And it was more important for people to believe than for it to be true. Fortunately for O’Brian, he had the best of both worlds.
“When was the last time you saw her?” he asked me.
“Same as you, the day she left for school.”
He grunted and nodded. I looked down at my shoes and frowned, not sure what I felt or if I even cared about that. She had been gone for years, and I’d barely heard anything about her during that time. Suddenly, though, out of the blue, she called Davin and asked if he could talk to the boss, get him to agree to let her come back home. A few hours later, and she was on a train, racing back into my life.
Fuck my father and his business. I don’t care who you were. I kept hearing those words, over and over. One of the last things she'd said to me before she left.
“Well, she’ll be back soon.”
I looked up and for a second, I didn’t see the head boss of the Irish Mob. Instead, I saw an awkward father waiting for a reunion with his estranged daughter.
“Yeah, she will be. Are you sure this is a good idea?”
He glared at me. “You think sheltering my own daughter is a bad idea?”
I shook my head. “No, sir. I mean, not just killing the guy.”
“You know we can’t do that. I’m not in the position to start a war with the Italians right now.”
I nodded, frustrated. If I had my way, I’d be on the next bus to New York with an unregistered gun in my holster. But the boss said no, and his word was final. Still, I wanted nothing more than to kill that Fabrizio asshole and be done with it.
“What can I help with, then?” I asked.
“I got a job for you.”
I nodded. Ever since O’Brian named me as his second in command over Davin, the jobs were coming faster and harder.
Second in command of the Irish Mob at twenty-six was an unheard-of achievement. People whispered, talked shit in the shadows, but O’Brian knew what he was doing. The worst part of it was that his old second in command, Davin O’Malley, was beyond pissed. He had gotten promoted to the business manager, effectively making him number three, but he was still more than a little salty at getting passed over for some no-name kid with no leadership experience. Or at least that was the pathetic sort of shit he talked.
But fuck Davin and fuck everyone else who didn’t like it. They didn’t know what I had gone through to get where I was, or what I was capable of. I was out working in the field, getting my hands dirty, while they sat around in their strip clubs and their offices playing card games and smoking cigars. And getting nice and soft.
But not me. That wasn’t my style. You had to stay hard if you wanted to make it in the Mob, and I was well on my way.
“I’m worried about her, boy. She’s been away for a long time and might forget how things work around here.”
I nodded. “That’s true. But she’s still your daughter.”
O’Brian laughed. “Yeah, and that’s the problem. I need someone that I trust to protect her.”
I blinked. “What are you asking me, sir?”
“I want you to move into my house and watch over her.”
“What, like her babysitter?”
“No, like her bodyguard. Consider it protection duty. You’ll still do all your usual shit, but you’ll be staying in the house with her.”
The feeling of her skin against my hands came rushing back to me. I had to admit, the idea of staying in that house again with Brenna threatened to give me a hard-on then and there. She was the first woman that I really wanted, and the first one I had turned down. I had spent many, many nights regretting that choice since then, and many, many lonely days imagining what it would have been like to slip my hard cock into the Princess’s wet little pussy.
I shook my head. Imagining fucking Brenna in front of her father wasn’t the best idea.
“Okay, I’ll do what I can.”
“Keep her out of trouble. She always listened to you.”
I smirked. “Yeah, as much as she listened to anyone.”
“You’ll be fine. How’d things go today?”
We fell into shoptalk, but my heart wasn’t into it. Frankly, my heart wasn’t into anything but cleaning myself off. Brenna was due in a few hours, and I smelled like sweat and grime from beating pavement all afternoon running errands between the bosses. You’d think that getting a big promotion would mean I was exempt from bitch work, but that was far from true.
Finally, O’Brian stood up.
“Well, son, you’ve got a long day ahead of you.”
I stood up and laughed. “Why, because Bren’ll be home soon?”
I laughed again at his bad dad joke and shrugged. “I can handle her, sir.”