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Kon (Trassato Crime Family Book 2)

By:Lisa Cardiff

CHAPTER ONE


Konstantin

“I need a fiancée like I need a fucking bullet in my head.” I slammed the shot glass onto the burled walnut countertop.

A toxic combination of loud music and vodka swam through my veins like a drug. Rather than mellowing me out, it only made me angrier. God knew, I should drag my pathetic ass home before I did something to piss off my dad even more, yet I couldn’t bring myself to move. So many things were wrong with my life I didn’t know where to start. So I engaged in my favorite pastime as of late—drinking.

No matter how much I drank tonight, I couldn’t forget my sister was getting married right now, and she didn’t invite a single family member. Not me, not Mom, not Dad. Not even an estranged aunt or uncle.

I couldn’t blame her. We’d toyed with her life behind the scenes for years. I threatened every boy in our high school that dared to look in her direction. Once she moved to New York, things weren’t as simple. Her career took off, and we both had our own shit to deal with. Somehow she’d ended up engaged to a cheating, mealy-mouthed loser.

Granted, we could have handled things differently. I didn’t have to set him up to fail. He would have managed that all on his own. I merely sped up the process, and I didn’t regret it for a second. Better I sacrificed our relationship than have Evie waste the rest of her life on her piece of shit ex. Regardless of the fact that I made peace with my actions, I still missed my sister. While we hadn’t spent much time together over the past few years, she’d always been in my thoughts.

I loved her. She’d been the one person I could always count on, and most importantly, she never had a hidden agenda when we spent time together. I couldn’t say that about anyone else in my life. They had all disappointed me one way or another.

“We’ve already had this discussion. I’m done talking about it. Take the Trassato chick out a few times. Get to know her.” Anatolyi shrugged. “If it works out, great. If not, tell your dad to go fuck himself. You know he won’t make you marry her. I’d be hard pressed to find anyone who despises the concept as much as your dad. He’ll come around.”

“Then you don’t know my dad very well. He’s set on this dumb ass plan, and nothing’s going to change his mind.” I lifted my shot glass and pinned the bartender with a glare. I should have asked for the bottle when I walked in an hour ago so I didn’t waste his time or mine. “Making money is the Holy Grail to my dad, and he’s got it in his head that if I marry Carmela Trassato it’ll give us more power and influence.”

“Fine. Roll over like a dog and do what your daddy wants. You’re too big of a pussy to challenge him, so you let him win every damn time.” Anatolyi swiped a hand down the side of his face, bringing attention to the scar that stretched from his temple to his eyebrow. It made him look scary as fuck, but for some reason chicks dug it.

I pulled an envelope from my back pocket and slapped it on the counter. “Shut the hell up. I should kick your ass.”

“Yeah, except you won’t because without me, you’d be in the gutter somewhere licking your wounds.” He twirled his drink. “I’ve saved your ass more times than I can count in past few months.”

“Yeah, whatever, man.” The bartender refilled my glass, and I chugged the clear liquid the minute he turned his back. “I haven’t been that bad,” I grumbled, my denial lacking conviction. Over the last few months, I started more bar fights than I could count, fucked more chicks than I could remember, and only my money and connections had kept me under the radar.

He threw his hands up. “You’re fucking self-destructing.”

“That shit’s behind me now.” I slid the envelope toward him. “I need a favor. I need you to find Carmela Trassato and—”

His eyebrows shot up, and he scraped his hands through his sandy blond hair. “I love you, man, but I gotta be real honest with you. I’m not trading places with you if that’s what you’re thinking. I’ve seen some pictures of her, and she’s not half bad, but I’m way too young to have a ball and chain. Not to mention, you foisted your ex off on me all the time.” He shivered. “I don’t want to be the third wheel in a relationship again, stuck taking care of your woman while you’re off doin’ business.”

“Nah. That’s not gonna happen.” I pointed to the envelope. “Just deliver this to her. I can take care of the rest.”

“Uh huh, and where will I find her? Because there’s no way I’m going to knock on the Trassatos’ door. I don’t give a shit if her old man is dead. I’m not going there.”

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