“What the hell happened there?” Luca asked, as he slipped the feather girl off his lap and walked to the balcony where his cousin Nic and his best friend Frankie stood, looking over. A feisty brunette without a feather on her mask had just strangled Frankie by the balls.
Luca couldn’t get the blueness of her eyes out of his mind—for a heartbeat they locked onto one another. It was strange.
“Frankie got owned by a girl.” Nic laughed at his best friend’s unfortunate incident. Luca watched as the girl flirted briefly with the customers at her bar, then stepped outside for a break.
“I didn’t. I just didn’t realize she wasn’t a feather girl.” Frankie shrugged. “I could get her—she has just made herself a challenge.” Frankie smirked, but Luca shot him a dark look.
“No, you won’t. Siobhan created the rules, only feather girls can be touched.”
Luca made sure Frankie understood this. But Luca looked at her again. She had disrespected Frankie, and that can’t be so easily forgotten. Maybe he should remind her of her place.
Luca walked down to the dance floor, people instinctively clearing a path for him as he walked towards the back exit. No one was stupid enough to bump into him, even at a crowded nightclub.
Luca stepped out the back door and walked outside. He found the girl sitting on a crate, looking at her phone. Again he was struck by how beautiful she was—but that’s not why he was here. He was here to teach her a lesson.
He loomed above her, staring down at those startling blue eyes.
“Ah, there you are.”
Before Hayley could pull out her switchblade, the man above her shifted and the light shone on his face. Her panic disappeared almost instantly. He wasn’t one of them.
He was the man who’d had Arianna on his lap. His dark brown eyes were intense on her. Hayley stood up and crossed her arms across her chest as she stared him down.
“Customers can’t be back here.” She kept her presence strong; she wouldn’t be intimidated by him.
He laughed lightly at her, like he found something amusing. This guy was probably some big shot. Too bad he didn’t know that she couldn’t care less.
“I can go wherever I want, bella.”
His tone was dark as he spoke. Hayley was lost in his eyes. They looked dark, but up close they were the warmest chocolate brown color.
“You’re new here.”
He moved closer to Hayley, forcing her to move backward. She felt the brick wall against her back; the corset left her upper back exposed to the cold from the brick.
But she never let her eyes leave him—he was making himself out to be the big man but she wouldn’t let anyone scare her.
“So, disrespecting my friend Frankie is not your best move.”
“Your friend Frankie was a dick!”
The guy looked confused, like he couldn’t believe she was talking back to him. What’s with all these assholes and being shocked that not every woman wants to bend over for them?
He moved just that little bit closer to her, but she kept her body language composed.
Her heart was racing; there was no denying that this guy, who was tall and muscular in build, had her cornered, but if he touched her, she would pull her switchblade on him.
Hayley wasn’t a bad person, but she knew there were bad people out there, and she carried her trusty switchblade in a hidden pocket in all her corsets.
“Your mouth is going to get you into trouble.”
His words were laced with his threat, but Hayley just put her hands on her hips, close to the hidden pocket and her knife.
“I’ve managed to keep from trouble so far.” Hayley had to fight back.
His face pulled into a light yet dark smile. If he wasn’t such a prick, Hayley would have said he was a beautiful man, but he, like his friend, was a prick.
“Then you have been lucky to not piss off the wrong person,” he pressed. “So, listen very, very carefully, ~bella.” ~He made sure his tone was dark and serious.“~Don’t~ test me, or my friends.
Hayley scoffed at him, and he frowned.
“Ladies will respect a man if he is a gentleman. Perhaps your friend needs to learn that.
“Now excuse me, I work here and my break is up.”
She tried to brush past him, but he grabbed her arm and forced her to look at him.
“What the hell?” she said, looking at him fiercely.
“Disrespect me, or my family, again and I won’t hesitate to show you how to respect me.”
His eyes were dark, but she wasn’t frightened. She reached in her pocket to take out her knife but they were disturbed by a voice that approached them.
“What the hell is going on here?”
Siobhan looked between Hayley and Luca. He let go of her arm, and she stepped away from him. Luca looked at Siobhan as she stopped beside the pair, her green eyes scolding him. She then looked softly at the girl.
“You, honey, best get back to the bar so Ben can take a break.” She spoke softly to Hayley who nodded and walked away back to the floor.
“Thanks,” Hayley whispered as she passed by Siobhan. She took one last glance at the arrogant man before disappearing inside, trying to get the image of those chocolate brown eyes out of her head.
Does she have a death wish?~ Luca thought as he watched her disappear inside.~
He’d never met such an infuriating girl before. Still, he couldn’t get over her beauty as she was up against the wall. The light from the outside light caught her pale skin, her bright blue eyes were striking against her deep purple mask.
Perhaps it was a shame she didn’t wear a feather.
Siobhan snapped her head back at Luca. “Explain yourself Luca Marcello and no bullshit!”
“Where the hell did you pick that one up from?” Luca said as he recomposed himself, watching as the girl walked away and slipped back into the bar.
“Paris, she came from the Paris club,” Siobhan explained flatly.
Luca shook his head looking back at Siobhan.
“I suggest you teach her respect or send her back to Paris,” he growled.
Siobhan shook her head allowing her auburn bob to move as she did.
“What did you do to her?” Her tone was just as dark and serious as his was when he spoke to the girl.
But Siobhan moved closer to him.
“Listen, Luca, that girl is to be left well alone.” Her tone was firm, and her eyes locked on him.
Luca had never heard Siobhan talk about any of her girls like that. He could see the fondness she had for the girl, a fondness Siobhan only had for him.
Siobhan was the only person in the world who had the ability to get into Luca’s head. She was there when his mother died, she was his godmother and had the power to rein him in, or hype him down.
“You seem to like her, Siobhan, what’s special about her?” Luca quizzed.
Siobhan did like Hayley. She liked her courage, she liked how she had overcome so much in her young life yet still managed to smile every day.
“Luca,” she sighed as she watched as two guys from outside reenter and pass them before she spoke again. “Keep away from her.”
He could hear the warnings in her voice.
“That girl has had a rough time, and I brought her here because I thought she could do with a change of scenery; she has been at the Paris club for nearly three years.”
Luca looked beyond Siobhan at the door that led onto the floor where the girl had disappeared to. She had been in Siobhan’s world for three years?
Was she the reason Siobhan had flown back and forth to her Paris club for the past three years or so?
This intrigued Luca. Siobhan wasn’t one for sentimentality; that had been knocked out of her living in this world.
No, this girl was something important to Siobhan and that made him question who this fiery British girl was.
“She’s not a feather girl, she never has been. I promised to keep her safe and, Luca, I intend to keep my promise.” Siobhan’s voice was strained as she half-told, half-pleaded with Luca.
“What’s her name?” Luca was intrigued by her now; Siobhan didn’t care for many people. She was similar to himself in that way, apart from his family.
Siobhan had nobody apart from her elite clubs around the world. Siobhan laughed and shook her head.
“Tonight? It could be Abbey, Lucy, or even Destiny.”
“Just keep away from her. Otherwise, I will make your torture methods look like a trip to Disneyland.” Then she walked away.
“So, tomorrow night we are getting wasted.” Ava beamed as she jumped from her podium and squirted some water into a glass and scooped in some ice.
It was the trio’s first night off together, so Ben and Ava had decided to have a night out. Hayley wasn’t keen, but she had no choice; Ava was scary when she didn’t get her own way.
So Hayley just had to accept a night out with her excitable friend.
Her eyes wandered back to the men up on the balcony and she looked up to see him standing there. Her heart raced as their eyes met again but she looked away, scared of him seeing the dark side she was hiding.
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