Entice:Eagle Elite Book 3By: Rachel van Dyken
I’d always wondered what it would be like — to sacrifice yourself so another person could live. It wasn’t like I was morbid or anything, but in my line of work it was just a daily reality. You don’t work for the mafia and not think about it. Death was at your door constantly. Shit, it practically camped there.
I’d just thought it would come knocking a little bit later in life, you know? Every muscle in my body tensed as the second gunshot rang out.
Funny how at the end of your life you think about the beginning. Even crazier? It was her smile that had first attracted me to her. The way her entire face lit up, the way her eyes said she’d eat me alive if I didn’t watch it. Damn, but so many things changed over the course of a few weeks.
I don’t even know how it happened, how she’d maneuvered her way into my soul, how she’d made it so that I was overcome with madness for her — a type of obsession that I never wanted to be done with. She had destroyed me, and in my destruction, I’d found my salvation.
I touched my chest and examined my fingers. My blood was wet and sticky. Slowly, I fell to my knees, I heard shouting around me. A foreign grunt came from my lips as my body slumped against the ground. Nixon came running, then Trace, and finally her, my tough as shit, Mil.
And now… a widow.
“I’m s-sorry.” My breaths were coming in sharp, as if there was too much pressure on my lungs to breathe. Every gasp hurt like the fires of hell. I was being choked by the pressure in my chest, pushing and tearing, just waiting to pull me into the fiery pit.
“Don’t talk. You’re going to be fine, Chase, you have to be fine!” Mil pressed her hand hard over mine. Tears splashed onto my chest — her tears. “Damn it, Chase! Fight!”
“It’s not cold…” I sighed happily as the pain started to dissipate, leaving me in a state of shock. “It’s so warm.” And it was. Death was warm, not cold as I’d always thought.
Mil slapped me hard across the cheek. “And it’s gonna get hotter than hell if you don’t listen to me. You have to fight, Chase Winter. I refuse to live without you.”
“Okay.” I smiled. I would have probably rolled my eyes too, but moving anything more seemed too much of an effort. She would be fine. She was a fighter, after all. “Love you…” And then I succumbed to the blackness of my warm death. At least I knew, in those last few seconds, that for once in my life, I would have done nothing different.
Because every damn road had eventually led me to her, my wife. Going back? Hell no. Not a chance. Because life is about one thing. Love. And Mil? She was mine.
Entice: To attract or tempt by offering pleasure or advantage. Origin: Middle English, possibly from set on fire.
I looked in the mirror one last time. What the hell was I doing? What deranged lunatic had taken control of my body and said yes to that woman’s proposition? The worst part was I couldn’t even blame my yes on alcohol.
It wasn’t as if Mil, the newest mafia boss for the De Lange family had drugged me. Hell, I wish. Instead, she’d simply asked me a question, albeit a stupid question.
But I’d actually answered her in the affirmative. Stupid mistake number one, followed by number two, which was obviously me keeping my word.
Which meant only one thing.
My broken heart had caused me to lose my mind.
“You ready?” Nixon knocked on the door and let himself in. He was dressed in a nice black Armani suit, looking every inch the mafia boss of the Abandonato family, while I just looked petrified and pissed. My reflection in the mirror was pale. Green eyes stared back at me accusingly, as if to say, you’re the one who got us into this mess. Yeah, thanks. Got it. Fully aware of my many sins. Just add to the naughty list.
You’d think after all the hell Nixon and I had gone through these last few weeks, he would be the last person I wanted at my wedding. But he was family — my best friend. Even though he was with Trace, the love of my life. Shit, that was some messed-up love triangle. He’d gone so far as to fake his own death all in the name of saving our family and now… now, it seemed, was time for my sacrifice, my death. Pretty sure Mil would castrate me if she knew I was comparing marrying her to getting shot at.
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