by Cecy Robson
Publication Date: March 13, 2019
Genres: Adult, Gritty, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone
Desperate men do desperate things . . .
Salvatore Torre is a dangerous man. If you’ve lived the life Sal has, rage is to be expected and maybe so is heart. After his father killed his mother in a jealous rage, Sal was left to raise his two younger brothers, becoming a parent long before he was ready.
Desperate for money to support his family, Sal sought help from his old friend, Vincent Maggiano, the son of New Jersey’s top crime boss being groomed to take over his ailing father’s empire.
Sal never planned to join the mob. He also never planned to fall for his brother’s sweet and ultra conservative counselor, Adrianna Daniels.
Aedry isn’t the type of girl Sal is usually drawn to. Her skirts are longer, her hair is tamer, and her heels aren’t clear. But he can’t deny the attraction he feels. And Salvatore’s dark, sexy, and dangerous persona is the exact opposite of the clean-cut business men who usually catch Aedry’s attention.
Neither planned on a life of crime nor did they plan on love. But now, both are in too far.
“What do you think, Salvatore?”
Donnie taps her iPad with her long red nails when she finds yet another pair of shoes she wants. Like I actually give a shit what she’s buying with Vincent’s money.
“Sure. Get them,” I answer, not bothering to really look and fixing my gaze back on the door.
She pouts in that way that annoys me, but probably gets Vin hard. “That’s what you said about the other six. I’m serious. Which ones should I get?”
I don’t have to tell her that Vincent will buy her whatever she wants so long as she keeps blowing him, but I come close. The muscles along my back are ready to tear away from the bone. Every nerve along my spine fires a warning that shit’s about to go down. But I don’t show it, my face giving nothing away. “Donnie, I’m paid to watch your back. Not help you pick out shoes,” I mutter.
She starts to argue, but a knock to the door shuts her up, so does me motioning her to the corner. She may spend her days worrying about what she looks like and what she’ll wear, but she’s not stupid enough to ignore me.
I lean against the wall, opposite the door. Donnie might have shrugged off Vin yelling down the hall, but I didn’t. He isn’t happy. Neither are the other mob bosses in Jersey. It won’t be long before hell itself rains down on us. “Yeah?” I ask, keeping my deep voice casual, like my piece isn’t already clutched in my hands.
“Vincent wants you in on the meeting,” Lucca says.
Lucca’s smart. And for someone who hasn’t been in the family long, he’s tough and good on his feet. But I pick up enough in his voice to know this meeting’s not going as planned. So maybe Vin didn’t send for me. Maybe Lucca thinks I’m needed. If so, things are a lot worse than I thought.
Donnie looks at me, her preoccupation with shoes nothing more than a memory. “Lock the door behind me,” I tell her.
She rushes forward. I snag her elbow and pull her in tight to whisper in her ear. “You hear shots, you leave out the back, through the alley and down the street. Find a diner, a store, any place with lots of people. Got me?”
She nods, but she’s trembling already. Shots fired means there are plenty more to come. The other family knows who Donnie is to Vin. But if they don’t know she’s here or if they find her with too many witnesses, she’ll be okay.
She clutches my arm when I start to leave. “Sal . . .” she says.
Donatella and me are from the old neighborhood. We’ve known each other since back when we were kids and we were too stupid to know shit about organized crime. Now, we’re more stupid, because we’re willingly a part of it. She wants to say something like “be careful” or “keep him safe” or something else I don’t need to hear. So, I don’t.
I crack open the door, making sure Lucca’s standing there alone, and step out.
His eyes cut toward the hall leading to Vincent’s office, where he’s meeting with Arturo, the boss in charge of most of South Jersey, including Atlantic City. Yeah. Shit’s going down. But I don’t move until Donnie clicks the door lock behind me.
Lucca starts forward, moving fast. I haul him back. “Easy,” I mutter.
That’s all he needs to hear. He slows, mimicking my pace and stance, chest out, hand curled near the piece at his waist, face hard and unreadable.
Arturo’s men stand in unison when we round the corner. At the sight of me, Vin’s men rise, too. They see what I want them to see in me and Lucca and me. A united front. It solidifies our crew and tenses Arturo’s. As Vin’s crew fixes their hard stares on the other family, I know they’re ready for what the next few minutes will bring.
ABOUT CECY ROBSON
Cecy Robson is an author of contemporary and new adult romance, young adult adventure, and award-winning urban fantasy. A double-nominated RITA® Finalist, Winner of the Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and published author of more than twenty titles, you can typically find Cecy on her laptop or stumbling blindly in search of caffeine.
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