Part of the Lawless Anthology by Evernight Publishing
"I really liked this one. It's quick, catchy, sweet and sexy, with a touch of danger. I loves both, Gavrill and Abigail. That man... He amazed me. Big respect for him. For her too. She was really brave. "
Abigail Hartman has known so much violence in her life. Now that she was free of it, she just wanted a peaceful existence. All of that was going well until the head of one of Chicago’s largest crime families chose her kitchen to bleed in. When she called a man called Gavriil to come and get his boss, her life took an expected turn.
Gavriil Volkov was the right hand man for the head of the Carlisi family, and that came with heavy responsibilities. Especially since they were being pushed out of their own territory. He thought of himself as cold and untouchable with no weaknesses for enemies to exploit. That is until he meets the angel who protected the man he considers his father.
Abigail and Gavriil must come to terms with each other’s pasts before they can begin to find a path to a future together.
The excerpt below contain explicit adult language and sexual content. By reading any further, you are stating that you are at least 18 years of age. If you are under the age of 18, it is necessary to exit this site.
All rights reserved, Evernight Publishing
There was a pause at the other end of the phone. “Is that how you always answer your phone?” a woman asked in a soft tone, her voice a sinful angelic mixture of fire and innocence that had his body reacting in a purely male way.
“Actually, yes it is. Who am I speaking to?” Tell me your name, moy angil.
“Um, I’m not sure if I should do that.”
“Can you tell me why you called me, or even better yet, who gave you my phone number?”
“Actually the man who gave me your number has just passed out and I think you’d better come get him.”
He signaled his men, leaving three of them at the scene, and moving with Gino toward his truck.
“Where are you, moy angil?” the endearment slipped from his lips before he could stop it, and as soon as it did he was stunned at how right it felt.
“He came through the back door of my bakery and coffee shop over on Lake Street. It’s called Holy Cannoli I’ll leave the light on at the back of the store. You’ll have to come in that way. Oh, and-”
Gavriil thought he heard her take in a shuddering breath, as if she were afraid. “What moy angil? Tell me what it is that scares you so.”
“There were men here moments ago, with weapons, and d-dogs.”
Gavriil tightened his hand into a fist, fighting the urge to ram it through the passenger window of his truck as he climbed in. Angelo Battaglia again. Had to be.
“Be calm,” Gavriil said in a voice he hoped sounded reassuring and not as bloodthirsty as he felt. “I will be there shortly.” He disconnected the call and gave directions Gino who drove like a bat out of hell.
As they went, Gavriil sent a text calling for a medical team to meet them at the bakery. If John had willingly given her Gavriil’s phone number, then he was in trouble. The truck slid to a stop in the alley behind a few stores that lined a block of Lake Street. Gavriil was out before it had come to a full stop, gun in his hand and he cast his gaze around the alley, as he made his way to the back of the store.
He knocked gently, not wanting to scare the woman inside. After a few moments he heard the security chain of the door disengaging and the door opened. He slid inside before the door was completely open and he caught the thick scent of coffee and the gasp of the beautiful woman who stepped quickly back out of his reach.
My God, she was beautiful. Her voice, as beautiful, exotic and angelic as it was, simply did not do justice for the vision that stood before him. She was at least a foot shorter than his six foot six, with long dark brown hair that fell in that alluring way around her face that had a man’s hands itching to bury his fingers into the thick tresses. Her face was symbolic of the nickname he had inadvertently given her. Big soulful brown eyes, surrounded by long dark lashes, light olive skin and full perfectly kissable lips.
“Hey, moy angil,” Gavriil said in a calm tone, cognizant that she was very much in flight or fight mode. “It’s me, Gavriil.”
His angel nodded jerkily, her hands wringing in front of her a clear sign of her nerves. “He’s there on the floor. I wanted to lift him to make him comfortable, but he’s too big.”
Gino came through the door at the moment, and the woman took another step backwards.
“Jesus, what the fuck is all this shit over the floor?” Gino asked as he stepped on the coffee grounds.
“Coffee grounds,” the woman said in a small voice.
“To cover John’s scent,” Gavriil realized and nodded. “Very clever. It would have driven Angelo’s dog crazy.”
The woman nodded and pointed to his left. When he turned he saw John keeled sideways on the floor.
“Blyat, John,” he moved swiftly to the man he’d worked with for the past fifteen years and reached for his pulse points. He heaved a sigh of relief when he felt a thump against his fingertips. Sure it was erratic, but he’d take it over nothing any day.
“Gino, go out and signal the medical team,” Gavriil moved John so that he was lying completely prone. “They’ll be coming in hot and loaded so make sure they know it’s you.”
Gino nodded then left the room, but not before he shot another look of undisguised interest and desire at Gavriil’s woman. He didn’t know when she became his, but he figured it was as soon as he heard her talk. Either way, she was his.
“She’s mine, Gino, take your damn eyes off her,” Gavriil snapped in Italian, reveling in the other man’s wince of discomfort. “Look at her like that again and I will gut you.”
Gino nodded then stepped out into the alley. He pulled John’s jacket to the side and saw that she had placed wads of what looked like clean tea towels against the bleeding gunshot wounds and taped them down with packaging tape for pressure. John would live, and it would be because of this diminutive woman in front of him.
“You saved his life you know,” Gavriil said as he looked up at his angel.
She shrugged as if embarrassed by the praise. “Maybe.”
The sound of a vehicle pulling to an abrupt halt outside startled her and she moved even further from the door. Within minutes the medical team had John locked and loaded in their vehicle and he was being whisked away for treatment.
He turned to face his angel. “Please,” his tone almost pleading. “Tell me your name.”
His angel nibbled on her bottom lip, no doubt deliberating whether to tell him or not, but the move had him thinking that he’d like the chance to do some nibbling of his own.
He waited, not wanting to scare her more than he already did. He had given up hope of getting an answer when she whispered, “Abigail. My name is Abigail Hartman.”