Sienna (The Satan Sniper’s Motorcycle Book 7)

Sienna 🧡

Blurb : 💬💬💬
The Satan Sniper’s Motorcycle Club members are back, and this time they are not just carrying ammunition but these bikers are holding a deep secret, that might just be the end of them.

“We were never meant to end this way, but death has been calling us since the day we were born” Sienna

Death is like a wind blowing, touching you all over. It’s the kiss from the sun on your face, the experience of everything, but the feeling of nothing. Death is an inevitability of our life. It is the ride that gets us there which makes all the difference.

I knew Sienna was going to be a problem from the day she drove back into our lives, but the more I pushed her, the stronger my need to protect her grew. Never thought it would come to this, me saying goodbye. Romance, love, a happy ending, and marriage were supposed to be how our story got told, but none of that got to happen. She was shot, left to die, and for once I couldn’t save the person I swore to protect.

I’ve spent years in the army, saving as many people as I could, killing just as many too, all for my country, only to lose the one person I wanted to keep alive in the end. Even after knowing what she’ll eventually bring to our doorstep would be chaos I still can’t let her go.

My brothers think I am going to explode, but all I want to do is find out who killed my wife and then bring a reckoning to their lives. But when I go hunting what I find might just be the end of me.

The Satan Sniper’s Motorcycle Club returns with its 6th book, filled with romance, mystery, and a storyline that is fresh.

This book might just be what you need to read when you open a book so give it a try.

Where to find it ? 👇👇👇

https://books2read.com/u/b6RWvW

🔴MC Romance ✅
🔴Military ✅
🔴Enemies to lovers ✅✅✅
🔴New Adult ✅✅
🔴Small town ✅✅✅
🔴Mystery ✅
🔴Bad Ass biker ✅✅✅
🔴Hotness level +10✅✅🌶️🌶️🌶️

Categories
Satan Snipers MC

Sienna is finally here!!!

Coming December, 5th

BOOK TRAILER FOR SIENNA

The Satan Sniper’s Motorcycle Club members are back, and this time they are not just carrying ammunition but these bikers are holding a deep secret, that might just be the end of them.

“We were never meant to end this way, but death has been calling us since the day we were born” Sienna

Death is like a wind blowing, touching you all over. It’s the kiss from the sun on your face, the experience of everything, but the feeling of nothing. Death is an inevitability of our life. It is the ride that gets us there which makes all the difference.

I knew Sienna was going to be a problem from the day she drove back into our lives, but the more I pushed her, the stronger my need to protect her grew. Never thought it would come to this, me saying goodbye. Romance, love, a happy ending, and marriage were supposed to be how our story got told, but none of that got to happen. She was shot, left to die, and for once I couldn’t save the person I swore to protect.

I’ve spent years in the army, saving as many people as I could, killing just as many too, all for my country, only to lose the one person I wanted to keep alive in the end. Even after knowing what she’ll eventually bring to our doorstep would be chaos I still can’t let her go.

My brothers think I am going to explode, but all I want to do is find out who killed my wife and then bring a reckoning to their lives. But when I go hunting what I find might just be the end of me.

The Satan Sniper’s Motorcycle Club returns with its 6th book, filled with romance, mystery, and a storyline that is fresh.

This book might just be what you need to read when you open a book so give it a try.

Shan R.K is an International Multi-Genre Author. She has published 15 books in the last 3 years covering more than 7 different genres. Her goal in life is to become an International Bestselling Author in all Genres. She is currently living a peaceful and whacky life with her rockstar daughter and feisty furry kitten, Aura.

Photos from Canva
Video made by Shan for entertainment purposes only

Copyright for music

Music Title :If I Could Fly,
Musician:Walking Hearts,Jennifer Holm, Album:Walking Hearts,Jennifer Holm, Source:https://www.vcg.com/

Book available for pre-order

Links

https://books2read.com/u/b6RWvW

Barnes and Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sienna-shan-rk/1141503796;jsessionid=CAECA2ED4D7FD1EE558F78478F89439D.prodny_store01-atgap01?ean=2940166414458

Kobo – https://www.kobo.com/za/en/ebook/sienna-9

Apple Books – https://books.apple.com/us/book/id6442853338

Talino – https://www.thalia.de/shop/home/artikeldetails/A1063987605

Vivlio – https://shop.vivlio.com/product/9798201661953_9798201661953_10020

Sienna – First Sneak Peak

Sienna

Death is like a wind blowing, touching you all over. It’s the kiss from the sun on your face. It’s that overwhelming sensation, the experience of everything, but feeling of nothing. My mother told me death is an inevitability of our life. It is the ride that gets us there which makes all the difference. I’d like to think I chose my end well, in a way that many would mourn and others would rejoice and the ones who wanted me dead, well those ones must be cringing hoping I don’t haunt their dreams.

Is this it? Am I dead? Am I experiencing it all and feeling nothing?

At this moment I have no worries, no past, future or present. I am just for this moment, one with the universe, I am the evolution of completeness, death. Acceptance, rejection, love, need, desire, pain, it is all gone. Now I’m just a memory to the living, and they are nothing to me.

Well, it isn’t that simple, because he is still there, Kaleb, the screams of his voice, the emptiness of not holding him long enough. Oh baby, how I miss your sweetness, and that half dimpled smile. I crave the smell of your cheeks, and the feel of your soft brown hair gliding like silk through my fingers. I miss your beautiful eyes gazing at me like I was a wonder, and those hands you shove in your mouth. Oh, my precious son, how I wish I could have had a last moment with you, so I could savor it until my everlasting days finally dissipate.

A time or two or maybe three, I wondered what death would be like, would I feel anything? What did our eyes see? Would our minds still function? Maybe our spirit would lift out of our bodies like we saw on the movies, or Youtube videos and I could watch over him. But that is not how this works. I am stuck, and if I listen carefully I hear a loud sound of nothing.

God didn’t want me to survive this, because we both knew the day was long overdue, and I was finally meeting the end I was meant to. Kevin Stone was never meant to marry me in the first place, we were both out of our minds. What was I thinking? I try recollecting his face in my mind, or picture that disapproving gaze but all I get is his electric blue eyes, a common genetic characteristic in his family, a piece inherited from his mother. When I see them, it’s as though he is judging me.

I wish he was always there, his disapproving frown, those blue eyes that are just so majestic I wonder if magic flowed in his veins occupying my nonexistence like Kaleb has. If only Killer’s ability to be an emotionless soul was a gift, not a curse then I could imagine him crying. I could hear him yelling my name in agony, but this is not the movies, and I am not the girl who is going to become a visible ghost. Sadly, it is tragic really but Kevin’s Stones face is not in my memory, but his words are, they torment me, no matter which way my mind chooses to go, his voice is there, on repeat. I am not sure if it is my guilt which causes it or my desire.

It is like I am getting shot all over again, but the pain is not echoed with shock, it is covered in his lack of grief, in his silence, and whispers. We all want people who help us in our time of need, we want people to comfort us, and tell us we are worth something. I wanted Kevin Stone to hold my hand and tell me it was alright. I was stupid to think that he would feel like I was something important to him, silly of me to believe that my death would bring some emotion. I can’t picture it, it is like he isn’t even there.

The man they call Killer, who was once a boy I CALLED Kevin Stone never knew emotions, which explains why even in death I can’t picture him. I can only hear his words because it was his words that changed my view of him, it softened pieces he once hardened. I always considered him a soul touched by the chill of nothingness until he showed me differently by what he chose to say, and his eyes that revealed the truth each time he chipped at my exterior.

I’ve loved Kevin a little every day since he was just a boy and I was a young girl, who knew too much. I’ve wondered if to him I was the girl who should’ve died along with her adoptive parents, but didn’t. Did he think I was a waste of air? Did he want me to die? Surely, if he did he changed his mind by now. He married me, regardless of everything he knew.

Would he wish me dead once he knew the truth? My betrayal was something that couldn’t be undone, there is no redemption for me. Too many people close to me were hurt, and the scars are not the ones easily healed.

Maybe I loved recklessly, when I should have loved him moderately.

The day Marcus Bray spared my life, gave me a fresh start, he also allowed me to hold on to the most important part of my past. And for years I held on so tight, I feared one day I’d break and I did. I broke, I told the truth, and Kevin Stone was there. He chased me out of Liston Hills, pushed me away.

The emotionless man I knew back then sent chills down my spine the day he ran me out of my home. Kevin told me I was vermin, a disease, sickness and he was right. Only his timing was wrong because at 16 I only tasted the desire of wanting. It was after I left Liston Hills did I experience the freedom of taking and fear of the ones needing from me. It was a long time after I left my home, and built resentment toward Kevin did I finally drink the bliss of evil intent.

Parts of me enjoyed it, I craved the power Gabriel DeMarco came with and I wanted a piece of it for myself. And in my thoughts I could now be honest and say that Kaleb was never a mistake, he was made because I thought if I produced a child I could finally get in with the DeMarco’s and they would accept me, but they didn’t. They wanted me gone.

I should’ve known better after what they did to Beggar. But I didn’t. I refused to believe what was right in front of me when Gabriel told me I should run. I never listened, I chose to stay when Gabriel got locked up. I thought that I had finally proven myself to his family and they’d care for me. But they wanted me dead and I had to protect myself. It was a terrible thing to do, killing his uncle and brother, blaming it on Marco Catelli. I didn’t think they’d catch me, so at first, I stayed and then eventually they found out. I should’ve known better than to convince myself I was special enough, that I would get away with it. So when they came after me, there was only one person I could turn to and that was my cousin, Kylie Bray. I never thought she would be here with him. I never imagined I would see his face again, it was like I was back in the Liston Hills, transported to the day I met him.

I expected him to chase me away, but I guess even an unemotional person has some logic when it comes to a pregnant woman needing assistance. He cut me open, saved my baby’s life, and in the months that followed unexpectedly he tore my heart apart with his words, bit by tiny bit, he cut me fast, that I didn’t even have a chance, because when I finally noticed it was too late, my heart was at the mercy of Kevin Stone. I always envisioned Kevin Stone with Natasha Bray. Especially after he broke me, chased me away from my family when I was just 16. He left me stranded with nothing, not even a backward glance. He was right when he said I should’ve gone, I should have gone back home, and eventually I did, I found my way back.

There were times after everything had happened when I would lie in my bed, thinking about all the moments we could have, should have and as the years went by it became just made-up thoughts and slowly Gabriel DeMarco took chips of that armour and weighed me down. And I fell for him. Oh boy, did I fall for that man!

There was just something about him that was different. I’m not sure if it was the power but when he looked at me he touched a part of me, he only knew existed. It was dark, and sensual, like a promise of something sinister. There was something special about Gabriel. Gabriel DeMarco was a puzzle I wanted to put back together, piece by piece. He was a mystery that I felt connected to. Yet, once I found out all there was to know about him, I found the dark parts were dripping in blood. He killed for a lot less, he hurt people, poisoned many in a blink of an eye, but when he touched me it felt like I was touched by something soft. I craved it. I craved him.

I never had a choice but to fall for Gabriel.  I cared for him deeply, he made it easy to accept a lot of things many would run away from, and then he left and I stayed behind with a bag full of his shit. But he gave me the biggest gift of all, my son. A piece of us together we would share until the end of all those who will follow after my boy, Kaleb.

I made my enemies a long the years, some because of Gabriel true, but most of them were my choice. The list of people to fend off grew over the last two years and the ones I protected grew with it.

One of the latter was my sister, and my need to protect her. I’ve always chosen Harlin over everything and anyone else. Killer warned me that day by the water that choosing Harlin over everyone else wasn’t the best option, but I did it anyway. I knew it wouldn’t end well, but then death was already facing me from all corners. I was going to die, didn’t matter who did it, or how. Death was inevitable.

When I came to Frost and stepped into these people’s lives I knew that I was already running on borrowed time. I had one mission to do when I walked back into the Bray’s lives and that was to make sure my kid had a home, and people who loved him cared for him. I got selfish and my heart took over for a while and I became Kevin’s wife.  With my death, he became the full custodian of Kaleb. I can’t regret the choices I’ve made because my love for Harlin wasn’t bound by blood or a simple birthright. Our bond was forged over circumstance, a small blossom of memories that were good, but for the one secret, I hid, made it forbidden. It tarnished both of our lives in a way but it also gave us a fighting chance, a direction that was meant to be different, a fresh start.

I restructured my face, adjusted everything that made me Harlin’s sister so I could watch her grow, even if it was from afar, but so close that I could hold her for those MOMENTS. And Harlin, she got to be with her dad, he wasn’t the best, since he was the President of the Sin Riders, a Motorcycle Club known for smuggling arms, but she found a deeper relationship in Kylie Bray when The MC moved to Liston Hills soon after Marcus gave Harlin back to her father. They changed her name back to Dakota soon after and when that happened it was like she completely blocked me out of her mind. It was like she never had a sister, I was a long dream buried in her mind’s eye. I know this because, at the time when I finally stood in front of her as Sienna, she looked right through me as she placed her small tiny hand in Kylies’. She said it was cool to meet Kylie’s cousin. I remember standing there by that stupid overly sized fountain at the Stone’s house and watching the two of them bump each other.

I was burning with jealousy. Over the years I didn’t see Dakota much until my mother got sick, and I had to move in with Kylie, Natasha, and Mason. They were all calling Harlin, Diamond. I didn’t like it, so I was adamant about calling her Dakota until she told me she hated the name. I wasn’t sure of why I was riddled in hate so much. Looking back I guess I wanted her to find Sienna special as she did with Taylor.

I was the same person right? A face didn’t change who you were, or what your favorite dish was, did it?  We argued about it, but for some reason, she looked me dead in the eyes and smiled and said, ‘You know what SIENNA, I don’t care what you want, I care what I like, and if you have an issue with what I like, guess what?’

‘What?’ I asked her. She smiled and said, ‘I don’t care.’

I wanted to believe she knew it was me, she was just angry I changed who I was but that wasn’t it. I was so wrong, and by the time I figured that part out I told her and she didn’t believe me, she stabbed me, left that mark on my stomach. But I never stopped caring about my sister, I couldn’t, because I knew different, I recognized her.

Overtime, after my mom passed I saw her more often, she saw Kylie almost every day at the Manor, because Kylie chose to stay with her dad a long time ago, disregarding her mothers wishes.

It helped me get what I wanted. I finally got to see Harlin and when I did, I appreciated her relationship with Kylie. I figured she had an extra pair of eyes, an extra protector.

Our lives became intertwined in a way she couldn’t understand because she only knew me as Sienna Bray, her ‘besties’ cousin and the crazy girl who insisted she was her sister.

Harlin convinced herself Taylor died. Harlin was right. The day she became Dakota Larken and got the nickname Diamond, Taylor Frankfurt did die, and Sienna Bray had to gingerbread up, come to life.

Nevertheless, I held on so tight I suffocated myself and in the end, it was all in vain. She’s still out there AND I am now dead, gone. I guess I spent so much of my life wanting to believe that even if she never knew it was me, never believed I would be there, she was safe. But Sienna Bray is dead now too, she’s nothing but dust trapped in a black hole with nothing besides a few fragmented thoughts of a son, she loves, a husband she can’t picture, and a sister who remembered her as a dead little girl. I still think my life could’ve ended worse.

 

Killer

 

Kevin

We were never meant to end this way, but death has been calling us since the day we were born. I guess it wanted me a bit more than you, and I can understand why. I never skated the ends of life unless I had reason to question the tides, and I have always had a reason, with Harlin being my first. I am not sure how death has taken me. There was always more than one way I could die, but I hope in my end it was you I faced so your memory would be the only thing I would take from this world.

I have loved you before I even knew what it is to love a man. I knew who you were then, and who you became the day you asked me to be your wife. Even knowing everything, I reached for you with open hands, palms toward the skies because you made me believe in something greater. How does a god not exist when you are such a marvel being Kevin Stone? Wonders like you come from something unexplainably magnificent.

These passing months have been some of the best times of my life and you know better than most, I had one hell of a good one.

I wrote this letter because I hope you find it and read it every time I cross your mind, or maybe you could read it once and just chuck it in the trash bin. I wouldn’t hate you if you did either of them, each decision will have a logical reason as to why you chose to do it. Of that point, I am as certain as I know you stole that ice-cream.

Time comes, it never stands still, even when we feel like it does. I felt like that when you opened the door to your home. It was the beginning of summer and it was my first day back in Liston Hills, my first day as Sienna Bray.

Your hair was a bit longer than I remembered, your eyes still the same blue that stared back at me the first night we met. It felt like time stood still then. Maybe, in a way it did, or it was just the gravity from the ground keeping me frozen so I would remember that moment, because, it was always going to be important. After all, it was the day I met you, my husband.

You’ve always owned my heart Kevin Stone, and you never even said hello. I am not certain what I did to deserve you, but you felt I did something right because you made me your wife. And I need to admit that my heart was borrowed to many, including Gabriel for a while or two but it came on right back to you.

I’m not sure what death is like, but I hope it doesn’t have memory. I don’t want to spend my life thinking about who you giving those cold eyes to, or think about how many hearts my son decides to play. It’s a shame we never got more time, but I hope the few names I left you, will at least help appease that government of ours.

I love you Kevin Stone, Taylor Stone

 

Braindead, coma, collapsed lung

A story can be told in many words used to describe a situation. I have always been an unfeeling asshole, a man who despite not wanting for anything never tasted the fullness of having everything. I thought I finally would get to taste that on my wedding night but it never came. My wife ended up becoming a shooting poster for some fucking trigger-happy deadman. Because when I got my hands on whoever it was, he or she was going back to their maker.

“Any news on when they taking her off life support? It’s been a month already,” Bull’s question and the statement remain a nudging factor in my mind. A month, no sign of healing, no indication of whether it’s goodbye or not.

Covid hitting the country came at a hefty price for all of us, but more so for people like Sienna, who was in the hospital, and had zero access to the outside world. River’s wife, Hannah was a doctor. One of the many covering double shifts most of the nights because the surrounding towns were full up, and the hospital beds and ventilators were short. It is always an eye-opener when you are in the midst of living your life and shit starts snapping from every angle. However, nature takes its place and makes everything else selfish acts of wanting, because my choice to keep my wife on a ventilator was exactly that, a selfish act.

And two weeks ago my selfish act became worse when Hannah decided to pop and brought Lana into this world. I haven’t seen the baby or mother since the night she left the hospital. River invited me over a few times, said I should bring Kaleb but I couldn’t do it, there was still so much I needed done, too many bridges I had to cross before I decided to put a forced smile on my face. Sienna never minded the real me, the serious cold man she knew. She loved me anyway and in return I told her things, I explained how I felt and wanted to feel, the former meaning nothing.

Our club managed to get some extra ventilators and so did the local bank just so the hospital wouldn’t become a full-on ICU, with the increasing amounts of patients coming in from all over the State. Didn’t help some people chose not to wear masks, and others chose not to sanitize.

Personally? I didn’t give a fuck. If it was my time to die then so be it, the chances of me dying, however, were low, and a good thing too since I had a kid to raise. Kaleb was older, he was starting to mumble jumbled words, it was a shame his mother wasn’t around to see it.

A month is a long time to miss out on a fast-growing kid’s life, especially when the kid is at the prime time of his babyhood. But what did I know about raising a kid? I left the raising part to my sister, Frost, she handled it like a pro and I handled the rest.

I made sure to be around most of the time. The two of them stayed in the home I got for the 4 of us instead of spending all the time at the clubhouse. I considered the clubhouse a huge risk, and unsafe since Sienna’s shooting wasn’t our first rodeo with surprise trigger puppies wanting to use our place as a shooting range.

We had quite a few of those under our belt. It was a surprise to see after all this time the sheriff didn’t try to chase us out of their town and none of us were dead, yet.

Good thing too, because I didn’t want to be the bearer of bad news to my kid when he asked me one day why his mother died either, so I made a plan and purchased a life support machine and the other stuff we needed to set Sienna up in a private room which was initially a janitor’s closet.

This wouldn’t have been possible in another town. The hospitals around the state were full, and the staff were not budging on anything. But for a small-town hospital like this one, they were bendable to an extent and that extent bought Sienna more time.

And people say money couldn’t buy you any time!

Three million dollars bought my wife a month longer than she should have had considering the entire world was currently facing Armageddon.

I stare at the nurse by the testing station, standing with her notepad and pen in her hand listening to Sienna’s doctor give her orders.

Since Hannah was now under lock and key with the baby, and Joe who was currently dealing with a crying sister and a homeschooling system, River wasn’t going to concede and let Hannah get back to her job anytime soon.

I know this because I asked him once, and the NO he said was one I knew all too well.

If the President had his way he would keep his wife just as a wife, nothing else.

So while that fiasco didn’t go well, I took it upon myself to get someone a bit more on the ball with Sienna’s status.

So I turned to the lady I am currently staring at.

This was the part that tested my patience, and I won every time.

There was one flaw to my plan when I decided to get Sienna everything she needed, and that was I couldn’t see her every day. No one I knew beside Hannah could, and when she could and the coast was clear I’d sneak in and see my wife’s sleeping form, just lying on the bed. Her back flat against the bed, which was slightly too high. Sienna didn’t like sleeping on her back, she never liked blankets much either. She always complained about a high pillow. But Hannah had the baby so seeing Sienna now became a bit of a tricky exercise. Doable, but tricky.

“How much longer are you going to keep this up, brother?” Bull queries, and I know he means well and it is his bullshit way of saying he cares but he forgets I don’t care. I’ll keep her alive as long as I want.

“They’ll switch it off when I tell them to switch it off. Until then, she’s good.”

“Fair enough, just make sure you remember this isn’t what she wants,” Bull pauses, and opens his mouth to close it again.

“Spill it.”  

“I don’t blame you, if I were in your position and that was mine I’d do the same.”

He is right, Sienna didn’t want life support, she left strict instructions if anything happened to her to not put her on life support, but I never really gave a fuck what she wanted before, why should I start now? I always took what I wanted and did what I felt was the right thing, if not for all then for the ones who needed my protection.

Sienna never needed my protection, until the day she drove her car to the gate. She was the kind of woman if, given the chance to think for too long she’d run, she never knew it but running was the one thing she kept constant over the years until she had no other option but to come running back to me. The longer it took her to turn to me the sooner I knew that day was fast approaching.

“Sienna doesn’t know what the fuck she wants. She married me.”

Bull laughs and I shake my head at the big man, we called our Road Captain. A few years back he was a shell of a man he once was. He lost his wife, saw a ghost from his past, and finally realized that all his choices decided his outcome. He chose a fucked up path and the universe gave him an even more fucked up answer. It refused to give him something that was not his, so the brother turned to weed and that shit stunk and he just sat there all gloomy as shit. A lot of my effort later, here he is laughing at my truth.

“How’s your kid? I got back a few days ago from Liston, but didn’t see Frost or Kaleb around the club. Can I ask why?” His words are meant to tread carefully, but I know Bull enough that he doesn’t give a fuck if he sees Kaleb or Frost, because my sister harassed the brother endlessly with errands and Kaleb reminded him of a son he could’ve had. A shitty but truthful story.

There were only three people at the Clubhouse who would give a fuck if Kaleb and Frost were around recently, since the rest were busy. One was currently with them, Spade. The other was our President, River who was on ‘Joe’ duty. Which left the other one who wasn’t worried about my fucking son, he was focused on my sisters ass. STORM. The fucker! He was testing my levels.

I touch my eyebrow, a reminder of the piercings I removed when Kaleb started using to pull at them.

“He’s good, Frost’s been keeping him busy. When are After and Mercy getting back?” He knows I know Storm got him to ask, and Bull also knows that I won’t be so open to questions if he does it again.

“He’s a dick, but he’s good to your sister and he’s been out on the streets doing all kinds of shit tryna find out who aimed that gun, cut the brother some slack.”

Even though things with Sienna were unstable at best and no one knew if she’d see the light of day, we kept trying to find out who wanted her dead. It was easy to blame the DeMarco’s because they were a notorious crime family, and Sienna was top on their hit list. However, she was also the mother of one of their own. So it led us in another direction. It wasn’t difficult to find a list of alternative people who Sienna managed to piss off, but there was one on the list I didn’t like there, her sister, Dakota, aka Diamond, my sister’s best friend.

Several times I’ve tried to get Diamond to meet me since she was staying with my brother, Michael. I even attempted to arrange a meeting with Michael but my older brother didn’t budge on his decision to keep Diamond with him and Diamond didn’t blink an eye at his refusal.

The thing is – Diamond was Sienna’s sister, and the both of them hid a deadly secret, that many dangerous people wanted to get their hands on. I always found the ones who kept secrets together became the enemy of each other.

In the end if more than one person knew it, it wasn’t a secret, but a whispered confession, and when people whispered, tales spun a web of unforgiving lies. And death followed.

Bull’s phone rings. I watch him use his big-ass hands to pull it out of his jacket pocket.

“Yo.” He listens for a beat, a small smile edged on his lips.

“Kills and I was just talking about you. How’s the trip? Got some news?” He asks. I assume he is talking to Mercy. After wasn’t in the business of voluntarily calling Bull before she called anyone else.

My attention is on him, but my mind is somehwere else as I wait patiently. The rackus from the people talking behind me remind me of why we were currently here. Not that I need to be reminded, but the brain is a saddest controlling the deepest parts of your thoughts, taunting you until you do and feel is that sick feeling of hopelessness.

“Doesn’t smell good, you right. Snakes with them as we speak, I’ll pop you a text once I get word, until then focus on the road, try not to stop, and please don’t piss off the cops.” He flinches as he ends the call. I don’t need to imagine what she said when he said that. It was Mercy we were talking about. The woman was a sweet lay until you pissed her off, didn’t take much too.

“They en-route, but Diego DeMarco isn’t hearing shit. He’s saying he doesn’t know anything. After had a bit of an altercation with the man, but Mercy insisted she handled it without any hiccups. She said the only problem was the house you sent them to but they’ll get into that once they’re home. Snake and Knight are still busy finishing up in New York.”

“What’s their status?”

“They managed to find the lady you talked about. Knight said they were meeting her at 2, but I heard this morning Beggar and Zero might be on something with the two dead zones.”

The nurse I came to see twenty minutes ago finally sees me but I don’t blink my eyes when I see her. She knows why I’m here. The testing stations are busy. People scattered everywhere, some coughing, others agitated by the long queus. I got tested just last week again, I didn’t want to take a chance with Kaleb. The kid was getting big, and no one knew what was happening with Covid. There was too much speculation and bullshit to filter out the truth.

The virus was known to most of the earth’s population but nobody had any idea where it originated from. Some accused China, others insisted it was nature, a few even said it came from bats and labaratories. All I gathered were the number of people dying every day. Hospitals were full and amid everything, we were looking for a killer hiding under our noses because of ‘lockdown.’

None of this was easy with the restrictions put in place. Some people chose to wear masks while others didn’t.

“Give me a minute. Gotta talk to the nurse quickly and find out what’s happening.”

“Sure brother, not like I have anywhere else to be!” That was a loaded statement because I had Bull watching Sienna today. We managed to get a camera in her room so it made our lives a bit easier and the Club less on edge.

The weather is more humid than I’m used to and my jacket is making me work out a sweat, but with the patrols happening more often I didn’t want to get stopped by one of the cops while I was on my bike.

But the humidity didn’t take away the clearer skies, the cleaner air in the mornings.

There were fewer fumes in the air. I felt it when I was riding my bike, saw it with a naked eye at the lake. Maybe the earth just needed cleansing. It’s a pity it came at the cost of so many lives, most of those lives I’ve spent years trying to protect only to die by natural causes but this is the way of the world.

The earth has finally decided to fix itself. Whether it was lab born, grown in the ground, or passed from the ocean, Covid19 was here and I had a feeling it was going to stay for a while longer.

 “Mr. Stone,” The nurse addresses me with a raised voice. She walks a few steps closer to me but I am cautious to keep a respectable, safe distance.

I’m not sure why she insisted on calling me Mr. Stone when I told her my name was Killer. Granted, she didn’t seem like a bitch, which made a difference. She was in pink scrubs with flowers on her collar AND an adult size mickey mouse watch on her wrist.

“Nurse. See you guys have your hands full. The clubs offer still stands if you need an extra hand or two.” The offer was extended from River. The brother was stuck between a hard and soft place, the latter solely on his own selfish need to have his woman at home, and not be in the middle of the pandemic.

“We good for now, if it changes we’ll let you guys know. I called you this morning to save you the trouble of coming over.”

“And I came over anyway. Saved you another phone call.”

Not sure if she is smiling or frowning with the mask hiding most of her face, but judging by the dimple on the side of her left eye I am going for the former.

“I checked on your wife this morning, she is doing much better than she was a week ago. Her skin complexion is pink, her ribs are healing nicely and bruises not noticeable but not much has changed. Dr. Sanders sent for a few more tests, but unfortunately still no signs of her recovering anytime soon. I’m not sure how long you want to keep her on a life support, Mr. Stone. I read Sienna’s file, she insisted she didn’t… ”

“My wife doesn’t know what she wants, and if she could speak for herself she’ll tell you that all she wanted was more time.” My words are abrupt and I stare her down. I heard this from more than enough people, I didn’t need someone telling me this shit again.

“Your wife has a 40% chance of surviving.”

“That’s 10% more than she had last week, she’s making a lot of progressive.” My point is made when she drops her head and checks the time on her watch.

She is an attractive woman. If not for her mask you would see her full lips and rose-colored cheeks. I know this because Arline Curtsey is the new red-head in town. She was the military nurse brought in to assist with the influx of patients. When she received the call to head out this side she had barely touched down from Mexico.

She’s been stationed at the same three sectors for the last five years, so I was surprised when I saw her two weeks back. She still doesn’t recognize me but I bet if I brought a certain brother over here, she’ll remember a whole lot more than a fellow soldier. I’m sure Spade would agree with my statement.

I’ve served my country as a soldier, Marine, and executioner, and not many besides Marco Catelli, a crime boss, can say the same but for this lady standing in front of me. She was half African American, quarter Spanish and quarter Russian. A curious combination of American. She was smart and agile but had no interest in motorbikes, and clubhouses. I know because I asked her twice.

“There are other people that need that ventilator, and those machines, even that bed. Kids! Young people who can live and have a much higher chance of surviving.”

“Are you saying my wife is not important? Because if it weren’t for her, you would be short of a lot of stuff, not just ventilators.”

She lifts up both her glove covered hands, palms up, facing me.

“I am grateful, don’t get me wrong, but I had to watch three young teenagers die in less than 48 hours, and in that time your wife has made zero progress in recovering. You and I both know that whether it’s today or tomorrow or next month you’re stalling on the inevitable.” She pulls her mask down, and I see her face, flushed and the lines creasing around her mouth from dehydration.

“Look Mr. Stone, in another time and place this will be romantic, and I would be hopping to that room thinking she is such a lucky woman, but this is not that time. The world doesn’t need a knight, it needs more ventilators.”

 Her intentions come from a good place, but it isn’t going to change my decision. One thing about becoming a soldier, you learn to choose facts and logic over anything else and her logic told her Sienna was going to die. My facts told me, I didn’t care what her logic said.

“My answer stays the same.”

I know they needed the ventilator but I paid for it and decided what I did with it and that was to keep my wife on it for as long as possible.

 Arline was right with one thing, I knew the time was coming when I’d have to make a choice and pull the plug but that choice wasn’t going to be now.

“Your answer is costing more lives than the one you are trying to save.”

“Sienna is my only concern at this point and when the time comes and I change that, I’ll let you know.” I’m honest with her. I wasn’t in the business of giving out false hope. Promising shit I wasn’t sure I was going to deliver was a fuck-up even an unfeeling asshole like me wouldn’t do.

I turn my back, walking towards Bull who is currently tugging on his mask. The brother has lost some serious weight over these months. He gave up his cannabis-stick addiction and decided to spend more time with Spade, Snake, and Texas in the training room. There wasn’t much of a choice when everyone was stuck in a house together. My wife was supposed to be one of those people, alive and well.

“Mr. Stone, wait.”

“Quit while you’re ahead Nurse.” My words are meant to deter her.

“There was something that did happen last night.” Her statement stops me dead but I don’t turn my back to her.

“What?” I ask her but it comes out as a command. I ignore Bull flinching as he watches our interaction.

“A man phoned, asked how she was doing. He refused to give me a name so I made a choice of my own and gave him nothing. He was weird.”

“Why do you say that?” I query, “Did he have an accent?”

“Not really much of an accent but he sounded like he was in his late 50’s early 60’s.”

“What was weird about him?”

“He mentioned he was her father.”

 “I see.” Two words spoken, nothing else as my steps take me further away from my wife.

Every day I do this, and each time it’s like a string of sorrow pulling me back, telling me to stay, begging to be tugged and everyday I ignore the dark light, the shards slicing my eternal being and I leave.

My legs feel like I’ve been riding for hours as it shakes. Knots tickle my stomach walls, as the tightening in my chest constricts my breathing. Sorrow, it is something I can feel, it is empty, a curse put on an unfeeling failure like myself.

What is happening to me?

“You hanging in there?” Bull asks me for the 10th time this fucking week as I make my way back to the parking lot. I am starting to lose my patience with these brothers. They spend time worrying about me when they should be finding answers.

Fuck, Kaleb hasn’t been in the clubhouse since this shit started, I didn’t want to take the chance of anything happening to him. I knew Gabriel would want his kid. Sooner or later I would have to deal with his crazy fucking family. My logical choice was to send the kid away to be with my parents while we sorted this shit out, but I wanted him with me, which was a selfish feat.

“Ask me that after we sort this shit out.”

The letter with the USB drive burns in my pocket. Today I knew I was going to leave Sienna alone for abit, it was more than a month on life support. When she got to the hospital 32 days ago, the doctors had her in surgery for hours, and I only got to see her the next day, and even then it was a fuck show. When I got into the room there were tubes, a mask and shit covering her entire face, and chest. The oxygen tanks and machines were not a pretty sight for the leveled mind to understand what the fuck it all meant. She was the shell of the woman who became my wife that day, but I sat at her bed and waited. Days passed and nothing. My focus changed a bit from trying to save her, and waiting for her to wake up to finding out who did it. I first considered her letter having some sort of idea of who the fuck wanted her dead. But beside the info the governments been looking for, there was nothing there besides words on a piece of paper. I have thought about how many things I would say to her, how words might fail me, how I would shake her, and grab her in my arms. I’ve thought of every possible scenario of when she’d wake up so I could tell her these days without her, my breath is like fire in my chest.

I want to tell her, I am the unfeeling ghost but with her I am just her Kevin. Then my mind just quietens and I think about her smile, and how she lifts her head to stare at the sky laughing. I remember how I didn’t like it so much when she laughed because she wasn’t looking at me. Now, when I think back on it, I see the faults in my actions, the immaturity of a newborn not understanding it was learning to feel.

Her laugh, her smile, those evil cunning eyes, her mouth that I never got to taste enough, it made me angry, because I couldn’t deny that I didn’t want to keep my eyes off her knowing she will break me one way or another.

In a way, now, thinking about it, I am thankful for not having her smiles directed at me, because I don’t think I would be able to do what I need to, now that she’s gone.

To get some answers I would need to be the ghost and her sister is first on my list. I had a hunch about what I might find, and the club knew better than to go out looking for a way to get Diamond to talk, because they UNDERSTOOD she was mine and I always delivered.

Getting a hold of Diamond was now my biggest landline because she had to know Sienna was Taylor, and the sacrifices she made to keep her safe. Diamond wasn’t a blind batshit crazy genius like people thought. She was smart, sly and extremely dangerous because she understood human behaviour on a level that even a room full of psychologists wouldn’t even be able to comprehend.

And I needed to know the code for this USB drive and only Diamond would know that.

“I’m leaving, tell River I’ll be back soon, and keep my sister away from that asshole.” My warning is clear, and Bull doesn’t say a word as I walk away.

I head out, not glancing back. A cold man was the way I once considered myself, but since the day I watched the woman I vowed to spend my life with, the one I chose to have my babies get shot, something in me was born, and my once unfeeling soul felt a burning fire for answers, with it an undeterred need for vengeance.

I knew the path I was taking didn’t just end with bloodshed, because the people I was going to end would just be the beginning. Vengeance never sat dormant, nor did it perish in time. It was waiting for a perfect moment to be born, a gap in the story to rear its head. Beggar showed me that, the day she put a bullet in Zero’s brother. The brother still wonders how she could love him and kill his family. He is perplexed by the uncertainty of her actions, but her words was always something he could believe. She never said she wouldn’t do it. Beggar was many things, a killer, a messed up woman still finding her way to in a life given to her. But one thing she wasn’t was a liar. A liar like me. I made promises I couldn’t keep, decisions I had no intention of ever admitting. Everyday I lied easily, to everyone, myself included.

My phone beeps with a message and I slip it out of my pocket as I reach my bike. The black and grey chrome machine glows, calling to me, because even this unfeeling bike knows its rider is going to cause some serious damage.

THE JET IS SET TO LEAVE, I SUGGEST YOU SUIT UP, IT’S GOING TO BE BUMPY. I’LL MEET YOU WITH KENT AT THE PENTHOUSE.

MARCUS BRAY

Coming November 30th, 2022

The Satan Sniper’s Motorcycle Club members are back, and this time they are not just carrying ammunition but these bikers are holding a deep secret, that might just be the end of them.

“We were never meant to end this way, but death has been calling us since the day we were born” Sienna

Death is like a wind blowing, touching you all over. It’s the kiss from the sun on your face, the experience of everything, but the feeling of nothing. Death is an inevitability of our life. It is the ride that gets us there which makes all the difference.

I knew Sienna was going to be a problem from the day she drove back into our lives, but the more I pushed her, the stronger my need to protect her grew. Never thought it would come to this, me saying goodbye. Romance, love, a happy ending, and marriage were supposed to be how our story got told, but none of that got to happen. She was shot, left to die, and for once I couldn’t save the person I swore to protect.

I’ve spent years in the army, saving as many people as I could, killing just as many too, all for my country, only to lose the one person I wanted to keep alive in the end. Even after knowing what she’ll eventually bring to our doorstep would be chaos I still can’t let her go.

My brothers think I am going to explode, but all I want to do is find out who killed my wife and then bring a reckoning to their lives. But when I go hunting what I find might just be the end of me.

The Satan Sniper’s Motorcycle Club returns with its 6th book, filled with romance, mystery, and a storyline that is fresh.

This book might just be what you need to read when you open a book so give it a try.


 

  PRE-ORDER A COPY TODAY

Draft2digital – https://books2read.com/u/b6RWvW

iBooks – https://books.apple.com/us/book/id6442853338

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Categories
Satan Snipers MC

Sienna – The Satan Sniper’s MC Book 6

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secrets of the famiglia

New Book Release.

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#books Author Shan R.K Blogs Queen Of Killers

Queen Of Killers Out Now

He took everything from me, now it’s my turn and what my husband isn’t expecting, is that I play on BLOOD

I was his second choice, his biggest mistake. I never wanted things to turn out the way they did, but they did. Now my choice is limited. Join him, or end him. What will I choose? The clock is ticking, my friend’s life is hanging on a thread and I, Aliyana Capello am the only one who can save him. But at what cost?

I love my husband, but sometimes love is not enough, sometimes there are more important moves that need to be made. It is unfortunate that some would need to fall so I, the Queen of Killers can take my place and lead them all.

Once all is done, I will need to confess. So I am going to start by saying forgive me.

Available in Print for just $9.99 on Amazon or ebook at only $4.49 on all major retail stores.

Get your copy from amazon @ https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08X6NYSL6/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0 or any other major retail stores, go to https://books2read.com/u/mZazYB and select the store you wish to purchase from.

FOR SIGNED COPIES PLEASE EMAIL ME AT shanRk@zoho.com , competition time is coming soon, so keep those purchase slips safe and win Merchandise and free books.

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#books Author Shan R.K Newsletters Queen Of Killers secrets of the famiglia

Queen Of Killers New Release Date

New Release Monday, 22nd February

The Explanation of a Cancelled Pre-Order

I was supposed to write this email a while back, but I didn’t know where to start or how to. I must apologize for the inconvenience the cancellation has caused you, as I am aware that you have been waiting patiently for the release that seems to never come. I am so sorry for all of this. I have been trying to sort everything out with KDP, but they have been giving me different stories. The lady who called me assured me that while they had a technical error which led to my pre-order getting cancelled that could not email anyone informing them of what happened nor would they assist by giving me an email address of the customers (I could understand the latter).

So I decided to not add another pre-order, and just publish the book which was initially supposed to be Thursday, 18th February 2021. But to give everyone time to read this email and digest the news, I am going to Publish the book on Monday, 22nd February 2021.

I will be adding posts on all my social media sites, as well as sending out reminders on the day of release. I hope this doesn’t dampen your spirits and you are still excited about the books release.

Later on today I will release the 1st, 3 Chapters of Queen of Killers on my blog page as well as a few snippets on the Website. Please feel free to read it.

If you require any information please don’t hesitate to email me on shanRk@zoho.com

I am extremely grateful for your understanding and thank you so much for your continuous support and loyalty during times like these.

Queen Of Killers Chapters 1 – 3

Prelude

Aliyana Capello Catelli

Present day

The path to paradise begins in Hell. Dante Alighieri

“Salvatore, I need you. Salvatore,” I scream through the empty church. My heels click on the wooden floors as the harshness of my breath sounds the air with the extent of my madness. My mind reels as I rush down the aisle. 

“Salvatore, I know you’re in here,” I yell. His tall form comes from the back door. His black pants and black shirt with his clerical collar, a stark reminder of all that has happened. The ring on my finger weighs heavily on my hand as I face the man who served me for years, without knowing the demon he chose to protect. His scar stands out as he stops in front of me, intertwining his fingers tightly together. 

“It’s been almost a year Aliyana. What did you do?” 

I drop to my knees, “It is what I didn’t do. Forgive me father for I have sinned,” I say, as my body releases the tightness that has weighed upon it these passing years.

“Oh Aliyana, what have you done?” I look up at the Priest from St Anthony’s church who once served me as a loyal soldier and earned his freedom. 

A tear betrays me as I stare into his harsh, unyielding gaze as I once did many years ago. Only then I was a girl touched by the poison of my father and the cruelness of a king. Now I am a queen, wrapped in the robes of hell, soaked in the blood of the innocent and owned by a Venomous King. How far into hell have I fallen?

“Aliyana, tell me.” Salvatore does not know what he seeks when he utters those words. But I look up at the innocent Priest. 

“I killed them all.”

There comes a time in life, where even the damned must own up to the truth. There is that moment, when we get away from everything. That specific second, where you are standing there and it all hits you. All the lies, the stories you spun, the people you’ve hurt. The ones you betrayed and ruined for absolutely no good reason other than a hope that by doing it your heart will lessen with the pain and maybe tomorrow would be a brighter day. Only it is not the case. I have lived, loved and felt every emotion they taught me not to. 

In my 29 years on this earth, I have done things that no sane person could even fathom. My story is not one filled with the love for one man, but the love for many men. A love for a father who always wanted the best for me, even if his ways of showing it were misguided. 

I loved him for all that made him. Be it the sliver of goodness that rests in his deep soul, or his thirst for power that caused many to enter the gates of the afterlife. My love for him is… was everlasting, even if he was the snake leading me to temptation. 

Then there was my love I had for the 4 boys who grew up with me in Chicago. The brothers I never knew I wanted until they showed me how it felt to belong to something that wasn’t defined by the blood in my veins, or the gender that made me. Romero, Michel, Gabriel and Lorenzo were the brothers, who become a part of me, until one of them fell and one of them betrayed us. 

And lastly, there was the love for two men, both belonging to the Shadows. One set on becoming the most powerful villain of all and the other – who only wished to be with me. But jealousy, hatred, revenge and honor twisted all the goodness and my story became a bitter tale of falling in love with your enemy and honoring your promise to the ones that I swore to protect. My story is no tragedy, nor is it a happily ever after, but it is mine and here I am, still alive, so I can finally tell it.

“Salvatore, I must confess.” I remain on my knees as his fingers unlock themselves and his roughened fingers grip my chin. I lift my head. 

“I will listen. Do you promise to confess in all honesty and tell only the truth?” He asks the question he once asked me years ago. Only then I turned away from him, ashamed of all those that I hurt. Now I am no longer haunted by the decisions of my past, I am ready for atonement.

“Yes, I will tell you everything. My confession begins 13 years ago, when we made a pact to take over Chicago, and Elisa Russo was going to be our bait.”

“What was so bad about then?” 

I look at Salvatore in his priest attire, a holy man who once almost fell from the crutches of god.

I smile, but it is not happiness that brings the look to my face, more like shame, embarrassment and guilt. 

“I lied.”

Chapter 1

Aliyana

13 Years ago

The past should never be made in the present

And the present should never throw haze on the future.

Lies, a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive, an intentional untruth, a falsehood. 

“What on earth are you devils up to?” Gabriel asks as he sits next to Mero on the carpeted floor. I felt great to be back in Seattle. It wouldn’t be much longer until the day arrived when I could finally say I was putting Chicago behind me.

Chicago was what I would describe as a prison, made specifically for the 5 of us. We were meant to only charter a flight first thing tomorrow. But I couldn’t bear another night in a city treated as one would a rat. It wasn’t the adults that surrounded us who made our stay in the city so unappealing, but the teenagers who would one day control it. I knew better than to tell my father, so did Gabriel, Mero, Michel and Ren when Capo Stagio Russo said that a teenager problem was a teenager problem. His words weren’t just words, they were a warning that what happens in his territory stayed quiet.

It was summer break and Papa would only land tomorrow from his trip to East Africa. Which made our early arrival the perfect time to finally release some tension we kept locked up these passing months. There was a lot going on right now, and Gabriel and Ren were both out for some serious Russo blood. They were the top crime family in Chicago and also primarily our guardians until we graduated from high school.

It was a rule in the 5th State that a group of boys be sent away to their allies’ territory. It was meant as a sign of good faith. But my father sent me a girl to Chicago and our Famiglia. The Catelli’s insisted we granted them the same respect, so the Russo’s sent Elisa. Who was meant to be their offering but turned out she was actually my father’s daughter. Talk about a messed up family. And mine was right there on the top.

It wasn’t just Elisa, who wore the title of illegitimate daughter but another, not so nice girl named Alice. She was already an adult and sister to Matteo Di Salvo, a much hated member of the Russo family. Or if I were honest I should rephrase, I hated Matteo Di Salvo the most. The others never really disliked him, they merely just hated what they presumed he stood for.

“Where did you rush off to? Gone to play good boy by your uncle or did you decide to take a detour to a certain red heads house?” Michel asks Gabriel. Michel is comfortable at the bottom of my white comforter, playing with his switch blade he bought off a guy on our way from the airport. Ren and I take the top left of the bed, going through the hundreds of photos scattered on half my bed. 

We were deciding, as we always did, which of the photos were best to show our parents. We tried to keep up the appearance of happy kids, for the sake of not starting a war. And also for not looking like we were made of ice. My father said that a made-man need not burn when he walked through fire. I wasn’t so sure how someone didn’t burn in fire when a fire was meant to burn.

We were already burnt in the fire many times. The only difference is our scars were on the inside, and the windows which were our eyes were too small to notice.

In reality, we were so used to the bullying and the plots and plans Alec and his crew came up with to try to get rid of us. But cutting Gabriel’s car breaks really set the record. They played dangerous games, and while we outsmarted them most of the time, we knew that our clock was ticking.

“How long do you think we can keep this shit up?” Ren questions us, lifting a picture with the 5 of us at Pizzeria.

“I say we make a stand, we’re leaving that shit hole next year. It will be the perfect time to teach the Russo’s a lesson,” Gabriel says from the floor. His blue eyes dilated and focused on Ren as I feel his anticipation and hunger for revenge vibrate across the room.

“I don’t see Alec ruling Chicago, he will cause an all-out war that the Capo Dei Capi would eventually have to intervene. Cassio and Camelid are henchmen, neither screaming Capo, I doubt either of them has the brain capacity to brush their teeth properly let alone rule a city as big as Chicago. Matteo, however…” Mero voices the same thing we are all thinking. Neither of the Russo boys were fit to handle a city as big and as dangerous as Chicago.

“Matteo is going to be the Capo of the Di Salvo, his family is close with the Moretti’s in England and the Di Salvo’s have always run L. A with the Gallo clan. I doubt he wants to rule a place filled with Russo’s. Chicago is nothing to him, but the land his father dropped him off at,” Michel says, getting up from the ground and stretching his lean body. He was getting buff in his late teens. I could see the promise of his athletic legs through his dark wash jeans that he currently wore like they were made to fit every part of his build. 

I was the only short one left, with only a pair of breasts and an ass to show for it.

“Do you remember the story about Massimo Catelli?” Ren asks, standing to his full height pacing the room.

I frown, but respond, “Yes, in the later 1800s Massimo and his 2 brothers, came to America with nothing but a fake passport and a pack of cigars. No crime syndicate wanted to be joined with the three of them. They were weak because they were only part Sicilian.”

“And he and his brothers didn’t appreciate that, so they slowly turned their cards, taking out every crime family that stood in their way. Until the Catelli’s controlled New York, it was 40 years later when the Castellammarese war took place. And John Gotti took the fall as a Capo. A legendary story and one that can be repeated in a much more civilized manner with careful planning,” Ren finishes the story, taking a seat next to me. I place one of the pictures next to the bedside table, sit up and look at him. 

We all look at him. He is crazy to even consider doing what it is he is thinking. It is a suicide to all of our names. But it isn’t impossible, just madness.

“What are you suggesting, Catelli?” Gabriel questions. And I wonder the same thing because it sounds like he has finally lost all senses of his sanity.

“We take over Chicago. Our Famiglia is big, but we aren’t the biggest in North America. There are a lot of players on the board. If we took Chicago, we will not only cement the Catelli name further, but all of our families would benefit in the long run. Everyone would remember the 5 of us. If we manage that, we create Allies with the Di Salvo and the outfit. It’ll make us the biggest crime family in North America.”

“You are talking about a war, the Russo’s will never play fair. They aren’t going to just shut up and let a group of teenagers take their City,” Gabriel warns, shaking his head in disbelief that Ren would even suggest it. I hate to admit it, but I agree with how absurd it sounds.

We take over Chicago? I doubt Ren is thinking logically. So I laugh and throw myself on the pillow as he gets up. His lanky body makes me want to snicker as he slides a hand through his long hair.

“No, but taking their youth out and killing Stagio is a power play they can’t deny,” Ren suggests.

“Too dirty. A war against the Russo’s would mean their allies, which equals the Outfit. My Papa has only said bad things about the Outfit, they are ruthless,” I say. It is true, the Outfit were a group of misfit Italians that didn’t belong to a crime family to call their own. So they made their own family and the Sanati’s ruled the Outfit with an iron fist.

“If we take out Alec, and maybe one of us marry Elisa, we could be half-way there. I know Lucca Sanati. He is next in line to take The Outfit under his command. He used to be close with Marco and Deno,” Ren informs us.

“What do you think we should do?” Mero asks Gabriel, who says nothing but stares worriedly at Ren.

“Maybe wait for him to become the Outfit boss?!” Ren answers.

“No, Lucca is crazy. He hates the Catelli’s too much after Katrina died. This entire plan is ludicrous. If we want to do this we are going to need a smart plan, a long-term one that doesn’t involve Lucca or killing Stagio,” Gabriel says finally agreeing to Ren’s ridiculous plan a bit too quickly. Going by the fact that a second ago his face revealed how against it he was, I would say he had a plan of his own.

“How about getting a Russo to do our bidding? Take out Stagio, or kidnap Alec?” Michel suggests.

“You mean Elisa? No, absolutely not, she is 15 and my sister. This entire plan is ridiculous. If we agree to do this, I think we should keep our hands clean on the outside. We would have to be smart, as Gabriel says,” I voice out, becoming a player too.

“So what are you thinking, Miss Capello? Play unicorns?” Mero asks with exaggerated sarcasm and I roll my eyes, giving him an exasperated sigh.

“No, I was talking about chess, dumb nut. We play allies against allies. Not just in the Russo’s tight circle, but in ours too. How pissed off do you think our parents need to get before they retaliate?” I tell them, and Gabriel is the first one to smile.

“Like play the one against each other? Technically, we won’t be getting our hands dirty. But we create a war. Question is, how do we use the war to take over Chicago?” Mero asks, scratching his neck, frowning at me as the room fills with the taste of power. Because let’s be honest, we are spawn from the 5th State. We all want to have more power.

“We get someone to marry Elisa, one of us is better than any fucker Stagio will choose,” Ren says nodding his head in agreement to his own plan.

“And Alec?” Gabriel queries.

“We leave him for now, if things get really bad, then we get our hands dirty. The question is, how the fuck do we start a war?” Ren says.

“Isn’t it obvious?” Michel asks with his attention on Gabriel.

We all stare at our friend, and he smiles.

“We go to our Underboss and tell him our plan, of course.” A plan forms as he says those words and it is on this day that the 5 of us, the Misfits that were shoved into Chicago, decide on a plan that would cost many of us more than we could ever have imagined.

Chapter 2

Aliyana

12 years ago

Blank spaces in a tale are sometimes

Necessary when someone is lying

“Mero, Micky!” Gabriel yells as Ren, and we stand by the door of their tech-class with our backpacks, waiting. Bunking last period wasn’t the best decision we were making today, with finals approaching soon. We were all accepted into UW about a week ago. Since receiving our acceptance letters, Gabriel had not lifted a book to study.

I informed my friend finals were still a big part of getting in. To say he didn’t care was the understatement of the year. In fact, neither of them have really cared, well apart from Ren. He was always in the books. I knew he got accepted to Harvard. Why he turned it down to come here was beyond my understanding. He swore to me that he will do two years here, then fuck off to Harvard.

He was the better one, smart and funny. I wanted more for him. 

“I am done with Matteo fucking Di Salvo, why couldn’t he stay in England like a good fuck boy?” Gabriel states as he walks out with Mero and Michel joining us. His face is flushed, his eyes are small and promising death. This is the thing about having only male friends. There was too much testosterone, and though I knew for a fact that Matteo pushed his buttons, Matteo wasn’t as bad as Gabriel made him out to be. 

I wonder what the others would do if they knew Ren and Matteo were friends. It was a secret I was keeping, since I found out 6 months ago. I stumbled into the music room one day after 2nd break and I saw the two of them sitting and chatting about Quantum Physics. It shocked me. Obviously they both decided that their broody friendship needed to be kept a secret, and I agreed. Sometimes secrets were necessary for all our sakes.

“Because pussies don’t know how to stay in one place,” Michel responds, sliding his hand through his gelled brown hair. He is the shorter of the four boys, and the most muscular now. He filled out these last 8 months.

“That pussy better be careful,” Mero says as we all laugh. But my gaze goes to Ren, who didn’t really find it funny. And although he laughs, I know, like me, he is just laughing for no reason at all but to appease his friends.

“So where to? We should sneak Yana in the gentlemen’s bar again. That was funny,” Ren suggests, earning him a smack on his arm in response. The sneaking part wasn’t much fun when I had to creep in through the men’s bathroom window. It also wasn’t fun when I walked in on my history teacher half naked. I try to think of the name I said when he asked me who I was.

Gabriel puts his arm over my shoulders, reminding me of how short I actually am and how tall he is. A reminder that I was also a girl, a Made-Man’s daughter, who was breaking a million rules by just allowing him to put his arm over my shoulders. Skipping school and the rest was a lot of frosting on a flat cake, even for me. I tried to hide it, but in the end my sanity won and I slipped my Papa a text when I went to the bathroom. I was after all my father’s daughter.

He responded with a thumbs up. Which was his way of saying, we will talk about it later and telling him was good. Yes, a thumbs up said a lot when it came from my father.

“I was thinking of somewhere a bit further,” Gabriel says as his usually straight face mutates into a smiling one. I love these guys. They were far from perfect and overflowing with trouble, but these boys made me feel alive.

“Where?” I ask him as my stomach twists with an anxious thrill of what we were going to do.

“My Uncle is around attending some business. He’s given us free rein of his Jet until 7 this evening. I took the liberty to have Constantine clear a flight plan for us to Seattle.”

“What are we going to do there?” Mero queries as his brows furrow in an almost hesitant wonder.

Vincent Vasati, Deno, and Marco Catelli run Washington State. It was also home for Ren and I.

Well, for the most part. I didn’t really have a home since I was thrown into Chicago. But I still liked to consider the possibility of Seattle one day becoming my home. My mother and father bought their home in Seattle and for years before I even existed they lived there. It was the same house I kept returning to during the holidays. I refrained from going to New York for the sole reason of my father’s wife Illaria who lived there. The woman hated me since before she even knew my name. 

She was the reason I came to Chicago. The reason I was not embroiled in a brewing I wasn’t necessarily thrilled about. I love these boys, but sometimes loving them wasn’t easy because their love for me came with a condition and that was loyalty.

“Deno has the new exclusive club opening this weekend. The bottom floor is a restaurant, thought, we’ll christen the place and enjoy a meal.” Ren’s glee is unmasked as Gabriel lets us in on his little plan. Ren loves Deno, his older brother. A brotherly love was always good to have, especially when that brother was our Underboss.

I wasn’t so sure about his relationship with Leonardo and Marco. While I swooned over Leonardo, and from afar professed my undying love for him for all eternity, I never set eyes on Marco. Marco was the first-born son of Capo Marcello, then Deno, Anya, Leonardo and lastly, Ren.

While Deno kept close tabs on us and knew most of everything that happened in Chicago, Marco was always MIA. Leonardo dropped by every odd occasion to ‘check how are things’ but we all knew it was Deno’s doing that sent Leonardo here.

Anya however didn’t need to be asked to visit, she always showed up at the most random of times.

His sister, Anya, I liked the least out of his big family. She was false and always had an agenda. I didn’t like people who could do something cruel to those they claimed to love.

I didn’t like to think about what she did to Ren, but sometimes it really got my blood boiling. Ren had secrets, we all did, but when people like Anya knew them, sometimes the price of keeping them just became too high.

“Don’t we get an invitation?” I hear that voice, and we all freeze at the sound of Alec Russo.

Straight ahead of me and down the hall are the Russo boys and their new BFF, Matteo Di Salvo. Alec and Matteo stand side by side, while the twins, Cassio and Camelid, take them back.

“No,” Gabriel responds, his fingers tensing on my arm as he stiffens next to me, all casualty gone. 

“Too bad, I was hoping to see my cousin,” Alec says as his evil smile implies otherwise. Yes, that was the thing about Alec, he was a creep and after a year of just sitting by and doing nothing, I was ready to solve the problem named Alec permanently.

“Yeah, too bad. We’re full up, try the airport,” Ren recommends.

Mero nudges his head to say let’s go, and I think his timing is impeccable. Sometimes walking away is better than the alternative.

“We will do just that. I should probably call your brother too, wouldn’t want to start a war now,” Alec yells as the others laugh at his stupid joke. I see Matteo’s gaze scatter from Ren to me and back again.

“I am not sure which one I hate more, Matteo or Alec,” Michel mumbles.

“I thought Di Salvo’s are supposed to be our closest allies,” Mero states as his brows draw down into a scowl I know too well.

“Allies? What the fuck is that?” Ren’s sarcasm makes us burst out laughing.

We ignore the irritant foursome as we turn our backs and walk toward the exit.

I should’ve known it wasn’t over. Far from it.

We get on the plane in the next 40 minutes. I wait till the red light turns green and unfasten my safety belt. The beige leather interior and red marble skirting scream ‘notice me.’ I never admitted this to anyone, but I didn’t like Gabriel’s uncle. There was just something about him that rubbed me the wrong way. Papa always told me my intuition can never be wrong.

Ren follows me when I walk to the back of the plane where the bathroom is.

He places his arm around my shoulder and practically shoves his phone in my face. I have to hold his wrist to prevent him from hurting me. I read the message he wrote. 

Don’t hate me, but Deno let me know Gabriel was planning the trip, so I asked Matteo to charter another plane 20 minutes after us. Alec has done some really bad things, we need to stand together. The others won’t agree with Matteo rocking up. Do you think you can stand with me on this?

That was a question I didn’t see coming. What was the right thing to say? And how good of ‘friends’ were Ren and Matteo. Was this going to cause a problem with the plan? There was a lot about the plan I didn’t like. Mostly the part where Mero marries Elisa.

If I did this now, were we drawing an invisible line between the others and us? Is that what I wanted?

I shrug my shoulders and push him aside as I head to the bathroom. I can’t give him an answer. I don’t know. 

When I get out, Gabriel is sitting in the front seat staring at me. He’s always been quiet, never saying too much. I admired that about him. But the quality I admired was also what made me wary. My papa told me a quiet man is a waiting man, and that makes him patient, and those who are patient are the most lethal. Would Gabriel prove to be a problem, eventually? I hoped not. I liked to think of him as our secret weapon.

I sometimes secretly wished he would be that weapon when it came to Alec. The guy made me mad in ways that were not sane on any level of the word. He knew how to push my buttons and he pushed them mercilessly. 

He chose to pick on Gabriel and I. Gabriel as he was the tallest and the son of a DeMarco. The same DeMarco’s who killed his mother’s brothers. Yes, revenge in the Mafia was a real pain. And the sins of the father fell heavily on their sons and, in my case, daughter.

Which was the reason a made-man was taught to kill the children too, because kids grew up and a made-man’s son would want his flesh of meat when his time came.

“I can’t believe he actually asked to join us,” My temper is still boiling after our flight, mostly because all I managed to do was think about Alec Russo and all the vile things he chose to do. 

We jump out of the black Mercedes as the six soldiers Deno sent for us surround the vehicle.  

The building known as Azure is a tall face brick architectural dream. Dark-tinted glass going right up to a 5-floor height serves as a front wall. I am sure it’s bulletproof.

“He’s a Russo. What do you expect? There is a reason they are our enemies,” Gabriel replies as he slips on a black blazer over his white school shirt.  

To the passersby, we resemble a group of wealthy kids. We are, but the four boys are all Made-Men.  

They have killed, and the ring on their index fingers shows that they would do it again. 

“It looks like there is a drop zone on the roof. Why couldn’t we land there?” Mero asks as he straightens his tie.

“It isn’t ready. Deno is making a greenhouse,” Ren answers.

“What green are we talking? In house? Purple heads?” Michel goes from mildly interested to very interested. Big hazel eyes widening with glee. His hair is cut short and his once baby face has now sharpened over the last year. His jaw still not quite as sharp as the other boys, but Michel’s hardened exterior in certain places gives off a ‘don’t fuck with me’ vibe that closely matches Gabriel’s broody self.  

“I should have stayed in a girl’s only school,” I mumble as I push my hair back from my face.  

“And miss the time of your life? I doubt you would. Your father almost castrated my father when he asked him. He almost castrated me for even talking that day. Fuck, my nuts still twitch from that.” Ren shakes his head in mock horror as the 5 of us walk toward the doors of the massive club laughing.

“But he still agreed,” I point out as Gabriel opens the door when the soldiers line up next to the entrance. 

“Yes, he did, and thank fuck for that,” Ren’s deep voice is loud as we enter the dark place.  

“I am calling dibs on the sound,” Gabriel declares as we enter the Azure.  

“As long as I don’t have to listen to that damn classical shit,” Ren says, putting on the lights. The smell of new leather and paint hits my nose as the blue glow brings life to the darkened space.

“The glass is remote controlled. I need to get the remote, give me a minute. Help yourselves to a drink,” Ren states as he disappears to what looks like a big ballroom. 

“I have a little present for you guys. Wait here,” Gabriel declares, and I watch him walk with ease and familiarity through the back of the club. His big shoulders and tall body are a wonder to the short kid with keen eyes I met all those years ago. It isn’t the first time I consider how lucky I am to be one of them. Even if that luck came at a price.

“What are we drinking?” Mero asks as his big muscular body comes closer toward me. He is built like a linebacker, but he doesn’t just play football like the other guys, he is a professional boxer. His family is big on cage fighting and martial arts.

“I think brandy to begin with,” Ren replies as he walks back into the room with a familiar guy following carefully behind. It still surprised me at times, especially ones like these on how in-depth to the inner circle of the next generation of Capos I was.

If my father found how I spent my free time I was not supposed to even have, I don’t think he would share in my gratitude that I was, in fact, the only girl amongst four dangerous guys. It was a good thing I mentioned it to him today, else I don’t think I would win this one without a massive blow.

Right now, I wasn’t just alone with them; I was in the company of my future Capo, the Underboss to the Catelli Famiglia, Deno Catelli, and it wasn’t the first time.

“Aliyana. You are always a sight when I see you.” Deno Catelli’s voice is loud. 

He opens his arms as his dramatic entrance comes to a complete halt when he gathers me in a big hug. Deno has always smelt like leather and a mixture of something forbidden, dangerous. We had enough of those going around in our world. But Deno Catelli was in a league of his own. I think I have always had a certain amount of respect for our future Capo. I’m not sure if it was due to the fact of his willingness to help us, or his ability to control a situation without making it known that he was the one in control.

It still boggles my mind even now as I stand here wrapped in the arms of this important, dangerous man. He is well over 6-ft tall with hard, sinewy arms that have brought many men to their deaths, and right now, he is kissing me on the cheeks and holding me toward his hard chest.

Yes. I am well aware my father would not be pleased by this. Then again, the thrill is something I find quite liberating.  

“I am glad someone remembers I am a lady,” I point out, knowing Mero and Michel can hear. Deno winks at Mero as he releases me when Mero groans. 

Mero greets Deno with a hug and a kiss before Michel.  

“When Gabriel called me this morning, I was fucking glad you misfits were showing up. Until I got a call informing me the Russo boys were joining. I suppose you don’t want them coming by?” He gives us a knowing look that is evil in intent, and I am glad he is on our side. But exactly who is ‘our side’ since I knew he knew Matteo was invited by Ren. And Matteo didn’t fall in the category of ‘friends’ in the eyes of the others, and if I was being honest, he didn’t fall in my category of friends either.

“Well, considering they are the reason we are here, no.” Gabriel walks in, there is something about his voice that is different. I hear the under note of badass he is giving off, which meant something spectacular was bound to happen. Spectacular meaning we were going to do something dangerous.

Behind Gabriel walks in a familiar boy, though we never got to see him often enough I squeal as I run and throw myself in the arms of an old friend, Dexter Kent.

As I predicted the last time when I saw him 6 months ago. He was now as tall as Gabriel. If not a bit taller. Dexter Kent was hardly a boy any longer. He walked with an air that screamed old money, and a powerful bloodline.

He was confident, with broad shoulders and an alertness in his gaze that I didn’t see often in people. Well, not to that extent. Dexter has always been a part of our lives. And maybe he wasn’t someone I would classify as a BFF, but he was definitely a person I would trust.

“Fuck, Dixie, you’ve grown so tall. You’re like Captain America after his transformation,” Mero informs our outsider friend as Dexter extracts himself from me, long enough to shake hands with Mero, Ren and Michel.  

Dexter puts his arm over my shoulder, “It has been a while, but considering the call I got from Gabriel, it was time we had a little reunion.”  

“Can I come out now, or have you forgotten about me?” The female voice coming from behind me has all of us jumping into action, walking toward the sound behind the bar.  

I hug her close, and the guys follow. I inhale her sweet scent and look at her tanned cheeks. She has grown so much. Her hair is now a dark red and her face is covered in quite a bit of make-up. Not enough that it is too much, but enough that she looks way older than her 15 years. And of course she is beautiful.

“How could we forget a beauty like you,” Deno responds as he encompasses her into his side and touches her nose lightly with his finger. That is odd. I notice, but I am wise enough to say nothing.

“How did you, I thought you were… when did…” My words are all coming out half said as I am speechless. I thought she was halfway to Europe by now. 

I stare at her; it has been so long, a year almost, and I want to cry, but I don’t. We have kept this secret for so long. Her life was counting on it. But her life was also counting on her leaving, which she didn’t do.

“No, my father changed his mind. I’ll be staying here and finishing school and if I am lucky, maybe study English.”

“That is great news, Elisa,” I say with a big smile that I hope tells her exactly how I’ve missed her. A part of me finds the complete 360 change so sudden. I haven’t seen her in so long that I’ve forgotten the reason we stopped.

“It has been a long time. I’m sorry I couldn’t see you sooner,” Elisa says, and I try again to wrack my head as to why we couldn’t see each other. I mean, we hardly saw each other as it stood. Our meetings were mostly during the school breaks. We stole a few days here and there. It was easy for Elisa to remain in Seattle during her holidays. 

Her father, Stagio, and her mother never batted an eyelash. Secretly, Elisa told me that her parents both wished she’d disappear. I found it hard to believe since I saw how Capo Stagio doted on her, and her mother continuously called her. But what did I know? I was a motherless teenager whose father sent her away. Even if it was for my own good.

“No need to be sorry, Eli, Aliyana knows that your cousin is around,” Deno says. I sense a slight note of mockery and I brush it off as my imagination.

Yes, he was correct. I knew all about Alice. She was around, and where Elisa was a good thing, Alice was terrible. Both my father’s daughters. But Alice, there’s no denying the proof. She looked just like him. How is it that he had no idea? I found my father’s ignorance to his ‘other’ children’s existence hard to swallow.

We lived in a world where fools were few and far in-between. Our men were not stupid, and everybody wanted to know your weakness, and my father’s bastard Russo daughters wasn’t just a secret but his kryptonite. They were proof that my father’s love for my mother wasn’t as real as he led many to believe. It hid something else entirely. A secret that both my parents kept and my mother died with.  

It was something a lot of people would want to know because my father, the advisor to the most powerful man in the world, was/is the 2nd most powerful man in the world, and his secrets, his life and anything that could be used against him was information no one would pass up.

And one of those people was the man who helped us when we needed Elisa to remain safe, Deno. But Alice, she was a different ball game altogether. She didn’t know that we shared a father. Well, I hoped she didn’t. However, a part of me knew my father couldn’t have not known he had other kids walking around.

So far, the only people who I was certain knew the truth, were in this room, and the fact we were all standing here told me that this was no casual visit, and knowing Deno Catelli, he was not here to shoot the shit with us. This was something serious.

“Well, now that we got all of that out of the way, let’s begin, shall we?” Deno voices this as his eyes stare at who I can only imagine is Gabriel.  

“We need to take out Alec,” Gabriel says, and we all look at him. 

“And I am going to help you,” Matteo says as he walks into the restaurant.

“What the fuck are you doing here?” Gabriel explodes as Matteo walks closer into the room. He is dressed in a full grey suit with a shiny purple tie. His blonde hair is sleek and brushed to the back.

He gives Ren a quick glance, and I take it he didn’t know that Ren kept his arrival a secret. Well Matteo, welcome to my world.

“There is some stuff we all need to clear up, namely my involvement with the Russo boys,” Matteo says.

Michel takes a step forward as Deno takes a sip of his whiskey. Our Underboss liked a good show.

“We are all ears,” Elisa answers as she comes from the back. I frown at her for a second, but face Matteo, who is glaring at my sister. Seems like he didn’t like Elisa too? So it wasn’t just Alice, hah. Seems like brother and sister had mutual enemies. 

“Spill it Di Salvo, we are waiting.” Mero is stabbing Matteo with his eyes. If looks could kill, he would be a dead man.

“As you all know, my father is Capo of our family, in L.A. Last year, Alec and the twins spent their summer in our territory. They stayed at the Gallo’s household and something terrible happened.”

“What was it?” Mero queries. We all wanted to know. Matteo looks sheepish, which is not in his normal character. The guy was confident and comfortable in all situations. I know, because I have seen him in some bad ones.

“Daleena Gallo was raped. She insisted she didn’t know what happened to her, but my father presumed the Russo boys would, so he sent me. Since they are my stepmother’s people.”

“Wow, how old is Daleena?”

He cringes, “She’s only 11.”

“So you thought you would just swoop in here and get us to agree to everything you say?” Gabriel questions Matteo.

At Gabriel’s tone, I expect Matteo to flinch or show some infliction. But he merely stands there, with his gaze sharp, focused as he slides his hands in his pocket.

“No, he expects you to kill Alec, so he doesn’t have to. Isn’t that right, Matteo?” Deno queries.

“I thought your family was our allies, and by coming here with such news, you would feel some sort of empathy toward the loss of an innocent girl.”

“We do, but your father should have had a sit down with me, and we could have discussed the matter properly. But here you are, a young boy, wanting to rectify a wrong all alone, in my territory. I say you have balls Matteo,” Deno says walking in front of all of us until he is less than 2 feet from Matteo.

Matteo frowns, and if I weren’t so observant, I would have missed the flex of his jaw as he stares at our Underboss.

“Maybe it is my need to see justice done, that mistakes your observation,” Matteo says, and I don’t miss the shuffle Ren does when Matteo remains standing so close to Deno.

Deno laughs and takes a sip of his drink.

“I like you Matteo, you may stay, and I will definitely help you,” Deno surprises us all, and I don’t waste a moment pulling Elisa aside as Gabriel storms off.

She has the brightest smile imaginable, as I start my long tirade story about the last year.

“Can I ask you a question?” I say to her as she ties her hair up. Her body has filled out since I last saw her. 

“Sure.” 

“Why don’t you and Alice get along? I mean, besides our father, I remember you guys fighting plenty of times.” I watch her face for any sign of distress, but there is nothing but sadness and maybe a little bit of anger. But I haven’t seen Elisa angry, besides a few tantrums when she didn’t get her way. She was mostly quiet. Papa always said the quiet ones were the ones to keep our eyes on. But I wanted to believe my eyes were on Elisa only for her protection.

“A difference of opinion, I guess. She prefers to spend her time with her brothers.” 

“You mean brother, Matteo.” 

“Matteo has a brother and a smaller sister. He doesn’t talk about them at all, but Matteo’s mother is not dead like people claim. She just left his dad and married someone else. I don’t know the entire story, but the once I saw Matteo and his brother with Alice. The three of them are so close it doesn’t make sense.”

“Why doesn’t it make sense?” I question her, trying to wrap my head around it. I needed a map to remember who is who. Seems like there were a lot more ‘unplanned’ pregnancies and ‘secret children’ hiding around in the 5th state.

“Because Ali,” She sighs, “Alice isn’t related to any of them by blood. Matteo’s dad married Marianne Russo, Alice’s mom.”

It must be almost an hour later when Deno pops his head into the room the two of us have been cocooned in.

“Aliyana, can I have a word?” He asks.

“Sure.” I get up and follow Deno to the front of the restaurant. 

“Come sit down,” He gestures and I look at Gabriel and Michel who are seated on one table and Ren, Mero and Matteo on the other.

Deno regards me with his brown-eyed gaze, and I choose my seat away from all of them. Deno smiles, quirking his brow, impressed by my decision to not choose any specific side. How could I? When either side was jaded with untold truths and hidden mayhem.

“We have come to a mutual agreement with regards to Alec Russo, and we have decided that we will not kill him, for now. The evidence is not clear enough to start a war. We would need a confession before we do anything. Killing a young boy, like Alec will cause an already torn relationship to explode and we don’t want a war on our hands.” Deno’s words have me swallowing hard, because what our underboss didn’t know was for the last year, a war is exactly what the 5 of us have tried to start. 

Matteo’s request basically handed our desire to us on a platter. The only problem standing in our way was Ren’s loyalty to his brother and the implications we would face once we defied our Underboss. Because I knew we would defy him. It was inevitable as the sun setting in the west and rising once again in the east. I think a part of me even then knew that the 5 of us would eventually part ways. What I didn’t know at the time is the events following and the path I would eventually choose to take would end in death for some and a prison for others. 

Would I have done it differently had I known the choices I made would eventually be our downfall? No, because even then there was a small part of me that always knew I would make it out breathing. Even if the air was filled with death.

Chapter 3

Aliyana

12 Years Ago

A friend is as loyal as the actions you know of,

but an enemy as a partner,

You never need wonder of their loyalty. An enemy always has a point to prove.

It was close to 6pm when I made it home. Gabriel, Mero and Michel left Azure first. While Ren, Deno and Matteo remained there, even now. I was just glad to be home.

I open the door and give Sal, my father’s soldier, a wave to let him know I am safe inside. 

What I don’t expect is my father standing in the foyer. I presumed he was in New York, with my other siblings. I should have known he would be here.

“Papa, perche non mi hai detto che eri qui, sarei venuto prime?” Papa why didn’t you tell me you were here, I would have come sooner.

Sartini Capello is a tall man. His broad shoulders, long body and sharp stern features are just the few things that describe what people see when they look at him. The deadly killer lurking inside is what they later learn when they get to know him. My papa is an imposing man, and while I have only ever known the way it feels to be his daughter, even I can’t deny the wrongness of the picture when he smiles at me as he walks across the room and engulfs me in a warm hug.

There is nothing warm about my father besides the temperature on his body.

“I wanted to surprise you. Dinner is on the table, let’s go eat.” He releases me and walks ahead and like always, I follow him. We go to the dining area, where the walnut table is decked with a roast and vegetables.

“How was your day?”

“Matteo Di Salvo came to Azure,” I say, pulling my chair in closer toward the table.

“What did he want? His father has seemed ruffled recently,” My Papa observes aloud as he cuts the roast beef and puts 3 slices on my place.

I dish him veggies, wracking my brain as to how I’m going to tell him something without really saying anything. 

“He wanted to talk to Deno, whatever it was got Gabriel upset and Michel and Mero too.” The words taste bitter in my mouth, but I swallow it down with a piece of roasted beef.

“Deno will sort it out. When are you going to pick up your things from the University?” His eyes hold me hostage for exactly 4 seconds before he focuses on his food again.

“They haven’t emailed me as of yet, but I think it will be sooner than we think. How are Guilia and the twins?”

I knew it was pointless asking my father as he hardly even saw them, but the words were naturally asked whenever I saw him.

He chews the last bit of food in his mouth before his attention is drawn to me, “Filippo is arriving with Guilia over the weekend, she’ll be spending some time this side.” He cuts his meat, swallowing his last bite.

“The twins are doing well. You should make more effort to see them, before you know it you will be married with kids of your own.”

“Maybe they could come this side for a bit once I start freshman year.” It was the best promise I could think of. Illaria couldn’t stand the sight of me, and my patience as a whole wasn’t on its strongest point with everything happening with the Misfits.

“How are things at school? The Russo boys still giving trouble?” He asks me.

And here I must confess that my friends knew I started telling my father all the things Alec and his crew did to us. Only my father thought my allegiance belonged to him. In a way it did, but the extent of it didn’t flow into my loyalty to my own best interests. And right now it was directed at the Misfits. 

“We saw him today when we were leaving the school, he wanted to get a ride with us to see his cousin, but Gabriel said no.”

“But Matteo showed up by himself correct?” 

“Yes, but Matteo is not the bad one, Alec is.” 

“I would not expect anything less. The Di Salvo family have been our allies for decades. You must never make an enemy of your allies, it’s bad for business.”

“Yes, Papa. I’m going to go check on the wolves after dinner. Would you like to join?”

“I have some business to attend tonight,” He says, and we both knew very well that business this late wasn’t your average business. It is a wonder why my gaze still goes to the ring on his index finger. 

“How many do you have now?” He asks, filling the now silent air.

“Five Papa, two grey ones, three white and Leo, the brown back.”

“Ah, I wish you would choose more normal pets, than such vicious beasts.”

“They are still quite small, Leo and Casper would be 2 soon, I was thinking of getting them a trainer.”

“Of course, set it up and I’ll pay for it. Might as well stock up on food for them. When you get back to Chicago you won’t have to phone Nicolo five times a day, asking about your pets getting fed.” 

“Thank you Papa.” I put the last spoonful of veggies in my mouth, as my body vibrates with equal parts elation and embarrassment. My wolves weren’t exactly meant to be pets. But my father didn’t need to know that.

An hour later, I am petting Leo, the brown black wolf I took as a rescue. He was the first wolf I got at just 4-months-old. He wasn’t friendly to anyone besides me, and even then when I got too playful he would growl. I liked that about him.

Casper and Terror were the friendly ones, and when I say friendly I mean solely to me. No one fed them face to face besides me. When I wasn’t around which was more often than I would like my father’s soldiers would put food in the back yard and close it up before they released the pack. 

My phone rings and I leave the den, walking up the cemented staircase. The night’s air brings a welcoming chill as the sound of my phone disturbs the quiet night.

I slip it out of my pocket, and stare at the unsaved number on my screen. It is after 9 at night, and I couldn’t fathom who would be calling at this hour.

Frowning, I swipe the green answer button.

“Hello?” I say with a cautious note to my voice.

“Hi, it’s Matteo, and before you put down the phone, I’m outside your house. We need to talk. Your father is gone, so don’t bother using him as an excuse.”

The night’s breeze envelops my skin as I close my eyes in annoyance.

“The Guards won’t let me leave so late without my father’s permission.” The excuse sounds lame even as I say it.

“And when has that stopped you, Little-flower? Are you forgetting the night I landed in front of your bedroom door?”

The day Matteo Di Salvo arrived from England was one of those days I never wanted to remember. Like us, he was sent to foreign territory to finish up his schooling. His father chose England and by the looks of it, and his heir of entitlement, I say it was a good choice.

Matteo seemed to have enjoyed his stay in England, and I bet coming home and getting shipped off to Chicago wasn’t his choice, but his fathers. And that innocent girl was the reason.

“How could I forget? I’ll be out in 10, meet me 3 blocks away from the house and whatever you do, don’t jump out of your car.” I cut the call and make sure to lock the den this evening.

I go into the house as usual. The 2 night staff were already in their respective bedrooms. I begin switching off the front lights, a silent indication I am off to bed. The soldiers know when I get to bed there is no need to watch the house. Only the outer perimeter.

My bedroom window on the right, facing the guardhouse, slams shut. The light in my room goes off and I take a few minutes to slip off my slops and put on my sneakers. The window directly above my bed opens silently. I pull the Jacob’s ladder that was mounted secretly to the floor behind my bed and throw it out of the window. It weighs an easy 10 kilos and was made with thick rope Michel picked up by the docks.

I climbed down nimbly and take a jump, making more noise than I usually do. Landing in a crouched position, I remain still and listen attentively for even the smallest sound. My heart kicks up a notch when I hear a rustle, and I duck behind the bush.

One of our not so bright soldiers, walk past me, and I am wise to hold my breath. He takes a quick detour and I used the opportunity to run across while the camera moves to the other end. I sneak silently along the wall and once I get close enough to the gate; I place my red laser on the sensor, triggering the house alarm. I send Sal a quick text, pretending I am concerned. 

Me: Is everything all right?

Sal: It’s just the sensors, it happens sometimes. Get some rest, Miss Capello.

Smiling, I open the gate a fraction of the way, big enough for me to squeeze my way through. I know the men are trying to figure out what happened. Keeping to the dark parts of the road, I rush toward the black Land Rover Matteo owned. I knew it was his car, because I’ve only seen him in it when he came to Seattle. For some reason, he was around a lot the last year. I sometimes felt he was secretly spying on us, but now I knew it wasn’t the case. He was here for Ren.

“This better be good,” I say, slamming the door closed. His car still has that new car smell, and unlike my friend’s cars, his doesn’t have any scent of his cologne. There is nothing in the car saying it belongs to him.

“Well, goodness is overrated.” The car starts and the lights brighten the dark quiet road and with it my heart escalates rapidly.

“Where are we going?” My voice pitches with nervousness and a snapshot of images flood my mind. 

“Are you scared?”

Yes, “No.” I am terrified. Matteo was not my friend, but a part of me knew he wasn’t really my foe as well. I hated him, because the alternative was too complicated.

“I can feel your fear, Little flower, even if it’s unwarranted.” Says the teenager with a gun underneath his jacket.

There were many reasons to fear Matteo. The important one was his ability to make you drop your guard before he attacked. He was good at luring his enemy. 

“Cut the crap, I have to be home before my father gets back,” I snap, glaring at him. He shows no indication that he cares. And I believe he actually doesn’t. There is no doubt in my mind when it comes to Matteo Di Salvo’s low grade of emotional intelligence.

“You will be home before then. I’m taking us to a place we can talk.”

He drives for another 10 minutes, winding his way through the suburban roads, before he stops by the gas station.

He slips his car in the parking lot and hops out. I sit inside as he rushes to go get whatever he needs to. 

I check my phone for any messages, and I have three. 

One is from Michel, saying goodnight. The second is from Mero, asking me to meet him at 7.00am for a run, and the 3rd is from Ren, who sent me a screenshot of his chat between him and Deno.

Deno: Why are you getting involved with Matteo?

Me: Our father sent me there to tighten bonds.

Deno: Yes, with the Russo clan, not Di Salvo. Now we have to help the fucker. Marco is going to be pissed.

Me: Only if you tell him

Deno: I already left him a message, he wants to see you.

This wasn’t good. Personally, I’ve never met the infamous Marco Catelli. He wasn’t mentioned often either. But we all knew he was the Eldest of our Capo’s children. Ren wasn’t as fond of him as he was of his other siblings. In fact, I knew this was bad. Marco wasn’t our future Capo and although I hardly heard of his name whenever I did I got this weird feeling in my stomach. Something told me that I wouldn’t like the man if I knew him.

What was so bad with the Di Salvo famiglia? Was there something Deno wasn’t telling us? I laugh internally at that dumb question, shaking my head. Of course, there were a lot of things the Underboss wasn’t telling us. However, there was more we didn’t tell him. He helped us, thinking he was seeing the entire picture, but what he didn’t know was the facade was just so fucking real, that it blinded him from the truth.

Deno was a Bishop, significant but with the right moves, expendable. I knew Ren didn’t entirely agree with our decisions, but he respected them enough to not inform his brother of everything. After all, we were starting a war. 

The sound of the car door opening jolts me out of my reverie. Matteo jumps in with 2 juices and a packet of popcorn. He hands me a bottle of orange juice and I accept it.

“Are you ready to talk?” I ask as he twists his juice cap and takes a long gulp of liquid.

“Wow, that’s good.” Matteo’s words have me rolling my eyes. 

“Cut the small talk and get on with it, believe me when I tell you that I am not thrilled to be in your company.” 

“Why don’t you cut the crap,” He says, and turns his top body to face me.

A look can mean two things when it’s one shared between partial enemies. The 1st is a death stare filled of rage, the eyes of the one who would kill you, and accept the consequences. The 2nd is the one of perplexity.

Yet, I see neither of those in Matteo Di Salvo’s gaze as he examines me with an unblinking, nerve wrecking, attentive stare. My body tenses under his scrutiny.

“Aliyana, how would it feel to have Alec out of the picture? No death, but no life either.”

“Ah, so this is what you were so eager to discuss?” I smile in glee that he had to come to me, a girl. I find it ironic how people can sometimes surprise you in such unbelievable ways.

“If you must know, Deno’s words are not as honorable as you think, he wants something I can’t give him, so it puts us at a crossroads of sorts.”

My mind bubbles with this juicy bit of knowledge. So there is something happening between the Di Salvo’s and Catellis. Question is, what does Deno want from Matteo?

“How exactly do you think I can be of assistance?” I wisely steer the conversation to another direction, catching him off guard. Because I bet Matteo expected me to ask him what Deno wanted him to do. My brother Filippo taught me that when we deal with our rivals, we never make a move that is predictable. 

Especially if I was not the smartest one in the room. And in this case, Matteo Di Salvo is the all knowledgeable one.

“We catch him off guard and kidnap him. I have a place to keep him. Once he confesses, we hand him over to my father.”

“You make it sound so simple, but it’s not. How do you think I am going to be of help accomplishing that task? Alec might be an asshole, but he isn’t dumb, nor is he weak.”

He drinks the last few sips of his juice, and I watch in anticipation for his answer.

“Firstly, we both know your methods are more intricate than the others, and secondly, Michel, Mero and Gabriel, will never agree to anything that includes me. To them I am the enemy. But Lorenzo will, if you agree.”

I didn’t like it. It was as though I was asked to betray the Misfits. I didn’t agree, but then again, if Alec did rape that girl, didn’t she deserve justice? Didn’t we deserve our pound of flesh? 

The matter sounded tricky, but I didn’t wish to explain my reasons as to why I didn’t agree. Alec needed to be taught a lesson, but not at the expense of the Misfits getting caught. 

“I’ll help, I would need to talk to Ren first and see how we are going to do it. It will need to be clean and untraceable. And the rest will agree if they don’t know you’re involved at all. No words coming from my mouth or Ren’s would change the way Gabriel and Mero feel about you.”

He frowns, and his thick, blonde eyebrows draw together as his lips thin.

“Don’t pretend you haven’t thought about it.” My words seem to amuse him, and I ignore his keen eyes watching me.

“I did, but that shouldn’t be a suggestion I make.” He tilts his head, and a piece of hair falls between his brows. Matteo Di Salvo is a handsome boy, and that made him even more dangerous. 

“Have you forgotten that I am a made-man Aliyana? We don’t cower in the face of obstacles.”

“It isn’t cowering. It’s nobility.”

He purses his lips, and I wait patiently for his answer.

“I’ll budge this time. Call them, but I want to know what the plan is. I can’t let this get back to me. I’m still tied to Chicago.”

I give him a sharp nod and pull out my phone and send all the boys an SOS message.

Mero is the first to respond, and I send my location pin in response.

“I’ll let you know. You better leave before they arrive.”

Matteo says nothing, and although he shows his disagreement, he does as I ask. I slam the door and walk toward the Petrol station shop. The bell on the door rings as I enter and the sound of Matteo’s car leaving echoes loud, reminding me of the road I was about to take.

Secrets were never meant to be kept a secret for more than it was necessary. I knew that, even as I jumped into Mero’s car when he arrived, and I knew it as the 5 of us agreed to kidnap Alec. No one mentioned anything about killing Alec. And although a part of me knew Ren thought about ending Alec, I never considered the possibility of him actually doing it. I was a fool then, slowly worming my way through crevices without knowing the narrow path I was following led to a river of crimson.

Coming this Monday, 22nd February

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Author Shan R.K Blogs

Festive Greetings

Planning, ideas and different outcomes is what this year has been for many. I am not going to remind you of the challenges we all faced as human beings on this planet. But, instead take the opportunity to say to all, that most of us still have more time.

While life has proven how unpredictable it can be. Our ability to adapt and function in such uncertain time is what makes human beings a superior race. Lets take these last few days and think of the positive things that happened in our lives this year, like spending extra time with our loved ones.

I for one am grateful for all my readers and my team of amazing people who have been there since I started my first book, and 4 years later you guys are still with me. Thank you so much for supporting my work and for all those amazing reviews and the not so amazing ones. If it wasn’t for you guys I would never have made it thus far. You ARE AMAZING.

Next Year I will be happily announcing the return of Liston Hills blog post and an exciting new blog, where you guys can speak your mind and be heard.

For now, I want to wish each and everyone a MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS and A SPECTACULAR NEW YEAR.

Share your holiday plans with me, and lets connect. My email address is shanRk@zoho.com