Chapter 1

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The light bulb in the freezer begins incessantly flickering on and off. My hands are resting on my hips as I watch the light flicker. There's a faint spark, followed by a crackle right before it burns out and darkens the room. Damn this stupid freezer light. This is the third time this week that I've had to replace the light bulb.

Groaning with frustration, I grab the ladder leaned against the wall and place it under the light. Stepping onto the ladder, I climb up two steps. My body begins trembling with fear. I've had a fear of heights ever since I fell out of my bunk bed when I was six years old.

I'd usually have one of my co-workers do it, but she recently caught a cold and won't be in for another three days. And another co-worker of mine just quit, so I'm all alone. I suck in a deep breath and reach up to begin unscrewing the light bulb. I try my best not to look down as I stand on the tips of my toes.

Almost there.

I give the light bulb a little tug. It finally pops off, but I end up losing my footing. I fall backwards, waiting for my body to hit the ground. But it never happens. Someone catches me in their arms. I sigh with relief and look up to see a pair of dark brown eyes staring down at me.

Marcellius Fierri.

He's a regular customer here in my father's cafe. Well my cafe now, since my father recently retired and passed his business on to me. Marcellius has been coming here for the past three years now, and he always orders the same thing. One cup of coffee- black.

We've built quite the friendship since we met. A friendship that over time, has grown to be filled with an unmistakable amount of sexual tension. I've been contemplating exploring it for a while, but I can't read Marcellius at all. I don't know if what I'm feeling will be reciprocated, and I'd rather not embarrass myself.

"Nice catch," I say with a slight smile.

Marcellius sets me down and adjusts the navy blue suit he's wearing. He's always been such a sweetheart. Most people don't see that though. After his father was murdered last year, he took on the role as Mafia boss. I know I should be afraid considering he's a very rich and powerful criminal, but strangely enough I'm not. In fact, I'm actually quite comfortable with his occupation and sometimes that scares me.

All of New York city knows who he and his three younger brothers are. They are known famously around New York as "The Four." There's four brothers in total, each with their own role in the Mafia. Marcellius is the oldest. He's the boss. Then there's Niccolo, who's the second oldest and who I like to call the erratic brother. He's always angry and seems to hate everyone. Next are the twins. Luciano is the middle brother, and older than the youngest by two minutes. He's the brains. There's nothing he can't do. Lastly, there's Cesare. He's the baby of the group. The goofball.

These four Mafia men remain untouched and feared by all. Even authority figures avoid them. Some are even friends with them. You're either friend or foe when it comes to the Fierri's. There's no such thing as in-between. I recommend keeping them on your good side, because once you're on their bad side- there's no coming back.

Since Marcellius is the oldest, everyone calls him Boss or Mr. Fierri. Only family and friends are allowed to address him by his government name. And, admittedly, sometimes I feel special. Like I'm actually a part of their family. I've even gone to their mansion a couple of times. Their home makes my little house look like a garage.

"Promise me you'll be more careful next time Mia?" His Italian accent is thick with a mixture of his New York accent. Marcellius is always worrying about me. Although it doesn't seem like it all the time, because he's always got this alpha male attitude going on.

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