“Why don’t you have more soldiers with you?” I ask him, truly curious. “You don’t normally travel without an entourage.”
“Nadia doesn’t like it.”
“Ah. And you like Nadia.”
He simply stares at me, eyes blank.
“You do realize she’s only here for the money, right?”
“She’s not like that.”
Bastian snorts. “Of course, she’s not.”
“It wasn’t me,” Sonny says, ignoring Bastian. “I didn’t order an attack on your wife.”
I smile. “No?”
“All right then.” I stand. “Everyone out.”
Bastian steps backward, putting his gun away. Our soldiers begin to file out, taking the two Sonny brought with him along.
Sonny looks at me, confused. He grins and begins to rise. I guess he thinks this is over. He’s mistaken.
I whip my arm out to grab him by the back of the head, rear back and smash his face into the glass coffee table. He screams, and I’m not sure what’s louder, that scream or the sound of his skull cracking the heavy glass surface, but I do it again. A deep line splits the table and blood pools on the glass, dripping over the edge and seeping into the tacky white and gold area rug.
“Nadia is not going to appreciate that, Uncle,” Bastian says as I hand Sonny off and adjust my cuffs. Bastian shoves a dazed Sonny against the wall and forces him to look at him. “How would you like twelve men to do to you what they would have done to her?” he asks through gritted teeth, all casualness vanished as his rage surfaces. “We can arrange it.”
Sonny reaches into his pocket and produces a switchblade. “You motherfucking half-breeds,” he says, and although not quite steady on his feet, he’s steady enough to swing the blade toward Bastian’s face.
But Bastian’s seen it too, and Sonny, still dazed, only manages to nick his jaw before Bastian jerks away. Sonny is slower than he might be otherwise, giving Bastian time to draw his arm back and punch Sonny so hard that he goes down sideways while still gripping the weapon.
“What do you think?” I ask him as I step on his wrist and crouch to take the knife. Bastian sets his knee on Sonny’s windpipe. “Do you want to find out what twelve men can do to a woman at their mercy?” he asks, pressing.
“It… wasn’t me. I’m telling you,” Sonny chokes out. “Her… brother.”
Just before Sonny passes out, Bastian shifts his weight off his knee. Sonny gasps for breath. Bastian takes the knife from me and brings it to Sonny’s jaw, to the same spot Sonny got him. It’s a surface wound, but what he does to Sonny isn’t. Sonny’s hands fist, and I know it takes all he has not to cry like a fucking baby as blood gushes from his face.
“You crossed a line, Uncle,” Bastian says, standing. He drops the switchblade a few feet away.
I stand too, studying Sonny. He holds my gaze as he manages to sit up, his back to the couch. His forehead and the side of his face are already swollen, a bruise forming around his eye, and he’s got his hand over the cut Bastian made, but his rage and hate still burn hot in his gaze.
“This was a warning. You stay the fuck away from what is ours.” I turn to my brother. “Let’s go.”
He nods, and we walk to the door.
“Amadeo,” Sonny calls out when we get to it. Bastian pulls the door open, and I turn back. “You have many enemies. Watch your back,” he says through gritted teeth.
What happened to you?
I wake with a start. Bastian’s words haunted me throughout a restless sleep. A sleep I couldn’t wake from. The nightmare repeated, yet I can’t remember anything but the sick feeling it leaves behind. The weight in my stomach. The sweat. The fear. The way it has me turning my hands over again and again searching for something, but I don’t know what. And along the edges, when I’d manage to come close to consciousness, were their words. Their question.
What happened to you?