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       Mafia Protection (Tomassi Series Book 1), p.1


Mafia Protection (Tomassi Series Book 1)


  Table of Contents

  CHAPTER 1

  CHAPTER 2

  CHAPTER 3

  CHAPTER 4

  CHAPTER 5

  CHAPTER 6

  CHAPTER 7

  CHAPTER 8

  CHAPTER 9

  CHAPTER 10

  CHAPTER 11

  CHAPTER 12

  CHAPTER 13

  CHAPTER 14

  CHAPTER 15

  CHAPTER 16

  CHAPTER 17

  CHAPTER 18

  CHAPTER 19

  CHAPTER 20

  CHAPTER 21

  CHAPTER 22

  CHAPTER 23

  CHAPTER 24

  CHAPTER 25

  CHAPTER 26

  CHAPTER 27

  CHAPTER 28

  CHAPTER 29

  CHAPTER 30

  CHAPTER 31

  CHAPTER 32

  CHAPTER 33

  CHAPTER 34

  CHAPTER 35

  CHAPTER 36

  CHAPTER 37

  CHAPTER 38

  CHAPTER 39

  CHAPTER 40

  CHAPTER 41

  CHAPTER 42

  CHAPTER 43

  CHAPTER 44

  CHAPTER 45

  CHAPTER 46

  CHAPTER 47

  CHAPTER 48

  CHAPTER 49

  CHAPTER 50

  CHAPTER 51

  CHAPTER 52

  CHAPTER 53

  CHAPTER 54

  CHAPTER 55

  CHAPTER 56

  CHAPTER 57

  CHAPTER 58

  CHAPTER 59

  CHAPTER 60

  CHAPTER 61

  CHAPTER 62

  CHAPTER 63

  CHAPTER 64

  CHAPTER 65

  CHAPTER 66

  EPILOGUE

  MAFIA PROTECTION

  By AA Lee

  Copyright © 2018, AA Lee

  No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

  All rights reserved

  Mafia Protection

  Copyright © 2018, AA Lee

  Published by Kadupul Publishing 2018

  EBook ISBN: 978-1-7320901-5-6

  Paperback: 978-1-7320901-3-2

  Hardback: 978-1-7320901-4-9

  DEDICATION

  To every person who supported my dream.

  To every reader who demanded I write.

  Lots of Love

  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

  A special thank you to Bianca Rose for standing behind me no matter what, who always reminded me to write in spite of my mood and was my voice of reason when I’d sooner burn my material. I will never forget the laughs over bouncing ideas.

  A special thank you to Emma, one of my earliest supporters, who would help me to answer readers’ questions when I was unable to do so, who created a video collaboration with readers that touched my heart and who taught me much of what I know about pets.

  A special thank you to Anissa Marie for taking my book in her care.

  Also, a special thank you to all the readers who waited on edge for my updates. I could never express how much you mean to me.

  TABLE OF CONTENTS

  DEDICATION

  ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

  CHAPTER 1

  CHAPTER 2

  CHAPTER 3

  CHAPTER 4

  CHAPTER 5

  CHAPTER 6

  CHAPTER 7

  CHAPTER 8

  CHAPTER 9

  CHAPTER 10

  CHAPTER 11

  CHAPTER 12

  CHAPTER 13

  CHAPTER 14

  CHAPTER 15

  CHAPTER 16

  CHAPTER 17

  CHAPTER 18

  CHAPTER 19

  CHAPTER 20

  CHAPTER 21

  CHAPTER 22

  CHAPTER 23

  CHAPTER 24

  CHAPTER 25

  CHAPTER 26

  CHAPTER 27

  CHAPTER 28

  CHAPTER 29

  CHAPTER 30

  CHAPTER 31

  CHAPTER 32

  CHAPTER 33

  CHAPTER 34

  CHAPTER 35

  CHAPTER 36

  CHAPTER 37

  CHAPTER 38

  CHAPTER 39

  CHAPTER 40

  CHAPTER 41

  CHAPTER 42

  CHAPTER 43

  CHAPTER 44

  CHAPTER 45

  CHAPTER 46

  CHAPTER 47

  CHAPTER 48

  CHAPTER 49

  CHAPTER 50

  CHAPTER 51

  CHAPTER 52

  CHAPTER 53

  CHAPTER 54

  CHAPTER 55

  CHAPTER 56

  CHAPTER 57

  CHAPTER 58

  CHAPTER 59

  CHAPTER 60

  CHAPTER 61

  CHAPTER 62

  CHAPTER 63

  CHAPTER 64

  CHAPTER 65

  CHAPTER 66

  EPILOGUE

  ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  CHAPTER 1

  Ramble—that was all his father did…On and on until Angelo neared the brink of insanity. As one hand gripped the dark strands of his hair, Angelo pounded the table with his other hand. A cracking sound echoed throughout the ritzy restaurant.

  “I said enough,” Angelo snapped, his deep voice silencing the aging man sitting across from him. Several diners shifted uncomfortably in their seats.

  Angelo lowered his tone to a harsh whisper and leaned forward. “There is no way I will ever consider the daughter of that fool, Gregorio. Christ! We would be on the radar of every fed in the state if I became involved in that man’s affairs. We don’t need the same sort of drama that he has brought to his ranks—to his own family.”

  “But the businesses, Son,” His father, Antonio, scowled at Angelo’s disrespect. “You would gain his estate and his ranks in exchange for her protection. Gregorio would be out of the picture.”

  “Who cares what I gain?” Angelo snapped. His dark brown eyes glared into Antonio’s causing the creases on the older man’s forehead to widening. “I am making a fortune with what I have.”

  “You know how it works,” Antonio replied. “Money makes the rules…money that you don’t have enough of right now.”

  Angelo inhaled as he closed his eyes. It seemed that lately, he talked of nothing else but her. “And what of the girl? You would have a strange woman that we have never met fall in with our family. Do you really expect me to trust her as my wife considering what man raised her?”

  “Because you have chosen not to meet her. How do you know you won’t like her if you never put forth the effort? You don’t know. You may actually like her.”

  “Rafa,” Angelo glanced at the tanned man with wavy, dark hair sitting next to him. “Talk some sense into my father.” Angelo had hired Rafa specifically to take on problematic situations – like Antonio.

  Though Rafa’s input counted every bit as much as Angelo’s did, he huffed and straightened his tie, obviously wishing he could ignore both men. “You both already know how I feel about it as I have previously pointed out the pros and cons of the marriage.” Rafa paused and took a drink of his coffee. “Look, next time, though, could you both wait until after we eat to start arguing? You might both be calmer after breakfast. Have you ever thought about that?”

  Both Angelo and Antonio stared at Rafa in sil
ence until Angelo tossed his napkin on the table and stood.

  “If you have nothing useful to add, Rafa, this visit is over.” Angelo said. “We will have to eat after we drive to Key Biscayne.”

  Antonio’s brow darkened; his lips pursed together, making the wrinkles around his mouth to deepen. “Very well, Angelo. Ignore my wishes if that is the type of man I have raised you to become.”

  Angelo shook his head and let out a frustrated huff. “Father, I am not ignoring your wishes. I would gladly meet the woman if Gregorio were not her father. I know you like him, but wherever he goes, trouble follows. You already know that. Find another woman for me to marry, or else you will leave me no choice but to choose a wife myself. I am not growing any younger.”

  Angelo walked away, jerking his chin for Rafa to follow. As the door shut to the restaurant, Angelo stopped for a moment for him to catch up. “How long has it been since my father and Gregorio started this shit with the daughter?” Angelo asked. He already knew the answer. It just made him mad again and he stormed down the ramp to the parking area.

  “Well, you could meet her if it will satisfy them.”

  “Right,” Angelo groaned. “You know even if I did, they would still harass me about marrying her.”

  “How old are you turning this year, Angelo?”

  “Twenty-nine,” he said, blowing out an annoyed breath.

  “Then marry her,” Rafa said simply. “It isn’t like you have any other woman in mind.”

  “I had a woman in mind,” Angelo snapped. “My mother hated Giana.”

  “What are you talking about? She wasn’t wife material. Besides, you couldn’t stand that woman.” Rafa hurried ahead of Angelo so that he could open the door of the black Escalade. “She couldn’t even make a cup of coffee much less raise a family like you want.”

  “Well,” Angelo rolled his eyes. “Even if that’s true, she was still loyal.”

  “Yes, she was, and for all the wrong reasons. Just marry Gregorio’s daughter. The daughter of a mob boss will suit your tastes.” Rafa crossed his arms. “As you said, you are not getting any younger. Do you really want to turn forty by the time you have your first child?”

  Angelo’s eyes narrowed as he slid into the backseat and slammed the door. “Well, this does not affect you. Why do you care who I marry and have my kids with?” he said as Rafa sat in the backseat beside him. Angelo did not discuss the daughter anymore and slapped the driver’s seat in front of him, catching the attention of the blond-haired man behind the wheel. “Brett, step on it—Key Biscayne. Get me out of here.”

  Brett looked back, silent as usual with a smirk on his lips. He started the car without question.

  CHAPTER 2

  Ella stepped onto the red brick patio of Santiago’s, a lovely beachside restaurant with an utterly magnificent view of the ocean. If there was nothing else to look forward to on this day, Ella was grateful for the calming waves beyond.

  Her heels boosted her petite frame as she scooted around a few early guests, eyes on a table closest to the rail that surrounded the covered patio. The soft breeze soothed her mind as she sat down, carefully keeping her knee-length skirt free of wrinkles. Ella propped her hands under her chin, sulking as her blond her scattered over her left shoulder. Why did Mr. Santiago have to retire? He could not sell the restaurant yet. So many memories throughout her twenty-two years of life revolved around Santiago’s.

  Ella unsnapped her purse and took out an old, worn photo. She gazed at the image of her mother with sad reflection, remembering the days when they sat together, both of them laughing without a care in the world. She felt so lost without her mother in her life. Ella still could not believe it had been six years since somebody murdered her. Her father practically stopped speaking to her. Everything changed on that day.

  “I guess you heard that somebody is interested in the place,” her friend, Lila, said as she sat down across from her. The short redhead with daring green eyes had worked at Santiago’s since Ella moved to Key Biscayne seven months earlier.

  “Yes,” Ella sighed and shook her head. She looked around, admiring the exotic plant life that the new owners would throw away. Why did they want to make the restaurant into a souvenir shop? There were so many of those already. To Ella, Santiago’s was a historical building. She had visited every summer since she could remember.

  “I’m sorry, Ella. I wish there was some way I could help.”

  “Well, if I could lease that hotel on the coast, then I would have enough money to buy this place myself. The people who are looking at it have not put down any earnest money yet.” Ella looked down at the photo again, then back at Lila. “That means it is still available.”

  “Has anyone called about the hotel yet?”

  Ella shook her head. “No…no one,” she slipped the picture back into her purse. “I have rented smaller homes but no one has asked about the hotel. My company might have to lower the price if somebody doesn’t—”

  “Wow,” Lila interrupted, forgetting the sensitive topic that she and Ella were discussing. “Check out the gorgeous men who just walked inside. They must be lost or something.” Lila pointed behind where Ella sat.

  Ella turned around. Three men in high-end, dark suits sat down one table away from where Lila and Ella sat. Ella wondered if they were the people that wanted to buy Santiago’s. Ella’s eyes would not look away even as the breeze picked up and whipped her long hair in front.

  Two of the men had brown hair and one had blond. One of the brunettes had shorter hair, parted and neatly combed so that both sides met at the back of his neck. She watched a couple of strands fly out of place and noticed how seriously his brown eyes scanned the place. Was he meeting someone? If not, he seemed strangely suspicious. They could not have wanted to buy the restaurant. Men like that were not interested in a souvenir shop.

  “Too bad I have a boyfriend,” Lila pouted and tucked her hair behind her ear.

  Ella smiled but did not look at Lila. “Those men must already be taken.”

  As she spoke, the man she stared at looked directly in her eyes. His gaze almost seemed troubled, though his expression remained stoic, giving off no hint about what he thought. There was no smile; rather he simply returned her stare.

  Ella smiled as a blush spread over her cheeks. She turned around fast, embarrassed that he caught her. The two brown-haired men reminded her of the men who used to visit her father. They always wore serious faces and never smiled or showed any other emotion. Ella felt disappointed.

  “I don’t see a single ring on any of their fingers.” Lila gave a devious grin and pointed at Ella. “I might have a boyfriend, but I haven’t seen you go out with a single man since you’ve been here. Why don’t I introduce you to the table? One of them is staring at the back of your head.”

  “What?” Ella peeked back to confirm that the man was still staring. “No, Lila. My father would just chase him away as he did with anyone else.”

  Lila’s smile grew. “You noticed him, too. Go introduce yourself, Ella.”

  “I’ll pass,” Ella said.

  “Ella, did your father ever give you a reason why he didn’t want you to date?”

  “No, he didn’t. I tried to ask several times but he would just change the subject.”

  “But you are a grown woman who takes care of herself now. I don’t think those rules still apply.”

  Ella let out a frustrated breath. Her face felt hot. The men could probably hear everything Lila said with her loud voice. “Another time, Lila.”

  Ella stood to escape the discussion. There was no reason to introduce herself with her father’s strict rules. Anytime that she brought up the subject of dating, her father absolutely refused to listen. It was true that she had graduated and lived on her own now, but his ways remained deep inside her head. It was as though he looked over her shoulder. Ella did not want to take a chance and get her hopes up again.

  “I am going to talk to Mr. Santiago while you serve those men
. I want to know more about these potential buyers.” Ella excused herself and stood. “And I wouldn’t keep them waiting very long, Lila.”

  ***

  It was about time that the worker at the other table decided to get up and do what she was supposed to do. Angelo did not like to wait, and Rafa was even worse about a worker who talked on the job.

  On the other hand, he watched the blond woman at the table. She was dressed nice for this type of restaurant. Everyone else wore casual clothing, but she wore a silky blouse and business skirt. Her smile was genuine. Her expression struck him as sweet. He had never seen a woman smile at him simply to smile. He also found her blushing cheeks refreshing and wondered how she answered the redheaded worker’s questions. Her responses were too quiet for him to hear.

  “Good morning. My name is Lila.” The server smiled. “What brings you into Santiago’s today?”

  Angelo stared at the patio door long after the blond disappeared. He was lost in his thoughts. He had not realized that the server stood at their table, waiting for him to acknowledge her. Rafa cleared his throat. /Lila began to shift nervously/smile began to slip nervously.

  “Business,” Angelo replied but did not elaborate. He hated when restaurant staff asked him personal questions. Did they really expect him to tell them his business?

  “O..kay…” Lila took out her small notepad and pen. “Did you gentlemen want me to bring you some freshly brewed coffee?”

  Rafa raised his eyebrow. “Are you implying that you serve coffee that is not freshly brewed?”

  “No,” Lila answered eye lowered.

  “Yes,” Angelo interrupted before Rafa could say another word. “Bring us all coffee. We are also ready to order.”

  Lila straightened her shoulders as if renewed “Yes, go ahead.”

  The three men gave their choices and Lila disappeared inside to place their orders. She returned shortly with their coffee. Coffee was exactly what Angelo needed.

  “Rafa, give me the number to the agent,” he ordered. “I want to set up a time while we eat.”

  “Do you want me to call?”

  “No.” Angelo shook his head. “I will call this time.”

 
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