For those of you who have missed it, my new book HARD DADDY is now in Kindle Unlimited on Amazon!
I’ll add the nearly two chapter sample to entice you all. Enjoy!!
Mace waved to his night security guard. “Have a quiet night, Joshua.”
“Thank you, sir. I plan on it.”
He walked through the turnstile into the muggy, stifling New York City street. In most cities the loud honking horns and whirring of vehicles would be unusually busy and out of the ordinary, but not for this city.
Mace’s black Escalade limo was parked out front; his driver nodded, opening the door for him.
“Mace, hope you were productive tonight.”
“I was, Quinton, thanks.” Mace felt the cool air conditioning blow across his sweaty brow as he slid across the leather seats. Muttering to himself, he said, “Why is it so fucking hot.” Tossing his briefcase onto the small shelf, he reached into the refrigerated area and pulled out a cold bottle of water, guzzling it, before pouring himself a shot of Jack. Tossing the amber liquid back, it burned down to his stomach. Sighing, he didn’t waste any time pouring another, gulping it quickly.
As he leaned back, the squealing of brakes and honking of horns, a characteristically familiar sound, actually soothed him. He’d been born and raised here, and been part of the infamous mafia Cardelli family, and even though he’d distanced himself from the family business when it came time to settle down, starting his own career, it was New York that called to him. Like a homing pigeon, he came back to where he was comfortable… and close to his family.
Mace pressed a silver button on a console, and the shiny metallic cover slowly opened, displaying several hand-rolled Cuban cigars. He pulled one out, sniffing the length, closing his eyes in ecstasy. The warm tones of the strong tobacco from Cuba filled his nostrils. Lighting it, he took a long, slow drag, the smoke filling his lungs. He savored the taste before releasing it incrementally.
God, I love ending my day like this.
It sure beat the fuck out of being a hitman, walking the city streets, sweating and convincing yourself that you’re doing the world a favor.
He’d been unable to find work after the incident in the Middle East, and his resultant and unfortunate incarceration in a military prison. Coming home after a couple of years in the brig, Mace decided to become an enforcer for a bit. But he drew a line. Having watched more than his share of tragedies as a kid, he vowed he would never kill innocents. Ever. No women. No children.
Mace would only eliminate killers—known and confirmed thugs and pieces of shit—those who deserved to die, those criminals who had in some sense asked to be killed. He’d destroy them, removing all trace of their existence, protecting society—his small part of New York City, and his family—as well as other families from these scum.
As an ex-Navy SEAL, he was methodical and thorough. Once given an assignment, Mace would plan his every move, taking into account every detail, and covering his tracks.
He was good. Maybe too good at his previous job. His skill set was in high demand by the Cardellis and other mafia families. Mace worked on many cases.
But the time came for him to leave. The emotional wear and tear had been more than he’d anticipated. The money had been fantastic for the few years he’d been involved. He became debt free and stocked up on his savings.
He’d acquired enough to invest in a startup IT business, fixing computer issues and programming for small business and personal users.
Cardelli IT had become a well-known name, and he’d branched out into five offices in the bustling Manhattan area. Not too shabby for someone who had started the business out of desperation.
It didn’t seem to take long for his driver to pull up in front of his building, even though it was easily thirty minutes from work. Although he could have a posh flat in Manhattan, Mace preferred his own place, not far from the neighborhood he grew up in. The community was a bit rougher than someone of his wealth would typically have preferred, but Mace didn’t mind. The familiarity reminded him of his youth.
“Sir, we’re here.”
“Thanks, Quinton. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He opened the door, popping his cigar between his teeth, grasping his briefcase before shutting the door. Quinton would park the vehicle in a nearby garage protected by guards.
Routinely he had Quinton drop him off five blocks away so he could walk to his house. Today, a girl shouted in a nearby alley, catching his attention. Waving to Quinton, Mace opened the door. “Stay here a minute, Quinton. Something is up in that alley. I may need your help.”
“Okay, sir. You want me to come with you?”
“No, I’ll be all right. Just stay here, in case.” Shutting the door, Mace listened for a bit longer before moving toward the alley.
“You can’t go, can’t break up with me. I won’t allow it.” A deep voice carried through the breeze, the words growled more than spoken.
The girl laughed mockingly. “Allow it? You must be crazy! I’ll leave when I want… which is now.”
“Maybe I’ll force you. I can force you to do anything I want; I have contacts. Contacts that will take care of you.” His deep chuckle had Mace shaking his head. He held a finger up to his driver to continue waiting; this was going to get ugly. Soon.
“You crazy fucker. I’m not going to stay in a situation like this!” Her voice was almost hysterical, high pitched and screechy. Enough panic laced her words that Mace eased closer to the alley.
“Bitch, you don’t get to tell me what you will and won’t do.”
A hand meeting flesh had Mace’s hackles rising. Nobody hit a woman. Not within his hearing or sight. The scuffle of clothing and a hard thud to the ground had Mace walking toward the scene.
The girl shouted even louder; soon there would be a crowd. Mace needed to intervene now, or it would be a spectacle. “Get off of me. I’ll scream! I swear, you fucking bastard, I’ll fucking kill you in your sleep!”
The man slapped her again. “You fucking cunt! You ain’t goin’ to do nothing! I’ll finish you off now.”
Rounding the corner undetected, Mace broke into a run, snatched the gun from the man’s hand, and held it to the slime ball’s chest.
Startled, the man spun his head around, still sitting on top of the girl. “Mace?”
“Fuck you, Giorgio. You picked the wrong day and place to screw with this woman. You’re not killing her.” Pulling the trigger, Mace finished him off.
Mace had run across this piece of shit before. He wouldn’t be missed on these streets. Many in the business wanted nothing to do with him, and would only hire him if no one else was available. The asshole was underhanded, which in some respects was a good thing here in New York City working for the crime bosses, but there came a time when the family couldn’t trust someone like this. This business was all about trust.
“Oh, fuck! Get him off of me.” The girl’s green eyes were wide with fear, and panic had set in while she clawed at the lummox lying on top of her.
Giorgio had fallen forward, covering the poor girl’s upper body, and by the looks of her, breathing had become an enormous struggle.
Mace dragged the vile scum off, tossing him aside, and he pulled her to stand. “What’s your name, sweetheart?” He brushed away blood from her face with his thumbs.
“Kyleigh. Kyleigh Pizzulo.” Her dark brown hair draped over her shoulders, the waves of curls framing her face, and tears glistened in her green eyes. “He’s in the mafia.” Her wide eyes searched Mace’s face.
“I know, baby.” He grasped a curl, tucking it behind her ear. She only came to the middle of his chest—she was so petite and tiny. That fucking idiot had tried to rape her, and if Mace hadn’t intervened he would have, more than likely, killed her as well.
“I told him… I couldn’t… I wouldn’t have anything to do with him. I wanted out, and he said he’d kill me first.”
Tilting her chin up with his forefinger, he kept his voice measured. “Kyleigh, we need to get out of here. The gunshot will alarm people, and his mafia family will come after you since you were the last one with him. I need to bring you to my house and keep you safe.”
“Nuh-uh. I’m going home. I’ll be fine.” She turned to leave, obviously thinking she’d just walk home.
“No, baby. I have to get you to my house. They won’t suspect me or my house as being involved. I have to work on my alibi. But you? They’ll search for you immediately. This discussion is over, and you’re coming with me.” Mace grasped her petite upper arm in his hand, easily encircling the girth, and dragged her from the alley.
“Fuck you!” She kicked her legs out, catching his shin.
“Goddammit!” He placed his hand over the crown of her head, keeping her easily in his grip but far enough away to lessen any further damage.
Kyleigh kicked and swung her arms, her fists barely missing him. Her face turned red with her efforts, and he swore the air must be blue with the invectives spewing from her mouth.
“You fucking sonofabitch! I’ll cut your pansy ass.”
Chuckling at her feisty nature, he shook his head in amazement. He had to give her credit; she was a fighter.
“You shut your whore mouth, you goddamn cunt!” She screeched her response, doubling down on her efforts, turning her upper body into a veritable whirlwind.
“That’s it.” He whistled loudly for Quinton. Mace then grabbed the tie from his neck, wadding it up and jamming it into her mouth. “This will keep the swearing down. And the noise.” Then undoing his belt, he tied her hands behind her back.
“Sorry about this but you’re not cooperating, and I need to get you to safety. It’d be nice if you would show a bit of appreciation for my efforts and realize I’m saving your ass.”
She groaned, screeching behind the gag, and he tossed her up onto his shoulder. She grunted with the force of his shoulder jamming into her belly.
“You and I are going to tussle, girl. I don’t tolerate such behavior… not well, at least. I’m in charge, no matter who it is and who’s around. You’ll be no different.”
Rounding the corner, leaving the alley, Mace jogged to his vehicle, dumping her into the backseat of the limo and slamming the door shut. “Quinton, go home!”
“Fuck.” Pulling into traffic, Quinton drove the short few blocks to Mace’s house. Looking over his shoulder, he asked, “What the fuck happened over there? And who is she?”
Mace looked over at Kyleigh, whose green eyes were huge, darting, taking in both Quinton and him. She had tucked herself into the corner of the seat, and for all intents and purposes was nothing more than a cornered animal. “You’re better off not knowing, my friend. Let me get this girl into my place. Call me tomorrow; I may not be going into work. Might just work at home. Thanks for holding the car for me.”
“Of course, sir.” Quinton’s dark eyes watched both of them through the rearview mirror, his eyebrows furrowed in confusion.
Mace opened his door and exited the car. Bending over, he grasped Kyleigh’s hips in an attempt to pull her out.
She pulled her foot back and came within a fraction of an inch from kicking him square in the face.
In reaction, Mace snatched her ankle, twisting her a bit sideways and smacked the back of her right thigh several times—hard. “You. Will. Not. Kick me in the. Face. Clear?”
Narrowing her gaze, she let loose with a bunch of shit that thankfully he couldn’t understand due to the temporary gag.
“We’re going, Kyleigh. You can walk, or I’ll carry you. The choice is yours.” He grabbed her ankle, and blessedly she didn’t kick this time.
At least she learned.
Dragging her across the seat, he placed both feet on the ground, helping her out, but when her legs began kicking at him once again, he tossed her recklessly over his shoulder, doing his best to keep the chaos—and noise—to a minimum.
It would have been nice if she stayed still. But, no. Instead, she thrashed her body around, flopping like a fish out of water. It was a good thing he’d been trained as a Navy SEAL. There wasn’t much he wasn’t prepared for and dealing with this brat was nothing. Still, his patience was wearing thin.
“When we get inside, we’re having a long discussion.” Fumbling in his pocket, Mace found his keys, and for the hundredth time in an hour was thankful Kyleigh had a gag in her mouth. Her keening was annoying enough, but at least it wouldn’t be easily heard.
The door flung open, and he quickly walked in, shutting and dead-bolting the door, engaging the security system so he’d know if a door opened, alerting him if she tried to escape.
It was then her foot caught him in the shin—in the exact same spot as the kick before—and if he were asked later, he’d admit it was when he decided a lesson needed to be learned. Now.
“Just remember you asked for this.” Mace grabbed her by the hand, yanking her forward, and bent her over, bracing her hips with his leg with an arm around her waist. He spanked her jeans-covered backside several times. “You will not kick me again, or these pants come down. Clear?”
He stood her up, taking the gag out of her mouth, and with his forefinger pointed at her in a warning he said, “Don’t even think about it.”
Both of her hands cupped her backside, her lips pursed in an adorable pout. “You… you spanked me.”
The shock lacing her words had him chuckling in response, and he nodded slowly. “Yes. Yes, I did, and we can discuss it again, any time of your choosing. You’ll keep your hands and feet to yourself.”
“Fucker.” She grit her teeth, and if she had been blessed with magical powers, she would have smitten him already with laser beams from her eyes.
“And that mouth?” He grabbed her by the elbow, taking a bit of satisfaction that she backed up in fear when he approached her. Every sassy girl needed a healthy dose of fear. He dragged the reluctant brat with him into the living room, depositing her onto the couch. “Sit. Stay.”