ORIGINAL CONTENT OF D.C. BLU. DO NOT COPY AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE WITHOUT THE AUTHOR’S PERMISSION. PLAGIARISM IS CRUEL. PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL.
35: Val’s Darkest Days
Val could’ve cursed herself up, down, and sideways. She was so worried about what Matt had to say after speaking to Walthour she hadn’t considered her environment. After her exchange with Matt, his groupies bombarded her with questions. “No, we aren’t dating!” She had told them. “Just flirting!”
What she really wanted to say was, “Back the fuck off! He’s mine!” But that wasn’t going to happen until Val decided to claim her horny nineteen-year-old superstar. He’s not mine.
Finishing up for the afternoon, Val met the grinning freak at the sandwich shop. He was so happy it irritated her. She blew out a breath taking a seat. She dreaded this conversation. But maybe this was for the best. Hopefully if he grasped how dire the situation was, he’d save himself before Domenic came and the fight began.
She always knew the possibility existed that Domenic might raise his ugly head back into her life, so she made plans. But Matt hadn’t been in those plans. She didn’t want him in the middle…that’s why she tried to push him away. Of all the men she’d have to be attracted to, why did it have to be someone so determined to date her?
Sitting at their table, she said nothing to him as they ordered. She couldn’t even look at him. Revealing her secrets…too hard. Val didn’t usually discuss anything about her personal life. It was part of her mother’s training, which is why Val was nearly sickened with the idea she was about to reveal so much…to protect him… Why do I care so much for him and I don’t even know him? He didn’t know her either and yet he pushed so hard. It made no sense.
When their food came, after the waiter left, she asked, “What all did he tell you?”
“Married to Italian mob, you ran his business, possibly eliminated the competition, then you were kicked out because you betrayed him.”
“I never betrayed him,” she corrected, wishing she had been allowed to give that defense to Domenic. Then again, she was glad to be free.
“Want to fill in the blanks or-“
“No.” Val dropped her head and let her shoulder’s slouch as she wondered if it was too late to run. Go back and… No! No more running from her past.
She straightened her posture and took in a calming breath. It was time to tell Matt, since he already knew so much. And the more she tried to hide, the more the truth slipped through her fingers like oil. Especially if Walthour was determined to dig up her past. So she might as well tell him, prepare him for what he was walking into and what he faced if he insisted on continuing this…whatever it was.
She took in a deep breath and lifted her head staring into his strong patient face. “Why is this so important to you?”
“Do you believe is love at first sight?”
“Neither do I, but I believe there is something between us that I refuse to deny. Can you honestly say you didn’t feeling it each time we met? The chemistry?”
Not only did she feel it, it scared the hell out of her. Still did.
“I want to be with you Val. And you know it. You’re more than just a booty call to me.”
Val groaned dropping her face in her hands. “Why are you so damn mature and hell bent on going to hell with me?”
“If you don’t want to tell me Val, don’t tell me. If you do tell me then know your secrets die with me, because I need your trust. I hunger for every little thing you offer me. Hell, I starve for your touch the moment you stop touching me.”
Val’s head popped up and stared at him, mortified…because her heart ached at his words and it shouldn’t have.
“You have more than my promise, Val. Anything you tell me, stays with me, forever.” Those eyes held the most profound promise, it almost hurt to look at him. There was devotion there that she herself could never give.
And yet she wanted to…
She clasped her hands in her lap. “Matt… I’m a whore. You do realize that, right? You heard it yourself. Domenic used to prostitute me out-“
“And if he were standing here, I’d kill him.”
Those soulful eyes weren’t kidding. Val had seen murders before. Dealt with killers who saw it as a job, nothing more. Matt…was something else, but what?
“Tell me, Val. Tell me about the woman I’d kill for,” Matt said leaning forward, elbows on the table intrigued. His gaze held hers, daring her to look away. But she couldn’t — too captivated by how he willed her to bare more than skin.
Then she found herself speaking, telling him what he wanted, like how she was born in the USA but was too young to remember. Her mother and father moved them a year and a half after her birth, she was told. Drowning in his warm gaze, she told Matt about how her mother taught her etiquette and posture. She needed to be the perfect lady, her mother would say. After refining her, her mother introduced Val to chemists and apothecaries in order to learn the trade that had been past down on her mother’s side of the family.
“Assassin?” Matt’s velvety voice smoothed over her. “You were an assassin?” he asked low for her ears only.
“It’s…a little more complicated than that…” She looked around to make sure no one else sat close. The closest person was three tables away. When she felt it was safe she looked down at the table and continued, “My mother worked for the Romano family here in the states…” Her reputation as an assassin wasn’t known, that’s how it was supposed to be. Many went to her thinking she was just the messenger. Val’s father was part of the De Luca mob family, but something happened while in the states. Her mother had said the feds moved in on both families so both her parents uprooted and moved to Italy. They joined the Ricci family who was an ally of both families.
Val remembered growing up the estate surrounded by vineyards. Many thought she was senior Ricci’s illegitimate daughter because of how regally she carried herself. And it didn’t help that she lived in a small villa not far from the main house. That just added fuel to the rumor fire. But in truth her family was in hiding, since they never entered the main house.
She laughed remembering her mother and Mrs. Ricci. “Domenic’s mother hated my mother. Not only did she make our small house look better than their large mansion, she had all the men drooling after her. Not to mention my mother wasn’t friendly with…anyone…” Her mother was slightly prickly and very demure, but the woman took care of Val and loved her fiercely. While her mother kept her emotions bottled, her father was more open and freely laughed, joked with, and hugged Val. They were all she had.
She was ten when my mother didn’t come home from a mission. She was told later that her mother got caught and was killed. Her father immediately moved Val into the main house with the Ricci’s since he was good friends with Antonio Ricci, the family patriarch. The family helped finish what her mother started, hired specialists to make sure Val knew management, especially of other assassins. They only wanted her to do the most difficult assassination, the others were done by Ricci’s assassins.
They even taught her estate, wine, and business management. “I didn’t realize until later, why. They knew their rotten son would run the business into the ground so they wanted me to run things behind the scenes.”
“And Domenic…when did you meet him?” Matt asked.
“I grew up with Domenic. There was a four year age difference, but he was like an older brother to me. He’d always been arrogant and bratty. He teased me often, but…nothing malicious until we got older.” She sighed. “I had a crush on his boney butt, so when I turned twelve it was decided I would be his wife. Or course that had been decided long ago and without my permission, but… I was fine with it. Happy actually. Domenic didn’t care one way or the other. We married when I was fourteen.”
“Fourteen?” Matt’s eyes bulged.
“Yes, Catholic rules allow it…” She remembered her wedding night. Domenic wasn’t patient or kind. He was a horny boy who was just as selfish as he always had been. It had hurt like hell. Her father died two weeks after the wedding due to drunk driving. He ran his car into a tree she was told. Val sighed. “I’m not sure if it was guilt or still missing my mother. I’ll never know…” She lied, because she knew but that wasn’t for Matt to hear. “For ten years I was Domenic’s wife at the house. I was never allowed to leave the estate without him…officially. The only time I went out without him was when I was sent to eliminate someone on his orders. Quietly, under the cover of night.”
“No one would ever believe you’re an assassin if you were the perfect wife always home with your husband.” Matt figured quietly understanding.
“Exactly. I planned his parties, welcomed his guests, entertained, stayed on his arm when we went out, and became the humble wife for the public. But when we were alone, I ran his business, managed it. I was his assassin and bed partner when he felt like it. Usually he screwed other women. Sometimes in front of me when his women wanted to make me jealous. It used to hurt, but I killed that emotion by the time I was eighteen.”
“What about the men…why did he-“
“Prostitute me?” Val sighed. “I wondered the same thing. Domenic was always a selfish man. Never cared to share with anyone. But…to him I was property. Then men were always staring at me. Sometimes he paraded me naked in front of guards to make them jealous.” She watched Matt’s eyes darkened.
She recalled the first man he gave her to… “That man was far richer than Domenic. And he offered more than anyone should for one night. It was disgusting. As was the man.” She looked around to make sure no one was near or listening. If she didn’t have to go back to work, she’d order a glass of wine to douse the memory. “I had the power to stop him. But in my mind, I belonged to Domenic. I was raised to serve him…so I thought. Plus…I cared for him and grew up with him. He was like… a brother in a way… He’s still… Something to me, but I don’t…”
She remembered her last days in Italy and closed her eyes. Domenic could be volatile at times, but no one knew what would set him off sometimes. Usually he ignored her, but sometimes he’d kill a guard who looked at her wrong or ordered her to kill someone who showed interest in her without his permission. She shook her head and said, “I still don’t know where he got it in his head that I was seeing his chief of operations. Luis was the guy who helped me run Domenic’s vineyards. He came to me with problems and questions. I gave him answers. This went on for years so of course we were close. We cared about each other and talked often. And yes, I might have had a few feelings for him, but we never acted on them — eyes were everywhere. But one day I’m sent on a mission and when I get back Luis is dead. Domenic fed me some stupid story about him having a heart attack. I was devastated. I thought his death was the reason I had been sick, but no, I didn’t learn until later it was because I was pregnant. The doctor told Domenic before I had a chance to. He automatically assumed that it was Luis’s. But I never slept with Luis. I only ever slept with Domenic unprotected. Anyone else I slept with wrapped it up. And I always had protection and took birth control during my missions.”
She closed her eyes wanting to forget those days. “But that moron couldn’t see past himself. He flew into a rage.”
She remembered every torturous moment of his fury. He wanted to make sure she never gave birth to that abomination. He beat her, screwed her in front of his men, beat her again, then made two of his men have her before he left her out in the rain naked in the middle of nowhere… to die it seemed… And rain that time of year had been cold and miserable. She closed her eyes remembering how she wanted death to come swiftly. But it didn’t.
“Three of my own guards came to find me. You see, I had some of them trained especially to suit my taste as my mother instructed when I was a child. They drove me to the nearest clinic, which was hours away.” She’d been barely conscious at the time, but remembered them worrying about the time. They didn’t want to be caught helping her because Domenic would kill them. They left her in front of a clinic that hadn’t opened yet. They apologized before leaving. When the clinic doctor found her, the woman went ballistic. “I had broken ribs, a punctured lung, a broken arm, broken leg, internal bleeding, lots of bleeding, pneumonia and…and… I was a mess.” She chuckled bitterly wanting to forget…
“He broke your legs?” Matt’s voice was unusually calm.
“He didn’t want me to walk to get help.” She poked at her food as she leaned back in her chair recalling it all. It wasn’t painful anymore, it just made her bitter. The doctor fixed her up as best she could before she could be transferred to a real hospital, which was about a day’s drive away. “I think that Domenic had wanted to make sure my body was never found. It was a miracle that I survived at all the doctors at the hospital said. There was a lot of blood… I had a fever far too long… I wanted to thank the guards who showed enough mercy to find me a doctor. But Domenic had them killed because they had been close to me.” She grinned thinking of the women who she had lived with later. “After months of recovery, they set me up in a home full of women…”
The neighbors thought it was a house of lesbians. But the truth was that it was for abused and battered women. A private home with private funding. Each of them were wonderful. One woman in the group knew who Val was even though she was rarely in the public eye. “She kept my secret and we became friends. Pam…she helped me get back on my feet, literally. When I was depressed, she kicked my butt. When I underwent physical therapy she was my biggest cheerleader. And when I took my first job, she covered for me.”
“Your first job?”
“I became a freelance assassin.” She just looked at Matt waiting for him to react.
“You never quit.” He added it all up.
“Over the past five years, I laid low, took jobs for various governments, and wealthy clients under a codename. I never saw a client face to face. Every transaction was electronic and done in the dark.” The Dark Net that wasn’t easily accessible to those who weren’t computer savvy. She knew enough about hacking and programming to cover her tracks and remain invisible. “I worked, getting back on my feet and starting my own company far from the reaches of Domenic, using the skills I grew up learning and the knowledge I had accumulated over the years. After training them, teaching them etiquette and fashion, some of the women at the home became image consultants in me and my partner’s company. When I felt like I was in a place I was proud of, I decided to move back home, here, where my life started. I wanted to start over. Ready to live again. But I always suspected Domenic might come for me…”
They sat quietly, Val didn’t looked at Matt for a long time before she lifted her face to see rage. The emotion was tangible, and frightening. She never feared Matt before, yet sitting so close to him, she saw a malice that made her want to leave. But she knew it wasn’t directed at her, she could tell.
“Why didn’t you kill him?” He asked. “You had all the opportunity to.”
She shook her head. “I’m not that kind of killer, Matt. It’s a job. I never kill out of emotions or for personal gain. Ever. It’s forbidden.” So said the code, and she always stuck to the code. “Plus, I grew up with him. And…my father and his father made me think that it was my job to serve him.”
“Serve him?” Matt scoffed.
“They were old school, Matt. Some men think that’s a woman’s role, and for some cultures, that will never change.”
“Fine. I get it. If a woman wants to be sub-servant that’s her decision and I’ll respect that. But it should be her decision. And he still should have cherished you. Whether you served him or not, he should have treated you better. He didn’t deserve you,” Matt said.
She blushed, dropping her head to hide her smile. Why the hell did that make her feel so happy?
“I know you hoped your story would change the way I look at you. And it did.” Matt admitted. Val almost felt hurt until he added, “I want you more. I’m literally aching for you.”
“How…” She just shook her head and then smiled at how strange Matt was. “Any other man would run, because I’m used up. But clearly you like used goods.”
“You’re not allowed to call yourself used goods in front of me again, Val.” Matt’s tone was dark and menacing, promising some form of punishment if she went against him. And that shook her, yet thrilled her.
“Matt, you can’t tell me-“
He stood, leaned across the table grabbing her chin in one large hand, and forced a kiss on her. Right there in the restaurant. She tried to pull away, but he held firm. Her hand came up to hit him, but he caught her wrist and pulled back. “Don’t push me,” he threatened then licked at her lips as if he left a crumb behind. “Or I will take you to the bathroom and spank your ass.”
She stared at him dumbfounded as he retook his seat and finished his food. Trying to ignore the stares from other tables and the need to explore that threat, Val sat pulling herself together.
She began to eat her cold food. Her mind reeled from the idea of those large hands on her ass… He’d only smacked her ass once, and that had her pussy so wet for him she’d nearly came from him entering her. Why was he so accepting of her? Why did he want her even after all she told him?
“So…” Matt broke into her thoughts. “…you think of your ex as a brother…huh?”
She snorted. “Kind of like… More like childhood friends. And don’t get weird ideas.”
“I don’t know. That’d be interesting if you slept with your brother. And hot.”
Her mouth dropped. “Are you serious?” Her eyebrows rose when he nodded. “Matt!”
“You have to be the horniest…”
“You ain’t seen nothing yet.” Matt murmured and Val looked at him confused. They hurried up and finished eating so they could get back to the gala where they kicked off the weekend long event.
ORIGINAL CONTENT OF D.C. BLU. DO NOT COPY AND/OR REDISTRIBUTE WITHOUT THE AUTHOR’S PERMISSION. PLAGIARISM IS CRUEL. PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL.