EXCERPT: Envy by Rachel Van Dyken
Every family has rules, the mafia just has more….
Do not speak to the bosses unless spoken to. Do not make eye contact unless you want to die. And above all else, do not fall in love. Renee Cassani’s future is set. Her betrothal is set. Her life, after nannying for the five families for the summer, is set Somebody should have told Vic Colezan that. He’s a man who doesn’t take no for an answer. And he only wants one thing. Her. Somebody should have told Renee that her bodyguard needed as much discipline as the kids she was nannying. Good thing Vic has a firm hand.
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Heat wrapped itself around my body. It soothed my soul. I think I took my first deep breath in those seconds, my first big exhale, followed by another deep breath. I pressed my hand against the heat, and came into contact with a hard chest. I didn’t even care that it was the chest of my father’s murderer.
I was sick.
Sick that my murderer made me well.
I wrapped my arms around his neck and breathed him in. We were walking. I didn’t want to spoil the moment by speaking, so I kept my eyes closed, my voice silent as he walked and walked some more.
A door opened and closed.
It smelled like cigars and Christmas spices.
Gently, I was being set down. My body came into contact with something deliciously soft, and it wrapped around me.
And then whatever I was on moved, dipped under the weight of the one carrying me. Maybe if I just kept my eyes closed I could imagine that it was Vic without the word murderer hanging over his head like a blazing red sign.
Maybe I could give in to the fantasy that he was just a guy, I was just a girl. Spending the night in each other’s arms, using each other’s heat for energy.
Blankets were piled over my body, pushing me into the mattress with their weight. And then bulky arms pulled me back against the rock-hard chest again.
“Sleep.” His voice carried like a gunshot in the dark; it was a harsh whisper, a command I wasn’t allowed to say no to. Sometimes, you just need to be forced into rest—and when he’d walked in, I’d been tossing and turning in that stupid chair trying to get comfortable for hours.
But now? Now my body was heavy. My mind was silent.
“Did you kill anyone tonight?” I asked the dreaded question. I wanted to know if the hands that were holding me were hands that had washed off blood. I’d tortured myself with ideas of what he was really going to do tonight. Tortured myself with visions of my dad’s face begging for death.
His body was rigid as he bit out, “No, Renee. I didn’t kill anyone tonight.”
“Are you going to kill anyone tomorrow?”
He sighed. “Well, it is a Friday, those are my favorite days to take a life. What do you think?”
I smiled even though it wasn’t funny. “Sorry, stupid question.”
“Which earned an equally stupid answer.”
“Hey, Vic?” I turned to face him. His eyes were so bright in the darkness that it startled me a bit before I could gather my thoughts. “Did he really beg you?”
“Don’t make me talk about it. Not now. Not when you’re tired and upset. Not when you look at me like you’re disappointed. I can handle a lot of things, Renee, your disappointment in me is not one of them.”
I nodded. “I don’t want to be.”
Meet The Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers! Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!
You can connect with her on Facebook or join her fan group Rachel's New Rockin Readers. And make sure to check out her website.