I do love my dark and dangerous men, especially when they’re sexy, rugged and dominating. What if he was also your father’s enemy, attempting to destroy everything the man has worked for? Our heroine is faced with this difficult scenario and is determined to destroy the son of a mafia Don. What do you think would happen if she’s caught in the act of revenge? Hmmm…
My latest and a deliciously dark romance. Don’t worry. There’s an HEA.
CAUGHT: A DARK MAFIA ROMANCE
You don’t say no to a man like him.
If you’re forced to come to an arrangement with someone as dangerous as Jagger Calduchi, it means he’s about to take what he wants, and you’ll give it to him… even if it’s your body.
I got caught snooping where I didn’t belong, and Jagger made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. A week with him where his rules are the only rules, or his bought and paid for cops take me to jail.
He’s going to punish me, train me, and master me completely. When he’s used me so shamefully I blush just to think about it, maybe he’ll let me go home… or maybe he’ll decide to keep me.
I had to give Lola Markum credit. She was one tenacious girl. To think she could infiltrate my operation, securing information in order to help in her endeavors was preposterous. But here she was, sitting in my office chair after picking the lock on my door. More than impressive. Finding out who she really was had taken less than thirty minutes of searching the internet. Even the use of her mother’s maiden name and a ridiculous first name had been creative, albeit she was no criminal mastermind, or I wouldn’t have discovered her operation so easily. Still, I absolutely wanted nothing more than to have her in my arms, let alone my bed.
My suspicions regarding my new employee had formulated overnight. Call it years of intense training with my father. The pieces had been too perfect, the timing just right. Even her ‘oh shucks’ demeanor the night before, while polished and convincing, had raised a red flag. Here she was, no doubt ready for a fight.
I should be furious. Instead, I was ecstatic in the most unusual way.
She’d blossomed into a stunning woman, no longer the bright-eyed teenager I could never get off my mind. The vile and delicious things I wanted to do to her at this moment were no doubt illegal in several states. Almost instantly I concocted a plan.
I stood in the doorway, my arms crossed, a wide grin on my face. She was far too busy searching through my things to notice that I was watching and even admiring her. After a few seconds, I made myself known.
“Well. Well. What do we have here?”
Her head snapping, she narrowed her eyes, her grip on the files remaining. Her lower lip quivered even though her eyes held a wild fire of burning hatred.
As well as carnal desire.
“Ms. Markum. I must admit. You are very tenacious.” I issued the words casually, offhandedly.
“Mr. Bishop. Or should I address you as Mr. Calduchi, son of the infamous bloodsucker, Montego Calduchi?”
“Wow. Bloodsucker. My family has been called many things over the years, but that one is new.” The fact she was neither impressed nor terrified was stimulating, creating another round of intense hunger furrowing through my loins. “Just for the record, I haven’t used my given surname in years, but then you’ve already figured that out. Haven’t you? But you do know exactly who my father is and what he can do.”
“Threats so soon, Mr. Bishop? I thought that was beneath you, given how hard you’ve attempted to live a stellar life.” She snickered and rolled her eyes.
“Very bold for someone in your position.” I had to admit, I wanted to see just how far this would go.
She rose from the desk, fingering the papers. “You are right. I figured out many things about you. You have a long list of accomplishments. I wonder if anyone realizes that you’re nothing but a monster as well as a murderer.”
“And who do you believe I’ve murdered, Ms. Markum, or should I call you Lola? Yes, I think I will. Given how close we were last night, I think first names are in order. Kitty was cute, but Lola suits the formidable woman you’ve become.” I noticed a single bead of perspiration sliding down the side of her face. She was nervous, concerned at what I might do.
“My father for one, but I’m certain there are bodies buried all over Chicago. And you could never understand the meaning of the word ‘close.’ Don’t kid yourself.”
“Murder?” The words actually stung. The girl certainly had a mouth on her. I also could sense a great deal of love for her father and I had to wonder why they’d been estranged. “I assure you that your father was healthy when he walked into the ballroom. What happened to him was… horrible. If you’re asking if my hands are soaked in blood, they aren’t. I may be a terrible man, but I’m no killer.”
“Of course you aren’t,” Lola snorted. “Fascinating how you threatened my father, doing your best to strong-arm him into signing a contract with you, destroying everything he worked so hard to achieve. You don’t call that murder? I can see the blood on your hands from here.”
“I had a business transaction with your father and I amsorry for your loss.” The girl was excellent at her goading tactics. However, trying to rile me wasn’t in her best interest. I’d played this game for far too many years.
“Bullshit, Jagger. You couldn’t care less about anything but money. That’s obvious.”
“That’s where you are very wrong.” I moved closer, keeping my eyes locked on her. I had no way of knowing if she carried a weapon, which I doubted, but I couldn’t take any chances.
“You honestly believe my father was trying to extort you or your company in any manner? He was a kind, gentle soul and a respectable businessman. He never did anything wrong in his entire life. He worked his fingers to the bone, unlike you, who had everything you ever wanted in life.”
Okay, now she was getting under my skin. A hint of anger flared, and I inched even closer, standing over her. “What I know is that your father had a gambling problem. He was in way over his head. In fact, he begged my father for more time to deal with his issues. Begged him.” The information startled her. I could tell by the nervous tic in the corner of her mouth. I hissed under my breath. There’d been no reason to share the information in that manner, but she needed to know the truth about her father—brutal tactics or not.
She narrowed her eyes, looking away for only an instant before regaining her vile expression, one full of hatred as well as rage. “That’s a fucking lie. You will not sully his reputation in any manner. You’re a horrible person.”
I couldn’t hold back my laughter. “What did you hope to accomplish yourself, Lola? What did you think you were going to do, breaking into my office after lying to me, stealing from me and all for what? A better price on the contract? Avenging your father’s untimely demise?”
Lola rounded the desk, moving closer yet keeping what I had no doubt she considered a safe distance. “For one, yes on all counts. What you offered him was ridiculous and you know it. You’re no businessman, Jagger. You’re just a terrible prick.”
My cock twitched from her scathing flares being tossed in my direction. I did enjoy a wicked sparring event from time to time. “Let me ask you a question and tell me the truth. What do you know about finances? You’ve only recently opened a bookstore in the middle of God knows where. Granted, attaching the small establishment to a wine bistro isn’t a bad idea. However, you’re in over your head, Lola. You also have no idea who you are dealing with. Sadly, you obviously didn’t know your father very well. That’s right. You left town how long ago? You changed your name. Why? Because you were embarrassed at who your father was doing business with?” I inched closer and could smell the hint of fear, but the fury on her face was formidable. “You knew he was in bed with the mafia, my father’s organization. That’s why you left town. Isn’t it?” I was throwing spitballs, but I knew instantly my assumptions were correct. She’d broken contact with Richard years before.
“How. Dare. You.”
I shook my head, keeping a smile on my face. “Let’s not play games, Lola. Your father was in over his head with few options. His untimely death doesn’t change certain facts.”
She dared inch even closer, narrowing her eyes. “Certain facts. Let’s talk about those. Shall we? What I know is that between his two locations and the various contracts that had recently been signed, my father’s company was worth almost ten million dollars. You offered him two point eight million. Even given the fact you were using creative math, he would have been a fool to sign on the dotted line.”
I was impressed even more. “Nicely done. However, the sale will eliminate his gambling debt.”
“He’s dead. His gambling debt died with him. The sale is off.” She folded her arms as if satisfied she’d one-upped me.
“Ah, but he left you the company and no doubt his estate and other holdings. Did he not?” I crowded her space, inhaling to the point I made her even more uncomfortable. By the look on her face I knew I was right. There was no one else Richard would have left his business or amassed fortune to. She was the only living family he had left.
“I…” She took a decided step backwards and away from me, her brow furrowed, her mouth pursed.
I took another step closer. “Seems we have a dilemma. You have assumed his debt, lovely Lola. It’s unfortunate but owing over a million dollars to the Calduchi family isn’t something we take lightly.”
“You are a fucking murderer,” she whispered.
“Merely a businessman, but you don’t understand the ways of my father. He doesn’t care who pays off the debt or how. He has graciously allowed me to take the helm of this growing company, so in a sense, your father was lucky that he didn’t have to deal with my father’s soldiers.”
“Soldiers. You mean Montego’s hired guns, assassins preying on innocent people. I’ve heard the stories. I’ve read about the bloodshed. You’re just like him. Cold. Calculating. Bastard.”
Bristling, I refused to allow her to see that she’d broken through the thin line surrounding me, the one called humanity. Yes, I’d carried out acts of revenge during my early years and she had no idea how dangerous I could really be, but I was no murderer. “What do you think would have happened to your father if I hadn’t intervened? Now, imagine what my father and his assassins would do to a beautiful woman such as yourself. I can think of many intriguing concepts.”
Lola exhaled. “Another threat. Keep them coming, Jagger.”
“I speak only the truth and I like you, more than you know. In fact, I don’t want to see anything happen to you or your father’s legacy. I think we should discuss new business terms.” I could tell she had no memory of the incidents as a child or our connection, but the same electricity remained, clouding the air, just as it had in the bar. Just as it had when we were teenagers. Had she not put the pieces together or had she simply not bothered to pay attention to who I was? The moment was almost defining, as if winning this particular battle with her was more important than any in my career, or my life. Over a teenage unrequited crush. I was playing games with her life. What I’d said about Montego wasn’t a lie. If she didn’t sell, she would be abducted, and no doubt used before she was killed. I declined to allow that to happen.
She held her breath, refusing to look away. “You actually think I’m stupid enough to talk any level of business with someone like you?” A laugh bubbled past her lips, sheer amusement crossing her face.
My reaction to her was strong, my patience wearing thin. Grabbing her wrist in one hand, I yanked her closer, lowering my head until our lips almost touched. “You are right about who I am, Ms. Markum. However, you’re forgetting something vital here. You broke into my office and I caught you red-handed. Not only can I but I will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law. What do you think will happen to that brand-new business of yours?” The tic on her lip returned, a slight shake of her hand. “I think you are beginning to understand that you crossed the wrong person.”
“Fuck you. I will ruin you and I don’t give a damn who your family just happens to be.”
“Very interesting as well as foolish statement coming from a woman in your position.” I wanted nothing more than to crush my mouth over hers, make certain she fully understood that she was now under my control. Patience wasn’t a virtue I subscribed to in any manner.
“You. Wouldn’t. Dare.”
What do you think? Now, imagine the deal this kind of man might make. HOT off the presses and I hope you enjoy!