And ours? Isn't pretty...
Then again, what's pretty about the mafia?
Trace Rooks, that’s what.
But she only wants one of us, and I'll kill him before I let him have her.
The only problem?
And she may just be our long lost enemy.
Whoever said college was hard, clearly didn't attend Eagle Elite University.
Welcome to hell also known as the Mafia where blood is thicker than life, and to keep yours? Well, keep your friends close, and your enemies?
I held out my hand to help her up.
She eyed it like it was the plague.
I couldn’t blame her.
Reluctantly, she took it, and I used the opportunity to pull her into my arms and carry her down the hall.
She gasped, and then the fight left her as she leaned her wet head against my chest.
And suddenly everything clicked into place.
It felt so right, having her in my arms, protecting her. I was half-tempted to growl “mine,” as professors watched us walk down the hall. I’d deal with them later, what the hell? A girl gets bullied that bad, and they’d just watched, sipping their coffee like it had been a normal occurrence.
Trace’s hand pressed against my chest.
My breath hitched. I fought to keep the moan in. Touch from girls had always been something I loathed because it always seemed like there was a selfish reason behind it. They wanted to be screwed, they wanted to say they’d been with me, or they wanted my money. It was never what was behind the mask of Nixon Abandonato, but what I could offer them.
Touch had been made worse when I was little.
My father used to beat me within an inch of my life, making me shy away from any sort of human contact. Could you blame me for not wanting to show weakness? It just seemed better to hate touch — to hate pity, to hate everything — than show that it was actually a huge chink in my armor. The longer her hand stayed there, the warmer I felt, as if the heat from her palm was cracking through the ice, reaching into my chest and massaging my heart back to life.
Thump, thump, thump. It picked up speed, like it had been starved for years and was finally getting fed.
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