Caught:A Dark Mafia Romance

By: Piper Stone

“What the hell does that mean?” Diana demanded.

The nasty glare she shot me was enough to remind me why she and could never be a good match. “It means that I predict in less than a year, you’ll be married and pregnant.”

“You’re an asshole.” Scoffing, she fluffed her long red hair and grabbed her purse, keeping her head high and her eyes straight ahead as she attempted to walk past me toward the door.

I grabbed her arm, yanking her close and giving her a stern look. “Just remember who you belong to tonight, so keep that mouth of yours in check. This is an important evening for Bishop Enterprises. I can’t have you going off half-cocked.”

“I know exactly how to handle myself, Jagger. It’s you I worry about, but arrogance certainly suits you.” Huffing, she jerked out of my hold, flinging open the door and storming outside.

This was going to be a very long evening.

She remained silent until our arrival at the party, her sullen attitude exactly what I was used to. “You didn’t have to be so rough. Christ.” Diana smoothed down her dress, a very fake smile plastered on her face. Her dazzling personality had returned, the term ‘bitch’ forming on my tongue.

“If you don’t want to be treated like a child then don’t act like one.” I kept my hand on the small of her back as we walked through the garishly decorated ballroom, nodding to a few guests as we passed. The expansive space was filled to capacity, the by-invitation-only list including noteworthy politicians, CEOs, powerful influencers, and various actors and musicians, as well as the real estate moguls who ran not only Chicago but the notorious corridor up and down the east coast. Very few in the industry truly had a working knowledge of who was running the various corporations guised as land development, even proffering donations for charitable functions. Hundreds of millions of dollars were at stake.

Wars were waged on less.

“Why don’t you at least buy me a drink?” she asked offhandedly, waving to several women as they passed by. “Least you can do for forcing me to come to this shithole.”

“This shithole is a catered affair costing every guest one thousand dollars. I suggest you put on your happy face, my sweet princess. I purchased you for the night.” Yeah, I knew the words were harsh but at this point, I was weary of the nasty jabs.

Diana wrinkled her nose. “You’re such an asshole.”

“You’ve already said that. Just try to enjoy the damn evening.”

I noticed one of the holdouts just up ahead. Caleb Santori was a pious pit bull of a man, his employees hand-picked to ward off evil spirits. Or so I’d been told more than once. “How about this, my sweet. I have business to attend to. Why don’t you find us a glass of champagne? Better yet, a full bottle. We’ll have a celebration in order within minutes.”

She followed my direction, flanking my side as she turned slightly. “Be careful, Jagger. Your greed is showing. Mr. Santori doesn’t like you very much. Why don’t you offer him a position at your company, suggest that you combine your wealth instead of trying to gouge him with a lowball offer for a company he’s taken years to build?”

I chuckled and gave her an approving nod. “I underestimated you, Diana, which makes me a fool. A very good idea.” Santori and his bodyguards were headed in our direction. The true games were about to begin.

Allowing her hand to linger on my arm, she rose onto her tiptoes, kissing my cheek, her whisper sultry. “Something for you to keep in mind. I’ll get that champagne for us.”

I held back a smile as Caleb approached, his puffy face telling of years of hard drinking and frequent cocaine use, given his enjoyment of frivolous parties. I could easily best this man, acquiring his wealth and his followers, but why not use him for his other attributes, such as his understanding of the New York crime syndicate. “Caleb. I’m so happy to run into you tonight.”

“I’m certain you are, Jagger. How is your father doing?” Caleb asked, his voice just loud enough to be heard by any passing by.

“He’s doing very well. Asked that I say hello, wish your lovely wife and two daughters well.” The threat was only implied, but I could tell by his eyes that he understood. “I have a business proposition for you.”

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