Under the influence a se.., p.1

Under the Influence: A Second Chance Mafia Romance, page 1

 

Under the Influence: A Second Chance Mafia Romance
 


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Under the Influence: A Second Chance Mafia Romance


  Table of Contents

  Playlist

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Epilogue

  On The Rocks

  About the Author

  Under The Influence

  Nikki Belaire

  Copyright © 2017 Nikki Belaire

  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 from the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  Interior Formatting: Under Cover Designs

  Giovanni & Chryseis (krī-ˈsē-əs)

  History of Chryseis’ name, from the first book of the Iliad: Chryseis is the daughter of a priest of Apollo, who is taken as a concubine by Agamemnon when the Greek army conquered the city of Thebe. Her father travels to Troy to beg Agamemnon for his daughter's release, bringing with him a large ransom. Agamemnon admits Chryseis is much finer than his own wife and refuses to release her, sending her father home without her. In response, Apollo sends a plague sweeping through the Greek armies, and Agamemnon is forced to give Chryseis back in order to end it, protecting her and his remaining soldiers.

  Contents

  Playlist

  Prologue

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Epilogue

  On The Rocks

  About the Author

  Something Just Like This: The Chainsmokers, Coldplay

  i hate u, i love u: gnash, Olivia O'Brien

  Wherever You Will Go: The Calling

  Don't Wanna Know: Maroon 5, Kendrick Lamar

  Angel: Sarah McLachlan

  We Don't Talk Anymore: Charlie Puth, Selena Gomez

  Animals: Maroon 5

  Take It All Back: Judah & The Lion

  We Can't Stop: Miley Cyrus

  Jar of Hearts: Christina Perri

  I snip the tags off the black thong and slide the silk fabric up my freshly waxed legs. Hopeful Leighton will enjoy his surprise. All men like slinky lingerie, right? Embarrassed that I have to wonder. Ashamed we're going to be intimate for the first time, and I don’t even know what my boyfriend finds sexy.

  There's no question Gio would like them. He’d like them so much he’d rip the panties off my hips as soon as he stripped me out of my dress and laid me across his bed. A bittersweet laugh bubbles in my throat. Or bend me over his desk. Or lift me onto his lap. Wedged between his broad chest and the steering wheel when he couldn't wait until we returned to his penthouse to take me. Then he’d send me a box the next day overflowing with new pairs, that he’d only end up tearing off too in his urgency to be inside me.

  But that frantic desire ended a long time ago. Extinguishing as instantly and furiously as our relationship ignited. And, now I need to move on. I know it. My family and friends know it. Everyone urging me to be happy with Leighton. A man with enough patience to love me despite my heart belonging to someone else. To settle for chaste kisses and innocent hand holding until I accept the future he offers me.

  That future begins tonight. Leighton and I have both waited long enough, and this party is the perfect opportunity to tell him yes. I spritz Le Chevrefeuille in the hollow of my breasts and across each wrist. The luxurious perfume much too expensive for my college debt laden budget. But Gio always enjoyed spoiling me. Surprising me with the fragrance he swears smells like honeysuckle, although notes of citrus and jasmine are just as prominent. I can't help but giggle again. I think he just wanted something to argue about so we could make up.

  I grab my flat iron and slide the last few stubborn curls through the tongs. Gio always hated my hair straightened. Attempting to persuade me with his charming and heartfelt assertion that I'm gorgeous with the natural waves coiling my thick strands. Encouraging me to give into a wilder style. In my appearance and behavior that only he could coax out of me. I never felt more confident and beautiful than I did when I was with him. Heat flushes my cheeks almost as hot as my straightener. I never thought I would do the things I did when I was with him. Inside and outside the bedroom. Although, despite his rough and dominant demeanor, he never treated me with anything but love and respect. Until the end.

  I nod back at myself after one last inspection. I think Leighton will be happy. I know I am. I can trust Leighton. He'll be sweet, gentle, and chivalrous. As a lover and a husband. The kind of man who will stay up all night with sick kids and vacuum without being reminded and heap a second helping of tofu teriyaki onto his plate despite the entree tasting even worse than it smells.

  Because that's the kind of relationship that lasts. Not one with a dangerous mobster who makes my body clench in anticipation just from the sound of his voice. Who indulges my love of decadent champagne by ordering the bubbly for no reason at all. Trusts me with his deepest fears as I rest my head on his chest in the darkness after making love to me for hours.

  Blinking away the burning in my eyes and throat, I force a smile on my face. No, none of that means anything anymore. To him or to me. Leighton’s everything I need now. I can’t wait to start my life with him.

  “Your girl’s here.”

  Motherfucker. My fingers pause over the keyboard for less than a breath before I resume typing. Of course Tucker fucking notices. He fucking notices everything. That’s what I fucking pay him for.

  But this time, this time, I wish he actually was as fucking stupid as he looks. Because I don’t want to talk about her. And I sure as hell don’t want her here.

  “Who?” I ignore the subtle lift of his cheeks before his face falls impassive again. Son of a bitch almost smirked at me. Because he knows I’m a fucking piece of shit liar. “That slut I pounded last night?”

  Now he really does grin. His full on ‘you’re a fucking moron’ smart ass smile. Both of us well aware I haven’t fucked anyone since her.

  “Chryseis.”

  Him even saying her name pisses me off. He’s been my fucking best friend since I got my ass kicked for shorting Ricky when I was selling on Morgan, and Tucker literally dragged my unconscious body to the emergency room. But my mom was fucking hungry. Fuck, we were both hungry, and I needed the cash.

  Luckily, hospitals can’t sue kids and since no one came to claim me, I snuck out free and clear after sleeping like I was at the fucking Ritz in an actual bed. The first night in my entire short life that I could ever actually remember being warm, safe, and full despite the pain throbbing in my mangled body.

  Left with just the jagged scar on my cheek to always remind me that only the boss doles out the orders and the beatings. Something I made v
ery clear to Ricky a few years later. Then his boss, and then his boss. Until I was the motherfucking king of this city.

  But right now, I’m pissed. He’s just fucking with me. Chryseis would never show up uninvited. Hell, she wouldn’t come even if I begged her to. Not that I can fucking blame her after what I did. “What the fuck are you talking about?”

  I keep slamming the keys. Like I don’t even give a damn. Like my entire fucking universe isn’t near enough that I swear to fucking god I can smell her honeysuckle perfume.

  I don’t even know what I’m writing anymore. My cock aches as much as my heart. God I fucking miss her.

  “Donaldson said she came in about ten minutes ago.”

  The guard in the lobby who prevents the problems from my past from trying to insert themselves into my present by keeping them from getting on the elevator. And making sure Chryseis always got upstairs as fast as my dick got hard from the mention of her name.

  “Doesn’t he know I don’t give a damn about her anymore?”

  “I guess he never got the memo.” Tucker taps the side of my laptop. “She went into Cielo. With a guy.”

  She’s on a fucking date? Hell the fuck no. Not my woman. Not with some motherfucking asshole who doesn’t know who the fuck I am or what she means to me.

  I jump up, and my chair slams into the wall behind me. Throttling the mirror so hard the black frame splinters, raining down onto the credenza. I don’t even flinch as glass shards spray across my back. I’ve got shit to do. Like fucking beat the son of a bitch who is stupid enough to think he has a chance to take what’s mine.

  Tucker’s on my heels as I stride down the hallway to my private elevator. Not sure if he’s trailing so close to help me destroy the bastard or stop me from getting my ass thrown in jail. Either way, he’s going to do whatever the hell he has to do to ensure I find her.

  We ride down in silence. Only the sound of my best friend swiping his screen echoes in the tense air. Relaying the intel as he receives the updates. I care, but I don’t. I just want out of this cage. I just want oxygen to permeate my squeezing lungs. I just want her.

  “It’s a Christmas party.”

  She should be celebrating with me.

  “For an ad agency down the street.”

  She should be down on her knees in my office.

  “Looks like lunch, then some kind of gift exchange, and then dessert.”

  She should be naked and drenched in caramel as a present for me.

  Sliding through the mirrored doors as soon as they part, I jog through the lobby and into the restaurant. Half crazed, I don’t know what the fuck I’m going to do. Or say. But it sure as hell will be something that sends a clear message to both of them. She may have come with him, but she’s leaving with me.

  No one notices our abrupt entrance. The music as loud as their spirits and laughter. Everyone drunk on the decadence of spending a Friday afternoon eating and drinking on the company’s tab. The same defiant buzz as skipping school. Which I know all too well. Although I sure as hell wasn’t missing class because I was having fun.

  Probably seventy-five people mill around. The bar area overflowing, brighter than normal with strands of tiny blue and white lights strewn across the wall-to-wall mirror and the tall evergreen stuffed in the corner. A harsh contrast to the normally dark bistro that I prefer.

  But I still find her instantly. My cock like a magnet drawn to her essence. Her long, dark hair that feels like silk sways over her shoulder. Her slender legs even more stunning in black heels. Her red tipped fingers wrapped around a tall glass, the golden liquid sloshing against the sides as she leans closer to some motherfucker. Whispering words only he can hear. A wicked smile lifts his cheeks from her luscious pink lips brushing his ear and her free hand tugging his sleeve. With an intimacy that shoots boiling rage through my chest. That affection should be meant for me. She’s meant for me.

  “Books?”

  The tone sounds harsh even to my own ears. Demanding. Possessive. Obsessed. And for the best fucking second of my life a spark of happiness flames in her eyes when her gaze meets mine after hearing my voice. Responding to me uttering my nickname for her. Regardless of what bullshit she tells me or herself, she’s glad to see me. Before reality douses the fire between us. Before she remembers that she hates me.

  Her smile fades as fast as the grin blossomed, and she shakes her head. Nervousness jolts her slight body, and she grasps his forearm, attempting to turn him and walk away from me. Which I will never let fucking happen.

  In four quick steps, I’m behind her. Sheathing her back with my chest. My hand sliding around her waist, her body shuddering under my palm when I tuck my cheek against hers. Claiming her in front of this bastard and everyone else. “You better not be fucking him.”

  I swear to fucking god her body arches into mine from my threat hissed into her hair. As much as she swore she despised my dirty mouth, her pussy and tits don’t lie. Sweet nipples strain against the sheer bras I know she wears, pebbling under the thin fabric of her silver dress. And fuck me if I can smell her arousal only inches from my fingers gripping her hip.

  Before she can respond, her dumb ass friend, who thinks he stands a chance against me, twists around and tries to yank her out of my embrace.

  “What the hell are you doing? Let her go.”

  Never.

  A few heads spin in our direction from the sharpness slicing through his voice, and she stiffens, struggling to push off of me and spin around. Fear that I fucking hate lines her face, her gaze bouncing between him and me.

  “Please stop, Gio. You’re making a scene.”

  I’ll stop. For her. Not him. Although I do fucking love the sound of her begging. The pleading tone zeroing in on my already pulsing balls.

  I grin and wink, allowing her to step back from me. As if it’s all in jest. Just friends getting a bit too boisterous from the booze. A bunch of crazy fuckers living it up at three in the afternoon. Although these lame ass hipsters have no idea how to really enjoy themselves.

  I nod toward the half-empty tumbler in the bastard’s clenched fingers. “Better slow down on the whiskey, my friend. You’re getting a little out of control with your boss standing right there.”

  All the flushed fury seeps from his face when he glances at the man squinting in our direction. A wide stance and expensive suit conveying a confidence that almost matches my own. From the worry scrunching the idiot’s face under the man’s scrutiny, my guess is correct.

  A fake ass smile plasters over his face, and he lets out a lame laugh before lightly punching me on the bicep. Touch me again motherfucker and you die. I don’t give a fuck who's watching.

  “Dude, you’re such a wild man.”

  Dude? Really? How the fuck does she stand this guy? Done with him, I focus on my girl. “Come on. Let’s go.”

  Rage blisters her already pink skin. Which is so fucking gorgeous to see her riled up and feisty with me.

  “No.”

  My chuckle only angers her more. Squeezing her rose petal lips to keep from telling me off. That I know she wants to do so badly with her amazing body humming with disgust. So, of course, I fucking stoke the fire. “Unless you want me to break his jaw in front of his co-workers, I suggest you put a smile on that beautiful face and walk your cute ass out into the foyer with me.”

  I refuse to call him boyfriend. Whatever she thinks she had with him, it’s over. She can tell him, or I’ll show him. Either way, he’s gone.

  Her gaze jerks to Tucker, standing a foot behind me. Desperate for his help. Frantic enough to think his influence might sway me. But they both know better. Only offering a defeated shrug in response, he shakes his head. Despite his gun and massive size, he’s just as helpless as she is. Both of them well aware no one and nothing can control me when it comes to her.

  With trembling fingers, she sets her flute on the table and rolls back her narrow shoulders. “I hate you.”

  “I know.”

 
Hurts more than I care to admit. But I deserve her wrath. I’m an asshole, and I know it. Never pretended to be anything other than what I am. That’s why we’re here. Like this. Instead of her at home in my bed where she belongs.

  A stunning smile lights up her face that stings even more than her words. That I want to make real so fucking bad. She leans into the fucker, almost kissing his cheek. Seeming to think better of it, she cups his cheek instead. Smart girl. Otherwise, I’d have to beat the taste of her lips off his stupid face.

  “I’ll be right back, Leighton.”

  Even his name sounds like a pussy ass. I scrub down my chin before I put my hand on the small of her back. Tugging her closer despite her resistance. When the fuck did I become so fucking immature? Because of her. She does this to me.

  “Okay, see you in a few.”

  Too loud and forced. Stupid fucker’s nervous. Good. He should be fucking scared. And sad. Because she’s not coming back ‘in a few’ or any other time.

  Only her ire speaks while I wind her through the tables and into the lobby. Her heels tapping furiously across the marble hotter than fuck. “Slow down Books. I’ll be fucking you soon enough.”

  Now I’ve really pissed her off. She jerks away from my hold. Slender fingers curling into fists. Keeping herself from slapping me across my smart ass mouth. A loss of control that only I bring out in her. Crumbling her normal poised, elegant demeanor. My brute to her beauty.

  We lose Tucker at the elevator. Fucker actually looks relieved. Doesn’t have to listen to our argument all the way up. Which is just foreplay. So I can see why he wants out.

  She’s on me as soon as the doors tap shut. Wound up and adorable, grabbing my lapels with all the force she can muster.

 
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