Home > Bound by Vengeance (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #5)(4)

Bound by Vengeance (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles #5)(4)
Author: Cora Reilly

I laughed, relieved. I really didn’t want to fight with Anastasia over Cosimo. We’d all marry good matches.

The music picked up and I took another sip of my drink. I was starting to relax thanks to the alcohol spreading in my blood and barely minded the occasional curious glances from other guests. At the next party, I’d already be one of them and someone else would be at the center of attention. Trish tapped her foot on the hardwood floor in rhythm with the song and hummed a few tunes before Anastasia shot her a look. I had to stifle a laugh. The dynamic between them was ridiculous at times.

To my surprise, I realized that even my bodyguard had disappeared from view to give me privacy with my friends. Slowly but surely this evening was getting good.

I knew Talia would give me an earful when I returned tonight, but our parents had been right when they’d insisted she was too young for a social event at Falcone’s house. Of course I wouldn’t tell her that again. It would be hard enough to make her forgive me as it was, though a few juicy rumors would probably placate her. Not that I was an experienced socialite. I’d have to rely on Trish and Anastasia for that. Annoyance toward Father rose up in me. Maybe he’d refused to take me to a social function until now because he thought I’d embarrass him in front of his boss. I’d overheard him tell Mother several times how terrifying and brutal Falcone was, so it wasn’t too far-fetched that Father thought I might cower in fear in front of that man, which was ridiculous. He was still human, not the monster Father always made him out to be, and even if he were, I doubted very much that he’d hate to see me cower in fear. It would probably excite him if he were the man Father had described.

“They are a bit too old for my taste,” Trish said, then took another sip from her champagne, returning to our previous topic.

“I don’t mind. I want to be treated like a princess by my husband and older men are more likely to appreciate me than a young guy,” Anastasia said. She gave me a knowing smile. For some reason it felt false. “From what I hear the deal between your family and Cosimo is almost done, so your engagement party will be soon.”

I frowned at the use of the word ‘deal’ when it came to me marrying Cosimo. But in all honesty, it was probably the term that fit the whole arrangement best. I gave a small shrug, trying to act nonchalant. I didn’t want to talk about him tonight, especially since the topic seemed to rile Anastasia up.

“Oh my God, Falcone invited his monster,” Trish whispered, clutching at my arm and almost making me spill my champagne over her dress. I followed her shock-widened brown eyes toward a corner of the room where a tall, muscled man leaned against a wall. He was dressed in a white shirt that strained against his massive chest, a black suit and black dress shoes. In fact he didn’t look that different from the other men in the room except for the missing tie, if you took only his outfit into consideration. But the rest of him, God have mercy.

He looked way too tame for someone like him. Or at least he’d tried. There was no fooling anyone about his nature. It seemed to radiate off him like a dark cloud of danger. It was almost palpable even from afar.

Father had mentioned him once or twice in hushed tones but I’d never seen him, and he definitely wasn’t the type to appear in the gossip parts of the newspaper. I doubted any journalist was crazy enough to risk the wrath of a man like him.

“The Bastard, that’s what most people call him,” Anastasia added. She looked like a cat that had spotted a bird. I knew why she was so excited. So far nothing interesting had happened, but Anastasia probably hoped that this had the potential for some decent gossip.

“What’s his real name?” I asked. I’d tried to get it out of Mother once but the look she’d given me had stopped me from asking again.

“I don’t know his real name. Nobody does. People call him “Growl” to his face, and The Bastard behind his back.”

I gave them a look. Really? Both were names he couldn’t possible have chosen for himself. Someone had to know his name. At least, Falcone. He knew everything about his subjects. “Why would people call him that?”

Anastasia shrugged but didn’t glance my way. “There’s something wrong with his vocal cords since a horrible accident. That’s why he’s got that big scar.”

I couldn’t make out a scar from our vantage point. We were too far away. I assumed Anastasia had gotten that piece of information from the gossip mill as well. “What kind of accident?”

“I don’t know. Some people say the Russian Mob did this, others say he tried to kill himself because he isn’t right in the head, but nobody knows,” Anastasia replied under her breath.

Who would try to kill themselves like that? And Growl didn’t seem the guy for suicide. The first story with the Bratva sounded far more likely. “So they call him Growl because that’s what it sounds like when he talks?” I asked.

Anastasia barely seemed to register my words but Trish nodded in confirmation.

I didn’t ask why they called him the Bastard. That much I could explain. People in our world didn’t look kindly upon children who were born out of wedlock. It was old-fashioned and ridiculous but some things never changed. I didn’t know who his parents were. They couldn’t be high-ranking members of society, that was certain.

I directed my eyes back to the man. He seemed completely indifferent to what was happening around him, as if this party was just another of his duties. But something told me that despite his displayed boredom he was alert. I doubted that much passed his attention. He was holding a glass of champagne in his hands but it was still full. The elegant crystal looked tiny compared to him and I marveled that he hadn’t crushed it between his palms yet. As if he could read my mind, he turned his head and stared straight at us. Trish let out a gasp and jerked beside me, spilling a few drops of her drink on the expensive looking wooden floor. She really couldn’t have acted more suspicious if she’d tried. After a moment, both Trish and Anastasia jerked their heads down, breaking eye-contact. Maybe to make him believe they hadn’t been watching him, or maybe they simply couldn’t bear the power of his gaze. Now I understood why my parents and even my friends had sounded so terrified when they’d talked about him. Even from the distance his eyes almost made my knees buckle.

Hot Series
» Vampire Academy Series read online
» Crossfire Series read online
» Fifty Shades trilogy read online
» Kate Daniels Series read online
» Black Dagger Brotherhood Series read online
» Cassandra Palmer Series read online
» Rosemary Beach Series read online
» Sea Breeze Series read online
» Too Far Series read online
» Shatter Me Series read online
» Thoughtless Series read online
» Marriage to a Billionaire Series read online
Most Popular
» Drawn into Love (Fluke My Life #4)
» Nightchaser (Endeavor #1)
» Right Where I Want You
» Tangled Like Us (Like Us #4)
» Be the Girl
» Playing for Keeps (Heartbreaker Bay #7)
» If I Only Knew
» Vengeance Road (Torpedo Ink #2)
» 99 Percent Mine
» Free (Chaos #6)
» Work in Progress (Red Lipstick Coalition #3
» Moonlight Scandals (de Vincent #3)