Drama! And a little ogling! 😉 I’m hard at work on my next novel, and figured I’d share a little of the setup for the initial conflict in the book. As usual, this is completely unedited, and you’re getting a bit of insight into the raw product before it gets polished for release. 🙂 Things may (will) change in the final book.
I also want to thank everyone who bought the Red Hot Sizzle bundle. This past week,we hit the USA Today bestseller list at #105, and that means I can technically title myself a USA Today bestselling author, and that’s super exciting! 🙂 Thank you so so much!
Disclaimer: This is completely unedited, and details may change in the final book.
“So.” It’s the first thing Andrea’s said, and it hangs heavily in the air inside the limo. “Are you actually going to explain why I suddenly had to come home? And why I apparently need…” She gestures at me, though she still hasn’t met my gaze a single time since we emerged in arrivals. “Why I need a bodyguard.”
DiFiero wets his lips while he glances out of the window. Whatever’s coming, it’s bad news. Drawing a deep breath as if to steel himself, he turns to her. “It’s for your wedding.”
For a long, drawn-out moment, the backseat of the limo is deathly quiet. Like a fucking grave.
“My… what?” Andrea’s blinking rapidly and staring in amazement at her father, like what he just said didn’t register properly.
“Your…” He clears his throat. “Your wedding, honey. To Marc Caporossi.”
Her eyes widen, and it’s getting just a little awkward back here. I have no idea who this Caporossi guy is, but by the way her mouth hangs open and her eyebrows furrow, it’s pretty fucking obvious that she doesn’t approve. Lifting a hand, she points a shaking finger at her father. “Is this a joke? Because if it is, it’s a bad one. Please tell me this is a joke, because I’m about to throw up in the back of your fucking car.”
“Honey, language.” DiFiero looks even less comfortable than I feel. Fuck, I’m just here for a job. I don’t need the damn family drama.
“Don’t you language me.” Andrea gets up on her knees on the chair so that she’s looking down at him, her eyes glinting lightning.
On the other hand, she’s pretty damn sexy when she’s furious. The way her chest heaves, the stubborn set of her jaw. Fiery. Italian. I fucking love that. I wouldn’t mind a little more of what we had on the plane, but she’s Mafia. And now that I’m working for her goddamn father, I should know better. Don’t shit where you eat.
But man, that ass…
Andrea’s face is flushed in fury. “Are you seriously thinking that I’m yours to give away like that? What? To a freaking Caporossi? Does Mom know this?”
He holds up his hands between them, but no idea if it’s in self-defense or apology. “It was her idea, sweetie-pie. Well, her and Marc’s father.”
“And you’re just going to let her run you over like that? Because—” her eyes narrow until they’re angry slits. “—you’re totally against this right? You won’t let them do this to me.”
Have to admit, it sounds pretty damned old fashioned. Who arranges their kids’ marriages these days?
DiFiero looks away. “Listen, honey, it makes sense.”
Andrea explodes. “It does not make sense. How does any of this make sense?”
“The Agostonellis are killing us, literally and figuratively. They’re squeezing us out of all of our markets. They’re taking over our territories. And they’re doing the same to the Caporossis. Separately, our families are too small to do anything about it, but together…” He trails off.
“So I’m just some sort of bargaining chip to you? Your own flesh and blood?” Andrea’s voice grows louder with an undertone of panic. It’s a sound I’ve heard many times, but usually it involves someone begging for their lives. War isn’t pretty, but then again, neither is getting married off against your will.
“Honey, it’s not the end of the world.” DiFiero’s discomfort is growing in line with Andrea’s anger. He’s sweating, and his fingers don’t know exactly what to with themselves. She’s glaring at him like my old squad leader over a captured insurgent, and I’m honestly not sure if this is going to be a prettier interrogation in any way. “He’ll treat you nice.”
“Treat me nice? This is my life we’re talking about here,” she yells loud enough that I’m sure the guys up front of the limo hear it through the privacy shield. “You can’t just pass me off like I’m some sort of bribe. No. I’m out. This isn’t happening, and you can’t make me.”
DiFiero’s face hardens, the Mafia boss emerging and pushing the concerned daddy aside. “You’ll always be my little girl, Andrea, but don’t for a second think that I will let you put your own interests over the Family’s.” Reaching to her, he tries to put his hand on her shoulder, but pulls it back with a sigh when she shrinks away from him. “You’ll be safe, you’ll help make the Family safe, and if that little shit hurts you in any way, I’ll bury him so deep below the lake they’ll need a fucking oil drill to find his body. You hear that, Andrea?”
Her face pinches tight and her sexy olive skin is dark red with fury, but she doesn’t say anything. Just sits as far away from her father as she possibly can without opening the door and falling out of the limo. He turns away and glares angrily out his window. And I sit there like a fucking chump, since I’m trapped in a family argument that I want no part of whatsoever, and there’s not even a way for me to back off to a polite distance.
It’s a fucking shame, though. A woman like Andrea, getting pushed off like that. I don’t even know this Caporossi guy, but already I want to punch him. She deserves better, but what the fuck am I supposed to do? I’m just the hired gun.
Taking a sip of my grappa and forcing it down by sheer force of will, I lean back and try not to get anyone’s attention. Maybe there’s room for three up front.
My novel won’t be done for a while yet, but in the meantime, there are tons of sexy, amazing, wonderful books coming out right now, so here are some of the top movers on Amazon to tide you over. 😀
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