Sofias POV

I sat up on my bed the moment I heard a key turn in my keyhole with my heart pounding in my chest, a part of me thought it was father and that thought was enough to send a chilling fear sliding down my spine. It was currently some minutes after ten in the night and I had no idea who it could be.

The door cracked open and I felt the breath Ive been nervously holding in my throat whoosh out a relived sigh on seeing my younger brother standing at the doorway with a proud grin spread across his face.

”Come in fast and shut the door. ” I urged and he quietly got in and closed the door before turning my keys until the door was locked again.

”Did you just pick my lock? ” I asked once he got to my bedside, he shrugged with a sly grin before hopping on my bed and waving a tiny nail in my face.

”New skill unlocked, yes I did. ” He gushed out and I cracked a small smile at his proud facial expression.

”Where did you learn that? I thought you weren going to start trailing until next year? ” I asked because he was only fifteen and training for boys in the mafia officially starts once they clock sixteen.

”I figured it out myself, Ive been trying it on my door for a while now until I perfected the skill, how cool is that? ” He gushed again and I shrugged, learning how to pick locks wasn something people were supposed to be proud of, but it was a huge deal for boys in the mafia since they were going to be needing all the sly skills they can lay their hands on to become someone big in the mafia, and for someone to master that skill on their own was a pretty big deal since they were still going to officially taught this particular skill once training officially starts for them.

”Thats really amazing, ” I praised him because it really was and he smiled shyly, his dimples peaking out cutely, that was one of the few features we shared as siblings.

”I brought you a few snacks to eat since father ordered food to not be brought up to you so you could reflect on your disrespectful act which you carried out in his office, ” He rolled his eyes towards the end of his sentence and dug out the said snacks from his pockets before pushing them into my hands. I grabbed his wrist before he could pull away, ”Won you get into trouble for this? ” I asked warily, my stomach picked that moment to growl loudly and I flushed red when he gave my a sidelong look, picked one of the cookies on my thighs, tore it open before pressing it into my hands again.

I accepted it and took a bite, the milky taste melting against my tongue almost immediately. ”Thank you so much, Angelo. ” I said to my younger brother and he only smiled at me before reaching up patting my cheeks lightly.

I sometimes wonder how my brother was already this matured at such a young age, when I was fifteen, I sure as hell wasn this smart and matured… I guess it was a guys thing?

”How do you feel about getting married? ” He asked and I paused the piece of cookie I was about to insert in my mouth at the last second and breathed out a sigh before returning the cookie back into its bag.

”I feel scared, nauseated, creeped out and hurt as hell. ” I replied honestly, my heart feeling sad and heavy in my chest. I ran my fingers against the cookie bag half heartedly, trying to imagine how it was going to feel like to be married to Luca Ricci.

All I could think of was him slapping and hitting me if I dare question any of his decisions and that thought alone was enough to make me shiver slightly, feeling tiny goosebumps cover my arms.

”Im sorry father is such a selfish man, its not your fault he had to stupidly lose mr Lucas money, then why the hell did he had to purpose to give you to him in replacement for the debt he owed. ” Angelo snapped out angrily and I blinked at him shockingly, my heart finding it hard to grasp unto what he was saying.

”What? ” I asked, a loud ringing noise echoing in my ears. Angelos mouth fell open for a few seconds, ”Oh, he didn tell you? ”

I shook my head slowly, feeling my eyes bite with the telling signs of incoming tears.

”I heard him talking about it with a few of his men a few weeks ago while I was eavesdropping, I didn think hed actually give you to Mr Luca since he himself was extremely scared of him. I had thought he was already looking for the money in which he could use to pay off his debt. ”

”Oh, ” I mumbled, not knowing how best to respond to this new piece of information.

I felt numb.

Numbness everywhere.

There was nothing I could do, it wasn like I could refuse to marry Luca.

Was I even given a choice?

”Yeah, Im so sorry, Sofia. ” He whispered quietly and I sniffed quietly before digging out a piece of cookie and threw it into my mouth.

”Its fine, its not your fault and there was nothing you could have done. ”

”You could have run away assuming I had told you this immediately I heard about it… ” Angelo started to say and I shook my head vehemently, stopping him almost instantly.

”Run away to where? You
e speaking like youve suddenly forgotten how father is, hed find me immediately and only God knows what hed do to me then. And besides, now that Im Lucas property, he could have the whole mafia looking for me and theyd find me in a few minutes… knowing who mr Luca is, he could blow my head off out of irritation. ”

”No, Mr Luca wouldn be involved since you
e not married to him yet, its going to be just father. I think running away is way better than getting married to the mafia lord. ” Angelo argued but I only shook my head with a small, resigned sigh.

I wasn as courageous as he was neither was it as easy as he was making it sound, I couldn bring myself to run away into a world I knew nothing about. Ive been shielded all my life and never go anywhere without the guards for my own safety, I didn know any place nor anyone, nor do I have any money I could use without my fathers awareness since he always get notified each time we make use of the atm card which was directly connected to his bank. My friends were totally useless as well since they were just like me, powerless in a world like ours.

Being a girl in this world was one of the worst things that can ever happen to a person.

”Theres nothing I can do and you know it, ” I said quietly after a while and Angelo reached out and took my hand in his warm ones.

”What was mothers reaction? ” He asked and I let out a quiet snort, ”The usual; expressionless, unbothered. ”

”I hate that woman so much, yknow? ” Angelo continued with a frown and I nodded my head, agreeing with him instantly, ”I hate her so much as well. ”

”Sometimes I wonder if shes our real mother. I mean, aren mothers supposed to be extremely in love with their children and would almost never stand by and watch their children suffer unnecessarily? ” Angelo continued and I breathed out another small sigh, not knowing what to think anymore.

Ive made up a thousand excuse for her in my head while growing up as to why she was the way she was. Ive watched my friends talking about their mother with so much love and gratitude dripping off their voice, about how they could ask to their mum to help them convince their fathers on an issue… my own case was quiet different from theirs. Mother never bothers trying to convince father on anything, whatever father said was final and thats that.

Ive always tried to understand the fact that she also doesn have any power when it comes to decisions making in the household… but what about being a mother? Being there when we needed her the most? Being there emotionally?

”I don know, Angelo, ”

”I seriously don think shes out real mother, I think our mother died or something and this is just our stepmom. ” Angelo continued and I smiled sadly before reaching up with my free hand and brushing his blond away from his face, he ducked away from my touch almost immediately and mock glared at me, silently reminding me that he wasn the kid he used to be before.

”Don be ridiculous, yknow we both got our hairs and dimples from her, thats proof enough that her blood definitely runs in our veins. ” I admonished him because it was the truth. I knew when mother got pregnant with Angelo, I was barely three but I remembered it faintly so she was definitely our mother.

”I don know, all I know is that I hate her and father so much. ” He finally muttered and I sighed.

I think I hated them more than he did at this point.

”You know once you get married, we won be able to see ourselves a lot again. ” Angelo muttered quietly, reminding me again about how matured he was now.

”Yeah, I know. But I won stop loving you and having your back, you know that, right? ”

”I do… its just wouldn be the same here without you. ” He continued as he slightly squeezed my hand in his, making my eyes prickle with tears once again.

”It wouldn be the same without you in my life physically anymore, ” I whispered, sniffing back tears and blinking away the teardrop clinging to my eyelashes.

”Wed still communicate through the phone and would try to meet up anytime we can, I promise. ”

I whispered, my voice breaking at the last two words with a small sob, leaving my brother behind was heart wrenching than I used to think it would be while growing up. Now it was actually happening so fast and there was nothing I could about it than to hope Luca wouldn be against me meeting up with my brother.

Angelo tugged my hand forward and wrapped his arms around my shoulders, I slipped my hand around his waist and silently cried against his broad chest in the quiet room. Out of nowhere, my younger brother was all grown up and acting like the elder sibling I never had.

We remained in that position for a long while with me crying silently and him patting my hair and squeezing my shoulders tight, offering me more emotional strength than Ive ever received from anyone else throughout my whole life, the opened bag of cookies long forgotten.

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