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The Consigliere: A Dark Mafia Romance by Piper Stone – Sample

Chapter One

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.”

—Habuki Murakami


“Woo hoo, baby. This place is fabulous!” Jenny threw her arms in the air, taking a deep whiff as she spun around in a circle.

She was acting as if the overwhelming fragrance in the casino was the most fabulous French perfume instead of a concoction of sweat, cheap men’s cologne, and the stench of cigar smoke.

The casino was overcrowded and full of drunk people, but there was excitement in the air, which was catching. “I guess.”

Yet somewhere deep inside, I felt an approaching storm, as if a tornado of clouds and wind would sweep me into a dark abyss. I had no idea why the notion had permeated every thought since arriving in Sin City, but I remained apprehensive, anticipating the worst.

“My God. We came all this way to celebrate your birthday and you’re acting as if I took you to get a root canal.”

She’d been my best friend since becoming my first year dormmate at college. Her lust for life was amazing and enviable, but how she’d bamboozled me into heading to Vegas for the weekend was beyond me. I wasn’t into bright lights and crowds, and she knew that. When I yanked on the costume she’d also convinced me to wear for the fifth time, she gave me one of her infamous looks, rolling her eyes.

“What?” I exclaimed as I searched for the closest bar. At least alcohol would help ease the anxiety.

“You look fabulous, very tempting.”

“To what, a witches’ society?” The outfit was tight, red, and if I bent over, my ass could be seen by just about everyone. To make matters worse, I was struggling to walk in four-inch heels instead of my usual Converse high tops. At least with all the garish makeup including glitter and the long, bright red curly wig, no one would recognize me. Not that I knew a soul in Vegas, but stranger things had happened.

“Oh, for God’s sake. It’s Halloween. It’s your birthday. You’re about to graduate from college a semester early. We’re in Las Vegas. The hunky man behind the hotel desk upgraded us to a suite and we are two single, hot women. What’s there to complain about?”

“We were only upgraded because you flirted with the guy. It almost sounded like you offered him a blowjob in exchange.” When she shrugged, giving me a mischievous look, I smacked her arm. “You didn’t!”

“No. Of course not. I merely offered to have a drink with him later. He was one sizzling dude.”

“You think the guy on the Progressive Insurance commercial is hot.”

“Which one?”

“Let’s get a drink.” I took off without her, determined to find a tall glass of merlot. At least I was finally legally able to drink. That was one benefit to it being my twenty-first birthday. The only one I could think of.

“Then we dance and hunt down the perfect man as your sinful present.”

“Not a chance.”

“You need to get laid.”

I threw her a look, finally locating a neon lit bar, the fuchsia lighting calling my name. “Didn’t your mother ever tell you that you have a crass mouth?”

“Did yours?” She opened her eyes wide then wrinkled her nose. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”

The fact I’d lost both my parents when I was twelve haunted everyone I told, which was why I’d stopped doing so. “Let’s order a drink.”

“Then we find a man.”

“Is that why you insisted we come to Vegas?”

Jenny’s grin didn’t ordinarily irritate me. It did now. “Yes. You know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

“If you use that line one more time, I’ll rip your throat out.”

She laughed, the sound so boisterous almost everyone from the male species looked in our direction. No mask or gawdy costume could keep hunger from their eyes. I purposely turned away as the bartender arrived to take our orders. I was almost hurt he didn’t ask for ID. Granted, I could be anyone hiding beneath the silk and gauze.

“Why are you in such a bad mood?” she asked as she slipped next to me at the bar.

“I’m not. Not really.” Other than I had no clue what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, and I was one month shy of obtaining my diploma. Or maybe it was that my brother, the man who’d raised me, insisted I come back to LA to live. That was the last thing I wanted to do.

“Yes, you are. You’ve been a cranky bitch for weeks. One night with a chiseled guy will do you some good.”

Maybe she was right. When I didn’t say anything, instead scanning the casino floor, she squealed.

“That’s the spirit. You’ve worked so hard to get where you are. You need to live a little.”

“And what will you do if I decide to indulge in a deep, dark fantasy?” I asked, knowing it would never happen.

“Don’t worry, girlfriend. I make friends easily. Remember?”

“That’s what I’m worried about.” As the bartender brought the wine, I toyed with the sinful idea, trying to convince myself that maybe she was right. I wasn’t a one-night stand kind of girl, not in the least, but I hadn’t so much as allowed myself to go out on a date in a long time, the last time something I’d consider disastrous.

As Jenny went on describing the perfect man for me, that was the moment I sensed I was being watched. Stiffening, I casually glanced over my shoulder, trying to locate the source. Only seconds later, I locked eyes with a man standing toward the other end of the bar in a group, close enough I was instantly attracted. Suddenly, I could no longer concentrate on the sound of her voice. While the stranger was wearing a crudely designed black cloth mask covering a portion of his face, it couldn’t hide the sharp luminescence of his dazzling green eyes.

Lucky for me, the cowboy outfit he wore highlighted his delicious muscular physique, his tight jeans accentuating all the juicy goodies God had given him. He had to be at least six foot three, although it was difficult to tell from where I was sitting. His tousled hair was long and thick, the dirty blond suiting his rugged appearance. I suddenly had the urge to run my fingers through it, tangling them in the waves.

Even though I couldn’t see every inch of his face, the chiseled jaw and slight stubble was sexy as hell. He had an aura about him that screamed of power and dominance, which sent a small shiver down my spine.

I took a sip of wine, doing my best to act calm and collected when my stomach was doing flipflops. There was no doubt by the way his eyes roamed my body that he was peeling away the costume, envisioning the prize underneath.

My mouth was suddenly dry, my pulse racing. I refused to back down, studying him all over again until the corners of his lips lifted, the sexy smirk one of knowing. As if he’d already made the decision that I would belong to him for the night. I gave him a sexy smile of my own, laughing softly. While he couldn’t hear the sound, I’d made it obvious I was checking him out as well.

Jenny lifted her eyebrows, following my heated gaze. “Whew. Now, that’s a look. Oh, my God. He’s gorgeous.”

“He’s wearing a costume. How can you tell?”

“Look at it this way. This could be a secret tryst even from the two of you. False names. Keep part of the costume on. What do you have to lose?”

I shifted my gaze toward her, lifting my wineglass in appreciation. “There are times you have very good ideas.”

“Who are you kidding, girlfriend. My ideas are always fantastic. Go for it. Just talk to him. You don’t need to do anything more than that.”

She was right. What was the harm in talking to him? Not a thing. I was a grown woman who had every ability to make choices herself. I took a gulp of wine, returning it to the cocktail napkin with purpose. When I stood, I thought for certain Jenny was going to clap.

“You go, girl. I’m proud of you.”

My stomach was in knots, but after smoothing down my dress I tipped my head toward the mystery man once again.

He was gone.

The butterflies ceased to exist, disappointment creeping in. I should have known it was too good to be true. “He left.”

She snapped her head toward the end of the bar. “I’m sorry, girl. Why don’t you go and look for him?”

“I’m not desperate. As you said, there are tons of gorgeous men here.” Which actually wasn’t true from what I’d seen. For the most part, the men were all fifty or older, acting like teenagers because no one would recognize them or chastise their behavior. Wasn’t that exactly what my intentions had been by agreeing to this trip? “But I am going to find a restroom.”

“Okay, girl. I still say you should look for him.”

I walked away from the bar, heading toward the lobby of the hotel. Maybe it was for the best after all. As I weaved my way through the crowds, I told myself it was for the best. The crowd was getting thicker and I had difficulty breathing given my claustrophobia. As several drunk assholes bumped into me, I almost lost my balance because of the shoes. Then someone grabbed my arm, pulling me to the side.

“Hey, baby. Why don’t you and I get busy?” Whoever the dude was in the officer of the law costume, I wasn’t impressed. No one could grab me like that and expect me to comply easily.

“Not interested but thank you for the generous offer.” I offered a smile while I tried to yank my arm from his clutches. He was having none of it.

“Hey, I saw you flirting with every man in the casino. I’m just taking you up on the offer.” Before I had a chance to object, he managed to drag me inside the men’s bathroom.

“I don’t think so.” After a few seconds of fighting his hold, I managed to free my arm. Then I issued a hard punch to his jaw. The force was just enough to toss him into the bathroom counter.

He stared at me with wild eyes. Then he lunged in my direction. A yelp left my throat as I tried to turn and run.

And I slammed against something rock hard.

“Whoa.” The voice was deep, the rumble penetrating my eardrums over the laughter and conversation of others.

I was still teetering back and forth, forced to grip the savior’s forearms. An electric shot tore through me that pushed a slight moan past my lips. I arched my back, lifting my head to catch a glimpse of his jaw. I was fairly tall in my heels, but he towered over me. His jaw was even more chiseled than I’d thought, his lips meant for kissing on long winter’s nights. There wasn’t a muscle in his body that wasn’t carved to perfection. As his scent wafted into my nostrils, I was shaken to my core, the fragrance of a deep forest with citrus and a hint of exotic spices intoxicating.

It seemed we were both momentarily shaken, the connection that intense. Then he finally smiled.

“Are you okay? Was this asshole bothering you?” he growled at the fake cop.

There was a slight twang to his voice, possibly indulging in his Lone Ranger fantasies. The husky sound made him that much sexier. “I’m fine,” I half whispered, taking on a disguised voice of my own, slightly lower and certainly sultrier. Why not? This was the one night where I could be anyone I wanted. I’d always wanted to be considered sexy instead of the girl next door. This might be my one chance. Why not adopt the wicked as sin persona I was portraying? “Thank you for saving me.”

“Absolutely, ma’am. I’ll always save a damsel in distress, especially one as beautiful as you are.” I’ll be damned if he didn’t tip his cowboy hat.

“Hey, ass wipe. She’s mine. Get your own pussy for the night.”

Instantly, my savior was pissed as hell. I could see it in his eyes. He eased me to the side then without hesitation, threw two powerful punches at the man.

I watched in shock, the moment drifting into slow motion as the fake cop’s knees buckled. Down he went on his face, out cold.

“That’ll teach you never to treat a woman with disrespect.”

Holy cow. No one had ever come to my defense the way the sexy hunk had. He waited for a few seconds then gently took me by the arm, leading me out of the restroom.

“I’m sorry you had to deal with that Neanderthal.”

“Do you always do that?”

He chuckled. “When a beautiful woman is about to get accosted, hell, yes.”

Dear God, the Lone Ranger’s legs were long, his thigh muscles bulging against the thick denim. I should feel embarrassed by the way I perused his gorgeous body, biting my lower lip when I noticed the rattlesnake skin cowboy boots he was wearing. Either he was a real cowboy or he’d gone to great lengths to portray one. I wanted to think of him as a rodeo star who just happened to pass through Vegas.

His dark chuckle was an indication he sensed what I was thinking, approving of my sinful thoughts.

“Thank you very much, but I could have handled the jerk.”

He cocked his head, giving me a slightly admonishing look. “Good girls don’t get into fist fights, and I can tell you’re a very good girl.”

Good girl? Why did a tiny thrill drift all the way to my pussy?

“Hmmm… Are you trying to flirt with me, kind sir?” I allowed my gaze to fall then return to his eyes, providing an appreciate look.

“What would you do if I said I was?” The deep, rich drawl was far too enticing, pulling me into a hypnotic state. His eyes were dreamy, a term I’d never used in my life. They pierced mine with just a hint of amusement at the game we were playing.

Only then did I realize I was digging my fingers into his bare arms. When I pressed my palm against his chest, his reaction drove me to the edge of sanity, his chest rising and falling in time with my heartbeat. “Then I’d say I liked it.” My gaze roamed over his broad shoulders, the electricity we shared pulling me into a powerful haze as desire roared through every cell in my body.

The Lone Ranger did another sweep all the way down the length of my legs as the sexual tension between us increased. He kept his hold on me, the closeness of our bodies driving explosive heat into my system. “Would you like to get out of here?”

I reminded myself that I was the girl who followed all the rules. I’d made straight A’s while working two jobs during college. I’d never had a parking ticket. I’d never been arrested, although I did have a rebellious six months when that almost happened. Twice. But that was the past and this was now. For all practical purposes, I deserved to have a night of unbridled sin.

So I took a leap of faith while tossing aside my rationality.

It was only one night.


Chapter Two


Maybe I’d look back on the obvious loss of my rationality with regret, but somehow, I doubted it. As he took me by the hand, I remained in the sweet haze of lust, allowing him to control the situation. He took long strides through the lobby toward the bank of elevators, slapping his hand on the button. As if by magic, the doors swung open, revealing an empty space.

He pulled me inside with full authority, purpose in his step. As he pushed me against the wall, I held my breath, trying to control my nerves. I swallowed, the little voice inside my head encouraging me, reminding me that I could do this.

Whether or not I could follow through was the question, but there was no shortage of chemistry between us, another surge of desire spinning around us as if preparing a golden cocoon. He planted his hands on the cold steel beside me, dipping his head until our lips were dangerously close. Even through the mask, I could tell he was several years older. That only made the excitement of being with him that much more intoxicating.

I’d wanted my first time to be with an older man. If it couldn’t be with the person I longed to touch and taste, then this magnificent specimen of a man was exactly what I needed.

“What do I call you?” he asked, his voice even deeper than before.


“Luna the good witch?”

“There’s nothing good about me. I’m very naughty.”

His lips curled into a salacious smile. “I like a naughty witch. That’s so much tastier than if you were a good witch,” he breathed.

“Oh, I’m very bad.” Assuming the role was intriguing, even if I had no idea what I was talking about.

He laughed and my panties became soaked. “Well, then, bad little witch, you can call me Ranger.”

“Mmm…” I purred and fisted his shirt, arching my back.

The smile remained on his face, his eyelids barely open. The way his nostrils flared was a clear indication of his lurid thoughts. I remained struck by his masculinity, a man entirely comfortable with his prowess. While I didn’t know a thing about him, he had the ability to make me feel comfortable. He took multiple deep breaths, the smile remaining. Obviously, the perfume I’d selected for the evening was to his liking.

When the elevator pinged, he took my hand once again and it struck me how comfortable I felt around him, as if I’d known him my entire life. He whisked us to the end of the hall, sliding the card into the slot so quickly that I barely noticed him doing so.

Once inside, he tossed it and his hat on the dresser, closing and locking the door. Then he wasted no time, pushing me against the wall as he’d done inside the elevator. “Are you sure about this?”

“Without a doubt.”

“Be careful, Luna. I might ruin you.”

That’s exactly what I wanted. “Please do.”

The only light was the bright moon sweeping in through the open blinds and the glow from some of the thousands of neon lights of Vegas slashing across the horizon. While I wanted to bask in the glory of every inch of his body, I preferred the shadowed light in keeping with the game we were playing.

He struggled out of his leather vest, pitching it halfway across the room as I crowded against the wall, more comfortable with a stranger than I should be. This time when he lowered his head, I rose onto my tiptoes, pressing our lips together. Within seconds, he took full control, tugging me away from the wall and fisting the wig. I couldn’t care less if he ripped it off, but it stayed snugly in place while he crushed his mouth over mine.

The taste of bourbon and peppermint was an enthralling combination, my legs trembling from the intensity of his hold. I couldn’t help intertwining my fingers in his hair, the feel silky against my skin.

For the few kisses I’d had before, nothing had prepared me for the way his dominating passion made me feel—lightheaded, my stomach in knots. Heat continued to build rapidly between us and when he pushed the hard ridge of his cock against my stomach, I was swooning. I’d never felt this way before, completely free and in control of my own destiny.

I moaned into the moment of intimacy as I allowed my hands to roam over his chest, marveling in the feel of his chiseled abs between my fingers. He swept his tongue inside, instantly dominating mine as soft growls erupted from the depth of his being.

He kept his firm hold, rubbing his hips back and forth, exciting me even more. After wrapping his arm around my waist, he pulled me away from the wall, the kiss rougher as he backed into another room. I clung to him, still feeling lightheaded. I’d never wanted nor appreciated a man who took control of anything but with him it seemed as natural as the desire to be here in his room. With a complete stranger.

No one could understand how freeing the moment truly was, a letting go of the past while embracing the joys of what would be a wonderful future.

Or so I hoped.

As he pulled me into the bedroom, he allowed our lips to part, using both hands to cup the sides of my face. “You’re amazing, a beautiful feast for the eyes. Do you have any idea how incredible you are?”

He seemed to know exactly what to say, allowing me to feel the heated need of a man. Even in the luminescent light of the Vegas skyline, I could see the intensity of his gaze, one filled with the kind of lust reserved for no other girl but me.

“No one has told me that before.” The admittance should have been difficult, but it wasn’t.

“Then every other man out there is a fucking fool.” He backed away a single step, ripping the shirt off his shoulders from the collar, tossing it aside. A sly smile crossed his face as he yanked off his cowboy boots, laughing softly as he threw them halfway across the room.

When he crowded my space once again, he cocked his head before easing the straps of my dress over my shoulders, his breathing as ragged as mine. Another wave of embarrassment rushed through my system, goosebumps popping along every inch of skin. A part of me knew I should tell him that I was still a virgin, but I didn’t want to spoil the moment, fearful he’d ask me to leave.

While no man had seen me in anything less than a bathing suit, I did what I could to keep my nerves under control. I wondered if he’d think of what I was giving him was a gift or a hindrance. As he tugged on the material of my costume, gently guiding it over my hips, I was exalted by both the predatory expression crossing his face as well as the way his breathing picked up in intensity.

“Fuck me. You are… spectacular.” As he allowed the material to drop to the floor, he cupped my breasts, dropping his head.

I cradled my arms around his neck, taking gasping breaths as he flicked his tongue back and forth across my nipple. “Oh… my…” The sensations rushing through every cell and muscle were explosive, so much so that stars floated in front of my eyes. When he rolled his lips across my jaw, I shuddered visibly, kicking out of my shoes then the costume. Standing in only my crimson panties seemed filthy, so much so I threw my head back, a nervous laugh popping from my throat.

He brushed his lips further down, moving between my breasts. Then he wrapped his lips around one hardened bud, and I was certain my legs would buckle. I gripped his arms to keep from falling, whimpering softly as he shifted to my other nipple, taking the tender flesh between his teeth and biting down. The pain was extraordinary and so unexpected that I gasped.

His touch was incredible, the sensations increasing to the point my entire body was on fire. He pulled away, issuing another husky growl before pinching my nipples between his thumbs and forefingers. I couldn’t believe the hint of anguish was as powerful as it was, my heart racing as he studied my facial expressions.

As he lowered his gaze once again, he slid his fingers under the thin elastic of my panties, slowly easing them down my hips. When he shook his head, another wave of nerves rushed into my system. He flexed his fingers, rubbing his palm down my stomach, keeping his eyes locked onto mine as he inhaled. The way he narrowed his eyes as he studied me, his entire face and body tensing, pulled at the bad girl inside of me.

I couldn’t resist running my hand down his chest, darting quick glances before rolling my index finger down the length of his cock. When I murmured in appreciation, he slipped his hand between my legs.

“Fuck me. You’re so wet.”

“You made me that way,” I told him then wrapped my hand around his cock, shocked at the girth. I was ready to strip off his jeans, eager to see all of him.

When he rolled his thumb around my clit, I shook to my core.

“I’m going to make you feel so good.”

“I want you.” The words came easily. “Taste me. Take me.”

“Oh, I will. I’m going to taste every inch of you. When I’m finished, I’m going to fuck you.”

He lifted me into his arms, a single stride taking us closer to the bed. When he eased me down gently, he hovered over me, placing one knee on the bed. Leaning over, he trailed his fingers down the length of one arm then the other.

“Arms over your head,” he commanded and when I didn’t react fast enough, he tweaked my nipple until I cried out.

I followed his orders, clasping my fingers together. Only when I’d followed his command did he resume his exploration, sliding the rough pads of his fingers down my chest, grinning as he rolled a finger around my bellybutton.

I held my breath as he crawled all the way onto the bed, his expression screaming that he was going to devour me. I couldn’t seem to stop shaking, my mind barely able to process that this was really about to happen.

When he gathered my legs into his arms, bending my knees then pushing my legs wide open, I bit back another cry. There was no reason for me to be emotional, yet I was. Did it have to do with how incredible he’d made me feel or about the hint of fear that continued to remain with me?

I curled my toes and as soon as he lowered his head, blowing across my throbbing pussy, the hint of nerves floated away. I closed my eyes, lolling my head.

“Luna. Open your eyes. You need to watch me consume every drop of your sweet juice.” I sensed his command was not to be denied.

While I did as he asked, I chewed on my lower lip to keep from crying out. He gripped my thighs, digging his fingers into my skin as he opened me even wider. I wasn’t certain who I was any longer, but I also didn’t care. As he swirled the tip of his tongue around my clit, I bucked up from the bed, gasping for air for the umpteenth time.

The pleasure was instant, a buzzing sound echoing in my ears. I opened my mouth to scream, but there was no sound, just a scattered whisper.

“You taste so good. Damn, you’re sweet. I could do this for days.”

Why did his dirty words ignite another fire deep within? I clutched the bedding, yanking on the comforter as I tossed my head back and forth. I’d never expected this. Not in a million years.

“Bad girl,” he growled, and I instantly threw my arms over my head.

How did he think I could stay this way when I needed to touch him? As his actions became rougher, I struggled with the need to tell him the truth. He darted his tongue inside, lapping my cream and I could tell I was close to coming already. When he returned his mouth to my clit, I jerked up from the bed.

“Oh, that feels so good. I can’t… breathe.”

“Then let me do the breathing for you, baby.”

He dragged his tongue up and down, driving me to the point of madness. When he pressed a single finger inside, I smashed my hand against his arm. “You need to know that…”

Ranger lifted his head and I was terrified to look at him. Then I knew the second he realized what I was trying to tell him.

“Relax, baby. I’ll make it special for you.”

My mystery man could have no idea how special he’d just made me feel, as if he was honored that he was my first.

I was able to take several deep breaths, allowing him to take full control of me. While there was more tenderness in his touch, I did what I could to arch my back, wanting him to devour every inch of me.

“I won’t break. Lick me. Make me come. Please,” I told him, and it seemed to release the beast inside the man. He lifted my pelvis off the bed, sucking on my clit to the point I wasn’t certain I could hold back. Every nerve ending was on fire, the white-hot heat of what we were doing keeping a rush of vibrations going off inside my core.

I laughed then mewed, still struggling to keep my arms over my head. I wanted to touch him desperately, but I knew better than to disobey him.

He slipped a single finger inside, taking his time wiggling it as my pussy muscles clamped around the slight invasion. When he hit the membrane, he lifted his head, waiting until I nodded. Then he broke through and the slice of pain was quickly driven away by the sheer pleasure he was providing. There was no expression of anger that I hadn’t told him my secret, just a lovely smile indicating his amazement I’d allowed him to be my first.

He added a second finger, massaging my pussy as he pumped slow and easy, continuing to suck on my clit. I writhed on the bed, jerking up several times as a roar of ecstasy tickled my toes, sliding along the inside of my legs until I could hold back no longer. I’d owned a vibrator for years. I understood what pleasure meant, but what he was doing to me, the intensity of every sensation dancing throughout my body was so powerful that every muscle stiffened then began to shake.

The orgasm blew my mind, the rapture unlike anything I’d ever experienced. My Lone Ranger licked furiously, thrusting harder than he’d done before. The discomfort was gone, replaced by pure and very raw ecstasy.

“Oh. Oh. Oh…”

As I started to come down from the cloud of sweet release, he blew across my pussy, slowing his actions then swirling his tongue around my swollen bud.

“You look sinful and delicious when you come.”

The heat of his breath kept the tingles alive, his words allowing me to smile, basking in the glory of sweet release.

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