Where she squeaks like a MOUSE.
Not very often, did I find myself so drastically confounded by an information, let alone feeling compelled to take the bait.
Last night Stefano had no intention to spill any extra syllable and had completely disregarded my curiosity.
I urged my mind to remember if I had missed anything; anything at all. But there was no point. It did not make any sense. Otherwise why would I be sent to charm the monster if he was supposedly married.
I did not intend to hurt someone even if that someone happens to be a woman carrying his child. I was not here to spill merciless blood.
Stefano exuded a mysterious aura around him. He let others think, judge and conclude. He infected their mind with intimidation. But I was no ordinary person he could cower down.
He was proud and dominant like an Alpha. And I wouldn’t know if the Alpha had a mate if I didn’t go see it myself. My instincts around him however were not the best but I didn’t regret how I unsettled him yesterday. It riled me up when he seemed so composed, almost unaffected. But I knew I was etched on his mind for the time being.
I had pondered quite long upon the inviting offer he had had laid in front of me. I went through certain newspaper and magazines but there was no news about his wife and marriage. I even searched the internet trying not to miss any page and even googled the women he was seen with but it was all a casual fling that lasted no more than a week.
When I found nothing helpful after hours of research, I decided to take the job. The reason being very simple.
Firstly, I needed money to pay Eva for the loss of her Volvo. It was no way in a condition to get repaired. I could have easily asked Michael for the money but it was for my personal need or as the rules said: Mistakes. And I did not want to go back to Moscow and pay it back to him in a way I abhorred.
I was not a spy now. I was a Venetian for as long as it deemed necessary. I had an apartment and a lovely roommate. So it was the least I could do and I have not even started on how she took care of me these past few days.
Second thing, I needed to find the f**king Irishman so to impale him to death. The bastard ran a car over mine and spat on me as if it was my death wish; and yet he continued with his stupid mistakes by leaving me alive.
That night on the bar Walsh had joined Stefano in an important meeting. But it seemed things did not turn out well. Walsh’s brother was dead. He wanted revenge. He thinks I am the reason his brother died. What a family in the name of fools!
Before he finds me, I had to find him. And if I take this job offer, there was a high chance I could dig a handful of information enough to locate him.
And lastly, I considered this job because I had to. That was the first step of this whole plan. To get into the Mafia’s building.
Therefore, the next morning I stood in front of the massive gateway, completely awestruck by the beauty my sight behold. The double storey Villa was confined within an acre of a land. I was shook by the immense luxury. The building was screaming money. It was HUGE.
A beautiful fountain was in the middle of the driveway. Armed men guarded the premises. There was tight security. The men were tall and well built. Eyes sharp like a hawk, stance ready to attack and fight.
The mansion in Moscow was not any less. It was big enough to provide stay to the important members but what stood in front of me owned the opulence and outshone everything.
I showed my ID to one of the man at the iron gates. They were probably informed beforehand of my arrival because I was instantly allowed without much interrogation. They let me in after completely scanning me.
I couldn’t shake away the jittery feeling albeit too minute but still there as I waited at the hall to be acknowledged. I took my time to scour my surroundings. The high ceiling glimmered reflecting the ripples from the pool at the outside. A wide sliding glass barrier seperating it from the large hall. Two hallways disappeared in opposite directions from the hall. I was busy noting the anatomy of the room when a lady strided from one.
“Myra Rob?” She asked and I nodded.
She motioned her hand to the right in a professional manner. “Please come this way.”
I followed behind her and was led to a smaller space where I could see few men seated on a sofa and a woman in the middle. A kitchen at the other end was busy; a middle aged woman struggling with the morning chores aided by a younger woman.
The laughter and chatter I heard slowed down and paused when they noticed me.
“Who is the lady Nat?” One of them asked the woman while looking at me attentively. I remembered that face from the file.
Lucas Berruti: Age 25, Second son of Berruti. Stefano’s best friend. Ruthless and calculative. Married. No children.
“Aren’t you from the bar?” Pietro half-guessed half-asked.
Pietro Berruti: Age 20, the youngest son of Berruti. Student. New in the field. Easy Target.
I nodded and took a seat as guided by the woman before she leaned on to whisper something to Lucas and disappeared in a corner.
“Hi beautiful. I am Pietro.” He smiled boyishly and the muscles on his cheeks dipped highlighting the dimples.
“Hi.” I almost mumbled but the word echoed in the awkward silence.
“So you are the girl Steph saved?”
Steph as in Stefano I guessed.
“I was told so.” I said evasively.
The other men did not try to start any conversation. However they looked at us conversing or rather me with a passive interest.
There were two men I didn’t recognise. The woman sitting in between Lucas and Pietro smiled at me. “How are you now dear?”
She was beautiful. Her eyes were a light shade of blue. Her brown hair was tied into a messy bun. An oversized hoodie was thrown over her body carelessly and paired with a trouser.
That was when I noticed the other four men were in their casuals unlike seen normally smartened up in suits.
“I am much better now. Thank you.” I fake smiled.
There was an abrupt pause in our dying conversation when Stefano walked in and stood at the side of the sofa so that I was facing him. He had thrown a white shirt over him. The trouser hung low on his hips. His hair was disheveled like he had just walked out an intense workout session and yet he looked like a GQ model coming directly out of a magazine.
His eyes stopped at me and I rose on my feet unknowingly as if I was instructed to do so.
The men curiously exchanged their glances at me and Stefano.
He stretched out his hand for the woman without moving an inch. “Esme.”
She let herself engulf in his arm and smiled affectionately at him. They both faced us as his hand rested on the sides of her arm. Her hand was on her stomach, the flat palm caressing the belly in a circular motion.
“Myra will be your caretaker from today.” He said softly that sounded so foreign to me.
Esme smiled widely and turned her head to me, her eyes glinting cheerfully. I didn’t realise I was so stiff while observing them.
The men were now looking at me intently as if scanning my intentions and motives.
“She is the popular barmaid of Dragon.” Stefano announced begetting everyone’s attention.
They all laughed like it was a very funny joke while I heated up in an unknown embarassment.
Esme jabbed her elbow on his stomach and glared at him. “Don’t be an ass Steph.”
Was she the pregnant woman? Was she her wife?
Esme walked to me and swung her arms around me to give a hug. “Ignore these men Myra.”
I mirrored her smile. But the feeling and the situation was quite unfamiliar to me. In Moscow it was nothing similar. Women hardly participated in any conversation, let alone getting so frank.
Her belly was not protruding. I had little to no knowledge about it but I knew she must be in her first trimester right now. She noticed me looking at her stomach and smiled while rubbing it. “It’s my third month.”
My mind was constantly nudging me to ask if it was Stefano’s child but I shoved it back considering how blatantly rude and insane I would sound.
She took me to the kitchen to meet the staff. I noticed the older woman arranging the plates and the younger one washing dishes.
“She is Amanda, our chef. Ama meet Myra. She will be working here until you are back.” Esme pouted and took a bit of the croissant and licked her fingers smacking her lips in delight. Amanda was the older woman.
“I swear she cooks delicious food.” She said to me widening her eyes like it was unbelievable how good it tasted.
Amanda laughed shaking her head. She wiped her hands in the front of the apron before engulfing my hands with both of hers shaking it. “Hello dear, it’s so nice to meet you.”
“Thank You. Nice to meet you as well Amanda.” I said keeping my tone polite and formal.
“Oh drop the formalities honey. Just call me Ama.”
“And she is Rebecca, Ama’s daughter and soon to be bride.” Esme teased to which Rebecca flustered and smiled shyly avoiding our eyes.
Esme was very pleasant. She was very kind to be so genuinely sweet with the staff. It was heartwarming to watch them. Anna was nowhere treated like this. She used to feed the hungry monsters and yet was treated like a thrash.
The seed sown in my head which was watered continuously with venomous words about the Italians couldn’t help and was forced to doubt these kind souls. I was soon adjusting to her company. And it was anything but dangerous.
“Ama will be soon busy with Rebecca’s wedding. And Steph was worried I would be needing some help in the coming months.” Esme spoke.
I nodded in understanding. Honestly, I was quite nervous about this job. I had no time amidst all the research to google about gravida and their care last night.
I fleeted my gaze to the men on the other end. They had their back turned to me. One of them flipped and Lucas focussed his eyes on us, darting from Esme to me. He watched us for less than a minute as if checking on us. Esme smiled at him to which he responded then turned back joining the conversation.
I turn to Stefano who bestowed me with his side profile. He picked a pack of cigarette and put one on his lip. His immaculate hands raise above, one forming a cup around the end while the other lit the end with a lighter. I watched him suck an inhale and his cheeks hollowed as the cigarette burnt. I was so intently gazing at his routine action that I didn’t realise he was now looking at me. His hands now resting on the sofa, with the cigarette between his fingers. He was wearing a smug look on his face as if catching me checking him out just thrilled him.
I felt Esme’s hand on mine. “Hey relax.” She said. “They won’t do any harm to us.” She said referring to the men seated at a distance.
She was perhaps thinking that I was afraid of them. That was not her fault because pretty much everyone were afraid of these highclass goons. To be honest I was intimidated too. It was not like I go to the enemies den on a daily basis that is highly guarded and secured. The previous assignments has been easier and I finished them in no longer than a month. They were nothing compared to this.
“You need to tell me if any of them bothers you okay?” Esme said sternly with a determined expression. “And I will deal with them.”
I couldn’t help but smile when she said that holding a solid determination. But my heart dropped when I realised she said my house because that clearly states that she is Stefano’s wife. The whole property was obviously owned by him with the wealth earned by illegal dealings.
I was starting to do a double take of this plan internally.
I turned around once again to find Stefano watching me intently. He didn’t waver his gaze when it met with mine. The cigarette between his fingers had now turned smaller. He took a quick drag before walking around the table and rubbing it on the ashtray getting rid of it.
“Lucas” He cued before leaving the hall with him. I watched them disappearing into the corridor.
Esme took the last sip in a hurry as if suddenly remembering something. “Oh Myra can you please wait here, I will be back in few minutes.” She said getting up to keep the mug on the sink.
“My dear husband needs me with his morning routine.” She said with red cheeks before walking out. And soon I was alone in the kitchen. Ama and Rebecca seemed to have finished their work because they were nowhere to be seen.
The men from around were gone too and the lobby was now silent.
I got up from the seat and looked around to check if anyone was there. Luckily, the insides were not guarded by armed men like the premises. So I carefully yet casually walked around just in case if someone suddenly shows up. When five minutes passed I stealthily took right turn to the corner where Stefano had disappeared earlier. There were two rooms on each side. They were locked. I passed the corridor and saw a bigger hallway on the left.
I looked at the ceiling making sure there was no hidden camera. Big vases were placed at each corner. I quickly looked over my shoulder to confirm an empty path and turned right. It led to a single large oak veneer door. I was contemplating whether to proceed or turn around and just sit in the kitchen waiting for someone to show up.
I was about to turn around and follow the latter instinct but stopped on my track when I heard a loud bang as if someone just hit a door or a table. I was feeling nervous while taking a small step towards the noise.
I could hear an argument behind the door. I leaned the side of my head to the door slowly keeping my palm flat on the side. I held my breath trying to listen carefully.
“Calm the f**k down Lucas. You f**king know I do care about Esme.” I heard an angry voice that was calm and controlled. I guessed it was Stefano.
“Then why the hell would you push her into this?” Lucas shouted matching the tone.
“Walsh escaped Luca.” Stefano said suppressing his anger.
My hands palmed my mouth in a snap to suppress any kind of noise I may emit in shock.
Where did that b*t*h go?
There was silence in the room for a minute as if letting the information sink.
I turned my eyes to the hall while sticking to the doorframe. I was hoping nobody comes around. I frantically ran my eyes around. There was literally nothing I could use to hide if someone happened to show up.
“The reason I chose her is because Walsh will come around looking for her.”
Was he talking about me?
“She is a bait.” Stefano finishes confirming my doubt.
What a dickhead.
The room went dead silent and I took it as a cue to leave. My heart was beating so fast against my chest. They will come out any second and I had to make it to the hall. What if someone was already there?
I stopped worrying about that and quickly took the corner. My heart was still drumming fast and my palms were sweaty. I swiped them on the front of my jeans and took a quick turn to reach my original location. Once I reached, I slowed down to calm my breathe. Luckily, no one was around. I sighed a relief and took a seat in the kitchen like before.
I can’t believe Stefano asked me to be the caretaker to use me as a bait. But who was I fooling? I was well aware of such circumstances. I just expected that not everything or everyone will be like I thought.
But they were trying to trap Walsh and before they do that I need to find him first. Walsh was my target. He put me into an accident. It was only fair if I was the one who drives him to death.
As I was thinking about it I felt a presence in the kitchen. Stefano was standing there by the side of the counter.
“Where is Esme?” He asked while taking a mug. I saw his biceps flex as the muscles stretched.
“She said you had some morning routine to do.” I acted timid.
“Mhmm.” He didn’t gave further. With the mug on his hand, the fingers lacing around it he walked to the table and took a seat facing me.
His long legs stretched out to his comfort locking mine under the table. He placed the coffee mug on the table between us. His arms raised upward and to the back to rest his nape of neck on the palms. My eyes remained fixed on him as his shoulder muscles flexed and bulged.
His gaze travelled below my shoulder and stopped at the picture of the mouse on my shirt.
“I like mouse.” He says out of the blue. I looked down my chin at the picture his eyes were setltled on.
“Yes they are not easy to trap.” I pinched my eyes shut cursing internally.
When I looked at him, his face was morphed into a smug look. He took a deep inhale before sitting straight. The glint in his eyes now gone, he looked deadly serious. “So how much do you know?”
My face paled instantly. I felt a chill run down my spine when his eyes pinned me with an intimidating stare. My palms were suddenly sweaty. I curled my toes inside my shoes.
Is he talking about what I think he is talking about?
“About what?” I tried not to stutter. My pretence may fall off if he kept looking at me like that. Like he was about to snap my neck in half. I was scared to get caught. I had heard things. Things about how the Italian punishes their enemies. But the situation was so tense and the uncertainty of his next step made it more nerve wrecking.
The only loud thing in the silence was my heart hammering against my chest like a wild drum.
“That you are the mouse.” His voice was so calm and composed it felt like a bucket of cold water was thrown on my heated body.
I tried my best to keep a blank expression. I looked away from him and at the counter behind him. I couldn’t look at him more. He was trying to intimidate me. To scare me.
My eyes fell on the wooden knife holder gripping three knives in it. I was not armed at the moment. And the only thing that could be of help was that knife. I didn’t want it to be obvious. I was mentally preparing myself for any attack. I waited for him to pick out a gun and aim at me. I was ready to dodge the bullet planning my next move to attack on him.
But he didn’t. Instead he leaned back lazily on the chair as if feeding on my reaction was his past time. “So tell me Myra, how much did you hear when you were sticking your ear on the door?”
The dark amusement in his eyes just heightened my fright. His eyes were dancing with interest. And there was nothing nice about it. I felt like I was flung high up the sky and brought back to the ground only to be pushed deeper into the ground. My nerves were jolting like a body caught on fire. My cheeks felt like a lava was to erupt. I didn’t feel like sitting anymore but his legs were again stretched on my side blocking my any possible swift move creating an obstruction.
“I didn’t mean to.” I lied through my teeth.
Of course I meant to.
He chuckles like my reaction was fuelling his thrill all the more. The low throaty chuckle was anything but dark and menacing. “Let’s believe that.”
He got up the chair taking the almost untouched mug. My insides were panicked and agitated. I waited for him to turn around and drag me to their dungeons. But he didn’t. He simply discarded it on the sink and walked away through the kitchen like he just didn’t caught me lying and eavesdropping.
I looked at his immaculate back as he confidently strided past the counter. My heart bolted and jounced when he suddenly turned around. His eyes fixing me on the spot.
His lips parted slightly and I prepared myself to hear what he was about to say.
“Will you be my mouse?”
So? Will she be his mouse?
Also, did you check out the Header? I am so bad at editing. Lmao.
Hope you enjoyed reading.