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Lucian (Filthy Marcellos #1)(4)


Lucian frowned, glancing over his shoulder, watching his brothers and father begin filing out with the rest of the congregation. They didn't even look back to notice the other two members of their family were staying behind. Not bothering to argue, as there was no point in doing that when it came to Cecelia Marcello, Lucian sat back down into the pew.

She looked as she always did on a Sunday morning. Her hair was pinned back in a flawless chignon, not a single strand of the chocolate colored strands out of place. Cecelia didn't wear much makeup, as she didn't need to, but the bit she did have on was perfectly applied and sparingly used. Despite the dress she wore being a dark, navy blue, something that seemed simple but still very stylish and appropriate, Lucian knew for a fact that article of clothing cost five grand easy. 

Cecelia was an interesting character. She was an enigma in many ways. People often took her at face value. Her beauty and easy smile. The friendliness she portrayed and the genuine good heart she truly did have.

Lucian knew they were stupid for doing just that.

She was not simply a mother and housewife, like many assumed. She could just as easily bake a pie as she could cut a man's throat, and she wouldn't hesitate to if she needed to do just that, either. Cecelia was one of the strongest, most frightening women Lucian ever had the pleasure of meeting. Raised in a stricter home than Lucian could imagine, she was the daughter of a former Cosa Nostra boss. The same boss who Antony had later killed for murdering his best friend.

Yes, that meant exactly what it sounded like. The woman Lucian's father had married was Cecelia's younger sister.

It certainly made for interesting family dinners, if nothing else.

Not that Lucian gave a crap about Kate.

His mother, however, he loved as fiercely as her own flesh and blood sons did. Without a doubt, mafia royalty was the best way to describe his adoptive mother. Cecelia was Italian through and through. She enjoyed the lifestyle her husband provided, kept his home and sons in check, and supported her family in every venture they took on, even if it was a dangerous one.

Just the kind of woman Antony wanted his sons to find, Lucian knew.

"Your father told me you woke up late last night and were wandering the house," Cecelia said, sitting beside her son once more.

Lucian sighed, looking up at the ceiling as if it would swallow him whole. Was that his father's plan, now? Convince Cecelia it was his fault they were up late in his office?

"A noise woke me up, that's all. It was nothing."

Cecelia hummed disapprovingly under her breath, shooting him a sly smile from the side. "Lying looks terrible on you, Lucian."

She always knew. "Sorry."

"I'm aware of why you were in your father's office after you woke up. He doesn't hide things from me, you know."

"Yeah, I do."

"A noise, huh?" Cecelia asked.

Lucian hated lying his mother, so he chose not to. "Just a bad dream, nothing serious."

"I figured." Cecelia smiled at Lucian's surprised look. "Mothers know, dear. Besides that, you've been terribly distracted lately. Barely kept your eyes on Father Peter today."

"It's church. I'm always distracted in church."

"True, but not when you know I'm watching. Were you dreaming about the streets again?"

Once more, Lucian stared at his mother in a confused shock. How did she know him so well? "Maybe. Like I said, it's nothing."

"Perhaps," Cecelia agreed, though she didn't sound like she believed him. "Or maybe your subconscious is finally questioning all the things you never did when you were younger. We'll always talk, if you want, Lucian. Whatever you need, Antony and I will give you. You should know this."

Lucian was beginning to feel slightly uncomfortable with the attention his mother was giving him. It wasn't like this was new, because it wasn't. Cecelia was incredibly attentive, caring, and supportive of her sons, but usually she didn't bring something up unless someone else did first.

"Why change my name?" Lucian asked randomly, not knowing what else to say.

"Don't you already know?"

"No, I don't. It's never bothered me before."

"But it is now?" she asked quietly.

Lucian shrugged. "I'm curious, I guess."


"Ragazzo dolce," Cecelia said, half chiding, half soothing. Sweet boy, she called him. It was a tender term she used for all her sons when they were younger. "So you could be whoever you wanted to be. You could still be little Luciano, if you wanted, or someone new. It was your fresh start in one tiny step. The ability to keep the memory of your mother and father, while having a new pair to love, or let them go altogether. The last name, though, was for your own benefit."

"I'm a Marcello."

Cecelia's hand patted his knee as she winked. "That you are."

Standing, Cecelia straightened out the bottom of her dress. "Now, go to confession."

Lucian had her there. "Confession is scheduled before Mass, and on Saturday mornings. Never after Mass. Next Sunday, okay?"

It was easier for him to simply divert the topic of going to confession rather than actually outright tell Cecelia he hadn't gone in years. After all, confession was meant for those who intended to confess all of their sins, and genuinely desired not to commit them again. Lucian couldn't say that for himself and honestly mean it.

"Father Peter is making an exception for you as a favor to your father and me, dear."

Of course he was, Lucian thought, scowling.

Cecelia smiled that knowing smile only a mother could have. "He mentioned last week it'd been a while since he last spoke to you. That's not acceptable, Lucian."


"Merda, Mamma-"

"That mouth, I swear. Not in church. No more stalling, it's been too long. Go, please."

Again, arguing was obviously not going to work with his mother.

Clearly this was not a request he was going to get out of with semantics and deflections. The Marcello matriarch always did have her ways of getting what she wanted. Conceding to his mother's demand, Lucian gave a short nod before dropping a kiss to her cheek. "Fine. I'll be back at the house for dinner."

"See you then. And, Lucian?"


"I know you don't trust outsiders easily, but be honest in your confessions. It's the only time you truly can be just who you are with someone beyond your father and brothers that will listen and understand the good that sometimes gets covered by all the bad. For now, anyway."

For now?

Lucian didn't get the chance to ask his mother what she meant by that. Cecelia had already turned and was leaving down the long aisle. The church was practically cleared out of parishioners, but for a few stragglers towards the back. Apparently he wasn't the only one wanting to make a beeline out of the old building as soon as possible. 

Unfortunately, Lucian was well aware that wasn't going to happen today. Confession could take a while, especially if done correctly, and as his mother mentioned, honestly. Penance could be even longer. He was dreading that, too, though he wasn't sure which one he disliked more.

So, just knowing that made Lucian take the long trek to the confessional a little slower. He distinctly remembered the first time he'd gone to confession because his mother demanded it. It was the Saturday morning following his eighteenth birthday. Antony allowed the Marcello boys to throw a massive party-something they were famous for-at their mansion style home in the gated community of Tuxedo Park in Orange County, New York with the bare minimum of parental supervision.

It wasn't the party that had gone bad that Friday night, but the morning after. Cecelia happened upon a stash of Lucian's usual things. Weed, condoms, and the like. She hadn't been impressed, to say the least. But hell, he was eighteen, and at that point, readying to move into his apartment in Manhattan. He was terribly careful about keeping his things out of his mother's sight, but that night had been wild and the morning after left him in something of a stupor.

Cecelia was more concerned over the condoms than anything else.

He still remembered her questioning, too. All the while Antony sat off to the side, smirking in his usual smug way. It wasn't like his father didn't know the kinds of things his sons were doing behind closed doors. His two brothers, on the other hand, laughed their still drunk asses off outside the office door.

"Is this the first time you've  …  well, you know, or has it been happening for a while?" his mother had asked. "Do you love this girl? Are you always safe?"

Lucian had tried, really, really tried, not to laugh, but his muddled up mind didn't cooperate. His answers had been pretty damned simple. "No, it's been happening since I was fourteen. Girls, and absolutely not," he'd corrected for the second answer. "But, yes, I'm always safe."

Those were not the answers his mother wanted to hear, except for maybe the last one. Cecelia then proceeded to take him to confession that very morning. It was a great way to spend the morning after his birthday while still dealing with a massive hangover.


Lucian was so lost in his thoughts he didn't even realize he was standing ten feet away from the confessional box. The confessional in their Catholic church reminded him of every old black and white movie he'd ever seen that involved confession with dark curtains to hide the people within, two sides, and an almost daunting quality.