New Release: Filthy Marcellos: Giovanni (Book Two, Filthy Marcellos) - Read Chapter One
*dances wildly*

It's Giovanni day!

*dances more*

My boy Gio, the youngest Marcello brother and maybe the craziest, is out in the world today. I hope he steals some hearts, even if his is already taken. ;)

Read chapter one below. Enjoy, and thank you!

--Kris

Giovanni Marcello lives life by his own terms and has no intention of changing. As a Capo and the son of a mob boss, he knows what is and is not acceptable conduct. That doesn’t stop him from doing whatever he wants, whenever he wants to do it. The one thing he would never do is disobey the principles of La Cosa Nostra. That is, until he spends a night with a beautiful stranger.

He’ll break every rule for her.

Kim Abella has made some mistakes—no doubt about it. She’s paying for them by a forced marriage she doesn’t want to a man who suffocates her with his demands and abuse. After everything, she knew better than to get mixed up with another family, especially their youngest son. Then again, when she’s with him, he reminds her of who she is beneath the control that’s slowly killing her.

She just can’t leave him alone.

Being spoken for by a made man means Kim is off-limits, but Giovanni doesn’t play nice when it comes to taking what should be his. The only thing that might save them both from a bullet and a makeshift grave for what they’ve done are the very same rules they already broke.

Sometimes, love has to start out a little filthy.

*~*~*


Book Two, Giovanni Released April 2nd, 2015 Available at the following vendors: Amazon Barnes and Noble | Kobo iTunes | Inktera | Scribd
Add to Goodreads TBR

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Book One, Lucian
Add to Goodreads TBR
Available for purchase at the following: Amazon Barnes & Noble ~ Kobo ~ iTunes ~ Google Play ~ Scribd ~ Inktera

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Chapter One


Life is a lot like playing Blackjack.
With any game, there are rules, players, losers, and winners.
There are the newbies who know the basic goal is to hit that magical number twenty-one without going bust. They don’t have any real skill, just an ability to count. There are the amateurs who watch the house, hoping the dealer hits the limit and gives them a chance to go for broke. They’re a little smarter, though. They weigh the cost of losing for the next hit. And then there are the professionals. The players counting cards and keeping track.
They’re the sharks. Everybody else is a minnow. Problem is, when playing Blackjack, no one really knows who the shark is until it’s too late.
Life works the same way. Sometimes it’s all about the luck of the draw and the numbers dealt to the table. A better hand gives a person a better chance.
Giovanni Marcello had certainly been dealt a good hand in his life.
“Is the table full or free to join?”
The sweetened honey voice of a female brought Gio out of his mind and back to the game at hand. The dealer nodded to signal the table was open for another player to be added to the three already sitting down. Long, shapely legs and waist length, wavy blonde hair was the first thing Gio noticed about the young woman sliding into the leather chair beside his.
The second thing he noticed were her eyes. Strikingly blue and soul deep. The lashes framing those orbs were long enough to fan out across her lids as she shot her new companion a look. Shoot him she did. Gio’s mouth suddenly felt like someone wadded a ball of cotton under his tongue.
“You don’t mind if I sit and play?” the woman asked him as she added her bet to the pile.
Gio shook his head. She looked young. Certainly of legal age, but young. He couldn’t help but ask, “Are you even old enough to play?”
“Freshly turned twenty-one a month ago. You want to see my ID?”
“No, I’ll take your word.”
It wasn’t often Gio conversed with or found an interest in younger women. He preferred those around his own age—twenty-five. There was a certain maturity level at that age he found he didn’t have to worry about. Those women understood he wasn’t going to chase after them, and he didn’t want them chasing after him.
The dealer flipped up the cards for the players and then dealt one to himself. Gio’s eight of spades was a crappy start, but the pretty blonde beside him had an even worse one with a three of hearts. She didn’t pay her hand any mind.
“Nice wedding, wasn’t it?”
“Sure. I’m not big on weddings myself,” Gio admitted.
His gaze was distracted by the navy blue silk of her dress. It fell a few inches above her knees, which only drew his eyes further downward to the matching suede peep-toe pumps tapping to the chair leg.
Gio searched his brain to try and figure out who this girl was. She seemed vaguely familiar. He did another quick once over. There was no ring on her finger to signal she was spoken for.
“Bride or groom?” Gio decided to ask.
“Groom, I suppose. Through affiliation. Aren’t most here?”
Ah, true enough. She caught him there. It wasn’t a secret that Lucian’s new wife didn’t have many guests of her own to attend the festivities. The eight-hundred party guest list took care of that issue. The patrons filled their church to the brim and then some.
Gio quirked a brow. “You’re not going to ask me?”
“You were one of the two best men standing beside the groom earlier, yes?”
Damn.
She had him there, too. Obviously she was seated closer to the front than many guests. Usually, the first ten rows were reserved for family, friends, and special guests of the bride and groom … or their Cosa Nostra syndicates.
Clearly the drinks Gio tossed back playing Blackjack weren't mixing well with the weed he snuck in after the ceremony. Hell, he knew what the day would involve. It meant he needed to sit still, smile, and put on a good show. It was too damn bad doing so led his mind into dangerously bored territory. When Gio got bored, things could take an interesting turn.
Best behavior, Gio reminded himself.
Damn, Lucian was blessed Gio loved his stupid ass.
Weddings.
Gio shuddered at the very thought of the word. It was more than what it sounded like. That word danced along with other important words like love, babies, and forever. Being in a wedding seemed to put the spotlight on the fact he was single and planning on staying that way for a while.
Honest to Jesus, if one more person asked him where his date for the evening was, Gio was going to …
“It’s a little unusual to see two best men, no?” the pretty blonde asked.
“Lucian didn’t want to pick between us brothers.”
“Mr. Marcello?”
The dealer was waiting for Gio to make his call. Without thinking about it, Gio tapped a single finger on the table to signal he’d take one. A seven of diamonds popped up. A total of fifteen was a lousier hand than before. It was far too close to going bust and the odds of the other cards did not put the bet in his favor.
Not that it mattered now. He was focused on the woman at his side.
“Do you suppose you’ll make the same choice when it’s your turn?” she asked.
“No.”
“And why’s that? Have a favorite between the two, do you?”
Tired of the twenty questions and his nagging thoughts still attempting to figure out who this woman was, Gio asked, “What’s your name?”
“My friends call me Kim.”
Gio tasted the name on his tongue. Silently, he tried it out to see if he thought it truly fit the girl, or if she was lying to appease him. She didn’t necessarily have a reason to be lying about her name.
“Just Kim, huh?” Gio grinned. “Kim with no last name?”
“I am tonight. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to being whoever I need to be.”
Something in the lilt of her tone stopped the heart in Gio’s chest for a split second. He understood her words better than she could possibly know. 
Gio was the troubled one. The black sheep. He was lawless and mostly, he loved it. Often times he didn’t think things through, but he was cunning as hell and able to get himself out of most bad situations he ended up in.
He was also careless, but never carefree. A dichotomy in a world where everyone had to be just perfectly so. Where everything needed to be explained and understood.
That wasn’t Gio.
“I get that,” Gio finally said.
“You should be in the ballroom dancing and celebrating with your brother and his new wife,” Kim said, sparing him a glance that waged a battle with his insides.
“I should.”
“It’s just not you, hmm?”
Gio shrugged. “Something like that.”
“Mr.—”
Gio tapped his finger on the table again, interrupting the dealer without even considering he should just fold. The king of clubs popped up and sent his hand bust. Gio should have expected that. He probably should have held his hand last draw, but someone had him distracted.
The longer Gio stared at Kim, the drunker he felt. On what, he wasn’t quite sure. He’d taken all different types of illegal substances in his life and downed more than enough alcohol to know a buzzed out, high feeling when it came along. This girl only needed to be within sitting distance of Gio to get his nerves stirring like drug or drink had been infused straight from her air to his.
That was crazy.
And he wanted to know why.
“Miss?” the dealer asked Kim.
Only then did Gio notice her hand. A three and an eight. Eleven. How fucking lucky was that? The dealer had stayed at seventeen, the house limit. Everyone else at the table had either folded, stayed or gone bust. Kim had not. She only needed to beat the house, and really, she had a pretty damned good chance of doing just that.
Kim smiled at Gio, the sight almost too innocent to be true. “Forty percent chance I hit a number lower than a five. Five percent says it could be a six. Fifty-five puts it high enough to beat the house. It’s a risk. A little too close to fifty-fifty for some. Which would you choose, Giovanni?”
How did she know his name?
You never knew who the shark was.
“I’d take a card,” Gio replied.
“Me, too.” Kim nodded to the dealer for another card and didn’t even bat an eyelash when a Jack turned over. “Keep my bet for the house,” she told the dealer with a shrug. “I was counting. It’s unfair to the game.”
Just as easily as she’d slipped into her seat at the Blackjack table, she was suddenly getting up to leave. Gio reached out and snagged Kim’s wrist in his palm without even thinking about it. Like her reaction to the card game, she didn’t seem all too surprised at his interruption of her exit, either.
Who was this fucking girl?
“You didn’t answer my question,” Kim said quietly, the heat of her skin soaking into Gio’s palm like a drug.
“Which one?”
“Why wouldn’t you do what your brother did and pick both?”
“I wouldn’t do this at all,” Gio stated with a pointed look at the entrance separating the dance hall from the casino section.
“The wedding thing, or the marrying thing?”
“Why does it matter?”
Kim shrugged. “It doesn’t.”
Gio doubted that. “Maybe it’s just not my thing, Tesoro.”
He didn’t miss the recognition twinkling in her eye at his use of an Italian endearment for one’s sweetheart. Did she understand what the word meant? Treasure. Dear. Darling. Gio couldn’t think of another time when it slipped so easily from his mouth, yet he heard his father call his mother that every day of his life.
“Or maybe I’m not the marrying kind,” Gio added.
“Maybe you just haven’t found the right one to tame you, yet.”
A smirk crept across his lips. “The fun isn’t in the taming. It’s in the attempt.”
,” she agreed.
Kim pulled her wrist from Gio’s grasp without another word. He wasn’t entirely sure this was how he wanted their odd encounter to end, considering the bubbling attraction curling around his senses and the lust pooling in his gut. Even still, he rested back in his chair and watched blue peep-toes walk away from the table. Kim didn’t even glance back.
When she disappeared into the influx of people moving into the casino room from the ballroom, Gio turned to face the table.
“Mr. Marcello?” the dealer said, gaining Gio’s attention once more.
Hmm? I think I’m done for the night.”
“Ah, no, sir. On the table, Mr. Marcello. It was underneath her cards when I picked them up.”
With those words, the man handed over a key card. The fancy script of a hotel’s name was scrawled across the front in golden embossed letters. The hotel directly across from the plaza they were currently in. On the back, a floor and room number were printed above the barcode.
Hell … Gio did like to take his risks, after all.
What was one more?
“Thank you.”
Gio slipped the key card into the inside pocket of his tux and left the table. It didn’t take him long at all to find the only two people in the building he needed to tell goodbye. He stood swallowed by the crowd of people on the dance floor as he took in the sight of his oldest brother and new sister-in-law. They were dancing. Smiling. So happy.
Weddings weren’t Gio’s thing, and the day took every ounce of patience he had, but it was worth it for that one second. Lucian was warranted his joy and happiness. He more than earned his new bride and her private smiles hidden against his cheek.
And Jordyn … She was the perfect woman for Gio’s brother. Anyone with any sense could see it.
“Hey, man.” Gio hadn’t noticed Dante sliding in beside him until the second oldest Marcello brother spoke. “Where’d you go?”
“Blackjack table.”
Dante chuckled. “Win?”
“I was for a while. Something better caught my interest instead.”
“You’re leaving,” Dante said, a hint of disappointment seeping in.
Gio shrugged. “This isn’t my kind of party. I was getting ready to say goodbye, but I didn’t want to interrupt.”
“Don’t let Mom see you skipping out early, Gio. She’ll have a fit.”
Gio scanned the crowd to see if he could spot either of his parents. He couldn’t. Antony was likely accepting congratulations from a dozen and one Mafioso from around the country. It was no little thing for a mafia prince like Lucian to settle down, never mind with a woman who wasn’t affiliated with La Cosa Nostra. Cecelia was probably tending to the family and friends side of things. His parents played their parts well.
“Where’s Antony?” Gio asked.
“Playing who’s-got-the-bigger-dick with Nunz Abella from Vegas. I don’t know why he bothers. Nunz is a prick and counts for nothing in the family and business.”
“You’ll know why when it’s you running the family,” Gio replied. “It’s about the respect. Nunz’s Cosa Nostra is small-time in a big sector. Pisses Nunz off like nothing else that, as he sees it, Antony overlooks him. Hence, every time they meet, the disrespect comes out. It flies from Nunz like cow shit. I’m surprised the asshole’s eyes aren’t brown he’s so goddamn full of it.”
“Dad shouldn’t have invited him,” Dante muttered.
“He couldn’t not invite him. It would look bad to invite the families around Nunz, but not him. Hell, even the leader of the Chicago Outfit and his wife were invited after that fallout two years ago. That’s never really been resolved. What would it say about Antony to invite those he still considers enemies, but not someone he counts as a friend of ours, even if that friend is a cocksucker?”
Dante tilted his head in agreement. “True. Fuck, too bad Dad wasn’t here right now. He’d be surprised to hear you talking like you actually pay attention to the things he says.”
“I pay attention,” Gio growled under his breath, offended. “I do my fucking job. I’m the Skip. I get it done.”
“Relax, I was kidding. I was just trying to say it’d be nice if Dad didn’t have to worry about you being so fucked up all the time.”
Gio’s eyes rolled. He was so over the worry-about-poor-little-Gio-and-his-habits thing his family had going on. Then, he smirked over at his older brother. The usual cockiness he sported was back, along with the remnants of the buzz from his earlier encounter with Kim. That, however, was starting to fade.
He wanted that high again.
“I didn’t say I wasn’t fucked up. I said I get it done.”
Dante didn’t seem to know how to reply to that. Gio was always good for shutting someone up when he wanted. Even his brothers.
“You might as well interrupt them,” Dante said, nodding at the dancing couple. “Everyone else has been doing it all night. Money, kisses, and congrats. You know the deal.”
For the first time all day, Gio detected a hint of disgust in his older brother’s tone. Dante had been pretty relaxed about the whole wedding shebang. Probably because attention left him for a while.
“How long before this is you, huh?” Gio asked.
Dante didn’t want to find a wife and settle down. It was a shitty situation for his older brother to be in, considering he was next in line to run their mafia family. To do so, by the Commission’s rules, Dante needed a wife.
Dante frowned. “That’s my question, too. I’m trying not to worry. See you tomorrow, yeah?”
“Yeah. Later.”
Dante moved back through the crowd with a two finger wave goodbye as Gio made his way toward his oldest brother. Lucian noticed his approach, slowing his dance with Jordyn to a stop. He also seemed to recognize the expression Gio sported.
“You’re skipping out, huh?” Lucian asked.
Gio wasn’t hard to figure out, apparently. “Before it gets too loud, yeah.”
“The only loudness they’re going to hear are my tires squealing on the pavement as I leave,” Lucian replied with a short laugh. “I’m about done with it myself.”
Playfully, Jordyn smacked his arm. “Stop. It’s been a good night, Lucian.”
“Yes, but it’s been an even longer day, bella.”
“You’re not pissed at me for going early?” Gio asked.
“No. Where are you headed to for the night?”
Gio lifted a brow suggestively, grinning. “Somewhere beautiful with long legs, blue eyes, and blonde hair.”
“Nice.” Jordyn snickered. “He even manages to take a guest home from our wedding. That’s wonderful.”
Lucian made a warning sound under his breath. “Man, be careful about who you pick up in this crowd tonight. There are a lot of faces we don’t know, but Dad does. Don’t go messing where business could be involved. It wouldn’t be good for you or the family.”
Gio waved the warning off. He wasn’t concerned about problems arising from whatever encounter he had with Kim after he left the plaza.
“Worry about getting your wife out of here, Lucian, and not who I’ll be fucking tonight.”
“And with that,” Jordyn drawled, shaking her head, “… you have a good night, Gio.”
Gio hugged his brother, holding on a second longer than what he normally would. “Ti voglio bene, man. Congratulations.”
Lucian smiled. “Ti voglio bene.”
Out of the corner of his eye, Gio was sure he saw a flash of blonde and blue near the entrance to the plaza. That was his cue to get going before someone tried to stop him to talk.
Twenty minutes later, Gio stood in front of the door to the hotel room number that matched the one on the back of the key card.
Briefly, he wondered if he should knock or use the card. The thought didn’t last long. Kim left the card behind, and as far as he was concerned, the intent in that action was as clear. She wanted him to use it. So he did.
Gio didn’t let the door stay open for long. Jasmine floated through the dimly lit space. Kim sat across the room on the bench window seat where the curtains were drawn shut. The crimson camber of her smirk peeked out from the veil of her hair. She leaned down to pull off her pumps.
“I thought for sure you weren’t coming,” Kim said, straightening up.
“And why’s that?”
“Too risky, maybe.”
Gio dropped his tux jacket on a corner chair as Kim unzipped the side of her silk dress. When she twisted to be sure the zipper was all the way down, the creamy expanse of her waist and the side of her breast were bare inside the slit of the fabric.
“Stand up,” Gio demanded.
Kim did without question, her hands falling to rest on her hips while he crossed the room. The closer Gio got, the more he realized his reaction to the girl was still real and true. She made him feel odd—in a good way.
Drunk on nothing. High on air.
He had chased down those feelings ever since he was fourteen. Constant. Harsh. Dangerous. This was not the same. It was instant but slow moving. Tapping straight into his veins, lungs and brain all at the same time.
Gio wasn’t a goddamned idiot. He recognized attraction when he felt it. Acted on lust when it was a shared desire. But this … What in all the unholy fuck was this, though?
“You knew my name,” Gio said, stopping in front of her. “How?”
“I know your family,” Kim replied. “That’s all.”
Lucian’s words about being careful poked at Gio. “Not that it much matters now but is this going to get me in some kind of trouble come tomorrow?”
Kim hesitated but only for a second. “It shouldn’t. It’s just for fun, right?”
He’d accept that. For now.
“Sure. Who taught you to count cards?” Gio asked.
He pulled her dress down over her shoulders. Kim didn’t stop him, so he took that as a sign she wanted him to continue. Silken, smooth skin met his lips before his teeth bit into her supple, sweet tasting flesh.
Kim sighed as her dress fell further down, pooling on the floor. Fuck, her breasts were perfect as far as Gio was concerned. They fit right into the palms of his hands, and her nipples pebbled at his touch instantly.
“So responsive,” he murmured at her collarbone. “Who taught you to card count? Tell me.”
“No one. I’m minoring in English and majoring in mathematics, actually. Counting cards is a pretty basic trick. And that wasn’t so much counting as betting on odd ratios.”
He released her breasts long enough to slide his hands down the flat contour of her stomach. A curved barbell in her bellybutton flicked under his thumb before he drew a straight line straight down under her black lace panties to the sweet spot between her thighs.
“Be gone by the morning,” Kim said softly.
Gio froze, looking at her straight on. Honesty was the best policy, and he assumed this encounter wouldn’t be any different than the ones he had before. It didn’t matter if he wanted to know this girl, Gio wasn’t in the right place in his life to do that kind of thing.
“I usually am, Kim.”
Kim frowned, her bottom lip finding its way between her teeth. “It’s not you. I can’t be just Kim come morning. So you need to not be here then.”
Gio understood that, despite the crazy way it sounded. “Be whoever you want to be tonight, Tesoro. I do have a question, though.”
Hmm, what’s that?” she asked, a shake starting in her thighs as his thumb circled over her clit in slow, lazy circles.
“Why me?”
A sly smile lit up her pretty features. “You looked so bored standing up there at the church. At the dinner, it was the same thing. It didn’t seem like your kind of party. I wanted to see if I could get you to smile." 
Gio chuckled darkly, enjoying her mewled sounds as his fingers slipped between her folds. “Well, you certainly managed to do that.”
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