He"s dark and mysterious. Quiet and lethal.
An Irish mobster.
Pure sin wrapped up in a beautiful package.
But there"s also something off about him.
He doesn"t feel anything. He shows no emotions.
Sometimes I question his humanity.
He hasn"t spoken to me in two years. Not a single word.
But we share a secret, he and I.
And if it ever comes out, I have no doubt in my mind"
He won"t have a problem killing me too.
I"ve slain for her. I"ll do it again.
When it comes to Sasha, there isn"t a line I won"t cross.
I watch her. She doesn"t know it.
She thinks I hate her. Sometimes, I think I might too.
But I"m always there, lurking in the shadows.
Craving her. Trying to keep the beast within at bay.
I"ll keep her safe. I"ll slaughter anyone who tries to hurt her.
The only thing I can"t do" is protect her from myself.Books in Series:Boston Underworld Series by A. ZavarelliBooks by Author:A. Zavarelli Books
"I don"t like you going out with that guy," Ma says.
I bend down to zip up my boots so she can"t see the expression on my face.
"It"s fine, Ma. I can handle him."
"I just don"t understand, Sasha." She launches into another one of her tirades. "I raised you to be a good girl. You were always such a good girl. You had the smartest, brightest future ahead of you. A real chance to get out of this neighborhood and do something with your life. Now you"re wrapped up with these guys""
She glances at my sister Emily across the room as if the very mention of the word mafia might influence her too. The disappointment is plastered all over both their faces every time they see me with Blaine. They don"t know why I do what I do. They"ve got no idea, but it"s better that way.
I squeeze my eyes shut and try to blink away the pressure behind them. Five things, my father"s voice echoes inside my head. Find five things you can smell, hear, see, and touch. Ground yourself, Sasha.
So I do.
Nobody knows this about me. That I do this almost ten times a day. I"ve always been wound too tight. My Ma didn"t know how to handle it, like many other things, so she left it up to dad. His voice calmed me. The humble voice of a hardworking man who loved and provided for his family. If he were here right now, he"d know exactly what I should do. Exactly how to stop me from drowning.
But he isn"t here. He hasn"t been since I was twelve and he died from a heart attack on Emily"s birthday. Now it"s just the three of us, living like a house with no foundation.
Ma falls into another coughing fit, and my stress comes back full force.
"You need to go back to the doctor," I bitch at her. "You"ve been hacking like that for weeks. I don"t like it. You smoke too much."
She throws her hands up and curses at me in Portuguese. Although she moved from Brazil at a young age, she still uses her native tongue frequently when she gets hot headed. Which is pretty much all the time.
"I smoke too much because I"m always worried about the two of you." She reaches up and tugs on her hair. "You give me all of these gray hairs. Make me look like an old woman."
I laugh and shake my head, even though it"s really not funny. I"m worried about her. But she loves to blame us for her gray hairs.
"That could have something to do with all the cigarettes," Emily chimes in.
Ma shrugs both of us off and pats my cheek with her hand.
"My beautiful daughter," she says, her eyes shining with love. "I only want the best for you."
"I know." I reach up and clasp her hand with mine.
The moment is ruined when there"s a knock at the door. My gut churns, and Ma shuffles over to open it. Blaine"s inky black gaze settles on her while his lips curl up into a smile. To anyone else, it would appear polite and even charming, but to me that smile belies exactly what he only wants me to see. The evil swirling just below the surface, seeking any opportunity to leak out and obliterate his grand illusion.
"Mrs. Varela." He bows his head and kisses Ma"s hand. "You look more beautiful every time I see you."
Ma gives him a stiff but respectful smile, but I know Blaine can see the fear in her eyes. I see it too. He gets off on that fear. On knowing that there"s nothing me or Emily or even my Ma can do. Men like him always get what they want. The problem is, it"s never enough. I"ve been keeping his attentions occupied, but the more he comes around, the more his gaze wanders.
He"s looking at Emily again right now. The ever present panic in my chest flares as his eyes rake over her. It takes all of my willpower not to let him see it bothers me. She"s going to college next week. Just one more week, and then she"ll be safe. One more week, and he can"t hold her against me.
"Don"t be too late, Sasha." Ma kisses me on the cheek, and I conjure up a smile for her.
"Stop worrying," I tell her. "And call the doctor."
She nods, and Blaine escorts me out to his car. He"s whistling as he walks, and it fills me with dread.
Once he"s in the driver"s seat, he twists to look at me. His fingers invade my space and pinch my chin in a bruising grip. I don"t recoil, but I have to work at hiding my repulsion.
"Your sister"s growing up quick, hey. Anyone taken her for a ride yet""
"She has a boyfriend," I lie.