I'm dropping off an excerpt of Waste of Worth (DeLuca Duet, Part One) today.
I'll be pretty quiet for the weekend, as Christmas is coming up, hubby will be off work, and the oldest monster will be getting out of school for a couple of weeks for vacation. So we have lots to do, family to visit, and all of that good holiday stuff.
Plus work for me.
Because all the words need to be written for my current WIP, Inflict.
So since you probably won't see me again until next week, I thought I would leave you with a teaser for Dino to enjoy ... or tear your hair out. Really depends.
Add Waste of Worth (DeLuca Duet, Part One) to your Goodreads TBR here:
Add Worth of Waste (DeLuca Duet, Part Two) to your Goodreads TBR here:
Both books are currently on early pre-order over on Amazon, so you can grab your copy at one of the Amazon vendors below. Other vendors are coming soon.
Waste of Worth (DeLuca Duet: Part One)
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N6GKD8H
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01N6GKD8H
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N6GKD8H
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01N6GKD8H
Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01N6GKD8H
Worth of Waste (DeLuca Duet: Part Two)
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MSYT78K
Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01MSYT78K
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MSYT78K
Amazon DE: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B01MSYT78K
Amazon AUS: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01MSYT78K
Now, for the excerpt.
Dino’s head popped up at Karen’s soft voice. Leaning against the brick wall of the restaurant’s alleyway, he’d found a quiet place to think. He took a final drag from his cigarette, and then tossed it to the wet pavement, giving Karen a fleeting smile.
“Fine. Aren’t you supposed to be working?”
Karen cocked a brow at him. “I do get breaks, don’t I?”
Dino chuckled. “You know you do.”
“Well, I’m using this one to check on you. You’ve been quiet today.”
“I’m always quiet, Karen.”
“True, but you talk to me.”
She had him there.
Dino didn’t want her worrying over him, though, so he deflected her questions in the best way he could. “Something was off in the Accounts Receivable for last month. The numbers didn’t add up. I need you to go back over the ledgers again before the numbers get logged in.”
Karen sighed. “You know my numbers are good, Dino.”
She was damn good at keeping the books.
Or cooking them to hide shit, for that matter.
Still, he was the boss.
Her lover, sure, but the boss just the same.
“Look over them again,” he said with a shrug. “Maybe it was just my eyes that saw something that wasn’t there.”
Karen gave him another one of her looks, then finally nodded. “All right.”
Dino checked his watch, noting the time. He had been trying to stay away from this particular restaurant as much as possible this week, just in case, but that hadn’t worked out very well for him that morning when he woke up with an ache in his chest. An ache he couldn’t really explain, but left him feeling cold and lonely in a way he hadn’t experienced before.
He knew instantly what it was.
He missed Karen.
It was almost too easy for him to get in his car and decide he’d work out of the restaurant where she worked for the day. It was almost strange the way the ache calmed the very second he was driving in her direction, knowing he was just minutes from seeing her.
Dino had a pretty good grasp on how messed up he was, but when he put Karen into the picture, it was almost as if all of that craziness went away for a time. He didn’t have to be the Outfit man, the no nonsense Capo, or the brother trying to keep his siblings safe and clear of pain and manipulation.
He just had to be him.
That was all Karen knew.
It was all she asked for.
Dino liked that a lot.
Problem was, he didn’t know how to deal with the way it left him feeling.
Like maybe he was going to have to end whatever he had going on with her because getting too close could be dangerous—but he wasn’t sure if it was too dangerous for her, or him.
He was just a mess.
“Do you want to do dinner later?” Karen asked, still hanging out the back exit door.
Dino didn’t think on that offer for long, because despite how much he wanted to agree to it, he knew that he couldn’t. Not with Ben in a fit and liable to send someone after Dino. Thankfully, no one had ever gotten in the way of one of Ben’s lessons, as far as Dino knew, and he didn’t want to start now.
Especially not with Karen.
“Raincheck,” Dino said, glancing away from Karen’s crestfallen face.
He didn’t want to see her sadness.
He didn’t want her to see his lies.
“Soon, though,” he added.
Dino forced back the stinging sensation prickling at his throat, the words trying to take back what he had said and grab onto what she was offering. It wasn’t a good time.
“Soon,” Dino repeated.
He frowned at the sight of Karen’s back as she disappeared inside the restaurant.
She hadn’t even said goodbye.
Dino couldn’t blame her, really. How fun could it be to find yourself stuck in a relationship with someone like him who took a great deal from you, but rarely offered the same in return? It wasn’t that he meant to be like he was—distant and seemingly selfish—but he didn’t know how to be anything else.
And hadn’t he told her once that all she needed to do was tell him to leave and he would go?
Karen still hadn’t told him that yet.
Somewhere deep inside, covered by years of old scar tissue and buried beneath the memories of those wounds, Dino knew the truth was beating hard in his heart.
He seriously hoped she never told him that.
Even if it ended up killing him.
Dino considered going back inside the restaurant and apologizing to Karen before leaving for the strip club to finish business for the day, but he decided against it.
Because he was a fucking coward.
No other explanation was needed.
Strolling down the alleyway toward the mouth of the parking lot, Dino fished in his pocket for the car keys that should be in there. He pulled the keyring out, the jangling keys clamped tightly in his fist as he walked out of the alley.
And looked up to find the butt of a handgun coming straight for his face.
Dino didn’t even have time to react before the hard butt of the gun cracked him straight in the mouth, sending him sprawling to the ground with a shout. The taste of blood—tangy and metallic—bloomed in his mouth, making him gag.
It always did.
Author. Canadian. Mother. Lover. I write about bad guys who fall for their women and fall hard.