Broken Queen

Page 37

“The shares, control of the company, all of my money, it’s yours. I have nothing else to give you.”
“When it’s time, I will set you free. You have my word.”
She snorts. “Your word means less and less. I’m going to get Emma, and we’re leaving. That’s the end of that.” She turns to walk away, but Amadeo goes after her, catching her arm, and spins her around.
“You’ll go when it’s safe. Not before.”
She tries to tug free, but he doesn’t let her go. “And who will decide when it’s safe? Let me guess. You?”
“No. Dandelion. Just call me Dandelion.” She tries again to tug free.
“What?” she snaps.
He touches her face, tilting her chin up so she looks at him, and I’m surprised at this gentle touch. This caring side of my brother that I rarely see. He’s only this caring with our mother, if I think about it.
“What?” she asks, tone a little quieter. I wonder if she’s affected by that tenderness.
But before he can answer, Bruno turns the corner, and the moment is gone.
“Time to go,” he announces. “There are two cars with guards downstairs.”
Vittoria takes the opportunity to break free.
“I’ll ride with you,” she tells him. “And then I’m leaving,” she says to Amadeo.
We watch her walk away, Bruno with one eyebrow raised.
“Go ahead,” Amadeo tells him, and we watch them walk out the door.
I turn to him when we’re alone. “What did you agree with her, brother?”
His jaw tightens. “That I’d set her free once it was over.”
We look at each other for a long, long minute. Thing is, there was a time I would have said hell no to that. I would have rather locked her away in a cell somewhere than let her go to live a life. To have a life at all.
Now, I still say hell no. But for a different reason.
“She’s not going anywhere,” I say.
“No. She’s not.”
I nod, glad we’re in agreement. “Let’s go get this over with.”
She neither speaks nor looks at my brother or me throughout the hour-and-a-half meeting with Brady as she signs where he tells her to sign and nods along as he explains things she isn’t even listening to. She wants to be finished and leave. It may be best for her anyway. I need her out of New York City and out of reach of her brother, so I’ll give her half of what she wants. She’ll go to Italy to be with her sister. But she won’t be leaving the Ravello property.
Once we’re finished, Brady hands her a folder. “Details of what I told you are inside as well as specifics about your allowance,” he says with a glance at me. He doesn’t like that I have control of her finances. I get it. He knew her father and his loyalty will be with Vittoria. But this business he doesn’t know about, and I don’t much give a fuck what he thinks of it or me.
“Myallowance,” she says bitterly, sending a scathing look my way, the first in all the time we’ve been in this office.
“Access codes and everything you need are in your folder. Read it, Vittoria. Understand the details and your rights.”