Read Online Books/Novels:
Velvet Fire – Ashby Crime Family Romance
Author/Writer of Book/Novel:
I’m not a knight in shining armor,
|Books by Author:|
Sitting inside my all-black Porsche, I stared up at the Black Stallion Casino in all its cheesy, neon glory and then down at the picture in my hand. Savannah Rhymer. She was pretty enough with dark hair and big blue eyes that were far too innocent considering she was the heiress of The Crusaders, and not just any old heiress. She was the old man’s right-hand woman.
Sure, her brother would take over the family business when the old man kicked the bucket, but Savannah? She knew where all the bodies were buried. And who put them there. The Crusaders were a newer organization compared to my family, but they were making a name for themselves with their brutality and their reputation for doing anything to keep cash flowing into their organization. There was nothing they didn’t do, including human trafficking, drugs and guns, underground gambling, extortion, blackmail, and the occasional murder for hire. And now they were trying to take over Ashby territory.
And that was the reason I was here at the casino tonight. It was no happy coincidence that Savannah was here, too, celebrating her birthday at Bullets & Beer, the nightclub owned by my family, inside the casino also owned by my family. The Ashbys didn’t just own Black Stallion Casino and nearly all the businesses contained within the massive structure at the heart of Glitz, Nevada. We owned the whole Goddamn town.
Our money was old but our blood was anything but. Not one of us, not me or my brothers, Jasper and Calvin, or even our sister Kat, gave one flying fuck. Just like the Rockefeller and Vanderbilt families, the Ashby clan earned our money by duping people. Not with railroads or oil, but gaming. Mostly. Some might call it bookmaking or whatever other name the government uses to separate people like us from the blue blood families who do the same fucking thing. We owned casinos, underground gaming rooms, underground casinos, sports betting facilities, bars, restaurants, and anything else we needed to maintain our power in Glitz. Our influence.
And tonight that meant teaching The Crusaders a lesson. Nobody fucks with the Ashby family, at least no one who was alive to tell the fucking tale, as they say. Not only did these assholes think they could try to do business on Ashby territory and get away with it, but booking the princess’s party at our fucking establishment?
In the past, I’d barge ahead without an order from Ma to do what needed to be done, but I wouldn’t make that mistake again. Sadie Rose Ashby was a formidable woman, more dangerous than all three of her boys combined despite her petite, almost society woman outer shell. Going against her wishes would put me in the shit house for sure.
I stared at the photo sent to me by Colby, the head bartender at Bullets & Beer, not thirty minutes ago. It was the text message he’d sent with the picture that brought me to the casino, contemplating something stupid, made stupider without Ma’s approval so I dialed and held my breath.
“Virgil, my love,” she said when she answered. “Tell me you’ve decided to join me for dinner tonight? We’ve received a new shipment of whiskey.” As badass as Sadie Ashby was, to me she was just Ma. A woman who cooked my meals, cleaned my wounds, and taught me how to be a man.
“I wish, Ma, but I’m calling about somethin’ else.” I stared at the photo again, Savannah was all smiles with her friends like any of them had a right to be there. “Savannah Rhymer.”
I heard Ma suck in a breath. “What about her?”
“She’s at Bullets & Beer. With bodyguards. Celebratin’.”
“The last fucking day of her worthless life,” she snarled, no doubt foaming at the mouth. “This disrespect can’t stand, Virgil. It won’t.”
I nodded even though she couldn’t see me. “Is that confirmation to act?” I held my breath, fists clenched and waited to hear the words I wanted to hear, that I could put a bullet in her pretty little head and devastate The Crusaders for their disrespect.
“Oh Virgil. You always come to me with the difficult decisions,” she said, half joking. “Not a bullet, no. Not yet anyway. Subdue her and bring her to Ashby Manor.” With those words, her wishes voiced, she ended the call.
“Nice talkin’ to you too, Ma.” It wasn’t the answer I wanted but it was enough. I climbed out of the Porsche with a purpose behind every step I took towards the casino.
“Good evening, Mr. Ashby.” The older doorman tipped his hat and flashed a smile, the same as he’d done for as long as I can remember.
“Good evening to you, Allan.”
“Nice and clear,” he said and opened the door for me, an old school pleasure Ma insisted made our place stand out in Glitz and beyond in Vegas. “Enjoy your night, sir.”