A man will do just about anything for love—even kill. Four down, one to go. Michael Corsi is on the trail of the last man who made life a living hell for his lover. But first, he wants one last reminder of what he’s fighting for. He needs to see his woman and his son before he goes up against his toughest foe. And probably to his death.

Michael is the father of the son Cara never expected to have. The man who brought her a love she never expected to feel, and a passion that she can’t—won’t—live without. She’ll do whatever it takes to be sure Michael returns to her—even it means tying him to her very soul.


Vaffanculo, he hurt everywhere.

Cara shifted in the chair and opened her eyes, immediately searching for his. When she saw his were open, her mouth started to tremble and he knew she was about to cry.

"Cara.” Damn, his voice was shot, nothing more than a broken whisper. It even hurt to speak.

She shot out of the chair to lay her fingers across his lips. “Don’t try to talk. You’re still so weak. Damn you, Michael. You nearly died. Actually, you did die. How do you feel? Oh, wait. Don’t answer that. I can see you feel like shit. But knowing you, you won’t admit it anyway.”

He frowned and his face actually hurt. “I died?”

“Yes, you stupid man, you did.” Cara brushed her fingers under eyes, wiping away tears. He wanted to do it for her but he didn’t think he could move without causing massive pain throughout his body. “Damn it, I swore I wasn’t going to cry.”

And if she did, he’d probably pass out from pain trying to comfort her. “Then don’t. Tell me what happened. Cara—”

“Oh no.” She waved one finger in front of his face. “Don’t you ‘Cara’ me like that. Damn you, Michael, I am so pissed at you.”

His eyebrows flew up. That didn’t sound anything like the woman he’d lived with for two years before he’d left her in the care of her sister Lacey and Sal. When he’d left to hunt down a list of five men.

That woman had never raised her voice. She’d been easily startled, wept at the drop of a hat and never got angry.

This woman was pissed.

She stood next to the bed with her hands on her hips, her mouth pursed and angry little vees between her eyes.

She looked…beautiful. So gorgeous he wanted to grab her and kiss her. Which wasn’t at all like him.

Even when they’d been together, he’d kept himself apart. He’d given her his body, his desire, his protection. He’d given her everything she could physically need. But he’d never let her see just how much he needed her. How much he cared for her. For her or Aron.

Because if he had, if he’d opened his heart to her, he never would have been able to leave.
And it was his job, his duty, to make the world safe for her and Aron.

He took a breath before he spoke again. “And you have good reason to be angry with me.” He paused to breathe through the painful muscle spasms in his chest. “But could you please tell me what happened…last night?”

“No, it wasn’t last night. It was two,” she held up her middle and index fingers and thrust them close to his face, “nights ago. And you were dead, Michael. Your heart stopped. You weren’t breathing. If Sal and… if Sal hadn’t come, you would have been lost to me forever.”

“Sal saved me?”

Her mouth twisted into another frown. “Not directly, no.”

He moved his arms to try to sit up again, this time anticipating the pain and forcing his way through it. He managed to prop himself up just a little father on the pillows so he wasn’t flat on his back. By the time he was done, spots floated in front of his eyes and nausea rocked his stomach.

“Damn it, stay down.” She laid her hand on his shoulder. “Don’t make me tie you to the bed.”

The shocking image of him, flat on his back, arms and legs tethered to the four posts of the bed, and her riding him made hot blood pump through his body straight to his cock. Surprisingly, that didn’t hurt at all.

Stephanie Julian