In Too Deep [Secure]
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by Maureen Child
Description: Assistant D.A. Gina Palermo was a nice girl--with a gangster family. And when a threat to her life put this law-abiding daughter under the protection of one of her dad's mob men, Gina wondered if she could resist the tempting embrace of sexy Nick Falcone....
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Special Releases,
eBookwise Release Date: February 2008
20 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [200 KB]
All formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
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The funeral was more like a circus.
Floral tributes in wildly different shapes lay scattered around the cemetery like forgotten toys dropped by a spoiled child. There were lasagnas made out of carnations, playing cards sculpted from roses, and a giant slot machine made entirely of lilies and daisies. The mourners had looked like a geriatric production of Guys and Dolls, and ol' Blue Eyes had closed out the service, singing a tune about doing things his way.
Now, news vans surrounded the small cemetery like a wagon train preparing for an attack. Sunlight winked off the lenses of cameras following people as they left the service. Reporters clutching microphones darted in and out of the crowd, hoping for a sound bite to flash across the eleven o'clock news.
Gina Palermo glanced at them from the corner of her eye, then shut them all out and looked down at the shining brass casket as it was lowered into the waiting grave. The show was over. "Bye, Uncle Jimmy," she whispered, and tossed a single white rose atop the flowers already scattered across the lid of the casket.
Jimmy "The Weasel" Miletti, friend, honorary uncle and godfather. Pain rippled through Gina, but she battled it into submission. Jimmy had lived the way he wanted, and died…all right, maybe not the way he would have liked, but he probably hadn't been too surprised.
After all, a man who'd made his living as a mobster shouldn't have been astonished to find himself staring down the business end of a pistol. That the gun was held by his sixty-five-year-old former girlfriend might have given him a moment's pause, but in the end, did it really make a difference whose gun had fired the bullet that ended his life?
"How long are you gonna stay out here?"
Gina stiffened but didn't turn around. Jake Falcone. She should have expected to see him here for the funeral, but for some reason, she hadn't allowed herself to consider the possibility that he would attend. Whether that was because she was hoping he would, or wouldn't, she wasn't really sure. And she didn't want to investigate that thought any further, thanks.
She'd managed to avoid him during the brief service, but apparently, her grace period was over. Too bad, since the one thing she didn't need at the moment was to look into a pair of dark brown eyes that knew too much…saw too much. So she took the coward's way out and kept her gaze locked on the flower-bedecked coffin. "Don't you have to be somewhere?" she demanded. "Breaking a kneecap? Beheading a horse? Making an offer someone can't refuse?"
"You watch too many movies," he said. She heard amusement in his voice.
Amusement. He of all people should have known she wasn't kidding. She was being facetiously serious. If such a thing were possible.
"Movies?" she repeated, finally snapping her head around to give him a glare that would have fried a lesser man.
Naturally, it didn't phase him. There he stood, as gorgeous as some mysterious dark angel. His too-long black hair, gathered into a neat ponytail at the nape of his neck, gave him an even more dangerous air somehow. Thick black eyebrows arched high over dark brown eyes that flashed as he watched her. Sharply defined cheekbones, a strong chin and a wide mouth, now thinned into a disapproving line, all combined to make a man so damn handsome he should have been on the cover of GQ. Instead, he was the poster boy for Mobsters, Inc.
And her father's right-hand man.
Which was precisely why she didn't want a thing to do with him—the thundering race of her hormones notwithstanding.
He might be able to intimidate everyone else with his stony face, but Gina was immune. She turned her back on Uncle Jimmy and took a step toward trouble.
"You think I need the movies?" Her index finger stabbed at his chest with enough force to snap her fingernail. She paid no attention. "This is my life here. The man we just buried used to sing to me and tell me stories. He drew pictures of bunny rabbits for me and then went out and did God knows what for the 'family.' So don't talk to me about movies, mister."
He shot an uneasy glance at the two or three reporters who'd hung around the edges of the cemetery when their colleagues had chased after the last of the mourners. Scowling, he shifted his gaze back to her. "You're putting on quite a show."
Gina inhaled sharply and told herself to calm down. At the moment, the news hawks didn't appear to be very interested in her and Jake, but that could change in a heartbeat. And after all, she didn't want to be watching herself on the eleven o'clock news. It was bad enough she'd have to hear about Jimmy's murder again. And the never-ending speculation on just why Jimmy had been so far from home. Why he'd come to Sunrise Beach.
She was tired of hearing the litany of Jimmy's affiliations. Tired of wincing every time the name Dominic Palermo was mentioned.
And she was so tired of being tired.
"Go away," she said, anger suddenly rushing out of her like water from a tub once the plug had been pulled.
"I said, I can't go away."
"Sure you can," she countered, waving one hand and only then noticing her broken nail. Sighing, she told him, "Put one foot in front of the other until you come to that oh-so-discreet black sedan. Then get in, start the engine and drive."
Copyright © 2003 by Maureen Child.