Page 21 of Ruined Kingdom

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“There’s not a human bone in that man’s body,” Bastian says. “We should take him out. Now. The family will be on our side.”

“They may, but the authorities will not. They won’t protect him. Us killing Sonny would essentially take out two birds with one stone. We’d be behind bars before we could blink. But we will make him bend a knee.”

Bastian snorts. “He’s not going to do that. I can guarantee that, brother.”

“If he doesn’t, then we act. We have a dinner tomorrow night. With our uncle, in fact.”

“What dinner?”

“I’m guessing you’ve seen the headlines?”

“Bruno mentioned it. Who cares? They don’t know where she is. They didn’t see our faces.”

“We’re going to head it off before it goes any further. Go public.”

“You’re really going to do it? Tie yourself to a Russo.”

“One of us has to. If you’re up for the task, I’m happy to step aside.”

“You drew that straw, brother.” He pats my back.

“I’ll go get her.”

“Will you need me to give you two a minute?” He chuckles.

“Fuck you, asshole.”

I head up to Vittoria’s room and nod to the guard, who unlocks the door and opens it. I find Vittoria lying on the bed on her back staring up at the ceiling, her blue eyes bright in the dim room. The only light is from the bathroom and the moonlight coming in through the window. I had all the lamps removed. Basically, had it stripped bare in preparation of her arrival. If she’d been hideous, would I have kept her?

Vittoria sits up and presses her back to the headboard. She hugs her knees to herself and watches me. Even from the little bit of light, I can see she’s been crying. Good. She’s still in the same dress, but the clothes she’d packed for her trip should be at the Naples house by now.

I glance at the leather-bound book on the nightstand. “Learn anything new?”

“I’m not interested in your version of history.”

“But you’ve read it.”

She raises her head in arrogant defiance. “Because your brother made me.”

“Bastian can be convincing if he does lack decorum.”

“He’s an asshole.”

I shrug a shoulder and gesture to the door. “Come with me.”


“Because I said so, and I’m guessing if Bastian was here, you’ve had a lesson in obedience. He has his tastes.”

Her eyes bore into mine, and I see a flush creep up her neck. I wonder how far Bastian went.

“You both know how to charm the ladies, don’t you?” she asks.

“Neither of us cares to charm you.”

“Well then you’re doing a stellar job.”

“Up. Let’s go.”

Tags: Natasha Knight Romance