I blink, then lower my gaze to my bandaged thigh. For hating me, he takes care of me. It’s strange. I touch it, wondering how I didn’t really feel it when it cut me with each step, only aware of it almost in my periphery, an aside. I think it’s all the things that are happening. They’re taking their toll. Snapping that worn-out thread holding me together.
“It’s in the file, Vittoria,” Amadeo says. When I look at him, I see my reflection in the glass front of the liquor cabinet behind him. I don’t look like myself. The shadows under my eyes show how tired I am even though I’ve slept. But it’s not that. There’s something deeper. Something broken. Too broken to repair. And I understand why they were all looking at me strangely. The lipstick is almost clown-like, too heavily applied and smeared, stark against my pale skin. With makeup it’s fine, but without and given the state I’m in, it just makes me look unhinged. I wipe it away with the back of my hand, managing to smear red across my cheek.
I look at Amadeo. He’s watching me intently. Watching me come apart. Because I am unraveling. I feel it.
I set the switchblade aside and climb on top of him, straddling his thighs. I wrap an arm around his neck and pull him to me, kissing him as I slip my other hand between us and undo his belt, the slacks. I slip my hand into his briefs and feel his hardening cock even as he tries to push me off.
“Dandelion,” he says against my mouth.
“No.” I grip a handful of his short hair. Eyes wide open, I kiss him. And I make him kiss me back. With the other hand, I draw the crotch of my panties aside, rise up on my knees, and slide him inside me with a deep, low moan. “Fuck me. I need you to fuck me.”
He groans, kissing me, pulling the dress off me before gripping my hips. I’m not wearing a bra. I didn’t bother. He slips one hand into my panties from behind and presses a finger to my other hole. I ride him harder, impaling myself on him again and again, but he draws me off, tearing at the string of my panties and discarding them.
“Fuck me,” I tell him, trying to get him inside me again and biting his lips before kissing him, forgetting myself as he pushes his finger into my pussy, lubricating it, then slides it to my back hole.
“I’m fucking your ass,” he tells me, gripping both cheeks and forcing them apart.
The leather of a chair creaks, drawing my attention over my shoulder. I turn to find Bastian sitting down, eyes on us. I look back at Amadeo.
“I don’t care. Just fuck me. I need you to fuck me,” I tell him as he shifts to grip a handful of hair and draws my face to his. With his other hand on my hip, he guides me down, his thick cock at my back entrance. It hurts at first, burns like it did with Bastian, but I need this. I need him inside me with Bastian watching, knowing the pain will morph into something else soon. When Amadeo moans as I take him, I find myself gripping his shoulders and moving my hips, wanting him, my clit rubbing against his stomach as he fucks me while Bastian watches. It’s the hottest thing.
“Fuck, Dandelion.” Amadeo grips my shoulder, taking me roughly, and it’s moments before I’m coming hard, kissing him, eyes open, lips on lips, my tongue inside his mouth, him devouring it. I ride him hard as he thrusts from beneath me until he stills deep inside me, and we come together. All I can do is hold him. Cling to him. Bury my face in his neck and drown in his essence as I disappear just for a little while.
He draws out of me slowly, watching me. I’m panting, my clit still throbbing. He caresses my hair, his eyes soft as he kisses my cheek, my temple, my ear.
“Take care of Bastian,” he tells me, and I glance behind me to find Bastian’s dark eyes burning like fire on me, his thick cock in his hand, the head glistening. But my legs are too weak to carry me, so Amadeo hands me to him. Bastian turns me to face him and slides into my pussy. I can’t catch my breath as I take him, my too-sensitive clit rubbing against him. He moves from beneath me, holding my face, never closing his eyes as he watches me.
He's so beautiful like this. So raw. And I can’t look away.
“I don’t know,” I tell him, orgasm moments away. “I don’t know why I’m like this.” I feel a tear slip down my cheek.
“It doesn’t matter,” he says, leaning in to kiss that tear away, then the next one.
I turn my face to Amadeo and extend one hand to him. He takes it, turns it over, and kisses my wrist.
“I don’t know,” I say again as I drop my head onto Bastian’s shoulder and let my orgasm wash over me. I let it drown me just for a moment. Just this one small, fleeting safe space in time. And when I open my eyes again, I’m lying on my back on the couch with a cushion beneath my head and a blanket over me. I’m dressed. They must have put my dress on me when we were finished. When I passed out.
Amadeo and Bastian are standing at the desk talking quietly, and on the coffee table is the switchblade. The room smells of sex. It’s the scent of us. But then my gaze catches on the folder, and I remember our conversation.
My heart feels heavy, but my head is clearer as I sit up. The brothers turn to me. I pick up the folder and open it.
“She’s my sister,” I tell them, looking over reports I can’t really understand. But for the first time since my father’s death, I feel like I know what I need to do. The fog has cleared for now at least.
“Half sister. Your father isn’t Emma’s father, Vittoria,” Amadeo says. “You share the same mother but not the same father.” I look up at him.
“It doesn’t matter. I don’t care.”
“I know you don’t, but it’ll work in our favor.”
It takes me a minute, but I understand what he means. “Blood.”
He nods. “Exactly. If your father isn’t her father, it means she shares no blood with Lucien. Which means you can file for custody as her closest blood relation. It gives you the upper hand.”
I nod, but I’m thinking. My mother had a lover? I knew she was unhappy, didn’t I? For years. My father was very protective of her to the point of obsession. She was a beautiful bird in a gilded cage. But it was how we were. How he was with both of us. Not with Emma, though. Never with Emma. And things changed at home after she was born. I remember that well. Nothing I could put my finger on, but everything felt different.
“Who is he?” I ask.
“Don’t know that yet,” Amadeo says.