Genießen Sie von Millionen von eBooks, Hörbüchern, Zeitschriften und mehr - mit einer kostenlosen Testversion

Nur $11.99/Monat nach der Testversion. Jederzeit kündbar.

Devil's Detail: A Dark Mafia Romance
Devil's Detail: A Dark Mafia Romance
Devil's Detail: A Dark Mafia Romance
eBook233 Seiten3 Stunden

Devil's Detail: A Dark Mafia Romance

Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen



Vorschau lesen

Über dieses E-Book

When you’re “connected” in the Windy City, there are no guarantees.

I grew up in the Family, navigating the labyrinth of courtesies in the layer cake of the Chicago Mob.
When the capo says jump, you ask “how high?”
They tell you to off somebody… You get the job done or you don’t come home.

Play your cards right, and you’ll be a Made Man.
Set for life—a violent life, but set.
Play them wrong… well, the pay is great, but the retirement plan stinks.

Enter one Isabella Lastra. Beautiful but sad, thoughtful but spirited.
One look, and I know…

I have to make her mine.

I’m supposed to protect Isabella, not fall in love with her.
The Loggia Family is out for blood, and Isabella is in their crosshairs.
I’ll do anything to protect the woman I love. Anything.

Even if I have to steal her.

Can love survive in this blood-soaked, honor-bound world?
Or will my quest to be a Made Man cost me the one woman I can’t live without?
One thing’s for sure, if they want to take Isabella from me…

They’re going to have to kill me first.   

Anmerkung des Herausgebers

New York Times Bestselling Author...

A Mafioso hoping to get “Made” is ordered to protect the Don’s daughter — a woman who despises her father’s life and wants nothing to do with the mafia. But her wishes don’t matter when it’s her life in danger; a rival family has targeted her, and when the hero falls in love with her, he decides he will give up his life to protect her. The story is passionate, tense, and very sexy.

Erscheinungsdatum11. Okt. 2022
Vorschau lesen

Vivi Paige

Vivi Paige is the sekrit pen name of a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author who decided she wanted to play on the dark side of happily ever after… Join her in a sinister world of murder, mayhem, and marriage.

Mehr von Vivi Paige lesen

Ähnlich wie Devil's Detail

Titel in dieser Serie (2)

Mehr anzeigen

Ähnliche E-Books

Rezensionen für Devil's Detail

Bewertung: 3 von 5 Sternen

2 Bewertungen0 Rezensionen

Wie hat es Ihnen gefallen?

Zum Bewerten, tippen

Die Rezension muss mindestens 10 Wörter umfassen


    Devil's Detail - Vivi Paige

    Chapter One

    A gust sent white flurries into my face as I leaned against the wall behind Nostro’s, a swanky little eatery near the West Town border. I scooped my bones off the rough, wooden crate beside the service entrance and rattled them in my hands. I sent them tumbling onto the crate with a series of clacks.

    The dice were weighted to come up sixes. I stared at them and shook my head sadly. Snake eyes. The famous Lorenzo Porcelli bad luck, rearing its ugly head again.

    Sure, just because the dice were weighted didn’t mean they always came up the way I wanted. That was the fourth toss in a row where I’d gotten double ones though. Not the most auspicious start to my evening.

    I pulled my coat around me a bit tighter, feeling the comforting weight of the Ithaca tucked under my arm. If the Loggias decided they wanted a rumble tonight, I would not be found wanting.

    As I’d recently offed three of their made men enforcers, I figured they had a hard-on for me. Me, a low-level associate, not even made yet. No blood ties to the leadership to facilitate my upward mobility, if you catch my drift.

    The door opened, sending out a spear of yellow light into the dimly lit alley. I glanced up into the face of Guido, a lump of a human being who wasn’t just good at breaking bones, he was a straight up maestro.

    Capo Lastra is ready for you, Lorenzo. He squinted at the dice on the crate. Ain’t those bones loaded?

    Yeah, I scooped them up. For all the good it does me.

    You’re just unlucky, Lorenzo. Not your fault.

    Some people say we make our own luck. Or that it doesn’t exist.

    Yeah? Well, some mother fuckers think the world is flat. What are you gonna do?

    I followed his broad-shouldered figure into the rear of the restaurant. I passed by stooges packing jewelry into bags of flour, pretending ignorance as always. Just because you see something while in service to the family don’t mean you see something, if you catch my drift.

    The warmth of the restaurant felt nice. I opened my coat as we moved toward the sitting area. Guido stopped just before the threshold and motioned with his hand. Without argument, I handed over my Ithaca as well as the semi-automatic pistol in my coat pocket.

    The knife, too.

    C’mon, Guido, I just saved Capo Donato last week.

    The knife, Lorenzo. You ain’t made yet. When you are, maybe I’ll trust you… and maybe I won’t, you know?

    Yeah, I know. I drew the switchblade out of my breast pocket and handed it over. It was a beautiful weapon, with a carved silver eagle pommel that also made a good noggin knocker if I wanted to lay a knot on some fool instead of cutting him. Be careful with that, huh? It was my father’s.

    Guido’s expression softened. No problem, Lorenzo. Everybody liked your old man.

    Thanks. I headed into the lobby and spotted the capo sitting in a booth near the back. He’d positioned himself to watch all the entrances. With the Loggia family gunning for us, he couldn’t afford to take chances.

    Capo Flavio Lastra was an older guy but healthy. He kept himself in good shape, his pot belly notwithstanding. He glanced up at my approach and smiled.

    Lorenzo. Have a seat.

    I settled across from him. I noted there were no menus on the table.

    I took the liberty of ordering. Hope you don’t mind.

    Not at all.

    Lastra nodded. Capo Farino spoke very highly of you. Says you saved his life.

    Saved mine, too, in the process, but yeah.

    Flavio chuckled, pointing a finger at me. See, that’s why I like you, Lorenzo. You don’t traffic in illusions, even when it would be to your benefit. I’m going to need that kind of honesty, you follow?

    I follow. I smiled at the server as they laid a plate of linguini in front of me, and some bread sticks still steaming from the oven. I’m not a fan of alfredo, but Nostro’s has a damn fine recipe, so I made an exception.

    Eat, kid. You’re looking skinny.

    Yeah, right. I stood six and a half feet tall and I had the physique of a professional fighter. But, you know Italians. If you’re smaller than Luciano Pavarotti, you’re skinny.

    Thanks. I took one of the breadsticks, letting it warm my numbed hands before taking the first scrumptious bite. The garlicky butter glaze eased its way down my throat and filled my palate with flavor. It’s good.

    For a time, the only sounds were of cutlery scraping across ceramic plates and the occasional swallow. When my plate was empty, Flavio looked up, a somber light in his dark eyes.

    Listen, kid, I didn’t bring you here for dinner, or to thank you for saving my friend. I’ve got a request to ask of you.

    Of course, I’m at your service.

    Lastra’s eyes narrowed. This ain’t in the purview of your normal duties to the family, Lorenzo. This once, feel free to say no, and I’ll understand.

    My brow furrowed in confusion. Why is that?

    Because this little job needs to stay between you and me. Not even the don can know about it.

    He noticed my look of alarm and quickly held his hands out, making a downward gesture.

    It ain’t what you’re thinking. We’re not going to betray Don Maloik. No way. I just need you to protect somebody. Somebody the family considers persona non grata, if you feel me.

    I felt him all right. It was a poorly kept secret that Lastra’s beloved daughter, Isabella, had spurned the family business and put herself in college instead. The don had washed his hands off her. Clearly, Capo Lastra was reluctant or unable to do the same. Blood is blood, after all.

    I feel you.

    Good. Word on the grapevine is, the Loggias think I’m soft. They think if they nab my daughter, Isabella, that I’ll waffle and turn on the family. They’re thinking wrong. I’d pay any price for this family. Any price.

    I nodded, keeping my mouth shut.

    But just because I’m not going to turn on the don don’t mean they know that. I want my daughter safe. She’s still my blood, even if she’s turned her back on the Maloiks.

    You want me to shadow her, keep her out of Loggia hands?

    Exactly. For the time being, I’m taking you off your chauffeur and bodyguard duties. Lastra’s jaw worked silently for a time. Do this for me, Lorenzo, and I’ll make you a made man.

    I nodded. Guarding a spoiled college girl wasn’t my ideal gig, but I wasn’t about to pass up this opportunity.

    You can count on me, Capo.

    Good. I’ll expect updates on a regular basis. I’ve deposited some funds into your account for expenses. They should show up tomorrow. There’s a little extra for you to buy yourself something nice, eh.

    Thank you, Capo Lastra. I won’t let you down.

    His eyes grew dark. You’d better not. Now scram. I’ve got other business to attend to tonight.

    I’ll be in touch. I took my leave, retrieved my stuff from Guido, and stepped back out into the cold.

    It looked like my luck was changing. On a whim, I pulled out my bones and gave them another tumble on the crate.

    Snake eyes again.

    Chapter Two

    Cold comfort. What a friggin’ concept. It’s an oxymoron, if you ask me.

    Cold comfort isn’t really comfort at all, is it? At least, not in my estimation. Take, for example, religion. They tell us that when our loved ones die, they aren’t really gone. They ascend to heaven to join the choir invisible, living out eternity where no one knows pain or fear or misery.

    Must be nice.

    All I know is, that notion is cold comfort indeed. They might not be feeling miserable, but I sure as hell am. What good is it for me to know my mother is happy in some metaphysical realm? It doesn’t make the ache of her absence hurt any less. See what I mean? Cold comfort.

    Emphasis on cold. The wind blew off Lake Michigan like the Abominable Snowman’s breath, casting a glaze of frost on the metal cages protecting the trees on West Adams Street. My breath came in white puffs as I huddled into myself in a vain attempt to keep warm.

    The sharp pointed roof of old St. Patrick’s Church loomed ahead of me on my left. Funny how, when I was a kid, I’d asked my ma if it was a princess castle. She’d shushed me and made me say a dozen Hail Marys. I mean, what the heck? She wasn’t even a priest; not sure she had the authority to dictate that.

    These days, I dreaded coming to St. Patrick’s even though I only did so once per year on this date. I trotted up the steps, anticipating the warmth that would soon be provided by its ancient walls.

    Just the wind getting cut down when I pushed through the door was a blessing. I crossed myself and nodded at the nearby security guard. The guy was in his seventies and probably couldn’t see straight enough to aim the revolver at his side, but I guess his presence made people feel better. Can’t be too careful these days.

    I made my way through the chapel to an adjoining wing, where they had an altar set up with candles lit by the bereaved. I heaved a sigh as I stepped up to it and selected a candle from the cigar box-sized container beside it.

    I set the candle in a holder and used the provided Aim ‘n Flame to light it. The flame sputtered to life, wispy black tendrils stretching up toward the ceiling. A drop of wax ran down the side, slowing as it cooled into firmness.

    Carefully, I settled on the kneeler, folded my hands, and spoke softly.

    How ya doing, Ma? My voice sounded hollow, empty to my own ears. I hope it’s not winter up there in heaven. Chicago’s a friggin’ ice block—

    I covered my mouth and looked up in apology. Sorry I said friggin’ in church—damn it—I mean, darn it.

    I shook my head. Anyways, I just wanted to say I miss you. A lot. I miss your laugh, I miss your dry cornbread, heck, I even miss the way you used to paddle me with a wooden spoon, believe it or not.

    She only did that out of love.

    I started at the sound of the familiar voice behind me. I hung my head and sighed. What was he doing here? I’d come as early as possible to avoid seeing him.

    My father sidled up beside me. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, but didn’t turn to face him. He sighed and rattled around in the box until he came up with his own candle.

    Silently, he lit it and set it beside my own. The kneeler shifted as he rested his weight on it with a grunt of pain.

    Arthritis again? I asked, turning to face him at last.

    Hello, Izzy, he smiled weakly. You’re looking good. Been getting enough to eat?

    My nose scrunched up in disgust. You know I don’t like being called Izzy. I’m not seven anymore, Pop.

    Yeah, that’s for sure, he sighed. When you were seven, you still gave me the time of day.

    I rested my forehead on my praying hands. What do you want?

    Same as you. To pay my respects to your ma. He shifted on the kneeler. And to see my beloved daughter. I haven’t spoken to you since last year.

    Yeah, well, I’ve been busy.

    I saw the paintings you posted online. You’re really getting good. You always did have talent, but now, you’re in that professional strata, if you catch my drift.

    I glanced at him, feeling a tingle of good will despite myself. You’ve been following me online?

    What choice do I have? You don’t come around anymore.

    I scoffed. You know why I don’t.

    My father grew tight-lipped. If I’d known there was a hit out on me, I’d never have taken you two to the park, all right? It should have been me.

    I agree with you one hundred percent.

    My father sighed, his eyes full of sadness. I miss her, too, all right? I miss her, too. Maybe you can stop busting my balls for five minutes, so we can talk.

    Guilt stabbed my heart, colder than an icicle. Fine. Talk.

    I glanced over at him and sighed. And stand up, for heaven’s sake, Pop, your knee has to be killing you.

    Yeah, it is. The kneeler creaked as he rose to his feet. Look, Izz—I mean, Isabella, I didn’t just come here to check up on you. The Loggias and the Maloiks are at war.

    Yeah, I heard. Stuff like that tends to get around. What’s your point? Got nothing to do with me anymore.

    Unfortunately, it does. As far as the Loggias are concerned, you’re the best of both worlds; somebody I care about, and somebody they can hit without breaking the rules.

    I can take care of myself, Pop. I rose to my feet swiftly. Just… just leave me alone. You’ve made a bad day even worse.

    I felt another pang of guilt at his hurt expression as I turned to leave.

    I’m going to keep you safe, kiddo, he called after me. No matter what it takes. Don’t you at least want to have lunch with me?

    I stopped, but didn’t turn around. I can’t. I have class.

    With that, I swept out into the chilly air, glad he couldn’t see the tears on my face.

    Chapter Three

    I spotted my mark trundling down Wabash, eyes fixed on his cell phone. I tossed my cigar into the stand-up ashtray and melted away from the brown wall of the SAIC building.

    He didn’t notice me among the other folks on the crowded sidewalk until it was too late. I took a half step to my left and bumped into him; hard, but not too hard.

    I’m sorry, pal, I said swiftly, with sincerity dripping from my words. I touched him on his elbow and back. Sorry.

    No worries, he said, focusing back on his phone. I continued in the direction I had been heading, the opposite way he took. When I was about half a block away, I reached into my coat and took out his visitor pass. The photo didn’t look much like me, but it didn’t have to. Nobody was going to stare at it anyway.

    I affixed it to my coat and returned to the main building. SAIC occupied this razorblade-thin building in the middle of the Loop. Most of the housing was off-campus, a few blocks away. The students either hoofed it or took the train, but such was life.

    I’d checked up on Isabella earlier, and found that she stayed in a two-person dorm in Jones Hall.

    I picked up this tidbit from her friggin’ social media accounts. Jesus Christ, people put too much info out there these days.

    You go and search for Lorenzo Porcelli, you ain’t gonna find no Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other bullshit. You might find a record of my arrest a few years back for disorderly conduct, and a case—which was dropped for lack of evidence—where I’d been accused of assault. That’s it. Nobody needs to know where I live.

    I found security at the dorms a bit lax. Nobody challenged me, but I didn’t spot Isabella. I knew Lastra wanted an update as soon as possible, so I figured I’d take a stroll on campus. When I saw people getting ID badges at the front desk, I knew I had to figure something out, and it had better be clever.

    When I breezed through the door, security barely glanced in my direction, just long enough to spot the ID dangling from my lapel.

    Gefällt Ihnen die Vorschau?
    Seite 1 von 1