“There’s fruit in there and vitamin water. Eat it, don’t trade it. And a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use it. I put a fifty in the bottom of the bag. Hide it in the clothes you’re wearing. Don’t leave it in your stuff. They’ll smell it and it’ll disappear before you can buy your next meal. Use it for food only.”

I don’t know if he pays any attention to my instructions, but his voice stops me on the way out. “Thank you.”

The entire drive back to the hotel, I think maybe it’s time I say thank you to Nico.

Chapter 41


Pacing the room for the hundredth time, I hear a key slip into the door and freeze. Quietly, Vinny opens the door. “Hey. You’re awake.”

“Of course, I’m awake. Do you think I could rest waiting for you to come home from somewhere you might get hurt?”

Tossing his keys on the desk near the door, an amused grin on his face, one of his deep creviced dimples threatens to appear, “You do know what I do for a living, right?”

“That’s different.” Shaking my head, refocusing on the subject that brought us across the great state of Illinois, “Did you find him?”

His playful face changes to grim. “No.”

“Was anyone at the address?”


“Yeah, a whole f**king treasure trove of losers, but no Jason. He left yesterday, went up north to a sister’s or something.”

One eyebrow shoots upward, “Treasure trove?”

He saunters over, a cocky smirk on his face. “I had a good English tutor.”

“She must have been a very good teacher.” Grinning, I wrap my arms around his waist.

“I might have had a crush on her. Hot little smart girl. If all my teachers looked like her, I might’ve stayed in school.” Wrapping his hands around the nape of my neck, Vinny leans down and crushes his mouth to mine.

Both breathless, still standing just barely inside the doorway a few minutes later, I ask, “What are we going to do now?”

“I can think of a few things.” Vinny smirks and raises a brow. Kissing me gruffly on the lips, he reaches down and effortlessly scoops me up into his arms. “Come on my little distraction…distract me.”

He settles on the bed, surprising me by keeping me on top of him. Seeing the familiar look of desire in his eyes, I expected to be pinned beneath him, lost to his control within seconds of hitting the bed. But he seems to cede some control tonight. Sitting with his back to the headboard, he lifts my shirt, revealing a pink lacy bra. He groans. My ni**les already swollen, he swipes a thumb over each, eliciting a low moan from my throat. He dips the lacy demi cups holding my overflowing br**sts slightly, allowing the pink, hard, fleshy points to protrude freely as he leans forward, catching a taut nipple with the tip of his tongue.

Arching my back to allow him greater access, he tangles my hair in his long fingers, clenches them into a ball, and pulls my head back roughly. “You want me to suck on your pretty swollen nipple?”

Breathless, I respond, “Yes.”

Drawing deeply, he sucks hard on my nipple, tugging and nipping with his teeth before releasing and turning his attention to the other waiting, needy breast. His hot mouth continues to suck as his teeth nibble slow, unhurried nips around my engorged br**sts.

Feeling his hardened c**k grow thicker beneath me, I grind down, desperate for friction. Another low moan begins to escape me, but Vinny’s mouth finds mine and stifles it beneath his kiss. Moving his mouth to my neck, his tongue trails up and down, alternating between biting and sucking.

“Are you wet for me?” His velvety voice muffled against my neck, his words are my undoing. God I love it when he talks to me like that.

“Yes,” the word tumbling from my quivering lips between pants.

“Ride me.” His mouth at my ear, every breath, every word, sending shivers down my spine. There is nothing more I want to do. Realizing what he’s giving me is far greater than just what it seems on the surface, I slow, cupping his face in my hands. Kissing him with purpose, full of emotion. Sensual. Seductive…everything I could give in the moment. I want him to feel me. Need him to want me. Need me. As much as I need him.

Palming my ass in his hand, Vinny lifts me enough to remove the rest of our clothing without losing contact. Reaching down between us, I pump the length of him up and down a few times, although it’s hardly necessary. He’s already hard as stone.

Watching me intently, Vinny grips my waist and lifts me to my knees, allowing his wide rimmed c**k to sit patiently at my opening. I feel his arms tremble as he reigns in his need to control. His offering to me far greater than the actual desire to take control, locking his eyes with mine, I return what he’s just given me. “Take me. Please.”

Closing his eyes, he breathes deep, exhaling and opening them again, a wicked smile on his face. Pulling me down onto him as his powerful hips thrusts upward, the length of him fills me deeply. He keeps me firmly seated, rooted within the depths of my body for a long moment, looking into my eyes, searching for something.

“Love being deep inside of you,” he growls before he begins a relentless pounding into me from underneath. Thrusting hard and fast, furiously he lifts me, his biceps bulging as he pulls me down to meet each and every plunge. Each time he seats me further and further, until there’s not another ounce of space remaining between us.

Frantically, together we race to orgasm, him in complete control of my body, even though I’m the one rising on top. Our bodies drenched in sweat, loudly slapping into each other, our mouths desperate to touch, needing every part of our bodies connected, he kisses me hard. My orgasm hits me powerfully, taking a strong hold of my emotions, tears stream down my face as I moan through rolling waves of pleasure pulsating through my body.

As I begin to fall asleep, my head tucked into the crook of his shoulder, his arms wrapped tightly around me, I find my hand resting on his dog tags, covering his heart. There’s an ache in my chest I just can’t ignore anymore. This complex man protects his mother, yet has no one to protect him.

Chapter 42


Nico kicked my ass today. Brought new sparring partners in from a gym across town, ones that have no power to their punch, but their hands and feet work are so fast they made my head spin. Little f**kers didn’t leave me bruised, yet I feel like I did a twelve-hour day of nonstop cardio.

“Out of breath?” Nico asks, grinning as I bend over, grabbing my knees to catch my breath after finishing my last spar of the day.

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