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Sold to the Hitman: A Bad Boy Mafia Romance Novel(6)

By:Alexis Abbott



“Haven’t I met him before?” I press, daring to test my father’s patience in my panic.

“N-no, you have not,” Mother answers hesitantly. My father shoots her a warning glare and her mouth closes tight.

Daddy clears his throat and folds his hands on the table in front of him, pushing his plate forward as he fixes me with a dark gaze. “It is not your place to question our judgement in this matter, Cassandra. Put your faith in God, where it belongs, and do not fret about your fate. Rest assured that this decision will be made based on what is best for our family.”

I stare quietly down at my plate, my appetite totally dissipated by now. I feel as though I’m on the verge of tears, but crying is not allowed in front of other people, and especially not in my father’s presence. I resign myself to crying later, alone in my room. But before I drop the subject entirely, I ask one more question: “So, he is of our faith, then?”

My father pauses, and a shadowy darkness crosses his face. I am afraid of him in that instant, as I often am. I love Daddy, but sometimes he frightens me with his sternness.

Then he replies, “We don’t know.”

My mouth falls open before I can stop it, and tears burn in my eyes, threatening to spill over. But I cannot let them. So I swallow my fear, nod my understanding, and quietly remind myself that I must trust my parents.

Surely they would never send me away somewhere bad. They have protected me from evil all my life — so I must continue to trust them now.

It’s what a good girl would do.





3





Andrei





Nobody pays attention to the droves of men slipping into the back room of the little store on the street corner. Very few of the regular patrons of the grocery and cafe aren’t Russian, and none of the locals know about this place. It’s the worst-kept secret in Little Odessa.

The back room of the store sports a narrow staircase that leads to a basement that’s far larger than the building, and it’s what’s really keeping this sorry excuse for a Russian cafe afloat.

It’s a dimly-lit place lined with yellow, flickering lights that cast a cheap, unkempt feel about the whole place, but really, the security at tonight’s event is a testament to how valuable it is to the Bratva. Enough money has passed through this shoddy-looking basement to buy out most of this part of town.

I’m standing at the bottom of the stairs, keeping my eyes on the men who are shuffling in. They come from all walks of life, from surly-looking men in stained tanktops to a few gentlemen in designer clothing. I recognize a few of them, but I’m in neither the mood nor position to make small talk with old acquaintances. There’s a makeshift bar set up at the far corner of the room, and more than a few of the people who’ve been here a while are already getting drunk.

I’m wearing a tight-fitting black shirt and jeans, nothing fancy for tonight. Dressing more simply makes the dregs less likely to think about fucking with me.

Bouncing isn’t the kind of gig I like, but I know my boss assigned me to this post since I’ve been in minimal contact with him the past week or so. He’s the kind of man who demands regular attention. Not unlike a child.

Of course, if he’s so interested in things going smoothly tonight that he has a hitman handling security, something high-stakes must be happening tonight. Poker games are a popular one, and I’ve seen more than a few of Brighton’s highest-profile businessmen and criminals alike lose fortunes under these lights.

High-dollar drugs aren’t out of the question either, but I find it doubtful with all the people here. Back in the 80s, though, I can imagine this place saw its share of coke parties.

I see a few burly men making their way down the stairs, and I give them a nod of recognition, knowing whose guard dogs they are. A moment later, their master — my boss — makes his way down the stairs wearing a lavish and gaudy orange jacket and a thick gold chain, laughing with what looks like a similarly dressed Chechnyan from across town.

“Ah, and here is the man who’ll keep us sleeping safe at night,” he gestures to me as he reaches the bottom of the stairs where I’m standing cross-armed, a statue compared to the other guards. “My own personal Shadow — I couldn’t replace this man with a hundred of these other goons, I tell you!”

“Mr. Slokavich,” I incline my head to him, “You and your friends have something special planned for the night?”

“Andrei,” he chides me, slapping me on the back heartily, “have I ever hosted something that disappoints? Sergei Slokavich is not a man to let his valued guests go wanting, you of all people know this.”

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