Wild And Wicked

03 | Fear for respect

A/N: Constructive criticism is very much appreciated!

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Ever experienced a feeling, deep down in the pit of your stomach, giving you nothing but stress and worry. The anxiety increases, as if telling you that something wrong is absolutely going to take place. Something that, I know, I won't like. Yes, you are right. I'm talking about instincts.

Ever since I set in Gael's car, I am feeling this negative energy around me. As a result of which I've been thinking constantly giving myself a massive headache. Different scenarios of what could be the reason for suddenly calling me back? Did something happen? What if he knows what happened in the past? Even though I know he can't know the truth because I have been making sure of it. Yet, the doubt still lingers at the back of my mind.

The car came to a halt, making me jerk forward a little because of the force. Coming back to the reality, I noticed the passenger seat empty, making me frown.

"Where is Valentina?" I asked.

"We stopped a few minutes ago and dropped her outside her house. She even bid you goodbye, but you were too lost in your thoughts." Gael answered.

Was I that much lost in my thoughts?

'Take a deep breath and hold your emotions. You got this!' muttering a few encouraging words to myself, I sighed and stepped out of the car, while Gael holds the door for me.

A smile threatened to make its way at the thought that Gael is grown up, and turned to be a gentleman, but I curb it.

The guards saw us and immediately bowed down.

"They are still making people bow to them?" I whispered, putting on my cat eye shades.

"They really misunderstood fear for respect" Gael answered.

"I am glad you remember" I praised, remembering the first lesson I taught him.

"Kataleya? Why do everyone bow in front of our brother? Is this what being respected feels like" 10-year-old Gael, stared at me with his eyes sparkling like a crystal filled with emotions.

"This is not respect. They bow down to him because they fear him." I answered, wiping his dirty face with tissues, which was smudged with chocolate.

"Then what's respect? Was our father respected?" He asked again, his eyes filled with curiosity.

"Respect is when people look up to you and admire you and your work. And, Our father was both feared and respected. In our world, you need to make people fear you in order to survive." I answered, expecting the curiosity in his eyes to go away, but that wasn't the case.

With my answers, the curiosity increased and so does his questions. One can never answer all the questions a child is curious about.

"What do you mean by our world?" Hearing another question from him made me sigh.

"You ask too many questions. But for now, just remember. Never mistook fear for respect. It's our first lesson." I smiled at him, earning a grin from him back.

"Of course I remember. It was our first lesson." Gael chuckled softly.

The time does fly by. Not too long ago you are living the moment, but when you look ahead, it just becomes a memory. Something one would cherish forever.

Both Gael and I entered the mansion.

Staring at the living room, the paintings on the walls, the staircase heading to the upper level, made me nostalgic. The happy moments, the sad ones and the ones filled with anguish, every single moment spent under this roof, came back to. Reminding me from where my journey started. The place where I took my first steps.

Making ourselves comfortable, both Gael and I settled down on the couch; a maid came towards us, carrying a tray with glasses of water.

"Where's Nicolas?" Gael questioned, making the maid's eyes go wide.

"Master is in his office. May I know who you are?" She answered.

Master? Who addresses their employer as master? But it wasn't her addressing Nicolas as master which irked me, but the terror in her eyes.

What's been happening here? The thought rang through my mind.

"Are you new here?" I asked, getting a small nod from her.

"I am Kataleya and this is Gael." I introduced, placing the glass of water back on the tray.

Her face went pale and the dread in her eyes grew bigger after hearing me.

Gael too had confusion apparent on his face with the strange behavior of the girl. Just as I was about to ask her if she's alright, the sound of heels clicking reached my ears.

"Kataleya?" A familiar voice asked.

"Nope. It's her doppelgänger" I tilted back a little to see the owner of the voice, and said.

"You and your tongue, still sharp as ever." Xena giggled softly with a genuine smile dancing on her lips.

"It helps, you know. I don't have to use a knife when my words are enough." I shrugged my shoulders, while women spreading on the couch.

Another reason why I prefer trousers and jeans instead of dresses.

"I see you still behave like a man" Another voice spoke, and an annoyed groan left Gael's throat.

"I wonder what you mean by that." I sarcastically said.

"You are 26 and look at the way you sit. No wonder you are single." I know he doesn't care how I sit, it was just his way of getting on my nerves.

"No wonder, with your this behavior, you are almost reaching the age of retirement. With no partner." I shot back.

"It's good to see you again, sister." Nicolas smiled, a forced one which didn't reach his eyes.

"Sure, it is." I nodded.

"Now that we all are gathered here, May I ask why?" Gael finally unmuted himself and said.

"Didn't see you there, Gael. Have you been here all this time?" The bitterness behind the words of Nicolas didn't go unnoticed by me.

"Unfortunately, yes. But I'm concerned for your eyesight. You should get your eyes check." Gael smiled.

"I won't hesitate to put you in your place. Watch your mouth." Nicolas hissed in anger, trying to control himself from snapping, it seems.

"I would like to see you try. Gael is not one of your men." My voice held a warning, telling him not to do anything that will trigger me.

Besides, who is he trying to control? Gael is his brother, not his puppet whom he can control.

"Stop it, you all! Can we have a peaceful family time when one of us don't fucking start a fucking argument with each other? I am sick of this. Every single time we are together, all you do is get on each other's nerves!

Like, stop it!" Xena finally snapped before Nicolas could say anything.

It's always like this. For some reason, Gael and I never got along with Nicolas. Be it a little thing or a considerable one, it always leads to an argument. No wonder, Xena gets annoyed. After all, she wants all of us to be like how a family is supposed to be. But, not all families are perfect, and ours is far from being one.

"Language, sister. There is a kid present here. And then, let's cut to the chase then. Why did you call me here?" All the sarcasm and mischiefs in the aura was suddenly engulfed with a gloomy and serious one.

The anger disappeared from the eyes of Nicolas, and so does the genuine smile of Xena. All that was left was the nervousness and anxiety which reeked out of them.

"Our grandmother signed a pact with her best friend. Her best friend was the wife of then Italian mafia boss. With whom our grandfather was in rivalry. " Nicolas stopped and checked Gael's and mine face to see any reaction, but found none.

"What was the pact?" Gael questioned.

I stared at our brother's face, waiting for him to answer.

"Our grandmother signed that one of her grandchildren will marry one of the members of their family line. It was their solution to end the rivalry between the Italian and Spanish Mafia. If the contract breaks, so will be the friendship of both the Mafias. The one who breaks the contract will be punished or there will be a war between them." He completed.

In that very moment, all I wanted was to go back in time and strangle both the old women for leaving us with this misery.

A sigh escaped my lips as I asked, "So you are getting married?"

"No. It's you who is getting married."

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