Chapter 1 (Changes could possibly be made before release …. and it’s UNEDITED …. so be kind 😉 )
Kyle “The Charmer” Valente, age twenty-nine years old, and consigliere for the Salerno Organized Crime family … Known as “The Charmer” because he’d been known to charm any man or woman to death … sometimes literally …
But sometimes … charm wasn’t such an effective tactic, at least in Kyle’s current situation it wasn’t. And in times when mere ‘charm’ didn’t suffice, that death part really did come in handy. After all, no matter how much of a badass one claimed to be, nobody really wanted to die, did they?
“Please!” the agonizing cry of— whom Kyle preferred to call— the nameless man rang out, literally bouncing off of the four walls of the small basement where his face was pressed against the cold, stone floor. “Please, I’m begging you! Don’t kill me, don’t kill me, don’t kill me …”
The answer was no … nobody wanted to die.
Releasing a long tired sigh, Kyle raked his fingers through his, now short, black hair, then slipped his hands into his pockets as he began a slow stroll around the devastated man, silently listening as ‘nameless man’ continuously begged for his life.
“I’ll give you anything, money, drugs. Everything I possess. I don’t wanna die, please!”
Anything? Everything he had… Men made such stupid offers when begging for their lives. What the fuck gave the man the impression that Kyle needed, or wanted anything he possessed?
Looking away from the pathetic fool dismissively, Kyle stared down at his Italian leather shoes as he continued to walk in a slow circle.
“The only thing you have that I want is the truth,” he said softly in reply to the man’s plea.
There was an attack on the Salerno crime family. Men were killed, money was stolen, and territory was taken. Kyle wanted information, and ‘nameless man’ had information. Time was wasting, Nathan was back at S.O. and on the edge, and Kyle’s patience was wearing thin dealing with this idiot. He wanted answers … now.
When he was once again in front of the man, he ended his stroll and glanced down with narrowed eyes. “Tell me what you know.”
“I’ve already told you everything!”
“No you haven’t,” pushing his foot forward, Kyle lightly tapped the man’s head with the tip of his shoe. “Look at me, please.” The man quickly obliged, lifting his bruised and bloodied face up to Kyle. “Tell me the truth …”
The nameless man sobbed, shaking his head back and forth. “I can’t … they’ll fucking kill me …”
Frustrated, Kyle ran his hand over his face impatiently. God, this guy was an idiotic son of a bitch. “I’ll fucking kill you!”
“I didn’t want to do it, man!” he shouted, a mixture of blood and saliva oozing from his mouth. “I don’t wanna be a part of this, man. They made me. I didn’t have a choice …” Dropping his head forward, he cried softly.
Kyle rolled his eyes. It was always the sad fucking story with guys like this, and it was always a lie. He had a choice. They always had a choice. But, instead of making the right choice, this … nameless man decided that money was more important than his life. He deserved to die …
“I want you to tell me everything you know,” Kyle said nicely for the last time. If the man didn’t give him what he’d asked for this time, Kyle would just call it, and end the man’s life. “Whether or not you walk out of this building alive is up to you …”
The man lifted his head once again until he was looking Kyle in the eyes. For a moment, he didn’t say a word, only stared as if silently weighing his options, and after a little more time then Kyle normally allowed, he nodded his head, finally surrendering.
“I’ll tell,” he cried softly. “Ju-just promise me something in return.”
Kyle nodded for him to continue.
“Promise … promise that you’ll protect me from them …”
Although Kyle wanted to roll his eyes at the request, he instead chose to keep his features impassive. Nameless men like the one in front of him always went for protection first when it came to these types of situations. Kyle always promised them the protections they desired of course, and he always made good on his promise.
“You have the protection you request,” Kyle promised with a nod, and chose not to disclose just how they’d go about giving the man the protection he’d asked for in effort to forgo any more unnecessary dramatics. There was only one way to protect a nameless man from brutal deaths at the hand of a common enemy, and Kyle knew for a fact that this idiot wasn’t going to be too fond of the truth.
But he had no time to think about anything but getting the information he needed right now. Nathan, Lucca, and a few other leaders were waiting for him back at S.O. So the sooner he gathered all the information they needed to stop the Bonaducci’s impending attack on the Salerno Organization, the better.
Snapping his fingers, he motioned for his men to bring him a seat. They immediately did as he asked. As Kyle took his seat, he reached into his jacket pocket feeling the need to make arrangements for his surely changing schedule. Days like these always seemed to run later than they were supposed to, and if he didn’t make arrangements now, he’d have to drive all the way to Nathan and Carter’s house in the country to pick up Sofia before his date this evening. That was the last thing he felt like doing after a long day of work. He’d rather just get his sitter to do a little overtime. He knew she wouldn’t mind.
Quickly taking out his cell, he dialed her number. “Give me a second. I need to make arrangements with my sitter before we begin.”
Silence fell over the room …
“Sitter?” the nameless man asked, confusion on his bloodied face. “Sitter, as in … Babysitter? Are you fucking kidding me?”
Kyle frowned, but didn’t respond as the phone began to ring.
Nameless man chuckled, prompting the man holding him to the ground, and the others lining the walls to roll their eyes. “You call a fucking babysitter for your kid during something like this, man. That’s not very intimidating …”
Kyle’s brow arched at the man’s words. He nodded his head … Not very intimidating. Interesting. Holding the cell to his ear with his arm, he decided to turn it up a notch. He did, after all, always aim to please.
Removing his gun from the holster on his chest, Kyle aimed and shot the nameless man’s leg once. Twice. Three times, laughing along with his men when the man’s agonized screams filled the small space—
The soft feminine voice in his ear sobered him almost immediately.
“Fuck,” he muttered sharply, shooting glares around the room at his men. How the hell had he’d forgotten he was on the phone?! Quickly, he covered the phone with his hand. “Shut the fuck up! Everybody …” His men clamped their mouths shut, but the nameless man’s cries persisted. Clenching his jaw tightly, Kyle aimed his gun at the man’s head. “Shut. The fuck. Up …”
Satisfied with the silence, Kyle uncovered his phone and spoke his words as innocently as he could. “Hey, baby … No-no that was nothing, don’t worry about what that was… because I’m not telling you … Well, stop asking me then.” She fussed at him a little, which made him smile. She had the sweetest voice, the woman could never sound angry even when she tried. It was one of the things he adored most about her … “Will you cease your little attack woman, and listen to me. I need another favor for tonight.” He chuckled at her response to his request for yet another favor. If only she knew that he’d rather spend the evening with her and Sofia. She probably wouldn’t have been as irritated as she was with him. “You’re not staying over as a favor, you’re doing that because you love me, remember?”
Her response to that made him laugh loud …
Sneak Peek #2 (Kyle and Sofia)
“Papa, can I have a little brother or sister?”
Meetings, meetings, meetings. That was all his schedule had for the day. Clenching his jaw, Kyle quickly clicked over to the next screen on his cell. Ten missed calls, and it was barely nine a.m.. What the hell did these people want from him? He was one fucking person.
“Papa? Papa, did you hear me?”
Faintly hearing his little lady bug speak over his thoughts, Kyle reached next to him and gave her little hand a light pat. “Eat your breakfast, Lady Bug …” he said absently, never taking his eyes from his phone.
“But you didn’t answer my question,” she replied. “You have to answer …”
Kyle nodded, admittedly still not paying attention. “What question, bambina?”
“A baby …”
He nodded again. “Baby,” he repeated. She wanted a baby. “You want another baby doll, honey. You already have more than you need …”
They’d barely been able to fit them all in her toy box. She didn’t need anymore.
“No papa,” she laughed softly. “I want you to have a baby…”
Kyle’s thoughts paused the second her words hit his ears. He looked up at his daughter, noting the smile on her face, and the brightness and hope in her eyes.
She wanted what?
“Sofia, I—” He blinked, giving a light shake of his head. “Where is this coming from?”
“From me,” she answered airily, then she looked off to the side, and back to him. “And I may have discussed it with Maksi and Sandr, too …”
Kyle’s nostrils flared. There it was. He’d been expecting it, too. Sofia never came to him with something like this unless she’d discussed it with her cousin’s first. The damn kids, all three of them were too damn smart. Last time their big discussion had been about getting cell phones …
Looking up from his thought’s Kyle refocused on his daughter, suddenly remembering what they’d been talking about.
Oh shit …
“Papa, I want a baby brother … or sister,” she persisted. “Please. I don’t ask for much, and I get all of my points at school. Please.”
Kyle groaned. Jesus Christ, couldn’t she ask him for a damn … puppy or something? “But, I—what—but …” Okay, all of his words were getting jumbled. “Sofia, I … I can’t have a baby …”
She pursed her little lips. “I know boys can’t have babies. But Zio Nathan said boys put the baby in the mommies’ tummies, so I thought maybe you could—”
“Okay, stop,” Kyle said abruptly lifting his hand. What the hell was going on here? “Sofia, are you …why?”
She frowned slightly, as if confused. “Why what, papa?”
He blinked, turning his head a bit in effort to ease the tension in his neck and shoulders. “Why are you …” he cleared his throat. “Asking for this …”
Her brows lifted. “A sibling?”
“Yes!” he answered sharply … A bit too sharply, so he pulled back a bit, clearing his throat again. “Yes,” he said a bit more calmly.
Unfazed by his minor outburst, Sofia shrugged her little shoulders as she broke off a piece of the bacon on her plate. “‘Cause its time,” she answered simply, as if it were explanation enough.
Kyle’s brows furrowed, his head slowly shaking back and forth as he thought over his daughter’s words. “It’s … time …” he repeated.
Sofia’s ponytail bounced up and down as she nodded her head. She took a bite of her bacon. “I think now is perfect, papa,” she said, her mouth full of bacon. “I’m five now, you know. I’m not a baby anymore, and you’re getting old—”
Kyle’s eyes widened in offense as the child continued without sparing him a thought.
“I just mean that you and Zio Nathan are the same age, and he has four kids, and you only have one. Me.” She smiled. “And Maksi and Sandr are younger than me and they already have a brother and a sister …”
“AND,” she spoke over him, her argument now becoming about as overdramatic as his would have been when he was a kid … “I have lots of toys, and a playground in the backyard and nobody to play with ‘cause everybody around here is too busy to play with me, and working all the time, and it’s boring, and I can’t take it anymore, papa, I can’t!”
“Alright I’m back … What did I miss?”
Kyle’s eyes shot to the kitchen entrance when she walked in the room, then right back to Sofia when she just … blurted out the words …
“Can you and Papa have a baby now?”