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The other Rosolini brothers all came up shortly thereafter and welcomed me into the family with a private toast.

Adriano stood with his arm around my waist, and Dario held Alessandra close by his side.

“To our new sister, Bianca,” Dario said as he raised his glass.

“Welcome to the family!” Valentino shouted.

“May those of us still single find a woman as amazing as you,” Roberto said.

Lars grinned. “And we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for vastly improving Adriano’s personality.”

“And for turning him from an asshole into a real boy,” Massimo said, invoking Pinocchio.

I doubled over with laughter.

“Hey – I made you a groomsman!” Adriano yelled at Massimo in mock indignation.

“Yeah, but she saved my life. I owe her the truth.”

“Asshole,” Adriano said, smiling.

“Dick,” Massimo said back with a huge grin.

Then Adriano turned to me and winked. “I have to admit, though, she did make me a lot more tolerable.”

I laughed –

We kissed –

And all the brothers cheered.

“Where’s Niccolo?” Roberto said, looking around. “He should be in on this.”

“He’s over there. With a woman,” Alessandra said with a sly grin.

Niccolo was about 40 feet away, talking to a very pretty but very serious-looking woman wearing glasses. He seemed engrossed in their conversation.

“He’s working on the next wedding,” Roberto joked.

“Better get crackin’, man,” Valentino said. “You two are the oldest after Adriano, and you were born 19 minutes before Nic – so you’re next in line!”

Roberto smiled. “I’ll get there.”

Suddenly, I felt a hand on my shoulder from behind.

I turned to find myself staring at a man in his 50s with a pointed black beard and a roguish smile.

“Congratulations, my dear,” he said. “Your dress is lovely – almost as lovely as you.”

“Thank you,” I said, not having any idea who he was –

Although that was quickly cleared up.

“Congratulations, Adriano,” the man said as he gave my husband a hug.

“Thank you, Uncle Fausto,” Adriano said.

Uncle Fausto.novelbin

I’d heard quite a bit about him, actually.

“Good to see you all alive and well after all that mess with whatsisname,” Fausto said. “Mezza-whatever.”

“It’s only thanks to Bianca that it turned out so well,” Adriano said.

“Really,” Fausto said, giving me an appraising look. “Well – for saving my nephews, I thank you doubly.”

As Fausto went down the line of brothers, hugging them and exchanging laughs, someone else walked up –

A man in his 20s who looked like a younger version of Fausto, but clean-shaven and thinner.

My entire body froze.

“Congratulations, Adriano,” the man said.

“Thanks,” Adriano said, and I couldn’t help but notice the coolness in his voice. “I see you cut your hair short.”

“It was time for a change,” the man replied. Then he turned to me. “Congratulations.”

I could only nod, a fake smile plastered on my face.

He looked at me quizzically, though I didn’t see any hint of recognition in his eyes.

“Where’s your date?” Adriano asked.

Thankfully the man turned away from me.

“Over there talking to Niccolo,” he said in disgust.

“Better be careful,” Massimo said. “Looks like he might steal her away.”

I was getting the feeling that none of the brothers liked this guy very much.

“Aurora’s just my date to the wedding,” the man sneered. “If he can get her, he’s welcome to her.”

“You’re a chivalrous motherfucker, aren’t you?” Valentino joked.

“You’re the last one who should be lecturing about chivalry,” the man said. “Where’s your date – back in the kitchen, doing her job? Maybe she won’t catch you trying to bang the other women at the reception.”

I didn’t entirely understand the jab, but Valentino looked like he was about to start throwing punches.

Massimo put a hand on his younger brother’s shoulder and whispered something in his ear. Whatever he said, it seemed to calm Valentino down.

“Let’s go get a drink,” Lars said diplomatically as he put his arm around the rude man’s shoulders. He was evidently trying to steer him away from everyone else.

“No time for that – we have to be going,” Fausto interrupted. “But it was good seeing all of you. Congratulations to the new bride and groom!”

After a few half-hearted goodbyes from the brothers, Fausto and the younger man walked off.

Fausto called out, “Aurora!”

The young woman talking to Niccolo shook hands with him, then followed Fausto and the other man.

“Fuckin’ asshole,” Adriano muttered as they left. 𝗰𝐨𝗺𝗲𝐧𝐨𝘃𝗲𝗹.𝗰𝐨𝗺

I pulled Adriano away from the others.

“Who was that?” I whispered frantically. “The younger guy?”

“My cousin, Aurelio. He’s a real pain in the – ”

Adriano trailed off as he looked at my face.

“Jesus, Bianca, you look like you’ve seen a ghost. What’s wrong?”

“That man was the one I saw at the modeling agency.”

Adriano’s eyes grew wide. “You mean – ”

“The one with the cruel eyes.”

The mystery man I’d seen right before the hotel…

When Mezzasalma’s assassins tried to gun us down.

Updated from 𝙛𝒘𝙣𝙫.