The Don’s Rose is a 66-page novella set in a crime family of upper New York. It is a standalone and can be read independently of any follow-up novellas that follow it.
ABOUT MAFIA MATE
Work hard. Keep quiet. No infighting. No leaving. No poaching the women.
Jimmy Savaggio made these five rules for his street gang when he was a teenager. Along the way, he met Danny, Max, Mario and Margot. Together, they turned that posse into a conglomerate of mafia crews and corporate sharks. But now, the rules are being broken, one by one, by Jimmy himself and then by his underbosses, too. Nothing is sacred now, except the spouses they find and keep.
ABOUT THE DON’S ROSE
When Jimmy Savaggio first sees Rosalia across the room at his corporation’s holiday gathering, he falls into instant lust. When he first makes her orgasm in his arms later that evening, his lust turns into a blinding obsession. When he rescues her from hell, blinding obsession develops into an abiding love. But Rosalia isn’t content to exist at the beck and call of a mafia don. She won’t be hidden away or kept a secret, not even for her own protection. Not again.
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SAMPLE FROM THE DON’S ROSE
Copyright 2017 by Elle Q. Sabine. All Rights Reserved.
“I want to know every fucking thing about that one,” Jimmy demanded, not looking away from the devastating raven-haired stunner across the room. She was wearing an understated green turtleneck sweater and black pants with leather high-heeled boots that stopped below her knee, a far cry from how he’d have dressed her.
For this, the company holiday party, she ought to be wrapped in red silk with a plunging neckline and silver Christian Louboutin pumps with red satin ankle ties. Her hair would be draped over her shoulders in a glistening black crown, instead of pinned in a conservative knot on the back of her head. Her lips would be highlighted with a glossy red lipstick that would come off as she sucked his cock after the party – or, better yet, during the party when he took her into the private VIP lounge reserved for Jimmy and his immediate circle. She’d transform from glamorous to disheveled and needy as he broke her down into –
“Boss, she’s off the market,” Margot murmured, from her spot one step from his left side and one step behind. Margot was the ultra-organized admin and angel who kept his life in order, but he almost snapped at her to make her explain. She went on before he could get out any intelligible words. “That’s Ricardo Dinapoli’s wife, the one he married this summer. She’s from Chicago, second generation Martelluci, Sicilian but legit. Plenty of relatives, but no known connection to the family, here or in Sicily. At least not until she married Dinapoli.”
“Why the hell is she with that one?” Jimmy demanded, silently resolving to end that atrocity as soon as possible. It was a damn good thing he was the don, since he’d forbidden the men of the family from poaching each other’s spouses.
As a young man, Ricardo Dinapoli had been an acceptable soldier in the family that Jimmy had spent the last twenty years quietly building in Oswego and Syracuse, then expanding west toward Rochester and north to Watertown. Now Ricardo was a subpar employee for the holding corporation that he, Danny and Max had formed to manage the family’s network of small businesses and financial assets operated by his capos and their crews. Ricardo also lacked any connection, past or present, to the Savaggio famiglia. Jimmy had taken Ricardo into the fold as a favor to Ricardo’s uncle, when Ricardo had needed out of Italy as a young man. In those days, Jimmy had traded favors to further his own family. But now, at thirty-two, Ricardo had outlived his usefulness. In the family, he was a recruiter – a scout. In the corporation, he was part of the acquisitions team that brought existing businesses in under the company umbrella. He hadn’t done much of either for at least two years now.
No, Ricardo wouldn’t be going any further in Jimmy’s organization.
Jimmy’s family was a newer, better version of the stiff-rumped old Cosa Nostra that had been prosecuted out of existence in upper New York. Jimmy wouldn’t make the same errors the old-timers had. Even though Dinapoli was made for his early recruitment work – he’d brought in two tour boat companies to the corporation that were immensely profitable as well as several restaurants and bars early on in his career – he was not indispensable. Jimmy couldn’t care less if his soldiers and capos were native Italian. As long as they could speak or learn the language, or were married to it, they could prove their worth and join the ranks. He required hard work, the code of silence, the keeping of family secrets, prohibited adultery with the family’s wives, and considered fighting among members without Jimmy’s approval a capital offense. Everything else was negotiable.
Ricardo Dinapoli was not a hard worker, at least not for the family.
A grim smile touched Jimmy’s face. Losing his head would definitely put a cramp in Ricardo’s future prospects in the family, or out of it.
“I’ll find out, sir,” Margot said. It was an emotionless answer. “Want me to bring him in for a consult?”
Jimmy wasn’t sure that was a good idea, not if Dinapoli was going to walk out of the meeting. “Why don’t you bring her in for an interview instead? She doesn’t already work for me, does she?” He didn’t even turn his head to check Margot’s expression, at least not until she answered. Her voice was tight with some suppressed emotion that caught his immediate attention.
“No, sir, she doesn’t work for us in any capacity. I suggested Dinapoli have her apply for the analyst job you’ve been trying to fill but he told me to bugger off, that he could support her without charity from a freaky fish.”
“He didn’t?” Jimmy’s anger went up a notch. “Why the hell didn’t you tell me that when it happened?”
Margot shrugged. “It was August when he brought her here. You were in New York, then Boston, then London and Rome on your annual networking meets. By the time you returned in September, I decided there was no reason to call it to your attention.”
Jimmy raised his brows but saved his irritation at her reticence for a more appropriate time and place. But he still wanted his curiosity about the woman appeased immediately. “What makes you think she’d make a good fit for the job? You know what I expect in work ethic and productivity.”
Margot looked uncomfortable, then grimaced. “I thought it might be advantageous to have someone from the family, or at least an associate, who would know the rules. She married into us, so Max had done a background on her, just like everyone else and that ended on my desk to review in case you had a need to know. She earned an undergrad from London School of Economics, an MBA from the University of Chicago and a graduate degree from the University of Geneva, all by the age of twenty-six. From all accounts, she’s fluent in English, Italian, and French, and competent in Spanish and German. But she married Ricardo almost immediately when she returned from Switzerland. She clearly intended to do something with her life, and now she’s a housewife to a –” Margot stopped abruptly, flushing slightly.
“A self-righteous, pompous asshole bigot whose head has swollen out of proportion to his micro-penis?” Jimmy suggested. He didn’t hold to the old family ways of driving out anyone who didn’t fit with traditional missionary-position sexuality.
Perhaps it was growing up as a boy in Catholic school, he thought, but he quite enjoyed the sudden thought he had of Rosalia in missionary position. But then again, he also would appreciate her bent over, dress pulled to her hips, and Jimmy behind her with his dick deep in her ass.
A couple of the bodyguards who were close enough to Jimmy choked back their laughter, but he saw the flash of appreciation in Margot’s gaze. He knew Margot, who had transitioned from Marcus in the summer between graduating from Boston University and arriving to work as Jimmy’s salvation in the guise of executive assistant, never whined about how life was unfair or that his soldiers were navel-gazing sexually repressed dickheads. Margot kept her sex life private, and Jimmy respected her for that.
Right at the moment he wanted his sex life to be sacrosanct, too, but he knew quite well that as soon as he made a move on Rosalia, they’d be the whispered topic of every discussion from now until Independence Day – among the men and the women. Gossip was vicious, and his sex life was about to become family business. If anyone else blindly broke one of the guiding principles of the family, he could demand expulsion or even a trip to the bottom of Lake Ontario in response. Jimmy’s only saving grace was that he owned the family. Danny, Max and Mario – his underbosses but also the men who had been his best friends since childhood – would forgive him the sin. At least, he hoped they would.
“As you say, sir,” she returned.
“Right then, get me that report and have Danny’s people look into her more closely, and her family. I want everything that she’s done and everyone she’s met since she started kindergarten: financials, legal, relationships, social media, family connections. Make sure she’s not in bed with the Bureau or any of the other bastard feds.” He signaled to Danny, beside him on the right, who acknowledged the order with a crisp nod.
“Immediately,” Margot agreed, opening her ever-present tablet. Jimmy looked away from her, frowning when he realized his beauty had moved. He scanned the room quickly, and found her on Ricardo’s arm, walking slowly through the crowd. They were headed toward the door, but slowly. Ricardo stopped to exchange greetings with one of the finance crew and she waited demurely at his side, the perfect companion.
“Danny, make sure they don’t leave yet,” he ordered. Danny ran the enforcement crew. By day, Danny and his soldiers functioned as the corporation’s security division. Jimmy was the corporation’s Chief Operating Officer and CEO. Max’s crew were more tech geeks than bruisers, but he was a brilliant financier, one who straddled the line between the family business and corporate accounting geek quite well. He managed the corporation’s financial arm but was also Jimmy’s money man. Max’s modern version of tribute and protection payments didn’t necessarily involve guns or violence. Those who got above their station or attempted to withhold profits from the corporation could easily find their credit frozen, their bank accounts emptied, and even their physical assets suddenly under new family ownership. Mario was his senior strategist and planning chief, much like a consigliere of old but with the contemporary title of Chief Information Officer.
“When they do leave, I want a tail on them – a guard for her.”
Jimmy watched the couple a moment longer as Danny acknowledged the directive and spoke into his mic. He watched her, his gut churning. Rosalia Isabelle did not appear to be a woman who was infatuated with her newlywed husband, thank the good lord. She appeared disconnected, without a smile on her face as she looked directly ahead of her, studying something or someone on the far side of the room. She did not lean into Ricardo, or look up at him with the gaze of a lover.
Instead, she held herself upright, allowing but not seeking the touch of his hand at her elbow. Jimmy looked more closely and saw that hand at her elbow was not mere guidance. Ricardo had his hand clamped tightly around her arm, just above the joint.
Jimmy’s green jealously turned a murderous red with rage.
“I think it’s time I met the lovely Rosalia,” he announced, unsuccessfully suppressing his rage. He could hear it in his own damn voice.
Danny immediately stepped forward and cleared a path, with Margot and a guard – Lanz tonight – behind him. The other two meandered through the crowd, so that they could come up behind Ricardo and Rosalia, boxing them in.
Ricardo recognized Jimmy immediately, his impassive mien draining away for a moment before he came to his senses and smiled a welcome. He didn’t drop his hand on Rosalia’s elbow, though, not even to offer to shake Jimmy’s hand. “Boss, how are you? You got holiday plans?”
Jimmy gave him an even stare, then looked pointedly at Rosalia. “I don’t believe we’ve met. I’m James Savaggio, Jimmy now that we’ve met.”
Rosalia opened her mouth to speak, but Ricardo interrupted, almost petulant. “Boss, this is Rosalia, my wife. Rosalia, I’m sure you remember that I’ve told you about Don Savaggio.”
Even Jimmy caught the note of warning in Ricardo’s voice. Rosalia visibly paled, but held out her free hand in response. Jimmy reached for it automatically.
Her musical voice tempted his inner caveman as much as the soft hand in his. “It’s very nice to meet you, sir. Ricardo was just telling me how grateful he is that you’ve organized this company party so early in December, so the gathering doesn’t conflict with all the other upcoming holiday events.”
Jimmy heard the dulcet tones of her voice roll over him and struggled to contain his reaction. Inside his pants, his cock hardened to rigid proportions. Mio Dio, he nearly said aloud. Her hand was living velvet in his, and her voice created a dull ache in the small of his back. He had to have this one, he thought. Tonight.
Dinapoli could be damned.
“Ricardo, I’m going to dance with Rosalia now,” he announced.
She rewarded his decision with a soft, swift gasp. Ricardo stiffened and didn’t release her elbow.
Jimmy turned his gaze on the man, making sure Ricardo saw nothing but absolute command on his face. “You’ll excuse us now,” he bit out.
Ricardo was a fool. He released Rosalia, but slowly, as if he did so only because he had no other alternative. Jimmy, who had not released her other hand, drew her closer and tucked her under his shoulder before turning them both away from Ricardo. If he had his way, he wouldn’t let Rosalia out of his reach again. Business, the family and his famiglia had always been the foci of his life, but few crossed from business and family to famiglia. One touch of Rosalia and he was mentally moving her over that invisible boundary.
The dance floor was across the cocktail lounge. The lights were lowered and the music loud enough to make talking difficult. In front of him, Danny was already speaking into his mic, so the tune shifted to a slower, softer sound as they entered.
Jimmy turned to the darkest corners of the room, keeping Rosalia at his side, and merged into the shadows. He picked a point near the back wall where others were also coupled and turned slightly so that Rosalia would come up against him on the dance floor.
“You are breathtaking,” he murmured against the top of her hair, wrapping his hands around her. He shook as he pressed his hands to the small of her back and held her against his chest for the first time.
Mother of God, he was going to lose control over his body right there on the damned dance floor. His balls were already tight and his cock harder than granite, straining against his trousers and unmistakably pressing into her stomach.
She was not unaffected either. Her small hands reached up and settled on his shoulders, not clinging to him but certainly not trying to create any distance. Against his chest, her breasts shifted and he felt her nipples press against his pectoral muscles.
What would he give to have her bare, skin-to-skin?
His whole fucking kingdom, he thought, remembering the ill-fated story of Bathsheba and King David. Ricardo was going to die, and this Bathsheba in his arms would be his reward. At least he didn’t already have a wife. That would have been a complete mind fuck. He felt a moment of sympathy for the poor street kid who’d become a mythical king, then shook himself.
Once upon a time, the wily, manipulative bastard sent Bathsheba’s husband to the front lines to die a warrior’s death.
Jimmy didn’t intend to bother with that subterfuge. He’d do whatever he had to take the girl, and if that meant Ricardo had to go, then Ricardo was a straight up dead man.