From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken comes a new story in her Eagle Elite series…
Every family has rules, the mafia just has more….
Do not speak to the bosses unless spoken to.
Do not make eye contact unless you want to die.
And above all else, do not fall in love.
Renee Cassani’s future is set.
Her betrothal is set.
Her life, after nannying for the five families for the summer, is set
Somebody should have told Vic Colezan that.
He’s a man who doesn’t take no for an answer.
And he only wants one thing.
Somebody should have told Renee that her bodyguard needed as much discipline as the kids she was nannying.
Good thing Vic has a firm hand.
I tried not to judge.
It was hard.
They were mafia bosses—I got it.
Or at least I thought I understood it since I had grown up around it. But my upbringing wasn’t as severe. My dad was a Nicolasi and always kept things quiet around us. It wasn’t until I was twelve that I realized it wasn’t normal for us to make as much money as we did through two jewelry stores and five laundromats.
I wrongly assumed that every business owner with a lot of cash drove a bulletproof Mercedes to protect their family. The older I got, the more horrified I became of the life my father lived, the life he forced us to live, and the complete unrest I felt every time I closed my eyes and prayed for him to come home.
He was a made man.
One of the best in the family, which meant Phoenix trusted him, which in turn meant he trusted me to watch his little boy. And every time Phoenix looked at his phone I wondered if it was my dad texting, if he was alive, if he was okay. He’d been gone for a month. We hadn’t heard from him except for a few “hey, I’m alive” texts.
I hated this life.
And I wanted out.
“Renee.” Nixon leaned down and touched my shoulder. “Are you okay?”
Remembered not to look directly into his eyes and forced a smile. “I’m just tired, you know how it is.”
“Kids do that to a person,” Phoenix piped in, finally sheathing the knives he’d apparently pulled out in the last few seconds that I’d been thinking about my dad. “We need to leave in five.”
I looked away.
I had to.
It made me sick to my stomach the blood these men had on their hands and the way they so casually talked about killing as if they were discussing the latest episode of This Is Us.
I forced a smile at Serena and Junior just as the front door swung open, nearly coming off its hinges.
There he stood.
Vic Corazon Abandonato.
In all his gory glory.
Tight black pants.
Tight black shirt.
Enough guns strapped to him to win an all-out war.
And no smile.
The man never smiled. It wasn’t in his makeup to smile. The one time he smiled was at Chase, and I think it was just a happy accident because Chase looked as shocked as the rest of the group did. I glanced away, again making sure I wasn’t drawing attention to myself, and fed the kids.
Vic was a silent killer. I imagined that people didn’t even know they were dying until they saw the blood running like a river from their chests.
That’s what assassins for the mafia did. They weren’t made men, they weren’t in line for boss. They did the dirty work-and they took the fall for it. They had one job. Protect the family at all costs.