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Giordano Rodino owes a favor... When Dante Lombardo calls in his favor, Giordano is more than ready to deliver. There is only one problem. Dante wants him to marry his daughter. The other little problem, it was a daughter he had with a mistress. This was unheard of, but Giordano does not like owing favors, and so, marrying Dante’s daughter is exactly what he will do. Contessa Lombardo knows what her father is. She knows what he is capable of. After years of disappointment, her mother told her the truth. Dante Lombardo is part of the mafia, he is a capo. She wants no part of his world. When Giordano enters the bar where she works, she knows it is going to end badly. Contessa rejects him as she doesn’t want to be part of her father’s world. Giordano will not take no for an answer. Giordano will not fail. Contessa will be his wife and he’s not above blackmail. He uses her friends against her, so Contessa has no choice but to go with him. She will become his wife. Contessa doesn’t hate Giordano. What she doesn’t know, is that Giordano has fallen in love with his little virgin wife, and he wants to keep her, build a family, and to mend her broken heart. Could it be possible for Contessa to find everything she has been looking for? They love each other and three healthy children are born who continued their life’s struggle and beyond.

Chapter 1 You Saved My Life

Dante Lombardo POV

“You once said if there was anything I needed, I was to come to you, no questions asked.”

Giordano Rodino looked at Dante Lombardo, a little surprised. He did owe this man a favor, and it had been plaguing his mind when he’d come to collect. Five years ago, Dante saved his life. They were attending an important wedding, when there had been an attack. If it weren’t for Dante, Giordano would be dead. He had great respect for Dante, even though there were many rumors and gossip that followed this man. Speculation suggested there was a time when Dante wanted to get out of the mafia. There was no getting out of their world. They were in it for life. The moment they made their first kill, their fate was sealed.

Giordano’s first kill happened at thirteen. There had been an attack on his family home, and he’d not even hesitated. His father had been teaching him to shoot, to kill, to torture. Most thirteen-year-olds had their dads playing football with them in the backyard. Not Giordano’s father. He’d been preparing Giordano to take over the Rodino name. Now, at thirty-five, he’d been head of the family for over ten years. His father had perished in an attack from leaving his mistress. “What do you need?” he asked, not at all concerned that Dante had come to collect. It was expected.

Dante Lombardo nodded and then pulled out his wallet. Giordano did tense. There was always a great deal of animosity between bosses and rival families. He didn’t consider Lombardo a rival, but that didn’t mean the same was true the other way around. Dante let out a cough and then pulled out a single photograph, which he handed to him.

Taking it, Giordano looked down into a brown-eyed woman, who was smiling. She looked young. “Contessa was sixteen in that photograph.”

“She’s pretty.”

“She’s my daughter.”

This was one of the rumors. Many of the mafia bosses were known for having illegitimate children. Most of them tended to stay close to the family. Sons became soldiers, daughters became easy pawns to sell off and use for associates. Giordano had never seen this Contessa. She was pretty. Scrap that, she was gorgeous, and what struck him quite quickly was the fact she was smiling. In the picture she had her arms around a tree, but her head slightly bent back, laughing at whatever the person with the camera had said. “I have never met her,” Giordano said.

“No one has. In all honesty, I don’t have the best of relationships with her. Me and her mother’s … it was complicated, and it didn’t end well. I’ve done everything I could to take care of them. Two years ago, her mother passed away. Cancer. I thought she might allow me into her life, but she wanted nothing to do with me, or with this life.” Dante ran a hand down his face. This was unheard of. The women of their world did as they were told.

Dante began to laugh. “I know what you’re thinking. Contessa was never part of this world. To be honest, it was a miracle she was ever born. My wife…” He stopped. “She found out about … Nicole, that’s Contessa’s mother, she had no idea who I was when we first met. Nicole was a dancer, and her career had ended when one of the male dancers had dropped her. It broke her ankle, and I know it had also broken a little of her soul as well. I always saw the way she lit up when she danced, or talked about dancing. I met her one night while she was working. Even though she couldn’t dance and it upset her, she didn’t let it stop her. She worked hard.”

Dante ran a hand over his face. “When I went into the bar, I was rude to her and she called me out for my sh*t. Told me that I may be a good-looking guy, but that was no excuse to be a pig to her, and that I was to ask her properly with ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, and a bar she may work, but I was to also treat her like a lady.” Dante laughed. “I was smitten. Our women are trained not to talk back. They’re not trained to have respect. They’re trained to do as they’re told.” Giordano knew this. “I pursued Nicole, kept my life away from her. For a year, she was mine, and I made her believe we were going to get married, have a life together. When she got pregnant, I was the happiest son of a b*tch alive. Then my wife found out. Nicole was beaten because of it, and told the truth. It changed everything. She had no idea I was married, and that was it. All she would allow me to do was take care of my daughter, so I did as much as I could.”

“What do you need me to do?”

He could see this upset Dante Lombardo. It was strange to watch because as far as he knew, Dante was one of the strongest men around. He was also known for being cruel, but Giordano knew he rivaled him on that score. “I want her taken care of. I would like you to marry my daughter Contessa Lombardo.”

“You want me to bring her into our world?”

“Yes, but I need you to … do it without her knowing.”

“You want me to lie.”

“Yes. I need to know she’s going to be okay, that she will be taken care of.”

This was not the favor Giordano Rodino hoped to owe. This wasn’t even close. He didn’t want to marry. There had been a couple of women lined up to marry him, but they had all ended badly, or were killed. Many people within their world had come to think of him as a cursed man. He didn’t believe in such b*llsh*t, but he was more than happy to allow others to believe it. “I know this is a lot to ask, but I will provide.”

“Money is not a problem. You want her to gain the respect of one of our women, I get it. You want her to live a lie.” He stared down at the picture, into her smiling face, and nodded. “Consider it done.”


Chapter 2 Giordano Rodino Appeared

“Ow, fuck, that hurts.” Contessa Lombardo lifted her finger up to inspect the small smear of blood that suddenly appeared on her finger. She was not impressed. “Why does such a tiny cut sting!” She wasn’t talking to anyone, but being alone in a fabric shop would do that to you. Actually, she wasn’t really alone. Maria, the owner of the shop, was behind the counter. Contessa was just losing herself in the many viscose fabrics she’d been able to find. Her mother loved dressmaking, and fortunately, that passion had extended to her, which was why she loved to shop for fabrics. She loved to make her own clothes, and she hoped to eventually extend into making lingerie, but she was a little afraid of the boobies. It had taken her a long time to perfectly fit a few patterns, like the one she was currently wearing.

One day, she hoped to be a pattern designer, but that was a long way off, because she had a pesky little problem. She hated school, and math, but mostly math. It was so


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