Online Only. Contains bad words and sex-y scenarios. Mature (18+) audiences.
Read Episode 11 here.
Getting back into a routine after the last few weeks they’d had was more difficult than Mo had anticipated. They’d gone home after leaving Germany to pick up Aleksi and see their friends. The first night back in their house, in their bed, she’d gotten maybe two hours’ worth of sleep. The next night, it was the same. When it started happening frequently enough that Giorgio asked her about it, she told him it was just her internal clock trying to reset to Aleksi’s night schedule. They’d switched and he’d taken over the night shifts with Aleksi, but she would still wake up, sometimes covered in sweat, and lie awake while Giorgio’s deep voice echoed from the bedtime stories he told their son.
She was still too sore from fighting to make love but not too sore to lie on her back or lean against a wall with Giorgio’s head between her legs. He wouldn’t allow her to return the favor, however. Not until all her bruises had healed and she “seemed more like herself.”
Now, it was three in the morning. No hungry wails came from Aleksi’s crib, which they’d brought into their room. Next to her, Giorgio’s shoulders lifted and fell with each sleeping breath. It would be another night she didn’t make it all the way through, and they had a flight to Europe in the morning. Thankfully, some of their friends were coming along, which made her feel better about the trip, but it did nothing for her right now.
She leaned over, pressed a kiss against Giorgio’s shoulder, and slipped out of bed. Before she left the bedroom, she walked to Aleksi’s crib and watched him for a moment, making sure he looked comfortable and his breathing was fine. The air conditioner was extra cool against her satiny chemise where a little bit of sweat remained, so it threw off the actual temperature in the room. If he was curled into a ball, she’d go turn up the thermostat or lay him next to his Papa.
Aleksi slept soundly, his hair a ruffled mess and his arms splayed wide. A small smile played at the corner of his mouth. She knew it was normal for parents to find their baby cuter than all others, but her little gumdrop was gorgeous.
She smoothed a hand over his head and then left the room, headed toward the kitchen.
In the first few months after she joined the assassin’s circuit, a similar thing had happened. Sleep had been hard to come by. Anxiety had plagued her to the point that she would often have spells where she would shake, uncontrollably, as if she had chills from a fever. She’d contemplated giving up and dropping out because of it; most of the other hitmen had come from broken lives so were used to that level of stress. Her upbringing had been not only traditional but, for the most part, normal. It made no sense that she’d ended up where she had.
But then, she’d met a certain monster.
Yawning, she padded to the kitchen, opened the refrigerator, and pulled out a Tupperware container of leftover Spaghetti Bolognese. Since being home, takeout and easy dinners had been the norm. And, although she wasn’t hungry, food would be a decent enough distraction from the fact that she felt sleepy as hell but seemed unable to do anything about it.
She closed the refrigerator, placed the container on the countertop, and then opened a cabinet in search of a plate. Warmth enveloped her from behind and she stopped mid-reach, dropped her hand, and leaned back into Giorgio’s chest.
“You are not sleeping,” he said, wrapping his arms around her and drawing her up close against him. She still loved how hard he was. No matter how much she trained, how lean her arms got, or how flat her stomach, there was still something about the way their bodies contrasted. Against him, she felt soft and smooth.
“Not through the night, no,” she admitted, resting her head on his bare chest. “What are you doing up? Did you hear me?”
“So you knew I was lying about readjusting to Aleksi’s sleep schedule.”
“Da.” He stepped back and took her hand, broad palm and longer fingers closing around it. “Come.”
He walked them downstairs and through the French doors that led to their back porch, sat down in a patio chair, and pulled her down on top of him. She positioned herself so she was straddling him and leaned forward, hugging him while her forehead pressed against his shoulder.
“Tell me,” he urged, hands rubbing up and down her back. “I worry for you.”
“It’s just anxiety.” She squeezed him tight. It felt amazing just being in his arms. “After everything that’s happened, my body and brain are trying to rewire themselves. I don’t have the resilience you do.”
“You are . . . resilient,” he insisted, moving carefully through a word she’d never heard him use, and one he’d likely never had to use before. Not in English.
“I know, but not like you. Us normal folk need a transition period.”
He kissed her shoulder. “You have nightmare?”
“I’ve had one or two disturbing dreams, but I don’t think that’s what’s been keeping me up.”
He pried her away from holding him and eased her back so he could see her face. His thick, dark locks were nothing like their son’s. No matter what they were doing, his hair always seemed to fall right back into place. At most, all he needed to do was shake his head to move the strands out of his line of vision. Her tresses, whether they were straightened or a headful of cottony curls, always needed taming. Aleksi would likely fall somewhere in between as he got older, but for now, he was stuck with baby smooth strands and cowlicks.
She ran her thumb over the marbled scar that ran through Giorgio’s brow, smoothing the hairs as she traced. “You’re so beautiful, Gio.”
A glimmer lit up his irises. Where her other hand rested, her palm flat against the left side of his chest, his heartbeat sped up. No matter the expression on his face, his body always gave away what he really felt.
“Tell me,” he repeated, eyes closing as she continued to smooth his brow. “Everything.”
“I just had the one or two dreams,” she said again, mind hazing when his caresses dipped lower. “I’ll fall asleep, wake up a few hours later, and then take forever to fall asleep only to wake up again. When I do wake up, I’m covered in sweat and my heart is racing.”
He palmed the swells of her behind. “Like a panic?”
“Just like I’m panicking.”
She sighed. “I think I’m worried that our reality will be having to fight for our lives until we’re too old to, and I don’t want that.”
He slipped his hands underneath the chemise, his rough palms an erotic sensation over the surface of her skin. “This is because of me,” he said. “And I do not know how to . . .” He thought for a moment. “Mne zhal’.”
Tightness built in her throat. “You don’t have to be sorry. These are things that happened to you, not that you caused.”
“Do you know, in Russian, bez and poza mean same thing?” He stared at her face, and the way he did made her own heart race. “Is fate, me and you.”
She grinned. “Except you gave me the name ‘Bez.’”
“I did not realize, at the time.” His hands moved up her ribcage, stopping just beneath the swells of her breasts. “And because, you are trouble.”
His thumb caressed the soft curves.
“Bez, I love you.” The pads of his fingers moved over her erect nipples, sending pulsing pleasure between her legs. “I will do everything, anything, for me and you and Aleksi, until you are better. But please, tell me. If I am able to help, I will do it.”
“I thought I could still handle my part of the marriage and parenting while all this was going on,” she protested, voice breathy and raspy with need. “But, I get what you’re saying. I should trust you more to take care of us when I need you, just like I’d expect you to trust me.”
His hands disappeared from her nipples, slipping from under the night dress. She began to whimper in protest until she felt his fingers on the lacy cups, dragging them down and exposing her breasts to the warm night air. She held her breath, waiting, and when the warmth of his mouth covered her nipples, she almost came right then.
She thrust her fingers into his hair, grasped the back of his head, and pulled him closer. His tongue was soft, flicking and teasing the puckered bud before his mouth clamped down. A hand lavished the other breast with attention, circling the nipple until it drew taut and kneading the flesh.
Mo’s head fell back, a chorus of moans rising in her throat and pushing through her lips. Her whole body shivered, goosebumps prickling at her skin and her clit pulsing. She wound and rotated her hips to ease some of the ache, applying more sweet pressure when she felt his hard erection through the cotton of his pajama pants.
“Gio, please.” Her tongue moistened her lips. “I’m ready.”
He leaned back, letting her breast slip from his mouth, and slid his hand back up her dress. When he pressed against a tender spot on her ribcage, she winced.
“You are not ready, Bez.” He blew cool air against her nipple.
She locked her gaze with his. “Then I’m going to suck your dick.”
Another glimmer lit like a flare in his eyes, this one clear primal desire and raw lust. His lids lowered slightly until he was looking up at her through his full, dark lashes. At his lack of response, she eased off his lap, lowered to her knees, and tugged at the waistband of his pants until his cock sprung free.
She felt him watching her as she wrapped her hands around the thick column and dragged her tongue from the base to the gleaming tip, in appreciation. Her tongue darted, lapping up the sweet-salty moisture she found there. The powerful muscles in his thighs flexed when she repeated the motion, licking her way along the veiny length. When she reached the tip, she closed her mouth over the head, and sucked.
“Fuck.” He groaned, followed by a hiss. “Fuck.”
He was hard and heavy on her tongue, just the way she liked it, as she slid her mouth back and forth over his length. As much as she wished she could swallow him whole, he had more girth than she had throat, so she used her hands to milk him where her mouth couldn’t fill.
“Bez . . . “ His fingers slipped into her hair. “Fuck, Bez.”
He was so gone, she’d reduced him to two words.
She smiled briefly against the wide expanse of cock in her mouth before concentrating fully on her task.
Soon, the fingers in her hair became his hand, then two. She braced her own hands on his thighs as his hips jutted, thrusting his length into her mouth. She watched in appreciation as the veiny shaft slipped, glistening, between her lips. His groans, deep and sensuous and guttural, gave her an illicit sense of power. She was the only one capable of getting him here—dizzy and vulnerable with desire. On the edge of a powerful orgasm she could already taste in the back of her throat.
But Giorgio being Giorgio, he didn’t relinquish power that easily.
He slipped his cock from her mouth, lifted her from the floor, and guided her down directly onto it. Somehow, he managed to go slowly, filling her at an aching pace.
“You are ready?” he asked, lust and anger in his voice. “Show me.”
He thrust up.
She had no response.
He held her against him as he impaled her from below. She could feel, from the stickiness on his thighs, just how slick she was. Her body went limp, her ribs and limbs aching but the ache between her legs so much sweeter. She tried to ride him but he was in control, driving up into her, his pace measured torture.
He latched onto a nipple. Pleasure flooded her body.
She squeezed his forearms, grip going tighter the nearer she got to climax. His large, hard body made her drunk and horny, as if she’d never made love to him before in her life. And when her orgasm exploded, she cried his name. He came not long after with a grating moan as if he’d been right at the edge of holding out.
She kissed his face as they came down together, wrapped her arms around his neck. He stood and walked them inside. Instead of going back upstairs, he lowered her onto the large sofa in the living room. He tugged the waistband of pajama pants back up over his hips, left her to retrieve a blanket, and then rejoined her. He tossed the blanket over both their bodies before pulling her into his warmth.
“You hurt.” He didn’t ask.
Mo buried against him. “I’ll manage.”
“On internet, I read that sleep in different room help with, what is word, problem with sleep?”
He kissed the top of her head. “Da. And fucking.”
She laughed. “You read that sex and sleep can help with insomnia?”
“Yes.” He looked down at her, a smile in his eyes. “You laugh, why? Is good article.”
The fact that, even before she’d told him she was having problems sleeping, he’d been looking for a solution, made her happy inside.
“Let’s see how it works, then.”
Not long after, tired and tender but feeling wonderful and safe in his arms, her lids grew heavy and she drifted to sleep.
* * * * *
The town of Pozza was so small, they didn’t have any hotels or inns where everyone could stay, so Mo and Giorgio found a place an hour-and-a-half outside the town in nearby Spoleto, a province in Perugia, Italy. Julien, Gage, Dez, Larke, Ari, and Tayler joined them.
The villa-style home was large enough to comfortably fit everyone. It had several balconies that offered views of the country’s lush, rolling green and mountains with their heads in the clouds. The air was fresh and clean, which Mo knew Giorgio needed. Her man was quiet, but his silence had been taken to another level on the trip. He was, hopefully, about to learn who his mother had been, and that information wasn’t something anyone could handle lightly. Not even her ever calm, ever self-assured Gio Pozza.
Inside, the villa had classic rustic Italian décor. All the rooms had massive, four-poster beds. Terracotta, wood, and natural stone elements flowed throughout. The owners, an elderly couple who’d told them the house had been in their family for decades, left zeppole and coffee in the kitchen for them to eat when they arrived. When the couple learned they would be arriving later than expected, they’d made sure the dessert and coffee were fresh and doubled back to leave them a hefty lasagne.
They’d ravaged the food before collapsing into bed.
Now, the next morning, she, Tayler and Larke were poolside. Ari and Julien had gone on a hike with Thandie and their little boy, Ty. Gage, Dez, and Giorgio went to check out the town of Pozza to make sure Mo and Aleksi would be safe when they visited.
“This is exactly what we needed,” Larke said, face to the sun as she lounged on a poolside chair. “A trip to the Italian countryside with friends.”
Mo held Aleksi in her hands while he splashed in the pool. “Thanks for coming. Gio could never handle this alone.”
In the shaded area near the pool, Grey crouched in front of Monroe, trying to explain something in babble only he understood. Monroe was sitting, her chubby legs tucked under her, shoveling play sand into a bucket.
Tayler glanced over at them.
“Who do you think Grey takes after more?” Mo asked. “Personality-wise.”
“Me,” Tayler said, immediately. “He’s definitely more like me.”
They continued to chat, Mo “swimming” Aleksi around in the pool, her mind on how Giorgio was faring. By now, they’d reached the town. She just hoped he felt comfortable there.
* * * * *
All heads turned as Giorgio, followed by Gage and Dez, stepped inside a small osteria just inside the town limits. A hush fell over the room. There weren’t many people inside, maybe fifteen. The casual eatery had an echo of the same rustic elements from their villa. Stone walls and drawn curtains made it feel even smaller, darkening the room, but there was no feeling of stuffiness. Candles and pendant lights over the tables likely had something to do with that.
Then, murmurs began.
A robust, middle-aged woman in the corner pointed at him and cried, across the space, “Sembri Giovanni.”
You look like Giovanni.
Giorgio ticked his head to the side. “Chi è Giovanni?”
Several of the restaurant goers cringed. He was used to it, the way people reacted to his voice.
The woman left her seat and walked over to him. It had been a while since he’d had to speak any Italian. Not only was it probably rusty, it likely sounded odd with a heavy Russian accent.
He repeated his question. “Who is Giovanni?”
“He lives here in town,” she explained. “You are from out of town?”
“Yes. I live in America. These are my friends.” He gestured behind him. “I’m actually here looking for my family. I was,” he searched for a plausible, less traumatic explanation than the truth, “adopted.”
“Do you know any of your family’s names?” she asked.
“Just one. Francesca. Francesca Pozza. She would have been my grandmother, I think.”
Her brows raised, pushing her hairline back. “Do you know your mother’s name?”
He shook his head. “No. Only that she was Francesca’s youngest daughter.”
The woman slapped a hand over her mouth. Giorgio reached out just as she wavered, steadying her.
“Giulia,” she said, tears filling her eyes. “Francesca’s youngest daughter was named Giulia. I am Stefania. Her sister.”
#13 – FAMIGLIA
She jumped up and ran toward the patio doors. He caught her in a couple of steps, hooked her around the waist, and walked them to the bathroom.
Due to the current crisis and quarantines across the globe, I have extended this series. I hope to see you all along for the ride. Let’s all work together to stay safe and healthy <3.
Mo and Giorgio are from the book, “Angels and Assassins: The Dark Knight.”