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An unknown city. A car accident! A roguishly handsome mechanic! It’s too much for twenty-two-year-old Amelia Mitchell to handle. With eyes like amber whiskey, he tempts her innocent heart, and makes her fall head over heels in love with him. However, soon she realizes his true identity. He is everything her mom had warned her against! Amelia quietly returns to her hometown and tries to forget the man, Matteo Antonio Ricci. After working for the dangerous mafia Don Alfonso di Salvo for five years, Matteo Antonio Ricci repays his family debts and leaves the mafia circuit. Will the Don release him so easily when Matteo knows all his dark secrets? He hunts for his man, forcing Matteo to leave the country and live an anonymous life. Matteo meets Amelia at the wrong time in his life, but can he forget her so easily? What will happen when he surrenders to his heart and pursues her to the end of the world? What happens when the Don finds them?
Chapter 1 Prologue - The Accident
Thank you for selecting my story.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of my imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Copyright © Rituparna Darolia.
All rights reserved. No part of this novel may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author.
This book is a sequel to the book, Chased By Nikolas Ardolf. It deals with Amelia and Matteo's heart-stopping romance. It can be read as a stand-alone book.
Amelia Mitchell steered the car with all her might to avoid the speeding motorcyclist from the opposite lane but lost her grip.
“Watch out, Amy!” yelled her best friend, Lizzy, but it was too late. The forward collision mitigation system of the expensive Bentley she was driving issued a warning to her. Panicking, she applied the brakes but couldn’t avoid hitting the rear end of the car in front that had suddenly screeched to a halt at the signal.
“Crap! Now what? Uncle Denver will be furious. This one’s his favorite car!” wailed Rebecca in a state of panic. They had sneaked out with his car while he was away on a work trip to Washington, DC.
Shocked and traumatized, Amelia gripped the steering wheel, watching the front hood pop up from the brunt of the collision. The signal was about to change and she looked helplessly at her friends. It was by God’s grace that they suffered no injuries, but the notorious traffic on such a busy New York road could be fatal when in motion. They needed to steer the car away to a safe side immediately.
The driver in front yelled curses at them, asking them to park in the rightmost lane for a confrontation. “He’ll charge us for damage. I’m not carrying much money!” said Rebecca, frozen with fear.
“I have my bank card, but this looks complicated. We have to call your uncle if he files a report to claim insurance!” said Amelia, steering the car towards a safe shoulder just behind the damaged Mustang. While Lizzy and Becca trembled with fear, Amelia emerged from their vehicle to face the man, who looked furious.
The three friends had graduated from their college with flying colours and planned this trip to celebrate their success. They had just arrived in New York the previous day and wanted to go on a sightseeing trip. Although Amelia had always lived a sheltered life, she was the strongest of the three friends. Belonging to a well-established business family based in LA, California, Amelia always lived life amidst luxuries, but they meant nothing to her. She was unique, spirited, and fearless.
So when her friend, Rebecca Carrey, suggested they visit her uncle in New York, Amelia jumped at the idea. It would be easy for her to get permission at home. Although twenty-two, her dad, Jonathan Mitchell, still exercised his rights rather too seriously, and so did her older brother, Ryan. However, now, all her enthusiasm crumbled to dust. It seemed her first trip with friends away from her hometown would end in a disaster.
“I don’t fu*king believe this!” yelled the man inspecting the damage caused, which wasn’t much.
“I’m sorry, sir. The motorcyclist hurtled down the road at such a breakneck speed, I lost control of my car,” said Amy, but the man slammed his fist against the side of his car furiously and whirled around to face her.
“Why the f*ck do you drive a car when you can’t handle one? Look what you’ve caused?” He started counting the damages caused to his precious Mustang while they watched with guilt. The traffic whizzed past them without a care. It was a daily scene, anyway.
“I’m sorry! It wasn’t deliberate,” said Amelia, but it angered the man even more.
“I don’t need your apology, Miss. I’m filing a report of the accident with the Department of Motor Vehicles. You need to cooperate, as you’re one hundred percent responsible for the accident. Who’s the owner of the vehicle?” They exchanged glances, unsure of what to do.
“My uncle is, but he isn’t available at the moment, sir. Look, the damages aren’t much and we can just settle it here,” said Becca hopefully.
“No, I don’t trust you. Call your uncle. I’ll consult a lawyer for my insurance claim.” Amelia looked at her friends helplessly, clearly in a dilemma now. If he consulted a lawyer and dragged them to court, surely Becca’s uncle wouldn’t be happy with them.
“We can pay for the damages now if you want,” offered Amy, but the man was adamant.
“I need to see your car papers, just to be sure it’s not stolen,” said the man, looking at them suspiciously.
“No, it isn’t stolen. It belongs to my uncle Denver Carrey, a renowned criminal attorney here in NYC. You won’t be able to win against him. He will prove you equally at fault. So let’s settle this here. We’ll pay you three thousand dollars in cash.” The man considered her offer, which was a lot more than he had expected. With only a few dents and a trashed bumper cover, his repair expenses would be much less.
“Five thousand, nothing less.”
Rebecca looked at them helplessly and sighed. “Fine.”
“Hand me the cash and I’m willing to forget the entire chapter,” said the greedy driver.
Rebecca looked at Amelia hopefully, and they checked their wallets. Rebecca had one thousand, while Lizzy too contributed the same amount. Amelia paid the rest, and the man saluted and left with the money.
“Phew! Thank God he agreed!” said Becca, watching the Mustang drive away.
“Now what? Do we go back? With no money we can’t sightsee,” said Amelia.
“No, we have to fix the car before we return. I don’t want to anger Uncle Denver. He’ll send us packing home.”
“But we have to call your uncle for the expenses. How can we afford to fix the car?” pointed out Lizzy.
“Please, we need to get it fixed from an auto repair shop nearby before we return home. No one will know,” said Becca agitatedly.
“Do you have the money?”
Becca looked at Amelia and shook her head. “No, I gave away whatever I had. I didn’t think we would need my debit card.”
“Great! How will we get it repaired, then?” asked Amelia, flailing her arms helplessly.
“The damage isn’t much. I’m sure your card can cover it. I’ll transfer money to your account later.” So they started searching the internet for a reliable auto repair shop nearby. It was just morning, and they had all day to get Rebecca’s uncle’s car fixed.
“Bingo! Matteo’s Auto Body Shop!” read out Rebecca from her mobile. It was nearby and easily accessible from their location. So with the hopes of checking out the Brooklyn Bridge dashed, they followed the directions to the shop in the vicinity.
“What if we can’t afford the expenses, Amy?” asked Lizzy, who had nothing left with her.
“We’ll see about that!”
They reached the place and parked the damaged Bentley in front of a white-washed brick building that had different stalls for the cars. The name Matteo’s Auto Body Shop was embossed on the huge enamel board. It looked decent, with a small reception area too where car owners could wait while their cars were being fixed.
Amy climbed out and walked up to the reception, followed by her friends. A middle-aged man attended to them, greeting them cordially.
“What can I do for you pretty ladies?” he asked with a broad smile.
“Our car met with a minor accident and we want you to check it out, please.”
The man smiled at Amelia and peered out to see their car. “Phew! That’s an expensive edition! I would need to check your insurance papers, Miss.” Amelia looked uncomfortable and glanced at Becca helplessly. She knew the best option would have been to call her uncle and own up to their fault, but she couldn’t ignore Becca’s request. They had been best friends since kindergarten and she knew the situation in her house. Her family wouldn’t allow her any freedom if Uncle Denver sent them packing.
“The fault was ours, and we won’t receive any insurance. We are from California, here on a brief visit. The car belongs to my uncle, Denver Carrey, renowned criminal attorney,” said Becca, coming to her rescue. The man pondered over her statement.
“Are you sure it isn’t stolen?” he asked suspiciously while Lizzy groaned, losing her patience.
“Heck! No! Why would we steal her uncle’s car? If you won’t fix it, fine. We’ll take it elsewhere,” said Amelia, losing her patience.
“Look, Miss! I can’t help you with this. If anyone can, it’s Matteo, the owner of this place. I’ll call him,” offered the man.
“Fine, call him.” Amelia sat down to wait for the owner while her friends went to the washroom to freshen up. After two minutes, a connecting door swung open, and a man emerged, filling up the entire space with his presence. Amelia gaped at the tall, muscular man clad in a crisp white shirt and black slacks who appeared right in front of her, his eyes like amber whiskey flashing into hers, holding her gaze.
“What’s up, Seth?” His growly baritone voice sent a tremor down Amelia’s spine. With a hint of a foreign accent, it was unique in its own way. She couldn’t look away from his striking good looks, his full lips, his shock of black hair, which looked messed up, as if he had threaded his fingers through them a million times already.
“This young lady wants us to fix a Bentley, but she doesn’t own the car,” said the man called Seth.
Matteo raised an eyebrow at her, still holding her gaze. Amelia was about to protest when he cracked a lopsided grin that lit up his face, taking her by surprise.
“Matteo Antonio Ricci! And you are?” He tilted his head to give her a once-over, holding out his hand for a shake.
Flustered to see him check her out, Amelia’s face flushed with colour. It was an unusual feat since she hardly reacted to guys this way. With her gorgeous looks, her long blonde hair, and brilliant blue eyes, she was used to receiving attention wherever she went.
“Amelia Mitchell!” She placed her hand in his, but instead of a shake, he raised it to his lips to plant a soft kiss at the back of her palm. Amelia snatched it away as if scorched, goosebumps erupting on her skin.
“Did you have an accident, Emilia?” Amelia nodded and looked away with wonder etched on her face. “Are you okay? Do you need water? Anything?” He reached over and grabbed a bottle of water and handed it to her. Amelia gave him a look of gratitude and accepted the water. No one noticed what had happened, and those who did, turned a blind eye to the three young girls struggling in an unknown city. He was the only one who understood what she went through.
“Thank you, Mr. Ricci. I needed it. We just faced a harrowing accident, and the car got damaged because of my negligence. I’m willing to bear the costs. Please, can you fix it? It belongs to my friend’s uncle. I can provide all papers, identification proof, and phone numbers.”
“Fine, I’ll help you, but I have a condition.”
“What condition?” Amelia was instantly on her guard, wondering what he would want in return.
“You have to call me Matteo!”
Chapter 2 The Rougishly Handsome Mechanic
“Sure! After you’re able to fix the car!” Amelia tried to keep her voice confident and casual, although she was far from feeling so. She wasn’t a teenager who would react to the flirtatious guy with his panty-dropping good looks. She was a grown woman of twenty-two and it was time she acted like one.
“I’ll get it done right away! Only for you, signorina!” Her heart skipped a beat at his flirty tone, yet she held his gaze boldly, trying to look unaffected.
He smirked and looked away, instructing a man to drive the car into a stall and examine the damage. She handed him the keys, her fingers brushing against his rough palm. A tremor of electric charge shot up her body and she placed her hand inside her pocket immediately, as if stung.
“Freddie, here!” Matteo said to his man, tossing the car keys over to him. The man caught them and went over to the Bentley, steering it straight inside the shop.
“Please come inside, Emilia!” said Matteo, with a sly grin that mad
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