The Tempted Series: Collectors Edition, страница 1
About the author
Janine writes emotionally charged novels with an emphasis on family bonds, strong willed female characters, and alpha male men who will do anything for the women they love. She loves to interact with fans and fellow avid romance readers like herself.
She is proud of her success as an author and the friendships she’s made in the book community but her greatest accomplishment to date would be her two sons Joseph and Paul.
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Amazon Author Profile: http://amzn.to/2b98hQM
Book Bub Author Profile: http://bit.ly/2kXDpo1
Other books by Janine
The Nomad Series: *all can be read as standalone*
Drifter (Book One)
Wanderer (Book Two)
Roamer (Book Three)
Loner (Book Four)
Satan’s Knights novels: *all can be read as standalone*
From the Ruins
Riding the Edge – Coming Soon
Raging Inferno – From the Burn Me Anthology – Full novel Coming soon
The Riverdale Series: *should be read in series order*
Pieces – Book One
Broken Pieces – Book Two
Fitting the Pieces – Book Three
Jake’s Journal (Book 3.5) novella – companion to the series
© Copyright 2015
Janine Infante Bosco
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Published by Janine Infante Bosco
Edited/formatted by: Jennifer Bosco
Cover Design by: Hang Le
It all happened so quickly. I was just chasing the sound of her desperate cries. I hear her cry out begging someone to help her. I turn the corner of the abandoned warehouse careful not to make my presence known. I breathe through my mouth because the stench in the air is so vile smelling like piss, death, and filth. There is silence. I can’t hear her cry anymore. The only sound I hear is the water dripping from the leak in the roof onto the concrete floor.
Drip. Drip. Drip.
“Help me. Dear God, please help me,” she cries out. Her cries sound weaker than before, it’s as if she’s giving up resolving that no one will hear her plea for help.
I step in something sticky forcing me to glance down at my foot that is now covered in blood. My eyes follow the trail of crimson to the dead body that is decomposing in the corner. I want to scream. My gut clenches thinking of all the things my girl was exposed to and how it’s all my fault.
I failed her.
I won’t fail her now.
I take a few more steps, hiding behind a palette of wooden crates. I peek in between the crates and I see her. My girl. She’s sitting in a metal chair. Her wrists are tied behind her back and her ankles are tied together. She has her head down so I can’t see her face. She is still in the same clothes as she was the day she was abducted. I silently will her to lift her head. I need to see her face. I need to see that she’s okay.
“No one’s here to save you, sweetheart,” I hear a taunting voice say to her. I’m here to save her you fuck. His body comes into my view as he stands in front of her, slowly bending to be eye level with her. I watch, struggling not to do anything stupid, hearing Vic’s voice in my head reminding me not to be a cowboy. Patience. Her life is at stake. He cups her face not so gently and forces her to look up at him. He blocks my view of her so I shift to my right hoping to catch a glimpse of her.
“My father will kill you,” she shouts.
“Do you hear me?
He’s going to kill you! Just let me go.”
“Your father can’t save you little girl just like he couldn’t save his best man. And when you’re dead, he won’t do anything either just like he didn’t after I killed Val. Daddy’s not in control anymore, you’re at my mercy.”
I freeze for a moment at the mention of my father. The man, who has his back to me, the man torturing my girl, is the same man who killed my father. I didn’t even have a chance to process the information because his hand reared back and slapped Nikki across her face. He takes a step backward, and she comes into my view, lifting her head slowly. Her face is streaked with her eye make-up running down her face, one of her cheeks is red branded from that son of a bitch’s hand, and yet she’s still the most beautiful woman I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Something inside of me triggered and I know it’s time to end this nightmare. I straighten my posture, my hand secure on my gun that’s facing the ground. Slowly I lift my hands, my gun cocked aiming the barrel of it straight at the back of the enemy’s head. I look at Nikki once more, she’s all the strength I need to pull the trigger. She turns her head, her dull brown eyes meet mine, and for the slightest moment, I see life reborn in them.
I take one hand off my gun and lift a finger to my lips, signaling her to remain silent. I want the motherfucker to be surprised when I riddle him with bullets. I hold her gaze and hope she trusts that I won’t let anything else happen to her.
I’m here Princess.
You’re safe now.
I slowly step around the pallet I was hiding behind and creep up behind him, keeping a steady eye on my girl. I wrap my finger around the trigger. This is it. I’m about to kill a man. I’m about to put someone else’s blood on my hands. I am about to walk in my father’s shoes.
I avert my eyes to the back of my target's head, tearing my gaze away from Nikki. I lift the gun and then it happens.
“Mikey watch out!!” she screams.
I pull the trigger.
Suddenly my gun isn’t the only one going off. I hear gunfire erupt as I watch my bullet pierce my victim. I look at Nikki, hurrying to make my way to her. My victim falls face forward onto the floor, a single shot to the head killing him instantly. Nikki screams out as his blood splatters onto her. She’s shaking her head screaming no as I struggle to make my way to her.
“Mikey get down!!” She screams through her sobs.
I don’t fully comprehend what she’s saying and I think that’s because I’m still reeling from the fact that the man I just put a bullet in was about to kill her just like he killed my old man. All I cared about was taking her in my arms and holding onto her for dear life. I needed to touch her, to feel her, to know she really was okay.
She is shaking her head violently forcing me to focus on what she is trying to warn me of. I glance over my shoulder, eyes wide as I see the ambush Victor and his men are taking part in, guns blazing as th
They don’t go down easily and men begin to appear from all over the warehouse, firing back at Victor and his gang. I lift my gun, ready to help Victor, out of the corner of my eye I see a man to my left, his gun aimed at Nikki. I keep my gun aimed at the men firing against Victor and look over my shoulder towards Nikki. She’s oblivious to the gun pointed at her and there is little she could do to protect herself since she’s still tied up. I start to walk backward towards her, debating on whether I have time to take out the gunman.
I turn my gun towards the man aiming at Nikki but he pulls the trigger.
I’m too late.
“No!” I hear myself cry out as I run to beat the speed of the bullet. I dive on top of her, my body shielding hers, knocking her and the chair she is tied to backward as the bullet tears through my flesh.
I’m here Princess. You’re safe.
The gun slips from my hand as I roll off Nikki. I stare up at the ceiling. I hear her crying beside me, I try to reach for her hand but I can’t move. The heat sears through my body. I’m trying to contain the blood, but it pours from my wound uncontrollably. There are more gunshots fired. I hear Nikki’s cries become muffled until everything fades to black.
Eight Weeks Ago
“Thatta girl just like that…,” I said running my fingers through the mess of blonde hair that was sprawled across my thighs. I patted her head encouragingly desperately trying to remember her name. I shrugged my shoulders, giving up. I didn’t really care what her name was I decided as I reached over to my nightstand to grab a half-empty bottle of whiskey. I welcomed the burn of the amber liquid as it slid down my throat. Fuck, I craved it and took another swig as her tongue slid between my balls and up my shaft her lips closing around the head of my cock. The bottle slipped from my hands, shattering into pieces decorating the wooden floor of my bedroom. I thought that if I got drunk enough and found an eager piece of ass I’d be able to forget my mother was now brain dead after a fatal car accident. The plan was to make myself numb, so I didn’t have to feel a goddamn thing when they turned off the machines that were keeping her alive. I swallowed the lump in my throat as the reality hit me. No matter how hard I tried to block out the pain it wouldn’t work. The only person I had left in this world was about to die and there wasn’t a damn thing I could do to change that. No perfect blonde with fake tits and a willing mouth wrapped tightly around my dick would change the fact that I’d have to bury another parent this week.
The blonde’s head lifted from my lap, breaking me from my morbid thoughts. I fisted her hair in my hands, peering at her through blurred vision. The whiskey was finally hitting the spot gifting me with the sweet oblivion I craved. I fisted her hair in my hands, lifting my hips to thrust my cock down her throat when I heard ringing in my ears. I paused mid thrust, sure, that my head was completely fucked and then I heard the ringing again.
“What the fuck!” I slurred, realizing that my mind wasn’t playing tricks on me and that the doorbell was ringing I sat up untangling my fingers from the blonde’s hair, the blood rushed to my head and I struggled to focus as the room spun.
“Can’t you ignore it?” she purred beside me suddenly making my head throb in agony at the sound of her voice. A loud crash sounded from somewhere in the house, forcing me to pull my shit together.
I threw my legs over the edge of the bed and reached for my jeans. I pulled them up my legs stumbling a bit as I drew the zipper up. I heard muffled voices beyond my bedroom door and reached for the baseball bat that was under my bed.
“Val get your ass out here!” I heard a deep voice bellow from the other side of the door. It was a familiar voice I just couldn’t place it in my current state.
“Who’s Val?” whined the broad now sprawled out across my bed. I lifted the bat over my head ready to swing as the intruder kicked in my bedroom door. The woman shrieked in fear as two men dressed in black from head to toe stormed into my bedroom. Then it hit me, I knew these guys had known them my whole life, yet I had no fucking idea why they were here in my bedroom or how the fuck they got in the house I shared with my mother.
I peered at the two guys with one eye open. The first one was middle-aged. I think his name was Jimmy, yeah that sounded right. Jimmy Gold it was all coming back now. The guys called him Jimmy Gold because of the obsessive amount of gold chains he wore around his neck. He made Mr. T look like a pauper. It seemed only fitting that when his front tooth was knocked out in a bar fight years ago he replaced it with a gold tooth.
“Looks like our boy is doing okay…” Jimmy said with a grin eyeing the naked woman in my bed. He wiggled his fingers at her flashing her a golden smile.
“Michael!” the blonde shrieked bringing up the sheet to cover her naked form. A little delayed if you ask me, but I had to hand it to her at least she remembered my name since I couldn’t place hers for the life of me. “What the fuck is going on?”
“Feisty little thing, aren’t you,” Jimmy crooned.
“Sweetheart the party’s over.” said the younger man who stood beside Jimmy as he bent down to retrieve my blonde’s discarded dress that sat in a ball on the floor. He rose to his full height, throwing the dress onto the bed before turning towards me. I stared at the man standing before me who was once the closest thing I had to a brother, Anthony Bianci was five years older than I was and at one point I looked up to him wanted to be just like him not so much anymore. He crossed his arms against his chest not saying a word, the look in his eyes too familiar, remembering the last time I saw that look. After my father died, he looked at me with the same pitiful stare just as he was now. Well, fuck him too. I didn’t need anyone’s pity. My jaw ticked, and I broke our stare off, turning around to glance at my naked conquest.
“You better get dressed and head out. I’ll call you a cab,” I said, patting my pockets in search of my phone. I lifted my head when I heard another set of feet padding across the threshold. I caught a glimpse of the Italian leather shoes first, letting my eyes slowly travel the length of the man standing in the entryway of my bedroom. Unlike the other two men who were dressed casually, this man wore an expensive charcoal suit. I leaned against the wall using it as an anchor as I came face to face with the man who had been like a second father to me the man who my father died for Victor Pastore. He has aged in the ten years since I had seen him last. His dark brown hair that he wore slicked back was streaked with gray now especially along the sides. There were lines along his eyes and more across his forehead. His eyes looked older, tired even as if they had seen more than they bargained for.
“Val…,” he whispered hoarsely. I couldn’t formulate a single syllable. I didn’t know if it was because I was too drunk or if I was too shocked to see the man, I’d written off years ago stand before me. Maybe it was because I was choking on the anger seeing him again evoked in me. “It’s good to see you son.” He said. I ran my tongue along my bottom lip, trying to decide on what to say to him if I could say anything at all, it wasn’t going to consist of pleasantries and shit that’s for sure.
“Is this really happening right now?” the blonde shrieked. “If you assholes haven’t noticed I am naked.”
“Oh darling, we noticed,” Jimmy said with an amused grin. I peeled my eyes away from Victor to look at Jimmy as his eyes traveled the length of her.
Victor turned around as well, acknowledging my bedmate. “Sweetheart, we are sorry for the interruption. Why don’t you go on and get dressed and Jimmy here will give you a ride home.”
She looked horrified at the suggestion gaping at Victor as if he was out of his mind. I watched her rip the sheet from my bed, wrapping it tightly around her exposed body she climbed off the bed. It only took her seconds to storm into the adjoining bathroom, slamming the door behind her. That hot willing mouth that was wrapped around my cock just minutes ago let out a stream of curses from behind the wooden door. I sighed, running m
The silence in the room was deafening as he opened the button on his suit jacket sliding one hand into his pants pocket as he stared down at his Italian loafers. A million questions raced through my head despite being inebriated. I wanted to know why he was here. Why now? My mother and I hadn’t heard from Victor Pastore in years since right after my father was brutally murdered and we moved from New York to Pennsylvania. Not one single phone call, nothing. Holidays and occasions came and went and Victor had never reached out to us. My father died for this man and he never even had the decency to check on the family he left behind. So why now?
“Son, I’m sorry about Maryann,” he said hoarsely lifting his head his eyes meeting mine. He shook his head. “I wish you would’ve called me after the car accident. I would’ve been here sooner.”
I stared at him for a moment.
“You would’ve been here sooner?” I repeated his words back to him.
“Why the fuck would I call you?” my voice sounded broken even to my own ears. It didn’t matter how angry I was a part of me still wished this man would’ve lived up to the promises he made the day we buried my father.
I was sixteen when my father was murdered. The newspapers called it a “Mobbed Up Massacre”. My father was shot twelve times total they said. He lay dead in the street in front of Rosalie’s Bakery for hours before they finally brought his body to the morgue. They roped off the scene of the crime with yellow tape that stood there for days. I recall seeing the tape the day of his burial when the limousines drove passed the bakery on the way to the cemetery.
The media loved the rivalry between crime families and they ate that shit up printing whatever it was to sell their paper, not caring if my mother or I saw the gruesome photos of my father. His death made the newspaper every day for a week after, labeling him the second in command, the Underboss to the Pastore crime family. Each day another photo was printed. The one image embedded in my brain is the one of his body lying in a pool of his own blood. I remember thinking to myself how he looked like someone’s prey lying there covered with a sheet as a police officer outlined his body with chalk.