Nixon Abandonato made his choice. And now he has to pay the price. Tracey is the love of his life, but being with him has made her a target of his family’s enemies. The only way to keep Trace alive is convince the world she means nothing to him.
The minute class was over I walked over to Faust’s desk. I should have seen this one coming—which was another reason Chase was Tracey’s bodyguard instead of me. I wasn’t thinking clearly—and it was all because of her. My focus was on protecting her but in the process I was losing my touch.
Which meant only one thing.
I needed to put the fear of God into Faust before he went back and reported to whatever family the Sicilians had sent.
The door shut. I slowly turned the lock on it. I removed a poster from the wall and used it to cover the small window in the middle of the door, then turned back to face Faust.
He was leaning against his desk. “You can’t kill me.”
I smiled as adrenaline pumped through my system. I clenched my hands into tight fists and relished the feeling of blood soaring through my veins. “Oh, I wouldn’t dream of it.”
Faust’s smile fell from his face as I charged him from the side and slammed his body against the brick wall. His arms came up to stop me but I had him pinned with the weight of my body. Knife in hand I held it to his throat. “Who did they send?”
Faust swallowed against my metal blade, causing his skin to catch slightly on the edge. A trickle of blood fell from the small cut his movement had made. He stilled.
Faust wasn’t answering.
Fine. I’d play.
I threw the knife behind me and punched him across the jaw. His head made a cracking noise as it slammed against the brick wall. I didn’t want to knock the guy out, so I pulled him away from the wall and threw him into the desks. Cursing, he fell to the ground and then got up.
“Is that all you got, Nixon? Losing your touch?”
Oh, hell no. I lunged for him. Just as he moved out of the way, I caught his foot.
He tripped, slamming his body against the floor. I dragged him by his heel to the closest window I could find and opened it.
We were on the second floor. The fall probably would do a lot of damage; maybe if he landed on his feet we’d be lucky and he’d break both legs on his own. Either way, I just hoped nobody was on this side of campus. I figured most people would already be in their next classes.
With a grunt I lifted him onto the windowsill and grabbed the front of his shirt.
“Here’s how this is gonna work.” I smirked. “You either tell me who sent you, or we participate in a physics lesson. How fast would you fall from twenty feet, you think? And how many bones would you break, if you survived the fall and all that.”
“You wouldn’t kill me.”
“I would.” I blinked. “In fact, the idea gets more and more enticing the longer I look at your shit-eating face.”
Faust’s nostrils flared. Impatient, I punched him in the nose and grabbed his shirt again before he fell. “Think, Faust.”
“Nicolosi,” he spat. “The Nicolosi family is investigating. They arrived two days ago.”
Stunned, I could only hold him in place. Forget killing him; I wanted to jump out the window myself.
Any family but the Nicolosis. I’d thought they’d send one of the original Sicilian families, but not the original family.
Not the family that Trace’s grandfather had singlehandedly forced out of America—when they had enough money and power to have a say. What was worse—our family had helped them do it. Granted that was all before the Romeo and Juliet drama had exploded onto the scene with all of our parents, but still.
Son of a bitch.
“I can tell by your horrified expression you were hoping for someone else,” Faust grunted.
I pulled him back into the classroom and punched him so hard in the jaw that he fell into a cold heap on the floor. I wiped my bloody hands on my jeans and walked out of the room.
Mr. Ryan was waiting in the hall. “Do I even want to know?”
“Nah…” I shook my head and offered him a smile. “That may just get you killed.”
“Is there a body in my classroom?” His tone was calm, as if he were asking if I wanted a drink of water or a can of soda.
“I couldn’t say.” I shrugged. “But maybe cancel the rest of your afternoon classes.”
Mr. Ryan nodded and pulled out his phone. “Sending the e-mail now. I’ll put a note on the door, too.”
“Thanks.” I’d made it halfway down the hall when Mr. Ryan’s voice rang out.
“You, uh, have a knife sticking out of your leg.”
Shit. I looked down. So that was why Faust was smiling. Didn’t feel it. I was so used to getting the crap beat out of me that I rarely reacted when attacked. When you react out of pain or fear, you pause, giving your enemy time to kill you. “So I do, Mr. Ryan. Have a good day.”
I reached down and pulled the small knife from my thigh and wiped the blood on my jeans. I needed to change before Trace saw me. She would flip.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor. She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at http://