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Sold to the Hitman: A Bad Boy Mafia Romance Novel(10)

By:Alexis Abbott



The reminder hits me like a punch to the gut. If the poor girl was afraid enough tonight, how terrified must she be now?





4





Cassie





The three days leading up to my wedding have been the worst days of my life.

I have been holed up in my room as much as possible, my eyes wide and my lips sealed shut, too afraid to say anything to anyone. I probably haven’t said more than two words per day. My parents have dragged me around by the arm, from the wedding cake tasting to the dress fitting. As I stood on the little round platform being poked and prodded by the seamstress, my mother fidgeted awkwardly and my father pointed out all the areas where my skin could be seen. Even the most conservative dress in the bridal boutique was still too risque for my father’s tastes, as he agitatedly pointed out to the seamstress my exposed collarbone, forearms, and back. The dress was more akin to a prom dress in style, with a princessy, lacy corset top and a huge, fluffy skirt with layers upon layers of taffeta and tulle. The seamstress assured my father that she could easily and quickly sew in lace inserts to cover any exposed flesh.

“We don’t want her to parade down the aisle with her body on display for all the guests to see, of course,” explained my father. The seamstress nodded and gave him the same kind of smile everyone gave him — ready to obey. He was a scary man.

“Yes, her body is only for her husband to see. And God, of course,” my mother added.

As though the pair of them hadn’t just made me strip nearly naked and stand exposed before a group of rowdy, dirty, foul men in some basement of a Russian grocery and cafe.

The contradiction of these experiences blows my mind, still.

I can’t believe how hypocritical my parents really are. My whole life, they have treated me like a puritanical princess. But the second the clock ticked midnight on my eighteenth birthday, they suddenly decided to turn me into some kind of whore, to be bought and sold, traded away like chattel.

Sitting in the back seat of my father’s white Lincoln town car in my huge, poufy white dress, I have to fight back the tears that have been threatening to overtake me for days. As of yet, I’ve managed to keep myself from crying. Though, to be fair, that may have more to do with the fact that I’ve spent the past few days in a state of near-catatonic shock.

After all, before the other night, I was never even alone in a room with a male other than my father or Isaiah. Nobody has seen me naked, or even close, since I was a very small child. And then, to suddenly be surrounded by howling, lustful men in a dank room… it’s more than I can take.

I swallow back the lump in my throat and stare down at my newly-manicured hands folded in my lap. I had never been to a nail salon before, and under normal circumstances I might have even enjoyed it. The bright lights and endless selection of colors (though my mother insisted upon my getting a simple, classic French manicure) and the pop music playing in the background would have been truly exciting, otherwise. But under the circumstances, I merely sat limply at the manicure station, my eyes glazed over as the woman chatted gleefully with my mother beside me.

We are now en route to the church we’ve been attending since before I can remember, and I am nervous about seeing all the familiar faces there. Normally, I would have no reason to fear such a thing. The people of our congregation and the surrounding community all know me so well, know my family. I always dreamed that I would marry within this circle and that my wedding day would be filled with flowers and hymns and smiling faces.

Of course, it is likely that the flowers and hymns and smiling faces will be there.

But now, I will be constantly wondering if they know.

What if they all know what I did? What my family put me through? Will they judge me for marrying a man outside the community? All I know of him is his steely, albeit handsome, face and the fact that he has money — and lots of it. More than I ever realized one person could have.

Oh, and the fact that he has no problem using extreme violence to make a point.

I shudder to think what those clenched fists can do to me, if he so easily knocked a grown, rough-looking man to the ground. I want to believe that my parents would never shove me into a dangerous corner with someone who might hurt me. But after what happened the other night, my faith in both my parents and, dare I say it, my God, has been shaken. I want so badly to trust in them, to believe in a God who will protect me from darkness.

But it is difficult to feel anything but heartbreak and terror at the moment.

When the town car pulls up to the church, there are already smartly-dressed attendees milling about on the front lawn of the church. Our little chapel lies on the top of a hill down a dirt road, and the view overlooks the city below. In my many years coming here week after week, I have always found this outlook to be one of the utmost beauty. Somehow, being elevated above the hustle and bustle of our little town has always made me feel closer to Heaven.

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