(Something Real, #2)
Publication date: May 4th 2021
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Pakhan. Head of the mafia. That is my destiny. Nothing can stand in my way. I won’t allow it.
Until she shakes things up. Willow Anthony. I didn’t even know she existed until her voice floated through the trees, singing a melody that captivated me. I had to meet her.
Willow’s not what I expected. She’s shy. Sweet. Innocent. A challenge. I crave her as much as I long to be the king of the entire Russian bratva. I want her to sing for me, and me alone. I want to make music with her in a very carnal way.
She has no place in my world. But now it’s too late.
I have to choose: Willow or the brotherhood.
To save her, I must become what I swore never to be.
How can I protect her and not betray my family?
The music will stop.
And I will lose it all.
A boat had slipped silently up to the bank behind Willow’s house, docking in the wild willows that grew along the shoreline.
I crept across the grass, my gun ready, my senses alert, listening for the faintest sound, scanning for the slightest movement, feeling for the barest of breaths…
I reached the willow bushes, my skin prickling as I sensed their eyes on me. They had snuck in while Willow was sprawled across me in the swing, and I’d been distracted by her.
I ground my jaw, disgusted at myself.
Distractions got people killed.
I tensed as a group of men stepped out from behind the willows, their weapons pointed at me.
I immediately recognized the sheriff who’d harassed us on the lake earlier. His four goons were all beefy, rough-looking, and looked more like hired thugs than deputy sheriffs. Who the hell was this guy and why was he here?
My inability to resist Willow had now brought her right into danger. If anything happened to her, it would be all on me. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if she ended up getting hurt.
“Sacha Plotnikov.” The sheriff smirked at me. “I don’t think we were properly introduced earlier. My name is Malachi Russell, Sheriff Russell to you. I knew your father. I must say I’m quite disappointed to see you following in his footsteps. I had hoped you’d see the light and chose a brighter path to follow.” He sighed dramatically. “But, alas, I was wrong. Like father, like son.”
My spine stiffened. “Do I know you?”
“Well, we did meet once, long ago. You were just a boy. So, I will say, yes, you should know me.”
My gaze sharpened on Russell. A chill crept down my spine.
Russell glanced toward Willow’s house. “Looks like you’ve been getting cozy with your pretty neighbor. If you don’t want anything to happen to her, I would suggest you listen to me, and listen very carefully. Because I have a special job for you. If you don’t obey me like the good little doggy I know you are, then I’ll take out my frustration on your neighbor. And I know you don’t want anything to happen to her, now, do you?”
I kept my face expressionless, but my heart hammered with dread. My grandfather’s words about allowing Willow to become a weakness hit me hard in that moment. The thought of these men touching Willow, hurting her, made my pulse skyrocket. I couldn’t show a weakness, or they would pounce. In order to protect her, I had to act like I didn’t care.
I shrugged. “She’s just a quick hook-up like all the others. She means nothing to me.”
He narrowed his gaze at me. “Is that so?” He turned to the thug on his right. “Go get her, Diego. Bring her here. We’ll just see how little she means to him.”
A tall, beefy Hispanic dude, Diego sent me a sneer, then strode across the yard toward Willow’s house.
I did my best to tamp back my fear.
Run, Willow. Hide.
“Now,” Russell pulled my attention back to him. “While we are waiting, let’s discuss our potential new partnership.”
His remaining thugs moved closer, their guns trained on me.
“There is no partnership,” I ground out, keeping my ears tuned to any sound from Willow’s house. I needed to be ready to act quickly so I could help her, if necessary.
Russell’s gaze filled with contempt. “You’re a stubborn one, aren’t you?”
My left hand clenched into a fist while I fought to keep my right hand from pulling the trigger like I desperately wanted to do. I wasn’t ready to die yet. If I shot Russell, his thugs would kill me. And if I died, no one would be able to protect Willow.
Just then, a loud boom exploded across the yard.
And everyone scattered.
Leslie Georgeson writes romance and suspense, sometimes with a dash of sci-fi or paranormal tossed in to make things more interesting. She is the author of the popular military romantic suspense series, THE DREGS, which was nominated for the 2018 TopShelf Indie Book Awards. Her other titles include the UNLIKELY HEROES series, the UNDERNEATH series, the standalone romantic mystery, NO SON OF MINE, and the newly released romantic suspense duet, THE PACT. Book one, The Mocking Man, is now available on Amazon.
Leslie lives with her husband and daughter on a quiet country acreage in Idaho. She is currently working on The Honest Liar, the second book in THE PACT, and anticipates an early May 2020 release.