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   Chapter 23 Unrequited Love

Hidden Away [Mafioso Book#2] By Serena B. Light Characters: 18887

Updated: 2018-10-28 12:10

That week Serafina spent enveloped in her parent's love; allowing them to remain at her home - not that they had given her much of a choice - and helped her through the emotional turmoil which had been weighing down on her. Her brothers, Arsenio and Marco had even come to visit along with Angelica and Arsenio's 2 and 4 year old daughters, Irene and Aurora.

She loved her little nieces and the way they were always so open and honest about everything. Serafina remembers laughing when the 4-year-old came to her lying figure, looked at her face and said: "You look ugly". Her father had begun to admonish her, but Serafina had just laughed, telling her niece she felt "pretty ugly" too.

She watched her parents call Salvatore once or twice, asking him to drop by, but he always made an excuse along the lines of business to take care of, or travel. Serafina did not have the heart to tell her parents that their son was the man behind her state, and by the looks of it, neither was he.

Admittedly, she did miss her twin, because bickering with him was an entirely different experience, but even if she missed him, she would not forgive him.

For the one week her parents were with her, and Serafina had to wonder, who told her father. Definitely not Salvatore; Arsenio and Marco had no idea, and all her guard were terrified of the Regnante...all but one Alessio Romano.

It suddenly occurred that she hadn't seen, nor heard from him in a while and she couldn't question for his whereabouts given that her parents would definitely deny it.

They liked that boy just as much as they had liked his father.

Alessio spent 10 days in France, visiting old relatives and even older friends. He felt good to get away from everything and sometimes wondered if his mother had been right to try and convince them out of the Mafia life. But it didn't matter now, given that he had been part of the Regnante household for almost 4 years, and knew too much to just be up and gone.

He had landed back in Italy last night and was currently getting ready for his day shift as Serafina Regnante's bodyguard. Getting dressed in a full black suit with an overcoat, he pulled on his favorite pair of gloves before stepping out into the snowing November of Tuscany. Alessio watched his breath fog up before he stepped into his car, stopping at a café to get his substitute and partner a cup of coffee, something to warm them all.

As he neared Serafina's house, Alessio's stomach churned and the hair at his nape stood to attention, already knowing it was a bad idea to return here. He knew he couldn't work for her anymore. Deep in his gut, he had known for 2 years that he shouldn't be working for her anymore, but his heart had refused to allow him to leave, and now, he didn't have much of a choice.

The only reason he had come in today was to inform her of his resignation. He had come to this conclusion after spending time with his mother and talking to her and then having gone to his father's grave the night he landed, just to tell him everything.

"Hey!" Theo grinned from across the road when his partner caught sight of Alessio with coffee cups in hand. "Glad to have you back, "

Alessio had just smiled at them when he handed the beverage to him and the guy who was his temporary substitute. The two drank it greedily; relieved to have something that would keep them warm in the 7 a.m. chill. The three interacted for a bit, bringing Alessio up to date with what happened as he nodded in relief to know that her parents had been here. Soon the substitute left as Theo instantly grinned at the older man.

"So..." He urged.

"So?" Alessio knitted his eyebrows in confusion.

"Who's the girl?"


"The one you went to visit in France! Come on man!"

The older man looked at him in amusement, realizing that this poor boy had a horrible misunderstanding regarding his visit to France.

"Oh, her, " He played along. "Well, she has a wonderful personality, petite and a tad bit older than me, "

"How old we talking?"

"Roughly..." Alessio trailed. "26 years."

"26 years?!" Theo spluttered incoherently, the older man smacking him on top of the head.

"I went home to my mother, idiot!"

"Ow, " The younger guard rubbed at the abused area, pouting up at him. "You could have just said so, "

"What made you think I went to visit a girlfriend or something?"

"People were saying, "

"People were saying wrong, " Alessio shook his head. "Don't always believe what you hear, "

Serafina awoke at 8 a.m. shivering in the cold of the interior, realizing her heating was turned off. Shuffling out of bed, she turned it on, humming in content when her house began to warm up. Making her way towards the kitchen, she poured herself a cup of coffee, sipping at the hot beverage and pouring a bowl of cereal, feeling a lot better after the one week of parental therapy.

Her family suggested she go to Paolo's grave, put a rest to him once and for all, but she had shaken her head, saying she didn't feel strong enough to go there. She hadn't even attended his funeral, much too distraught to be able to. Her mother suggested she should have been there; it would have made things easier.

Serafina did not know if the funeral would have made things easier or not, but she knew she wasn't emotionally ready to visit his grave - not alone at least.

Shaking the thought out of her head, she put away her dishes, washing them before making her way to the entrance foyer. Looking out, her gaze caught the snowy exterior, pulling the curtains aside; she was momentarily surprised to see the figure in black, instantl

ly, his anger gone and replaced by a broken smile. Her own anger slowly fading away as she looked away from him, guilt makings its way up her throat. Serafina swallowed the lump when his warm hands cupped her cheek, turning her to look back at him, his green eyes pleading her for answers. "The way you talked to me, and the way you looked at me...I thought what we had was special. I actually thought you cared. Maybe if you didn't, you knew very well that I did. I cared, and I do still. I could have helped you through it all, I could have been whatever you needed me to be, and I wouldn't have fought it as long as you were doing better. But you weren't, and I had no choice but to tell your father because you weren't mine anymore."

"I stayed with you for so long throughout the bullshit because I was torn between not giving up on the person I fell in love with, and coming to terms with the fact that the person I loved no longer existed inside of the body that I was staring at every day; and I don't give a fuck what anyone says...that's really difficult and painful thing to wrap your brain around. It takes a while to believe it."

"Get out, " Serafina spoke in a low voice, pulling away from his hold and watching the quivering soft smile on his face despite the way his lungs were collapsing in on themselves.

"But the truth is, baby girl, " Alessio spoke over his shoulder, making his way towards the door. "I hope you know that you deserve it all. The best, the most honest, most beautiful and purest love in the world. Not only to be loved by others but to be loved by yourself. To look in the mirror and think "yes, this is exactly who I want to be". To speak up and be proud of yourself. To be brave and open. You deserve the nicest and most caring people to walk into your life. You deserve it all you know. The whole world. And you should never forget that..."

"Because in the end, I could never wish ill upon my soul mate, " He murmured in French, knowing she wouldn't understand it as he opened the door and stepped out. The momentary chill he had allowed inside ceasing with a click.

Serafina's fingers trembled as she swallowed the lump in her throat, knowing she had been nothing but mean to him. The man who would gladly risk his life for her's even now. After everything she had put him through, months of torture, and here he was wishing the best for her while she had wished nothing but death upon him and his brother.

All for what?

Following orders.

Releasing a shaky breath, Serafina braced herself against the kitchen counter, knowing that even if she wanted to fix this, it was much too late for it all. Because the truth was, even if she hated Alessio for his brother's actions, she couldn't deny all the feelings that had flowed through her when they were together.

A knock sounded on the double doors, Salvatore standing by the window and looking out at the snowing terrain with a cup of coffee in hand.

"Come in, " He called, expecting it to be his second in command, momentarily taken aback to see a distraught Alessio Romano in his office. "Everything alright?"

"I'd like to resign from the post of Serafina Regnante's bodyguard, " Alessio told him calmly, trying his hardest to keep his voice from shaking with the emotional storm brewing inside him.

"May I ask why?"

"I'd rather not say, sir, " The older man cleared his throat, fidgeting in his spot. "However, if you were to order, I would not deny."

"Resigning..." His boss trailed, rubbing his forehead. "Or would you like to be reassigned?"

Alessio thought for a moment, weighing the pros and cons of both and then the probability of him being reassigned to an entirely new field, or to someone else.

"I'd like to be reassigned."

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