“Why don’t you love me, (your name)?” You backed into the wall and frantically shook your head.
“Calixto, please don’t-”
“But it’s the only way.” You gasped and sat up abruptly, trembling. You climbed out of bed, shivering from both the cold of the night and the dream. There was a bad feeling that you just couldn’t get rid of, so you walked down the hall and opened the door to Luciano’s room.
“L-Luciano?” You heard a yawn.
“Can-can I sleep with you tonight? I’m sorry, I just-”
“No, no, it’s fine. Come here.” You gratefully walked over to his bed and slipped under the covers, snuggling up to him. He wrapped an arm around you and pulled you closer to him, kissing your forehead. Feeling safe, you fell asleep in his arms.
A maniacal laugh fought its way to my throat as I walked closer to my goal, closer to her. I looked at the infinite sky, inhaling the scent of my last night that was tainted with loss.
The Next Morning
You slowly opened your eyes. You blinked. This wasn’t your room! The memories of asking to sleep with Luciano came rushing back and you looked to the left to see a pair of glowing magenta eyes staring at you. It was at that moment you realized he was shirtless.
“Tu sei quel ansiosi di dormire con me?” You rolled your eyes and scooted away, only to have Luciano’s arms wrap around you and pull you back to him.
“I just had a nightmare, okay?” He stiffened slightly.
“What was it about?” You sighed and turned back towards him, looking into his eyes.
“It was about Calixto. H-he-”
“Don’t worry. I’ll protect you. If you’re really that nervous, I can start to train you.”
“Thank, Luciano. I love you.”
“Ti amo anch’io.” You kissed him and then sat up.
“I’m going to make breakfast now.” He gave you a look. You rolled your eyes and walked back down the hall to your room.
After getting changed, you went downstairs. The smell of pasta sauce was being emitted from the kitchen. There was a plate of pasta on the dining that you guessed was for you.
“Really? Pasta for breakfast?”
“Si.” Luciano sat down, carrying another plate of pasta and setting it down on the table. You rolled your eyes and sat down next to him.
“How disgusting.” It was the voice. The very voice that came to you in nightmares, haunting you.
“Che cazzo ci fai qui?”
“I’m sorry. I don’t speak gibberish.” Luciano growled and stood up, stepping in front of you protectively. Almost instantly, Calixto took out a pistol and fired at him. The bullet left a hole in the wall.
“Damn. My aim really isn’t that-” A knife flew towards Calixto. He ducked, and it created a cut on his cheek.
“Run!” You attempted to sprint out of the room, but a gunshot was heard and a lamp in front of you shattered.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Luciano cursed and shoved you under the table. Suddenly, a plate was smashed over his head, knocking him unconscious. Calixto leered at you from behind his body.
“Come with me, my dear. I can make you happier than you’ll ever be if you’re with him.” You shook your head fearfully and tried to crawl away from him, but he grabbed your arm roughly. You screamed and took one of Luciano’s knives, pointing towards him with your hand trembling. He sighed and took out his own.
“It would really be easier if you-” You slashed at his chest with the knife. He growled and a sinister look came into his eyes.
“I will kill you.” Your eyes widened.
“It’s the only way to make sure no one else fall in love with you. Why else?” You took a deep breath and summoned all of your courage. You looked at Luciano and kissed his forehead.
“I’ll protect you, like you did for me,” You hissed to Luciano’s unconscious body, your eyes blazing. You wished that this could have a fairytale ending, that when he woke up, you would have saved the day. Slowly, you crawled out from underneath the table. You grimaced and glanced back at his body. That had happened because of you. He had been defending you, and you were going to repay that, with every last breath, every last drop of blood, every last ounce of energy. You let the anger course through your veins, giving you strength, and you turned towards the enemy, the one that had caused so much pain.
“Ah, what a pathetic attempt to help. It’s just like in that story. The brave princess decides to stand up for herself, saving her the valiant knight, or prince. But alas, all good things must come to an end.” He turned and looked at you, a maniacal grin on his face. “Including you, my dear, sweet (your name).” Calixto cackled and threw his bloody knife. You dodged to the right, causing him to grin, his dark blue eyes flashing.
“Now now, (your name). It’s really better if you calm down and let me talk to you. Really, it’s a shame. You had such great potential, and a fiery spirit! All could have ended well for you. If only he loved you.” You backed away and shook your head quickly.
“N-no. I won’t believe anything you say. You’re a liar.”
“But you already believe me. In that pretty little mind of yours, you’ve already accepted that you’re only a burden to him. The one you call your lover is incapable of loving anyone, especially a weakling like you. If you had stayed with me, you would be happy!.” Your hands shook and you dropped the knife. Why were you even doing this?
“And furthermore, remember how your mother left you?” You shook your head, backing into the wall and sinking to your knees. “She left you on the streets because you were worthless. But now, I will make it so no one will ever have any feelings for you again.” You took a deep breath. You weren’t going to believe him. So what if Luciano didn’t love you? You loved him. You picked up the knife and lunged towards Calixto, desperation driving you. He sidestepped and cut you in the side with one of his knives. You gasped and held your hand to it, blood soaking your hand. It was a deep cut. You inhaled sharply and tried over and over to get to him, trying to hold out until Luciano woke up, but it wasn’t enough. At last, his weapon pierced your heart and stomach, causing you to choke on your own blood. Your body fell to the floor and your life flashed before your eyes.
“This is for your own good. I can’t take care of you anymore.” The woman that you admired, the one that had lovingly taken care of you for all these years turned and ran.
“Mom!” You sat down on the concrete, the pouring rain chilling you to the bone.
“N-no…” You felt a hand caressing your cheek.
“Oh? What’s this?” You opened your eyes and looked up at the woman who had found you in an alley.
“Where are your parents?”
“Left… They left…” Tears trickled down your face and you trembled, trying so hard to hold it all in.
“Oh dear… why don’t we go to my house and get you all cleaned up?” She smiled at you and extended her hand, which you gladly took.
“(Your name)... p-please…” He shook your body roughly.
“You’re what?!” Mariah, the one who had taken you in, froze with shock.
“I’m leaving. I can’t just take from you and not give back anymore.”
“No, (your name), think this through.”
“(Your name)!” Your eyes opened and you saw him. That face… it brought back so many memories.
“Ciao, bella. What’s a ragazza like you doing on the streets?” You stared into those enthralling magenta eyes.
“Come on. You can work for me if you want.” He held out a leather clad hand and grabbed your hand, pulling you to your feet.
“N-no, p-please. Not like this. Not like this.” His tears mingled with yours as you snapped out of the flashbacks and looked at him.
“Luciano, I-I love you. You have shown me so much love, and I want to thank you for being my-my savior.” His eyes widened.
“I l-lo-” But you never heard the rest of it. You were far gone.
A Few Minutes Before…
I opened my eyes and sat up groggily. Why wasn’t I dead? Calixto should have killed me by now, unless... oh no. I looked around to see (your name) getting stabbed by that despicable piece of filth.
“No!” Red tinged the edges of my vision as I screamed of rage and rose to my feet, my fists clenched. I took out four knives and began to throw them. One for the brain, one for the heart, one for the lungs, and one for the stomach. When he collapsed on the ground, I kicked him, the heels of my boots digging into his wounds. At the sound of a groan of pain coming from behind me, I whipped around, remembering (your name). I knelt down beside her.
“N-no…” I touched her bloodstained cheek, begging her to stay. Her eyes focused on me for a second, before closing, tears running down her face.
“Wake up,” I whispered. Her eyes were dazed and staring into space again, but her breath came in loud gasps. “Wake up, (your name)... p-please…” I shook her body, a claw gripped around my heart. There was a stinging sensation in my eyes, and a single tear rolled down my cheek as I watched the light of my life being ripped away from my grasp.
“Come back to me, (your name)!” Her eyes looked at my face for a second before losing focus again. Tears were coming in rivers, now, and they fell onto her face.
“You can’t be that bad. At least, not bad enough to kill me for working.” I rolled my eyes at (your name)’s refusal to acknowledge how dangerous I was.
“I don’t care what you say, I’m still going to work for you.” I had told her that there was no need to do so much for me. I had even threatened her. I wasn’t going to allow the woman that I loved work herself to death.
“I won’t allow a bella ragazza to work so hard.” It was her turn to roll her eyes. I smirked.
I stared at her. She was always so energetic. But now, her body lay limp on the ground as she struggled to cling to life.
“N-no, p-please. Not like this. Not like this.” I was about to give up hope when she spoke to me.
“Luciano, I-I love you. You have shown me so much love, and I want to thank you for being my-my savior.”
“I l-love you too, (your name). You have helped me so much.” I looked at her, trying to think of a way to put all of my gratitude into words. But she was dead.
“No!” I trembled, trying to keep myself from bursting into sobs as I picked up her mangled body. I held her as if she were a newborn, the salty taste of my tears lingering in my mouth. “Mi dispiace molto. I broke my oath to protect you.”
A Few Months Later…
I sat in on my bed, recounting her death. I had never felt the same since the day she died. I sighed and began carving a(n) (favorite animal) out of basswood.
”Hey, Luciano! Look! It’s a(n) (favorite animal)!” I had decided to spend a day at the zoo with (your name). It was depressing how she had been deprived of all of those privileges even as an adult.
“Do you like (favorite animal)s, mio amore?” She nodded enthusiastically.
“Of course! It’s my favorite animal!” Another exhibit caught her eye and she ran over to it like a child, grabbing my arm and pulling me over as well. I chuckled softly to myself at her childish, and to me, adorable behavior. I stared at the creation in my hands. It reminded me of her, and I could feel the emotions overwhelming me, creating a lump in my throat and a stinging sensation in my eyes.
Don’t do it. Hold it in. But I couldn’t. Tears spilled over, streaming down my face. My hands shook, and I dropped the knife and the sculpture on the floor.
“Come on, fratellino! It’s a wonderful night and you need to get out of the house!”
“Leave me alone, Flavio.”
“Luciano, please.” The seriousness in my normally cheerful brother’s voice surprised me. “We’re all worried about you.” I sniffed and turned around to look at him. He looked so sad that I couldn’t help but smile, a habit I had to cheer him up.
“Fine. But why now?”
“N-no reason in particular…” He fidgeted and looked at the ground. I sighed and wearily got up.
“All right then.”
“Yay! Come on, Lucia!”
“Don’t call me that,” I grumbled as I walked outside.
“Let’s go stargazing at the park!”
A few minutes we were laying on the grass, staring at the sky like my brainless cousin, Feliciano. I played with one of my knives, tossing it in the air and catching it in between my fingers absentmindedly. I closed my eyes and relaxed for the first time in what felt like forever. Then, I felt a tap on my shoulder.
“Tag, you’re it.” Flavio ran off, giggling like a maniac. I sighed and stayed where I was, unwilling to get up. “I’m leaving without you!” I heard him shout and cursed under my breath.
“Come back here, you figlio di puttana!” I got up and ran after him.