“You want it to hurt?” He pulled my skirt up and dug three fingers into my pussy as if he owned it.
“Yes, yes. Do it.” I was pinned. He yanked my panties down halfway then put his wet fingers back inside me without warning.
“If you scream, there’s no one in here to hear you. And you’re going to scream loud enough to bring the rest of this building down.”
I pushed my hips against his fingers, feeling violated and needy at the same time. I needed him to go deeper, to touch me where it hurt most. I was going to break from the inside out of he didn’t bend me into nameless shapes.
He took his hand off the back of my neck and pulled my thighs apart. A gust of air cooled the wetness between my legs. He spanked my ass.
“Open your legs.”
I didn’t have a chance to obey before he kicked my knees apart. His tongue descended on me, the flat of it taking me from clit to asshole. His fingers worked inside, gathering moisture as his tongue worked my clit, not gently, but sucking like he meant to eat it, teeth grazing painfully, leaving waves of pleasure behind.
“Fuck me, Antonio.”
“Not yet.” He sucked on my clit then licked it, drawing his tongue over my ass. I’d never felt anything like it, and I cried out.
He used his fingers to wet my ass while he gave his tongue to my clit, sucking hard, then licking.
“I’m going to come, you fucking—”
“Make it hurt!”
He shoved two fingers into my asshole and I came, pulsing around him, arching back and pushing my pelvis against the car.
“Stay still,” he said when I shuddered and twitched. His cock slid into my ass, which was smooth from saliva and pussy.
“Yes!” I shouted. “Fuck!”
“Does it hurt?” he said in my ear then bit my shoulder.
“No.” I wanted to hurt, to break, to get lost in pain. I was crusted and black, hardened to steel on the outside, while inside, a molten swirl grew every day I was with Antonio. The pressure of it bloated me, and the gunshots in the store had only tightened my hard-bitten skin into a translucent, paper-thin shell. He had to break it. He had to crack me and let it spill.
He jammed himself in harder, but I was too ready and too needy to think of the stretching as anything but pleasure.
“Do it until I break,” I hissed. “Make me cry.” I swung back at him, but he took my wrist and twisted it, pinning it against my ass.
“You’re going to cry, Contessa. But not in pain.” He put my knee over the hood of the car, and he got in even deeper, groaning. He went slowly, rotating his hips gently.
“You won’t weep from being hurt. Not from me. You’re going to shed tears from coming so hard you forget who you are. And when you return, you’ll remember you’re mine, and you’ll cry then too.” He pumped me hard, once, and I screamed in surprise. “And you’ll cry again.”
He didn’t go harder; he slid carefully out and back into my ass, letting me feel every inch of him. I cursed him. He intended to make good on his promise but took his time with it, shifting my hips downward until my pussy was pressed against the hood of the car. It rubbed against the hard metal.
“You think you want me to hurt you. You don’t even know what that means.” I felt rocking, rocking, his hips and mine, the hood of the car, his hand holding my arm back, the escalation of pleasure on my clit, my empty pussy throbbing for something to fill it. “You have never tasted death,” he said into my ear. Softly, as if it were a secret.
“Make me taste it.” I heard the desperation in my own voice, the pain of need.
“I can’t bring you back.”
“Put it on my tongue. Take me all the way. Please.”
“No,” he said.
In the dim light, his face close to mine, I saw his jaw clench, his eyes get hard. He pulled me back by the throat and put his other hand between my legs. I don’t know how many fingers he wedged into my cunt while his dick was in my ass, but I was full and covered too, with his warm wrist on my wet clit and his body above mine. I felt protected under his thrusts, even if I’d never be safe again. I let myself crack. The fissure opened and the molten lava poured, pressing against the blackened case of control, smashing it until I screamed as if I were being rent open.
I was made of heat. The cold shell shattered into sharp-edged chips and floated away in the fiery river. I was consumed so completely I screamed in the pain of loss and pleasure of emptiness.
Antonio, the catalyst for my dissolution, the destroyer of my façade, put his lips to the back of my neck. I didn’t know who I was anymore, but I was his.
And I wept.
Two bathrooms had survived the fire. Antonio let me take the nicer one. I washed up and came out sore and emotionally drained. I didn’t have a thought in my head, only a need to see him.
I heard him before I saw him, rattling off in Italian. I’d never had a talent for languages, but right then, I wanted to learn to speak to him in his. I wanted to sing with him to that same song, to tell secret jokes in the same melody.
I followed his voice to his burned-out office. He was freshly scrubbed and brushed, poking a charred two-by-four with the toe of his dress shoe. I kissed him. His mouth was minty and soft. His face was clean, and when he touched my cheek, his tenderness was a balm on the damage he’d inflicted with those same hands.
He said a few short words over the phone and clicked off.
“What would you say if I sent you away?” he said.
“Sent me away?”
“Back home. My home. I think if I can’t protect you, my father can. Until things blow over here. Or until I can go back there.”
“There is no way, Capo. No way in hell. I have a family here. I have friends. I can’t just get sent away. It doesn’t work like that. And I won’t be away from you.”
“If Paulie ends up running an empire, whatever happens will be my fault,” he said.
“The last thirty-four years are my own. And the last couple of months are mine, as well. If something happens to me, it’s not your fault. It’s mine. I own this.”
“No. You don’t. I dragged you into hell. Now I have to get you out in one piece.”
He put his arm around me, and we looked through the space where the window had been, onto the broken glass and carbon chips that made up his shop, like an old couple on a porch, reminiscing about how the neighborhood used to be.