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"Can you live with the devil, Riley because it’s hot in hell?”

The definition of pain is Lucian Romano.
I will never forget that name or the man that owns it.
Dark, wicked, cruel and so hot he melts fire.
I thought he was the owner of the hotel I was staying in.
I thought he would be the person to hear my complaint and I thought he knew right from wrong.
I was mistaken.
I should have noted the fear in the receptionist’s eyes when she saw him coming.
I should have kept my mouth shut and walked – no run - away fast.
But I was a fool.
I walked right up to him and prodded the beast.
Then he pounced and I found myself locked in a cage in his bedroom.
He’s so dark and dangerous I can almost taste the ash from the pit of hell.
Power blazes from his eyes like lightning from Neptune’s trident and my heart sinks as I see what a huge mistake I just made.
This man doesn't play games, he creates them.


I’ve had better days, I've had better vacations but as it turns out, I've never had better than him.


A dark & twisted Mafia Romance that will blow your mind.

 

    1

Riley

“There’s a dead body in the pool, an actual dead body and I want to know what you are going to do about it?”

I stare at the receptionist with all guns blazing and don’t even register that I’m dripping chlorine, mixed with a hint of blood and potential disease, onto the marble tiles. I don’t even record that I’m freezing cold as the air conditioning hits the droplets of water on my dripping body, with only the standard-issue beach towel to hide my modesty but I am as hot as hell with anger keeping the fires burning inside.

“I’m sorry miss, I will call for the pool attendant.”

“Is that seriously the best you can do? I have been traumatized; I’m telling you. I will probably never recover and need counseling for the rest of my life and you are sending for the pool boy? What sort of place is this?”

“Miss, I can assure you these things happen from time to time, it is unfortunate but we can’t protect against nature.”

Taking a few deep breaths, I struggle to get my breathing under control because I am obviously in the presence of somebody without a brain and so, draw myself up to my full 5ft 7” height and snarl, “I want to see your manager.”

The receptionist’s eyes narrow and I can tell she’s not happy at this request—at all, which gives me a brief moment of satisfaction. Then her gaze flicks past me and I see that expression change in an instant as she says nervously, “I’m sorry, Miss, I’ll see what I can do.”

“You’ll see what you can do?”

 I almost shout at her with exasperation. “You will do something now because I am running on a very short fuse here and want answers and fast.”

“Please, Miss.”

Suddenly, I’m aware that she’s extremely worried about something and feel a prickle of fear run down my spine as her eyes spark with pure terror as she looks past me again. I follow the direction she’s looking in and see a man heading our way, surrounded by men in suits and I turn and say with interest, “Who’s that?”

I watch with fascination as a bead of sweat gathers on her upper lip and she almost whispers, “Mr Romano, he owns this hotel.”

Fixing her with a triumphant look, I don’t even stop to think and spin on my heel and march right up to the man in question and say loudly, “Excuse me.”

I stare at him coolly and the man that looks back at me looks curious and a little irritated which is fine by me because I say again even more loudly, “I said, excuse me!”

I’m vaguely aware of a sea of black suits that move between us almost at once, pushing me to the side and I stumble as I try desperately to cling onto my towel and save myself from falling onto the cold, hard, floor. Failing miserably on both counts, I’m surprised to find that just before I face-plant marble, I’m scooped up and pulled to my feet by a very strong hand. My towel’s not so lucky and lies at my feet as I am held firmly against an extremely hard body that is gripping me hard with his arms around my waist. It all happens so fast I am given no time to react as I’m half carried along with the crowd of black suits who cut the light out and make me wonder what the hell is happening. I try to struggle but it’s impossible and make to speak but a cool whisper in my ear shuts me down in a second, “Say one word and you’re dead.”

Instinctively, I open my mouth to scream and find a hand placed firmly around my mouth, stopping me in a heartbeat. I am half-carried inside a prison of bodies to god only knows where and it all happens so fast my brain is struggling to keep up.

Suddenly, the crowd parts and I find myself traveling through the air as I am literally thrown into the elevator and as I thump against the wall, the door closes leaving just the two of us inside.

For a moment there is silence. Complete and utter silence as my shocked brain struggles to form words. The man is leaning against the wall on the other side of the elevator looking mildly curious and not at all bothered that he just manhandled me in here. Shaking myself, I face him with all the fury I can muster and spit, “How dare you. There are laws against things like this and just as soon as I return to my iPad, I am going to look them up and sue your sorry ass off. This is an outrage and I will not, I mean not put up with it.”

I’m so busy shouting I don’t see that he has moved and I suddenly see that his eyes are as dark as the night sky and filled with the shadows of the damned. I briefly realize that this man is seriously hot and I vaguely wonder if I’ve been a little careless and then I know I’m in trouble because he reaches out and with one hand around my throat, pins me to the mirrored wall and leans in snarling, “Shut the fuck up.”

I blink in surprise as his mouth hovers over mine, his breath mixing with my own and stupidly the only thing I can think of is that his aftershave is seriously gorgeous. Then he says in a husky, low voice, “If you say one more word, I will spank your ass until you can’t sit down for a month. Now listen to me and listen well, you will say nothing at all until I tell you. You will follow me and we will find out just what makes you think you have the right to even speak, let alone breathe the same air as me. Now, do I make myself clear?”

I almost can’t breathe and it’s not because he is crushing my windpipe with his hands. It’s him—this man. Mr Romano is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. He’s so dark and dangerous I can almost taste the ash from the pit of hell. Power blazes from his eyes like lightning from Neptune’s trident and my heart sinks as I see what a huge mistake I just made. This man is not one for playing games, he creates them and from the look in his eyes, I am not going to get any satisfaction from my complaint.

“Well?” He almost growls the word and I just shift slightly and nod and as he releases me, I wrap my hands around my neck and gasp for air as he takes his position on the other side of the elevator, looking bored as the floors pass us on the way to God only knows where.

By the time we reach the top, I am almost hyperventilating with fear. Way to go, Riley, pick a fight with a man who is way better at it than you. Idiot, fool and every word to that effect relate to me, as my stupid mouth forgot to engage with my brain and realize that the receptionist was fearful for a very good reason.

The elevator stops with a shudder and as the doors open, I blink as I see they open directly into a huge loft-style space that appears to be on top of the world. The panoramic windows survey the whole of Miami and the sunlight that beams through the apartment, dress it with a warmth that I am certainly not feeling inside because now my body is turning blue from the cold and fear.

Yes, the fear has crept into my soul because one look at this man tells me I’m in serious trouble as he turns and grabs my hand and without another word pulls me after him at speed.

Mindful of his warning not to speak, I can only wonder where on earth he’s taking me and almost pass out when it becomes apparent we are heading into the largest bedroom I have ever seen in my life. But it’s not the sight of the huge bed dominating the center of the room that scares me. It’s not the panoramic windows that showcase the beach below that hold my attention. It’s the huge cage set up in the corner of the room that makes my blood run cold as, without care, he throws me inside and slams the door shut behind me, turning the key and saying with a dark voice, “Welcome to your new home.”