Authors: R.E. Saxton,Kit Tunstall
Amourisa Press and Kit Tunstall, writing as R.E. Saxton, reserve all rights to PATRICK. This work may not be shared or reproduced in any fashion without permission of the publisher and/or author. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely coincidental. All characters are 18 or over if engaged in sexual activity.
© Kit Tunstall, 2015
Cover Images: Depositphotos.com/©shaRullin; Cover design Amourisa Designs
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Patrick: A Mafia Love Story
Patrick Murphy leads the Irish mafia in his city. He could have any woman he wants, except the one he’s forbidden himself to take—his ward, Lauren. He longs for her and craves her. Until now, he’s managed to keep her out of his arms by sending her out of the country. Now that she’s finished with college and back home, his resolve is crumbling. She’s determined to have him, and it’s impossible to fight her and himself. If…when…he surrenders, he knows she’ll hate him for doing so once she learns his darkest secret.
He killed her father.
This story contains violent and sexual situations that might offend some readers. If you don’t enjoy dark romances, this might not be the book for you. However, if you enjoy a possessive Alpha mafia man torn between conscience and desire, prepare to meet “Patrick.”
Patrick Murphy had been dreading this day for four years. Dreading it almost as much as he was looking forward to it. As the limousine appeared on the long driveway to his home, he walked the remaining marble stairs down to the drive, waiting for the car to draw up before him. He didn’t allow the driver time to open the door when the vehicle came to a stop. Instead, he opened it himself and caught his breath the sight of a shapely leg exiting, followed by another, and then the rest of her.
Lauren stepped out of the back of the vehicle and immediately threw herself into his arms, her long blonde curls wrapping around him possessively. He braced himself with a grunt, even as his arms wrapped around her and pulled her closer. He never wanted to let go. With a small sigh, he gently urged her backward when she would have clung to him. “It’s good to see you, Lauren.”
She still wore a large smile. “I’m so happy to be home, Patrick. No more Ireland.” She laughed with delight.
In spite of himself, he could feel his lips curving up to a small smile. “That’s the mother country, so show some respect.”
She rolled her beautiful blue eyes at him. “I wouldn’t know, since I was cloistered at that all-girls’ university for the last four years. We left the grounds maybe ten times the entire time I was there.”
He shrugged, deciding not to renew the argument between them about it being for her own safety. What did it matter now, since she had finished at the university and was back in the city? At least until he could find another reason to send her away. The thought ripped through him, making him catch his breath harshly, but he didn’t betray the reaction. It had to be done, and he would just have to make Lauren see reason. She wouldn’t like being sent somewhere else again, but she had to be safe. Safe from enemies, and safe from him.
As she walked into the house beside him, Lauren put her arm around his waist in a seemingly unconscious gesture of affection. He stiffened, his first impulse to push her away for her own good. His second impulse was to pull her closer, take her to the nearest bedroom, and ravish her innocent young body. He couldn’t do either one, so he endured with gritted teeth as they strolled through his house, which would be hers for a while again. Her room waited upstairs just as she had left it, and it was a relief to escort her to her door with the intention of leaving her there.
She looked disappointed. “You aren’t coming in?”
Into her room, where there was a bed, one that would more than suffice for laying her down and taking her? Hell no, he wasn’t coming in. Patrick just shook his head. “I’ve got some business to attend to, but I’ll see you at dinner.” In an attempt to be paternalistic, he leaned down and kissed her forehead. He was aware of her scowl at the act, but he pretended not to see it. “Get settled in, and we’ll catch up later.”
She nodded, clearly unhappy with the situation, but deciding not to press him. Perhaps she had grown up in the past four years. Maybe she had started to realize he wasn’t a replacement father, and it wasn’t safe to be around him. Not just because he led the Irish mafia in their city, but also because he wanted her, craved her, and couldn’t trust himself around her.
As he walked away from her door, still feeling the phantom weight of her arm around his waist, he uttered a soft curse. He’d seen her occasionally over the past four years, most recently last Christmas, when he’d flown to Belfast and driven the three hundred kilometers to her university, but he’d hoped his desire had waned since then. It hadn’t, and it was a jolting realization to find he wanted the innocent young woman as much as he had from the time she was seventeen and came under his care.
He was just as determined as ever to protect her from his enemies and himself, but for just a moment, he wished it could be different. As he entered his office, his guards remaining behind on the outside of the door, he reminded himself wishes were useless. It couldn’t be different. She was twenty-two to his forty years old, and she was innocent and sweet, as yet untainted by the harsher realities of life.
He was a fucking mob boss, for fuck’s sake. He was plenty fucking tainted for both of them. His sleeves were stained red from all the blood on his hands, and he had no right to drag her into his world.
Most of all, she wouldn’t want him if she knew the truth, all the truth. He had accepted that long ago. Even if he was willing to overlook the risks to her by claiming her as his woman, by acting on the crush that she still seemed to have on him, turning it to an adult desire instead, the truth would always remain between them. The truth she didn’t know, but would make her hate him.
He had killed her father.
Lauren’s room was exactly as she’d left it, which was slightly embarrassing. She had been eighteen the last time she’d lived here, and only briefly. With no other family, she had been lucky Patrick Murphy took her in after her father’s death. She was grateful for that, and she knew she should be, but it still didn’t make her feel better about the fact he had sent her to boarding school to finish high school within a month of her moving into his house.
Then she’d been back for the summer, before he’d sent her away again, this time to Ireland, of all places, because of concerns that whomever had killed her father might go after her too. Ireland was his home country, albeit several generations removed, and he had a deep fondness for it. She wasn’t entirely sure what her heritage was, because she had no idea who her mother was. Her father had been Scotch-Irish, so she supposed Ireland was somewhat her home country. That hadn’t kept her from hating every minute of it.
Oh, the Catholic university where he’d stuck her had been beautiful, its campus quiet and conducive to education, but it had lacked something vital for her existence. Patrick Murphy himself.
She winced, imagining how he would laugh himself silly if he ever realized the crush she had for him. Crush was such a tame word, and it barely began to scratch the surface of her feelings. She had taken one look at him the night he had come to the small apartment she’d shared with her father and broken the news gently that her dad was dead, for her to feel something life-changing. It wasn’t the first time she’d seen Shane over the years, but it had been the first time she’d seen him through a woman’s eyes.
Not that she’d realized what it was then, so consumed by grief. It had taken a couple of weeks, long enough for the initial anguish of her father’s passing to settle in like a heavy shroud and become part of her, before she’d realized she felt more than gratitude for the mysterious man. It was insane, but she had fallen in love with him at the age of seventeen, even knowing he was a mob boss.
She wasn’t entirely sure if he knew she knew, but he’d revealed enough over the years for her to piece it together. Even before reaching the conclusion that he was involved in the same shady lifestyle as her father, she had known he wasn’t an accountant or a doctor, or even a traditional entrepreneur. He’d always had an air of danger around him, a darkness in his inner core that, for some reason, called to the lightness in hers.
She loved making him smile or laugh, since it was something he did infrequently. Seeing his hazel eyes light up with amusement was enough to make her happy for days. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t allow her to spend much time with him. Patrick said it was for her safety, which she understood, but this time, she was home for good regardless of his arguments. She wouldn’t allow him to send her away or push her away again.
She had made that resolution to herself on the plane back home. The last four-and-a-half years had been building to this point, and she wasn’t going to give in without a fight.
She also wasn’t naïve enough to believe there wouldn’t be a fight.
Patrick was an honorable man, despite his profession, and she knew once she made her interest plain, he would immediately reject the idea. The age difference would give him pause, and so would the fact he was her father’s contemporary, not hers. Most of all, she knew he would want to shelter her from the life he led.
It was an admirable goal, but she was prepared to accept him, all of him, to have him. He did bad things, but he’d always been good to her. He was a bad man, but he could also be a good man. She’d seen that on every occasion in which they had interacted.
She loved Patrick Murphy, and she was going to show him. The time had come to claim her man.
Patrick was already seated at the table when she came in a few minutes late for dinner. He had just taken a sip of his wine and nearly choked on it when he got a look at the dress she wore. She had certainly gone all out for a simple meal with him at home. The fuchsia sheath dress clung to her hips and thighs like a lover, showing every bit of her body, or at least every nook and curve. His cock was almost as tight as his lips when he looked at her, anger warring with desire. “What are you wearing?”
“A dress,” she said with a careless shrug as she seated herself, not waiting for him to rise and hold her chair.
“I concede it’s part of a dress, but where’s the rest of it?”
With a saucy snap of her napkin, she unfolded and slipped it over her lap, clearly planning to ignore his question. “What’s for dinner?”
He shrugged, forcing nonchalance he didn’t feel. “I think Mrs. Quimby made your favorite.” He knew for a fact she had, because he had planned the menu with the cook himself.
As though hearing her name had summoned her, the cook wheeled in a cart and distributed their plates, starting first with Patrick before moving to Lauren. “It’s good to have you back, Miss Lauren.” The short, chubby chef placed the plate before her and with lifted the salver with a flourish. “Steak with béarnaise sauce, grilled asparagus, and dill baby potatoes. Is that still your favorite, my dear?”
Lauren nodded eagerly, holding her knife and fork aloft like she was about to dive in. “As always, Mrs. Quimby. Especially when you make it.”
She shouldn’t have lived with him long enough for her to have a favorite, having only been in his home for a few months total, but she had. And Mrs. Quimby remembered her favorites. He shifted slightly in his seat, uncomfortable by the notion that he remembered them as well. He remembered far too much about her to be comfortable with it.
They ate quietly for the first few minutes, Lauren clearly savoring her steak. The blissful look on her face made his trousers uncomfortably tight, especially as he imagined her lips wrapped around his cock instead of a fork. Would she look that way as she sucked him? Would she make those soft sounds of pleasure, and would she swallow his essence the same way she swallowed the steak, clearly enjoying every second?
Sternly, he reminded himself he would never find out. After giving her a few minutes to savor the steak, he started speaking. “I have news for you.”
She paused reluctantly, clearly having a difficult time tearing herself away from her meal. “What’s that?” She dabbed at her lips with the linen napkin after asking. Lips painted some kind of vivid fuchsia that only highlighted their plump contours and made him think wicked thoughts.
Realizing she was staring at him expectantly, he cleared his throat and refocused his attention. “I have a friend who works in a magazine in London. Some kind of design magazine, and she would be happy to give you an internship. If all goes well, you could be writing for the magazine within a year or so.”
She tipped her head slightly. “That’s a lovely idea, but no thank you.”
He almost choked on the bite of steak, forcing it down before he spoke. “Excuse me?”
She seemed blithely unaware of the change in his tone. “I said no thank you. I appreciate the opportunity, but I have no interest in writing for fashion magazines. I’m not even sure I want to be a writer or what else I want to do. That’s why I ended up with a bachelor’s in general studies, with a minor in art, since I couldn’t decide.”
He couldn’t help a scowl in her direction. “Until you decide, this is a perfect opportunity to explore your options. I’ve arranged an apartment for you, and your ticket is booked.” That was all there was to say on the matter.
Or maybe not. “No, that won’t be necessary. I’m not interested in leaving home again.” She paused to take a long sip of ice water before frowning at the glass. “I don’t get wine?”
“You’re too young.”
She laughed softly. “I’m twenty-two, Patrick. It makes me a grown woman, and I know exactly what I want.” There was a smoky, sensual tone to her voice, and her eyes seemed to be frantically conveying a message to him.
It was a message he was determined to ignore, certain he was imagining at all. Or maybe just praying he was, because if this attraction was at all reciprocal, he was in big fucking trouble. “Fine. I guess I forgot your birthday. Do you want me to ask Mrs. Quimby to bring you a glass?”
She shook her head. “No, thank you. I actually rarely drink, but I don’t appreciate having the choice taken from me.” With a slight air of challenge, she leaned forward slightly, though still far away due to the spacious expanse of the table. “The same applies to my career and my life choices from this point, Patrick. I appreciate everything you’ve done for me, but I’m not going to be pressured to leave the city again. I’m going to make my life here.”
He frowned. “Why would you give up an internship in London? It’s the chance of a lifetime.” It had certainly cost him enough to make the possibility available, requiring a complimentary crate of machine guns to a former IRA member, whose daughter worked at the magazine. “It’s not safe for you here.” Here in his home, and here in the city. She could still be a target.
She shook her head. “Everything I want is right here. I just have to find a way to get it.”
“What if what you want isn’t available to you, young lady?”
A slow, sensuous smile curled her lips. “I’m determined to find out for myself, Patrick. You should know I’m pretty tenacious when it comes to getting what I want.”
Tiny beads of sweat popped out on his forehead, and he discreetly dabbed at them with his napkin. He had to be imagining the sexual undertone to her words. He just had to, because any alternative was unacceptable. He didn’t want to have to fight his own urges to possess her if she was offering herself to him on a silver plate. Fuck.
“You should brace yourself for disappointment, girl. Sometimes, you can’t get what you want.” He knew that all too well, having forced himself to send her away twice to protect her from him and his raging desire for her.
“We’ll see.” She winked at him before returning to her meal, and they ate most of the rest in silence.
Afterward, she stood up and pushed away from the table. “I’ll be back late tonight, so don’t wait up for me.”
He scowled fiercely. “What do you mean, you’ll be late?”
She sent him an innocent smile, but there was certainly a hint of wickedness in her gaze. “I have a date tonight. He’ll be here soon.”
He could feel his eyebrow creeping high on his forehead. “How the hell do you have a date? You just go home.”
Her smile brightened. “Oh, I met him on the plane.”
He shook his head. “Your plan to go out with some schmuck you just met on a plane? You can’t know anything about him. No. You can’t go.”
Lauren crossed the room, pausing near where he still sat. She leaned down, her arm going behind his chair, but not actually touching his shoulder or neck. Leaning closer, her lips only a few inches from his ear, she said, “I’m an adult, and I’m going. There’s no way you can stop me, unless you want to tie me up?”
He was positive he didn’t imagine the gleam of excitement in her gaze when she made the suggestion, but he couldn’t discern if it was excitement for her forthcoming date, or if she was getting off on the idea of him tying her up. He was certainly getting off on the idea, and he had to bunch his napkin in his hands to keep from reaching up to touch her. “I’m just worried about your safety.”
“Thank you, and I appreciate it.” She leaned forward, pressing a small kiss to his cheek. “You’re not my father, and I don’t need you to act like one. That’s the last thing I want from you, Patrick.” Then she spun on her heel and strolled away, looking as carefree as any twenty-two-year-old should.
He watched her go, entranced by the sway of her hips, feeling powerless to stop her. He wasn’t used to feeling impotent and unable to act. She had a point though. Unless he was willing to confine her to the house under a guard, he couldn’t stop her from going. Instead, he could send a couple of men with her for her safety. A wicked grin curved his lips as he plotted to ensure his men knew to keep this date on a strictly platonic level. He would happily send in proxy cock-blockers, since he couldn’t force her not to go.
Lauren would never admit it to Patrick, but she was glad for his two goons accompanying them. She wasn’t really into this Jeff guy, but she had figured a date on her first night back, coupled with this sexy-as-sin dress, might start pushing Patrick’s buttons—with a little help, including some light flirtation and simple disregard for his authority. Put together, those might be enough elements to make him lose control and claim what he so clearly wanted.
She wasn’t fooling herself by thinking that, was she? Was she projecting her own attraction on to him, or did he genuinely seem interested in her? It was a question that had haunted her for four-and-a-half years, and she was no closer to having an answer. Before she left his home again, she would know for sure. She had promised herself that.
Jeff seemed antsy and kept his hands above table, tapping them on the tabletop. “Is it really necessary to have your bodyguards right here at the table?” he asked in a surly tone.
She shrugged. “They’re just following orders.” Not something that would please her, at least under other circumstances, but it was working to her advantage. She had a feeling Jeff would be the handsy type if he hadn’t been so intimidated by the two large men in dark suits. If he’d seen the holsters, hidden under the expertly tailored jackets except for a discreet bulge, he would’ve certainly been intimidated. He probably hadn’t noticed that, or she had a feeling he would have already run for the door of the club. “Would you like to dance?”