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Chapter 1
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Present Day
Somewhere in Vermont
We are all but nothing, apart from our perception of truth.
I stare at him, watching his chest expand.
How is it that someone so strong, so powerful, so dangerous to find become so small when faced with an adversary? The adversary being me.
I see him, knees on the cold tiled floor, his eyes fixated on me in equal parts disbelief. I disconnect my vision from his small form, looking briefly at what I’m wearing.
This morning when I woke up, the sun was shining, snow melting on my front lawn. My kids were sleeping, my husband gone, as usual, working, making money.
Everything was normal except when I woke up this morning, I received a message. This message contained a lot of things I’ve been waiting to hear but one part, in particular, stood out and made today different. This person on his knees in front of me was the big difference in my day. So when I woke up this morning and decided what I was going to wear I decided I would not wear black because black represented the sign of mourning. I wasn’t going to wear white. After all, white represented a sign of new beginnings and not blue.
Blue, well blue was a sign of trust and green with a side of healing so when I woke up this morning I decided I would wear beige, it was an indifferent color something that matched any mood any desire any belief it doesn’t necessarily represent anything but nor did it negate anything.
‘You know what is so satisfying about killing you?”
‘What?” He inquires with that tilt of his mouth and thin lips I have seen a time or two. Many women found this man handsome. sexy even. I was not different, but I knew more than many of them what made him, his colors, the layers that fell away leaving only the middle left and when you looked at it with naked eyes you’d see it was rotten.
I laugh.
‘I became a player in this cat and rat game much later. I find it comical that I am the one who gets to catch you, considering there are many people who started in the beginning. What is even funnier is I am the one who would get to kill you.”
‘You didn’t catch me Mrs. Catelli.”He says my surname with a pinched face as though he can’t bear the sound of it coming from his lips.
‘Then what do you oppose I did?”
He smiles, but it is not a nice one. It is filled with the ugliness which has corrupted him over the years.
‘You stole me. That blonde crazy pregnant bitch caught me.”
‘True, Trade, and trade.”
‘You should kill me now and not be like all the other people who talk too much and then it all turns to shit. I am sure your father taught you that. After all, you are a queen.”
‘Why would I do that? There is no one looking for you, everyone already believes you are dead.”
‘How long did it take you to plot my death?”
‘It was when Mero died. You shouldn’t have taken Kylie that day, you set everything in motion. You put yourself on my radar.”
My voice goes low as I end in a whisper, ‘Now I have to kill you.”
He smiles, as he comes up from his knees. Matteo places his fingers on his shoulder and pinches his muscles until his shoulder drops and he grunts dropping to his knees again.
‘Be careful there Bosman, wouldn’t want to get your blood on my shoes,” Matteo warns him. It is a subtle warning but one that should be taken seriously.
‘Fair enough. Tell me Aliyana, were you always this fucked up? Or did Marco add the evil inside? Because your mother never had the monster in her eyes, she was just a queen trying to fight for what is right. Can you say the same?”
‘I can say that I am not like my mother, and Marco never influenced the events of today. It was you who obliged my idea, and you who made me turn to this.”
‘I did what I did for love, my kid is mine, born from my bloodline. Marco and my wife took her from me. She was going to be what I needed to seek redemption. Do you know how difficult it is to just live my life for one hour?”
‘You made that choice, you could’ve been part of the famiglia, not our enemy. Now you are a rapist, a killer, a trafficker. I always wanted to know something from you.”
‘There it comes.”He smiles as he makes that comment.
‘What happened with Katrina? Did you sell her? Kill her?”
‘I gave her the ending many of us wished to have.”
I frown, that doesn’t resolve my suspicion but I leave it. I learned not to be too suspicious and pay more heed to what I did know. Because too much of anything got you killed. And while curiosity was something that made you a bit wiser, too much of it became dangerous.
‘I have a question, consider it my final request.”
‘I left everything to my child and did everything Marco ordered, including kill the last men who raped Ms. Bray. Lucca Sanati was meant to die for all of this, what did I do wrong to tip you off? I was careful, every action precise. How did a Mezzosangue like you catch me?”
I laugh.
‘I’ll tell you, but to understand I would need to remind you, we are all not villains, some of us are just hard people stuck in a group of really bad company, and it is those who we must pay the most attention to because those peoples perception of what is and what was told by the villains and their concept of truth is a wicked fabricated tale to make themselves come out a tad bit better. Their actions justified to the listener and everyone else is everything but nothing. So I would need to start from the day Lucca blew up my house or so I thought.”
‘Why then was that the day you turned evil?”
‘Because, It was the day shit got real and I had to grow the fuck up, join the game or die.”
He laughs, ‘No one grows up overnight.”
I shrug, ‘Maybe, but it was the day I changed, I saw things differently.”
‘I guess if your sister dies, and her unborn child it changes everyone.”
‘It does, but it wasn’t the only thing that happened. It was the day I befriended a Stone, one on one.

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