Mafia King (Young Irish Rebels #2) - Vi Carter
The air is too thin. I can’t breathe. It’s like a swollen storm that’s all caught up inside me—rose-red blood blossoms on my once white wedding dress. My fingers play along the destructive substance as I drag air painfully into my lungs. The dress had been designed just for me. Every inch of the trim was done in lace, each stitch done by hand. It was truly a masterpiece that was smashed to pieces.
The room tilts, and I dig my hands deeper into the soft fabric to keep myself on the small navy stool. I focus on the white piano in front of me, the cover open, the white stool at an angle like it’s waiting to be played.
My vision blurs, and I close my eyes as I drag another breath in; it hitches on a sob that I can’t hold in any longer.
It’s their screams and panic that still pierces my mind. Hundreds of people fighting to get over each other, with love flying out the window, protection didn’t exist at that moment, as each person fought for their own safety.
Yet, all the while, he had stood at the altar staring at me. Knowing who was behind this.
It’s the look of absolute betrayal in Shay’s eyes that I will never forget.
Bending my head, I seal my lips together, so the scream doesn’t erupt from me. He hadn’t run like everyone else; he didn’t dive to the ground; instead, he stood before me in his dark suit, looking like a King that had just climbed off his horse, only to find out that there was nothing at all here for him to rule.
Footsteps pound along the wooden corridor, and I tuck my head deeper into my chest. Keep running, check other rooms. I’m not here.
My memory is filled with brown eyes widening before narrowing, while guns released countless rounds of ammunition. Hysteria reached its peak as everyone scrambled across church pews. Large golden candle holders collided with marble. The impact rattled the ground, but nothing rattled me like Shay.
Another sob has me slipping from the stool, and my hands touch the dark wooden floor. My polished nails drag along it as my mind grows more frantic as I replay the pain in Shay’s eyes. He no longer was a god with a shield around him. No, he became a man, made of flesh and bones. The moment he hit the ground, I knew the game was over.
I push my nails a little deeper until they bend and threaten to snap.
Right now, as I sob on the floor, the thought that races through my mind is: What have you done, Noel?
What have I done?
A wooden ruler brought down heavily on my hand brings me back to the present.
“Are you trying to scare the livestock away?” Breda’s pale face tightens as she shakes her head in disapproval. Her Cavan lilt is more pronounced now that I have annoyed her.
I shake out my aching hand while holding the tin whistle in the one that she hasn’t assaulted yet.
“You’re not concentrating!” She barks. She’s strict, but normally not this strict. She steps away from me and circles the red high-back chair that is reserved for her alone. She rarely sits throughout our lessons. I’m not sure if standing makes her feel more powerful. Her standing or sitting doesn’t affect me. I’ve been around Breda far too long for her stern, nun-like face to frighten me anymore. As a child, my reaction was very different.
A slow grin stretches across my lips. “You’re as excited as I am.” I point the tin whistle at Breda.
Her short legs make quick work of the floor, and the ruler comes down harder on my hand. My body responds, and I jump away until I’m at a safe distance from the offensive weapon while cradling my throbbing hand to my chest.
“From the top.” She steps away and walks behind the chair again. Her long piano fingers grip the back of the chair. I bring the tin whistle back to my lips. My knuckles are red, but I know I’m right when I see the smile in Breda’s gray eyes. She can keep her face like stone all she wants, but I've been looking at her since I was a child, and I know that the slight tightness around her eyes isn’t anger; it’s amusement.
I continue to play ‘As I Ride Out’ by Christy Moore. The notes flow through the room, and I fight the smile as I hope the music