Spin Ruin: (A Mafia Romance Two-Book Bundle)

BOOK: Spin Ruin: (A Mafia Romance Two-Book Bundle)
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SPIN. RUIN.

The Corruption Series - Books One and Two

C.D. Reiss

Spin - Ruin

by

CD Reiss

The Corruption Series – Books One and Two

Copyright © 2014, 2015

This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork herein is prohibited.

This book is a work of fiction. Any similarities to real persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

Cover Art designed by the author

contents.
preface.

The mafia. The mob. Cosa nostra. Camorra. ’Ndrangehta. Organized crime.

You’d think you could nail down a little consistency with organizations that are behind so much modern-crime folklore.

Alas, organized crime in 2014 bears no resemblance to versions from the ’70s, ’80s, or ’90s. The illusion of constancy arises from the mythologies of the men of tradition running them, not from historical fact.

But tradition is not the same as uniformity. And the authorities think they know shit. They don’t. Wikipedia is a joke. I’ve got books. Each tells a different story and all the stories are true. The facts are not neat and tidy, and the anecdotes are often confused with universal truth.

So, let’s do this instead.

Let’s have some fun.

You’ve met my broken billionaire. My submissive musician. My shattered celebutante. My painful dichotomies. I’ve introduced you to my family traditions, my honorable pledges, my versions of ambition and art.

Let me introduce you to
my
mob.

This is my Neapolitan camorra. These are my rituals, my sold souls, my men of honor.

This is my Los Angeles.

—CD Reiss

SPIN.

The Corruption Series - Book One

C.D. Reiss

one."

h, Jonathan.

I mentally rolled my eyes, if such a thing were possible, and kept my physical eyes focused on the woman singing. She had a lovely voice. It wasn’t quite like a bird, but more like a dozen of them layered one on top of the other. The effect was hypnotic.

I glanced at my brother again. “Excuse me?”

“Yeah?”

“You just agreed that the Angels were superior to the Dodgers.”

He looked away from her, and I sensed the air between them rip. I hadn’t felt anything but annoyance with his lack of attentiveness until he looked at me again, and his entire face changed from voracious and single-minded to the usual bemused and arrogant.

“This season?”

“Are you even paying attention?” I asked.

“Look, you have six sisters and me. All your sisters will tell you to forget Daniel Brower completely. I’m telling you to forgive him if you have to, but if you’re going to, just do it and drop it. I’m the one you keep talking to about him, and I keep giving you the same answer. So it sounds like you want to go back to him.”

He was in love with his ex-wife, who had left him for another man. Of course he’d be the most forgiving, and of course he was the one I chose to be with.

“I can’t. Every time I look at him, I can’t stop seeing him having sex with that girl.”

“Don’t look at him.”

I folded my hands on the table. I shouldn’t see my ex. Ever. But he’d called, and I had lunch with him, like a damned fool. He’d said it was business, and in a way, it was. We had a mortgage together, and bills, and I knew the intimacies of his campaign for mayor about as well as I’d known the intimacies of his body. But with so much dead weight between us, I had trouble eating. In the end, of course, he’d asked for me back, and I’d declined while holding back tears.

“He keeps asking to see me,” I said.

“Jesus Christ, Theresa. He’s stringing you along.” Jonathan tipped his drink to his lips and watched the woman standing by the piano like a hawk observing a mouse. “I thought I had it bad.”

I felt a sudden ball of tension wrap up in my chest. I couldn’t exactly place it, but it irritated me. “Do you know her? The singer.”

“We have a thing later tonight.”

“Good, because I was going to say you might want to introduce yourself before you slobber on her. Maybe dinner and a show.”

He smiled a big, wide Jonathan grin. After his wife left, he’d turned into a womanizing prick, but he rarely let us see that side of him. He was always a gentleman, until I saw him look at that singer. It made me uncomfortable. Not because he was my brother, which should have been enough, but because of an uneasy, empty feeling I chased away.

“Go to Tahoe or something for a few weeks,” he said. “Slap some skis on. You’re giving yourself an ulcer.”

“I’m fine.”

The musicians stopped, and people clapped. She
was
good. My brother just applauded with his eyes and tipped his glass to her. When she saw him, her jaw tightened with anger. Apparently, he knew her well enough to piss her off.

He leaned over and whispered in my ear, “I know damn well how not fine you are.”

I looked him square in the eyes, and I knew his hurt matched mine. He healed himself by seducing whoever he fancied. I didn’t think I could use the same strategy. It stopped mattering when the singer made a beeline for our table.

“Hi, Jonathan,” she said, a big, fake smile draped across her face.

“Monica,” he said. “This is Theresa.”

“That was beautiful,” I said.

“Thanks.”

“You were incredible,” Jonathan said. “I’ve never heard anything like that.”

“I’ve never heard of a man trying to sandwich another woman between fingering me and fucking me in the same day.”

I almost spit out my Cosmo. Jonathan laughed. I felt sorry for the girl. She looked as if she was going to cry. I hated my brother just then. Hated him with a dogged vehemence because not only was he messing with her feelings, he still looked at her as though he wanted to eat her alive. When I saw how she looked at him, I knew he would win. He would have her and a dozen others, and she wouldn’t even know what was happening. I couldn’t watch.

“I’m going to the ladies’,” I said and slid out of the booth, not looking back.

I leaned against the back of the stall, staring at the single strip of toilet paper dangling off the roll. I had a few squares in my bag, just in case my brother brought me to yet another dump, but I didn’t want to use them. I wanted to dig into that feeling of emptiness and find the bottom of it.

You always have a few squares in your bag. And two Advil. And a tampon.

Daniel’s voice listing the stuff I carried for emergencies; his face, smiling as we went out the door for some charity thing; him in a tux, me in something, holding a satin clutch into which a normal woman couldn’t fit more than a tube of lipstick and a raisin.

“You got your whole kit in there?” he’d asked.

“Of course.”

“Space and time are your slaves.”

I’d been pleased at the way he looked at me, as if he couldn’t be more impressed and proud, as if I ruled the world and his servitude was the natural order. Pleased as a king opening a pie and finding the miracle of four-and-twenty blackbirds.

But though I’d been with him for seven years, he’d never looked at me the way Jonathan looked at that singer. Never. Maybe that was why Daniel had had sex with his speechwriter. He didn’t revere her; he fucked her.

Daniel had always called me Tink, short for Tinkerbell, because of my curvy, petite frame. A sprightly, delicate fairy. Not someone you looked at hungrily.

I saw the singer in the hall, looking distant and resolute at the same time, as if she was convincing herself of something. She stopped short when she saw me.

“I’m so sorry,” she said. “I was rude and unbecoming.”

I was going to deny it, but I was struck by a distraction that cut me to the core. I smelled pine trees, deep in the forest, damp in the morning after a night of campfires and singing. The burning char and dew mingled in the song-like trails of cigarette smoke, rising and disappearing. And then it was gone.

“My brother’s an asshole, so I don’t blame you.” I regretted that almost immediately. I didn’t talk like that, especially not about family. I took her hand and squeezed it. “We both loved your voice.”

“Thank you. I have to go. I’ll try to see you on the way out.” She slipped her hand away and walked toward the dressing room.

I caught the scent again and looked in her direction, as if I could see the smell’s source. It could have come from anyone. It could have been the gorgeous black lady with the sweet smile. It could have been the plate of saucy meat that crossed my path. Could have been the waft of parking lot that came through the door before it snapped closed.

But it wasn’t.

I knew it like I knew tax code; it was him. The man in the dark suit and thin pink tie, the full lips and two-day beard. His eyes were black as a felony, and they stayed on me as his body swung into the booth.

BOOK: Spin Ruin: (A Mafia Romance Two-Book Bundle)
12.69Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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