Teaser: Thin Lines (Donati Bloodlines, 2) Coming Soon - #MafiaRomance
Hey, all!


Since it is just three weeks and a day off the release of the second Donati Bloodlines book, I thought you all might like a teaser.

All is not safe back in New York ...




Calisto Donati

Calisto had never been a fan of pain, but he found it provided a certain relief. 
It was a high that couldn’t compete with anything else he experienced. That was why he fought bare-knuckled, why he drove fast, despite knowing he might crash, and why he still enjoyed looking at Emma Donati—no matter her current status. 
Pain felt good. 
He might have been a fool for doing so, but as long as he got what he wanted from it, he didn’t really care. 
When he fought, he was given release. When he drove, he was given freedom. When he looked at Emma, he was given memories. 
All of them brought a certain level of pain. All three might kill him someday. 
Calisto glanced at Emma, taking her in again when she didn’t know he was looking. 
He realized then that only one might actually be worth dying for. 

Emma Donati

Emma kept her gaze on the book in her lap, pretending like there wasn’t an argument going on across the room. She had become terribly good at acting like she didn’t hear. 
Calisto watched her out of the corner of his eye while he argued on with Affonso.
She was too focused on Calisto to care about their fight. 
His anger. The tightness of his jaw. Searing soul-black eyes. 
The two men were not the same. They might have shared blood, but their hearts were entirely different. One man never let her out of his sight when he was nearby. The other acted like she didn’t exist. 
This was what it was like, she realized, to be in love with someone she couldn’t have. 
Calisto Donati would never be hers.
This wasn’t a fairy tale that would end happily. 
They weren’t star-crossed. They were impossible. 



Despite who he worked under in Cosa Nostra, Calisto did enjoy his job. Seeing money come in meant he was doing something right. He liked the control he had as a consigliere, although his uncle had been using him for an errand runner lately.

Leaning back in the office chair, Calisto drummed his fingers on the tabletop as the Capo chatted away from across the desk. The office door was wide open, exposing the restaurant’s busy kitchen and workers moving from one prep table to another. The chef barked his usual orders, and the people under him moved accordingly.

“I mean, they’re still causing us issues, you know what I mean?” Wolf asked.

Wolf Puzza was one of the best Capos the Donati family had. He was a high earner with a small crew, and that was practically unheard of. But because the guy was quick—had his hands in a lot of pots, and knew the best ways to make money—he didn’t need more soldatos to add to his crew. What he had was enough.

“Us, or just you?” Calisto asked.

Wolf bristled. “I am a part of the whole puzzle, Cal.”

“I agree, but Affonso thinks differently than me. If he believes you’re somehow urging the Irish on in their quest to take over business in West Brighton, then you’re going to have a problem. Affonso won’t allow one Capo to start a bloody war with another family just for the sake of keeping a small piece of his territory. Besides, you’ve been feuding with the Russians for years.”

“I came to an agreement with the Russians,” Wolf muttered. “It’s not the same.”

 “My answer remains the same, man.”

“I’m not purposely starting issues with the Irish family in Jersey, all right? Those bastards are just coming at me because my crew controls the area they want control of.”

“I told you, Affonso doesn’t want a street war with the Irish,” Calisto said, shrugging. “I get it, Wolf, really I do. They’re irritating little shits. A few well-aimed bullets would end all the nonsense they’ve caused thus far. I can’t give the okay on it, not without Affonso’s agreement. And he won’t give it, I know.”

“What if that’s exactly what the Irish want?” Wolf asked.

“A street war?”


“Then I suggest you arm yourself with a bigger crew. Your streets can’t take that big of a hit, Wolf,” Calisto said.

Street wars with other families were only good for one thing: spilling blood. Families always took a large hit to their numbers in wars, making it downright difficult to earn money. In their attempts to replace the men lost, bad seeds might weed their way into the ranks.

It was not the Cosa Nostra way.

“No, I meant what if they wanted one with Affonso,” the Capo replied sharply.

Calisto straightened in his chair, taking those words in. “Why would they? This has been about Brighton for a long while. I assume they’re going after West Brighton where you have most of the control because anywhere else in Brighton is under the Marcello reign or the Russians at the ports.”

Wolf scoffed. “You’re still not getting it, are you?”

The Capo’s rudeness made Calisto’s hackles rattle. “Watch it, Wolf. I may not be the boss, but I won’t tolerate your disrespect.”

“My apologies.” Wolf sighed, and rubbed his hands together. “I’m just saying that it’s odd, Calisto. You would have thought the Irish would give it up by now, or at least, moved onto a different spot in Brighton to work on controlling. Yet, they keep coming at one of Affonso’s men like they want to piss him off.”

Calisto took those words in for a moment. “They’ve worked their way into a couple of spots in Brooklyn, too. The soldier they killed was another Capo’s man. We’ve also had sightings of them in the Kitchen, and Harlem.”

“Why me, then?”

“You’re the closest, I suspect,” Calisto replied.

“The easy target.”


Now, Calisto was wondering if Wolf had a point in his statement of Affonso and the Irish having some unknown problem. It wouldn’t be such a surprise. Affonso didn’t get along well with other leaders, and he was known to shun their attempts at peace-offerings until they went away altogether.

But what could have possibly happened?

“I’ll look into it,” Calisto finally said, pushing up from his seat to stand. “And I’ll ask Affonso again for permission to go in on the Irish and end whatever this is.”

“But you don’t think he’ll give it.”

“No. Which is why I said I’ll look into it all. In the meantime …”

“I’ll be careful,” Wolf muttered, rubbing a hand over his face.

“It’d be wise. There isn’t much else I could do for you. Why don’t you try aligning yourself with the Marcello crew in Brighton? I know the Capo running them, I can make a call to him. He’s an old friend.”

“Giovanni Marcello handles the territory there, right?”

“It’s the only section of Brooklyn that Lucian Marcello let his brother take during the last Commission meeting. I’m convinced it’s because Lucian is like any good Italian.”

Wolf laughed. “He doesn’t want to deal with the Russians.”

Calisto smirked. “Exactly. And Gio, well, he gets along with everybody. Better to let someone like him set up shop than someone like Lucian who shoots first and doesn’t even bother to ask his questions later. He’s a lot like his father, Antony, in that way.”

“I hear Antony stepped down,” Wolf noted.

“A while ago, actually. Gio doesn’t talk about business a lot. We keep it clean of all that.”

“I’d appreciate the call, Calisto,” Wolf said.

“I’ll make it before the night is over,” Calisto replied.

A quick handshake later, and Wolf disappeared out of the office and into the hustle of the busy kitchen. Sitting back down in the chair, Calisto rested his elbows to the edge of the desk and rubbed his hands over his face. The loudness of the kitchen soothed him in a way, and that was one of the only reasons why he kept the door open. It also helped to wane any gossip that might be happening between the workers about what the owner was doing behind closed doors.

Loose lips sunk ships.

Calisto wouldn’t be the one to find himself under boiling water because of an employee who was more interested in their boss’s dealings than doing their work.

Most of his businesses dealt with clubs—he owned three. But during the daylight hours, when he wasn’t running for Affonso, Calisto took up residence in his lone restaurant in Manhattan. It was upscale enough to keep the police away, but it was a good enough spot that he had access to the Donati Capos, should they need something or want to chat.

The pile of cash sitting on the corner of the desk caught Calisto’s eye.

Chatting was one way to put it, he thought wryly.

Another was to say it like it was. When a Capo came to him for a talk about business, they did so with the intention of getting through to the boss. Calisto, as a consigliere, was Affonso’s gatekeeper. Much like Ray was, as Affonso’s underboss. Capos often brought along a bit of grease to wet Calisto’s wheels, so to speak. Money talked louder than words did sometimes, and they figured handing him some cash would get them to the boss quicker.

Calisto decided who or what was important enough to take to Affonso. He made the calls on what Affonso got to hear or deal with when it came to his men. It cut down on a lot of bullshit where the boss was concerned, but it left Calisto wading through it for most of the day.

Double-edged swords.

While it was great for Affonso not to have a half of a dozen men running to him for every little problem, it was irritating and time-consuming for Calisto to be the middle man.

His eye caught the money again.

But he did like cash.

“So this is what you do all day?”

Calisto damn near jumped out of his chair at the soft voice coming from the open doorway. His head snapped up from his hands, and his gaze immediately found who he was looking for leaning against the doorjamb in a tight, short red dress.

Shorter than he knew was appropriate.

Affonso wouldn’t like that. He also wouldn’t like the red on her lips.

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