Nicholas was angry with me. I could tell from his gait and the glare he shot my way as I walked out of the hospital with my arm around Aunt Adrienne.
He leaned against his car like he'd been waiting for us to come out. How did he even know we were here?
"I'll go talk to him," Adrienne said when she noticed Nicholas's glare at us.
"No. Go home. Can you drive?"
"Yes. I told you I'm fine."
"But you didn't take your insulin injection."
I just found out Aunt Adrienne was diabetic, and the reason she passed out was that she hadn't taken her insulin injection. According to her, she forgot.
"I'm fine, Elle. Hand me the keys."
I handed her the keys to the car that I'd parked across the parking lot when I drove it to the hospital. We exchanged kisses on both of our cheeks before she walked away. I didn't miss the nasty look she shot Nicholas's way as she made her way to her car.
"Don't be scared of him, " I whispered to myself before making my way over to Nicholas.
He opened the door to the passenger side without saying a word, but I wasn't fooled. He was furious, and I knew the control he had over his temper was slipping, albeit slowly.
I climbed into the car, jerking in fear from the force with which he slammed the door closed. Asshole. I leaned against my door, trying to make myself as inconspicuous as possible when he climbed into the car and revved the engine up.
To my utmost surprise, he didn't say a word throughout the car ride. Not even when his car pulled up in front of his gated community, or when he finally pulled into his driveway.
I took advantage of the time he used to turn the engine off, and I dashed into the house, running to my room. I didn't breathe until I was safely inside my room with my back leaning against the door.
It was childish on my part, but I was scared of him. No matter how much I tried to talk myself into believing I couldn't fear him, it never worked. Everyone feared Nicholas Rossi, and I just happened to be his wife.
I woke up in the middle of the night shivering. The air in the room was almost artic, and I could only wonder if this was Nicholas's doing. It had been warm when I went to bed.
Another cool breeze swept into my room, and that was when I realized I'd left my windows open. That was why it was cold.
I sat up against the headboard, running my hand down my face before I climbed out of bed to use the bathroom first. When I was done with that, I walked over to the window.
It was a full moon tonight, and the illumination streamed into my room. From the corner of my eyes, I saw the glint of a blade underneath the moonlight, but it was gone just as quickly as I'd seen it.
That wasn't right. I walked over to my nightstand, turning the lights on. I wasn't prepared enough for what I saw.
Nicholas Rossi sitting on an armchair in the corner of my room, dressed in his suit Sans the jacket and a tie, a knife resting casually on his perfectly sculpted thigh.
Was he here to mark me up with the knife?
"What are you doing here?"
"I believe you've done enough running for one day." He leaned back in the chair, looking every bit like a formidable ruler in his dark, tailored suit. His eyes were unreadable, increasing my fear of him.
With shame washing over me, I looked away from him. "I haven't been running. I don't know what you're talking about."
"Of course, you don't." He cleared his throat. "You were very foolish today, Giselle."
I didn't know what was worse; him calling me foolish, or the fact that he had reached for his knife.
"It seems you have no regard for your safety."
"And I'm supposed to believe you do?"
"You're my wife," he continued, like I hadn't said a word. "Do you know what that means?"
"I don't. Please, enlighten me," I sassed.
I knew what being a mafia trophy wife entailed. Be seen, not heard, and the most important thing to remember was that your husband's enemies were now your enemies till the day you took your last breath. My mother was the picturesque mafia wife. Everything I mentioned, I learned from her.
"I am the Capo of the Rossi family."
I couldn't help myself. "Listing off all your achievements for some accolades from your wife?" That one word was bitter in my mouth as I spoke, putting on a sweet smile.
"Do you know I had to get eight stitches on my side prior to our wedding ceremony? Earlier today, I was dealing with a snitch."
Why was his tone deceptively calm? And most importantly, why was he telling me all this?
He balled his fists, drawing my attention to his busted knuckles. "I had to put my hands on my men today because of you. One of them, in particular, has to get stitches on his cheek, because my ring busted his skin open."
My eyes bulged out of my head. Because of me?
"Yes, Giselle. Because of you," he repeated, like he could see the question written all over my face. "You were lucky today. No one recognized you as my wife. Do you know what would have happened otherwise?"
I swallowed the lump in my throat. "No."
It happened in the blink of an eye. The knife was casually resting on his palm, and in the next second, the knife was on the wall next to my head.
"Oh, my God," I gasped, my heart rate picking up.
"It could have been that easy, wife," he spat. "You could have been shot on the road today, or worse yet, someone could have kidnapped you, raped you, and beaten within an inch of your life. Then, they'll finally deposit you on my doorstep, a shell of the woman you once were." He enunciated every word, raising my fear through the roof. "Before you trick my men next time, think about all these things."
He rose from the chair with cat-like fluidity, heading for my door.
"You'd like that, wouldn't you?" I asked, bringing him to a halt. "You don't care about me, so why are you making my safety a big deal?"
"I am not here to banter words with you, Giselle."
I had plenty to say. "I'm not your precious Gianna, remember? Why do you care if I'm kidnapped or raped?"
He glared at me over his shoulder. "You'll never be her, Giselle. Never."
"And I never want to be her."
I envied her while she was alive. What did she do right that I always did wrong when it came to my parents? They never cared about me as much as they did her.
They'd made that clear while we were children. Gianna got a role as a flower in a school play, and Mother had dropped all her tea parties and socializing for that night.
I took ballet classes in school, and the day I got a solo presentation, Mom 'couldn't make it'. When I came back from my performance, I found her drinking the biggest glass of wine I'd ever seen. The next day, I quit ballet. The only reason I took it was to impress her in the first place.
The door slammed shut, jolting me out of my memories. Nicholas had left even more pissed than he'd been when he picked me up, and I bet it had everything to do with me mentioning Gianna's name.
Too bad he wasn't getting rid of me soon. If I was going to suffer in this marriage, then so was he, until he was angry enough to send me packing. That was the only way I could escape this marriage.
Many would assume I had something wrong with me because Nicholas threw me out, and if luck was on my side, no one would want to marry damaged goods.
It was time for me to take control of the situation. I could get what I wanted in less than a month if I got on his nerves enough.
I smiled to myself, pulling his knife out of the wall. I curled my hand around the cold metal. Nicholas Rossi bit off more than he could chew, and it was high time he realized that.