He thought I owned him. He thought he loved me, that I was enough. But this animal, this sex god who could drive me crazy and steal my heart in the same breath, he would never be fully mine. It was impossible. No one ever owns a God.
“I assume you know the business of this family?” It was a dry question, stated without malice or concern, directed at me.
I nodded, meeting his sharp eyes. “Yes.”
“And you find … issue, with this business?” He watched me closely, sitting back in his chair and studying me.
I stared back, my face expressionless. “Issue would be the wrong word. I disagree with your business practices. Issue indicates that I am confrontational in my disapproval.”
A slow smile spread over his face, a transformation that brought a hint of the good looks he must have once possessed. “That’s an interesting choice of words, Ms. Campbell.”
I said nothing, and he glanced briefly at Brad. “What exactly are your intentions with my son?”
“I intend to marry him.”
“Yes, I gathered that from my son. The issue is, Ms. Campbell, that marrying Bradley is not quite as simple as happily ever after. Do you love my son?”
I hesitated at the change in his tone, the question rolling harsh off his lips. “Yes.”
He leaned forward, fixating me with cold eyes. “Imagine your love for my son, if love is what it truly is. Whatever that love is, it won’t possibly compare what you will feel for your own children—what I feel for Bradley, as well as my other sons. Your children, whether they are number one or five, will be more precious to you than your own soul. And you, choosing him to marry, to father your children, are putting those future babies in danger. You will never be able to sleep soundly, knowing the evil that waits for them. You will never be able to vacation, or play with them in the park, without worrying about cars driving by, or men who look at you a moment too long. You are not marrying Brad. You are marrying this family, and endangering yourself and your children with that act. You may be scared of me now, child, but I am one family. There are four others, in this city alone, that have us dead center in their targets. You are not, and will not, be safe in this family. You are marrying into a lifetime of fear, and you need to understand that now, before it is too late.”
I listened to his words, understanding the reasoning behind them, my thoughts wandering down paths I had not even considered. I had been so worried about being against the Magianos that I had not considered what being part of them would entail.
“I am not marrying Brad for safety. I am marrying him because I am in love.”
He leaned back and smiled slightly, a cruel expression on his face. “Let me tell you a story about Bradley. We had a dog, an old mutt that used to sit behind one of our butchers. He would eat the scraps that we threw out each day. And one day we opened the shop to find him inside, his mouth bloody, meat still inside his mouth. I started to kill him, grabbed a meat beater from the counter and went to smash his skull in. But Brad stepped in front of me.”
He laughed, looking over at Brad. “The boy was eleven years old, and he stepped in front of me, his father, to save a dog.” He stood, leaning heavily on the cane, the movement slow and pained. “You don’t know the Italian way, but disobedience is not acceptable. I told Brad to leave or kill the dog himself. He refused, and stood his ground.” He shot Brad a look of disgust. “He defied me over a dog, a mutt, an animal not worth mopping the floor with.”
He looked into my eyes, stepping forward, speaking slowly. “I used the beater on Brad’s skull instead, knocking him unconscious with two blows. He spent four days in the hospital before he woke up. And his first question when he did?” He closed his eyes briefly. “The dog, he wanted to know about the damn dog!” He finished the statement with a snarl, his finger stabbing the air in Brad’s direction to punctuate the sentence.
“We had killed that dog before we even took Bradley to the hospital. Bradley risked himself for a dog—a trash animal he had played with in the alley one day. So yes, he is marrying you, but what does that mean to me?” He straightened and turned, walking carefully, his words tossed over his shoulder to me. “You are worse than a dog, Ms. Campbell. That dog was hungry, eating for his survival. You are eating to get fat, and ruining my son’s life with your greedy acceptance of his sacrificial offer. I am not surprised that he is marrying you. I am only surprised that you are stupid and selfish enough to accept.” He waved dismissively in my direction and closed the space to the window, leaning heavily on the sill and looking out toward the backyard. “Leave, I am tired.”
Let's Learn a Little About Alessandra Torre:
What is your writing environment?
I have a writing studio off the back of our home. In it is a desk and a sectional couch. I typically sit at the sectional, for now other reason than the fact that it allows my dogs to both sit with me and that makes them happy (and less of a distraction). If there is a lot of noise in the house I'll sometimes play music, but normally it is a pretty quiet environment. The less distractions the better.
That is the ideal. But often, I'm writing while in the passenger seat of our car, headphones on, or on the couch with my family in front of the TV. I write whenever, and however I can.
Who is your perfect hero and why?
Jay Gatsby. I love his unending love for Daisy, and how he devotes his life to being 'worthy' of her. It is true romanticism… even if it does appear a little creepy.
What authors have caught your interest lately and why?
Gillian Flynn, because she must be absolutely crazy and that is a wonderful thing.
J.A. Konrath, because I am fascinated with his niche in the market.
What type of book have you always wanted to write?
I'm writing them now, though my second won't hit stands till 2015. Suspense, with a strong helping of sex.
Top 3 things on your bucket list?
Make the NYTimes list
Buy a home in the Florida Keys
Organize my home
How did you get the idea for this particular novel?
This trilogy started out with the story of me and my husband meeting. Then it became so much more, as Brad and Julia took on lives of their own. The characters developed their own story, I am just trying to contain it in a form that readers will understand.
What is your favorite scene in your new release?
Probably the epilogue. I love an ending, especially one that I enjoy.
What are you working on now and when can we expect it to be available?
I am working on a series of erotic shorts. Hoping to pub Early Summer 2014.
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
Reading. Eating. Riding horses and my sexy husband.
What would you consider a perfect date?
Chinese takeout and a good movie at home. Closely matched by PF Changs and a movie theatre. But I really like my Pjs. :)
What is one interesting fact about you that readers don’t know?
I have always, as recently as last year, been accused of being a prude. I've hidden my dark side for a long time. :)
Alessandra Torre is a new author who focuses on contemporary erotica. Her first book, Blindfolded Innocence, was published in July 2012, and was an Erotica #1 Bestseller for two weeks. The sequel to Blindfolded, Masked Innocence, will be released in February 2014.
Learn more about Alessandra on her website at www.alessandratorre.com, or you can find her on Twitter (@ReadAlessandra) or her Facebook fan page.
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