Vanessa’s pregnant belly had gotten so big that it limited our positions during lovemaking. She was almost finished with her seventh month, and her distended stomach became rounder and rounder. My son was going to be a big boy, judging by the way he constantly needed more room in her tiny body.
Now I liked to stand at the side of the bed with her ass hanging over the edge. I cradled her legs in my arms and thrust inside her, careful not to hit her stomach. She was getting uncomfortable in her pregnancy, her back and feet hurting, so I did all the work.
Not that I minded.
I watched her come for me, finding pleasure for a moment before she returned to her constant discomfort.
She dug her nails into my skin and whispered my name over and over, full of my cock, my baby, and my love.
I came as she ended, filling her pussy with my seed. I didn’t know how I would feel about her pregnancy before she became pregnant, but now I knew it was another thing that turned me on. Seeing that belly every day got me aroused in a way nothing else ever had. I loved watching her waddle around the house, my son growing stronger inside her every day. When he was born, it would be time for me to be a father. But until that moment, I was just a husband obsessed with my knocked-up wife.
I pulled out of her then kissed her belly, smothering every curve with my lips. She was as petite as she ever was, making her belly look even bigger. I trailed my lips up her body then kissed her mouth. “I love you, baby.”
She ran her hands up my chest. “I love you too, husband.”
I kissed the corner of her mouth before I pulled away. It was nighttime, and all the lights were off in the house. After Bosco stopped by last week, I was a little more paranoid than I had been before, but he hadn’t shown up again. He didn’t seem to be a threat, but now that I had a pregnant wife, even a hint of a threat was too much for me.
Vanessa was under the sheets with her head against the pillow. “Everything alright?”
“Yes.” I got into bed beside her, still slightly uneasy about Bosco’s visit. Just when I thought all our troubles were gone, Carmen had to sleep with the devil.
I never lied to her, so I chose to be silent.
“Go to bed, baby.” My palm moved to her stomach, my fingers reaching out and covering most of her belly. He wasn’t kicking right now, but I could still feel the life inside her, the life we made together.
I looked into her green eyes, the eyes that brought me comfort during my darkest times. I’d never told her about Bosco and the conversation we had outside. I didn’t want to scare her. But since we both knew what Carmen was doing, it seemed strange to keep it a secret. “I know about Bosco.”
Her eyes immediately lost their hostility. She tensed in a new way, her stomach even shifting slightly.
“I noticed her shop was closed one day, so I went to her apartment. It was obvious she hadn’t been there in months. Her mail hadn’t been checked either. I spotted her car on his property, and that’s when I knew.”
All she did was sigh in response.
“Bosco and I talked about it.” I skipped the part where he came to the house, but I didn’t actually lie about it. “He told me about their arrangement, but he also made it clear he would let her go at the end. He threatened to hurt all of us if I said anything, so I agreed to be silent. Since their relationship is gonna end, I didn’t see the point in fighting it. As long as Carmen isn’t a prisoner, I suppose there’s no real harm. I confronted Carmen about it and told her how disappointed I was. She assured me she would leave him when their arrangement was finished, understanding her family would never accept him. He isn’t husband material, and he can’t give her the life she wants.”
Vanessa stayed quiet, absorbing all the information I’d just given her.
She didn’t deny that she already knew all of that. “I warned her it was a bad idea. She said she’s looking for a relationship like ours, a man she can settle down with. She wants passion, devotion, and a man who can protect her. I told her he didn’t fit the bill, that he was too dangerous and controlling. She agreed with me and tried to break things off. He refused, roping her into this three-month agreement.”
I clenched my jaw. “Any man who has to force a woman to stay is no man at all.”
She raised an eyebrow. “You’re joking, right?”
I remembered the beginning of our relationship and her time as my prisoner. “Not the same. I was a different man then.”
“At first, there was no deadline. He just wanted to keep her forever. But she negotiated to three months. He signed a contract and assured her he would let her go. She wanted an excuse to stay but also a way to leave—so she got what she wanted.”
“I can’t believe she actually likes this guy…”
“After what happened in the alleyway, I don’t blame her. Now that she’s with a powerful man, she feels safe.”
She placed her hand on my arm to calm me. “Griffin, she told me he’s more than just the criminal mastermind of the underworld, that he’s sweet, gentle, and kind.”
I rolled my eyes.
“You understand you’re being a huge hypocrite, right?”
“My personal life and my occupation were distinctly separate. I didn’t bring work home with me. When it mattered, I walked away from that life and settled down with you. Now I have honest work and a simple life. Bosco is the job. He’s constantly swarmed by the criminal plague. There’s no separation. He’s obsessed with money and violence. It’s completely different.”
“I think you’re being unfair. He runs a casino. It’s not like he was a hitman.”
My wife was driving me nuts right now. “Are you saying you want Carmen to date this thug?”
“Because it sounds like you’re defending him.”
Her eyes radiated rage. “Don’t interrupt me.”
I didn’t dare do it again.
“I just think you’re overreacting. The man said he would let her go if she wanted to leave. That means she’s not a prisoner. She’s there at her own discretion. I hated you when I first met you, but I started to see all of your good qualities.”
“I didn’t have good qualities. You just made me acquire them.”
“Fine. Maybe the same thing is happening with Carmen. Maybe Bosco is changing for her.”
I shook my head slightly.
“The relationship is gonna end soon, so it doesn’t matter.”
“Excuse me?” She sat up, letting the sheet fall down to reveal her swollen tits. “She asked me not to. I would never betray her.”
“Even though she was in danger?”
“That’s not how she described it.”
“Griffin,” she said coldly. “I would never betray Carmen’s trust. She made me promise not to say anything. I will never break a promise. If she were in any real danger, of course, I would have said something, but she never was.”
I shook my head, still annoyed with her. “We could have stopped this a long time ago…”
“Again, this isn’t some petty criminal that sells weed on the corner. This man is the most powerful guy in Florence.”
I loved Carmen like my own sister. She was the only one who’d treated me with respect when I tried to win over the Barsettis. She defended me and didn’t treat me like some kind of psychopath. She knew I loved Vanessa—and gave me a real chance. “I love her very much. She’s an amazing woman and deserves an amazing man.”
Vanessa’s eyes softened as she listened to me.
“I have a special place in my heart for her. She was kind to me when no one else was. She believed in us when no one else did. She never doubted my love for you, never doubted that my love was enough to overcome my flaws. I just want the best for her… I would die for her.”
Vanessa’s hand moved to mine, and she gently stroked her fingers over my knuckles. “I know, Griffin. That’s why you need to trust her, to trust her instincts. She’s a smart woman. She believed in you, and now you need to believe in her.”
That was easier said than done. The Barsettis had become my family, and now I cared about all of them. I would lay down my life for any of them.
That was the worst part, keeping it from them. I worked with them every single day, had become a son to both of them. “What’s gonna happen when they find out I knew the whole time?”
“They aren’t gonna find out.”
“And if they do?”
She sighed. “Carmen made you promise.”
“That’s not gonna be good enough, and you know it.”
“Tell them you would have intervened if she was in real danger, but she obviously wasn’t.”
I still felt like shit for keeping this from the two men I respected most. “If they ask me point-blank, I can’t lie. I’ll never lie, and if that happens, then so be it.”
“If they ask me if I know if Carmen’s dating someone, I’ll have to tell them.”
“They aren’t going to ask you that.”
Probably not. But it was possible. “They might.”
“Well, cross that bridge when you come to it. But I suspect you never will.”