The sun shines in through the sprawling window and the smell of coffee fills my nose. Papers and folders are strewn all over the large desk in front of me, reminding me of all the work I have to do. A knock sounds from the door across the room, and before I can welcome them Chief Richards enters.
“You’re going undercover, Williams.”
“What?” His words are so quick and unexpected that I can’t believe them.
“You heard me, you’re going undercover to infiltrate the Scalero family in Manhattan. One of the guys we got last week will be your connection, you’re going to use his name to move in. In return, we’re granting him a shorter sentence.”
He stands above my desk, a looming 6’3” with his hands on his hips and his face unmoving. A whirlwind of emotions fights in my head, and I can’t find the words to respond.
“We recently also arrested the boss, Donnie, so the new guy you’ll have to crack is Antonio Scalero. He’s impossible to get our hands on and we need you on the inside to help. He’s known for killing 19 people and probably doesn’t plan to stop any time soon.” He looks at me, but still gets no response so he continues. “You have one week to do your research and put things in order. We’ll provide you with an apartment in the city for your protection, and we’ll have a meeting tomorrow to discuss the details. Sound good?” He asks. I don’t respond right away, thoughts speeding through my head at 60 miles per hour. “Williams, sound good?”
He turns and begins to walk toward the door.
“And one other thing,” he says, turning to face me. “I’d suggest changing your last name, you know, for safety.”
He exits through the open door and leaves me at my desk, my mouth open and head full of questions. I stare at the doorway and try to pick one thought to focus on first. I settle on excitement, since this is what I’ve been waiting on for so long. Being a cop was always in my plan, but being a detective is the real goal, and this will be a huge step in the right direction.
I get up and stand by the window, looking out over the city. I think of my father and my grandfather who were also policemen who moved up the ranks to detective. I smile, knowing how proud they’d be of me now.
But what if I’m not good enough? I think, and suddenly my thoughts change to fear. I’ve never been undercover before, and although I know I’ve got the skills for it, I could completely crack once I’m put under pressure. Maybe all I’m meant to do is stay a cop and keep it as safe as I can.
I glance over at the wall next to the window at all the awards I’ve earned over the years; merits for bravery, exceptional service, and hard work that immediately prove my doubts wrong. My thoughts are interrupted by a knocking at the door. I turn quickly, not expecting anyone, and see officer Davis leaning up against the frame.
“So, Sam, I hear you got the Scalero case,” he says, walking into my office as if it’s his own.
“Steve, how do you know that?” I ask.
“I overheard your talk with the Chief. My measly desk is right next to your office, after all.” He stands at the other side of my desk and rests his hands on it, leaning toward me. “Congratulations.”
“You’re not supposed to know about this, so don’t say anything,” I say. “And quit listening in on things that don’t pertain to you.”
He chuckles and stands up straight, clearly unaffected by my remark.
“Before you become a mafia girl, maybe you’ll finally join me for that drink?”
Now it’s my turn to laugh. “In your dreams, Davis.”
“C’mon, Sam, how long has it been since you’ve been on a date? One night with me won’t kill you,” he says. A creepy smile spreads across his face and I want to gag. The thought of spending one night with him sounds less fun than being killed by the mob. Well, not really, of course. But it still sounds pretty bad.
“It’s none of your business how long it’s been since I’ve dated anyone, and you wouldn’t have any idea anyway.”
“Yeah right, we only spend like 60 hours a week together. And it could be more if you’d just go out with me,” he says.
“I haven’t even had my morning coffee yet and now I’ve lost my appetite,” I say, sitting in my desk chair. “Goodbye, Steve.”
He shakes his head and turns to leave. I take a deep breath and sit up straight.
This will be my biggest challenge yet by far, I think. But I know I am up for the task.
Time to research.
“I can’t believe he got fucking arrested!” I yell, shoving the chair across the small kitchen.
“Antonio, take it easy, bud,” Vinny says. He’s seated at the small round table with three of my other guys, Bobby, Frank, and Nicky. The rest of the family is scattered throughout the living room and some stand behind the table in the kitchen.
“I’m not gonna calm down, Vin, I knew that fucking Joey kid was gonna get one of us locked up, I knew it.”
“It wasn’t his fault,” Bobby says. “He’s not a bad kid.”
I turn to face Bobby and grab him by his collar, ripping him out of the chair. I slam his back into the wall and bring my face just inches from his. His eyes dart around in a panic and he grasps at my wrists for mercy.
“You saying it was my father’s fault they got caught?”
“No, no,” he says nervously. “Joey just didn’t know better, he was stupid.”
I want to crack him one to teach him not to speak out of line, but I choose to go easy on him — this time. I release his collar with a shove and go back to pacing around the linoleum floor.
“Looks like you’ll be takin’ over as Don,” says Vin.
I glance over at him and he’s got a slight smile on his face, like he’s proud of me. Vinny’s only about 9 years older than me, but he’s been around since I was born. He knew my father as well as I did and he’s one of the only guys I can trust completely. My family is the most important thing in the world to me, I’d kill for them, but you still never know who you can trust when you live the life I do.
I take a deep breath and put my hands on my hips. Anger still courses through my veins at the thought of my dad sitting in a prison cell, but I can’t focus on it too long. It’s my responsibility to keep this running and keep everyone safe, so that’s what I gotta do now.
“Alright, it’s time we start cracking down,” I say. “We don’t have room to make any more mistakes. The cops are already sniffing around too close. We gotta keep it tight. And if any one of you steps out of line…” I stare everyone in the eyes, one by one, pointing at them like schoolchildren. “I’ll kill you myself, got it?”
“Got it,” they all mumble.
“We can’t handle any more of us gettin’ locked up or being killed. There’s too few of us as is. Be fucking careful but get the goddamn money.”
“Maybe we should think about finding some new soldiers,” Frank says. He shuffles cards against the table but doesn’t look up at me.
“That’s not a bad idea,” says Vinny. “We could use the bodies, and any extra money is always good.”
I stare at them, considering their idea. I’m nervous that it’s not the right time to be bringing in new people…we just lost two of our own, after all.
“You don’t think it’s too soon?” I ask Vinny, my new Underboss.
“Nah,” he says. “We just gotta pick ’em real careful.”
“Fine,” I say. “We can try some new people. But only if you know them and can vouch for ’em. Our safety comes first, no matter what.”
They all start to talk and joke, passing cards across the table. I walk into the foyer, pacing around the small space. There’s no way in hell anyone’s going to get away with hurting my family again, I think.
I exit through the glass doors of the station and don’t look back. I remind myself that I don’t know the next time I’ll be in that building again, and try to forget the girl who worked there. I walk down the sidewalk, taking in the sights and sounds as I go. I come to a storefront with glass walls and look at myself in the reflection. A girl with dark, long hair stares back. She wears a beanie, a denim coat, and ripped jeans. My hair falls messily down my back in its natural state, much different than the tightly wound bun I normally wear it in.
Sam Parker. I repeat the name in my head over and over again. Sam Parker. All records of Sam Williams will be destroyed at the station, any trace that I ever worked there gone.
I approach a local bar and restaurant that I know to be owned by the Scalero family. I hope I’ll be able to recognize one of them when I go in, so I can start this rollercoaster.
I enter the restaurant and sit at the bar. I order a beer from the bartender, and look around without being too obvious. Within minutes, a pair of guys whose faces have been burned into my brain from hours of research come in and sit down at a booth. They talk quietly, with a few bursts of laughter here and there. I swig the rest of my drink and order another. I grab the bottle and make my way over to the table. I lock my eyes on one and approach him, resting my hand gently on his shoulder. He looks up at me, a confused expression painting his face, but quickly turning to a smile.
“Hey, pretty lady,” he says.
“Hey, are you Vinny?”
I giggle. “I’m Sam, I know Joey. Joey Spitone, he used to work with you right?”
Vinny glances over at his partner across the table and looks back up at me.
“Yeah, I know Joey. How do you know him?”
“Used to work with him myself,” I say. I seat myself at their booth next to the other man without an invitation. “He used to steal jewels with my dad, once I grew up I joined them.”
I take a swig of my beer and the men look at each other. I can tell they’re sizing me up, trying to tell if I’m lying or not.
“What? You don’t believe me?” I say.
“I don’t know, sweetheart,” Vinny says. “You don’t seem the type.”
“What, a pretty girl like me can’t be bad?” I ask with a wink. I grab some of the chips from the bowl on the table and put them in my mouth. Vinny looks at me, a half smile across his lips.
A stranger approaches the table, old enough to be my father and drunk as a lord. His eyes only see me, and he rests both of his forearms on the table only inches away from me.
“Hey, sweet thing. You lookin’ for a drink?” He asks.
I laugh and hold up my beer. “Does it look like it?”
He rests on one knee in front of me and places a hand on my thigh, moving it slightly up my leg. “You can get anything you want from me, honey.”
I smile and sip my beer. Once I put it down, I grab him by the throat and in one swift motion, I have him pinned up against the wall with my forearm holding his neck. He struggles for air, trying to move his head but I’m holding him firmly in place.
“Can’t you see I’m in the middle of a conversation?” I say, my mouth inches from his face. “If you talk to me again I’ll make you a permanent part of this wall, got it?”
He nods his head slightly, still barely able to move, and I release him. He rubs his neck and stumbles away. I sit back down in the booth and look at Vinny who has a full smile across his face.
“Well,” he says. “I’ll be damned.”
I sip from my beer and smile in return. “You guys looking for money?”
The two men look at each other and back at me.
“Why don’t you come with us?” Vinny asks. “I’ve got someone you should meet.”
My feet rest on the desk and I lean back in my chair while some wiseguy yells in my ear through the phone. I don’t have the patience for this right now, but he’s part of a neighboring family who we can’t afford to cut ties with, so I keep cool.
Someone knocks on the door and I call them in. Vinny and Bobby enter and I put my finger up to them, telling them to wait. Before I can turn my head, I get a glimpse of someone else entering and my attention springs back. A short girl with dark hair walks through the door, her eyes glancing around at the walls. Her eyes are a deep green that are so piercing I can see them from across the room. Her hair falls in natural waves down her back and a knitted hat rests on top of it. Her skin is pale with rounded cheeks and full lips. I’m immediately drawn to her beauty like a moth to a flame. Time stands still while I admire her, and the voice on the other end of the phone blurs away.
I have the strong urge to hang up the phone, push the guys out of the room and take her in my arms, but I don’t know why. Hell, I don’t even know her name. I take my feet off the desk and sit up in my chair. My posture is too nonchalant for the way I’m feeling right now. I put my finger up once more, nodding my head as the voice rambles on in my ear.
“Tommy, we’ll talk about this later, I gotta go,” I say into the phone and hang up before he can stop me.
I stand from my desk and walk around to the other side, keeping my eyes on the girl the whole time. Her eyes find mine now, and she’s stuck under my stare as if she were my prey.
“This is a friend of mine,” Vinny says. I immediately look over at him when he does, making sure he’s serious. “Her name’s Sam.”
At the sound of her name, I trace my stare back to her and see she’s still looking at me. Her cheeks blush just the slightest bit, and I want so badly to reach out and touch her skin. I want to see the rest of her body the same color as her cheeks, I think. I blink my stare away from her. Can’t think like that right now.
“She used to work with Joey, jewel thief, some guy at the—”
“Guys, I got it,” I cut Vinny off. “Can you just give us a minute? I have some questions for Sam.”
I hold Sam’s stare for a few moments as time slows down yet again. Her eyes are wide with long, dark lashes framing their emerald center. Her lips are parted slightly, I can tell I make her nervous, but not in the same way I intimidate most people. Something’s different here, something…
The door shuts with Vinny and Bobby behind it, and she and I are left alone. For a moment, we both just stand there, electricity buzzing between us. I snap myself out of it once more and break the silence.
“So, you met my guys.”
“Yeah,” she says. “Down at Pub 51, your bar. I recognized Vinny.”
“How?” I move slightly closer to her, hoping my proximity will be intimidating.
“I knew he used to have connections with Joey Spitone, and I used to work with him.”
“You did, huh?” She nods slightly, but doesn’t speak, so I turn and walk back behind the desk. I sit comfortably in the chair and leave her to squirm by the door.
“Why?” she finally says.
“What do you think of him?”
“He’s an idiot,” she says, laughing. “Was never careful enough. I’m shocked he didn’t get caught sooner.”
Her honestly shocks me, and I want to laugh with her, but I don’t. I have to keep reminding myself to keep cool and not let my guard down around her even though I so badly want to. It’s been years since I’ve let my guard down around anyone, it’s nearly impossible to with this lifestyle.
We hold each other’s gaze for a moment longer in silence. Her mouth is gaped open again, and I see her actively trying to control her breaths.
“So, what’s a pretty girl like you doing being a thief?” I ask. I motion my hand for her to sit down in the chair across from my desk and she follows my orders. A flash runs through my mind of her gladly following other commands of mine, and my mouth dries. I refocus on her as she sits.
“Everyone always says that. You know, a girl can be more than just her looks.”
I’m taken aback by her comment and the fact that my flirtation didn’t faze her.
“I know,” I say. “Guess you’re just the full package, huh?”
She blushes, but turns her head down so she’s no longer looking at me. I want so badly to touch this girl, my body almost aches for it, but I can’t tell why. I need a chance to get her alone and see if what I’m feeling is worth exploring. I haven’t felt anything like this in my life, so why not figure it out?
“We’re going to a hotel tonight for a… business meeting,” I say. I stand up and walk over to her. My 6’2” stature towers over her petite body seated in the chair. “I’d like you to come.”
She glances up at me and makes eye contact only for a second before breaking it.
“Yes, sir,” she says. My body comes alive from her response, goosebumps breaking out along my arms from the thought of her calling me ‘sir’ elsewhere.
“Good, you can go,” I say and turn my back to her, staring out the window. I hear her begin to leave.
“One more thing,” I say. She stops and faces me. “I’m Antonio.” She smiles slightly, and I face the window once again. I need her to leave so I can think things through - figure out what’s happening to me. I’ve only known the girl ten minutes and she’s already different from anyone I’ve ever met. She could be a real addition to the family, except…the affect she has on me is unreal, and I don’t want to be vulnerable around this girl.
The car flies down the highway and the world blurs past my window. I’m seated in the back seat of this limo with Antonio next to me, and Vinny up front. My legs are squeezed firmly together and my fingers are interwoven in order to keep from shaking. I’m not nervous about being undercover, but I am nervous next to Antonio. The effect he’s had on me in such a short amount of time is strange. I’m trying so hard not to focus on it, but it’s nearly impossible when he looks in my eyes or comes close to me. Like he is now…seated a foot away.
I peer over at him and I’m immediately astounded by his rugged beauty. Dark stubble fills in his cheeks and chin, gradually turning into a full head of black hair which he parts to the side and slicks down with gel. His dark brown eyes are filled with depth, and I feel like he’s looking into my soul whenever I look at them. His jaw line is sharp enough to cut glass, and a strong, thick neck rests on broad shoulders. His skin is slightly tanned, thanks to his Italian heritage, and his lips are a smooth pink that I have thought about all day.
I continually remind myself that he’s a mob boss, a criminal, a bad guy, but my senses don’t seem to care. They are on overload around him. Every movement that he makes and every word that he speaks resonates deep within me. Men have never had this effect on me, I was always too focused on my education or my career to make time for them. There’s just something different about him, and I wish I knew exactly what it was in order to turn it off.
I can feel his eyes brush over me every few minutes, and I’m trying hard to keep mine trained out the window. I feel his body’s warmth from the other side of the seat and want so badly to press my skin up against his. Stop, I think to myself. Focus on why you’re here.
The car comes to a stop outside of a hotel of at least 30 stories. Another car pulls behind us with three other men and one woman from the family. We walk into the hotel and Vinny goes to the front desk to get the room information. One of the guys, Bobby, holds a duffel bag which is slung around his shoulder. The desk clerk gives Vinny the room key and information and we head toward the elevators. All seven of us cram into one elevator car with Antonio and me in the back corner.
I am twice as aware of his proximity to me than I was in the car, and it makes my skin tingle. I can feel his eyes burning holes into me, but I know if I look up at him I won’t be able to contain myself. I imagine him pushing me up against the wall of the elevator, taking control of me and saying unspeakably dirty things. The thought of being the one in the handcuffs for a change forces me to squeeze my legs together. What the hell is the hold this guy has over me? I think. I’ve never wanted a man to have more control than me, but right now it’s my wildest fantasy, and it’s clouding my vision.
The elevator continues to rise into the twenties, and I feel a hand rest on my lower back. About an inch of my skin is exposed between my jeans and my shirt, so his palm is directly touching me. My skin explodes with goosebumps, and my breath hitches from his touch.
The car dings and slows, stopping on floor 28. Everyone begins to filter out, but my body is struck motionless until Antonio’s hand on my lower back gives me a slight urge to move. I walk down the hall and can feel his skin on mine, even after he’s removed his hand. We get to a room and close the door behind us. Everyone begins talking and taking off their jackets, making a plan for their “business meeting.”
“These guys might be trouble,” I hear one of them say across the room.
“Doesn’t matter,” Bobby says. “We can handle it.”
“What time is it?” Antonio asks. He removes his leather jacket and is wearing a white button up shirt underneath over a pair of dark blue dress pants. His muscles somehow show through the formal outfit, and I feel my mouth water. He begins to roll up his sleeves and expose his forearms. They are tanned with a light layer of dark hair. His left arm shows the bottom of a black tattoo; bold letters written in a curvy script in Italian. I imagine what the rest of the tattoo looks like, possibly curving all the way up his arm and onto his chest.
I stop my thoughts before they trail away completely and refocus on the other people in the room.
“11:08,” Vinny says.
“Okay, we’ll head over at 11:15. Michelle, you stand outside the door and keep watch. Bobby, you bring the bag and come with me and Vinny. The rest of you guys go down and meet with the others in the lobby.”
A few minutes pass and they all begin to get up and exit the room. I start to follow one of the short, broad shouldered men when Antonio stops me.
“Sam, you stay here. Watch the room.”
I’m momentarily confused, but know not to question him. I’m probably too new for him to trust me around any of his “meetings.” I hang back and watch everyone leave through the door. I pace around the room for a few minutes, thinking about what must be happening. Some type of drug deal, obviously, but I’m worried me not being there won’t get me the intel I need.
I sit on the bed and my mind begins to wander to Antonio. I wonder if I will actually be able to do this or not. I mean, it hasn’t even been a day and I’m already so distracted by this man. It’s not even like I can get away from him and still get inside the family since he’s the boss, the one running it all. I’m worried about being able to stay focused, I can’t seem to control myself around him and the slightest misstep could get me killed. I can’t compromise this mission and my life just because of some silly connection I feel for him.
For ten years of my education and career, I haven’t let men distract me or get in the way of what I wanted to do. This is a huge step in order for me to become detective, and what, I’m going to let some criminal get in the way now just because I find myself drawn to him? I have to stay focused on what’s important, on the goal, on the mission.
Suddenly, the door flies open and Antonio comes in breathing heavily. I glance at the clock and I’m stunned when it reads 11:49. I was so caught up in my own thoughts I completely lost track of time. I look at Antonio as he walks into the room. Sweat beads across his forehead and his chest pumps up and down frantically. As I look at him, I notice his right knuckles are bloodied and swollen.
“Oh my god, Antonio, are you okay?” I jump up from the bed, but quickly gather myself, aware of my overreaction.
“Yeah, fine, I’m fine,” he says. He seats himself on the edge of the other bed with his hands resting on his knees. I walk past him into the bathroom and wet a washcloth with cool water and rubbing alcohol. I return to him in the room and kneel down in front of him. I gently take his hand and begin cleaning his knuckles. He sucks air in through his teeth from the stinging sensation this is probably causing, but allows me to do it. I feel his eyes on me the entire time, watching my every movement.
Antonio chuckles and I look up at him. “What?” I ask.
“No one’s taken care of me like this since I was a young kid falling off my bike and my mom had to clean the wounds.”
I giggle at the thought of him as a young boy, so innocent and pure. Now look at him.
“Is your mom still alive?” I ask.
“No,” he says. His eyes are still fixated on me but I stare at his hand. “She died a few years ago. Dad’s alive, but just got locked up.”
I nod in understanding. “My parents are both gone,” I say. “Mom left when I was young, not sure what happened to her, and Dad died a few years ago.”
“Not always fun being left alone to take over the legacy, is it?” He asks.
I look up at him and hold his stare. It feels as though a layer of him has been peeled away and he’s giving some part of himself to me. Whatever it is, I want more of it and my body begins to hum at the thought of having any part of him to myself.
He moves his eyes down to his hand and pulls it out of my grasp, straightening his back and clearing his throat. Whatever wall was just torn down goes immediately back up and I know it’s time for me to stop prying. I rise to my feet and go back to the bathroom to rinse out the bloody rag. I ring it out in the sink and hang it over the shower rod.
When I return to the room, Antonio is standing and quickly advances toward me with two long steps. I’m pressed up against the wall with his body only inches away from mine. His mouth is close enough that I can feel his warm breath on my lips.
“I don’t know what it is about you,” he says. “But I can’t resist it anymore.”
Before I can take in what’s happening, his lips are on mine and his arms are pulling me tightly against his taut body. He bites my lower lip and sucks it into his mouth, stirring a moan from deep inside me. I grab at his hair with my fingers, pulling his lips as close to mine as possible. He presses me up against the wall with his body and I can feel all of his muscles through our clothes.
He pins my wrists up against the wall next to my head and moves his lips to my neck, nipping slightly at my skin from my chin to my collarbone. My head falls back to the wall and my eyes close in bliss, reveling in the feeling of his lips heating my skin. Low growls escape from his throat and I can hardly contain myself. I want so badly to hand myself over to him and let him do whatever he wants to me, as long as his body is touching mine.
He slips his hand from my wrist to under my shirt and cups my breast, teasing me through my bra. I tangle my fingers back into his hair and tug harder which releases a moan from his mouth. His lips dance frantically with mine, my lips opening to welcome his tongue. His hand in my shirt causes my nipples to harden, and I can barely stand anymore. I slip my hand south of his head and over the hard bump in his jeans. He thrusts his thickness harder into my palm, groaning with pleasure. He begins to take off my shirt when we are thrown back into reality.
His lips are ripped away from mine when the door opens with the booming voices of the men entering the room. Antonio takes a few long strides across the room to the window, facing the opposite direction from me, and I smooth my clothes and my hair down, sitting on the bed, trying to catch my breath.
I still can’t believe what’s just happened, even after it’s over, and I wish I was alone to gather my thoughts. As if he’s reading my mind, Antonio walks over to me and says, “Let me take you to your room.”
“My room?” I ask. All the other men and Michelle are talking, too focused to even look at us. “I thought we were going back to the city tonight.”
“We’re not,” he says. He walks past me and toward the door. I assume he’s expecting me to follow him so I do, tracing a few steps behind him down the hall. Luckily, my room is on the same floor, so no elevator tension to worry about.
He stops outside of my door, holding it open and extending the key to me.
“Thanks,” I say. My lips are still swollen from his kiss, and I wish I could feel his teeth bite down on them once more.
“We’re leaving at 8 am to go to the restaurant and discuss. I expect you to be ready to go by then.” His words are short and clipped, and his eyes rest on everything besides me. He’s avoiding me, trying not to let his guard slip for another moment since one moment is all it takes.
“Yes, sir,” I say. I walk into the room and he closes the door behind me. Memories of our connected bodies flash through my mind, reminding me how good it felt to let go and allow him to take control of me. I’ve never released control of anything in my life, let alone to a man, and I had no idea it would feel so good.
A few deep breaths help center me, and I lock the door. I dial my phone and on the second ring Chief Richards answers.
“Williams, what’s the report?”
“Please, call me Parker, sir, or Sam,” I say.
“Sorry, got anything?”
“Yeah,” I say. I close my eyes and steady my breathing. “I got something.”
This is going to be harder than I thought.
It’s been a few weeks since Sam and I have had any contact. That’s not to say I’m not watching her and thinking about her constantly, but we have yet to address the elephant in the room of the night in the hotel. Flashes of that amazing encounter are burned into my brain, reminding me of what could have been and what I want so bad at all times of the day.
I still don’t really know what to do about her. I’ve never felt this way about a woman, and it has really thrown me for a loop, so avoiding her was my best option. Fantasies dance in my head day and night about what I’d like to do to her behind closed doors, but it’s become a routine to snap myself out of it and try and focus on my work. It’s really important that the family stays as safe and stealthy as possible right now, but making sure all is going smoothly is my job, and I can’t say I’ve been able to focus on it as well as I’d like.
Vinny walks by me and pats me on the shoulder, interrupting my thoughts.
“You alright, Tony?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I say. “How’re the slot machines and card tables coming along?”
“Everything’s getting done,” he says. “I gotta tell ya, I’m pretty nervous about these guys tonight.”
Vinny’s always worrying about the deals we make and the men we do business with. Tonight, we’re putting on a charity event at the bar to bring in customers in order to distract from a big weapons deal we’ll have going on in the back room. I look around and see some of the guys sweeping, cleaning, putting out chairs, and setting up the gambling stations, while a few of the ladies are cleaning up the bar, hanging some decorations, and making it look presentable. Sam catches my eye as she jokes around and laughs with Bobby, which instantly makes me jealous.
Over the past few weeks, she’s been getting a lot closer with the family, which is good. She’s proven herself time and time again that she wants to be one of us and that she has what it takes. But seeing her joke around with another man makes my blood boil, and I wanna go over there, grab her, and show her whose girl she is.
But she’s not mine, because I’m too scared to tell her the truth of what I want to do to her. Plus, my feelings for her scare me, they don’t just seem strictly physical anymore, and I don’t know how to do anything else.
“Antonio?” Vinny’s voice pulls me back to reality.
“What’s up?” I ask.
“You’re not worried about these guys tonight? They’re known to be dangerous.”
“So are we,” I say with a wink. “Besides, I’ll be there. And nothing’s gonna happen to my guys while I’m there.”
Vinny pats me on the back of my shoulder and walks away, leaving me alone to focus on Sam. Her every movement is intriguing to me, and just watching her causes my heart to beat faster. I think about her in my bedroom…tied to my bed…with a blindfold on…and have to look away. That’s all I’ve thought about since the minute our lips parted. The strong, tough woman she is being submissive and obedient for no one but me. The thought drives me crazy.
Pull it together, I think. Talk to her tonight.
The bar buzzes with laughter, music, and chatter of all the people who’ve come to the event. People crowd the space dressed in classy suits and cocktail dresses. I make my way through the crowd in an all black suit, shirt and tie to match. People stop me to thank me for the event and to shake my hand, and finally I make it to the bar where Vinny is.
“They’ll be here soon,” he says. “Told them to come in through the back.”
I nod, but keep my eyes on the crowd, hoping to catch sight of a certain someone sooner than later. Vinny talks about the plan for tonight, but his voice is nothing more than a mumble in my ear as I focus on trying to find her.
Finally, I spot her across the room at a table with Bobby, Michelle, and Frank. She wears a fitted red dress with a low neckline that cuts just above her knees. Her hair tumbles in large curls down her shoulders, framing her beautiful porcelain face perfectly. She lets out a fit of laughter, lighting up her face in a warm glow. She stands up to get another drink and her legs are a mile long. They extend down into high black heels that create curves and muscles that are accentuated in all the right ways. She’s stunning. And all I can think about is ripping her out of that little dress and leaving her in nothing but rope and those heels.
Something snaps in me and I can’t hold it in anymore, I know I need to talk to her.
I advance toward her before she can move and come to a stop behind her. She turns and looks up at my eyes. Her mouth gapes open and a surprised expression crosses her face. I know she was expecting me to continue avoiding her, so seeing me so close must be a shock.
“Hi,” I say.
“Hi,” she whispers.
“Come with me.”
I grab her arm and drag her behind me through the crowd. We end up in the back of the kitchen where some of the noise from the dining room disintegrates behind the walls and no one can hear us. I stop walking and turn toward her. I tower a solid foot above her and get as close as I can without us touching. She stops breathing, her chest doesn’t rise or fall, and she’s nervous. She doesn’t look up at me, so I take hold of her chin and raise her face to mine, forcing her eyes to meet mine.
“You can’t look this damn good in public,” I say. “It’s not fair.”
She opens her mouth to respond, but I cover it with my lips and kiss her passionately. Her body melts into mine, begging me to take her without any words. I grab the back of her head with one hand, tangling my fingers into her long silky hair. The other rests on her lower back right above her ass, pulling her tightly to me. She moans into my mouth, a sound of relief that we are finally connected again.
The kiss lasts for several minutes, fervor and need building more and more with each passing second. If I could, I’d take her right here in this kitchen, but I know I can’t. Out of nowhere, her hands are pressing against my chest and pushing me away.
“What the hell, Antonio? You’ve been avoiding me for weeks and now this?”
She seems defeated and sad. I feel a strong urge to take her in my arms and comfort her, but I’m not sure why and I suppress it.
“I know,” I say. “I’m sorry.” An audible sigh escapes me and I know I have to tell her the truth, even if the only reason is to just get it off my chest and out of my head.
“I have been avoiding you, you’re right. But I have a reason.” She looks up at me with a look of expectation in her eyes, awaiting my explanation. “If you just come back to the house, I’ll tell you why.”
She sighs and nods. “Okay, fine.”
I grab her hand and lead her out into the parking lot.
“I want to tie you up and fuck you,” he says.
We stand in his dimly lit bedroom, for too big for just one person to inhabit. The rope, whip, and blindfold that he just showed me sit on the foot of his bed. I stare at them, a part of me knowing that I want more than anything to let him do this to me, the other part not knowing how to relinquish control.
As he takes a few steps closer to me, I’m forced to meet his eyes.
“I want to be the only one you give power up to,” he says. My mouth goes dry. “I can tell you’re used to being in control, and I want you to let that go, for me. That’s why I’ve been avoiding you for weeks, all I can think about is you being hogtied beneath me and succumbing to my dominance. I wasn’t sure how you’d react.”
I think about his words and realize I’m so desperate for him that I’d be willing to do anything he asked. All my inhibitions telling me not to trust him, or reminding me that I’m undercover and I’m not who he thinks I am, or telling me to stay strong and stay away from him are gone in this moment. I want nothing more than to let him take complete control of me.
“Okay,” I whisper. “I’ll do it.” His face slowly forms a smile and he rubs the back of his hand gently across my cheek.
“This is what you want?” he asks.
“Yes,” I say. My eyes close and I revel in his touch.
“Tell me what you want,” he says lowly, circling around me now.
“You,” I say.
“What do you want from me?”
My chest heaves quickly up and down, my breathing uncontrollable at this point. My body aches for him to touch me, but he doesn’t.
“I want you to take control of me,” I say.
A wicked smile crosses his face once more, and he turns to the bed, grabbing the blindfold. Just inches away from my face he puts his mouth near my ear and breathes lightly on my neck, sending shockwaves throughout my body.
“You have no idea what you’re in for, baby,” he whispers.
My body practically collapses in on itself, but I hold myself up with the last few fibers of my body I still have control of. He slowly slips the blindfold over my head and onto my eyes, blocking out my vision, leaving me with only the sound of his breathing and the touch of his skin.
I unbutton my shirt, pull my t-shirt over my head, and grab her hand, tracing her fingers slowly down my abdomen. Her breath hitches and her lips fall open. Her whole body is tight with tension, waiting for me to release all of it. I reach behind me and grab the rope from the bed. Walking behind her, I pull her arms to meet at her back and begin to tie her wrists together.
“You will be totally submissive to me, do you understand?” I ask.
“Yes,” she breathes.
The hairs on my body stand up as a wave of pleasure shoots through me from the sound of her gorgeous voice muttering that word. I finish tying her hands together and check the rope, ensuring its hold. With her arms behind her back, her chest presses forward, making her dress taut across her breasts. Her feet stand about shoulder distance apart, but it’s not wide enough. I walk to my dresser, pull open the top drawer, and take out the pocket knife that’s hidden inside. I stand in front of her once more and softly trace the curves of her breasts with my fingers over her dress.
“This won’t do,” I say. “I’ll buy you a new one.”
Before she can ask me what I mean, I grab a hold of the bottom of her dress and slice it with the pocket knife, creating a large tear up the middle. I grip both sides and rip it apart, which causes the dress to fall into two pieces and exposes her beautiful body. Her skin glows in the dim light of the bedroom, and is covered only by the thin pieces of lace underwear and bra that she wears. Her skin is smooth and soft, the curves of her body accentuated in the shadows of the overhead light. Her chest rises and falls with heavy breaths, she can barely contain how excited she is and I love it.
I graze my fingers along the edges of her bra, feeling her velvety skin, which prickles under my touch. Raising the knife to the middle of her bra, I cut it swiftly, allowing her breasts to fall free and push the fabric to the side. Her breasts are perfect curves with small nipples in the middle which harden from the exposure. I cup them with my hands, causing her to squirm from the touch, and stroke her nipples in between my fingers.
She moans from the pleasure and rocks her hips to try and find some relief.
“Feels good, huh?” I ask.
“So good,” she says.
I release her from my grip and pick up the tie I dropped on the ground.
“Open your mouth,” I say. She complies. I put the tie in her mouth and knot it at the back of her head. “Now when you come, you can scream as loud as you want and no one will hear.”
She exhales heavily with some incoherent mumble, and I decide to give her some control, but not much at all. I slip the blindfold off her head, and she blinks a few times to regain her vision. Her eyes widen at the sight of me in nothing but dress pants and her reaction leads me to chuckle.
He sinks down onto his knees, tracing the edges of my panties now. I can’t help but squirm beneath his touch, it’s so enticing and teasing.
“Don’t move,” he says, but I doubt I’ll be able to stop.
He glides his hands from my hips down to my ankles and takes my underwear with him. I’m completely exposed to him now, wanting and ready. He glides his hands back up my legs and his fingers graze over my pubic area, causing me to jolt back from his touch. He rises and grabs my chin in his hand.
“I said not to move, so I guess I’m gonna have to do something about that.”
He pushes me onto the bed behind me with one movement and pulls me up so my head rests on a pillow. Grabbing each on of my feet, he ties them to the short bed posts at the foot of the bed, spreading my legs wide open. I’ve never felt this exposed in my life.
He begins to kiss each of my legs starting from the ankle up to my thighs. My eyes roll to the back of my head - I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to wait for him to really touch me. He reaches down to the floor and when he comes back up, he’s holding something that looks like a whip but has multiple strings hanging off the handle.
“This is a flogger,” he says, answering my unspoken question. “I’m going to hit you with it and you’re going to tell me how it feels.” His voice is low and rough and I’m dying to hear how it sounds as he’s moaning my name.
He holds the flogger above his head and brings it down on my stomach. All the tails spread out against my abs and my thighs, sending shocks of pain and pleasure right to my core. I moan into the tie in my mouth to relieve some of the building tension.
“Did that hurt?” he asks. I shake my head no. “Did you like it?” I nod my head yes. A smile crosses his face and he hits me with it a few more times, my entire front side turning a stinging shade of pink. He drops the whip and in one quick movement, his face is kissing the inside of my thighs. He looks up at me, making eye contact, and sticks his tongue inside my heat. I throw my head back in pure ecstasy, his expert tongue flicking back and forth over my sweet spot.
“You taste so good,” he says, his warm breath heating my already hot area. He continues his delicious torture with his tongue, and begins to rub my clit with his fingers, creating fireworks behind my eyes. All the tension in my body coils up into a tight ball centered behind his fingers, and with just a few more strokes, explodes into a thousand sparks raining down over me. I scream into the tie which muffles my voice, and behind my shouting I can hear him encouraging me. “Yeah, baby, come for me.” Within a few moments I have regained my composure and my vision, and I see him sliding his pants over his muscular thighs.
His cock stands hard and long, and my mouth waters again at the thought of it being inside me. He slides a condom over it and inches toward me.
“You being tied up beneath me as you come is the best you’ve ever looked,” he says. “That is, until I see how you look while I fuck you.”
A moan escapes from my covered mouth and my breathing heavies again. Every hair on my body stands in anticipation of him entering me. He kneels in between my legs, stroking his cock and staring at me. His eyes bore deep into mine and for a moment, I want to do nothing for the rest of my life besides submit to him.
While holding eye contact, he slams inside me with one large thrust. I cry out in a combination of pain and pleasure, but my yell is of course muffled. His cock fills me entirely, hitting that extra sensitive spot inside me over and over again. He pounds in and out of me repeatedly, causing my breasts to bounce up and down. His eyes lock on them, and he reaches his hands up and grabs them, toying with my nipples once more. The pleasure is overwhelming from all ends, and I feel the familiar building inside me again, but this time it’s so much more, like a tsunami about to crash onto the shore.
He continues his relentless thrusting, building my orgasm more and more with each pump. His head falls back as his eyes close and his mouth rounds into a perfect ‘O’ as he moans.
“Fuck, Samantha, so good,” he says.
I moan his name in return, but it comes out as unintelligible mumbling. He focuses his eyes on me and I can’t look away. He lowers one of his hands to my clit and begins swirling his fingers in delectable circles once more. Sparks start shooting off in my body as I near the edge, ready to fall off the cliff into my next orgasm.
“Look at me while you come,” he says. And that’s all I need to hear before I explode into a million pieces beneath him, and he comes to a close on top of me, moaning my name in his release.
“I don’t have anything for you, Chief,” I say quietly into the phone. My one ear listens to Davis’s voice, the other waits for signs that Antonio has returned.
“How can you not have anything? You haven’t had any info for weeks.”
“Things are just slow right now,” I say. “I’ll have to stay a while longer to get closer and deeper.”
“It’s Parker, sir.”
“Yeah, Parker,” he says. He’s clearly frustrated since I haven’t given him any new leads or intel for about two weeks. Obviously, I have plenty of things to share with him, like the charity night, for starters, but I can’t find it in me to tell him. I know it’s the right thing to do, but something is holding me back. I’m just not sure what.
Tony’s car pulls back into the driveway and I quickly push Chief Davis off the phone. I run into the bedroom where my stuff is and shove the phone under the pile of torn clothing. I stand up and take a few steadying breaths, smoothing out the wrinkles in the white button up I’m wearing. Antonio comes into the house and I hear the door close.
When I enter the kitchen, I see him dishing out the Chinese food onto plates. He turns his head back to me and smiles. I smile in return, a genuine, heartfelt smile. I feel very happy in this moment. Forgetting about all the complicated stuff and all the things that stand between him and me, I’m happy.
He places the plates down onto the table and motions for me to sit. I shovel forkfuls into my mouth as if I haven’t eaten in weeks. I glance up and see him smirking at me.
“What?” I ask.
“Yeah, starving. My hunger for food was not satiated back there.”
We laugh and continue to eat. Once we’re done, I take the dishes and begin washing them. I feel his gaze on me the entire time, and in a moment of brave curiosity, I turn around and ask him, “Why are you always looking at me?”
He seems a bit shocked that I asked him such an honest question, but not truly fazed by it. Nothing could ever happen that this man would be fazed by, he’s incredibly unwavering and and intimidating. All part of the reason why I’m falling for him…
The thought makes my heart slam against my chest and a hint of nausea washes over me. How can I have feelings for this man? This crime boss who I’m supposed to be trying to get arrested? How can I—
“Sam?” Tony’s thoughts pull me out of my head and I refocus on him.
“What?” I ask.
“I answered your question but I don’t think you were listening.”
“I’m sorry,” I wipe a bead of sweat off my forehead. “What did you say?”
He rises from his chair and walks over to me, placing his hands on my hips.
“I said that I’m always looking at you because you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, and I can’t help but stare all the time.”
My cheeks blush and he looks down at the floor, his face changing. I can’t tell what his expression means, so I guide his chin up to look at me.
“What’s the matter?” I ask.
“I just…” He sighs heavily. “I think I have feelings for yo—”
His sentence is cut off by an obnoxiously loud ringing of a telephone. It must be his, mine’s on silent.
He exhales heavily again and kisses my cheek.
“I’ll be right back,” he says.
I miss the phone call by just a second, and I search my room for the phone. The sheets are a crumpled mess, and there are piles of discarded clothes all over the floor. I search in my pants pocket but find nothing. When I lift up the pile of Sam’s clothes, I see an old flip phone, but it’s not mine. As a matter of fact, it’s not hers, because I provided one for her to contact the family and it was a Blackberry.
I flip the tiny phone around in my hand for a few moments, contemplating why she would have another phone. I’m scared to flip it open and look through it because of what I might find. Fear flashes through my mind. What if this has all been a set up? What if she’s here for the wrong reasons? What if I opened up my heart for the first time in my life to someone who’s going to betray me?
My thoughts are ripped back to the present when I hear a soft knocking on the door frame. I whip my body around, seeing Sam standing there in my button down shirt, a coy look on her face.
“Anything wrong?” she asks.
Still holding the cellphone in my hands, her eyes drop from my face to my palms, and all color washes from her complexion.
“What is that?” she says.
“You tell me,” I say. A hint of hurt is laced in my voice. I can’t help it.
“I don’t know, Antonio, I—”
“You don’t know? So if I scroll through the calls and call the number, you won’t know who it is?” The thought of doing that and finding out something I don’t want to know causes a pain in my heart. I don’t want to have to hurt her, I think. Please don’t make me hurt her.
She takes a few steps toward me, like a woman approaching an animal she’s trying not to scare away. “Antonio, I can explain.”
“Please,” I say. My voice cracks. I’ve never felt so weak and so vulnerable in my life. I’m begging that what’s staring me in the face isn’t true. I’m begging it all hasn’t been a lie. “Tell me the truth.”
I ask for the truth, but I know that I don’t want to hear it. I’m not ready to hear it.
She sighs and looks down at the floor, a tear dropping from her cheek. “Yes,” she says. “I’m a cop.”
I nearly jump from the startling ringing of my phone again. I drop the flip phone to the ground, knowing I have to answer this one, and follow the ringtone. I finally find it under some stuff on my nightstand and answer it just before the last ring.
“Tone— Antonio!” Bobby’s voice yells into the phone. Immediately, a streak of panic flashes hot through my body.
“What’s up, Bob?”
“It’s Vin—” I don’t hear his voice for a few seconds, and in those seconds my heart stops. “He was shot.”
My vision goes red. All traces of sadness and heartache are gone and are instead replaced with anger. It’s my fault this is happening. It’s my fault Vinny got shot. I wasn’t there for him…I wasn’t there for any of them. I was too busy falling in love with someone who was sent to betray me.
In a moment of pure rage, I rip open my nightstand drawer, pull out my gun, and spin around, pointing it directly at Sam’s head.
She puts her hands up instinctively, just like a pig knows to do, and backs away.
“Antonio, please. Let’s talk about this.”
I cock the gun, my arm shaking slightly.
“There’s nothing left to say.”