Twenty-Four hours before we were to be married--I offered to shoot her.
Ten hours before our wedding--I made a mockery of her dying wish.
Five hours before we were going to say our vows--I promised I'd never love her.
One hour before I said I do--I vowed I'd never shed a tear over her death.
But the minute we were pronounced man and wife--I knew.
I'd only use my gun to protect her.
I'd give my life for hers.
And I would, most definitely, lose myself, to a dying girl---a girl who by all accounts should have never been mine in the first place.
I always believed the mafia would be my end game--poisoning my heart, while it claimed my soul. I could have never imagined. It would be my redemption.
Or the beginning of something beautiful.
The beginning of her.
The end of us.
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Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at www.rachelvandykenauthor.com
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Exclusive Sneak Peek
Empire (Eagle Elite #7): Releases Fall 2015
***SPOILER ALERT!!! Must be read after Elude***
I saw Andi in that twirl.
Felt her in the laughter.
I was afraid to close my eyes, afraid that feeling of peace would leave me as quickly as it had appeared.
Sadly, nothing lasts forever. Nothing. The girl stopped twirling. The mom grabbed her hand. They walked away.
The world faded to black again.
My heart once beating wildly in my chest, slowed to it’s rhythmic pace. I breathed in and out, because that’s what you did when you didn’t know what else to do with anymore.
You simply existed.
You inhaled. Exhaled. Smiled when you were supposed to. Asked all the right questions, gave all the right answers.
With trembling hands I pulled out the silly list Andi, my wife, had made when we got married.
It was a honeymoon list, but basically she’d just written down a whole bunch of stupid shit she wanted to do before she died.
Lucky for me, a ghost of a smile appeared on my face, I was part of the plan and spent my nights holding her, making love to her, living for possibly the first time in my life.
Days were filled with laughter and tears.
I was in the mafia, I knew better than anyone how short life could be. My enemy had always had a face, a gun, always pursuing me, wanting to end me so I ended them first.
But, time? Time can be an enemy too. It’s face is never intimidating, but the sound of the clock?
Probably the most gut-wrenching sound in existence. One I still couldn’t stomach.
The only clock left in my house was the one on my phone for that very reason.
“Hey,” Frank swatted me with the old newspaper he’d been carrying around for the past few hours and sat. “You look sick.”
“Tired.” I grumbled.
“Me too.” He nodded. “Me too.”
I snorted. “You’re old, you have an excuse.”
“We’re both old.” He said after a few beats of silence. “My body is old…your soul? Maybe even your heart? Much older than mine, much, much older, Sergio.”
I didn’t know what to say to that. Wasn’t sure I even wanted to acknowledge the truth of his statement.
“You may want to study up before our next flight.” He handed me the newspaper roll. “I’m going to shut my eyes for a bit.”
“Great, I’ll just protect both our asses.”
With a chuckle he waved me off. “Why would we need protecting? I’m just a feeble old man being escorted by my favorite grandson to my birthplace. New York,” He looked positively giddy. “I can hardly wait to smell the trash.”
Right. If Frank Alfero, mob boss to one of the oldest families in Chicago was old and feeble I was a priest.
Shaking my head, I unrolled the newspaper and frowned as I poured through the first three pages. After the fourth, I paused, my thumb landed on a picture.
I let out a curse, because the girl in the picture was the very one I was supposed to be meeting in a few hours---saving. And according to my deceased wife's wishes—marrying.
Apparently I wasn’t going to be doing any of the above—since she was just newly engaged.
To Frank Alfero’s cousin.