Authors: Soraya Naomi
Tags: #angst and deceit, #possessive alpha male, #romantic suspense, #epic love, #intense love, #love story, #alpha hero, #strong heroine, #bad boys, #dark romance, #mafia romance, #romantic thriller
Chicago Syndicate, Volume 4
Published by Soraya Naomi, 2015.
This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.
First edition. December 8, 2015.
Copyright © 2015 Soraya Naomi.
Written by Soraya Naomi.
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
“Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.”- William Shakespeare,
Romeo and Juliet
he hot summer breeze brushes my cheeks as I step out of my BMW and head toward the Syndicate’s warehouse, which is an old brown-brick building located on the north side of Chicago that’s used for storage and holding captives.
“Does Adriano know you’re here, Cam?” a soldier asks at the door.
, and I need to talk to Santino, so
will handle Adriano. Now open it.”
He obeys and follows me toward the first cell on our left.
“I’ve been ordered to notify Adriano the second we see you,” he says contritely.
Of course they have orders from Adriano to protect me with their lives, but he’s become really overprotective while building his new Montesi Syndicate with Luca and James. And I’m right beside him, deliriously overjoyed that we’ve finally been together ever since our lives drastically changed four weeks ago when we raided Club 7 and took it from Fat Sal.
On the one hand, I have everything I wanted: Adriano. On the other hand, we reside in a tumultuous world where we constantly live under the threat of death. With power come numerous enemies.
Never would I have imagined that my life would turn out like this. Over three years ago, I was kidnapped by Fat Sal, the former owner of Club 7, a legal dance club and an illegal underground sex club in the Loop, Chicago. But with the help of his employee, Santino, I escaped Sal, which ultimately led me to work at the Syndicate’s headquarters’ strip club where I met Adriano Montesi, and from then on, our lives became inexplicably involved. From the first day I saw him, he teased and chased me, but we were just friends for a long time because he was a typical player, a man-whore, and I knew it wouldn’t be smart to become romantically involved with him. Still, despite his promiscuous ways, I fell hard and fast for him and his boyish charm. He’s a dangerous man to fall in love with, but I did.
Unfortunately, eighteen months later, my past forced me to leave that job and Adriano. But the Syndicate and Adriano found me, and that’s when I learned that James, the former boss of the Syndicate, is my father. I grew up with my mom, who died of cancer twelve years ago when I was sixteen, and I never knew anything about my father.
My prospects changed in that one instant, and I decided to take that opportunity to grow stronger. I didn’t ever want to be poor, weak, or alone again. I was allowed into the Syndicate, and I eventually got my revenge against the one who kidnapped me, Fat Sal, when he attempted to invade Syndicate territory by botching drug deals. And in Chicago, the Syndicate rules
the drug traffic.
We ambushed Club 7 and took it over. Consequently, Adriano announced that he had been made boss of the Syndicate by James.
When James was boss, it was difficult for us to be together because James didn’t want members to become personally involved, especially not with his daughter. Yet he saw that Adriano and I couldn’t stay away from each other, and he also recognized his opportunity to retire. If Adriano was boss, he would have the same power to protect me that James had. So James stepped down, and Adriano is now the
of the Syndicate, whether it’s what he really wants or not.
“I did this all for you.”
Finally, we’re together out in the open, but I’ve also been a busy woman lately. I’ve been getting a crash course on being a Mafia member: shooting lessons, self-defense classes, fighting classes. And I’m also learning to speak Italian because when we’re talking in public, we often switch from English to Italian to exclude others.
So, my life as a Mafia member has officially begun. My life with Adriano Montesi has begun. I’ve been thrown into a world of murder and mayhem, yet to me, it’s also a world with a newfound family and the only man who’s ever stolen my heart.
However, Santino is a delicate matter. Without him, I would’ve never escaped Sal and had the opportunity to live this life with Adriano. But Adriano’s becoming agitated with my guilt about Santino’s imprisonment, which is why I’m here at the warehouse where Adriano’s had him locked away until we uncover more information about him and to try to get a read on whether or not he would talk if we let him go.
When I reach the door, the soldier unlocks it and states, “I’m waiting right outside.”
“Fine.” I wave off his comment since I already knew he’d never leave me alone with a captive.
Santino’s sitting on a bed, not cuffed, like I asked, and he lurches to his feet when I step inside. “Camilla Guillermo.”
He was Fat Sal’s bodyguard whom I seduced to help me escape. A sense of obligation forced me to then help him when we raided the club, and although he ended up being captured, Adriano kept him alive on my command. But I know Adriano doesn’t like Santino; he thinks Santino helped me because he was infatuated with me, though I believe there was more to his motive. Nevertheless, I’m not just letting the Syndicate kill Santino if he isn’t a threat to us.
“Santino, how are you?” I gesture to his head that’s been bandaged because Sal cut off his ear when he discovered that Santino had helped me escape.
The silence is awkward while he regards me.
“Who are you, Santino?”
His eyes narrow. “What do you mean?”
“If I release you, what life do you go back to?”
His eyebrows hit his hairline, and he steps closer in front of me. “Are you letting me go? I would go back home, to the Loop. But what about you? You helped me, Camilla, but now you’re here among my captors. Are you one of them? Are you part of the Chicago Syndicate?”
I ignore his questions. “If we let you go, how can I be assured that you won’t turn us in?”
Santino studies me with a calculating stare. “Because I know it would get me killed.”
“That’s right. You’ll never escape us if you talk.”
“I realize that you’re everywhere. The Syndicate took over Sal’s entire establishment in one night. I’m not stupid enough to fight that. I know how powerful you are.”
“Then you also know we can, and will, find you again if you do betray us.”
He rears back with a bleak expression. “I get that. So are you planning to release me? Because I overheard that they’re taking me back to Club 7 tonight.”
“I’m not making any promises, but I’ll talk to the boss and let you know. However, if any of the soldiers uncover information you’ve withheld, it’s completely out of my hands.”
“Why? Are you protecting yourself, the Syndicate, or Adriano Montesi, Camilla?” he mentions suddenly, his demeanor harsher. “You need to realize what you’re involved in.
is the boss, and
are his lover. But when he’s had enough of you, what will happen to you?”
My blood boils instantly, and I become defensive. “Don’t talk to me about Adriano.” Before he can get under my skin, I stalk off and order, “Lock it.” And continue to my car.
Well, Santino’s a wild card, which makes him a liability. Unsure of what to do with him, I decide to forget work and drive home to the Astoria Tower to shower and change to meet my one love.
y driver, David, maneuvers the car through the busy streets of the Loop while Fallon and I sit in the back. We’re going to meet our men, whom we rarely see lately, at their new club.
We hurry out of the car and inside through the back entrance. The guards know us, and one follows us down the hall to the double doors where I already feel the bass of the music thumping.
Another two guards grant us access while touching their earpieces. Probably informing Adriano that we’ve arrived.
The large, lustrous and modern space is packed, and the beat pulses against my eardrums. Edging around the glass bar that spans the right wall, I watch people dancing in the center of the room on a black and white tiled dance floor with a raised podium where the DJ is playing. There are also smaller raised platforms scattered around where professional dancers are performing. The lights of dozens of gold chandeliers hanging from the fourteen-foot-high ceiling dance off people as they move. At the far end, there’s a black staircase that leads to the balconied second floor where Adriano’s office is located on one of four straight hallways that are arranged into a square.
“There they are.” Fallon’s zeroed in on Luca and Adriano within seconds as we sit at the bar.
Standing out like some kind of dark angel, Adriano’s taking a slow, steady perusal of those around him.
My gaze lands on him, bringing sweet joy to my heart, and he immediately turns his head and finds my face in the crowd. He examines me closely for a long moment, then directs a wicked smile my way before prowling toward me.
Women gawk at him, and one obnoxiously blocks his path. But he expertly sidesteps and ignores her as his stare brands me to the spot, marking me with such a simple gesture.
Adriano’s commanding six-foot frame radiates power and sin, and since he doesn’t usually wear jackets, I love seeing him in his alluring black tuxedo that doesn’t hide his muscular physique in the least. Combine that with his dark, messy hair that never stays in place, and I’m as drawn to him now as the day we met. A warm sensation pools in my lower stomach when his eyes trace a path up my body. His lips tilt up into a naughty grin as he closes the distance between us, and then it’s just him and me, even when we’re surrounded by so many others.
With every day that passes, I can’t believe how attached I am to this man. This man who resides permanently in my heart.
f you kill me, you die as well,” Fat Sal says with one wrist cuffed to the rail of a bed in a deserted room on the underground floor of Club 7.
Luca and I stand before him, dressed in our tuxedos. I take one last drag of my cigarette and flick the butt away.
“Oh, vague threats; I love those,” I taunt, pointing my thumb to Sal while grinning at Luca. “I’m part of the Mafia. I’m used to looking over my shoulder. That’s the best you’ve got? That I’m going to die?”
Sal’s lips curve up into a knowing smile. “Oh no, there’s more. If I die, everyone you care about dies: Carmine, Mary, Luca. But you only have one true weakness, and word of who she is has spread. So the beautiful ingénue, Camilla, won’t die. No, I’ve ensured she stays alive. Every enemy of yours will fuck her ass and use her just because she was your bitch.”
In a flash, I let out a growl like a caged animal and snatch my Smith & Wesson from the back waistband of my pants, pressing the end of the barrel between his brows. Whenever anyone mentions her name, I flip out in an unstoppable instant. Unfortunately, as boss, I must learn to temper that reaction. However, when it comes to my Cam, it seems impossible.