Home > By Virtue I Fall (Sins of the Fathers #3)(5)

By Virtue I Fall (Sins of the Fathers #3)(5)
Author: Cora Reilly

I gave her a sharp smile, swallowing a very harsh reply.

“Get inside.” I nodded toward the front door of the big timber lodge. “And carry your own luggage.”

I headed inside, not waiting for them. In my wake, I could hear them bickering because of the luggage.

Low male voices came from the living room and I found Samuel and Carlo inside.

“Santino,” Samuel said with a curt nod. “Stressful day?” He scanned my face.

“You have no idea.”

Anna and Leonas came inside, the latter carrying his and Anna’s suitcase. I’d only packed a bag.

“Hi Samuel,” Anna said with a bright smile and hugged her cousin. Then she gave Carlo a friendly smile and shook his hand. She could be charming, I had to give it to her, little miss perfect.

Steps thundered down the stairs. I assumed this was Sofia, Anna’s sidekick and Samuel’s sister.

She rushed into the room, and I did a double-take when I saw her. She was dressed in a skimpy white bikini and was displaying womanly curves. How old was she?

Seventeen. Fuck. I always forgot that Anna would be seventeen soon as well. I still saw her as the annoying kid.

Five fucking years and no end in sight. As long as she wasn’t married, I was bound as her bodyguard. I really hoped Cliffy had his own security team once those two closed their doomed bond.

“That bikini looks hot on you. Good choice,” Anna said when she pulled out of Sofia’s embrace.

Leonas nodded, leaning back against the sofa with a shit-eating grin. “Yep, you look like a hot piece of ass.”

“Shut it,” I growled even if the little shit had spoken the truth.

Samuel walked over to Leonas and hit the back of his head. “Watch it. You’re not Capo yet, so we can still kick your scrawny ass until your balls shrivel to the size of raisins.”

“As if they were ever bigger than that,” Anna muttered, giving Leonas a smug smile.

As if she’d ever seen anyone’s balls. “I don’t care if you two torture each other. The only thing I care about is that you’ll return to Chicago more or less alive and that you don’t get on my fucking nerves.”

“Our other bodyguards don’t say fuck because our mother hates the word,” Leonas said.

I was close to exploding. “File an official report and see if I give a fuck.” I turned to Samuel and Carlo. “I’m heading to the guardhouse. I trust you to keep them alive.”

 

 

I didn’t return to the lodge until dinner, which was surprisingly pleasant thanks to the fact that Anna was busy talking to Sofia and Emma, and couldn’t be bothered pissing me off. That, and the fact that I didn’t trust the other guards to do a good job watching all of the teenagers alone, was why I joined them afterward as everyone settled around the fire pit. Unfortunately, Anna sat across from me and her gaze promised trouble.

“I want to take a dip,” Leonas said with a grin I knew too well. That boy was the spitting image of Dante but his trouble-making ways were a far cry from my Capo’s poised attitude. When I’d agreed to becoming Anna’s bodyguard, I hadn’t taken into consideration that her equally annoying brother would be part of the deal as well.

Samuel gave me a look before he turned to Leonas. “Sounds good. Maybe a creature of the lake will devour you.”

Anna met my gaze in challenge. “We could go skinny-dipping.”

I almost said go ahead. She’d probably get a heart-attack seeing all that nakedness with her virtuous eyes, but so far I’d avoided seeing her in any state of undress and I wanted to keep it that way. I finished my beer. “Clothes stay on, and you two won’t behave like bickering toddlers.”

“I’m not a kid, Sonny,” Anna muttered.

I wished my father hadn’t called me Sonny by accident around her. She’d never stop annoying me with the hated nickname.

Leonas got up from his chair and undressed to his boxer shorts. “I’m going. You keep on chit-chatting.”

He ran down the path to the lower deck and catapulted himself into the black water with an ass-bomb.

Samuel followed shortly after.

Anna was still watching me with a daring smile. She didn’t take her eyes off me when she got up and began to unbutton the summer dress she was wearing. I leaned back, trying to keep my expression cool. She wanted to get a reaction out of me. If she thought her little striptease would get a rise out of me, she was mistaken. The last button popped open and she parted her dress only to let it glide down her shoulders slowly. I simply stared back at her face. I wasn’t a teenage boy who’d blush and snicker because I saw her in her underwear. Sure, she looked like a woman, a good-looking woman, but it took more than that to get a reaction from me.

Her eyes flashed with anger at my lack of reaction before she dashed toward the lake and dove in.

Shaking my head, I got up and tugged my shirt out of my jeans. “I’ll ask for a fucking pay raise once I’m back in Chicago.”

Emma giggled as if she thought it was a goddamn joke. Did my face look like I was fucking joking?

Ignoring her and Danilo, I stalked down to the lower deck, following Anna’s and Leonas’s laughter.

I jumped in headfirst. I needed to cool off for various reasons and was glad for the silence beneath the water’s surface for once. When I emerged after almost a minute, laughter and shrieks drifted back to me. I floated on my back while making sure to keep an eye on my two troublemakers.

My moment of peace was short-lived when Anna began swimming toward me.

“Do you ever just have fun?” Anna asked, hovering beside me.

“Yes. When I’m not working.”

Anna began floating beside me, revealing way too much of her body. I cast my eyes up to the sky. “You mean when you don’t have to be around me.”

I didn’t say anything. Her body floated closer to me and our arms brushed, and I snapped. “I’m not your friend, Anna. I’m your bodyguard. Even if you can’t act professional to save your damn life, I have to.”

Anna’s expression turned frosty but she didn’t get the chance for a comeback because Sofia began screeching. I jerked upright in the water, scanning the area as I grabbed Anna’s wrist. She, too, had stopped floating and swam beside me.

Of course, it turned out to be a fucking seaweed that had wrapped around Sofia’s leg. Anna smiled at me. For once not provoking. “You immediately grabbed me to protect me.”

“That’s my job.”

She nodded but still gave me that strange smile. I was glad when she swam over to Sofia to have a girl’s talk.

I wasn’t in the mood for swimming anymore, so I made my way over to the ladder. By then Sofia had climbed out and walked back up to the house, leaving only Anna at the deck. “You should head to bed. I don’t want to have to take care of you when you have a cold,” I muttered.

Anna rolled her eyes. “I was going to head to the lodge anyway.”

She grabbed the ladder.

“Let me go first,” I ordered. I didn’t want to have her ass right above my head while she climbed out. Anna released the rail with a frown and made room so I could climb up first. When I was up on the deck and turned back to the water, Anna gave me a knowing smile. “I really enjoyed the view.”

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