I heard it then. Something the opposite of hesitation, of indifference. The intensity of it scared me more than anything had in my entire life. Even more than death.
They say love and hate are separated by a thin line. He was switching lanes on me like a maniac. I couldn’t decide in that moment which lane we were in, though.
His voice reflected hate, but his eyes showed nothing but love.
My hands trembled, but I found the strength to move, to reach up and hold on to his. “All right,” I whispered. I held on to him tighter when he didn’t budge. “I won’t ask you to break the oath between us.”
I wasn’t sure if those were even the right words to use, but I was trying to speak to him in a language he knew better than English or Italian. I spoke to him in a code that spanned hundreds of years. A code that was honored as much as it was feared.
He searched my eyes before his mouth came against mine in a kiss that I thought might have reopened my lip. His touch was rough too, especially when he ran over the scabs left on my cheek.
“Aniello,” I hardly got out. “I can’t b-breathe.”
He broke the kiss and his hold on me, sending a surge of air through my lungs. It was like taking a first breath after being consumed by smoke.
He put the car in gear and tore away from the side of the road. I watched his face closely as he drove. I couldn’t read him. He’d buried his feelings too deep for me to understand.
It wasn’t until after we arrived at Club D that I knew exactly what he wanted from me.
Exactly what he needed.
We walked in separately, and right after he came through the door, he ordered me into his bath suite.
We didn’t come out until the next morning, the sun burning through the windows and curtains, orange and red flames streaking across the sky, predicting the oncoming heat of the day.
Our game with fire had begun.