TW: Blood Play, Knife Play, and Graphic Depictions of Violence.
Staring at the gorgeous woman at the bar, she had already impressed me by smashing the heavy glass down on that guy's hand. He was an i***t for thinking he could handle a girl like her.
Glancing over my shoulder, I watched my consigliere, Giovani Rosso, and my underboss, Matteo 'Romeo' Lombardi, join Nyx 'the Ripper' and Alessandro 'Knicknacks' at my table. Great, they were all here now. This made my job a whole lot easier with them all in one spot.
I didn't like paper trails, and my father had taught me not to leave them unless you wanted to get caught.
“Are you going to open a tab, or are you here to just take in the view?" A woman's voice drew me in from the bar, and as I turned my attention towards the sound, I found the other bartender standing before me instead of the girl I wanted.
Damn. That sucks.
Peering around the bar area, I spotted the girl with long black hair, chocolate brown eyes, and soft skin peeking from beneath her inky crop top with the words 'Bite Me' across her chest. My eyes ghosted along her hips as my tongue craved to taste them. I wanted to bite her hip bones and draw blood, tasting the metallic flavor on my tongue as I marked her as mine.
Her tattooed sleeves and the one I saw peeking from the valley of her breasts made me want to trace them with my fingertips and tongue. Did she have more hiding beneath her tight clothes I could uncover?
The notion made the knife in my pocket burn with anticipation of what I could do to her. I wanted to hoist her onto her bar, push her back, and devour her whole.
The idea of slipping the cold metal blade beneath her shirt and running the dull side against her sexy body as I sliced through the thin shirt she wore had my c**k hardening in my pants.
I hungered to display her as mine. The idea of carving my initials into her inked skin, placing her on display intoxicated me. I couldn't help but wonder if she would moan underneath my touch as I licked the crimson lines that would spill from my mark.
Damn, I was into her.
Lifting my hand, I waved the girl away, pointing towards the woman at the bar laughing with one of the pathetic guys she was serving. I didn't want to talk to her friend; I wanted 'her'. The way her eyes sparked beneath the lights made me jealous of the man she interacted with.
The girl stared at me for a moment, probably trying to determine if she wanted her friend to serve me or not. The thought of them both on their knees at my feet worshiping my d**k invaded my mind for a moment before I shoved the thought away.
Her friend was cute but not someone I truly desired.
“Raven," the girl with jet black hair called over to her friend.
So her name was Raven. 'Fitting.' I chuckled to myself at the thought.
The girl at the bar was about to turn to grab the woman I wanted, when Raven grabbed her shoulder instead.
“I'll handle it." Raven nodded over towards some pathetic guy at the end of the bar who was making eyes at her friend. “Rob is here, the guy who always comes in just for you." She shoved her friend towards the guy, giving me her full attention.
A corner of my lips curled up, as I watched her lean onto the bar with her arms folded. Something about her caught my attention, whether it was her smartass attitude or her sass, I couldn't tell you. I liked her. She was something else.
“What do you want from me?" Raven peered through her dark lashes and looked me up and down with her dark eyes framed in charcoal shadows and winged eyeliner.
Reaching into my pocket, I pulled out my wallet, my fingers thumbing through a wad of cash before sliding it across to her. Her eyes widened at the gesture. “Bottle of Champagne, a neat brandy, an Old Fashioned, and five vodka shots."
“And for you?" She asked, raising a brow at me as she licked her full lips, painted in dark lipstick.
“How do you know one of those isn't for me?" I replied, leaning back on the stool with my arms crossed over my chest, waiting to play her game.
“None of those seem like your type of drink." She shrugged.
Letting a smirk cross my lips, I licked my teeth, a strand of my hair fell in front of my eyes. “Alright, enlighten me."
“Hmm." She thought for a moment, tapping the top of the bar with her chipped black polished fingernail. “A strawberry daiquiri."
My amused expression vanished at her words. “You really think I go for a basic b***h drink like that?"
She burst out laughing, and the sound doused my heart in gasoline, lit a match, and set it ablaze. “No, asshole, I was shitting you. I think you're more of a bourbon man. Am I right?"
“You're right. You really know how to read people."
“I grew up here. My dad used to own this place. I guess he was obsessed with this club in L.A. and named the place as an homage to it. I was little at the time." She shrugged and made my drinks. “The point is, I can read people and usually nail the drinks they're after. Of course, sometimes I fail. But nine out of ten," she leaned on the bar a moment, “I'm 'always' right."
“Your dad sounds nice. What happened to him, if you don't mind me asking?" I let my gaze linger on her lips, watching as her tongue peeked out from them. She focused so hard on making my drinks perfect it made me feel proud.
Her long hair swayed, and a floral fragrance rushed toward me. Closing my eyes and taking in her perfume, I growled at the delicious smell. Goddamn, I wanted to taste her on my tongue as she screamed my name.
“He died a few years ago and left me his bar." She slid the drinks towards me, all but mine.
“Business lucrative?" My question made her brows furrow as I searched her eyes for any sign I struck a nerve. Her irritation was clear by the way she shifted her body and sneered.
“I don't see how that's any of your business." She was feisty, and I liked that in a woman. All fire, and with a look about her that would make grown men question themselves.
“I like a girl who doesn't take crap from anyone. Too many let people step all over them, and I could tell you're not the type to." I spoke as I held the cash for her between my index and middle finger, waiting for her to take it.
She hesitated for a moment, fingers grazing mine, as she took the cash from my hand. “This is way more than you need to pay," she replied as she fingered through the bills, stopping at two grand. “Wouldn't you rather open a tab with a card?"
Leaning closer, I glanced from her lips to her dark brown eyes and smirked, “I only pay in cash, honey."
“Alright, suit yourself." She took the amount for the drinks before passing me the change.
It was cute, honestly. Did she really think I unintentionally gave her that much?
Touching her hand with mine, I pushed the change back, noting how soft her skin was. “Buy something pretty for yourself, whatever you want." I winked.
Cocking a brow, she folded the cash and slipped it into her cherry-red bra. Thinking about my money caressing the swell of her breast made my d**k flex in my pants.
If this woman only knew what she did to me without even trying, I'd be in trouble.
“Can I at least know your name if you're going to insist on making me keep the cash?" She raised a brow at me, working on my drink.
Gazing from her breasts and back up to her eyes, I shifted my jaw before spilling my first name. “Adriano."
“Adriano." She tasted my name on her tongue.
“That's it, honey, but…" My gaze locked with hers for a moment. “Keep that between us, hm?"
Her nod told me she was familiar with how that went, and I eased off the bar.
As she finished making my drink and slid it towards me, I gestured for one of the guys to come over. My gaze remained glued onto Raven, causing her cheeks to flush a deep rose that seemed to run down her beautiful long neck.
“Need help?" Romeo spoke as he walked up behind me, smacking his hand on my shoulder.
My eyes didn't dare move to look at him though. Instead, I stared at her, watching as her lips parted, the thought of hearing a soft moan escape her as my sharp canine teeth pressed into her skin. I wanted to feel her tight wet p***y as she ground it against my thigh, begging for me to take her over and over till she was left screaming my name.
“Take the drinks to the guys for me," I ordered, causing Raven to shift under my weighted gaze.
“Until next time," I whispered as I grabbed the bottle of champagne and my bourbon. My eyes lingered on her for a moment longer before I turned to walk back to my table. Chosen for its secluded nature, I could conduct business in peace. Except for Raven cleaning the table beside us. I knew what she had been doing. She had a plan, and I wanted to know what it was.
“Grazie, boss." Giovani, my consigliere, took the Champagne and glass from me.
“Prego." The word passed my lips on instinct rather than on purpose, as I kept my eyes on Raven.
Watching her work, I was intrigued. She stopped wiping down a table nearby and ran the back of her hand along her forehead, giving fake smiles left and right. Was she as good as she let on, or was she hiding something behind her gorgeous doll eyes?
As Raven wandered back to the bar, she whispered to the other bartender and then disappeared towards the restrooms. I wanted to follow her and talk to her more, pin her against a wall and f**k her hard. She seemed like a girl who knew how to have fun and could take me. Trust me, a lot of women couldn't handle me, but I knew she could.
“Ey, Serpent? What's wrong with you? You're normally not this distracted." Nyx flicked my temple with his fingertip.
Grabbing his wrist, I slammed his arm down onto the table with a loud smack, causing the glasses to rattle while the music and conversation around us filled the void.
Pulling my blade from my pocket, I flicked it open and pressed it against the last joint of his middle finger. “You want to say that to me again, Ripper?"
“You know that s**t doesn't work on me," Nyx licked his top teeth with a chaotic laugh.
He wasn't lying, there was a reason I paid him to be a screwed-up menace. Pulling my blade away, I shoved his arm away from myself. Slipping my closed knife into my pocket, I turned my attention to the hallway leading to the restrooms. I gripped my glass of bourbon, as I searched where Raven had gone. Downing it before slamming my glass upside down onto the shiny table, I stood up and excused myself to chase after the dirty bird.
I loved a good game of snake and mouse. Predator and prey. Hearing how her breath would shift beneath me when I finally caught her and made her scream my name.
The hallway was dark, painted in black, and filled with tattoo art. Four doors lined the hallway, two on the left and two at the back. Drawing my attention over the others for a moment was the first door on the left, cracked open and already spilling its secrets to me.
Peeking inside, I saw a black vintage desk full of papers and envelopes. The walls, decorated with paintings of pin-up girls and traditional tattoo art pieces. It was impressive, but not as amusing as the upholstered royal purple crushed-velvet throne with buttons that sat empty and inviting.
Of course, this girl would have a throne. I mean… why the f**k not?
Chuckling to myself, I pushed the door open further and slipped inside the warm room, kicking the door shut behind myself. The scent of a sugar cookie candle burned on a sculpted jet-black shelf, drawing my attention and luring me deeper into her office. God, it smelled like home compared to the stale scent of the bar.
My fingers ran along her ornate desk. She had clearly spray-painted it black herself, but what didn't surprise me were the unpaid bills splayed across the surface. Opening a few of them, I stared at the expenses realizing how deep in debt she really was. This bar would not last much longer if she kept it up. At any moment, it would slip from her fingertips and be lost forever.
I reached up to grip my chin in thought. Her bar was in my family's territory, which meant, potentially, I could offer to be a partner. It would not only give her protection and pay off her pile of bills, but give us a safe place for sit-downs.
The sound of the bathroom door down the hall swinging open grabbed my attention, and I quickly slipped back out of Raven's office not wanting to have her find me within it. If I was going to make her an offer the last thing I wanted was for her to find me snooping about.
Yet, as I left her office, Raven nearly walked right into me. “What the f**k, man?"
“I saw you lingering near our table earlier and wanted to offer you a business deal." Placing my hands in my pockets, I stared down at her.
She crossed her arms, c****d her hip, and peered at me with her dark lips pressed tightly together. Just as she was about to argue with me, a shot rang out.
“Goddamnit," I cursed beneath my breath as I grabbed her wrist to get her out of there.
Raven wasn't playing that kind of game, though. She twisted her wrist in my hand and ripped herself free from me, a scowl dancing along her lips. “I can f*****g handle myself!" She spat with venom.
I was shocked by her comment, and before I knew it she reached into her office, grabbed a hot pink and black aluminum baseball bat from beside the door, and swung it onto her shoulder. “What the hell are you planning to do with that?" I asked.
Giving me a disgusted look, she rolled her eyes. “I'll deal with you later."
Staring at her like she had lost her damn mind, I watched her run towards the gunshots instead of away from them. A mixture of pride and confusion swirled through me as I realized she had absolutely no fear whatsoever, or at least, so it seemed.
Who was this girl?