"You betrayed me... again"
His eyes had darkened, and a vicious expression contorted his face into a completely different person. Nikolai wasn't there anymore, it was the monster. The monster; who was ready to shed the blood of anyone who stood in his way.
And right now I was his prime target.
A splatter of blood sprayed over my face as a man was shot within a foot of me. His face was indistinguishable due to the gleaming red blood splattered across it.
His body hit the ground before my eyes. The glass windows shattered all around us, I placed both of my hands over my ears, ducking down. Bullets were splattering off the ground all around me.
People were screaming, running around, hiding under the tables. It was chaos. I looked back to the spot Nikolai was standing a second ago, no one was there.
He had left, Scott had left.
I looked towards the door and saw Nikolai's soldiers, taking covers; their guns loaded up.
Then it was a literal bloodbath. My breath got stuck in my throat, and my eyes watered. I couldn’t believe what was happening as I fell into utter silence.
It was all so perfect just a few seconds ago.
Someone pushed me back, shoving me behind a giant pillar and I looked at the man to whom that hand belonged to. It was Marco; he hid behind a table and had blood over his clothes.
He got out from behind it, blindly shot, and then ducked down again.
I dropped down to the floor to level with him. "Marco, are you hurt?"
He shot a hateful glare my way. "As if you care!" he snapped, reloading his gun.
"I didn't do this, Marco, please, you have to believe me."
He got out from behind the table once more and emptied his gun before dropping down to the floor again. "The only reason I am trying to keep you alive is that I don't want you to die an easy death!"
"Marco..." I breathed out.
"What you did to Lorenzo is fucking unforgivable, Evangeline. You are just like your father was, I'm sure you must have made him proud!" saying that he rolled over to the other side, grabbed a gun of one of the dead soldiers, and then got out of the hall through the nearest exit.
I looked around and realized everyone had left, all the people who were hiding all around me had somehow found a way to get out.
I was only surrounded by a couple of dead bodies, shards of broken glass windows, and blood, so much blood.
I heard the faint voice of Nikolai from the outside of the hall, he was barking out orders to his men. I picked up a single sentence through it. "Spare no one..."
The bullets were filtering through the air, I crawled over to a guard and took his gun. I needed to be out there, I had no idea what was going on, I needed to make Nikolai believe that I didn't betray him, not like this. I know that I lied about Lorenzo but this was never my plan, I was against spilling blood whether it's his men or mine.
What confused me was why our men would attack Nikolai.
It was a suicide...
But before I could get up and walk out, someone slammed the butt of the gun onto the back of my head.
"Ah..." a breathless groan left my mouth as I held the back of my head with both of my hands and curled up into a ball on the floor.
A splitting pain erupted through my head followed by a burning sensation. The ache felt like pins creeping along my spinal cord. I was overwhelmed with agonizing fiery pain, I tried opening my eyes to see who it was but my vision had turned hazy.
"Hey, there, boss..." I heard a familiar voice say followed by a menacing chuckle.
I turned on my back and forced my eyes open. Enzo was hovering over me with a malicious smile on his face, he had placed his hands over his knees, and he was hunching over, watching me with nothing but amusement.
"En—zo..." I croaked out.
"Tch tch tch, this is so sad, look at yourself, Evangeline. You're pathetic. You could have been so much more, you had the potential but you wasted it... For what? To be Costello's dumb little whore?" saying that, he kicked me in the stomach with his good foot.
My body flew to the other side, I grabbed my stomach and tried to swallow the pain.
"I had plans for us, I had our future perfectly planned out. You and I will get married, have children, wait till your uncle Luca died, so I could fucking shoot you in the head and take over the Moretti empire but you ruined it, you ruined everything for Costello. When you decided to go to New York I thought this is my chance, We'll go to war with Costello, I knew we'd never win but I had hoped that he'd fucking kill you and get rid of you for me. I'd go back to Luca like a fucking wounded hero but you two... You two fucked it all up."
I glared at him through the pain, I eyed the gun resting within a foot of me before turning my attention back to him. I didn't want him to know my next move, now all I had to do was to crawl to the gun without him noticing what I was aiming for. It tortured me to move, so I kept my movements small and steady.
I shook my head, "Enzo, what the fuck is wrong with you? Nikolai will kill all of our men, it's suicide..." I managed to say.
"Our men? OUR MEN?!" he laughed, "My men! When I said I hand-picked every single one of these three-hundred and thirty men, I meant I picked the men who were loyal to me not you. The rest of the Moretti men were loyal to you, there were of no use to me, so I left them behind in Sicily."
I glared at him, "You—"
"All it took were a few misogynistic assholes who couldn't bear to answer to a woman and deemed you highly unfit to rule. That's all it took to turn them all against you, I persuaded them into believing that you were the enemy, and trust me that was the easiest shit I have ever done after you opened your legs for Costello."
He walked closer to me, I glanced at his injured foot, the one that I had shot. And as he was about to say something again, I slammed my heel into his wound, making him bend over and hiss in pain.
I took the chance and got up. I grabbed his wrist with my left hand and held his gun hand against his chest, the gun caught under the jacket and I hit him twice more with my right hand, square in the nose. He staggered and I shoved him away.
I swung back around and roundhouse kicked him in the stomach real hard. He stammered out a curse, his injured foot was now laced with blood as it spurted out of his shoe.
"You fucking bitch!"
He kicked me in the shin, making me lose my footing. I felt my feet fly out from under me and my back slammed into the ground, but before I could get up, he was over me, he placed his knee between my chest and pushed it down hard.
He raised his fist and I raised my arms up in time to block his punch. Our faces were coated in the red liquid that was dripping onto our chests, staining our once-clean clothes.
"I'm the one who taught you how to fight, Evangeline. You can never outshine the master."
Though my vision was blurred from sweat and blood, I was raging mad and wanted to rip his head off
I grabbed the gun that was now resting just beside my face and I slammed it against his cheek, breaking the skin and probably his cheekbone.
He let out a string of profanities before he used his leverage of being over me and gripped my head. He repeatedly slammed and banged the back of my head into the ground. I wrapped my hands around his neck, digging my fingernails into his flesh.
I tried to stop him, I tried to fight back but when my head collided with the tiled floor with such force that a painful vibration reverberated throughout my skull making me disorientated, I felt my strength leaving my body.
His fist crashed against my cheekbone, knocking my face to the floor with a loud cracking noise.
"You and I, we would have been good together but you chose him. And now..." I saw him loading his gun as he pointed the barrel over my forehead. "Say goodbye to your husband, Evangeline..."
I closed my eyes, accepting my fate. I was done with this life anyway.
I took a long breath as a tear slid down my cheek dropping to the ground. The barrel of the gun dug into my forehead harshly. His knee between my chest was making it difficult to breathe.
My hair was all wet, and the back of my head was bleeding profusely, I took a deep breath but it hurt my ribcage. I exhaled, and inhaled again, realizing I was scared. My head swam; I tried to return to reality. My stomach tightened, but I can't just give up, not like this.
I gasped, my throat burned in agony, blood licking out from my mouth. He had banged my head against the floor so many times that it was getting difficult to comprehend what was going on around me.
I still tried to fight back, my hand raised sluggishly, slick with blood as I tried to grab him. He slapped my hand away, laughing at my pain.
"I don't want to kill you, Evangeline. I did care about you for a short amount of time in between. But you need to understand that it was not your place, I was ten, ten years old when Luca Moretti took me in. He raised me like a son, he made me believe that it was me who will get everything after him but the second he got to know about you, he flipped. Just because you had his blood, doesn't fucking mean it was your fucking birthright. I worked for it day and night, I deserved it, and you showed up one day and took everything from me. You were just a little girl and he trusted you with everything," he laughed but it was filled with pain. "And to add insult to injury, he handed you to me. He asked me to train you..."
I weakly pushed him away but it did nothing to him. "Get a-away from m-me..."
"You know what the worse part is? My own brother respects and loves you more than he does me. He is the only one here who thinks that you are the one leading this attack. He is so fucking loyal to you, it's fucking aggravating!"
I coughed. "I... I trusted you too, Enzo"
He nodded, pursing his lips. "I know... but you were not made for this, Evangeline. I realized that from the very first week when I trained you. You lead with your emotions, you're one of the good ones. There's no place for emotions in the underworld. You just didn't fit in but I gotta give it to you, you tried. You tried so hard but you still aren't good enough and now you're going to die and the man you love will always hate you—"
The next second, Enzo flew off from over me, and with my blurry, distorted vision I saw Scott trying to fight him off.
A gunshot went off and the sound of it rang in my head, again and again.
I squinted my eyes and looked to my side to see Scott dropping to the ground.
"No..." I tried to get up.
"Fucking Costello scum!"
I saw Enzo repeatedly punching Scott in the face, I cleaned the blood off my face and scrambled towards the gun laying on the ground. Blood filled my mouth, the pain blinding.
"What the fuck do you think you're doing?" I heard Enzo's voice behind me.
The next second, doors burst open and multiple footsteps resounded all around me. Again, wiping the blood off my face, I glanced at the men that had entered.
It was Nikolai, Marco, and the rest of their men. Nikolai's eyes zeroed in on my face, then they went to the gun in my hand before they finally settled on Scott, who was unconscious and bleeding from the bullet hole in his leg.
"Let him go!" Enzo sneered, glaring at them.
I frowned and followed his gaze, I was still highly disorientated but I could now make out everything that was happening all around me.
Marco was holding Dante by his hair as he kneeled bruised and battered in front of them. Marco had a sharp blade attached to his neck, ready to slit his throat on Nikolai's order.
"Let him go before I kill your bitch!" Enzo turned the barrel of his gun towards Scott as he faced Nikolai.
Each labored breath reverberated through me like sonic waves but I still got to my feet, standing tall between all the men.
"I didn't do it..." I managed to say.
An unbelievable scoff left Nikolai's mouth. "You still want me to believe that you have nothing to do with this?"
I glared at him, "If I wanted to kill you, I would have done it to your face," my gaze flicked to Enzo, "I wouldn't have attacked you behind your back like a fucking coward!"
Enzo gave me a smirk before he stepped closer to me and flicked the barrel of his gun toward Scott's unconscious body, "Boss, all you have to do is say the word and I will kill him."
I frowned, cleaning the blood that trickled over my face from my head. He had figured it out, he knew that Nikolai will blame me for the attack. He was now acting as if I were the mastermind behind the whole attack. Maybe, this was his plan all along.
A strained smile pulled over my lips, I had nothing to prove to him that I didn't do this. By the look on his face, Nikolai had made up his mind about me. He lost so many of his men tonight and he was blaming me for it.
“I love you, I love you so fucking hard, Evangeline Costello, please, don't ever leave me again.”
His voice and his words resounded in my head mixing with the burning, excruciating pain and love for him that ended the second it began.
I looked between all the men and saw Dante in Marco's grip. Dante gave me a miserable look that told me that all of our men were either dead or were about to die. It was over, Nikolai had won.
"Let him go..." I said to him, my eyes welling up with tears.
Nikolai clenched his jaw. His hateful, heated gaze burned into my skin.
"Take me instead, let Dante go..."
He breathed out a slight humorless, mocking laugh. "I already have you. Look around yourself, it's over. You're done. Whatever you had planned fucking backfired on your own men."
"Let him go, please..."
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times? Shame on both of us and Evangeline, I don't fucking do well with shame. I'm not gonna let you make a fucking fool out of me once more."
I nodded, "Kill me then, shoot me, do whatever you want with me but let Dante go!"
"You think I'll give you an easy death? It will be a mercy and people like you, don't fucking deserve an ounce of mercy."
I staggered in my heels, I had lost so much blood that I could now feel the weakness creeping up in my limbs.
My eyes went to Enzo for a mere second, he was still playing a game. He was acting like he was waiting for me to say something.
I dropped to my knees, my hands slammed onto the floor along with the gun I had in my hand. The dress clung to my skin, soaked with my own blood. I blinked as tears rolled down my cheeks.
"Marco..." Nikolai called.
My head shot up in their direction. Waves of deep, throbbing pain mixed with sharp, stabbing agony took over my body.
I shook my head from side to side, "No..." a whisper that fell on nobody's ears.
"Do it!" Nikolai ordered.
Two words, it was just two words, and Marco slid the blade across Dante's neck. Gushes of blood sprayed out of his neck as Marco let go of his hair and he dropped without uttering a sound.
"NOO!" Enzo's voice reverberated through the walls of this hall. Like a raging bull, he turned toward me. "You did this, IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT, YOU FUCKING BITCH!"
Then a gunshot rang out.
I had no idea who had fired it until the metal bullet connected with my skin. My shoulder jerked back as it was struck by the bullet. I looked to my side at where the bullet had carved a hole into my shoulder.
Then I felt it again, this time in my stomach.
The lump of metal penetrated my stomach, my weak body flew back, It felt as if I was thrown back good five feet.
Waves of pain echoed and surged throughout my body. I could hear nothing but my heartbeat in my ears. It was dwindling, faint.
The last image I saw was Scott getting up, and throwing Enzo to the floor. He snapped his neck before he crawled over to me.
"Evangeline..." his voice was so distant.
I felt the life being sucked out of me and my eyes were beginning to close...
The last thing I saw was Scott's shocked expression, it imprinted upon my mind without the oxygen to sustain it.