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Kingpin

By:Alexa Riley

Prologue


Salvatore


People say karma’s a bitch, but she’s been nothing but good to me. And it’s not because I’m a decent man. What I’ve done in my life, I’ve done for my own reasons. I’ve stolen, I’ve blackmailed, I’ve even killed people. There are a few areas I don’t fuck with, like women, children, or drugs, but for the most part my hands are covered in dirt. That’s the way it goes when you’re the boss.

With every dark deed, I knew the weight of my actions, but I never had to justify it to anyone. And now, for the first time in my life, I have to explain why. I have to look at her every night and tell this innocent angel why I’ve walked down the path I have.

But I’ll do it, because I have no other choice. Her eyes are the center of my world and somehow she’s become my angel. I will drop to my knees and confess my sins so that she can cleanse my soul. For her, I would fall on the sword, even if she was the one holding it.

I’m not a man who feels guilt or remorse, but I’ll spend a thousand years trying to repent if it means I can have her in my arms.

The night I first saw her was the night her life changed forever. Some might say it changed for the worse, but she says it’s for the better. All I know is, I plan on living until the end of time because this angel won’t go where I’ll go when my lights go out. She’s absolutely pure, and I’ve brought her into my world, into the underground mafia.

I should’ve let her go when I had the chance, but I’m an only child. What’s mine is mine.



Chapter 1


Thea


“Forty-seven dollars.” I could cry as I look down at the measly bills in my hands.

Instead I grit my teeth and shove the money back in my wallet and into my purse. Normally I wouldn’t count my money on the train, but it’s the last one and it’s nearly midnight. The entire car is deserted and has been this way since I got on.

Rita asked me to work the late shift again tonight and I couldn’t afford to turn it down. But now, after hours of being on my feet and busting my ass at the restaurant, it doesn’t feel like it was worth it.

My feet ache and I sit back in the seat, wishing with every fiber of my body that I had a tub to crawl into tonight. Instead, I’ll have a quick shower with lukewarm water, and I’ll have to be up in five hours to do it all over again.

During the day I work as a telemarketer for a research company. We tell people we are taking surveys but they still think we’re trying to sell them something. I get paid minimum wage for the hours I work, and then get bonuses for the number of calls I make. I get paid an additional bonus based on the surveys I convince people to complete, so I spend most of my day being nice to people who hang up on me. I clock in as soon as I can, which is five in the morning west coast time. We are allowed to start calls at eight east coast, so I get up with the birds.

The Los Angeles-based company gets hired by all kinds of companies trying to get people to answer questions based on what they like, who they vote for, and what types of meat they buy. Believe it or not, people have a strong opinion on meat.

With internet surveys taking over, the company is a dinosaur, but some people are still afraid of technology and have a landline. That’s where S&D Associates comes in. I don’t know who the owners are or how the company stays in business. All I know is a waitress I work nights with told me they were hiring and I got the job.

I’ve been working at Rita’s since I got out of high school. At first, I was only working at night because I was going to community college during the day. I got enough financial aid to help me out for the first year, but it was too hard to keep up the workload and try to pay the bills, so I decided to take some time off. That was three years ago.

Now I work a day job, and at nights trying to keep up. I had a roommate, but she got a boyfriend and moved out six months ago. I tried to find another one, but meeting new people isn’t my favorite thing and I don’t have many friends. My old roommate was someone I met in one of my classes, but I wouldn’t have considered us close. She paid her part of the rent on time, so I guess I was lucky in that aspect and stayed out of her way.

The lease isn’t up on my place for another four months, so I’ve somehow got to make it until then. I put everything I had down on the place for the deposit and I’m counting on getting it back so I can move out. I need something smaller I can afford on my own.

I rub my eyes, thinking of the pressure building up in my head and pray it’s not a migraine. Or if it is, I hope it waits until I get home to kick in. I just want to pass out, and the train isn’t the best place for that.

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