Read below for a quick look into Stefano and Katina’s first meeting with Stefano’s family. And then pick up a copy of Bound to the Hitman and finish the rest of their story. Bound to the Hitman is available exclusively in the Romantically Ever After Box Set.
Walking into the Giordano family brunch was like stepping onto a movie set for Katina Parrish.
Everything had been set up as the perfect family gathering, a scene meant to show closeness, happiness, and familiarity. Laughter, light music, smiles, and chatting. Even the ominous undertone of unresolved family drama.
Armed men and women stood guard inside and outside of the building. The window shades of the restaurant were drawn three-quarters down, allowing in a little sunlight but protecting the people gathered from prying eyes.
Katina exhaled a slow breath, said a silent prayer she passed inspection, and forced a bright smile.
The one-karat, emerald-cut diamond ring Stefano ‘Salvatore’ Giordano had slipped on moments earlier was going to take some getting used to. But if anything, it was evident by the jeweler’s face, as the newly minted fiancée of one of the Giordano triplets, Katina was in for a ride. The jeweler’s hands had started to shake as he measured her finger and adjusted the ring.
It was going to be a shame to give this back.
Stefano gave her hand a squeeze.
“Ready?” His voice was low enough for only her to hear, his gaze locked on hers.
“I’m here. I’m not going to let anything happen to you.” He cupped her cheek, rubbed it with his thumb.
He kissed her, a soft peck on the lips, and pulled her close. “Can everyone stop talking and eating for a second?” He laughed.
Katina watched as everyone put their forks down and turned. His identical twin brother Marcello wore a deep frown. Luca, who rounded out the triplets, leaned back with a smirk.
“What’s this about?” Marcello’s icy gaze made her want to shiver.
“I’m sorry we’re late. But we have an announcement.” He looked down at Katina with a smile. “This sweet woman has made me the happiest man on earth by agreeing to be my wife.”
He hugged her so close she could feel his gun pressing into her right side.
She did her part, hugged him back, and smiled. She ignored the gasp of shock from the skinny, overdressed woman at the table she assumed was Celeste Toscani and the reason for this ruse.
“Allow me to introduce Katina Renee Parrish.” Stefano grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the head of the table.
“My father Armando. And my grandfather, Tommaso.”
Katina resisted the urge to curtsy, instead extending her hand. “Hello Sirs.”
“Welcome to the family Katina. My son has told me many amazing things about you.” His father clasped her right hand between his.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, sir. Stefano has told me many remarkable things about you.”
“Do not believe everything my son says.” Armando chuckled.
“So, you’re not a brilliant chess player and expert yachtsman? And you don’t have an extensive collection of rare first edition books?” She swallowed hard. “I would love to see your collection one day.”
She was rewarded with a smile from the mafia kingpin.
“What is going on here, Salvatore?” Celeste said, her voice cracking slightly.