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Authors: C. M. Steele

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Taking the Bait

BOOK: Taking the Bait
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Taking The Bait

Nothing But Trouble

 

C.M. Steele

Copyrighted ©2015 C.M. Steele

All rights reserved. Except for the use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical, or other means is prohibited without the express permission of the author.

This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, and settings are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, names, locales, organizations, or persons living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

Prologue

“You totally have to come to Chicago, Regan,” my outrageous American cousin whined on the other line. I knew she wouldn’t give up, but I really didn’t want to go. She was too outgoing for me. I knew we’d be out as she called it, “clubbing,” into the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t do that kind of thing, and I didn’t think my boyfriend would appreciate that I’d be dancing in a crowded pub.

Declan was a rancher and had been my friend since I was a little lass. He and I were always together, but it wasn’t until his parents suggested that we’d make a happily married couple. So, we took a chance on us as more than friends. It didn’t go as planned. Since he was always busy we didn’t build any sort of romantic intimacy.

“You know you want to come and see what city life is like.” Sometimes I wanted to punch her. My father always said my Irish temper would get me in trouble, but she was really asking for it.

“You act like I don’t have a major city not far from here. Dublin is not a small city, you know.”

“Whatever. So are you coming?”
Does she ever give up?

I thought about what I had scheduled and realized that I was actually busy. Declan and I were going to a dance at the end of next week. It would be the first time he could leave his farm for more than two hours. She didn’t understand it because she was a city girl.

“Well, I don’t really know, Diana. It seems too much for little ol’ me, plus Declan wouldn’t be too happy with me being gone, since we finally have time to go on a real date.”

“You can reschedule a date. Seriously, if he really wants you, he’ll reschedule.”

“It’s not that simple. He works hard. It’s not the same as working with papers. Animals have to be taken care of all the time.”

“Do you love him?”

I paused too long so she asked impatiently, “Well? Do you?”

“I really like him,” I said as I questioned my feelings for Declan. I really liked him, truly, I did. He was smart and hard working. He treated me like something special, and he made me laugh. Something my father did with my mother every day. Despite having their little arguments, they were the happiest of couples. I wanted something like what they had. Our years of friendship made us extremely close, but not the way it should.

“What if you find someone amazing here? I’ve seen Declan. He’s hot, for a farmer, but the men here are sophisticated, handsome, and don’t smell like horses.”

“That’s exactly why he wouldn’t want me to go.”

“Are you two married?” she asked with her usual American snootiness.

“No,” I replied begrudgingly. I knew where she was going with this. She was a determined little thing.

“Then you don’t have to answer to him. He’s only your boyfriend, nothing more. He can wait for you or move on. You know I’m not above begging.” For the next two minutes, she went on about how amazing it would be for me and how much fun we would have once I came to visit. She could continue for hours. She visited us six months ago and had been a pain when she didn’t get what she wanted—spoiled to the core.

“Fine, you win. I’ll talk to Declan and my parents today, but I don’t know how they’re going to take it.”

“How soon can you come?” she asked anxiously, completely ignoring my concerns, as always.

“Next week?” I suggested. I knew it wouldn’t pacify her. I liked her because she was fun and my cousin, but she did try my nerves. Diana was only child like me, but given everything she ever wanted, regardless of the cost. My parents set boundaries, gave chores, and instilled some sense of self-respect for my person—something Diana was missing.

“Can’t you come sooner?” Diana pleaded with me. I could envision her face with a pout and stomping her feet.

“Sure. I’ll see if I can come in a couple of days,” I caved. I knew I’d be able to get her off the phone and stop begging.

“Great. Let me know when, and I’ll have one of the guys come get you.”

“You’re not coming to get me?”
What the hell kind of nonsense was that?
She already decided she wasn’t going to pick me up even though I didn’t say what day I was coming. That’s a bit odd, but then again so is she. I didn’t know if it was the difference in our customs and culture or was it just her.

“I don’t know. Don’t be a baby. I’ll talk to you later.” She hung up the phone, and I walked off to find my parents.

†††

“Boss, Tony’s been shot,” Gino, my second lieutenant, said hesitantly.

“What do you mean Tony’s been shot? Is he okay?” I shouted at him. This wasn’t the news I wanted to hear.

“He was shot in the leg. They took him to Saint Joe’s on the Northside.”

“Who would be that fucking stupid to shoot him?” I growled. He knew heads would roll and bodies buried for this shit. There was no forgiveness in my blood when you fucked with one of my own. Whoever did this would pay, big time, and must be seriously fucked in the head to mess with me and my guys.

“It was Flanagan’s men.”

“What do you mean Flanagan’s men? Is he trying to start a war? Because he got one. No one messes with my family and gets away with it.” I was pissed off. With my sister’s wedding around the corner, I’d let this slimy fat bastard into my city because I didn’t want a war. My sister ended up calling off the marriage.

So, if this prick wanted a war, I’d bring it to him. He wasn’t anybody I would normally be worried about. He hadn’t tried to step on my toes before, which I thought was because he knew who he was dealing with, but apparently not.

“I’m on my way to the hospital. I’ll take my truck. Follow me with three of the guys just in case this prick isn’t done,” I growled.

I had my men take a different ride because I didn’t like being surrounded by these antsy asses all day, but as the head of this organization that’s the breaks. They were always too trigger-happy. We had too many issues lately because they couldn’t keep their guns tucked away. Today, I was feeling the same way. Someone had to pay and someone would.

“I’ll deal with Michael Flanagan later,” I snarled as I got in my truck.

I sped to the hospital furious with the situation. My men had a hard time keeping up with me. My cousin was only in town to visit from Seattle. He was starting up his crew there and had been making some serious moves.

Tony was orphaned after his dad had a heart attack three years ago. Before he died, his pops asked me to look after Tony, and I failed. I wanted to wipe out the whole Flanagan organization for this. Tony was young and too fucking hardheaded. I hope this shit taught both of us a lesson.

I got to Tony’s hospital room after snapping on some of the lazy ass workers there. They were socializing like this wasn’t a damn ER. I looked at my cousin, and Tony’s olive skin tone was a greyish pale. Damn, I hoped it wasn’t worse than Gino said. There was a middle-aged nurse standing nearby checking his vitals, so I asked her about his condition.

“He’s fine, sir. Mr. Franchetti was lucky it didn’t hit his femoral artery or he would’ve died.” Damn, no subtlety in this broad. I’m glad I’m not faint of heart.

“When will he be able to get out?” I asked anxiously. With Tony lying up in the hospital, I had to leave some of my trusted men here, giving Flanagan several points of attack.

“Mr. Franchetti can go home in the morning. He’ll be walking around in about a week. Like I said, he was very lucky. This could’ve been much worse.”

“That’s bullshit. It’s not luck. I come to visit this jerk, and I’m shot in a matter of days after getting here,” Tony roared in outrage from his bed. I guess he wasn’t sleeping.

“Well, you’re lucky it wasn’t a bullet in the head,” I retorted. This was a close call. I don’t know what happened, but for Flanagan to attack my family was huge. He knew what he was doing when he hit my cousin.

“Leave us,” Tony growled at the nurse.

She left us in a huff. The broad had a major attitude problem. He could be in shit if he kept being himself with her. I didn’t know who was a bigger dick, me, or him, but at least I knew when to bite my tongue.

“You better be nice to her. She might not be so nice removing your piss bag.” Tony gripped his junk from just the thought of getting the catheter ripped out of his cock.

“If she doesn’t do that shit carefully, she’ll find her ass on her knees, kissing it to make it better,” he smirked. This boy was young and ready to screw anything that walked. He had no shame and wasn’t particular in his tastes. A clean pussy was all he required.

“So do you know why Flanagan would have his men pop you?”

“Yeah, I was banging his daughter. Not a bad lay, but definitely worthy of a death wish. It was only once, and the broad wasn’t a virgin, so I don’t know what the fucking big deal was.”

“Man, you need to be a little more descript about who you do.”

He just flipped me off and grabbed his glass of water. “Shit! This is piss warm.”

Tony buzzed the nurse for more ice water and was told she would be there in five minutes; she was dealing with another patient.

“I told you to be nice to the nurse,” I said as I smirked, earning another flip.

Just then my phone rang. “Franchetti,” I answered.

“Next time, they won’t miss,” Michael Flanagan sneered on the other end.

“You’ve got a lot of fucking nerve. Paybacks a bitch, motherfucker,” I snarled before ending the call. There wasn’t anything else to say. Only revenge would sooth me. I looked at Tony, and he knew who called.

“Don’t worry, Tony. We’ll pay Flanagan and his slutty daughter back.”

Chapter 1

I walked into my house after dealing with some fools who thought they could get away with stealing money from me. If you let someone get away with it, even if they’re close to you, they’ll keep it up. I wasn’t weak, and I wasn’t going to let anyone think that either. The moment they found your weakness they would strike. I already let my guard down last week with Tony, and I wouldn’t let that happen again. So I personally capped both those crooks.

I really hated getting dirty like this. It wasn’t often that I had to kill someone. Usually my men handled that, but a lesson needed to be taught. Now my expensive shirt was most likely ruined. Walking into the laundry room, I started to get the cleaning shit ready to wipe my clothes clean. I’m trying to get the thieves’ blood off my face and hands, but nothing was working on my shirt. This was topping off a great effing week.
What else was next?
In walked Joe. He was supposed to be working on a special assignment I gave him. The start of my payback for Flanagan’s stupidity.

“Did you grab the bitch?” I said angrily as I tried to wipe the blood from my sleeves. He’d better have because I wasn’t in the mood for another screw up. Damn…this shit wasn’t going to come out. Another shirt in the trash. I really needed to consider buying shitty generic clothes when I was going to whack someone.

“Yeah, Dante. She’s in the garage.”

“Good. When my cousin comes he can cap her ass and send her back to her pops. See, if that fuck thinks were playing. He needs to learn you don’t mess with my family.”

“Boss, I thought we don’t hurt the innocent?” The man was a fucking idiot or he was thinking with his dick. Diana Flanagan was rumored to be a super slut. I had them run some STD tests on Tony while he was in the hospital, just in case. Thankfully, they came back clean.

“That bitch isn’t innocent. She the reason Tony will be walking like a gimp for the next few months. He’s got his own operation to run in Seattle and doesn’t have time for this shit here. The skank didn’t tell Tony who her father was before he fucked her stupid. Then she told her pops that she was raped. Now, she’s going to pay.”

“I guess the accent makes her seem sweet and not lying. I knew the Flanagans were an Irish family, but shit, I didn’t know they were straight off the boat,” he said.

“She doesn’t have a damn accent. The cunt is probably trying to play games with you. She knows how to work men. She’s a fucking whore,” I growled.

“Well she’s really good at it. She claims she isn’t Diana. She says her name is Regan.”

“What the hell! Fool that’s the main loving daughter’s name in King Lear. She’s just fucking with you. What bitch have you ever heard called Regan? I ought to shoot the bitch myself. I think I’ll go do that right now.” I huffed the fuck away. I grabbed the gun out of my waistband, cocked that shit, and headed for the garage. What’s one more to the count today? At least my shirt was already ruined.

I could hear her yelling at my guy, Gino, in a lilting Irish accent. The bitch was playing it up to the core. She had the accent down and didn’t break, even though I heard Gino tell her he’d fuck her skull when she was dead. That guy was a sick puppy, and I didn’t put it past him if he’d had an opportunity.

It was time I took over and either ended this bitch myself or waited quietly until Tony arrived.

I opened the door and saw the fiery beauty in front of me and knew immediately this couldn’t be her. Although she looked like Diana, there were huge differences, her beautiful red hair was curlier, her bright green eyes were brighter, and she didn’t have a bitch face. The biggest difference was that bitch wouldn’t make my dick jump. This broad had my cock stiffer than the bodies of the guys whose blood was on my clothes. Seeing me covered in blood with my gun caused her to freak the fuck out.

“AGH!” she screamed. Terror shone in her eyes. That didn’t sit well with me as I just stared at her lost in fucking her tearful bright green eyes. Fuck. Goddess was not the word for her. Enchantress, yes. That was more like it.

†††

“Where are you dragging me, now? I can’t take one more bloody damn store,” I grumpily added. I wasn’t in the mood for a day of cloak and dagger shopping. We’d been in and out of cars all day in the cover of sunglasses, hats, and guards, like we famous and running from the paparazzi.

“Regan, stop being such a lame ass. We’re getting ready to go out tonight. We’ve got to look our best,” Diana hissed. This was the last store I was having her take me. I was already dreading the heels she picked out for me tonight. They said I was available and ready for business. I looked like a serious streetwalker by the time we finished dressing.

“We could be twins,” I grumbled. We were wearing the same exact outfit, and they looked trashy. Our outfits were shorter and naughtier than a Vegas showgirl. This wasn’t the outfit a girl should wear if she wanted to be safe. I had a boyfriend, and I looked like I would take a pounding for a pound. I thought that was a big no-no, but Diana claimed it’d be cute and fun.

“I know. It’s so cute. We could pretend we’re sisters,” she cheered as she downed a shot in the limo.

It was about nine o’clock before we left for the club. It was a little early for Diana, but she said she wanted to meet her boyfriend. Her dad supposedly didn’t know about him, so she begged me to keep it a secret.

We were in the club dancing around and taking shots. By the time Diana met up with her boyfriend, I was half buzzed and feeling free, dancing my heart out. My legs looked long and sexy in the supposed skirt, and many men let me know it too. I tried to let loose, and I think the shots were working.

“We’ll be back soon…depending how fast it goes,” she said with a wink. Then she left me alone with no guards trailing me, or so I thought, because five minutes after they left some men that looked like guards were keeping an eye on me. All of the sudden, paranoia of being attacked invaded my mind.

I started to move away from the floor and towards the bar. I was alone and not from here. I was completely out of my element, and it wasn’t cool or fun anymore. It was two hours, and she was nowhere to be found. I called her three times, each time I was getting her voicemail. I knew it didn’t take that long for a screw, especially when it was supposed to be a quickie. I was ready to go, but since she made me swear to keep it from her dad I didn’t leave. I swear I was packing my bags the instant I got back to their house and going back home.

I walked out the back of the club and called her again. She still didn’t answer. Damn, my heels were hurting my feet. I’d never worn anything this high before. They started off comfortable and looked naughty, but now I was moving like one of Declan’s brand new baby calves.

I was about to go in, when I had a black sack of some sort tossed over my head and carried away by some giant beast man. Bloody shit, I knew I shouldn’t have come here.

“Let me go!” I cried out, but the arse refused to listen.

“Let me down, you stupid arse.” This time I started wailing my hands and feet, hitting him as hard as I could, but it didn’t faze him.

He gripped my ankles and only growled, “Shut up and stay still, you stupid bitch or I’ll put a bullet in your head right now.” Once we got to the vehicle, I was tied up like a bloody animal.

It was a very long drive or at least it seemed that way. Once the van stopped, my fear became my weapon. I wasn’t going to go down without a fight. The door opened, and I was flipped over his shoulder and carried to where I was going to await my fate.

I was taken to a room and tied to a chair with my hands tied behind my back. I knew they thought I was Diana, but I hoped they’d give me a chance to plead my case before they ended me. I had this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I prayed it wasn’t true.
Please tell me she didn’t set me up.

From the smell of the oil and faint exhaust, I would say they’d tied me up in a garage. I knew they had me here because it would be easier to clean up my blood. My heart started going insane with the thought of not seeing my parents or Declan again. Fear crept into my heart. This was where I was going to die. I didn’t think fighting back was going to work. Hopelessness sunk in.

“Please let me go,” I shouted with tears stuck in my throat.

He snatched the black hood off my head, pulling my hair in the process. If I got out of here that was the one who would catch a bullet to his head, first. I knew how to shoot, all I needed was a chance, and maybe I could escape. I looked around the room, but the exit was blocked by another man.

“Shut up, stupid bitch. You’re already dead. Just give the fuck up.” He covered my face again, the stupid prick. Rage was building in me.

I kept pleading for them to let me go, and that they must have the wrong person. They proved me right when they called me Diana Flanagan. Shit. What trouble did she get herself in or was it her father? I knew what he did for a living, and my father knew too. It was the reason he tried to get me to reconsider going, but I was an adult.
What a bright adult I was, wasn’t I?

“I’m not Diana. You’ve got to let me go,” I pleaded.

The guy took off the hood covering my face again and gave me a shit look.

“Seriously, you lying little whore. I can’t wait to see what the boss does to you. I’d personally enjoy raping you, so your father would’ve had an excuse for his trigger finger.”

“I’m not Diana, my name is Regan. She’s my cousin. I came visit her from Ireland,” These assholes mustn’t know Diana or they would be able to tell the difference. We both had a similar look, but there were huge differences. My hair was a darker and curlier red, my eyes were green, hers were grey, and I was taller than her.

The second guy in the room suddenly left. He’d been so quiet that with my hood on I didn’t know he was there. I was getting more and more afraid as I looked at the big ugly gorilla looking at me like I was scum. I wanted to kick him in the head with these heels. I could just imagine it. It would be badass. I would be like Agent Romanov in those superhero movies. She kicked ass. My mind wandered to the possibilities, and I was smiling.

He caught my expression and it ticked the ape off. He gripped my cheeks in one hand and got close to my face. “I don’t know why you’re laughing. You won’t be once he gets here. You’re slutty ass will be pleading on your knees, trying to blow him so he’ll spare you ass, but it won’t happen. You’re done.”

I was really afraid of the boss man, who according to this arse I was done for. I kept trying to tell him who I was, but he wasn’t listening and started getting ridiculously vulgar with me. I’d had nothing left to lose so I started giving him shit.

“You stupid fuck, how many times do I have to tell you I’m not my cousin? I’m taller than her you bloody bastard, and my eyes are green. Have you actually met her, you bloody cunt?”

It was then that he told me what he was going to do with my dead body. I tried not to shiver with fear and be strong. I wasn’t going to give this thug the satisfaction. “Your arse is so ugly that’s the only way you can get any.”

Then the door opened and there he stood. I’d seen his hulking shadow, including the gun he was holding, before he entered. When he stepped through I felt something strange, I was still frightened by him and the blood stained clothes, but my body shivered in a different and confusing way, something like—attraction.

He was handsome killer. His eyes were bright blue as he looked at me angrily. I wanted to scream at my naive body’s reaction to his chiseled brow and face. He was tall, dark, handsome, and deadly. His hair was short and brown. He reminded me of Jason Statham, and I was the chick tied up in the car. I looked at the gun and screeched my pleas again.

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