Read Reckless & Ruined Online

Authors: Bethany-Kris

Tags: #The Chicago War

Reckless & Ruined

DEDICATION

 

 

For Tracy.

Thank you for your constant friendship and support.

You’re priceless.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

 

RECKLESS & RUINED

DEDICATION

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

Map of Chicago Families

About the Author

Coming Soon

Copyright

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

“Y
ou’re only young and stupid once.”

Alessa thought that had to be the dumbest thing she’d ever heard. “Exactly. You’re only stupid once, Dean. In my family, that means you only get one chance not to mess it up. Because if you do, you’re screwed.”

Dean laughed, taking another step toward Alessa. She backed further under the willow tree, keeping a safe distance between her and Dean. The guy was cute, as far as that went. It was just about the only thing he had going for him and cute didn’t add up to a whole hell of a lot when your personality was seriously lacking. Dean didn’t seem to understand the word ‘no’ when Alessa said it.

It was just too damn bad his father was a Capo in
la famiglia
. For Alessa, that put her in a bad situation whenever Dean showed up. Terrance, Alessa’s grandfather and the boss of the Outfit, didn’t mind Dean or the guy’s father. 

Dean screamed bad news in the worst way.

She didn’t care that he was affiliated with the Chicago mob at only eighteen-years-old or that he was as arrogant as they came. No, that wasn’t it at all. Alessa’s biggest issue with Dean was that his interest in her only went as far as her position as Terrance Trentini’s granddaughter. Dean didn’t like Alessa because of who she was as a person, but rather, he liked the people she came from. The guy just wanted to situate himself with a pretty face, a good last name, and a piece of ass to get him higher in the mob.

Alessa wasn’t going to be that girl.

“Come on, Alessa,” Dean said, grinning as he took another step toward her. “Go out with me and have some fun tonight.”

“Like how you took my sister out last month?” Alessa asked.

Dean’s jaw tightened. “We’re just friends.”

Right
.

Alessa loved her sister Abriella, as far as that went. But Abriella was a little on the wild side and didn’t know how to follow the rules. If she went out with Dean, it wasn’t because the two were friends. And if Abriella didn’t take Dean out again, he definitely wasn’t worth Alessa’s time.

“I didn’t realize I had the word idiot stamped on my forehead,” Alessa said, smiling as sweetly as she could manage. “Let me go wash that off for you so there’s no confusion the next time we meet.”

Using her sarcasm as an easy and obvious way out of the conversation, Alessa ducked under the low lying branch of the willow tree and headed back toward the Trentini mansion. She didn’t make it very far. Dean caught up to her before she could get out of the privacy of the tree, grabbed her around the waist, and pulled her back into his chest.

“Hey, let me go,” Alessa barked, jerking away from Dean.

Dean held tight. “Come on, Alessa. Don’t be like that. We both know—”

“—That you’re a fucking tool,” Alessa interrupted hatefully.

Dean grabbed even harder, squeezing the air right out of her lungs. Panic saturated Alessa’s insides, freezing her in place as Dean grabbed the ends of her wavy brown hair and tugged firmly enough for it to really hurt. All of the air in Alessa’s lungs rushed out in a whoosh.

“Be nice and stop acting like such a spoiled little bitch,” Dean said in her ear.

Alessa shivered, the disgust rolling thick. “Let me go, Dean.”

“No, I think we’re good here. First time I’ve actually been able to get you alone. I think you’re one of those girls that likes to tease and fuck around with a guy until he can’t take it anymore and just snaps. Then you get it rough just like you like, right?”

“No,” Alessa whispered.

She didn’t know what he was talking about, but she didn’t like it. Fear compounded in her heart. She was too far away from the back of Trentini mansion to be heard even if she yelled at the top of her lungs for help.

Alessa felt stupid for having left the afternoon party without taking someone with her, but everyone else was busy doing their own thing. She had just wanted to get the hell away from Dean and his constant badgering. When she thought Dean wouldn’t notice her missing, Alessa took the chance to slip out of the back of the house and take a walk on the large property. She needed the breather. Dean followed her like the creep he was.

Dean’s hand drove down Alessa’s back to her ass where he grabbed her through her summer dress. When he tried to stick his hand under her dress, Alessa yelped and pulled away from him fast enough to take him off guard. Spinning in her ballet flats, she struck him on the cheek with her open palm. The sound of the slap reverberated through the quiet hush of the wind whistling through the tree leaves.

“You bastard,” Alessa hissed, readying to hit him again if he came near her. “I am not some piece of ass for you to handle however you want. Don’t you understand that I don’t want you? I have never wanted you, Dean! You’re a self-righteous, entitled, disgusting little prick. And you’ll be lucky if I don’t tell my father and grandfather what you just tried to do to me!”

Dean laughed a dark sound. “Your father? You mean the guy who isn’t even good enough to be in with the Outfit, but just a used up lawyer for your grandfather? Get real, Alessa. What is he going to do to me, huh?”

“Terrance—”

“Your grandfather thinks I’m made of gold,” Dean interrupted with a cruel smile. “Go on ahead and whine to him all you want, but he isn’t going to believe you. In fact, if my father gets his way, I’ll be standing there to meet you at the end of an aisle while you wear a white dress. Keep holding onto your skirt like that’s going to protect you, Alessa. I’ll get it one way or the other.”

Alessa felt sick. “Fuck you.”

Like hell and over her dead body. She would never marry this man.

“That’s the plan, babe,” Dean said, smirking wickedly. “Even if it takes me a little while to get you there. You’re sixteen now, but eighteen is just around the corner. How long do you think you’ll last after that before your grandfather marries you off to the best man he can find in the Outfit? Right now, I’m looking mighty fucking good to him.”

Alessa barely held back the vomit. She trembled from her head to her toes as her hands balled into tight fists at her sides. “I’d slit my throat first.”

“So dramatic. I like a crazy girl. They’re always fun.”

What was wrong with this guy?

“Plus, you know Ben will make it happen,” Dean added with a wink. “He’s best friends with your grandfather and all. My uncle wouldn’t mind getting me a little closer to the top. You have to admit, we’d make a damn good pair.”

At Ben DeLuca’s name, Alessa barely managed to supress her shudder. Ben happened to be the right-hand man to Alessa’s grandfather and Dean’s uncle. Dean, being the son of Walter and Patricia Artino who were both thoroughly integrated with the DeLuca side of the Outfit, had a great deal of power behind him. Maybe even as much as Alessa had behind her. Patricia, Ben DeLuca’s younger sister, was also close to Alessa’s mother.

A marriage between her and Dean would put the Artino family front row and center for once. They were usually overshadowed by the DeLuca side of their family when it came to the mob. Alessa would not be that family’s way to the top, regardless of whatever plans Dean and his father might have for her.

“Keep dreaming,” Alessa said, refusing to show Dean how his words affected her. Trentinis didn’t show fear, ever. Her grandfather wouldn’t marry her off to a man like Dean, right? “Because that’s all you’re ever going to get from me.”

Her words didn’t seem to faze Dean a bit. As he spoke, he moved toward her again. Slowly, one step after another, he came closer to Alessa like she was a mouse and he was a snake ready to swallow her whole. She felt cemented to the ground, unable to move or run.

“Think about it, Alessa. Your grandfather needs to set something up for when he’s good and done running the Outfit. Your father isn’t in with the family.”

“My brother—”

Dean barked out a laugh that chilled Alessa to the core. “Joel? He’s such a fuck up. Get your pretty little head out of the clouds, girl. He’s not going anywhere. Terrance is going to go for the next best thing—marrying his granddaughters off to the strongest and best families he can find. Look no further, Alessa. I’m exactly where you’re heading in the foreseeable future.”

Dean was close enough to reach out and grab her again if he wanted. She refused to give him that chance. Alessa’s legs finally decided to catch up with her screaming mind and pounding heart. She turned to bolt out of the cover the willow tree provided and ran straight into something hard.

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