He was everything I should’ve feared and run away from. A walking nightmare. He belonged to an organization that valued money over life; power over free will; codes over love.
And if that wasn’t enough of a deterrent, he was strictly forbidden.
I, Rosalia Lombardozzi, solemnly vow…no fraternizing with the men who belong.
I worked for the same organization, and even with that oath forever marking my tongue, I was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. Something existed between us that not even the fire of disloyalty could turn to ash.
Some called it obsession. I called it love.
The world we lived in called it an act of betrayal. To disavow meant certain death.
When the heart takes an oath, though, it is more sacred than any vow spoken—it’s the one thing worth living and worth dying for.
A complete standalone novel in the Underworld Kings series.
I heard it then. Something the opposite of hesitation, of indifference. The intensity of it scared me more than anything had in my entire life. Even more than death.
They say love and hate are separated by a thin line. He was switching lanes on me like a maniac. I couldn’t decide in that moment which lane we were in, though.
His voice reflected hate, but his eyes showed nothing but love.
My hands trembled, but I found the strength to move, to reach up and hold on to his. “All right,” I whispered. I held on to him tighter when he didn’t budge. “I won’t ask you to break the oath between us.”
I wasn’t sure if those were even the right words to use, but I was trying to speak to him in a language he knew better than English or Italian. I spoke to him in a code that spanned hundreds of years. A code that was honored as much as it was feared.
He searched my eyes before his mouth came against mine in a kiss that I thought might have reopened my lip. His touch was rough too, especially when he ran over the scabs left on my cheek.
“Aniello,” I hardly got out. “I can’t b-breathe.”
He broke the kiss and his hold on me, sending a surge of air through my lungs. It was like taking a first breath after being consumed by smoke.
He put the car in gear and tore away from the side of the road. I watched his face closely as he drove. I couldn’t read him. He’d buried his feelings too deep for me to understand.
It wasn’t until after we arrived at Club D that I knew exactly what he wanted from me.
Exactly what he needed.
We walked in separately, and right after he came through the door, he ordered me into his bath suite.
We didn’t come out until the next morning, the sun burning through the windows and curtains, orange and red flames streaking across the sky, predicting the oncoming heat of the day.
Our game with fire had begun.
Bella Di Corte has been writing romance for seven years, even longer if you count the stories in her head that were never written down, but she didn’t realize how much she enjoyed writing alphas until recently. Tough guys who walk the line between irredeemable and savable, and the strong women who force them to feel, inspire her to keep putting words to the page.
Apart from writing, Bella loves to spend time with her husband, daughter, and family. She also loves to read, listen to music, cook meals that were passed down to her, and take photographs. She mostly takes pictures of her family (when they let her) and her three dogs.
Bella grew up in New Orleans, a place she considers a creative playground.
She loves to connect with readers, so don’t hesitate to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to reach out.