Justice And Desire/C14 Chapter 14
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Justice And Desire/C14 Chapter 14
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C14 Chapter 14


Within half an hour, Dante parked the car outside the club, but as I was about to get out, Antonio turned in his seat to face me. "Tonight is special, Vanessa. Could you at least try to behave yourself tonight?"

My mouth dropped open. "Oh, my God, Antonio, are you serious right now?" This is un-fucking-believable.

"I'm dead serious, Vanessa. Make sure you stay close to me all night. I don't want you out of my sight at all. That's how serious this is."

I crossed my arms and pouted. Yes...I pout. Sue me. "Fine, bodyguard. Anything else? Would you like me to duct tape my hip to yours? Or maybe I could put a big flashing neon sign on my forehead that reads 'I have no life!'"

Antonio rolled his eyes. "Grow up, Nessa. And stop being so dramatic."

"Grow up, Nessa. And stop being so dramatic," I mouthed in a mocking tone, making sure to use Antonio's 'I'm the boss' voice.

Antonio got out of the car, and Daniel turned in his seat to face me.

"What?" I groaned.

"Will you be okay, Vanessa? You know...if he shows up?"

I knew exactly who he was referring to. The mistake I wished I had the strength to forget. The demon I wished I had the power to slay. The motherfucking asshole who played me for the naïve young girl I was four years ago.

When my eyes met Daniel's, I saw the concern in his gaze. Being the youngest of three children and growing up with two older brothers was never easy. Antonio was six years older than I was, and my father had drilled the responsibility of looking out for his little sister into him since the day I was born. Living with that kind of responsibility hanging over him had somehow influenced our relationship. Antonio had always seen me as the little sister he needed to take care of, the burden. Never as the grown woman, I was today.

Daniel, on the other hand, was only two years older than I was and more like a friend than a bodyguard. We were similar in so many ways, including our need to live our own lives. We just went about it in different ways. Daniel by rebelling now and then, and I ran away to university to get away from home.

But one thing was for certain. If it weren't for Daniel supporting me, I didn't know how I would have coped with the heartbreak and humiliation I had to endure years ago. At first, I didn't know whether it was a good idea to tell him. But that decision was made for me when Daniel found me in my car, still parked in the garage, crying my eyes out. The words just came out. I couldn't stop myself from pouring my heart out to him that day. And thank God I did. He was my rock when I needed him most. Of course, it took a lot of persuading to stop him from slitting Enzo's throat. I've never seen Daniel as angry as I did that day. But eventually, I made him promise to keep my secret. I didn't want anyone else to know. It was something I intended to eventually take the secret to my grave... No matter what I had to do to take it.

I tugged nervously at the hem of my dress. "Let's hope he doesn't show up."

Daniel glanced out the passenger side window. "Yeah, let's hope. I'm still not over my need to see that fucker bleed." He looked back at me. "Come on. Let's go and get a drink so you can calm down. Red isn't your colour."


"Yes, Bambina, your neck and cheeks."

Fuck. I always got flushed when I was angry and worked up. I got flushed when I was shy, embarrassed, or experienced just about any type of emotion. I was a flusher.

Daniel got out of the car and opened my door, waiting for me to get out. As I moved to step out, my damn ankles chose that moment to fail me miserably and I almost stumbled out of the car, making a great sure of my failure at simply getting out of the car in a mini dress with my dignity intact.

"Well, shit," I muttered.

The smug grin on Daniel's face practically begged me to punch him. That was one good thing that came out of growing up with two boys-I knew how to pack a mean punch.

Daniel closed the car door. "I told you that dress was too-"

"Shut up."

Our way into the club went down exactly as I suspected, with me sardined between two brick walls. Antonio walked up front-as always-while Daniel walked on my left, slightly behind me. I rolled my eyes the entire way, which was probably not the most attractive thing to do, but I reckoned I was entitled to a little childish behaviour.

I was seriously starting to think I'd be having much more fun if I were home and stuck at the dinner table with Mom and Dad. But as quickly as the thought hit me, was as quickly as it evaporated. After my talk with my father, I was seriously contemplating not going home. My parents loved to play good cop and bad cop whereas my mother was always the good cop.

She was the one who always came into our rooms whenever her husband had done something harsh to us like a beating or a scolding.

"Vanessa! Vanessa, you look beautiful! Vanessa, we love you!" I cringe in my ears as I'm being assaulted by excited voices and sudden flashes of camera lights. Where had all these presses come from? I had thought today's event was supposed to be an open-closed high-class event. It looked like the information might have somehow leaked out.

I felt a hand sneak around my midriff and was about to tense when I felt Daniel's voice against my ears. "Smile, Bambina, you look like you are about to disappear. Also, it's my birthday. At least look happy for me." I immediately burst out laughing at his words, flipping my hair to the side as I did.

Well, he was right after all. It was his birthday, and if he wanted me to do some top-notch acting, then I was going to give it to him, and more.

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