KON (Trassato Crime Family Book 2)(2)

By: Lisa Cardiff

“Uh huh, and where will I find her? Because there’s no way I’m going to knock on the Trassatos’ door. I don’t give a shit if her old man is dead. I’m not going there.”

“You’re going to my sister’s wedding.”

“Her wedding?”

“Yeah.” I cracked my neck one way, then the other. “It’s at some old mansion outside of the city. I’ll text you the address.”

“No way.” He wagged his head, his dark eyes wide and his lips pressed into a thin line. “They’ll have security everywhere.”

“They do, but no one will be at the back door between eight and nine.”

His eyebrows lifted. “How do you know that?”

I kept my gaze steady and my voice firm. “I’m that good.”

“Fine. I’ll do it, but you owe me…again.” He glanced at his phone, then scooped it up and stuffed it into the pocket of his too-tight black jeans. He looked like a stupid hipster with his fitted shirt, tapered jeans, and straggly beard. “If I end up dead I’ll haunt your ass until the day you die.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything else.” I snagged my black hoodie from the back of my chair. “Wear this so no one gets a good look at you.”



It should’ve been Rocco and me.

I loved my brother, and Evie had been my best friend for over two years. Despite them being my two favorite people in the world, I never could have imagined they’d wind up together. Not even in my wildest drug-induced dreams.

As far as I could tell, they had absolutely nothing in common. Evie was a small town girl with big city dreams, and Gian was up to his eyeballs in the business of loan sharking, killing, bribing, and whatever else my family did. I didn’t know the details, and I was perfectly okay with that. Truthfully, I preferred it. I saw a glimpse of my family’s depravity when the DiTonnos gunned downed Rocco, and that was more than enough to satisfy my morbid curiosity.

The music faded, and Gian dipped Evie, her strawberry blonde waves nearly sweeping the temporary dance floor, marking the end of their first dance. The all too familiar emptiness bubbled up my throat, and I didn’t know if I’d choke or cry.

I should be happy for Evie and Gian. Just looking at the way they glowed and the perma-blush on Evie’s cheeks would make any normal sister/maid of honor explode with happiness, except I wasn’t normal. I felt sadder than I had since burying my fiancé, and I hated myself for feeling that way. I’d sacrificed any possibility of a happily ever after to ensure Gian and Evie could be together, or at least I thought I did. I hadn’t heard a word from Konstantin Trincher or his father in thirteen months.

Thirteen fucking months.

Seriously, what was the deal with that?

Part of me hoped they had released me from the barbaric arranged marriage with Konstantin, and they simply forgot to notify me. Another part of me hoped he’d hurry up and get this over with so I could stop living in purgatory. Hell seemed preferable. And the other small part of me, the part I would never acknowledge, took pride in the fact that I had successfully negotiated a deal with the notorious Trinchers. It marked the first time in years I’d exercised my free will instead of blindly accepting my family’s marching orders.

Stifling a heavy sigh, I dragged my spoon through my now lukewarm bowl of Italian wedding soup until the limp spinach and tiny meatballs blurred together in a miasma of brown and green. I couldn’t stomach more than one bite.

Since I moved home to fill the aching loneliness of my dad’s and Rocco’s deaths, my lack of appetite took on a life of its own. I had to tailor my size eight bridesmaid’s dress because it hung on me. Since I turned fourteen, I’d been on the curvy side, and I still was, but at this rate, I’d look like Evie with her dancer’s body minus all the muscles in a matter of months.

Nobody noticed. Not Gian, not Evie, and certainly not my mom. She was so caught up in her grief, I might as well have been invisible. We orbited around each other in the vast space of my childhood home like two strangers passing in the night. When she wasn’t crying, she spent every free second obsessing over the details of Gian and Evie’s wedding.

I had stopped trying to communicate with her over a month ago. She was emotionally unavailable, and nothing I did would change it. She needed to find peace on her own, and somehow I needed to find mine since I didn’t feel much of anything lately.

Rocco’s death broke me, but my dad’s death, the one I pretended would never happen, sealed my fate. Every day that passed, I felt deader than before. People claimed time healed all wounds. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced they were totally wrong. In my opinion, time caused more wounds. The damage started small, with tiny nicks in my heart. Then they grew and grew until I had a black hole in the center of my chest, sucking and pulling on me until I couldn’t think.

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