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Mafia Prince #1
Mafia King #2
Mafia Games #3
A debt is owed, and he takes me as payment.
When my father runs up too much debt, I pay the price.
I’ve been sold.
Sold to a man who vows to break me.
A man who keeps his face hidden from me, even as his dark desires awaken mine.
It wasn’t my debt to pay, but he took me, anyway.
He said he would have his payment, even if it cost me my soul.
I run the club.
If someone steps out of line, they either work for me or disappear.
But when a local man runs up too much debt, I take his daughter as payment.
She is mine to do with as I please.
I will have her completely; mind, body, and soul.
Nothing would please me more than breaking her.
I didn’t think I would feel for her.
I didn’t think I could love again.
Now I might be the one who ends up broken.
Intro into Chapter One
Intro into Chapter One
TAKEN FROM THE COLLECTOR
Strobe lights bounce off every space, and the flow of the dancers is broken from one motion to another. Bodies pulse and sweat out their sin. The playground of sin: Gail’s. The club has built up a reputation for just that.
I move two kissing women aside, their faces blissfully staring up at me as I move past them. All around me reminds me why I love Gail’s. I come here when I need to forget who I am and what I do. But tonight, I’m not here for pleasure. I’m working.
Pavel is my next target, the one I must collect and deliver to the can. I always get twenty-four hours from the moment I receive the message to have them placed in the can to be collected by someone else. I never wait around; it’s not my job to know what happens after I deliver them.
A woman who appears possessed jerks and falls to the ground. The crowd moves back but continues their dance around her. I glance around until I find who I seek. Dimitri. I nod and he moves away from the wall and clears a path toward me.
“A woman has collapsed.” I jut my chin behind me.
“Thank you, Nicholai.” Dimitri vanishes into the crowd. His body is clad in black leather, covering up all the tats that I know are painted onto his body.
He once worked within the Bratva, but somehow he found a way out. I have no idea how many lives it cost for him to leave, but I’m sure he gave up someone he shouldn’t have in order to get out. Working with him is frowned upon, but he moves close to the circles I moves in, so making an enemy of a man like Dimitri isn’t wise.
I break through the crowd and climb the five steps that are cushioned with red carpet. The chain that stops the clubbers from crossing is removed for me before I even have to pause in my stride.
“Pavel?” I ask.
“Third room on your left.”
I nod as the chain is placed back onto the hook. I take in a lungful of cleaner air. It’s tinged with a different kind of sin, but one I’m accustomed to. The heavy hitters take up most of this part of the club. I reach the third door and pause. I take out my gun and make sure it’s loaded before stuffing the piece back into the band of my trousers. I glance left and right, then knock three times. The door opens slightly.
A bellboy is ready to dismiss me, but his eyes slowly widen. I place my finger over my lips before beckoning him forward with two fingers. He hesitates and I tilt my head, then he wisely steps out of the room and races past me.
“Who’s at the door?” Pavel asks.
I step into the darkened room and gently close the door behind me. It takes my eyes a moment to adjust to the lighting in the room. Pavel is seated with his back to me. A girl dances in a glass box. She’s naked, her head thrown back as she runs her hand down her body and in between her legs.
I look away from the blonde beauty and walk to Pavel.
“I asked who’s there!” His irritation has him ready to turn.
I grip his chair, freezing it in place. “Enjoy the show a few more minutes, Pavel.”
He tries to turn, but I grip his shoulders, forcing him to stay put.
I’m not sure if my title is said with fear or a plea, maybe both, but either way, I hold Pavel still and watch the blonde touch herself. Her other hand runs up to her large breasts, where she grips her nipples and squeezes.
“I can pay.” Pavel’s lame attempt at trying to bargain has me dragging his fat ass out of the chair.
“Time to go.” I push him toward the door.
He stumbles before spinning around. His face grows gray as he runs a fat hand through his thinning dyed-black hair. “I can pay.”
I crack my tattooed knuckles. “You know who I am?”
He nods. “The Collector.”
I’m easy to identify, and I like that. It gives the person around thirty seconds to come to terms with the knowledge that I’m here to collect, and I always collect. My hair is tied up, both sides shaved. A black cross is tattooed into the side of my head—it’s one of my markings, my identifier for who I am. Pavel’s gaze tightens.
“Have you ever heard of anyone not being collected?” I ask while taking a step toward him.
He shakes his head.
He turns toward the door and opens it, knowing his fate is sealed. The chain is removed for us as I keep my gun pressed into Pavel’s back. I didn’t want him to get brave and try something stupid. He weaves through the crowd, and I nod at Dimitri as I leave.
The moment we’re outside, Pavel starts to plead again. “Name your price.”
I remove the gun from his back and tuck it into the band of my trousers. Pavel glances at me over his shoulder with hope in his eyes, like I might have changed my mind. I reach out and grip the back of his neck, directing him to my car that’s parked down the next alleyway.
“Please, I can give you anything you desire.”
“I don’t desire anything,” I answer him, as I keep a check around us, making sure no one is watching at this hour of the night. The streets are devoid of much life. In the next thirty minutes, they will bustle with the clubbers, as the doors to Gail’s will close.
My car bleeps, the orange lights flashing in the dark alleyway. I wave my hand close to the trunk and it opens. Pavel tries to talk, but I push him in and slam the trunk down on him. His thumps start, but the moment I get in and the engine purrs to life, the music drowns out the beating of his fists.
I drive through the city and out into a more barren landscape. Out here in the wilderness is an outhouse, or what we call the can. It’s where I leave each person I collect, and from there, at some point, they are picked up by someone and brought to Victor. I have no idea what happens to the people. All I know is that each time I deliver someone new, the can is empty, its previous occupant gone.
Each person I collect has done a wrong that has gotten the attention of Victor. So, that’s never good. I turn off onto a dirt road. I’m aware of the dust that dances and no doubt sticks to the sides of my black Audi I just had cleaned.
The sun breaks across the sky, painting it in oranges and reds. I pull the car over and get out. Pavel isn’t banging anymore. I pop the trunk and he blinks a few times.
He climbs out. “Who sent you?”
I slam the trunk and jut my chin out toward the small building. “Walk.”
“Victor sent me.” I’ve never met Victor, but he’s my boss and you don’t disappoint him.
“Why?” He tries to glance at me over his shoulder, and I push him on. “I don’t know. All I know is who I have to collect.”
I open the lock on the door and stand back for Pavel to enter. He leans in but doesn’t enter the concrete box. I push him in and he spins. “Please, I will give you anything.”
I close the door and lock it. His fists collide with the steel door. Every person I place in the can does the same, like it might make me turn around and set them free. I climb into the car, and the engine roars to life. If I let them go, my life would be taken instead. I slap on a pair of sunglasses and drive back to the city.
The large black structure catches the rays of the sun, making all the angles of my home sharper. The gates open and I drive slowly up the winding driveway until I pull into the garage. My phone dings in the dock, and I remove the device before getting out of the car. Entering the house through the kitchen, I turn on the coffee pot and pull my tie off from around my neck.
I open the message, which was sent from an unknown number.
Mila Ivanov. Detain within the next twenty-four hours and keep her until further notice.
I reread the message twice. This is new. I’ve never kept someone I had collected before. An uneasy feeling skitters up my spine, but I’ll do my job. I always do.