“…rules don’t exist here, Sersha. Learn to be a bad girl.”
Forbidden Want, an all-new forbidden mafia romance, and the second book in the Forbidden series from bestselling author Scarlett Finn is available now!
“…rules don’t exist here, Sersha. Learn to be a bad girl.”
Connel “Ire” McDade has me exactly where he wants me. At the head of his family’s organization, this man gets what he wants or raises the body count. His terms are simple: his silence for my submission.
“Satisfy your curiosity.”
He has access to my every intimate corner and crevice, any time he wants. Surrendering to him offers unexpected freedom. From guilt. From judgment. From all the expectations and constraints of my past. Connel grants me permission to explore, experiment, enjoy.
Except pleasure exacts a price.
It blinds me to the danger, to the cruelty, of his violent world. And when his enemies come looking for me, I’m on my own.
Do I defend his family or mine?
Loyalty means everything to him. If I bring the McDade empire tumbling down, he’ll punish me and those I love. If I don’t, I’ll never make it out alive.
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“You want McDade protection,”he stated like it was fact.
“No,” she said, adamant in gesture and gaze. “I am absolutely not asking for McDade protection.” Because, for one thing, it came with a price. “This is not a serious…It’s stupid. It’s childish…”The slight descent of his brow sparked a frantic shot of fiery panic inside her. “No, not…Not you. You’re not…”Babbling? Was she babbling? What the hell was wrong with her? Inhaling, she held the breath and then let it go. “Look, Evander Manzani is a child. A thirty-four-year-old child. We have history. Ridiculous history. I’m the toy he never got to play with. That’s all this is. It is not a part of your war, a part of your…whatever. I got sick of them showing up at my place, sick of his stupid games. I came here because I was left alone.”
“You get hit on every night.”
Several times and it unnerved that someone on his crew noticed. “That I can deal with,”she said. “Evander Manzani is two bullets short of a full clip, okay? Something, someday, eventually, will make him snap. I may not be involved in his world, your world, but I know enough about it not to want any part of it. Right now, he thinks it’s a game. One day, he’ll get tired of that game.”
“And take what he wants?”
“Even he wouldn’t be that stupid,”she muttered, though sometimes wondered if arrogance outweighed good sense with him.
Did Evander actually have any of the latter in the first place? Unlikely.
Salving her lower lip, her teeth found it as her eyes drifted to the view of the dance floor beyond the windows.
“You don’t think your father would stop him?” Her focus flashed to Ire. “I’m flattered. You chose a McDade over your own kin…You lack integrity, trust, but your survival instinct is strong…it drives you.”
“I thought you didn’t know who I was.”
This time his smile was much more apparent though sly in a chilling, sinister way that brought those prickles back to her flesh.
“Did I say that, Miss McLeod?”
No. Now that he mentioned it, he hadn’t said that. “If you knew who I was, why did you ask? A test?”
“That you failed, cailín,” he said, rising to go to a decanter in the corner.
“Because I didn’t tell you my name? It’s Sersha, not Colleen.”
Though the word did sound good rolling off his Irish tongue like that. Everything probably did.
He looked out over the club below. “Vex is obsessed with you. Has been for years.” Yes, though she got intermittent reprieves from his infatuation when something, or someone, else caught his eye. For some reason, it always came back to her. And this most recent fixation was more intense than usual.
“Do you want it?”
“Do I want what?”
He poured three fingers of whatever was in the decanter. Whiskey of some kind, she’d bet. Irish, no doubt.
“His attention,” he said, replacing the stopper and lifting the glass. “Do you use it to your advantage?”
He sipped the liquor. Instead of returning to his seat, he passed the desk to come toward her.
“I don’t know what that means,”she said when he stopped less than a foot in front of her. “You think I’m playing with him? With this feud between your families?”
“Pieces have moved recently,” he said. “The board has changed.”
“I’ll say.” In more ways than one. “If you know who I am, who my father is, my grandfather, you know I’m aware of that.”
“I know who your brother is too.”
“Don’t do that,” she said, trying not to sneer at him as she shook her head. “Don’t threaten my family like you’re going to go out there and hurt them. If you wanted to hurt my brother, you’d have done it for a dozen other reasons, not because his sister sat at your bar a few nights.”
“Why did you come to me?” he asked. “Why come to the McDades before your own family?”
On a blink, she forced her eyes to his. “I didn’t come to you for protection, I already said that. If what I’ve heard about you is true, you’re no idiot. You know what happens if I tell my brother, if I tell my grandfather about Evander. They’re professionals and this is personal.”
And because she didn’t need them losing focus. She didn’t want them hurt or going after people who wouldn’t blink before pulling the trigger.
He sipped again. “Because you’re the toy Vex never got to play with,” he murmured.
Was she staring? His eyes were green. A darker green than she’d ever seen. Was it real? Maybe not. Could be contacts. In the low light, it was difficult to tell. He raised the glass to her. Was he…? Was she supposed to…?
With heat enveloping the dizziness in her head, she needed an anchor, or, at minimum, some relief. Taking the glass, she drank, probably more than she should have. It burned all the way down, but at least the sensation concentrated her focus.
She didn’t see McDade turn his head until he spoke.
“Hock and Snuff.”
The glass descended from her lips.
“Want Daly?” Curtain Guy asked.
“Yeah,” McDade said, taking the glass and returning to his desk.
“Miss McLeod.” And now she was Miss McLeod? Respect? That was Curtain Guy, gesturing at her, holding an arm toward the door. “Come this way.”
McDade’s concentration was on his phone. Good. She wanted to be forgotten. Better forgotten than in the basement. Though, that could’ve been a good story…if she’d made it out alive.
No, remember, one mafia family on her ass was enough.
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