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By Frenzy I Ruin: Chapter 44


Nevio had surprised me with our date. He’d nailed it. Maybe some women wanted a fancy restaurant and all that stuff, but for me, low-key made me feel like myself.

Nevio had broken my no physical rule by kissing me, but the kiss had been so sweet and chaste, so un-Nevio-like, that I couldn’t even be mad at him, especially because I had almost lost control and deepened the kiss myself.

But this time, I wanted to do things right and not allow my desire for Nevio to overrun everything else.

Nevio and I went on two more dates that he planned, another fun evening at the Play Playground with games for adults like a doctor game, and the second time, he even took me to a museum I’d once mentioned to him, which definitely wasn’t his thing.

I appreciated the thoughtfulness of the dates, especially as each one showed that he knew my taste better than I’d ever thought possible.

I decided to organize our fourth date, a movie night at the apartment with homemade tacos and Nevio’s favorite sour beer.

“Are you thinking about moving back here?” Nevio asked as we settled on the couch with our tacos. I turned on the TV to watch the horror classic Nosferatu that Nevio loved. I wasn’t a huge fan of black-and-white movies, but I enjoyed the occasional masterpiece from the past, and this was one of them.

I looked around the small, cozy living room. It had felt good to live here with Carlotta, but with her complicated health situation and me taking care of Battista, it didn’t seem clever to move out of my home anytime soon. The support from my parents plus the Falcone clan made daily life with Battista so much easier. Of course, now that Nevio was back, we’d all have to figure out a new routine.

“I don’t think so. I wouldn’t want to live here alone. I really appreciate everyone’s support.”

Nevio nodded. He and I sat very close, our shoulders touching. “I could move in with you.”

My eyes widened. “You want to move out of the Falcone mansion, away from Alessio and Massimo, to live in this small place? Why?”

His eyes were serious, and it was still strange to see him this responsible and thoughtful. “I’d do it for you. And that way, we could work out how to be a family with Battista.”

My throat became tight and my chest felt as if it might splinter from the force of my heartbeat. I cleared my throat, trying to find words. “Shouldn’t we figure out how to be a couple before we live together and try to be a family?”

“Aren’t we on our way?”

It felt like we were. “It’s still too soon to say.” I could see the disappointment, maybe even frustration in Nevio’s eyes. I understood him. I too wanted to speed up things, to throw myself headfirst into this, but the past had taught me caution, especially when it came to Battista’s well-being. “I don’t want to give Battista a family he might lose.”

“He won’t lose it, Rory. I want you, and I’ll do everything to make us happen. I know we can be a family for Battista. Maybe not the one you see in cheesy commercials. We’ll always be an unconventional family, but unconventional doesn’t mean bad. My family is a bunch of weirdos, and I loved growing up among them. Fuck, I couldn’t have wished for a better family.”

I chuckled. “They are great, and you gave them a hard time over the years.”

“I did, but they handled it as best as anyone could. And if Battista is anything like me, he’ll need a family to have his back.”

“I want us to be a family,” I admitted. “Let’s work on us a bit more before we think about including Battista, okay?”

Nevio nodded slowly. I turned on the TV. After a while, Nevio put his arm around my shoulders. I snuggled against him, allowing the closeness because my body yearned for it more than I could put into words.

“I think I’ll open your presents tomorrow,” I whispered. His Christmas and birthday presents for me were hidden in the back of my closet. I hadn’t had the heart to throw them away, and now that Nevio and I seemed to be working on our relationship, I was glad for it.

Nevio pulled back slightly to peer down at my face. “I worried you’d thrown them away.”

A small smile tugged at my lips. “I wanted to. Well, part of me did, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it even though you deserved it.”

His expression became more intense, and his eyes darted down to my lips. “I’ll kiss you now, and it’s not going to be the chaste kiss from last time, so if you really don’t want it, you should run. Now.”

I should have run. His lips crashed against mine, following up on his warning, and dragged me down into a whirlwind of sensations. I’d missed this, the fire only Nevio could ignite in me. Only this time anger wasn’t the dominating emotion, and it felt even better. Nevio dragged me closer until I half lay on top of him, his arm wrapped possessively around my back. His palm stroked up my back, over my sensitive neck and higher until his fingers tangled in my hair, his fingers against my scalp. I moaned into the kiss, desperate for more. Despite the burning need in my body, I pulled away. “We’re missing the movie.”

Nevio let his head fall back, eyes squeezed shut. “I don’t give a fuck about Nosferatu right now.”

I smiled at the strain in his voice and kissed his cheek before I sat down beside him. I pretended not to notice the bulge in his pants, but seeing it gave me great satisfaction. If Nevio had removed my pants, he’d found the results of our make-out session too.

“Let’s watch the movie,” I said firmly.

Nevio grabbed the last taco, which had to be cold by now, and stuffed it in his mouth, then washed it down with a few swigs of beer.

After a few minutes, he relaxed against me, and we kept watching the movie. Close to the end, he leaned down to my ear. “Sitting beside you, knowing you’re wet and not being able to do anything about it is pure torture, and people call me cruel. They haven’t met you yet.”

I rolled my eyes.

When Nevio brought me home that night, he gave me another chaste kiss. My body wanted more, and I wondered if I was punishing myself as much as I was punishing Nevio. Battista had fallen asleep beside Serafina so I had the night off. It was strange to be alone in my bedroom. I went to my closet and grabbed the two packages. Perched on my bed, I opened the one from Christmas first. It was a beautiful pendant that shimmered like the aurora borealis. My birthday parcel had the matching bracelet inside. Both were incredibly beautiful.

With a sigh, I let myself fall back on my bed and stared up at the ceiling. My cell phone beeped with a message. When I saw that it was from Nevio, I grabbed it.

Tonight was great. I enjoyed every single one of our dates. It never gets boring with you, Rory. Sleep well. I’ll dream of you.

I don’t think I can sleep. I’m reliving our kiss.

You could get a repeat performance and more. One word from you and I’m there to give you everything you want.

I bit my lip. You would have to sneak into our house.

There wasn’t a reply. I felt disappointed. Maybe I’d hoped for some sexting? Though that would have posed the risk of someone reading our messages. I got up and went into the bathroom to get ready. Fifteen minutes later, I returned to my bedroom in my nightgown and slipped under the covers, then turned off the lights. As soon as I closed my eyes, the kiss replayed vividly before my mind. My core tightened with longing.

With a resigned sigh, I slid my hand down my body to relieve some tension. A hand clamped down around my wrist through the covers while another hand covered my mouth to hold in my startled cry, then a hot breath fanned over my ear. “That’s my job, Rory.”

I relaxed, and my still widened eyes took in Nevio’s outline as it came into focus in the dark. He lowered his palm from my mouth. I licked my lips, my throat suddenly dry. “How did you get in here?”

“Through the basement. The same way Greta once did. Of course, the codes have changed by now, but as a future Capo, I have access to all relevant security information.”

I could hear the smugness in his voice but also eagerness that only kindled my own.

“Dad will kill you if he finds you in my room.”

“I’m sure that’s what he’d like to do,” Nevio murmured, his face still right over mine. “But he won’t find out because you’ll be silent when I make you come, won’t you?”

My thighs twitched in anticipation, and the heat between my legs had reached unbearable dimensions. “I thought you like it if I made a noise.”

“Oh, I do, and there’ll be plenty of opportunities to make you scream, but today, you’ll be a good quiet girl.”

I shivered. His lips brushed mine, full of promise, and I almost begged him to touch me where I ached. Instead, I watched in anticipation as he turned on the lamp on my nightstand, casting us in a soft glow.

“I need to see you when I claim you tonight.”

He tugged the covers off me. My hand still rested above my pubic bone. Nevio pushed it away and climbed on top of me for another searing kiss. His lips on mine, his hands roamed my body, tugging my nipples through the thin fabric of my nightgown. I arched into him, my own hands mapping his strong back where the proof of his depravity was inked into his skin.

His fingers clamped down on my hip when I arched up again, growing impatient. By now my panties were soaked, and I needed Nevio to relieve the unbearable tension.

He chuckled, a sinister sound that only made me wetter. “Patience, Rory. Weren’t you the one who wanted to wait with the physical part of our relationship?”

I sank my teeth into his lower lip, nicking his skin. “Oh shut up.”

He chuckled again, but this time his hand finally moved down where I needed him. His fingers slipped under my panties, and his answering growl when he felt just how much I needed him made me smile. His fingers teased my clit, and his lips on mine dimmed my moans. I was already strung too tightly, ready to burst from months of only fantasizing about this moment. I was getting closer and closer, my breathing erratic, and when he pushed two fingers into me, I exploded with a choked cry that Nevio swallowed with an all-consuming kiss.

Nevio didn’t give me time to catch my breath.

He pushed to his feet and ripped his shirt over his head, revealing a body I’d dreamed about in my darkest nightmares and my most lustful fantasies. The sight of the aurora borealis tattoo made my heart throb even harder in my chest. Nevio followed my gaze and briefly pressed his palm over the tattoo, his eyes conveying a message I hardly dared to decipher. Then it was gone and replaced by burning desire. With hurried moves, he shoved down his pants and underwear, then kicked them off.

Nevio half fell on top of me, parting my legs wide with his thighs, his dark eyes like that of a hunter as he slammed his lips against mine. I touched his cheeks, and his eyes returned to mine. The frenzy in them eased, and he slowed. His kiss became gentler. With our gazes locked, he entered me until he settled all the way inside me. My eyes closed, really feeling him. It felt perfect.

His lips brushed my ear, his voice raw. “This feels like a fucking rebirth.”


Nothing had ever felt better than being inside Aurora, to be connected to her in such a profound way. Not just in the physical sense but because with one look from her, I felt like she held my heart in her hand.

With every thrust, she felt more like mine. That I was hers wasn’t even a question anymore. She lived in my head, my heart, even my black soul. She was the voice at the back of my mind keeping me rooted.

I kissed her like she was my salvation, and maybe she was. She started to tremble, her walls tightening around my cock until stars danced before my eyes, and then we both exploded at the same time. Our fused lips swallowed our moans.

Eventually, I pulled back, and our ragged breathing filled the room. That it could even be heard over the pounding of my heart was a miracle.

Aurora’s blue eyes pierced mine, filled with questions and hopes.

“You know what I want,” she whispered. “I want commitment. I want love and fidelity. I want forever.”

“I want the same, Rory. You are my forever.”

“I am?”

I pressed her fingers to the tattoo of the northern lights. “I want to be the person you deserve.”

Fuck. I wanted nothing more than to be that person for Aurora. But I was a monster. I knew it. I relished in it, but on occasion, I channeled my monster. Most days, I liked being a monster. Rarely I didn’t. Most of these occasions involved Mom or Greta, and Aurora. The only times I ever felt guilty for being a monster were when Greta, Aurora, or Mom weren’t quick enough to hide their fear from me. Fear, not of what I would do to them, because they knew I’d die before I’d ever hurt the people I cared about. Fear of losing me to the darkness, and of what I could do to everyone else. Maybe my darkness scared them more than Dad’s because mine hadn’t been born from childhood trauma. I had been born a monster. It was in my genes.

“But I’m a monster and that won’t ever change.”

Aurora nodded. “I know. I’ve known you all my life, and from the moment I overheard Dad telling Mom about how you killed a man for your twelfth birthday, I knew you were a monster, but it never changed how I felt about you…”

Alessio and Massimo knew my monster, but they didn’t mind, Massimo because he was a monster too, a different kind, but a monster nonetheless, and Alessio because he wanted to be a monster to silence the demons that haunted his nightmares. Mom and Greta knew it to, but they preferred to ignore it and to pretend I could be better. Dad and my uncle knew all about my monster, but they, too, were too monstrous to care—a monster was useful in our world.

Aurora, however, knew my monster, but didn’t ignore it, didn’t like it, didn’t use it. She accepted it because she loved me.

I could see love in her face and eyes. For a long time, I hadn’t been sure if my messed-up brain could feel a pure emotion like love. But if this feeling I had for Aurora wasn’t love, then what was it? When I was with Aurora, I wished to be better. No one had ever made me feel that way.

I’d been high on alcohol, high on adrenaline, high on anger, lust, and pain.

Today I was high on Aurora.

I wasn’t sure if it was enough. If it could carry me through the thunderstorms that ravaged my brain sometimes. For a long time, too long, it had made me pull away from Aurora, waiting for a moment of certainty. But when was there ever absolute certainty in life?

The only thing I was sure about were my feelings for Aurora right now. “What does it say about you that you made a monster fall in love with you?”

Aurora’s eyes widened a fraction, her breath halting. She swallowed noisily, and a small smile tugged at her lovely lips. “What does it say about me that I fell in love with a monster?”

I cupped her cheeks and kissed her. “If you knew how crazy I was about you, you’d run, Rory.”

“I think I do know. You killed a man because he flirted with me.”

“And I’ll do it again. You have my fucking heart, and that kind of shitty gift comes with a lot of baggage.”

Aurora laughed. I kissed her again. “You know what’s the worst about loving you?”

She shook her head, eyes wide and expectant. “For the first time in my life, I fear death because it would mean I’d lose you.”

“Then you better try not to get yourself killed in one of your crazy adventures.”


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