Authors: Mallory Monroe
ONCE IN MY LIFE
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WITHOUT THE WRITTEN CONSENT OF
THE AUTHOR AND AUSTIN BROOK PUBLISHING.
This novel is a work of fiction. All
characters are fictitious. Any similarities to anyone living or dead are
completely accidental. The specific mention of known places or venues are
not meant to be exact replicas of those places, but are purposely embellished
or imagined for the story’s sake.
more information on all titles.
THE SINATRAS OF JERICHO COUNTY
SERIES IN ORDER:
BIG DADDY SINATRA
THERE WAS A RUTHLESS MAN
BIG DADDY SINATRA 2
IF I CAN’T HAVE YOU
BIG DADDY SINATRA 3
THE BEST OF MY LOVE
ALL OF ME
THE PRESIDENT’S GIRLFRIEND
SERIES IN ORDER:
THE PRESIDENT’S GIRLFRIEND
THE PRESIDENT’S GIRLFRIEND 2:
HIS WOMEN AND HIS WIFE
DUTCH AND GINA:
A SCANDAL IS BORN
DUTCH AND GINA:
AFTER THE FALL
DUTCH AND GINA:
THE POWER OF LOVE
DUTCH AND GINA:
THE SINS OF THE FATHERS
DUTCH AND GINA:
WHAT HE DID FOR LOVE
FOR THE LOVE OF GINA
THE MOB BOSS SERIES
ROMANCING THE MOB BOSS
MOB BOSS 2:
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
MOB BOSS 3:
LOVE AND RETRIBUTION
MOB BOSS 4:
ROMANCING TRINA GABRINI
A MOB BOSS CHRISTMAS:
(Mob Boss 5)
MOB BOSS 6:
THE HEART OF RENO GABRINI
A MAN IN FULL
RENO AND TRINA:
GETTING BACK TO LOVE
RENO AND SON:
DON’T MESS WITH JIM
MOB BOSS ELEVEN
THE WRONG ONE
RENO AND TRINA
IN THE SHADOWS OF LOVE
THE GABRINI MEN SERIES
ROMANCING TOMMY GABRINI
ROMANCING SAL GABRINI
TOMMY GABRINI 2:
A PLACE IN HIS HEART
SAL GABRINI 2:
A WOMAN’S TOUCH
TOMMY GABRINI 3:
GRACE UNDER FIRE
SAL GABRINI 3:
SAL GABRINI 4:
I’LL TAKE YOU THERE
TOMMY GABRINI 4:
DAPPER TOM BEGIN AGAIN
UNTIL YOU COME BACK TO ME
FROM MALLORY MONROE:
DANIEL’S GIRL (ROMANCING AN OLDER MAN)
ROMANCING MO RYAN
ROMANCING HER PROTECTOR
ROMANCING THE BULLDOG
LOVERS AND TAKERS
LOVING HER SOUL MATE
LOVING THE HEAD MAN
SOME CAME DESPERATE:
A LOVE SAGA
A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
BACK TO HONOR:
A REGGIE REYNOLDS
DINO AND NIKKI:
AFTER WHAT YOU DID
updates and more
information on all of her titles.
Gulfstream 650 flew out of the clouds with a thunderous entry, and touched down
and taxied until it came to a rolling stop.
Across the airstrip tarmac, Danny Padrone was waiting.
He stepped out of the front passenger side of
the Cadillac limousine, and buttoned his suit coat.
He was the muscle, the man who always met the
plane, and today was no exception.
Carissa Caine got out from behind the wheel and opened the driver’s side
back passenger door.
This was her first
time working for the great man, but Danny had schooled her well.
She was an experienced driver.
She chauffeured rich guys all across
Pennsylvania for nearly a decade.
was ready for this.
She yelled across the hood of the limo when the noise of the jet quieted
“You’re tight with him or
Danny ignored her.
“Where you think he’s been all this time?”
She was on
loan from Teddy Stefani’s crew, and had a solid reputation working for
But she also had a mouth on her
that Danny knew his boss was not going to appreciate.
Teddy Stefani had no problem with it.
Mick Sinatra didn’t play that.
Danny,” Carissa tried again, “where you think he’s been all this time?”
at her with a disgusted look.
you asking me something like that for?
How should I know where he’s been?
He’s been on business, that’s where he’s been.
And it’s none of your fucking business.”
didn’t allow anybody to talk to her that way.
“It’s not serious like that though,” she responded.
couldn’t disagree more.
“It is serious
It is serious.
Now I’m telling you, Riss, this is not like
those other jobs. Mick Sinatra will just as soon slit your throat than
entertain your questions.
Your job is to
open that door and drive this vehicle.
Leave everything else to me.”
you’re saying makes no sense, Danny.
You’re trying to tell me I can’t ask the man how his trip was, or how is
that,” Danny said forcefully.
ask him none of that shit!”
“What’s with you, anyway?
I told you this job is different!”
She couldn’t take Danny
seriously even if she wanted to.
knew Mick “The Tick” Sinatra was the real deal from way back, but she was
willing to bet any amount of money that even he wasn’t as dire a character as
Danny made him out to be.
As far as she was concerned Danny
was just a nervous nelly and had been for as long as she knew him.
quickly stood erect.
“He’s coming,” he
said, as he nervously smoothed down his windblown hair.
looked at Danny and shook her head.
a wuss, she thought.
Then she looked
toward the jet as a tall figure emerged from out of the cabin and stood at the
top of the steps.
She saw a dashing male
in a flowing white ankle-length coat, a black turtleneck shirt and black
trousers, his thick hair blowing in the wind, as he began descending the
She’d heard of Mick Sinatra, but
this was her first time seeing him in person.
“That him?” she asked.
She was smiling.
“I was expecting some decrepit old coot.
You didn’t tell me he looked that good!”
frowned and looked at his subordinate.
“What do I look like telling you that for?
Watch yourself, Riss.”
about me,” Carissa said.
“I know how to
I’ve been driving around
rich mafia types all my career.
what they like.”
was already shaking his head.
You don’t know shit about him.
He ain’t those dirty old men you’re used to
He ain’t Teddy
He don’t want shit from your
body, and to him you’re just another pretty face.
You open this door and then close it, and
then get behind that wheel and drive.
isn’t the weather lovely
None of that shit.
You hear me, Riss?”
I’m sure he hears you too loud as
I got it.
Treat him that way.
something more to her, but Carissa wasn’t listening.
She was too busy checking out the man in
black and white.
He walked slowly, but
he didn’t lumber along.
along, as if he was gliding, as if every stride he took became three steps in
And when he arrived at the driver
side passenger door, and Carissa saw those gorgeous green eyes, she jerked her
long blonde hair back, smiled her high wattage smile, and did what she knew how
back, boss,” Danny said from the opposite side of the car.
didn’t respond. Which didn’t bother Danny.
He was accustomed to it. But as Mick bent his tall body and began to
climb into the backseat of his limousine, Carissa couldn’t help herself.
She wasn’t accustomed to rudeness and was
never going to be.
“I’m Carissa Caine,
Mr. Sinatra,” she said.
stretched his eyes in amazement, stunned that she would go there.
Mick stopped his progression into the
vehicle, stood back up, and looked, not at Carissa, but at Danny.
sent her over, sir.
To keep it in the
Deuce took ill and we needed a
driver on short notice.”
me,” Carissa said, undaunted.
at her, but she had supreme confidence.
She never drove for a guy she didn’t fuck, and this guy was not going to
be any different.
“I may look young, but
I’ve got a wealth of experience.
experience, that is,” she added, with another smile and a coquettish jerk of
looked at her with such a chilling look that it made her want to take a step
But she held her ground.
“And I need this information
The thought that he
would just as soon slit her throat than answer her questions, as Danny had
warned her, suddenly didn’t seem as implausible as she had assumed.
“Since I’m a new face, sir, I thought you’d
want to know who I am.”
me who you are.”
“Why, yes, sir.
Yes, he did.
But I wanted to let you know also.
I’m your driver for today.”
the fuck up and drive,” Mick said bluntly, showing no compassion whatsoever.
He stared at her a moment longer, attempting
to decide if he should leave her where she stood.
But Teddy wouldn’t send over anybody less
than the best.
He got into his
heart fell through her shoe.
she said, and closed the door.
As she stood
there, still struck by that look she saw in his unfeeling eyes, Danny angrily
motioned for her to get her ass behind the wheel.
When she did so, he hurriedly got onto the
front passenger seat beside her.
waited for their boss to pronounce his displeasure.
But Mick didn’t say a word.
Maybe because the car phone began
Maybe because he didn’t give a
Danny could never tell with Mick.
Danny said when he answered the phone.
his legs and sat quietly in the backseat.
Carissa glanced through the rearview mirror, looking at him, as he sat
with such a peaceful demeanor it confused her.
No fumbling with his smartphone.
No flipping through papers.
He seemed perfectly
content to enjoy the peace and quiet without interruption.
Until Danny had no choice but to interrupt.
He hung up
the car phone and pressed the intercom button quickly.
“We’ve got trouble, boss.”
pronouncement along caused Mick to look toward the front of his limousine.
“And what might that be?”
still looking through the rearview, saw a slight, but noticeable reaction on
Was this Flo his woman?
fell?” Mick asked.
his face toward the back of the limo.
was only then could Mick see the terror in his man’s eyes.
“Everybody, sir,” Danny said.
slammed against his chest.
“Go,” he ordered.
“Drive,” he ordered, and
Carissa proved why Teddy Stefani sent her over in the first place.
She took direction from Danny and flew through the streets of
Philadelphia as if she was driving a bat out of hell.
She knew when to keep it fast and when to
play it safe.
She managed what should
have been a twenty-five minute drive in less than fifteen.
everywhere outside of the secluded estate, and as the limo approached the
broken down security gate, Mick could see the guards he employed lying dead in
pools of their own blood.
were there now, Mick’s men also, in case the attackers decided to return.
the carnage outside, Carissa was experienced enough to know that the guards
were not the concern.
This Flo person
and everybody else inside that house were.
That was why she didn’t slow down.
That was why she sped past the dead guards and the new guards and drove
up to the front double doors of the expansive, secluded home.
to stay put, with the motor running, in case they required a fast getaway.
Mick and Danny hurried out of the
Carissa was surprised to see
that Mister Cool Sinatra already had his gun drawn, as if he didn’t rely on
anybody else to do his fighting for him, as he made his way up the numerous
steep steps that led to the front door.
Mick’s men were waiting at the doors too, all fully armed with automatic
weapons: his personal army of protection.
One of them hurriedly flung open the double doors, and Mick walked in.
cautious as he and his men entered Flo Durant’s home.
Nothing was amiss at first glance.
Not even a vase was overturned.
But Leo Barone, Mick’s senior security chief,
stood at the top of the stairs.
here, boss,” he said.
He, instead, began walking
around the great room downstairs with a calmness his men could not share.
They were ready to run, to turn this place
upside down, to find out what exactly happened here.
But Mick Sinatra ran this show.
And he was more interested, not in what
happened, since it already happened, but why.
slowly, looking at corners, at cushions, at little things no one else would
have given a second thought.
looked at each other.
The bodies were
What was he doing down
But they had nothing in their
arsenal that could persuade their boss to get a move on.
They looked upstairs, at Leo.
But Leo had next-to-nothing persuasively
He might be their boss, but
Mick was his boss, and Mick didn’t allow anybody to take liberties with
They were going to just have to