Guilt is a powerful emotion. Sometimes it drives you to do things you normally would never do otherwise, and sometimes it leaves you wanting to do something for someone you barely know to atone for the guilt. The latter was how I got to where I was currently.
Sitting in a car with a gold ring on my finger, married to the Mafia Don of the Russo Family. Viktor Russo.
“I do wish you would smile, Nikita. After all, you suggested this.”
Forty-six hours, nine minutes and a handful of seconds of marriage, and I was already miserable. But I knew this was bound to happen. Smiling tightly, I turned to Viktor.
“Is this better?”
“Hardly. I would say it’s almost worse than the miserable face you’ve worn since we left the Concetta-Mihail complex.”
“Must be a side effect of being around you.” I sighed.
Viktor was quiet for the rest of the car ride. Viktor was taking me to honeymoon with him at the private Russo Villa. I would have rather he just locked me up in the Russo mansion, at least there I knew the surroundings. The private airport was quiet and cold. Viktor pulled me along with him by the wrist. It could have been by the hand, but I refused to let him.
“Do you have any adverse reactions to plane rides, Nikita?”
“No. But the thought of being stuck in one with you at thirty thousand feet is an adverse reaction all of its own.”
“How lovely.” Viktor hissed, and I knew I got under his skin. That alone made me smile happily.
He let go of my wrist, and we walked towards the entrance of the plane. I could feel the air between us, and the tension between us was palpable. I knew it was going to be a long flight. Sitting down in my seat, I wanted to ask Viktor what country we were going to, but he probably wouldn’t tell me, anyway.
“Could I have my cell phone?” I asked him.
He fished my phone out of his breast pocket, and I took it from him. Turning it on, it alerted me that the sim card was missing. “Viktor, where is my sim card?”
“You won’t be able to use it at the Villa. I’ll get you a new one when we get there,” he said, and relaxed into his plane seat.
“How long will you keep me locked away at the Russo Villa?”
“Locked away? That is hardly what I am doing, Nikita. If I wanted to lock you away, the Russo mansion was the best place for that.”
“Then what is your plan here, Viktor?” I questioned him, crossing my arms. He reached out and touched my hair, which was hanging over the armrest. “Nikita, my only plan here is to take my new husband on a honeymoon.”
“Sadly, I’m not stupid enough to believe that, Viktor.”
He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. “Buckle your seatbelt. We’ll be leaving shortly.”
I buckled my belt as he reached over to do it for me. “I didn’t do any of this because I like you, or want any of this from you, Viktor Russo. I did it so that you would keep your controlling tendencies away from your cousin and the relationship that is healing him, you prick.”
“Either way, I got what I wanted, now didn’t I, Nikita Russo?” Viktor said, his eyes narrowing, and that nasty behaviour of his showing through. “Till death do us part,” he leaned over and whispered.
The urge to tell him I hoped it was him first was there. But I didn’t. Since I didn’t want to be the one to go first, let alone in less than the first seventy-two hours after our marriage. I closed my eyes when the plane took off, and opened them when it leveled out again.
The plane ride wasn’t terribly long, and Viktor wasn’t pleasant company, but I survived and that was good or bad, depending on what angle you looked from. I played with my phone the whole time, until it died, and then went to verbally attacking Viktor because I had nothing, and I mean nothing, better to do.
“Stay here for a moment, Nikita. I mean it.” Viktor said as he got up and got off the plane. I waited where I was because I had no clue where the fuck I even was to begin with. Viktor returned a little later and handed me my ID and passport.
“You will have to get all that updated soon, Nikita.”
“I am aware.” I said flatly.
“Our things are already in the car. They are just waiting for us.”
“Our things? Viktor, I don’t even know what I have here. You packed my bag.” I snapped, feeling frustrated with him. He didn’t respond to me, and instead, he forcefully took my hand and pulled me to this car. The man inside didn’t say a word after greeting Viktor as Don Russo. Viktor opened the door and pushed me inside. He followed me quickly and sat down next to me. The car sped away, and it left me with more questions than answers.
“Quiet. You don’t think you have talked enough? Half the plane ride was nothing but you speaking.”
“Fine.” I hissed and turned to watch out the window. Viktor had the driver stop multiple places on the way to the Villa.
“Nikita, I got you a new sim card. We’ll set it up once we get there.”
I ignored him, watching out the window still. He wanted me to be quiet. He was going to get exactly that. As soon as I got that damn card, I was going to call Lev and find out how things were there. I was worried about Ilya, and how he found out about my betrayal to him, if you could call it that.
“We are here,” the driver said, and got out to open Viktor’s door for him. Of course, when Viktor got out, he yanked me right along with him. I had no choice but to follow. Viktor led me into the main building and the staff seemed to be pleased to see him. They took our bags and offered snacks and drinks right away.
“Show my husband Nikita to our room. I’m sure he would like some time to settle.” Viktor said, before he left with another man. I was sure he was running off to do work related to the family.
“Please follow me, Nikita.” the woman said, and I followed behind her. She stopped at a door and opened it. “I hope you enjoy your stay here. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask me or the other staff.”
She left me at the door after that, and I went inside, closing the door behind me. Our bags sat on the floor beside the bed. Grabbing mine, I tossed it up on the bed and opened it. All the clothing inside was brand new, and in my size. Viktor had even found high collar shirts of all kinds to hide my scar.
Abandoning the bag, I looked around the room. There had to be some sort of internet signal out here that I could use to contact Yuri. Yuri had managed to find this guy with some of Lev’s information, and information he was able to gather from other sources, those sources he kept confidential. By day Yuri worked cyber security for the world’s top organizations, and by night you could say he paid his retirement by working alongside Lev, myself and a couple dozen others he trusted.
Viktor returned to my side, loosening the tie around his neck. He pulled out the sim card and passed it to me. “Don’t worry about the charges. I’ll hold up my promise of paying for everything you need.”
I took it and quickly put it into my phone, and restarted it. As soon as it booted it up, I hit the button to call Lev. He picked up on the second ring.
“Lev speaking, can I help you?”
His voice was comforting to me, even though everything that happened because of me.
“It’s nice to hear your voice.” I laughed.
“Nikita. How are you?” Lev asked, and I could almost hear concern in his voice.
“How is Ilya?”
“He is alright. He was a little shaken up.”
“Me too.” I said, quickly.
Viktor was watching me, and I felt like he was making sure I said nothing to Lev that he didn’t want me to. “I’m doing well. Viktor and I got married a little over two days ago. Sorry I couldn’t invite you. It was rushed.”
“Don’t worry about it. We can get together when you have free time. I’ll reach out to Viktor and see if we can meet up.”
“Of course, that will just have to wait until Viktor and I are back from our honeymoon. How is the cat Ilya got?”
“Oh, Ilya named it Poe, but Vito calls it Ilya junior because it bites,” he said, and I heard him doing something through the phone.
“Are you busy? I didn’t call at a bad time, did I?” I asked, and turned to look at Viktor. He was in the middle of getting changed, and I turned back around.
“No, I’m not that busy. Alessio was just grabbing finished paperwork so he could sign it, and get it filed away.”
“Oh, say hello to him for me.” I said and pulled my hand through my hair.
“I will. Call me if you need me Nikita, I mean it. Don’t forget that you have an appointment with Alessio to get your cast off in a few weeks.”
“Yeah, yeah, I know. I will. I won’t forget, I can’t wait to get it off. Ok, So I’ll let you go and call in a few days. If you just want to talk, you call me too.”
“Take care of yourself, Nikita. We’ll talk soon.” Lev said and hung up on me.
I let out a sigh, sitting on the edge of the bed. “Do you feel better after talking to Lev?”
“No.” I said, and stood up again, looking at the suitcase. “Where is my actual stuff? I didn’t buy any of this, and I don’t know where it came from?”
“I bought it. It’s clothing for the weather here. The rest of your things went back to the Russo mansion with the three guards of yours.”
“Oh. I see.”
“Get changed. They will serve soon dinner. We can eat out on the balcony.”