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Hearts on Fire 3: Tasha

By:Dixie Lynn Dwyer


“No one double-crosses me and gets away with it.” Dash squeezed Avalon’s throat. He was strangling him, the anger, the hatred and the ability to kill pumped through his veins as natural as his blood.

“Please,” Avalon begged, his final word before the gurgling sound filtered through the small office. Avalon’s eyes widened, and Dash stared at him, loving that expression and the feeling of being the one so powerful to hold life in his hands and take it away.

He released his hold, and Avalon, the six-foot Latino fell to the carpet. In a flash Dash’s men, Ink and Carlo, lifted up the body and carried it away. They’d take care of disposing of that piece-of-crap federal agent.

Dash straightened out his tie, ran his hands down his pants, noticing that he wasn’t even shaking. Years of experience in taking people’s lives no longer fazed him. The sniffling sound reminded him of the audience. His best friend James and his girlfriend Melanie sat there and watched the meeting unfold.

He glanced at the little blonde, and wondered what James saw in the flat-chested, skinny slut. She looked nothing like her cousin. That woman was a redheaded bombshell with tits and ass that drew attention to her immediately. But she also had class and sophistication. She was young, trainable, and would look pretty fucking perfect hanging on his arm to impress the bosses.

“Melanie.” He said her name firmly and the girl looked up, eyes red, chest blotchy, as James placed his hand on the back of her neck. James knew the rules. Dash was in charge and had the final say. If he told him to kill Melanie, he’d do it.

“You know the rules, Melanie. I don’t expect to ever hear about this, what you saw today. One order, one word to James, and you’ll end up just like Avalon. Just like Mary Ann.”

James gripped his girlfriend’s hair and turned her head so she had to face him. James stared down into her eyes. “I’ll kill you if you ever say a word. You do as Dash says and as I say. Got it?”

The tears rolled down Melanie’s cheeks and Dash walked closer. He held her gaze, saw the fear the weakness in her eyes. She was pathetic. There was no fight in her, no charisma. He reached out and gripped her chin. Her watery eyes held his gaze.

“Go clean yourself up and wait for James. He and I need to talk.”

She slowly nodded her head and rose from the chair. He watched her walk out of the room and close the door. She did have a nice pair of legs maybe that was what James liked so much about her.

“Carbanero wants me to take a trip out to Atlantic City for a few days. I’m leaving you in charge of shit here. That deal with LaCosta and the casino we’re taking over is going through.”

“That’s fantastic news, Dash. Whatever you need, I’ll take care of it.”

Dash gave James a small smile as he placed his hand on James’s shoulder. He gave it a squeeze. “I know you will. This is what I’ve been hoping for. In a month or so I could be full partners with LaCosta in the casino. I plan on negotiating some profit from the perks of the business, too.”

“You mean the drugs and prostitution?”

“Among other things,” Dash said as he walked around toward his desk. He eyed the piece of paper with the phone number on it. He couldn’t believe that little whore he fucked a few times in AC had been the one to blow Avalon’s cover. He’d definitely pay her a visit this time around, and he would also get rid of her when he was done. No loose ends. If she could turn on Avalon, then she could turn on Dash.

“So is there anything else you need for now?” James asked.

Dash looked up from his desk. “No. Just be sure to keep that woman of yours in a tight leash. I know you like her a lot, and I’d hate for her to be a liability.”

James nodded his head. “She’s good. She’ll keep her mouth shut and do as I say.”

“I’ll hold you to that. I’ll call you if I need that special little thing done for me I mentioned as insurance.”

James raised one eyebrow. “Really?”

“I’ll keep you posted. Handle things accordingly.”

James left the room and Dash moved the mouse by his computer to pull up the video and picture he had spent a lot of time staring at. The woman’s picture came up on the screen. He had noticed her the second Melanie brought her to the club. Although she hadn’t stayed long, it was long enough for him to see how special she was, and how he instantly felt possessive of her. Especially as every fucking guy in the place tried to hit on her. He smirked as he trailed a finger down the screen. “You’re going to be my celebratory prize, baby. I’ve got my eye on you, and no one else is going to have you again.”

Chapter 1

The music was loud, and everyone was having an awesome time including Tasha. But it was getting late and she was feeling tipsy. She eyed over Eddie “Jr.” Martelli. He was six feet three, thirty-four years old, dark brown hair and deep brown eyes, and always had an expression so stern and in charge. He was gorgeous, just like his younger brothers Lance and Tyler. She stared at his bulging muscles, and the way he stood by the bar watching over everyone. She wished that he would watch over her. Especially her body.

She went to take a step, realizing that maybe, just maybe, she shouldn’t had had that fourth margarita. Or was it her fifth?

Someone bumped into her and grabbed her around the waist before she fell.

“Hey, sweetheart. Are you okay? You need a little help?” some guy she didn’t recognize asked, and she shook her head. She felt his hand glide along her lower back and to her ass just as someone pulled him away from her.

“Take a walk, Cody.” Lance “Lucky” Martelli told the guy and then reached for Tasha.

She locked gazes with his jade-green eyes just as he reached up and gently pressed a stray hair from her cheek.

“I think it’s time to go home.” He told her. She ran the palms of her hands up his chest and smiled. She knew she was drunk. She used it as an opportunity to touch Lance. She just wanted to pretend for a little while that he cared for her more than just as friends.

“I’m okay.”

He raised one eyebrow at her as he gave her a serious expression.

“I’m taking you home. You’re not driving.”

“I didn’t drive. Catalina drove me.”

“Catalina left over an hour ago. She told you that and you said you had a ride home.”

“I do have a ride home,” she said and then looked around feeling as if the room was spinning and then she focused on Lance. His hold remained firm.

“With who?”

She smiled. “With you, Lance.” She said and then hugged him, pressed her chest against his chest and absorbed his cologne.

“Okay, sweetheart, let’s get a move on it.” Lance held her hand and as they left Eddie gave her an expression that nearly sobered her. He seemed angry, disappointed, and that didn’t sit right with her. That was exactly the opposite of what she wanted. She wanted him and his brothers interested in her. She wanted him to fall in love with her, too.

Lance was a complete gentleman as he helped her get into his truck, buckled her in which gave her palpitations, and smiled that gorgeous GQ smile of his.

“I’ve never seen you overdrink, Tasha. Is everything okay with you? Do you need a friend to talk to?” he asked, and she once again felt a pain to her gut, an instant-friends-and-nothing-more death sentence.

She rolled her head to the side to watch him as the warm evening air cascaded through the windows, blowing her hair around but making her feel less drunk.

“Life’s a bitch, Lance. I’m just trying to survive.”

“I know you’re under a lot of stress with work and with your mom sick, but you’re not alone,” he told her.

Sure I am. I’m alone every night in bed fantasizing about you and your brothers loving me, making love to me, heck, fucking me.

She felt her cheeks flush and her body felt aroused and hot. She adjusted her position in the seat and wished that life would bring her what she wanted.

He pulled the truck into her apartment complex parking lot and turned off the ignition.

“Let’s get you upstairs and safely home,” he said. He stepped out and she absorbed everything about his truck. The dark grey interior, the firefighter sign on the window, a stick of mint gum in the holder, a notepad, and it all smelled like him. Masculine, sexy, mature. Lance was thirty-one, and a jokester, with shoulder-length brown hair she would love to tug on as she kissed him deeply. Then of course there were his jade green eyes. The man was lethal.

Her door opened and she felt the slight feeling of disappointment that she couldn’t stay in his truck a little longer. This was the closest she had gotten to any of the three brothers in a long time. She instantly thought of Eddie and Tyler. Tyler “Tools” Martelli had been standing by the bar before she left and he was surrounded by women. But Tyler was compassionate and sincere. She didn’t think the man had ever told a lie. He was the youngest of the brothers, twenty-eight, brown hair and gorgeous hazel eyes.

Lance helped her down out of the truck and she nearly lost her footing. His strong, solid muscles felt amazing pressed up against her body. Their gazes locked, and she felt the sparks, the chemistry between them, but Lance turned away.