He was a good, quiet neighbor, and it was late fall when Wray noticed him sitting beside his pool. She was spying, but that was nothing new. She settled down along the fence and hedge line in a little fort she had created by burrowing deep into the brambly branches.
She strained her eyes, and what she saw freaked her out and changed her life… forever.
At first she thought that Ty was getting busy with one of his girls of the night. She squinted for a better look, thinking that Ty had been spying on Trey and her as they swam naked in her pool. It took a second or two for her to figure out that Ty’s head was at the guy’s throat, and that they were fully clothed.
Stepping forward, she squinted just as Ty looked up, his teeth dripping and his face smeared with something. His eyes locked into Wray’s as she looked down at the neck of the man lying on the deck. The neck was ripped open, streamers of muscle and tendon splayed out like party decorations.
That’s how she discovered that Ty was not only a skank, but a vampire as well. She didn’t remember the scream she let out because she passed out right there in her little hiding place.
When she came to, she was face to face with her neighbor looking as pale as she had ever seen him. Ty paced back and forth on the opposite side of the room.
She heard her own scream as she caught a glance of Ty in the corner. He was just standing there looking as hot as ever, but with a concerned look on his face. It was a new emotion that made him look sinister.
“Calm down, Wray, calm down…,” her neighbor soothed, thoughtfully moving a glass of water toward her.
Wray flinched. She was desperately trying to make herself as small as possible against Ty and whatever kind of monster he was.
“He’s sick, he’s deranged, he’s bad, and he needs to be sent away!” Wray screamed, while pushing herself away from the edge of the sofa.
They were all part of the mafia… an old word for an old world. Operating under the radar, they had their own set of rules and they were absolute. But there was one man who thought he could use the family as pawns in his sadistic game of chess. That man was Sal Bennito. Luci, the only Italian at a boarding school for privileged white girls, was his dirty little secret, his meal ticket, and he planned to punch his card as long as he could.
Bending down, he kissed her full on the mouth in the presence of everyone. She never would have expected such a greeting from Sal Bennito, a man who had risen through the ranks of the underworld. He was monitoring the club that night, as word had gotten around that she was going to be there. She could work the pole like nobody’s business, and Sal had paid a pretty penny for her. She wasn’t aware that she was under constant surveillance by Sal, nor did she know that she was under the watchful eyes of many others. They were all part of the mafia… an old word for an old world. But they preferred the word family. It was cozier, less threatening, and if it was a family, Sal Bennito was everybody’s daddy, whether they knew it or not.
She was young, barely of age, and Sal insisted that she live near the club. He arranged for a local boarding school to let her live in one of the dorms and attend classes with the other girls. Arranged meant that he had paid the headmistress to make an exception just for her. Sal paid a lot for what he wanted, if he wanted it bad enough.
The Stratford School was one of a new breed of preppy boarding schools that seemed to have sprouted up overnight in the Northeast region of the U.S. It was a school for girls who had just graduated from high school and were scheduled to attend an elite university, most likely in the Ivy League, following a year or two spent at the boarding school. Anyone with half a brain could figure out that there was really no need for the new schools, but someone’s pockets were being lined with big bills. Rumor was the schools were run by the mafia, but no one said as much. No one dared.
The Stratford School was a school where girls like Luciana were not exactly welcomed with open arms. Dirty Italians were what girls like Luciana were called, so Sal told the school that her name was LeAnn… LeAnn Wentworth. But to the family, LeAnn Wentworth was Luciana Giordano, and when she danced at the club and worked the pole, she was simply Luci.
Watching Luci on the pole was a turn on to the stodgiest of patrons, and as soon as Luci turned eighteen, she did more than dance for the men. But not for nothing. Time spent with Luci came at a price… a hefty price. She was Sal’s meal ticket, and he planned to punch his card as long as he could.
He pulled her down onto the bed and spread her legs across his body with his meaty thighs. He smoothed his hand between her legs and felt the heat that emanated from her. Maddy moaned, and he stripped the bikini panties from her beautiful body and brought her to him to feed his primal hunger.
He looked into her eyes and a slight smile spread across his face. He gently stroked her cheeks as he kissed her parted lips. He pulled her close to him and lay down beside her, holding her and comforting her, as he thought she needed him to do.
Maddy couldn’t sleep, and as she held tightly to her mate, she thought about Mrs. Wolf. She was underhanded and manipulative, and she played the game well. But why wouldn’t she? It was her game.
When Janie is sent to live among the Sioux, she is met by a proud native, as well as his sarcastic remarks and smirky grin. She wants to hate him, but she needs him to survive on the reservation, where life is filled with hardship. Beneath the hard exterior and demeaning words of the proud man lies a warrior with a heart of gold, but he will never allow the privileged young white woman to know the truth about him, or let down his guard in her presence, no matter how much she needs or wants him. He has other intentions.
“You want me to leave, don’t you? You have done nothing but give me a hard time since I got here, with your paleface comments, your smirky grins, your blame, and your backward thinking that I can’t do anything. You are a male chauvinist pig!” Janie could see him clench and unclench his fists and she knew she had gotten to him.
He turned around, pulled her to him, and locked his legs around hers. He placed his strong hands on her face and bent her head back. “You have no idea what I am thinking.”
She stared at him, her face smooshed between his warm brown hands. He towered over her and she felt as if she were shrinking by the second. The blue eyes that stared up at him were kind with their sparkle and their naïve brilliance, and he wished he could build a protective shield around her and keep her for his own.
“What… what is it now, Janie?”
“My face is squished.”
He wrapped her long brown hair around one hand and gently kissed her parted lips. He had not meant for it to happen, but it had, and he didn’t want to stop. He kissed her with passion, and in a way that was new to young Janie. He couldn’t get enough of the woman whose skin was as white as snow. When he felt the slender arms on his back, he held her closer. When he finally found the strength to pry his lips from hers, he held her to his chest and kissed her neck.
Janie turned her head to breathe, and thought about how she had watched him sleeping earlier that day when she stopped at the door to his room. He had worn absolutely nothing, with no blanket covering any part of him. He was perfect… all of him. His chest was broad, his stomach like a washboard, his legs as thick as tree trunks, and what lay between them was meant to be hers and no one else’s. She had tiptoed quietly by, wishing she were not a virgin.