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dtgtnp > The Donafrio Donor > 9: In Which She is Danielle in the Lion's Den
9: In Which She is Danielle in the Lion’s Den

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“Are you going to be moving the entire gang into our neighbourhood?” a raspy voice asked from behind me.

I pushed open my front door, kicked my suitcase inside and readjusted Mickey on my hip before I turned around and fixed my nosy-old-hag of a neighbour, Mrs. Walters, with a puzzled stare. She was standing on my doorstep, nearly a foot shorter than me.

“What?” I immediately wanted to heave when the smell of wet feline wafted into my nostrils. Lillian Walters was the proverbial cat lady. On a good day, the sound of her fifteen tabbies purring and yowling next door could only be heard when I opened the living room windows.

She dug into her tatty, khaki shoulder bag and handed me a well-thumbed magazine. “I’m disappointed in you, Danielle. I thought you’d marry a nice, sensible young man.”

I snatched the mag from her, keeping it out of Mickey’s eager reach. There were a number of things that went through my mind at the sight of MOBSTER MARRIES HIS MAIDEN splashed across the celebrity section – like how the hell Glitz had managed to follow us to Naples – but my main concern was that if batty old Mrs. Walters had seen it, chances were that my family had, too. I dreaded checking my mobile.

“Don’t you have a life?” I asked venomously, nearly flinging the thing back at her.

“I beg your pardon?” Her watery eyes widened in disbelief.

I used my hand to block Mickey’s ears. “Get the fúck off my property. Clear enough for you?”

“I hope your mother’s proud of you, cursing like a sailor,” she muttered, slowly turning to shuffle off my porch.

I watched her go, breathing heavily. She had no idea how close I was to committing murder. A movement by my garage caught my eye and I instantly darted inside, slamming the door shut behind me.

“Mummy?” Mickey sounded concerned. His tiny fingers pulled at my hair in an attempt to get my attention.

I padded into the living room, still clutching him, and peeked through the window. The sight of what was obviously a trespassing paparazzo met my eyes. He was currently peeping into my Fiat. I was boiling with frustrated rage.

“It’s okay, baby. It’ll be okay,” I said gently, juggling him on my hip uncomfortably. I brushed aside a lock of curly hair. “Mum’s going to take care of this.”

She’ll just have to suck up her bloody pride, I thought furiously.

Carlo had wanted me to stay at his penthouse and this had turned into an ugly argument when I’d refused point blank. He’d compromised by having Gav follow me home and again, like a complete loon, I’d said no. Well, I wasn’t going to dwell on my stupidity but how was I supposed to know that there’d be photographers sneaking through my gate?

“Mum’s going to take care of this.” Maybe if I kept mumbling this mantra enough, I’d believe it.

Mickey didn’t seem to believe it either. I knelt down and propped him up on the carpet, digging into my shoulder bag for his favourite teddy and handing it to him. He promptly began to make Teddy climb all over him.

“Think, Dani, think,” I whispered to myself, peeking through the curtains once more.

My driveway was empty now, save for the car. Gav popped up from the blue, noticed me, and nodded.

I dug into my pockets and pulled out my phone, punching in a number I really shouldn’t have known by heart.

He answered on the first ring.

“Is everything all right, bella?”

“No!” I hated it when my voice became high-pitched. “Everything is not all right and do you know why?”

He heaved out a breath. “Gavin just notified me of the unfortunate peeping Tom. He was disposed of.”

“And have you seen the papers?”

“One tabloid does not constitute as the papers,” Carlo replied calmly, his cool tone only succeeding in irking me.

“What am I supposed to do? Hide inside until they lose interest?”

“Perhaps if you’d listened to me – your husband – and ac

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