live openly here?” she asked. “Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?”
less brazen if I’m not keeping you hidden.” He still hadn’t let go of her
sides, those teasing thumbs of his rolling gently against the undersides of her
breasts in tender motions. “Deny that you want this, too, Vine. You’ve always
wanted me. You want this life because you were meant for it, and I have waited
more than long enough to get you here living it with me.”
years thinking that this arrangement was over, and then you come in with guns
blazing and a house on lockdown, Anton. That’s … It’s not fair. You signed my
death warrant doing this.”
but her pride wouldn’t allow her to admit that fact. “It was already signed.”
“He was already getting ready to put out a hit on you. That guard of yours was
probably going to be the one to do it to get his in with the family. I was
hoping to see you back in the states before I approached you myself, but Sonny
didn’t give me the chance.”
have done it?
do, Vine. There are men in that organization who are less trustworthy than a
snake. Even their eyes and ears can be bought. I stepped in now
because I needed to, not because I thought you were ready, or that you wanted
you, Anton. I’m not worth a damn thing to him alive, nothing more than a
nuisance he has to look after.” Frustrated by his lack of expression, her
bitterness rose. “Dead I’m worth even less though, right?”
a little more. “That is exactly what your uncle wants to achieve. For secrets
to remain hidden from his family and for his power to remain intact.”
thing to the next without ever landing on just one feeling. “Our families won’t
merge now, regardless if we’re married or not. So you lied to me earlier when
you said that’s what this was about. A marriage is only going to cause more
issues. I’m worthless to the Bratva; you practically said so yourself.”
he was lying again, even if it was by omission. Viviana couldn’t decide which
stung worse—that he didn’t trust her, or that he thought she didn’t deserve to
know whatever it was. “What aren’t you saying?”
thighs. “I gave them my word. It was supposed to be them explaining this to you
if they desired to—all the reasons and things that happened years ago. It’s not
my story to tell, and I promised. My word is all I’m worth if you consider the
way I live; without it, I have nothing.”
along the inside of her jittery leg. With his fingers moving so softly against
her inner thigh, he pressed his fingertips close enough to her center to make
Viviana throb with need. Murmuring, he said, “Can’t you try to trust me?
Viviana, you know me … you do.”
harder at her words, grip tightening when Viviana refused to react to his
motions. What she really wanted was more. So much more of his hands on her
body, but she didn’t dare speak that out loud. “Was it my father, or
held out a hand for her to take. “Come, I’ll get you back in bed for the
evening. Let you rest and get the last of that sedative out of your system. I
promise you’ll feel better in the morning.”
touched down to Viviana’s fingers in a flutter of movement. She wouldn’t have
noticed the quick kiss had she not felt the heat of his mouth brushing along
her sensitive skin. She might as well have been sixteen and falling for him all
him do it. It didn’t help that she wasn’t all too sure if she knew this man
anymore. Was he the same one she wanted all those years ago? Had his feelings
remained the same nearly a decade later … was that even possible? Could someone
want another that much?
watching, and his hand connected with hers, waiting, Anton still felt like
Ten Facts about Anton from The Arrangement by Bethany-Kris
People often like an inside look at one of the characters of a novel before they pick it up and read, so, today, I thought I’d share with you ten inside details about my hero in The Arrangement, Anton Avdonin. I hope these little tidbits will give you a look at him from his professional standpoint as well as the faults and expectations he had from being human.
- Anton is a Pakhan—or Boss—in the Bratva, also known as the Russian Mafia. He took over the position after his step-grandfather died a couple of years back.
- He’s possessive and easily made jealous. What’s his is his, but he’s not a little boy playing the mine game.
- He has a couple of tattoos. Tribal vines that go over his shoulders and down his arms. A black, tribal rose on his chest to signify he is a ‘made’ man in the Russian Mafia. A star on each shoulder to signify his position in the mafia as very high ranking. And a single inverted cross between his thumb and forefinger to mark him having preformed a worthy hit for his family.
- He’s only been in love the once, but he’s never forgotten the woman who made him feel it.
- His middle name is Daniil, named for his father who is currently dying of cancer. Something in which Anton is devastated about.
- When he was four, the marriage between him and Viviana Carducci (the daughter of a Cosa Nostra Don) was arranged. It wasn’t until he was eighteen that he finally accepted the marriage and Viviana.
- As a boss, he is ruthless and he always demands respect, but he is fair.
- With other men, Anton is heavy on the fists if someone disrespects the woman he loves. For Viviana, his hands never hurt her … not unless she wants them to. *winks*
- He loves fast cars, bourbon, and guns. Guns are his favorite, though.
- Anton was never pushed towards organized crime, but he was groomed for it, he simply drifted there in the end because he was made for it. He is, essentially, a born leader. And he does it incredibly well.
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