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(Cavalieri Della Morte #2) Vow of Obedience

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Brianna Hale

Language:
English
Book Information:

Don’t cry, little girl. Daddy will forgive you.

The job was meant to be impossible, even for the Cavalieri Della Morte. Kill Adelmo Lange, the reclusive crime boss who murdered my brother.

Until her. Adelmo’s daughter.

Branwen has taken a vow of silence to atone for her sins, but I don’t need her to say a word. She’s the bait that’s going to draw my target out.

Now she’s going to swear another vow. A vow of obedience. To me.

Together, we’re going to take down her father. If she does exactly what I tell her, she may even escape with her life.

Do as daddy says.

VOW OF OBEDIENCE is a standalone novella of 30,000 words and part of the CAVALIERI DELLA MORTE SERIES.

Books in Series:

Cavalieri Della Morte Series by Brianna Hale

Books by Author:

Brianna Hale Books

Prologue

Geraint

San Antonio, Texas

Blood. It washes from my skin as if the heavens themselves are absolving me. Rain falls on saints and sinners alike tonight, but on the day of reckoning, only the virtuous will be raised up to paradise. The wicked will be cast down into the fiery pits of hell and burn forevermore in untold agony.

What a load of bullshit.

I wipe my knife clean on the dead man’s jeans. Looking up through the rain, I see what has put me in a godly frame of mind tonight: a great white cross mounted atop the high brick wall next to me. I’ve killed a man behind a Catholic church.

Snorting with amusement, I stand up and sheath the hunting knife inside my jacket. I really made a mess of my hit. Normally, it would have just been a slit throat—fast and, I don’t know, painless? Probably not. But less painful than what I did to him. Both Achilles tendons cut so he couldn’t run. Tongue sliced out so he couldn’t scream. Several well-placed stab wounds meant he bled out slowly, watching me smile while I watched him die.

This one was personal. You blab about a job, Arthur wants you dead. It’s as simple as that. I have no problem killing people who can’t keep their mouth shut, especially with Trefor preparing to go undercover among Adelmo Lange and his men. This will send a message to anyone else who thinks of double-crossing the Cavalieri Della Morte.

Don’t fuck with us. We fuck back. Harder.

“And don’t insult my mother,” I say to the corpse, giving it a kick for calling me a son of a bitch. “It might have been quicker if you didn’t insult my mother.”

The man’s face is blank and wet and shines in the light from a distant streetlamp. My mother never did anything wrong in this life and I won’t stand for her being insulted by fucking scum now she’s in the next.

As I walk away, I pull my hood up and give an ironic nod to the cross atop the wall. Someone will find the body in the morning and the location will make the news even more sensational. Brutal murder in the dead of night behind Catholic church. Desecration!

This is an old part of San Antonio where the churches are grand and the streets are quiet and empty at two in the morning in heavy rain. I round the corner and see a sign on the high wall: Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church and Convent. The sisters will be all tucked up in their beds, safe and sound, where all good girls should be.

I’m nearly back to my car when something comes tearing out of a side street and barrels into my chest. It struggles but I hold it fast, wondering what small and angry thing is attacking me. I hear a whimper and feel rib bones and wet cotton beneath my fingers.

It’s a girl.

No. It’s a woman. She can’t be much more than eighteen but terror has made her childlike. Her eyes are wide as she stares up at me and her pallor is startlingly white against her straggled black hair.

“Why, hello. Where did you come from?” Her dress is soaked through and clinging to her skin. She has no handbag and her feet are bare. Mud is splattered on her calves. Though she’s skinny, she’s not underfed, and her hair has seen a comb recently. Not a street kid. A runaway? Someone trying to hurt her? I look up and down the street but see no one.

She tries to pull away from me and then seems to give up, sinking down to her knees on the cracked sidewalk. Her arm slides through my grip until I’m holding onto her hand. She crosses herself shakily, her lips moving silently in prayer as she rocks back and forth.

What the hell?

I murdered a man not two hundred feet from here and I’m itching to get out of town. Arthur’s expecting me to report in. The rain continues to fall on us, and she’s so slight the heavy downpour could almost drown her. Her hand tightens in mine and she looks up at me with those big, scared eyes. Any sonova bitch finds her, he could do anything to her.

Ah, fuck.

I glance around and see the church, from the front this time. Soft light glows through the stained-glass windows, a warm, welcoming sight.

I know what the guys would say if they could see me now. That I’m a fucking idiot for putting my life in jeopardy for a stranger. That if this girl can’t keep herself alive then maybe she doesn’t have any business living.

That I only feel the need to do a good deed after seeing all this Jesus shit everywhere tonight.

But I’m not a believer and it’s not that. We’ve all got our weaknesses and girls on their knees is mine. Couldn’t leave one down there begging me silently, even if I had a gun to my head. I can spare exactly sixty seconds and then I’m out of here.