Once A Beta, Now A Mafia
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When Italy's Most Dreaded Capo discovers his true identity, the world is thrown into disarray. A bloody war erupts between werewolves and the Mob. The dice has been cast, and the Capo must decide whose family he actually belongs to. The werewolf clan (where he was once a Beta) or the Mob clan (where he is now a Capo)? Is he his Alpha or his Don? His Mate or His Moll? His past life or the one he has grown to love? It's a conundrum with no way out without spilling a lot of blood and losing loved ones. ************************************************* Ryder's eyes were partially closed as he held a pistol to his head. That was the end of it. He's probably finished. He was not afraid of death. But this was a particularly painful time since it was his Beta who was holding the pistol to his head. Jason, who used to be his wingman, was now going to be his assassinator. "Do it," Don Carianno urged, irritated by his tardiness. Jason pressed the gun's point harder on Ryder's temples, but his fingers wavered around the trigger. He couldn't pull it off. "Remember what we've gone through, man. Jason, you and I have a long history. You're not going to be able to accomplish it. You can't get rid of your Alpha..." ****** This is the second book of ONCE ABUSED, NOW LOVED. Although it may be read as a stand-alone, it is highly recommended that you first read the first book to have a better grasp of this one. BOOK 1 - ONCE ABUSED, NOW LOVED. BOOK 2: ONCE A BETA, NOW A MAFIA.
The stiff air swirling around the four walls of the palace harbored the cries and whimpering of the people inside. Black linings replaced the extravagant interior decor of the palace. Gloomy faces and puffy eyes of everyone inside made it evident that there had been a loss.
Red Cross Pack had a sad aura hovering around them. Even the heavens mourned at the demise of the greatest Alpha the werewolf kingdom would ever know. The Moon Goddess had her tears cascade down as rainfall. Thunderbolts struck in sadness, and as a farewell to Alpha Nicholas.
This has to be the saddest day yet in Red Cross Pack. Alpha Nicholas was a legend, lived his prime, and conquered packs in his old age. He would forever be remembered.
”Excuse me, Master,” An Omega bowed as she stepped inside the royal study. She had a tray of beverages and cookies. And a note wrapped perfectly and placed at the side.
Ryder turned around slightly, taking a quick swipe at her and the tray. He waved his fingers at her in dismissal, “I'm not hungry —“
”Get the hell out of here, will you?!” He snapped in a growl, slamming his fist on his table. It was enough to get her whimpering and running out of the study.
He let out a heavy grunt, facepalming himself and turning to stare out the full-length, glass window.
Dressed in a signatory black robe for Alphas of Red Cross Pack, with a pair of black loafers to go with, Ryder showed just how part of the mourning he was, like everyone else. Alpha Nicholas was his Father, after all. And even though they barely saw eye to eye on things, blood can't be altered. They still shared a bond, and that's forever.
Watching his Father burnt up in flames a few hours ago on the ancient pyre made him realize how fleeting life was. His Father was a hard man, full of life and fucking obstinate. He lived life the hard way with all the unforgiveness he did, and all the bitterness he held dearly even to his death.
His Father might have accomplished a lot of feats in life, but he failed to accomplish the most thing that mattered — love. He never knew how to love, and died without knowledge of it. He was lonely, in all his glory and achievements, he lived a fucking lonely life, all because it was impossible for him to tolerate the default of others.
'Pathetic,' Ryder scoffed, shrugging at the awful thought of living his life just as his Father did. He was gonna be different. He was gonna love until there was no more love left in him to give.
He watched the steady fall of the raindrops on the windowsill. It was therapeutic and somehow eased his heavy heart.
When the door creaked open again, he was ready to squirt fire on whoever it was that was coming to disrupt his solitude. But he softened when the giggling of his four years old daughter rang through his ears.
”Daddy,“ She said in a sing-song tone, racing to his arms. He caught her as she took a major leap.
“Careful, cupcake,“ He gave a throaty chuckle, wrapping her up in his arms. He kissed her forehead and earned another series of giggles.
His little bundle of joy, eyes like her mother's. Blonde hair that cascaded gracefully to her lower back. Skin as shiny as porcelain. A face so round and divine, knocking your breath away in just a glance.
In all his years of living, he can't help but think he did just two things right — the first was falling in love with Hara and taking her as his mate. And the second was having beautiful Blair as his daughter.
She was the outcome of his twisted love story with Hara. Seeing her every day makes him proud of himself for never giving up on Hara. Despite everything they went through, he persisted, and the moon goddess gave him Blair as a reward for his persistence.
“Where's your Mummy?” He asked, not taking his gaze off her face.
“There she comes,” Blair giggled, pointing at the door. Ryder followed her gesture and smiled as Hara made her entrance.
With her slightly swollen tummy, she was finding walking a little harder now. Yeah, they were gonna have another child. The pack doctors predicted it was going to be a boy. So Ryder's been doing a countdown till the day his heir will be born.
His smile scrunched into a slight frown when he saw the Omega from a few minutes ago, trailing behind Hara. She still had the tray and following Hara's instruction, she placed it on the table and left.
Hara turned to him and the stern look on her face made him realize just how much trouble he was in.
“Uh, Blair, why don't you go play with your Nanny? Mummy and I need to talk,“ Ryder said in a tense tone, putting down his daughter.
She sprinted enthusiastically out of the room, and now, it was just the two of them.
“I'm sorry,” Even without any words from her, he knew just what his offense was. He'd spent the last six years of his life studying her. So he could easily rescue himself in moments like this.
“You rejected my food —“
“I wouldn't dare,“ Ryder hushed her softly, grabbing her hands and intertwining their fingers, “I didn't know the tray was from you. I thought it was all that Omega's idea,”
“It had a note with it,“ Hara pinpointed.
“I didn't notice. Please, don't get mad at me. You know how hard it's been for me lately,“
With that, She let go of her frail anger and wrapped her arms around his waist. His arms went around her body, bringing her closer to himself. He needed the hug, more now than ever.
“Are you still thinking about it?“ She asked, running her hands softly on his taut back.
“It's eating me up,“ Ryder sighed, holding down the knot in his heart, “ How the heck am I supposed to do it? I know he's my Father and it was his last wish. But it's impossible to do what he asked for,”
“I can't, Queen. I can't bring her back here to live with us. Not after everything she did. To you, to me —“ he shut his eyes as they stung with tears, and then he added the last part, ”—to Jason.“
There was no way he could bring her back to the palace. Ciara was better off anywhere else but here.
But a week later, Ryder decided to do it. It was his Father's last wish and he was obligated to fulfill it.
“Ciara just flew into Italy last night. She has a business to take care of,“ Giveon said. They were at the round-table meeting. The two empty seats were a constant reminder that Jason and Darius were never coming back to them.
“You'll have to go get her. And keep it on the low. We don't want to give the press something to talk about,“ Ryder said, ignoring the painful knot in his heart.
“When do I leave?“
“Tomorrow.“ Ryder breathed out.
The meeting was over and they stood to leave. Giveon stayed back. He was now the Beta and the closest to Ryder. The poor man was lonely and needed someone to stay close to him like Jason used to. Giveon had to be that someone.
“What?“ Ryder sighed, throwing his head back on the headrest. He was exhausted. More now than ever.
“What happens if I see him?” Giveon asked. Even without calling a name, Ryder understood.
“Talk to him. Help him remember,” Ryder breathed out.
”That's impossible. He's not the Jason we used to know. He's vicious now. A fucking capo!”
“Would you rather snap his neck? Blow his brains out?“
”I don't know –” Giveon mumbled, “If I need to, then I might,“
Giveon's voice was soaked in apprehension, which was odd. Jason used to be his buddy. But right now, he was talking about him like he was just some random monster. He couldn't help it. Jason was legendary for the millions of lives he has wasted since he turned Capo. He was a bloody assassin now. A Mafia!
Years spent with Jason were the reason he was feeling a pang of sadness right now. But if he happens to encounter Jason, he just might kill him. That's just the logical thing to do.
Ryder rose from his seat, and it toppled behind him. His eyes shut and his breathing was hard.
He turned to Giveon, lashing out all his frustration at him.
“No matter what happened, Jason remains family. If you get to see him, make him remember us. That's what you should do,“
“And if he doesn't?“ Giveon asked, standing to his feet. Ryder was being emotional again like he always is when it had to do with Jason, and it pisses him off.
“The hell he will!” Giveon snapped, “It's been six years already. If there was a chance for him to remember us, then he would have done that already. Let's face it, Ryder. Jason is a monster now. And we should treat him as such!”
“If you kill him, then you leave me with no choice but to kill you!“ Ryder penned down his threat in a cold tone. “You get your ass to Italy and you bring Ciara and Jason home. Have I made myself clear?!“
Shrieks of pleasure erupted from a hotel room, coursing through the walls of the gigantic building.
It was midnight, and the screams were a huge nuisance. But no one laid a complaint, not when they knew where the screams wafted from.
It came from the only room on the last floor of the building. There was only one room on that floor and only one person lodged in that room. It was the Capo of the 'Carianno' Mafia family, and the hotel was one of the many properties of the 'Carianno' family.
Sicily was the haven of the 'Cariannos'. They've been here for generations and practically run the city. No one leaves or enters unnoticed. They robbed the city of its good aura, replacing it with sheer horror. Vicious killings. Tortures. Crimes. Theft. Rapes. The list was endless. Italy was in chaos. Sicily had it worst, and that was since the new Capo came on board.
'GHOST', that was his nam
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