Home > Sins of the Orchid

Sins of the Orchid
Author: Eva Winners




“Fire one bullet, and I’m throwing a grenade into the bunker.” My chest constricted at hearing the familiar voice. “And throw your weapons onto the ground.”

My eyes searched frantically. This was like my worst nightmare.

“I’m waiting,” he taunted. “Tick, tock. Tick, tock.”

My brother threw his gun to the ground.

Holding my breath, I watched as a man descended the stairs with five men behind him and two at each side, protecting him. It hardly seemed like a fair fight. So many of them against just the two of us, weaponless.

“Hello, Orchid,” he drawled, his voice toneless. His cold, unflinching dark stare met mine and images from the last time I saw him flashed in my mind. Blood, screams, betrayal, death.

I never knew this man, I realized. His thin lips curved into a grimace, a taunting smile. He despised me, his hate gleaming in his eyes. It couldn’t be more evident.

This was like my worst nightmare. He was supposed to love me, cherish me. Protect me. Yet, he lurked in the shadows of my life for years hunting me, waiting to kill me.

He betrayed us. Hurt us. Left us to die.

“You’ve given me a run for my money,” he said with menace in his voice, then flicked his gaze behind him. “Hasn’t she? Come here so she can see you.”

I watched as a pair of black combat boots descended the stairs, revealing more and more of a man’s body. My mind revolted against recognition, and my stomach churned.

No, no, no, no.

My heart shattered and a piercing pain followed deep in my chest.

The worst betrayal.

Were the men in my life always destined to betray me?












New York.

Concrete jungle.

Home of La Cosa Nostra.



New York was unlike any other city I had ever been to. Sensory overload. The smells of exhaust fumes. The frantic energy. Constant ear-splitting sounds of police cars, ambulances, and car horns.

The streets were always crowded. Some places smelled, while others looked pretty on the outside and hid the ugly truths lurking within. It had only been two weeks since I’d arrived, and already, I hated being here. I had no friends, nobody to talk to, and the family I didn’t know existed were complete strangers to me.

My biological father, who I just met two weeks ago, was some kind of mobster. A don. The head of the Bennetti family. At least that was what I’d been told.

In the span of two weeks, I learned that my whole life was a sham. I had no idea who I was anymore. I was no longer Amore Anderson or Amore Regalè, the fashion heiress to the Regalè family. Instead, I was Amore Bennetti, daughter to the notorious head of the Bennetti crime family, Savio Bennetti. One of the five families of Cosa Nostra.

On the surface, Cosa Nostra etiquette very much resembled the world I grew up in. Impeccable manners out in the open. A white-picket-fenced home surrounded by guards. But behind closed doors, men in this world carried guns like an everyday accessory and women viciously gossiped and attacked if they despised you.

Like my stepmother despised me.

My heart constricted at the thought of spending another day under my father’s roof. I wanted to run away, go back to three weeks ago when everything was fine. When my mother was alive. When we were happy.

Up until a month ago, I traveled the world with Mom and the man I believed to be my father, George Anderson. Mom worked for my grandmother Regina, who was the owner of one of the greatest fashion empires. George was a textile biologist, trying to find new organisms that had the potential to be turned into bio-fabric, like some spider silks. They were out not only to engineer the next best material in the fashion world but to help minimize the damage being caused to the environment thanks to some of the ways textiles were currently being manufactured.

At thirteen-years-old, I knew more about the fashion world than any girl my age should or would care to admit. But Regalè Fashion was my legacy, one that I would one day be responsible for. That's what Grandmother Regina kept telling me.

I thought I had years, decades, before that would all fall to me, but it seemed that decades wouldn't be an option since my parents were dead. Correction, since my mother was dead. George... he wasn't my real father. He was never meant to be part of the empire.

For thirteen years of my life, I called that man my father. He taught me everything I knew. What should I call him now?

My stepfather? No, it sounded too cold for someone that gave me so much.

I wished everything was the way it was before everything happened. Before I saw my mother tortured and killed in front of my eyes. Before I heard my father’s… George’s screams. The buzz of this city reminded me of the dangers in the jungle, and frankly, I wasn’t sure which was more terrifying.

This city would chew me up and spit me out. Just like the jungle did.

The sudden blare of a car horn had me jumping and glancing over my shoulder as people shoved past me. I'd been released from school an hour ago, but the man that usually picked me up, an uncle I never knew I had, Uncle Vincent, wasn't there. So, I started out my trek to find my way home.

This school would end up breaking me. They already think I'm a freak. An Italian girl with an Irish face. I started at the high school last week after a series of tests confirmed I was much further ahead in my studies than my fellow middle schoolers.

The counselor thought he did me a favor by placing me in a higher grade, but those high school kids were brutal. Lunch breaks and waiting for my ride after school were particularly painful. I just wanted my old life back, to feel normal again.

I glanced around and noted I was lost. Again. Today, the bullies decided to linger around while I waited for my uncle, and taking advantage of him not showing, they decided to dance around me, taunting me before taking my phone. So, I headed home on foot. They kept following me until about two blocks ago.

So here I was! Lost, no phone, and no way to get home. The overwhelming sounds of the city had me turning in circles, looking for any clues as to where I was, or where I needed to go to get home. I sighed, long and hard, my chest constricting in that familiar way. The panic attacks that started since my mom and George’s murder threatened to swell, making it hard to concentrate.

Don’t panic now, I silently whispered to myself. There were men in suits walking in and out of the building next to me, but it barely registered. I was in my school uniform with a backpack on my shoulder.

Leaning back against the glass window, I slid down onto my butt, dropping the bag onto the ground next to me. I pulled my knees to my chest and buried my head into my lap, breathing in and out.

I felt alone, missing Mom and George. The loss was still raw, dreams too vivid and memories too fresh. Until their death, there wasn’t a day that passed by without me talking to Mom. And now… I was so alone.

Dad’s wife hated me. My brothers didn’t know what to make of me. Not even my father knew what to do with me. He didn’t know of my existence until three weeks ago when he got called into the jungles of South America to come and collect me. The Carrera Cartel found me in the jungle. Another day and I wouldn’t have survived. It was a miracle they found me. My mother was saving me even in her death. She reached out to a contact, the head of the Carrera Cartel, and to my father, asking for help before she went in search of George and me. If only she would have waited for them before she went looking for us.

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