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A Dance of War

Ellie R. Hunter


  Ellie R Hunter

  A Dance of War

  * * *


  Ellie R. Hunter

  * * *

  Ellie R. Hunter

  A Dance of War

  * * *

  © 2020 Ellie R. Hunter


  [email protected]

  * * *

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author / publisher.

  This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity between the characters and situations within its pages and places or persons, living or dead, is unintentional and co-incidental.

  * * *

  Cover Design by: LJDesigns

  Editing by: Dana Hook at Rebel & Edit Design

  Formatting by: Rachel Tonks at Affordable Formatting


  Also by Ellie R Hunter


  I. Vying for Vita


  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  II. Battle And Blood

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Chapter 26

  Chapter 27

  Chapter 28

  Chapter 29

  Chapter 30

  Chapter 31

  Chapter 32

  Chapter 33

  Chapter 34

  Chapter 35

  Chapter 36

  Chapter 37

  III. Hand In Hand

  Chapter 38

  Chapter 39

  Chapter 40

  Chapter 41

  Chapter 42

  Chapter 43

  Chapter 44

  Chapter 45

  Chapter 46

  Chapter 47

  Chapter 48

  Chapter 49

  Chapter 50


  Also by Ellie R Hunter

  Incurable Hearts


  Perfectly Obsessed

  The Grace Porter Series

  To Live or to Die

  The Lost Souls MC Series

  Biker Bait

  Biker Faith

  Biker Bound

  Biker Born

  Biker Saviour

  Biker Taken

  Biker Torn

  Biker Ruined

  Biker Salvation

  Sons of Lost Souls MC

  His Father’s Son

  His Selfish Love

  His Ride or Die

  Her Crazy Life

  His One Regret

  His One Choice

  Their Fractured Souls

  His Last Chance


  Twenty-eight years ago, Father Luke received the news that a baby girl had been born into the Camarco family, and a boy into the Marocchi family.

  Both on the same night, at the same time.

  Two families who had been waging war on each other since arriving in the City of Vita over two hundred years ago.

  A war thousands of soldiers have bled and died for. With those births, Father Luke prophesised the children would become the city’s saviours.

  They would be raised to despise each other, to continue the feud, but instead would rise together, hand in hand, to wash the blood and violence away.

  For love triumphs hate, and there’s always light to overcome the darkness.

  However, the people of Vita have given up any hope of peace, as the war has never been worse. The streets are stained with blood, and families are burying their loved ones at an alarming rate.

  The fight for control of Vita is far from over.

  * * *

  My name is Jamila Camarco, and my destiny is to destroy Raphael Marocchi. Prophecies, love, and light are nothing but myths, and believing in them will only get you killed.


  Vying for Vita


  Raphael – 17 Years Old

  I stand before my father, Stefano Marocchi, a man who seeks nothing but power, wondering why I’ve been called into his office today. Though my eighteenth birthday is tomorrow, I have yet to be initiated into the family fold; it could be my time. I stand tall, my hands clasped behind my back and my chin tipped high as his narrowed eyes assess me.

  “As my son, it’s in your blood to be the man our family needs you to be, but you have more heart than you should. Before taking your rightful place at my side, I need to know one thing…” He pauses dramatically, and I have to nip the tip of my tongue between my teeth to keep from sighing in exasperation. My father has mocked me for caring about shit since I was young enough to remember. Personally, I think it makes you stronger, giving you something to fight for, something justified. Something beyond money and power.

  “Alessandro Camarco is on his way back to the city, and after all these years, we finally have the upper hand.”

  My body tenses. I’m now feeling a lot more interested in why I’ve been summoned. My father stands, moves from behind his desk, and walks across the room to stand before me.

  At seventeen, I’m taller than him, and he hates it.

  Reaching into his pocket, he pulls out a cell phone.

  “To stand beside me and claim your place in the family, make the call, and our men will put an end to him. Will you make the decision with your head? Because, my son, you can’t very well make it with your heart.”

  He’s wrong. I’ll make this decision with a clear head, but also with my heart. For when it’s done, and Alessandro Camarco is dead and gone, it’ll be one less battle to fight to be with Mila.

  “So, what’s it to be? Head or heart?”

  I know all about the prophecy Father Luke foretold of the night we were born, and nothing is going to get in our way of fulfilling it.


  And my father will be next in line to meet his maker.

  He smiles proudly.

  “Wise decision.”

  He passes me the cell phone, and it feels like the weight of a brick in the palm of my hand.

  “There’s only one number stored in the contacts. Call it, and use the code word Morte.”

  I know what I’m doing is God’s work, and choosing who lives and dies is being transferred to me from Him. Mila and I may be in love, initiating the fulfilment of the prophecy to bring peace, but we are who we are, and know there’s no way to bring peace by any other means than violence.

  I bring up the contact and place the call, putting it on speakerphone. It rings twice before it’s answered.

  No one speaks.

  No greetings are exchanged.

  My father nods, and with a heavy sigh, I decree, “Morte.”

  I’ve sanctioned Alessandro Camarco’s death.

  The call ends, and my father slaps me on the shoulder.

  “Welcome to your destiny, son.”

  Removing the phone from my hand, he returns to hi
s desk and deposits it in the top drawer. “You’ll have our crest inked before your party tomorrow night. You can go now.”

  Oh, yes, the family crest all males working for the family have tattooed on their backs—the one I won’t be getting. Not that I’ll tell my father so to his face, at least not today. He’ll have me held down in order to get it on my skin if he has to.

  I make it to the door, my hand ready to twist the knob when he calls out, “At this very moment, the entire Camarco bloodline is being wiped out. Remember this day, son, as it places the City of Vita at our feet. We will finally hold full control of it in the palm of our hands.”

  I stand there, numb and motionless. The entire Camarco line? I couldn’t have heard him right.

  Turning ever so slowly, forcing myself to face him, I ask, “What are you talking about?”

  “That whore, Giana, and their wretched daughter, Jamila, are with him.”

  No, that can’t be. Mila hasn’t been out of the city; I would’ve known if she had been. Then again, I haven’t heard from her in three days, not since the last time we had met up. My heart beats like a drum in my ears, battering against my chest.

  “You think I didn’t know about your secret meetings with the girl?” he huffs. “That ridiculous prophecy is nothing more than an old man’s ramblings. You are exactly where you belong, doing what must be done for your family.”

  I could kill him. I want to kill him, slowly and painfully, yet I’m unable to move.

  I just ordered her death. How could he let me do that?

  As if coming out of a trance, I find myself standing in the middle of my room, dusk darkening every corner. I don’t remember leaving my father’s office, nor how I came to be here.

  My Mila. I’ll never again kiss her lips or drown in her touch. I’ll never run my fingers across her soft, smooth, olive skin. I’ll never hear her laugh, always reminding me that I’m destined for more than murder and money.

  My stomach rolling, I run for my private bathroom. My breakfast and lunch hit the water, and I heave until there’s nothing but bile forcing its way up my throat.

  I can’t stop my mind from envisioning my Mila riddled with bullet holes in her father’s car, murdered coldly in broad daylight—on my order. My own father tricked me into ensuring their assassination.

  Slumping down onto the tiled floor, I catch my breath, yet I still can’t feel a single limb attached to my body.

  She was the light to my darkness, and together, we were the hope blanketing the city.

  There’s nothing but darkness now.

  Dragging myself into my room, I open the top drawer of my chest, pick up the shooter my cousin had given me a long time ago, and fall to my knees in the middle of the room. Moonlight filters through the windows, casting shadows around me. Up on the wall, I look at the intricately carved wooden cross hanging above my bed.

  Where was the Lord’s protective hand when I needed him to sway my decision, knowing what was to come?

  My Mila.

  My love.

  My soul.

  Releasing the safety and turning the gun, my lips stretch as I slide the barrel into my mouth.

  A single tear falls down my cheek, landing on my hand. Nothing is ever fair in the City of Vita. Every person here is born into a life of survival and struggle—the Marocchi’s and Camarco’s no exception. Though we’re the disease that plagues the people. Mila and I saw our families for what they are: ruthless men, mad with power.



  Before I get to the count of three, the door to my room swings open, banging against the wall, and Cristian, my cousin and confidant, rushes in and yanks the gun from my hand, throwing it across the floor.

  “She’s not dead!” he exclaims. “Your father is pissed. I just heard him shouting on the phone, asking where she is.”

  She’s alive?

  My heart beats frantically. My Mila is still alive!

  “What about Alessandro and Giana?”

  Dropping his gaze, he shakes his head. “They’re both dead.”

  Cristian hauls me up to my feet and snaps his fingers in front of my face. “She’s alone now.”

  Tomorrow, we turn eighteen, and will unite as one to end this era of violence. My father’s death is next.

  And so it begins…

  Chapter One

  Mila – 28 Years Old

  The City of Vita is one rich with violence, plagued by a centuries-old feud. Legend has it, the city was rumoured to bring luck and fortune. Upon hearing these rumours, two friends brought their families here in search of gold that was said to fill the mines under the rich soil. And like most stories, their friendship was torn apart by greed. They began to fight over the vast amounts of wealth they had acquired, and since neither of them would relinquish their hold to the land and leave, they split the city into two, taking every opportunity to try to kill the other. As time went on, the two families grew, and more people arrived, looking to find their own riches. Those people eventually took sides, and a war broke out that is still being fought to this day, two hundred years later. The gold is long gone, but what was mined brought abundant wealth to both families. Over the years, the gold was invested, and in return, the families acquired enormous fortunes.

  The Annual Peace Ball, where weapons and grievances are left at the door to the mayor’s mansion, commences around me. Once a year, the mayor brings the Camarco’s and Marocchi’s together in an attempt to broker a peace deal between the two warring families. It was started over a hundred years ago to garner peace. Though neither side ever agrees to anything, it’s mandatory for us all to attend. We have to show a gesture of fighting for peace, or “Hell will be brought down upon us,” according to the mayor himself, as well as every one of his predecessors before him. There has never been an agreement put in place in over two hundred years, but it’s tradition, and traditions must be upheld. Without them, war has no class.

  The war for wealth ended long ago, only to turn into a fight for pride, passed down from generation to generation, to continue the siege for a city that is big enough for everyone. Pride is the ultimate sin, and reason for this ongoing war.

  Sipping my champagne, I watch the children from the local school sing for the guests who are patiently waiting for the night to descend into debauchery.

  From where I sit—our tables elevated at the side of the ballroom—I keep watch over everyone who walks through the door.

  The same goes for the Marocchi family on the opposite side of the room. There will be no blood spilt tonight, nor any pleasantries exchanged between the two sides. From seven in the evening until seven in the morning, there will be no fighting between us.

  Trey leans in and informs me, “He’s coming over.”

  My gaze darts to the mayor who’s sure enough making his way through the crowd, heading in our direction. He’s not a bad man, but he’s not a sharp man. At thirty-seven, he’s our city’s youngest mayor, elected on the promise of uniting the two families by any means necessary.

  So far, he’s achieved nothing of the sort.

  Though this being his second peace ball, I must admit, he’s brought a level of excitement to the charade.

  His heavy cologne hits me first, followed by his eagerness to be victorious this year.

  “Jamila.” He drawls out my name like he’s my closest ally, and it riles me. “You look breathtaking tonight.”

  “Thank you,” I reply, though I couldn’t care less what he thinks of me.

  Alexander Salvatore’s compliments grow sleazier with each one he pays me, yet I bite my tongue to keep the peace. The gleam in his green eyes slides over me, and I remind myself to keep calm. The Camarco’s won’t be forced to bend the knee to him because of our less than savoury behaviour.

  Pouring him a glass of champagne, I nudge it over to his side of the table. “Please, have a seat.”

  With a smile—full of white teeth—he sits, graciously accepting the champagne.

sp; “Shall we get this started so we can move on to the pleasant part of the evening?” he asks, lifting his glass.

  I clink mine to his and smile. “My proposition is that Mr. Marocchi and his soldiers leave Vita, and I’ll guarantee them safe passage across the border. Or, submit to me, and I’ll allow him to live a somewhat pleasant life.”

  Although he doesn’t, I sense he wants to roll his eyes. It’s the same proposition I offered last year, and the year before.

  Alexander drains his glass and sighs as he stands. “Excuse me. I’ll be back shortly.”

  He makes his way to the other side of the room and approaches Raphael Marocchi. His arms stretched out across the back of the leather couch, his left ankle resting on his right knee, he’s at complete ease, staring directly at me.