Authors: Adora York
BRADEN: A MAFIA ROMANCE
Copyright, Legal Notice and Disclaimer:
BRADEN: A MAFIA ROMANCE
© 2015 by ADORA YORK. All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by electronic or mechanical means without permission in writing from the author. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, events, locations and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This book is for entertainment purposes only.
This book contains mature content and is solely for adults. All characters in this book are 18 years of age or older.
Cover Photo © 2015 by YORK IMAGING
Chapter 1: Angela
My life had always been rather difficult, filled with choices that I just couldn’t make on my own. Was I to wear the black dress with the crimson lipstick and pale makeup, or the white dress with hot pink lipstick and a rose colored blush? Choices! I needed Ronald to help me decide which one would make me look absolutely stunning, but he wasn’t answering my calls or returning my text messages. That was definitely unlike him. He always appeared at my beck and call. My sister Danielle was no help; all she cared about was studying and trying to figure out which new video game was going to keep her entertained when her schoolwork was done. She might as well have been born a boy. It was my job to be the shining light of the family, the one to carry on my mother’s legacy as a socialite who rubbed elbows with the famous names speckled across New York City.
“Mom, come on!” I held up the black dress and the white dress. “I need your help!”
“Angela, I have more important things to do than help you figure out which dress you should wear tonight. You’re old enough to decide that on your own. Besides, doesn’t Ronald usually help you figure out how to be beautiful?” She slid an earring into her ear and put a thin line of gloss around her lipstick.
“He isn’t answering…” I held the black one up against my breasts and stared in the mirror. “Maybe this one…”
“Perhaps he’s finally gotten tired of you constantly putting him in the friend zone. Isn’t that what you call it these days?” She tapped a brush against her cheekbones, trying to cover her age with a dab of powder.
“What did you call in your day?” I smirked at her and switched the black dress with the white one and compared the difference.
“In my day, I would have called him Mr. Right. You could do a lot worse. He’s already a hedge fund manager with a six figure salary.” She stood up and turned to the left and then the right, looking at her figure in the mirror.
“I mean, he’s nice enough, but he’s my best friend.” I settled on the black dress and started to slide it on.
“He adores you. I’m not saying he’s going to be the best lover you’ve ever had, but fidelity is overrated.” She sprayed perfume on her neck.
“Overrated?” My father asked as he walked into their bedroom.
“I wasn’t talking about us, my dear.” She walked over and joined hands with him. “You know that you’re my heart and soul.”
“See, why can’t I have that kind of love?” I asked as I stared at them. They looked like the perfect couple.
“Are you trying to sell our daughter off to Ronald again?” My father gave her an annoyed stare.
“He’s a good man.” She argued.
“Ronald is a pushover. He hasn’t had an original thought in his life and he’s only managing that hedge fund because his father called in a favor.” My father scoffed and shook his head.
“It doesn’t matter what he is at this point, because he isn’t even returning my calls.” I picked up my phone and checked it again.
“We’ll see you at the party, dear.” My mother adjusted my father’s bow tie and started towards the door.
“Try not to be late this time. Being fashionably late went out of style a long time ago.” He winked at me and followed her downstairs.
My mother and my father were both right. Ronald was certainly nice enough, but he had been my best friend since I was thirteen years old. He always had a crush on me, wrote me epic love poems, and even took me to my junior prom after my date cheated on me days before the event. Unfortunately, he really was a pushover. He was the kid the bigger guys stuffed in a locker before homeroom. Still, he had always been there for me, whether it was good times or bad. As we got older, he became my wingman, always helping me decide whether the guy hitting on me was worth my time. I always saw the jealousy behind his baby blues, but he never tried to step up his game. There were times when I was weak that I just wished he would make a move and go for it, but he never did. He just wasn’t that kind of guy, and I guess that just meant he wasn’t the guy for me.
“What are you doing nerd?” I walked into Danielle’s room and looked over her shoulder.
“I’m studying.” She pushed her long brown hair behind her ears and adjusted her glasses. “Thankfully, everyone will be out until dawn and I might be able to actually get some work done.”
“You mean you’ll stay awake until the sun comes up playing video games.” I picked up her controller and fiddled with it. “This thing will give you callouses.”
“No, I actually have schoolwork to do.” She yanked it out of my hand and put it back on her desk.
“Maybe you should try going to one of these parties. Sometimes there are cute guys there.” I adjusted my nails and looked at them for imperfections.
“Maybe you should try staying home one night and studying—I guess you’d actually have to enroll in college first though.” She glared angrily at me.
“Oh right, you’re going to be the big bad lawyer who saves the world.” I sighed and walked towards the door.
“Dad’s saving the world. I’m just trying to carve out a place for me.” She turned back towards her books.
I tried Ronald one more time as I walked back to my room. It was still crickets on his end. I had no idea what could be keeping him. He always loved going to my father’s parties. I sat down in my chair and started to apply my makeup. The black dress would look best with crimson lipstick and pale makeup. I didn’t need Ronald to tell me that. Once I was dolled up, I said goodbye to the nerd and made my way downstairs to hail a cab. The streets of New York were always filled with people, especially on a Friday night. I looked around until I saw a yellow glimpse and raised my hand. For a second, I thought I saw someone familiar watching me, but when I peered around the crowd, there was nobody there. I climbed into the cab and slid to the middle as he turned around to look at me.
“Where to?” He asked in a broken English accent.
“The Grand Ballroom please.” I smiled and tilted my head.
“Right away ma’am.” He turned his head and put the taxi into drive, speeding into traffic.
Even though I had lived my whole life in New York, I still enjoyed the sight of it, especially around Christmas time when the lights were in full effect. I loved it a lot more when my father still had his own law firm and I had a driver to take me anywhere I wanted to go. A few things had to be cut out when he went through his midlife crisis and stopped being a high powered defense attorney. He decided that defending men he thought were criminals was destroying his soul and instead turned his attention to prosecuting them. I admired him for following his dreams, but it had cost me a few friends. The cab stopped in front of the Grand Ballroom and I swiped my card to pay him, leaving a generous tip. I gave me a smile and then I stepped out of the cab. When my father was defending the so-called scourges of society, there were flashbulbs when my driver opened my door for me. Instead of flashbulbs, I was met with an usher who held open the door.
“Thank you.” I said with a nod as I walked inside.
“Wow, you’re early.” My mother joined me on the balcony overlooking the downstairs area.
“Does that mean I get to leave early?” I asked with a sarcastic smile.
“Your father needs you here. Having his family present helps with the reelection campaign.” She leaned over the balcony and sipped a glass of champagne.
“Danielle isn’t here. She’s family.” I shot her a glance and we both laughed a little bit.
“Danielle will come into her own one day. Right now, she is better off spending her Friday night at home.” She smiled and sipped her champagne again.
“Is that your way of saying she’s the ugly duckling and I’m the beautiful swan?” I blinked my eyes at her a couple of times.
“Stop it! You’re both beautiful.” She started towards the stairs. “Come on, we have to mingle.”
“No, you have to mingle. I have to follow you around, smile, and look pretty.” I trailed behind her and took a glass of champagne from a tray.
“Nope.” She finished her glass and took mine before I could even get a sip.
“Come on, it is a party…” I grumbled at her.
“A party with more police officers than citizens. The last thing your father needs is for you to get walked out in handcuffs.” She sipped her second glass.
“Maybe I’d like it. I might even meet Mr. Right.” I stood beside her as we got to the bottom of the stairs.
“Shush it. Any word from Ronald?” She looked over at me.
“No.” I checked my cell phone just to be sure. “I guess he isn’t coming.”
“He’s cute.” My mother pointed at a guy who was leaned against the bar.
“He’s like forty years old!” I tilted my head and quickly shook it.
“Yes he is. I think I’m going to say hello.” She walked towards him and I sighed at her.
Despite all of her talk and shameless flirting, I knew my mother would be going home with my father. She seemed to get a kick out of making him jealous. I scanned the room with my eyes and then quickly flicked them back to one of the columns. I could have sworn someone had been there a moment before; staring directly at me, but there was nobody there when my eyes returned to the spot. I gently chuckled as my father noticed my mother talking the rather attractive guy at the bar and quickly walked over to introduce himself. A second later he was walking away with her and introducing her to some of his supporters. He locked his eyes on me and motioned me over, so I walked towards him. I knew that deep down he hated all of the schmoozing but it was the only way to keep getting the support he needed to stay in office.
“And this is my daughter.” He said as he took my arm. “Angela, this is Richard Fallon.”
“Fallon Oil?” I smiled and extended my hand. “I wrote a paper about your company when I was in high school.”
“That’s charming. It is a pleasure to meet you.” He shook my hand and then turned his attention back to my father.
After a few more introductions, the crowd swallowed my parents and I made my way over to the bar. I took a glass of champagne and held it down by my waist until I was behind one of the columns. I drank it quickly and then circled back around for another one. It was unlikely that my father would be upset, as long as I didn’t get drunk and start dancing on tables. Luckily, I knew my limitations. The bartender didn’t even look up at me, he simply slid a glass towards me and then turned to the person next to me. Of course I would have preferred to have something stronger, but the night was still young. With a little bit of champagne stirring in my belly, I got a little more adventurous and started to introduce myself to more people. It didn’t take long to realize that I wasn’t the belle of the ball; I was barely an honored guest.
Chapter 2: Braden
The family I surrounded myself with carried none of my blood. The last one who had it coursing through his veins died walking back to his cell two weeks before and I was going to avenge him. At one time I was a soldier for the United States Army, proudly carrying my sniper rifle into battle. After my tours were done, I found myself in my father’s world, a foot soldier for the Mafia. My blood earned me my rank, and the moment my father’s was spilled, I became focused on spilling more. None of the deaths that surrounded me hit me quite as hard as his did—save one that I rarely spoke of. Revenge wasn’t going to be easy. I couldn’t simply walk up to the man responsible and pull the trigger. That would have been far too compassionate. I wanted him to hurt the way I hurt, and I feel the pain of loss like I had felt it. Sure, he would meet his end when his sorrow had consumed him, but there was a lot of pain to be dealt out before I put him in the ground.