Russian Pride (Russian Love Book 4)
Rescued from domestic abuse, Bratva princess Inessa recuperates from the latest beating in the home of Giovanni Maglione, the mafia captain of Cleveland. Learning that her husband double-crossed the Chinese triad, and they want their pound of flesh--and they're happy to take it out of Inessa--her parents ask Giovanni to marry their newly widowed daughter. The Chinese triad will be looking for a Russian mobster's wife, not the wife of an Italian mobster. Inessa agrees to this marriage of convenience which, of course, isn't so convenient. The ruse fails, which forces Giovanni into a violent and bloody mob war, because he protects what's his... and Inessa is most definitely his.
“They outnumber us at least five to one,” Maksim pointed out. He wiped a broad hand down his face. “And they have no honor.”
“Der'mo,” Olivia cursed.
“I have called Sergei,” Maksim said, naming the Bratva’s Northwest leader. “He will meet us there and accompany us. He knows the Triad leader in Seattle and will bring some of his own men to this meeting. A show of force is necessary—enough to impress, not enough to threaten.”
“Give Sergei my thanks and invite him to visit,” Olivia nodded and replied. “It has been too long since we have seen him and Alyona.”
Maksim sighed again and ran his hand over his face. He turned around and walked back out of the room, his bulky, heavy body moving with surprising lightness. Latasha waited for several minutes to allow Iosif’s employer some private time with his daughter, then excused herself to return to her duties.
To her surprise, Giovanni Maglione stood in the room, looming over the human wreckage in the hospital bed.
“Giovanni?” she queried.
He looked up and shook his head. “The man who does this is a coward.”
He raised an eyebrow in silent inquiry.
“Olivia assures me that Inessa need not fear him ever again.”
“Good.” He reached down and stroked a finger along a lank tendril of auburn hair inherited from Olivia. “She was lovely, you know.”
“You’ve met her?”
“Olivia showed me photos.” He looked at Latasha then back at Inessa’s sleeping form. “She married Ruslan the day after her eighteenth birthday. She was three months pregnant.”
“She has a child?” Latasha blurted in surprise and then dismay. “Did we leave a child in Seattle all alone?”
“No, she lost the baby in the second trimester.” Giovanni’s expression darkened. “Olivia thinks Ruslan beat her and caused her to miscarry.”
“Damn,” Latasha breathed out. “How long was she with that scumball?”
Stunned, Latasha blurted, “That long? Why in the hell did they let her stay with him for eight years?”
“They couldn’t prove anything and Inessa wouldn’t admit to abuse. Too proud.”
“Language,” the man warned with a small smirk.
She glared at him.
“If I tell Iosif about your foul mouth, he’ll put it to better use.”
Her cheeks flamed. “Go away, Giovanni.”
He chuckled and took his leave.
When Iosif picked up after the night shift nurse arrived, he must have spoken to Giovanni first, because he did indeed put her filthy mouth to better use that night. And she enjoyed it.
Hard boiled, scrambled, over easy, and sunny side up: eggs are the musings of Holly Bargo, the pseudonym for the author.
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