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Naughty Girl: A Dark Mafia Menage Romance by Alta Hensley – Sample

Prologue

Hailey

The fear I was feeling was like a punch to the gut.

Hands around my neck squeezing.

Chains around my body with no escape possible.

A gag between my dry lips so I can’t scream.

This is it. I knew this day would come. Deep down in my moral soul, I knew punishment would be the ultimate ending to this story.

I stared out the window at the cars pulling up. Men in suits and men in uniforms were storming my building. The pink neon light from a sign on the street illuminated the army of justice. I had fucked up.

It didn’t take long for them to barge their way into my office.

“Hailey Parker. We have a warrant to search your office, confiscate all files and computers.”

I nodded with wide eyes. I tried to offer a smile, although the effort could very likely crack my face. But if I was nice and cooperative, maybe they would let me go free. Or maybe I had sufficiently hidden my misdeeds. Maybe I was smarter than them. There was a chance that whatever desk jockey they assigned this case to wouldn’t be able to find out what I’d done.

“We would like you to come with us,” a man in a suit said. They all blurred together, and I wouldn’t be able to describe any of them tomorrow in a lineup if I had to.

“Am I under arrest?” My voice didn’t sound like mine. It quivered and was too high-pitched. A stranger was doing the asking.

“That will be up to you, Ms. Parker. We hope you’re willing to be cooperative.”

I nodded again. Although I knew what they would want from me.

Rat.

Narc.

Backstabber.

Betrayer.

Chapter One

Hailey

I saw the black sedan waiting on the corner. I knew they would come. There was no way around the inevitable no matter how much I had hoped otherwise. There was no escaping the Bennato Brothers, especially when they felt betrayed and penance was due.

I could run. Self-preservation kicked in as my eyes darted from side to side looking for an escape route. Yes, I could run… and I would be caught. Running from them only made things worse. I knew this.

Fuck. I knew this.

Penance was due.

Lifting my chin, straightening my spine, and taking a deep breath to steady my nerves, I approached the vehicle. In order to survive, I would need to face the monster head on. Maybe if I showed no fear, I could mask my guilt with bravado. Charm and grace had worked wonders for me in the past, and there was always hope that those same attributes, when utilized correctly, could work again.

As I approached the driver’s side of the car, the tinted window lowered to reveal a man with a rigid jaw, dark eyes, and about two days’ growth of facial hair. I didn’t recognize him, but I didn’t need to in order to know he worked for the Bennato family. People who looked cold and emotionless all worked for one of the mafia families. All employees seemed to be the same. No friends or family. Loners. A past that made them not care about the future. I should know. I was one of them. I was no different than the man sitting behind the wheel.

“Get in the car,” he ordered. His tone was flat, firm, and just like his appearance, void of life.

For a split second, the thought of running attacked all my senses again, but I pushed them to the depths of my being, opened the back seat door, and climbed in. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. I kept hearing the words of my mother when I was a child telling me to never get into the car of strangers. Never speak to strangers. Never do what I was doing.

Bad girl, Hailey. Bad, bad girl.

Before I could fasten my seatbelt, the car took off. “Where are we going?” I asked. My voice rang foreign to my own ears. It quivered and sounded weak and helpless. I swallowed hard and tried to chase that cowardly woman away. I wasn’t her. I was a fighter. A powerful woman. A motherfucking queen. I had battle scars to prove it. “Did the brothers send you?” I asked, willing myself to sound much stronger this time.

The man didn’t answer, but I saw his eyes look back at me in the rearview mirror. He diverted eye contact quickly, and it was then that true panic set in. No one wanted to connect with a dead man walking.

Make wise choices, my mother used to say.

I clearly hadn’t listened.

I should have resisted the pull of money. Any job that paid as well as the Bennato Brothers did was too good to be true. Working as a bookkeeper for the notorious Bennato family was either a death sentence or a prison sentence. I was a smart woman. I knew that no matter how good I was at running the books for the Bennatos’ multiple shady companies, the government would eventually catch on. But if I didn’t do it Stefano and Thomas Bennato’s way—which in the brothers’ world was the only way—then death would be the only outcome. The pay was excellent, but the risk was deadly.

Staring out the window at the passing scenery, I wondered what would have been better. When the Feds came charging into my office, I’d thought prison was the worst option, so I was willing to squeal like a pig. I was scared. Terrified of taking the fall for an infamous crime ring who would somehow be able to walk away with their hands clean. It was I who would have gone to jail unless I cut a deal.

Yes, I had cut a deal.

A filthy rat.

Bile formed in the back of my throat as I watched us drive hours into the abyss, further and further into the woods—out in the middle of nowhere. Someplace that no one would be able to hear the bullet shot through my head, or my cries for mercy as they tortured me first. We were driving so far out of the city that my body would never be found. My fate was sealed.

Prison or death?

Clearly, Thomas and Stefano were making that decision for me.

The car turned down a narrow dirt road, and my heart stopped. This was it. This emotionless man driving, who didn’t say a single word, planned to escort me to my death. Would he be the one to kill me? Or was one of the brothers waiting to do it himself?

It didn’t take long for me to see something unexpected. A large manor loomed in the distance. Dark, gray, ominous, and it appeared as if the devil himself resided within the walls. It was so large that I wondered if it had been a boarding school or owned by some wealthy oil tycoon who had more money than even the Bennato family. Though still opulent, the structure now looked nearly abandoned cast against the setting sun. If it weren’t for the cars parked in the massive circular driveway, I would have thought the house completely deserted and haunted by all the spirits of murdered souls.

I was about to join those forgotten souls myself.

It was as if the manor was lost in time—once magnificent, but now eerily haunting. Large windows with a faint light emerging through the stained glass of the second floor gave such a cold structure some signs of warmth and life. But then the sharp-pitched roof with the crumbling brick chimneys had a deathlike aura. Would my body be tortured and killed beyond those walls? Was I staring at my own coffin?

Rest in peace, Hailey Parker.

When the car pulled up to the front entrance, I saw a man waiting outside wearing a black suit with a crisp white shirt unbuttoned at the neck. He was at the bottom of the stairs, arms crossed, his huge figure looming in front of the manor. His hair was black, his eyes dark, and I was pretty sure from the firmness of his expression that his inner being was even darker than his outer appearance.

I didn’t need to be told he was one of the brothers. Something about how he stood, about how he dominated the space in which he stood screamed power. I had never seen either of the brothers in person, but I knew that was about to change.

The driver got out of the car, opened up my door, and yanked me out of the vehicle. With a strong grip on my upper arm, my chauffeur half-dragged me to the waiting man since my feet could barely keep up with his speed and purpose. As we approached the steps, both men silently climbed their way to the front door and pulled me inside. Once we reached the foyer, I was shoved to the floor.

“Kneel,” the man who had been waiting for me said.

Too panicked to do anything else, I scrambled to my knees and did as he said while I quickly tried to scan my surroundings. A glorious staircase mastered the entire space with its intricately carved banister spiraling alongside the wooden steps. Original pocket doors concealed rooms on each side of me, and the scarred wooden floor beneath my knees countered the lavishness of the chandelier dangling over me.

“Hailey Parker,” the man began as he stood in front of me with his arms remaining crossed at his chest. It was as if my assassin was going to lecture me like a naughty schoolgirl rather than kill me for my deadly transgressions.

I didn’t respond but looked up into his eyes instead. I swallowed hard and struggled to breathe. For a moment, I wondered if I would die of a heart attack before the man had a chance to end my life on his own terms.

“I’m not one to fuck around. So, let’s just get to the point. You know why you are here, yes?”

I nodded and looked down at the floor. My nerves could no longer handle the severity that I saw in his eyes and on his face. I foolishly thought I could be brave and face my death head on, but the tears that began to fall and the need to beg for mercy almost erupted from the place I thought I had securely locked my fear away.

“My brother and I are not men to cross, and you don’t want us as your enemy. Betrayal equals death.” He took one step toward me, and I flinched as if he had just punched me in the face. “But you know that. You know what could happen to you right now.”

My mind ran rampant with all the ways this man would make me pay. Every single horror movie I ever watched played back in my head. My ragged breath came out in gasps as my vision dimmed. My ears rang, and my body began to quiver. This was it.

This was it.

The man reached for my chin and tilted my head back so I had to look up into his eyes. “My name is Stefano Bennato. I am one of the brothers who you screwed over.” He paused for a moment to give me time to absorb his words. “You couldn’t possibly think that my brother, Thomas, and I were going to allow you to share our secrets to the Feds, now did you?”

“I was scared. I didn’t know what to do, and they were pressuring me. I wouldn’t have done it, but…” There was a note of hysteria in my voice as I asked, “Are you going to kill me?”

“Death would be easy compared to what we plan to do to you. And we would rather not kill women. It goes against a code we try to live by. We’re far from men who live by a moral compass, but we do have limits.” He paused and tightened his lips together before adding, “You may wish for death by the time we’re done with you.”

“Torture me then?”

He smiled, pleased with the question. “In the most wicked of ways. Yes.”

I flinched when I heard the door to my right open and close. I turned and saw another man who looked exactly like Stefano enter the room. Thomas Bennato… the twin brother. Staring up into the other brother’s eyes, I asked, “What do you plan to do to me?”

The unknown might very well kill me from fear before the brothers could even lay a hand on me.

“Marry you,” Stefano said.

“Make you carry our baby,” Thomas added.

They answered so simply with zero emotion. It was like a slap to the face, and I could barely process the words being spoken.

“You can’t testify against at least one of us if you’re married, nor will you want to put the father of your baby behind bars. You’ll need us.” Stefano stated the plan so bluntly and so simply. “And once you have our seed in you, we will never let you go. Never.”

“How can I have a baby who belongs to both of you?” I asked in genuine curiosity rather than trying to insult their plan as impossible and stupid. Were they going to expect back to back pregnancies and have me give them an heir one at a time?

“We don’t care whose seed created the baby,” Thomas began. “We just need one Bennato heir to continue our line. Neither one of us care to truly get married out of love, nor do we care to have a family. We just need an heir, and you are going to provide it. We don’t care who the father is just as long as the Bennato blood runs in the baby’s veins.”

“You’ll stay here with us until the baby is conceived,” Stefano announced. “After that, we’ll move you and the baby around for safekeeping. We know many would like to see the Bennato family end with us, and we’ll do whatever it takes to assure that doesn’t happen.”

“But first,” Thomas said, “punishment.”

The sob I had been struggling to hold back released. It was even louder as it was amplified by the barren walls of the entryway. My shoulders shook with every desperate wail. I could no longer wear the crown of the brave queen. It was broken, chipped, destroyed by fear. I was so very scared, and all I could do was watch my tears fall to the floor before my knees.

“Don’t cry, my naughty girl. Not yet.” Stefano bent down and caressed the back of my head, once again lifting my face so I was forced to look into his unforgettable eyes. He then took a handful of hair and yanked my head back hard. “Not until we give you something to cry about. And we will.” He bent his head down, brought his lips to my exposed neck, and kissed it. Tugging on my hair harder, he inched back and looked me squarely in the face, so close that I could feel his breath on my lips. I could smell his manly scent of spice and control… if control had a scent.

He was so close. I could almost feel him. I knew his touch wouldn’t be soft or gentle. There was nothing but raw power exuding from this man. “We most certainly will.”

“There’s a price to pay for being a naughty girl,” Thomas said as he towered over me and Stefano. “The price is your body. It’s ours now.”

“Ours,” Stefano growled.

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