Bound By Vengeance

By: Cora Reilly

(Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles # 5)



Prologue





Growl

Wide eyes. Parted lips. Flushed cheeks. Pale skin. She looked like a porcelain doll: big blue eyes, chocolate hair and creamy white skin; breakable beautiful, something that he wasn’t meant to touch with his scarred, brutal hands. His fingers found her wrist; her heartbeat was fluttering like a birds. She’d tried to fight, tried to be brave, tried to hurt him, maybe even kill him. Had she truly hoped she could succeed?

Hope; it made people foolish, made them believe in something beyond reality. He’d got out of the habit of hoping a long time ago. He knew what he was capable of. She had hoped she could kill him. He knew he could kill her, no doubt about it.

His hand traced the soft skin of her throat, then his fingers wrapped around it. Her pupils dilated but he put no pressure into his touch. Her pulse hammered against his rough palm. He was a hunter, and she the pray. The end was inevitable. He’d come to claim his prize. That’s why Falcone had given her to him.

Growl liked things that hurt. He liked hurting in return. Maybe even loved it; if he were capable of that kind of emotion. He leaned down until his nose was inches from the skin below her ear and breathed in. She smelled flowery with a hint of sweat. Fear. He imagined he could smell that too. He couldn’t resist and he didn’t have to, not anymore, not ever again with her. His. She was his.

He lowered his lips to her hot skin. Her pulse hummed under his mouth where he kissed her throat. Panic and terror beat a frantic rhythm under her skin. And it made him fucking hard.

Her eyes sought out his, hoping – still hoping, the foolish woman – and pleading him for mercy. She didn’t know him, didn’t know that the part of him that hadn’t been born a monster had died a long time ago. Mercy was the furthest thing from his mind as his eyes claimed her body.





CHAPTER ONE





Cara

The first time I met him, he’d been in disguise, dressed up in a stylish black suit, made to look like he was one of us. But while the layers of fine fabric covered his many tattoos, they couldn’t hide his true nature. It shone through, dangerous and chilling. Back then I’d have never thought that I’d get to know him and the monster within better than I knew anyone else, and that it would turn my whole life upside down. That it would change my entire being to the very core.





“I can’t believe they let you go with them,” Talia muttered. I turned away from the mirror to look at her. She sat cross-legged on my desk chair, dressed in her shabbiest jogging pants, and her long brown hair was piled atop her head in a messy bun. Her t-shirt, a faded grey thing littered with holes and stains, would drive our mother into a meltdown. Talia smiled grimly when she followed my gaze. “It’s not like I need to dress up for anyone, you know.”

“There’s a difference between not dressing up and between what you’re doing,” I said with a hint of disapproval. I wasn’t really annoyed at my sister for wearing her shabbiest clothes, but I knew their only purpose was to rile mother up, and it was a likely scenario given our Mother’s tendency for perfectionism and overreacting. I really didn’t want her mood to turn sour so shortly before the ball. I’d be the one to suffer since Father was definitely out of the question when it came to becoming Mother’s favorite target. Mother had a tendency to take it personally if Talia or I weren’t perfect.

“I’m making a point,” Talia said with a small shrug.

I sighed. “No, you’re being petty and childish.”

“I am a child, too young for a social gathering at the Falcone’s mansion,” Talia intoned in her best imitation of Mother’s chiding tone.

“This is an event for adults. Most people will be over eighteen or far beyond. Mother’s right. You’d have no one to talk to and someone would have to keep an eye on you all night.”

“I’m fifteen, not six. And you are only four years older than me, so don’t act so grown-up,” she said indignantly, pushing up from the desk chair, leaving it spinning around itself, and staggered toward me. She eyed me squarely, the challenge unmistakable. “You probably told mother not to take me with you because you were worried you’d have to watch me and that I’d embarrass you in front of your oh-so-perfect friends.”

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