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Beautifully Brutal (Cavalieri Della Morte Book 1)
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International bestselling author, Dani René, brings you the first of thirteen stories in the brand new, highly anticipated Cavalieri Della Morte series. These are suspenseful romances that will leave you hungry for more!
My beast hungers to be satiated. And my beauty is the only one who can feed it.
In a world ravaged with violence, I still think about the beauty who was taken from me. I’ve turned rabid in her absence. The dormant beast she had tamed is ravenous, feeding on brutality and bloodshed.
I focus on the kill, until Arthur confesses his trump card, shattering every hope I had of reclaiming her. Focused on the job at hand, I step into the lion’s den, only to find nothing is as it seems.
My beast hungers to be satiated.
A dark treacherous journey where happily ever after may be just out of reach.
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The thick stack of pages lying on the table before me contains information about my current job. Everything I need to know about the mark currently slumped against the wall, dripping blood all over the cool concrete beneath him.
“I-I know A-Arthur—”
“Shut up,” I bite out, ash flitting from the burning cigarette hanging between my lips. I glance over at the table, noting the tumbler sitting beside me is empty. I turn toward his bar, lifting the decanter, and pour another shot of clear liquid.
The logo on the front of the manila folder I’m flicking through shimmers in gold and crimson. It’s been years since I first laid eyes on it, and since then, till now, I feel a sense of pride. It’s a place I belong to. My life has changed considerably since I became a part of them; The Cavalieri Della Morte have become a family — twelve men and our leader.
For longer than I can remember, the word family has been a curse. My father killed himself when I was twelve. I walked into the office as he pulled the trigger, and I watched as his brains splattered along the wall of his books, which sat behind his desk.
Grabbing the glass, I empty the contents over my mark’s leg where the bullet wound is seeping claret fluid. His cries are otherworldly, making me smile. I prefer torture; it makes the memories of my father’s scattered brains less painful to me. Seeing something like that could break a kid, and for a while, it did.
My mother tried her best, but a wayward son is never easy for a woman alone. Once I hit fifteen, she was already high every night with a different boyfriend strolling into the house as if he owned it.
When I couldn’t handle it anymore, I packed a duffel bag and ran from the small two-bedroom home my father had left her in his will. I didn’t know where I would go, but I knew I needed to get out of there or I’d turn out just like him — a brainless corpse.
Sauntering over to my array of tools, I pick up the small knife on the table. The handle is hand carved from ebony, with a Cavalieri logo etched into the wood.
Smiling, I lean in and hiss in my victim’s ear, “Are you going to tell me where the money is?” My voice is low, dangerous, and he can tell from the look in my eyes that anything he tells me won’t save him. Not today, not ever.
His mouth opens, but no sound comes out, and I’m reminded of the moment my father stopped moving. When the gun thudded onto the carpet, the sound was like a damn foghorn.
“Well shit, you have bigger balls than I expected.” Pressing my heavy combat boot on his groin, I make sure all my weight is on the one foot, causing a wretched scream to fall from his lips.
“P-please, I-I-I c-c-c—”
“Please, please, I have money,” I taunt him, knowing what they all beg and plead just before I end them. This is part of the job I enjoy more than anything. The high of having someone’s life in your hands is heady, like a drug.
“I-I-I c-c-can’t—” The voice drags me from my thoughts. Pressing the cigarette between my lips, I take a long drag as my eyes flutter at inhaling the sweet smoke. I reach for his bleeding leg, shoving my fingers in the wound in an attempt to find my bullet. His screech is one of pain and agony, causing my heart to catapult wildly in my chest. Pleasure surges through me at seeing this piece of shit in pain. My inked hands are now drenched in the thick, slippery crimson fluid from the wounds I’ve inflicted on the man who’s dying against the wall.
Lifting my foot, I press down on the mangled limb, earning me another dick-hardening cry of pain. There’s nowhere for him to go. He can’t run or hide. His leg is contorted in an unnatural way from me stomping on it. I heard the bone crack when my heavy black boot made contact.
Reaching behind me, I pull my gun from my belt holster. I lift my Glock and aim it at his head first, watching as he scrunches his eyes, awaiting the shot, but I don’t pull the trigger just yet. I lower my arm, aiming for his other knee cap. The ringing of the shot is loud, and then his sweet, agonizing cries fill my ears.
Placing the gun on the table, I glance at the man, my mind ticking over the options. He’s gripping his leg, begging more than he was moments ago. There’s something that clicks in a person’s mind when they know they’re going to die — survival instinct or resolution. Either they’ll attempt to beg their way out of what’s coming, or they give up.