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   Chapter 24 Realization

Hidden Away [Mafioso Book#2] By Serena B. Light Characters: 10600

Updated: 2018-10-28 12:10

A new guard had been assigned to Serafina, a man named Alessandro, but known as Everest. He was a man of Salvatore's elite force, a small group of men specialized in certain fields and used for specialized means. They weren't often assigned to be bodyguards, but it seems Serafina was an exception. The first time she had met him, he hand introduced himself formally, but then proceeded to surprise her with his words.

"I have been assigned to look after you and not get you coffee, or clean your house, fetch your dry cleanings, and buying your groceries, do not mistake me for your errand boy." He had told her, and Serafina's cheeks flushed lightly at realizing that everyone knew about the way she treated Alessio.

Everest was a hard and unmoving man. Standing over 6 feet, he was large. Not only in height, but in girth as well, he covered her entire doorway and often made her feel utterly tiny and defenseless. He did not speak unless spoken to, but he did not speak as much as bark in a booming voice and she could see he made Theo uncomfortable as well. The larger man was assigned to following her around and glowered over anyone who even glanced at Serafina. Her staff became increasingly terrified, her friends were very reluctant about meeting with her due to the mountain of a man being her shadow, and he never let her out of his sight.

He did not smile, nor laugh, and flirting with him was out of the question.

In simple words, he was no Alessio, and Serafina hated it.

It had nearly been a month since he was gone, and she was almost certain that he would be killed, instead, she learned that he had been reassigned. God knows where, but not with her.

Her day wasn't as entertaining and lively as it once used to be. She didn't find anything to be of much joy to her and even her job – her dream job – felt bleak and...grey. Serafina felt as if though she were working in auto-pilot and often just did things with no conscious thought, coming out of her daze only to discover herself doing something different.

"Laugh a little!" Her friend had nudged her one day over coffee when all the people around her were laughing at something another friend had said; everyone, but Serafina. "You don't laugh anymore, Reena, "

Following her friend's comment, it suddenly struck her that she did, in fact, stop laughing. She stopped smiling, stopped complimenting, even so much so that she stopped talking. Talking less than she used to, that is.

Serafina once awoke gasping and choking on her tears, having had a horrible dream, but not remembering what happened other than she saw an eerily familiar smile in it. She couldn't bring herself to sleep again, not when her bed felt too big and her room too cold, her heart aching in her chest as it made her feel as if though her lungs were giving up on her.

She stood before her dressing table in nothing but a towel wrapped around her body, staring at the short lace burgundy dress on her bed, wondering why and when she had put it out.

"Oh!" It suddenly returned to her. "Gallery exhibition, "

Trying to get her mind out of its fogged state, Serafina got dressed and did her make-up, pu

blackness. There is an ache that comes and goes, always returning in quiet moments. She wanted so much to keep him close, to talk and laugh like they once did and Serafina knew that his absence is her own fault. But that didn't stop her from seeing Alessio everywhere she went - in the things they both loved - in nature, in music, in silly things. Even though he is gone, his aura remains, beautiful and strong, making the pain all the worse, keeping the feelings so raw.

Alessio had connected to a part of her others never felt. He saw a part of her soul she never wanted to let out of the bag. He touched her and saw her reaction, beautiful and raw. For those moments she was more real than the blood in his veins, and Serafina felt him like the beating of her heart. The bond they forged was still molten when Serafina forced him to pull away, too nascent to resist her urge to hide when things became difficult. Now her world had become blacker than it ever was before, darker due to his absence, loneliness crippling her every thought. Her lungs struggle for breath against ribs of stone and her feet have lost their wanderlust. Before Serafina met Alessio, her heart was soft, with him it became strong and vibrant, but now, without him, it was simply broken.

"Hey, Serafina, " Her mother soothed, her voice laced with love and her eyes shining with concern when she pulled her head away. "What's the matter, baby? Why are you crying?"

"The exhibition is going great!" Arsenio proclaimed, assuming her to be crying due to that. "You have nothing to worry about."

"Yeah! Nothing to worry about, " Marco echoed in confirmation.

"Is it Paolo?" Her father asked her gently, Serafina shaking her head and sobbing. "Do you miss Salvatore?"

Again, she shook her head.

"Then what's wrong, sweetheart?" Her mother asked.

"I had something..." She choked out between her tears, hiccupping. "And it was beautiful...and I lost it. I gave it up; I forced him away because I got scared, "

"I want him back...I want things to be like they were...but he hates me now. He hates me, mom, he hates me."

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