Damage:an Arranged Marriage Mafia Romance

By: Natasha Knight

“How many are guarding the property?”

“Three outside. There are six total from what they saw.”

I wonder if they thought we wouldn’t find the place or if they wanted us to find it when I hear that number.

“Keep driving or go on foot?” the driver asks me when we’re about two streets away.

I rub my jaw, the back of my neck. This is easier than it should be, which makes me question why. “Only six men?”

Rafa nods. “You want them to take out the guards outside?”

I shake my head. “No kill shots but incapacitate them if we need to. None of them will walk away anyway, but I have questions. Let them know we’re coming by cavalcade.”

He nods and sends the message to the soldiers surrounding the property as well as those in our vehicles. He waits to receive confirmation.

Once we have it, I gesture to the driver, taking my pistol out of its holster as we drive on.

I see the first two men when we turn the corner. They look almost weepy from the heat. They’re leaning against the wall of the building, each smoking a cigarette, each with a machine gun slung over his shoulder.

“Where’s the third?” Rafa asks.

I’m already scanning. “There. Taking a piss.” The man is the first to see us as he walks out of the bushes along the side of the road. A look of panic crosses his features and I watch as he fumbles with one hand on the fly of his jeans while trying to get his gun with the other.

Before he can get either done, he’s down.

The shooter must have a silencer on his weapon because although I don’t hear the shot, I know exactly when he hits his target in the right knee, dropping him instantly as he screams in agony.

“So much for a quiet entrance,” Rafa says.

“My entrance wasn’t intended to be quiet,” I say, opening the door as the SUV comes to a stop. I see another of the soldiers drop as a third raises his arms high in surrender.

Francesco Catalano’s men step out of their hiding places and Rafa flanks me as we walk toward the entrance.

“Stefan, you should wait until we have the soldiers contained.”

“I’m not afraid of these men. They have what’s mine.”

A machine gun unloads and we take cover as the shooter appears in the upstairs window. Bullets spray the SUVs. A moment later, the shooting becomes erratic as he’s hit by one of our men and his body flops over the windowsill, the glass of the window long gone.

The machine gun finally drops to the ground and the shooting ceases.

The door bursts open and a soldier rushes us, weapon ready. Another man appears at a different window upstairs.

They get a couple of rounds off before I hit one and one of our soldiers takes out another.

At my signal, the men spread out around the building.

“On your knees. Hands behind your head,” I yell to the one guard who surrendered like a pussy when we pulled up.

He obeys instantly, but his gun is still strapped to his shoulder.

I take it, sling it over mine. I lean down, grab him by his dusty hair and make him look at me.

“Any more men inside?”

“No!” he shakes his head frantically, looking at the dead one in the window.

“And the girl?”

He’s shaking, blubbering.

“The girl,” I ask, fisting his hair hard.

“Out back.”

I haul him to his feet. “Take me to her.” I shove him ahead of me into the building.

It’s dark, the only light streaming in from the few glassless windows. The interior is completely destroyed, the stairs half-ruined. Any furniture that’s still recognizable is rotting and the place stinks of piss and earth.

Better than the morgue, I tell myself.

I push him along. The house is deeper than it appears from the outside.

Rafa is behind me along with two other men. Our weapons are drawn, in case anyone lied and there are more armed men inside.

We walk through two more rooms, stepping over debris, the bones of some unidentifiable animal.

“If you’re fucking with me,” I start.

He shakes his head, moves through an opening that was once a door to a walled-in courtyard. The walls are high and in the center is a well and I’m going to fucking kill him when he goes directly to it. He shoves the piece of wood covering it aside.

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