for anything that involved torture and murder.

The heads of the New York families had also placed bids on Alex to join forces. With all of our manpower, I figured there was no way I would lose her to a foreign bidder. The Albanians were unaware of my family’s relationship with the Mafia, something we didn’t openly advertise since it invalidated some of my family’s influence and power. We owed a lot of our success to the American and Sicilian Mafia. The initial connections my grandfathers had made through them helped further our agenda.

“I got a text with the location.” Drake shoved his phone in my face. “A private island between Key West and the Dry Tortugas.”

“Florida,” I groaned.

“At least it’s not overseas. This gives us an advantage over the Kurtis. They don’t know the US that well.”

Drake tapped on his phone as we moved toward the parking lot. “They’ll be on the move again.”

I nodded. “We can grab Alex before they get to the marina.”

Bastian spoke on the phone to Damon DeLuca, while Damian exchanged words with Damon’s younger brother, Angelo, who handled their clubs while Damon dealt with the casino business.

Two black SUVs filled with men who worked for Salvatore Global waited for us in the dark parking lot. They passed bulletproof vests and guns to us in preparation for war.

When I had told Alex that Hell would rain down on us, I was not joking. Bullets would fly, men would lose their lives.

I would die protecting Alex.

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My life didn’t matter without her.

She had to survive this war.

I stripped off my jacket and fastened the bulletproof vest into place before climbing into the backseat of an SUV. Drake slid in beside me, tracking Alex’s movements on his iPad.

I wished Alex had accepted my proposal. I wondered if I would ever get the chance to tell her how much I loved her. How much she meant to me. As a child, I never learned how to process my emotions. And as an adult, I couldn’t even comprehend how I felt about anyone, least of all Alex. It wasn’t until I saw her with Marcello that I could put words to my feelings. I had to find her, tell her she meant everything to me. I would get down on one knee and beg her to marry my miserable ass as she’d wanted all along.

My cell phone dinged with a new message. It was a text message from an unknown number with a video attachment.

“I think we got something,” I told Drake, who leaned over my shoulder to watch the video.

I hit play, and my blood boiled as Cal Kurti held Alex down on a dirty mattress on an even dirtier floor. He took turns slicing into Alex’s skin, making tiny incisions that just missed her arteries and internal organs. The asshole wanted her to suffer as much as possible without actually killing her.

“Stop,” she whispered, her voice sounding so distant and small. “Luca will give you whatever you want… Just stop. Please…”

His wicked cackle pierced the silence in the car. “What I want, he’s not able to give me.”

“This has nothing to do with me,” she choked out. “I have money… lots of it. I’ll give you whatever you want. Just let me go.”

“I don’t want or need your money, princess.”

She spit blood at him.

He howled with laughter.

“You think I matter to him?” Alex challenged. “Luca hates me. He’s hated me for years and won’t care what you do to me.”

That could not have been farther from the truth. At least she was trying to get herself out of this mess. So far, my efforts to locate her were unsuccessful, and we needed more time to find her.

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