Misled:A Bad Boy Mafia Romantic SuspenseBy: Tia Lewis & Penelope Marshall
To my family for their unwavering support.
Though we cannot bear to witness the withering of our flesh—the scars we've gained from each passing day consoles our fear of death.
We'd like to thank everyone who helped make this book possible:
Vicki and Kelsey…xoxo!!!
Charity, what would we do without you?
He slowly paced the desk, tapping his finger along the edge as he went. My eyes darted to each corner of the room, wishing I was somewhere else—anywhere else. I didn't want to be there, especially when he started yelling at me for what I'd done.
He stopped pacing, and said in a low voice, "Tell me what I wanna hear."
I held in a breath, knowing the consequences of admitting my mistake.
The worst thing I'd ever experienced wasn't watching my best friend die in my arms, or spending fourteen days as a prisoner of war in some god awful hole in the middle of the Afghani desert. The worst thing I'd ever experienced was being dishonorably discharged from the military because I chose not to participate in some bullshit op that would have inevitably started another war.
I couldn't have the blood of so many innocent women and children on my conscience—not for all the money in the world.
So I came home to a country which had turned her back on me. I had nothing. No money—no retirement—nothing. Half my friends were dead, and the other half pretended I didn't exist. Shit, there were times I wish I didn't exist. But I had to work, and the only job a guy like me could get with my specific set of skills was of the lowdown, dirty sort; which is how I found myself working for Salvatore, the head of the Sabella crime family.
I was a freelance bounty hunter, but Salvatore kept me so busy retrieving his enemies for him, I didn't have time to take on many other clients. Some would say I was his personal muscle, but I was a little more than that. He confided in me the things a man in his position should only speak of behind closed doors. I knew of every indiscretion, and every underhanded deal he made with the local thugs who thought they ran the streets. That's what Salvatore wanted them to think. He was shrewd and business savvy, but that motherfucker could snap in a minute.
I'd seen him cut throats with a letter opener, and stab traitors in the eye with a pencil. There was no end to his cruelty, but I had to look the other way. Rent didn't want to hear how my morals kept a paycheck out of the bank. I'd done that once, and it turned out like shit for me. So, I did what I was told, and I did a fantastic fucking job—until she ran away and I was sent to retrieve her.
It was a normal Wednesday morning—nothing different whatsoever. The crisp air whipped around me as I stepped out of my apartment, sending chills up my spine. I took the last sip of my coffee before setting my cup down on the cracked concrete step in front of my door. Salvatore had called earlier and needed me to retrieve someone, but he wouldn't say who over the phone.
Sliding into my car, I took a deep breath before turning the key in the ignition. It was a long drive to get from my side of town to the clean streets and manicured lawns of the affluent Hyde Park, and I needed to get the information on the target before he got too much of a head start on me.
I pulled out from my spot and headed off down the street to get the information from Salvatore. The streets were pretty dead for a weekday, but I didn't think anything of it. What did I know about ominous signs? How could I have predicted—that today of all days, fate would decide to step in and cause my world to crumble down around me.
Pulling around the arched cobblestone driveway of Salvatore's gray, brick mansion, I noticed the flurry of muscle-bound men draped in thousand dollar suits, moving about the premises.
I sat up in my seat and leaned in. "What the fuck is going on here?"
The scene reminded me of the hours right before a black op, but this was no military compound, and these men weren't highly trained assassins. Whoever the fuck they were after was in for a world of hurt. I almost felt sorry for the son of a bitch.
I parked next to a black Land Rover, pulling my .380 out from underneath my seat before heading in. Walking in through the front door, I was greeted by a set of assholes, blocking my path to Salvatore's office.