Authors: Breanna Hayse
Tags: #cookie429, #Kat, #Extratorrents
Cowboys Know Best
Copyright © 2012 by Stormy Night Publications and Breanna Hayse
Copyright © 2012 by Stormy Night Publications and Breanna Hayse
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Published by Stormy Night Publications and Design, LLC.
Cowboys Know Best
Cover Design by Korey Mae Johnson
Image by Jimmy Thomas and RomanceNovelCovers.com
This book is intended for
. Spanking and other sexual activities represented in this book are fantasies only, intended for adults.
Closing her eyes and shaking with terror, Perlita Moretti hid beneath her bed as sounds of shouting and gunfire below assaulted her ears. She clutched her knees, curled up on her side, too frightened to pick up the pistol that
Father—insisted she keep hidden under the mattress.
Only hours ago, she had watched with excitement as the guests rolled onto the lush grounds of the opulent Long Island estate, all bearing gifts and decked out in their Sunday best. Just for her!
had asked her to stay in her room until everyone had arrived to celebrate her 19
birthday in grand style.
“Mia bella, tonight you make your grand entrance and you will light men’s hearts on fire,” Don Alfonso Moretti had told her that morning as he kissed the palm of her hand, his thick Italian accent bursting with pride as he gazed upon his beautiful only child. “Ay… if only your mama was here to see you, may she rest in peace. She would be so proud. Nineteen years… Where did the time go? If only you were married…”
“Oh, Babbo,” the Perlita said, seeing the heavyset mob boss’ eyes glaze with emotion, “please don’t cry. I’m still your bambina. Zio? Get Father a kerchief, please,” she requested of the Don’s ever-present bodyguard. She rolled her eyes, seeing the other older man tearing up. “Ay, Italians! Not you too, Uncle Franco. Please tell Babbo that we aren’t in the old world any longer. We are Americans now. Women don’t need to be married so early in life.”
Perlita had called Franco Bassi ‘Zio’ since she could talk. The man was her father’s most trusted friend and advisor and took on the position of a pseudo-uncle whenever the Don had ‘business’ to attend to. Franco was kind and generous, and, like her father, always there to do her bidding. She could do no wrong in the man’s eyes and his sole wish was to grant her all her heart desired.
“Only yesterday, you fell down and scraped your knee, wanting Zio to kiss away the hurt. Now look at you! A woman!” Franco exclaimed in broken English, handing his Don a silk handkerchief and joining the man in blowing his nose. “And so beautiful! When did this happen behind my back? Ay… you should be married by now and have given us many babies to dandle on our knees. That is my only wish before I die, to have a room filled with your children to spoil.”
Perlita shook her head with a small smile, unbothered by the attempt to make her feel guilty in the typical old Italian custom. To the world, New York crime bosses were heartless, fearless, and relentless. Nothing could stop them when they had their minds set, and nothing was more important than famiglia—family. The same hard-hearted men who could spill blood without batting an eye would weep like babies during weddings, funerals, and a good glass of wine. With patience born of many years of being subjected to their emotional attempts at guilt, she kissed both men on the cheek and excused herself to get ready for her birthday celebration.
Her life was as perfect as one could ever dream. She had everything she desired, wanted for nothing, and was the princess of the mob family. Her father and his men catered to her every whim and delighted in her smile, and unfortunately they had also failed to teach the young woman the meaning of the word ‘no.’ The single time Don Moretti had been adamant in his refusal to oblige Perlita’s wishes had been in response to her request to purchase a haute couture from her favorite designer, Coco Chanel of Paris. Don Moretti’s loud, bellowing protest about the designer being a Nazi spy sent the girl fleeing to her bedroom in tears and resulted in his receiving the cold shoulder for nearly a week. Her silence was broken by his gift of a gown by the newest sensation, Christian Dior.
Despite her upbringing, Perlita generally maintained the sweetness of an unspoiled and loving child, always showing her gratitude and forever trying to sooth and bring a smile to those around her. She rarely was given a reason to rebel or be defiant, and she happily filled the house with music. Her soft soprano voice brought joy and happy memories to the immigrants from Italy as she sang Old Italian melodies and arias. She was affectionately referred to as Uccello canoro—songbird.
Perlita gleefully held up her newest black Dior cocktail dress with a full skirt and softly pleated swag shirtwaist, admiring the detailed rhinestones sewn into the edges. Ignoring the ongoing post-war ‘anti-Japanese’ disposition that still rumbled through the American mind, Perl had insisted that the dress be made of imported silk. The tight-nipped waistline accentuated the femininity of her slender shape, flawless except for the very ‘womanly’ roundness of her backside. She sighed, hoping the flap would help hide some of the generous plumpness that lay beneath it. A hairdresser had fixed her long, black tresses in a silver snood studded with sequins and she wore her mother’s pearl earrings, a special gift from her father. She truly felt like a princess ready to attend her first ball.
Now that beautiful dress was dirty and torn as it bunched underneath her following her flight for her life. There had been no warning before Don Piccoli’s men attacked the household only minutes after the last guest had departed. Echoes of their submachine guns resounded through the mansion’s walls, followed by screams of the female servants. Bodies of men and women she had known her entire life cluttered the stairs as Perlita raced to the only safe place she had ever known—her bedroom.
, please help us,” she prayed fretfully, closing her eyes to the image of her father collapsing as he pushed her out of harm’s way. “
, please be ok… I need you,” she whispered, clutching the ornate diamond studded filigree cross that Zio Franco had given to her as a gift. What was she going to do? Panic began to envelop her and her heart began to pound frantically as she heard footsteps entering the room.
? Are you in here?” whispered a soft, well-known voice.
“Zio Franco! What is happening?
?” Perlita wept, coming out from her hiding place and falling into his arms, trembling with fright.
Franco put his finger over his lips. “Your
is badly hurt,
il mio amore
. You need to listen to me and do not argue. I need you to be brave. Come,” he ordered grabbing her hand and leading her quietly out the door, his gun raised. Voices could be heard shouting downstairs as the invaders sought to finish off the staff and members of the Moretti family. Perlita’s breath caught in her throat as she saw her father’s lifeless body slumped over the stair rail. Reality seized her and she froze, staring at the carnage before her. Her perfect world had been plunged into darkness.
Franco jerked her out of her stupor, forcing her to follow him to the far rooms at the left wing of the mansion. Carefully, he helped her out a window and down the trellis to where her brand new red Packard Custom Super Clipper was parked. She had received the car as a present from her father that very day. He handed her a thick envelope and the keys and shoved her into the vehicle.
“Fly, my Perlita. There is money and a map to Las Vegas in the envelope. Stay away from populated places and find Marco Giano. You remember him?”
“He always brings me candy. And smells like peanuts. But…”
“Go! Do not wait. Keep your lights off until you get off the estate. Don Giano will keep you safe! Hurry! And guard your life, my sweet. I still want to spoil your babies one day.” Franco kissed her on both cheeks and then turned, raised his gun, and marched grimly back inside to die defending his family. Hands shaking with terror, Perlita obeyed and raced her car into the blackness, knowing that she would never see him, or her father, again.
Tears spilled down her cheeks as she drove her car into the night, desperately trying to focus on the road and her destination. The images of the brutal attack would not leave her mind, and the sounds of gunshots and screaming echoed in her ears. She tried to sing but the words came out as frightened chirps, and she was unable to find solace even in her beloved music. Having never left the estate alone, she found herself taking blind turns and sinking further into the heart of the dark and frightening streets of the city. The darkness, coupled with the strange sounds and smells that surrounded her, brought her to a new stage of panic. She made turn after turn, too afraid to ask for help, seeking a way of escape from the confines of the crowded buildings and narrow alleys.
Her mind raced, re-living the horrid tragedy of the evening and the loss of everything she had ever known and loved. Trembling, she finally found a fill station and, after having the attendant attend to her car, she asked for help. With a slight leer, he accepted the generous wad of money she handed him. With the promise to keep silent regarding having seen her, he pointed the way out of New York.
Within the hour, Perlita crossed into Pennsylvania without remembering how she got there. She also realized that, once again, she was quite lost. With no moon to light her way, she drove blindly over the dark roads of rolling hills, open fields, and shadowy forests. She felt incredibly small and vulnerable, and very much alone and afraid. Fatigue and despair overtook her as she traveled down a long, straight, and very empty road in the middle of nowhere. Bursting into uncontrollable sobs, she pulled over and rolled the car under a cluster of trees. Hopelessness washed over her. She was hungry, tired, and grieving the loss of her home. Her gas tank was once again low and there was no fill station in sight. She did not know what to do, where to go, or how to ask for help as she realized she knew nothing about surviving in the world outside of her father’s security. Exhausted, she fell into a restless and nightmare filled sleep.
* * *
Perlita awoke to the sun streaming through her back window. Her body screamed from the cramped posture she had assumed as she slept. She slowly exited the car and stepped onto the soggy ground, still in her ruined silk dress and fancy shoes. Her long raven black hair had come undone and flowed in tangled waves down her back, and her face was strained with fear from the terror she had escaped.
A blush rose to her cheeks as she hid behind a tree to relieve herself. She considered herself a very modern woman, without the trappings and insecurities of the less enlightened females of her day, and yet the simple act of eliminating out of doors left her feeling humiliated and shy. She again pondered the extent of her isolation and her inability to care for herself in a world foreign to her. Shame filled her as she acknowledged the degree to which she had become accustomed to servants and others taking responsibility for her life. She knew those days were over. At least until she was under the protection of Don Giano. At least she had money… that could hopefully gain her the assistance she would need.
Perlita squinted through the trees and focused her attention on a small building far in the distance. It appeared as though there were several vehicles parked outside of it. Hope rose within her and she hurriedly raced to her car, not considering that the shiny red Packard stood out like a beacon among various old, beat up work trucks parked around the small diner. Timidly, she stepped inside.
The place was busy with various locals as they sat around the tables, sipping coffee and eating hearty meals of eggs and potatoes. Perlita wrinkled her nose. She was accustomed to the finer things in life and this dirty little place was not among those finer things. Still, hunger overtook her and she sat at a booth, impatiently waiting for her order to be taken.
“Excuse me, ma’am,” a low, gravelly voice said from behind her. “Beggin’ your pardon, but this is my booth.”
Perlita turned around to look up at the tall, broad-shouldered man who loomed over her. His handsome, deeply tanned face was hard, and he had sharp blue eyes and dark brown hair tinged with gray at the temples. Her eyes fell to the broad expanse of his chest, which was covered with a white cotton shirt with rolled up sleeves. He had a narrow waist with a broad gun belt slung over his right hip, and muscular thighs hugged by worn denims. Snakeskin boots with pointed toes completed the picture. Perlita almost laughed. He looked positively ridiculous! Did he really intend to look like a cowboy from one of those old silent movies?