His Stakes - His Obsession Trilogy - Book 2 (EBOOK)
His Stakes - His Obsession Trilogy - Book 2 (EBOOK)
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My obsession might get me killed. But that doesn’t mean I have any intention of letting her go…
- Protective Alpha
- He Wants Revenge
- Dubious Consent
- Morally Gray Hero
- Touch Her and Die Vibes
His Stakes, book 2 in the His Obsession trilogy, is a sexy, emotional, angsty, dark contemporary mafia / organized crime romance thriller. If you ever watched Beauty and the Beast and wished Beast stayed a beast at the end, or ever watched The Sopranos and wished there was way more hot romance in it, then download today and get ready to fall for Luca.
Revenge was all that mattered to me.
I dragged Veda Calbert into my life. Kidnapped her like the monster I am and made her my captive. A pawn. I swore she’d never be more to me.
I was wrong.
She became my everything. My vita.
But I screwed up and let my enemy get his hands on her. Now she’s scarred, angry, and determined to hate me. She should. I deserve it.
I won’t accept it, though. She’ll always be mine—heart, body, and soul.
So, when the time comes, I’ll have Veda and my revenge. Because the rules might have changed, but this is still my game.
And I’m about to raise the stakes in ways no one will see coming …
Chapter 1 - Look Inside
Chapter 1 - Look Inside
I can't breathe. I can’t fucking breathe…
The attacks have been coming more and more frequently since Veda was ripped out of my life. I gripped the arms of the chair I sat in, the brown leather stiff and cold under my fingers as the walls closed in on me. Squeezing my eyes shut, I fought for breath.
My father’s angry voice broke through my panicked haze. “You are a disgrace to this family and no son of mine.”
His words slid over me but didn’t stick, not like they once would have. I was barely paying attention, my mind on that morning. I'd woken up still half-dressed, each beat of my pulse like a hammer chiseling away at my skull, and my sheets stained with the blood that covered me. Blood that wasn't my own. Blood I had no recollection of. I didn’t even remember leaving the house.
He paced around his desk and came to stand in front of me. “Are you listening to me, coglione?”
I finally gave him my attention. “I'm not an idiot.”
“Si´, you are! How could you just let your brother get away like that?" He walked away, his hands flying through the air in front of him, punctuating every word. "You had one job, Luca. One fucking job! To draw your brother out into the open and bring him here alive. That's it! Instead, you shoot him. You let that fucking thing hanging between your legs do all the thinking for you. Again!" With a disgusted sound, he threw up his hands.
"If you're so disappointed in me, why don't you call in one of my cousins to do the job?" I spat the words out without thinking. The last thing I wanted was for one of my demented cousins to get their hands on Veda, if my brother hadn’t already figured out who she really was.
She's alive. She has to be alive.
"So I can listen to your zio tell me how he told me so? How he knew from the time he was ten that Mario couldn’t be trusted? Ehhh..." He spit on the floor beside my shoe. "Fuck that. Besides, this is family business. Our family. No one else needs to hear anything except what they need to know." He paused. Took a breath as he looked off into the distance. "Mario's always been easily swayed. I've known that his whole life. It's the reason I never let him in on any of the tricky jobs." He shrugged. "He can't help the way he is, but he’s still my oldest.”
"He's a fucking rat," I told him. Lifting my eyes to his, I purposely kept Veda out of the conversation. "There's only one outcome here, papa. All you have to do is give me the nod."
"He's my son. Your fratello—”—“
"And he's putting the entire family in danger."
"He's my son," he repeated firmly. "And I'm the boss of this family. Nothing happens to Mario without my permission."
"I'm your son, too!” I raged, unable to keep my temper under control when he was so being so blatantly obstinate.
His voice rose to match mine. "And that does not give you the right to ignore my orders! Instead, you chose to save a woman! A WOMAN!”
The word was said like Veda was no better than a slug, a toy for men like us to use, readily available and no good for anything except sucking our cocks until we tired of them. Blood surged hot in my veins and pounded through my skull, but I refused to give him the satisfaction of knowing how much his words affected me. "I did. Because Veda is innocent in all of this. I never should have dragged her into this sick game. It was stupid of me.”
Again, he threw up his hand in disgust, waving away my argument like he always did. "You were going to kill her anyway as soon as you found out she wasn’t her sister., Ddon't give me that bullshit.”
Was I? It was true, I’d told myself that, but I didn't fucking know anymore.
"All you did was use the opportunity she presented to you. And probably had a little fun along the way, eh? Nothing wrong with that."
I should have. I should've just followed my father's plan and put a bullet in her head in front of my brother. It was the compromise he had given me, a chance to defend my honor and draw out Mario at the same time, and I'd never faltered from that plan no matter how she’d chipped away at the ice around my heart. Not until the moment came...when she’d stood there staring at me through a stranger's fake blue eyes…compassion and acceptance written all over her beautiful face.
And I just…I couldn't fucking do it.
My father watched me expectantly, but I couldn't tell him what was going through my head. He would tell me I was weak. That I wasn’t worth the position he had me in. And you know what? Maybe he was right. But at least I wasn't a fucking rat. I would never do anything to threaten the lives of my family. "Mario needs to be dealt with. You know it as well as I do. If this was anyone else, they’d already be in the ground, and we wouldn't be sitting here arguing about it."
Placing both hands on the arms of my chair, he leaned over me. The smell of whiskey and Brute aftershave overwhelming my senses washed over me, bringing with it memories of my childhood, when he would try to intimidate me into telling him whatever he wanted to know. Or make me do things I didn’t want to do. It didn't work then, and it wouldn’t didn't work now. "I will deal with your brother, as soon as you fucking find him again. I want him brought to me alive, Luca. Capeesh?"
I met his cold, dark eyes. "Yeah, I understand."
He straightened, staring at me a moment before he fixed his tie and walked back around his desk, taking a seat in his oversized chair. Grabbing his cigar box, he chose one and snipped the end before sticking it in his mouth. "Let me know when you find him. And do what you want with the woman. Kill her. Don't kill her. I don't give a fuck at this point. She did what we brought her here to do. Mario is no longer hiding out in witness protection. But you need to hurry, before the fucking FBI gets involved again, or one of the other families sees him and takes matters into their own hands. It wasn't just us who he put in a…compromising position.” He lit the end of his cigar, puffing a few times. Plumes of fragrant smoke floated around him and burned the inside of my nose. “Just make sure that bitch’s mouth is shut permanently when you’re finished with her, or I swear to god I’ll take care of her myself. We can’t have a loose end running around out there.” He waved his hand that was holding the cigar, indicating the world in general.
Anger seethed within me. I deserved the chance to take out my brother. Blood be damned. My father had no right to take that away from me. But nothing would make him change his mind when he was all riled up like this. I would have to bide my time and try arguing my case again at a later time. Although I understood his hesitation. I did. Mario was my brother. We grew up together. And there was a time I even looked up to him. But that was long ago, when he wasn’t the man he was now.
Standing up, I fastened the buttons on my suit jacket. "I'll let you know as soon as I find him."
He didn't bother to respond as I saw myself out.
Tristan and Enzo were waiting for me in the foyer. Without a word, Tristan opened the door and stepped outside, scanning my father's front yard as Enzo and I followed behind him and got into the SUV. It wasn't until we were on the road back to the lake house that Enzo spoke up.
"How did it go?"
I stared out the window. "He wouldn't do it.”
"And Veda?" Tristan asked from the back.
"I can do whatever I want with her, so long as I can get her back while keeping Mario alive for my father to deal with."
Enzo turned on his blinker and eased out onto I-35. "Did he tell you anything else?"
"What are you going to do? With Mario, I mean," Tristan clarified. He knew me well enough to know I'd taken about all that I would take, despite my father’s orders.
"Whatever I have to."
They fell silent, and I took a deep breath, glad for the reprieve. I would get Veda back alive. And I would do whatever I had to do to make it happen.
Fuck my father.
Please. Please, Veda. My vita. Still be alive.