The Serranto Empire
Years of structuring the Serranto Family Empire fuses two brothers together, both ignited by greed and power. When their long-standing kingdom begins to crumble, the brothers ruthlessly set all integrity and family allegiance aside. As with any struggle for power, one brother will ultimately reign supreme, while the other will falter in annihilation. But in the end, which brother will truly succeed?
Getting out from beneath the Serranto Empire is difficult even for a top-notch hit man. But for Nicky Serranto, being left to die only fuels his revenge against his brother in full force. As Nicky battles the evils of family and alleged allies, he struggles to forge away from his past, until his crime path crosses with Kate MacAvoy. Nicky’s vengeance then takes another course altogether in protecting Kate and her son. For a man of Nicky’s caliber, trust doesn’t come twice, if it ever comes at all—and achieving it will come at a price no average man is willing to pay.
Kate MacAvoy is a single mother who will stop at nothing to love and protect her four-year-old son. When twisted circumstances puts her face-to-face with reputable hit man Nicky Serranto, Kate’s independence and strength is tested as she lands in the middle of a fierce reprisal between crime kingpins. As Kate is bombarded at every angle by obstacles that threaten the safety of her and her son, she battles against the security that awaits her in the most unexpected place.
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“Go to hell,” she blurted. Nick’s eyes fogged with fury and he realized his night simply hadn’t gotten any better than his day. His eyes narrowed before looking back at Matt who stood waiting for the woman to be loaded into the backseat of the car. Nick hated women with attitudes, especially the combative ones. Her fight just pressed his irritation along with everything else that was going down hill.
“That’s a gimmie lady,” he mumbled as he grabbed the nap of her neck and thrust her forward. “…so just do what’s asked and nothing will happen to you,” he added glancing at Matt for validation. Matt’s face remained unemotional except for the brief disquiet in his expression.
In the darkness, the woman’s feet stumbled beneath her causing her to lose her balance. Nick couldn’t see the woman’s face, but her white uniform seemed to glow bright neon as if under a black light. Even if she had already looked right at him with fiery eyes, Nick’s confusion couldn’t recall what she had actually looked like and he didn’t want to know. It was apparent that she was one of the waitresses that left earlier when Nick was inside.
Nick reassured her once more that she wouldn’t be harmed if she just did as they said. Matt simply shrugged as
Nick glared to the confirmation that only gave Nick a reason not to comply further with his order. Suddenly, Matt pushed the woman back at Nick as if he changed his mind.
Nick scooped her back up against him. Her front hit hard up along his chest but unfortunately that didn’t stop her fight against him. “Don’t touch me, you animal,” the woman snapped.
Along with being confused Nick was officially pissed. “You don’t know how much of an animal I can be lady. So please just calm down.” She tried to look at him from the corner of her eyes. She gave him a harsh but questioning expression that seemed to look right through him.
His head reared back. “What the fuck you lookin’ at?” Nick could see the white of her eyes and a brief blur of his reflection that seemed to flicker in the blackness of her pupils. Nick twisted her back around so she wouldn’t be able to get a good look at him if she hadn’t already and then he let out a muffled curse.
“You…I’ve seen you before,” her voice softened in puzzlement as she struggled to turn around to face him.
He swallowed lightly tightening his hold against his upper body. Of course she must have, since he was just in the café just ten minutes ago. Stupid bitch. Unless the woman hung out with perps, drug dealers, loan sharks or other deviates, it was highly unlikely.
In the darkness of the alley, his eyes struggled to view the partial silhouette of her face but he didn’t recall her from inside the cafe.
He mumbled under his breath at her error. “Not likely,” and held her firmly. Nick had enough. He would take control of the job. He let go and she lost balance dropping to her knees. She quickly pushed up and from her panic, stumbled again. Nick glanced at her backside admiring the nice view. Nope, he surely didn’t know her, because he definitely would have remembered that sweet little ass. She was evidently bluffing and he didn’t like her game. She fell once more trying to get away from him.
“Just calm down, lady,” Nick advised. Through the dim light, she glimpsed between Matt and Nick, apparently wondering who would be the lesser of two evils and exactly what direction to take to get away from them. There wasn’t too much of a choice since Matt was blocking the front of the diner and Nick the back.
“Get up!” Nick ordered. He glanced at Matt who obviously wasn’t going to offer any help. He wondered if Matt had witnessed the odd exchange of words.
Although it really didn’t matter if Cal eventually heard about it from Matt since hypothetically, Nick was out of everything that dealt with family.
Several seconds passed as Nick ignored her struggle to get up but then he reached down to take her by the arm.
She spun around and immediately came up after him. Nick assumed she decided to protect herself from the eviler of the two—him. Matt smirked as he leaned back against the car waiting for Nick to handle her. Nick expelled a frustrated breath as he looked away from Matt.
Nick’s eyes grew wide as he caught sight of her fists up in the air and coming directly at him. He ducked her onslaught of flaying arms and grabbed her by the waist, once more whirling her around.
Nick’s cell phone rang. He struggled through her screams and swinging arms. Her hands reached back trying to scratch his face from behind. He averted his head from her while pulling the phone from his pocket as the woman continued to writhe back and forth to get free. He figured Riley would be on the other end. Nick would gladly welcome Riley getting his ass back here to help take care of the situation with this woman since Matt seemed to have no desire. The woman didn’t have anything to do with his instruction.
“Riley? Where the fuck…?”
It was a woman’s voice. Tired of the woman’s catlike resistance, Nick thrust her hard against his chest. From the abrupt impact, Nick realized she’d been winded when her breathing weakening and labored, but luckily it alleviated him from any fostering opposition for the time being. Nick thrust the woman against his chest to subdue her and juggled the phone while moving his head away trying to make out the caller’s words. The voice repeated the warning again. “Set up…Trap.” Then dead silence. Nick held the phone up and away from the woman who was trying to grab anything and everything she could. He viewed the lighted screen for a number and it was one he didn’t recognize. Trap? The screen went black along with a humming on the other end.