Dominic (Benedetti Brothers Book 2)

By: Natasha Knight

I mentally shook my head at myself. I was grasping at straws, needing to hope. The man who had me, he was no better than Victor or any of his soldiers. He was readying me to be sold as a fucking slave. I had no doubt what that entailed.

I’d been afraid he’d rape me. When he’d pulled my panties off, I’d thought that was it. He was going to do it. Victor hadn’t. He hadn’t let his men do it either. Why? Why not let them? Wasn’t that what he wanted? To break me? To—what had he said—“see me on my knees?”

Maybe it was his deal with Mateo before he’d killed him that saved me from the horror of rape.

I closed my eyes against the image of Mateo before he’d died, forcing it away. I didn’t want to remember my brother that way. I needed to hold on to him as he’d been before—in life. Before he’d ever met Victor. Before everything had happened.

Why hadn’t Victor let his men rape me? Why hadn’t he done it himself? It made no sense. He wanted me. That was obvious. Had been for the two years I’d had the displeasure of knowing him.



When I woke next, I could roll onto my back and raise heavy arms just inches off the bed on which I still lay naked.

I had to figure out where I was. Who the man was who currently had me. He was going to train me, so he’d probably been hired by Victor. Train me for what, though? To not fight? I’d never stop. I’d never let them win. I’d never let Victor win.

I wondered if Angus Scava knew what he’d done. He’d kill Victor if he knew, I was sure of it. I’d almost been his daughter-in-law, after all. I’d been engaged to James, his son. James had loved me. No way Angus Scava would ever allow this to happen to me.

I thought back to James. To how good things had been two years ago. Before he’d been killed. Before Victor had come into the picture. I wondered about my mom. Did she know about Mateo yet? Did she know we were missing at least, even if she didn’t know he was dead? She was in Palermo, and although we weren’t particularly close, surely she’d try to phone.

The deadbolt slid, the sound calling my attention.

For the first time in a very long time, I thought of the man who had promised my father he would protect my family. The man my father had worked for, and for whom he had died. He’d vowed to keep me and Mateo safe. Could he save me from this?

But that was years ago. And a promise to a foot soldier couldn’t have meant a whole lot to a crime boss.

The door creaked open.

I blinked, lifting my head as much as I could, and watched as my captor filled the doorway. He was a foot taller than me and strong. I’d never physically be able to take him down. And if he kept me drugged, I wouldn’t be able to do much at all.

Light outlined his body from the outside room, creating a sort of halo around his head. I squinted, used to the dark now, and when he closed the door, I saw his face again—saw that mask. A skull. Death. As if he were death.

I made a small sound, and my body instinctively tried to pull back. Tried. Nothing much happened, though. Nothing but him stepping closer, chuckling. He must have seen the attempt. He seemed to see everything.

He sat down on the edge of the bed, and when I saw the bottle of water in his hand, I opened my mouth, realizing how dry it was, how thirsty I was.

I couldn’t pull away or cover myself when his gaze raked over me, but when he reached into his pocket and produced a key that he used to unbind my wrists, all I felt was grateful.

“Really need to get you washed.”

He twisted the lid off the bottle, and I swallowed in anticipation. But then he brought the bottle to his lips and took a long sip, emptying half of it. I wanted to cry. I may have even, but I couldn’t be sure.

“Thirsty?” he asked.

I blinked.

“I like you like this, you know? You’re kind of sweet when you’re not talking.”

Then he raised my head and held it as he brought the water to my lips and gave me two small sips before setting the bottle aside and standing.

“All right.”

He tugged his shirt off. It looked strange, his chest bare but him wearing that mask covering his face. In the dimly lit room, I saw he had a tattoo on part of his chest and down one arm. I couldn’t make out the shape, though. It was just shadow.

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