Well, my darlings, the 4th in the Mafia Masters series is HOT off the presses. This one takes you through the upper echelon of Miami to Cuba and just might sizzle your senses. I thought you might like to take a taste…
CLAIMED AS REVENGE
I’d been called soulless, among other things, my penchant for the taste of blood almost as powerful as my hunger for passion. However, the only thing on my mind at this moment was snuffing out an inconsequential fool. I took a deep breath, attempting to restore my calm resolve.
I’d killed a man. While the act wasn’t something I engaged in often, the fact I had blood on my hands, a stain that would never go away, wasn’t far from my mind. And the man I’d spent the last three hours with was the reason.
Music, the soul and breath of life. While I enjoyed music in the background, I’d never been one to follow an artist or give a shit. The duo of piano and cello was exquisite, the notes bold and haunting, intoxication for my ears. I took a deep breath, staring out at the rolling ocean waters, content at least for the moment. Even the scents of native flowers, white ginger and jasmine, were a powerful aphrodisiac.
If I were here for anything but business.
I was the kind of man who crushed my enemies, someone to be afraid of. After all, I was filled with darkness, danger surrounding every aspect of my life. No one fucked with me or my family. The Garcias had ruled the South with an iron fist, my father having established our stronghold decades before. Few enemies had the audacity to challenge us, those who did receiving the very wrath of the gods.
In our way.
I didn’t mind the concept in the least.
I especially loathed those who thought they could get the better of me, just because I’d yet to take full control. Santiago Rivera was that kind of man.
I’d spent hours learning all about him before boarding a jet to Cuba. I was no fool, realizing that for all the pomp and circumstance, the wealthy entrepreneur and oppressive kingpin was merely biding his time before he fully invaded my family’s territory. That just wasn’t going to happen. Danton had been working with him for a little over two months, allowing a significant amount of money to be funneled into Santiago’s hands.
Tonight, we were playing a game of Russian roulette, only he had no idea that I never lost.
I’d been given carte blanche since my arrival, Santiago ensuring that my every need and desire had been fulfilled since the night before. Food. Drink. Women. There was nothing off the table. His unlimited offers meant the man was running scared, uncertain of my capabilities.
He was soon to find out.
The cigar was incredible, the sights from his arched veranda spectacular, his posh estate positioned on a dangerous precipice, a warning to all those who dared cross his path. I couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought. I leaned against one of the carved stone pillars as the sun dipped over the horizon, marveling at the crystalline water, waves lapping at the shoreline. The heat of the summer evening was less sweltering given the light breezes while the sounds of piano concerto music floated from unseen speakers, adding to the festive atmosphere, the cellist an incredible musician. I was taken on a beautiful walk through the seductive music alone. Sadly, I wasn’t in any kind of mood for a party.
Traveling to Cuba had been against my father’s wishes, but necessary to keep the peace.
Unless the man fucked with me.
“I see you enjoy our Cuban cigars, Miguel. One of our specialty blends,” Santiago said as he walked closer, his booming baritone wafting over the light breeze. In his hand were two brandy snifters. His smile was gregarious, the twinkle in his eyes suggesting he’d won me over with his charm and hospitality.
I wasn’t a man who succumbed to anything, especially treachery.
I took another puff before answering. “Very much so. The flavor is bold with a hint of spices. Perfection. I will add that dinner was also incredible.” My mother had taught me decent manners. My father had taught me how to handle betrayal.
“My chef will certainly be happy to hear of your approval. I’ll make certain you have several boxes of our finest cigars to take home with you.” As he handed me one of the drinks, his already dark eyes seemed more volatile, his pupils mere pinpricks. He knew he was in over his head.
“How generous of you.”
“As you can imagine, I’m eager to bring them to Miami and beyond.”
Yes, I was well aware of his ploy. While Cuban cigars were no longer illegal in the United States, selling them continued to bring fines of a hefty nature. I knew all about him and his company, the cigar distribution a basic front for his drug running operation. I knew the game well. My family had several legitimate businesses, all while providing highly regarded party favors to wealthy clients. I had to admit that adding Cuban cigars to the mix was an excellent idea.
As long as he understood the parameters.
As long as he followed the rules.
By this point, he’d heard about Danton’s early demise. That gave me a certain amount of leverage.
“You are also enjoying the music, eh?” he asked in a casual manner.
I tipped my head as the song reached a crescendo, my heart racing from the intensity. “It is beautiful, although not what I would have expected.”
Santiago laughed. “There are many things you do not know about me, my friend. The solo cellist is my daughter.”
I was pleasantly surprised, the concept giving me a smile. “Please tell your daughter that I admire her ability very much.”
“I will do just that; however, I am well aware that you did not come here for my taste in music.”
“Sadly, you are correct. I suggest we get down to business.” I took a sip, savoring the expensive cognac, allowing the rich liquor to soothe my constricted throat. I’d done well holding my temper during the four-course meal, listening to his pontifications regarding his stature in life. Any other man would have already been gutted.
I wondered if he was aware of just how close he’d already come to losing his precious hold on life.
“Like father, like son,” Santiago said casually, moving toward the interior of the veranda, easing down on the supple leather sofa as if he didn’t have a care in the world. “Like you, I do my research. Your father is well respected.”
“Yes.” The single word I issued brought a single huff of disdain, creating another smile on my face.
I took a glance at one of my two soldiers who’d accompanied me on the trip, their eyes having never left me from the second I’d entered Santiago’s cliff-side mansion. Both Cordero and Enrique knew what was at stake. They also realized that with a flick of my wrist, I could unleash their talent. I chuckled at the thought.
Santiago followed my gaze, slowly unbuttoning his white dinner jacket before pulling out a cigar of his own.
“My father taught me the importance of honesty as well as a well-organized business venture.”
“Something to respect,” he said in an offhanded way, taking his time to pull the gilded cutter from the oversized astray. The snip was loud, no doubt his attempt at patronizing me.
I simply looked back toward the ocean, content in my standings with him. While we hadn’t talked business over dinner, I’d made certain he knew his place in the pecking order. He was as close to the bottom as he could be. The thought almost made my cock hard. “Yes, like father, like son. And as you know, my father is a formidable man. You want to sell cigars in the United States. I can help with arranging distribution rights as well as transportation to various cities. I can also provide you with connections, wealthy and influential clients who will gladly pay your exorbitant prices.”
“Exorbitant. Come now. These are the most fabulous cigars in the world,” Santiago said, finally taking a puff.
I twisted the cigar in my fingers, eager to get this shit over with. I had other business to attend to. “Yes, as you’ve said more than once.” I walked in his direction and while he offered a seat, I remained standing. “I’m also well aware that you’re intent on bringing drugs into my regime, a compromising situation.”
“Now, wait a minute.” He huffed and puffed as he leaned forward. Even in the beautiful evening light, I could tell his face had turned beet red.
“I’m no fool, Santiago, so don’t dare attempt to try and place me in that position. I’ve been watching you for months, your test runs to particular marinas quite resourceful.”
“No. We are not going down that road. Cut the crap. We are professionals and we’re going to remain that way. I will make you a deal but it’s the only one on the table. If I leave here, the offer will vanish. Permanently.”
Inhaling, his nostrils flared from the rage creeping into his system. I enjoyed keeping a man on edge. “I’m listening.”
“Excellent. The deal is that I will allow you to provide party favors within the city limits of Miami, but under my direction and with a forty percent finder’s fee.”
I didn’t even blink, merely keeping my stare dark and cold. “Then I guess our business is concluded here and I assure you that I have various maritime officials on my payroll. They will be notified to look carefully for any boat coming from two hundred miles in the proximity of Cuba. Oh, and the deal for the cigars? Unfortunately, that will be eliminated as well. I can also assure you that if you attempt to undermine my family or my operations, I will destroy you. I think you are well aware of my capabilities.”
“How. Dare. You.”
I took another sip of cognac, another puff then closed the distance, taking my time placing the glass on the table, stubbing out the cigar. Then I simply walked toward the door, my soldiers following.
“Wait a minute. Just fucking wait a minute!” Santiago snapped. “Fine. You have your deal.”
I took a deep breath before turning around. “Very well. I’ll draw up the papers and have them in your office in the morning. However, I will need a gesture of good faith. After all, I came several hundred miles in order to make this… arrangement with you.”
He remained seated although I could tell he was fuming. He hadn’t anticipated my wrath. “What kind of gesture do you want?”
“I’m certain you can come up with something that will appease me.” I offered a smile as I adjusted the cufflinks on my sleeves.
Santiago pointed toward the half-finished glass of cognac, finally offering a smile of his own. When I refused, his face fell. “Very well,” he said as he stood. Was there the slightest hint of a quiver in his hand? Perhaps. “I think I have something that will suit you.” He kept the glass and cigar in his hands as he walked out of the room.
I chuckled and walked back toward the ornate concrete half wall, staring down at the exquisite and colorful buildings constructed on the side of the cliff. From this point of view, the sights of the city were beautiful. Sadly, the distance masked the crumbling buildings and rundown landscaping.
Only the wealthy were able to maintain a certain lifestyle, affording the various perks the gorgeous country had to offer. A man like Santiago enjoyed his status more than most, lording his good fortune over almost everyone else.
Except those within his inner circle.
Within five minutes I heard footsteps on the terra cotta floor, only this time there were two sets. I didn’t bother turning, anticipating some fabulous crate of cigars or perhaps a case of his favored liquor.
“Miguel. May I present my daughter, Valencia. She is the musician you spoke so highly of. Valencia, this is a very important business associate, Miguel Garcia, all the way from America.”
I shifted until I was able to see the doorway. Santiago stood like the pompous ass he truly was while the lovely woman standing beside him had a furious expression on her face. I’d seen pictures of her in my quest to learn every sordid detail about the man, including his weaknesses. However, there had never been any mention that she was an accomplished musician. Valencia was his only child, at least by legitimate means.
She was as incredible as her music.
“Valencia. What a lovely name. I’m pleased to meet you. You play beautifully.”
She nodded out of respect then looked away, her breath scattered.
“Some respect, pequena princessa,” Santiago rumbled, anger in his tone.
“I am not a princess, father. While it’s good to meet you, I was in the middle of practice. May I go now?” Valencia asked as she folded her arms.
“I’m curious. What game are you playing, Santiago?” I asked casually.
“You will learn, Miguel, that I also don’t play games for anyone,” he said in an offhanded manner.
She gave me a heated glance, as if disgusted with my appearance, now remaining quiet. A good daughter and one entirely under her father’s thumb.
The girl was beautiful, her long dark hair flowing to the small of her back, her large blue eyes stunning. My cock twitched from the way her lips pursed and I allowed my gaze to fall to her voluptuous breasts and slender waist with rounded hips that accentuated long and sexy legs. Even in the simple cobalt blue dress that hugged every curve, she was glorious.
Santiago walked closer, a wry expression on his face. “You wanted an appropriate gesture of good faith. I have something you will admit is truly remarkable.”
What do you think??? A little spicy? I hope you enjoyed!
Kisses and Spanks