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Her Mafia Valentine – A Man Who Knows What He Wants
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Curves and a crush, it’s a recipe for trouble when college girl Chloe can’t help but do all she can to put herself in front of older guy and underground mobster, Mickey Valentine. Her dad, Hudson does his taxes, but she’s calculating more than that happening between them both.
The problem? Dad’s also a hitman for the mob and doesn’t like the idea of his only daughter mixing business with pleasure.
Can Mickey really have her? Or is Hudson on an all- out mission to bring down not only Mickey Valentine, but the entire Family itself?
*Her Mafia Valentine is a SHORT insta-everything standalone instalove romance with an HEA, no cheating, and no cliffhanger.
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I only get one carbs day a week, when I cheat on this stupid keto thing. I like my Pasta but without surprises. A long term employee suddenly absent from a mob run restaurant? My experience, my gut tells me I don’t like it.
“Where’s Denise? She sick?” I ask Giorgio. He runs the place, I pay for it. Penance for my sins. A reminder from my family.
“Dunno boss,” he says, giving a nervous shrug before refilling my mineral water. “All I know is Denise wasn’t here or at home, I called the agency to get someone else and here she is. She’s pretty, eh?” Giorgio gives me a knowing wink as he nods his head towards the curvy blond.
“Who is she?” I hear myself asking. She’s beautiful. I tell myself as I look at her, transfixed. Giorgio needs his fucking eyes checked. She’s not pretty…
“Chloe. Chloe…” Giorgio drifts off, trying to remember her last name. I check her form out from behind as she bends over to pick up a dropped fork. I feel myself moving inside my pants, a feeling I haven’t had for a very long time. Not at Giorgio’s anyway.
“I don’t like it,” I say, focusing on my other instincts. “An agency waitress? Stinks like last week’s marinara sauce. And she just happened to appear, right after Denise is a no show?”
The perfect female doesn’t just present herself as a waitress. Not in a mob restaurant. Not in this neighborhood. It sets me on my guard. I’m taken by her looks, but I know too good to be true when I see it.
“Take it easy boss.” Giorgio says, lowering his own voice, hoping I’ll do the same. I own the place, sure, but it’s a legit front. A real business. I’m not supposed to scare off the customers and there’s no guns allowed.
I suck air in between my teeth. “I’m just sayin’ I don’t like it is all,” I growl low, giving Giorgio a dark look to remind him who’s really the boss. My second brain, in my pants is telling me a different story.
“Mickey! Mr. Valentine!” He gushes, giving me his best Papa Giuseppe to restore my faith, “I use agency waitresses all the time. Well. In my last place anyway. Everything’s fine! Let me get your order. The usual?”
“No.” I say sharply, adjusting myself under the table. “Let the agency girl serve me, I want to sniff her out.”
Amongst other things.
Giorgio gives me a sly wink. I wonder why I put up with him, with this place. Why I keep torturing myself. I get lost in the memory again. I try to fight it, but it’s too late. The same restaurant, almost twenty years ago.
Christ. I’m even at the same table.
Ricky. My baby brother. I can’t bring myself to say his name out loud, but the restaurant, the table. Thursday, it’s etched like ink in my mind. The harder I scrub at it, the more it itches, burning like it did all those years ago.
You have to look out for your brother, Mickey. Family is more important than anything, more than your own life.
I was young and stupid, but Ricky was younger and way more stupid. Reckless. Out of control.
I can see agency girl coming over, her blue eyes have caught mine, lighting up with recognition; but I’m still trapped in the past, struggling out of the wreck.
I’d shot at a few men, stabbed one by that time, but never strangled one. That drunk bastard, running a red light, I wanted to make his end slow. Pliers and blowtorch slow; but it was Ricky’s face staring back up at me by the time I got my hands around his scrawny neck.
I couldn’t let him bear it. He was too young for jail. Too soft for what would be coming from our Father. I put him in the wreck that was my car, next to the man he’d killed, who I moved over to the driver’s side. Then I lay in his car until the cops came.
All my fault, my greatest shame borne by the whole family.
My own brother.
How could I do that to him?
I got four years. Ricky got a limp and a beach house.
Family is more important than anything, more than your own life.
And I’d do it the same all over, in a heartbeat. That’s the family way. It’s my way.
“Who wants to know?” I bark, the reflex bringing me from a very painful and distant past, back into the light that’s her eyes. The glow that’s her skin. I feel the warmth of her and want to reach out for her, without even knowing why.
“Oh! I’m sorry…” Her brow darkens, creases giving her an almost fierce look.
“It’s alright.” I say softly, “I was just daydreaming. A million miles away.”
I almost want to tell her it’s why I own the place, why I haul my sorry ass here most Thursday’s. But I figure what’s the use? The past is the past, and for the first time in years, the future is looking a whole lot brighter with her suddenly in it.