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Christmas With Dad’s Mafia Friend
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When my dad’s best friend unexpectedly shows up in our house in the middle of the night, I’m expecting a good reason why he didn’t knock or tell us he was here. But what I really want is to tell him how I’ve felt about him for so long and how his arrival seems like the Christmas gift I never though I’d get, but always hoped for. And I can’t help but wonder if this Christmas will be the first time I give my dad’s best friend the gift I’ve been saving just for him.
It’s been years since this older man has seen me, and when he looks this younger woman up and down it’s clear he can see I’m not a little girl anymore. I want to light up his life, but he’s acting like there’s a dark past threatening to catch up with him.
But what happens when dad’s mafia friend catches me alone? Will his possessive side come out and claim me once and for all, or will he find a way to resist the desire that’s pulling us together? And can my parents resist their nagging suspicion that something is going on between Marco and I, and their urge to tear us apart?
With a dark cloud hanging over Marco’s head, it’s questionable that he’ll even survive…but when he promises me what we have will survive, always, I know that for the first time in my life I got exactly what I wanted for Christmas. Him.
*Christmas With Dad’s Mafia Friend is an insta-everything standalone instalove romance with an HEA, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.
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There’s someone in our house. An intruder. I can hear them moving around downstairs. I’m sitting in my bed with the duvet up to my chin like a child. I know my parents are both asleep in their room, but I know I heard the door downstairs open.
So who’s in the house?
I take a shaky breath and force myself to get out of bed. I could call 911 right now, but maybe the sound of my voice on the phone will alert the intruder. I need to go and see who it is. Maybe this is all a big misunderstanding.
With my heart slamming hard against my ribcage, I head out onto the landing and peer down. In the dark, I can see a shadowy figure, but I can’t make out their features. Their figure is tall and bulky. They’re clearly strong and fit…but I don’t know many men like that. Who could possibly be in our house if not a burglar?
There’s nothing for it. I have to try the police. I head back to my room to find my phone, but I realize I left it downstairs. I have no choice, but to sneak down and reach our landline…before the intruder spots me.
I’m filled with adrenaline as I creep down the stairs. There’s no sign of the man to be seen. But then I see the light switch on in my father’s office and I know exactly where to go. I slink into the kitchen to grab the phone and a knife to protect myself. I begin to dial 911, ready to report the incident to the police.
Someone grabs me from behind covering my mouth with their hand. I scream against their warm palm, but the man holds me firm. His grip is strong on me, but he doesn’t hurt me. And suddenly, I get the feeling that I might know the man holding me in place.
“It’s alright. I’m not going to hurt you,” a gruff voice says in my ear. I gasp. I’d know that voice anywhere.
He releases me and I turn around to look at the love of my life in the eye.
Marco has barely changed in the years since I last saw him. My dad’s old friend, as far as I know, they hadn’t been in touch since I was a young girl. His handsome Italian features are just as alluring to me as when I first fell in love with him. I’ll bet he’s never even looked my way before, I was way too young for him when we last saw each other, but I think of him all the time. I’ve always wanted him and only him. I’ve dreamt so many times of the night he’d take my virginity from me, even though I believed it would never happen. I’ve spent every night since I fell head over heels for him dreaming that he’d come back and find me.
But I never expected this.
His dark eyes seem to widen as he takes me in. He hasn’t seen me since I was a young girl. Now I’m a woman. His eyes scan me with an intensity that I’ve craved from him for so long. He looks at me like he wants something from me, something I desperately want to give him.
“Eloise…” he growls. “It’s been a while.”
I back myself up against the counter, dropping the knife atop it. He’s always been intimidating with his huge muscles and his height, but I’m not afraid of him. I know he’d never hurt me. Even after rumors started circulating that Marco was bad news, I always knew I’d be able to trust him for life. He’s a good man…perhaps misunderstood, but good all the same. I can feel it in my bones.
“Marco, what are you doing here? And how did you get inside?”
Marco dangles a set of keys in front of my eyes. “Your father gave me these years ago…in case of an emergency.”
My eyes widen. “Is this…is this an emergency?”
Marco gives me a look that says he’s said too much. Just then, I hear footsteps on the stairs, tentatively creeping down to see what’s going on. It must be my father. I long to spend more precious seconds alone with Marco as it’s been so long since I’ve seen him, but I get the feeling this isn’t going to be some happy little reunion.
My father appears in the kitchen holding a gun. I gasp and instinctively duck behind Marco’s hulking figure. I know that my father wouldn’t shoot, of course. He bought it years ago to ward away burglars, but he never bought any bullets to go with it.
“Don’t hurt my daughter,” he says in a quiet tone. He’s never been the intimidating sort, unlike Marco, he sounds more terrified than intimidating. Marco steps forward out of the darkness.