Her Empire

Chapter Reveal


Prologue

Anatonia I barely recognize my reflection in the mirror. I look just like my mama with the same icy blue eyes and blond hair reflected back. The moment causes a slight tremor in my stomach and a shake to my normally steady hands. I take a deep breath and fight the reaction down just like I’ve done every day since she died. I push myself to be what I am now, not what she would have wanted me to be. A rueful smile graces my bright red stained lips. The makeup on my body covers all the tattoos on my arms. Too many of them he’ll recognize, and I don’t want that until it’s too late. The shaggy bangs from the short bobbed blond wig hang in my eyes. My eyes are overly done up in a dramatic cat eye. My lashes thick and full. The hair and makeup all say, “I’m ready for anything you want from me, big boy.” Exactly the look I’m going for. But it’s the outfit that ties it all together. Slitted, black patent leather micromini that sits low on my hips, showing off my belly chain, paired with a matching cropped tank top. The skirt barely covers my ass, and the top presses my C-cup breasts up. Altogether, the ensemble declares I’m ready to play. Oh, I’m ready to play alright. The chain wrapped around my body looks innocent and sexy, but its true purpose is far more sinister. If things go wrong, tucked inside my thigh-high platform boots are my blade and 9mm. I’m ready to end this. When I was requested by my handler for this assignment, I jumped at the chance to finally get revenge against another one of the men who raped my mother. The man who watched as she was murdered. The man who tortured me. The man who is working his way to be second-in-command of the Bratva. This is personal. I look around the hotel room I’m staying in for my cover and double-check that I haven’t left any evidence of my true identity. I step out of the room and head to the lobby, and then out onto the Moscow streets. It’s been six years since I was in this city. Six years since I walked away from everything I knew to go work for MI6. I approach the club at promptly eight as planned. The night air is cool on my exposed skin, but I don’t feel the chill due to the adrenaline pumping through my system. I’m sick in the head if this is what I crave, but it’s all I know. The bouncer tips his head, granting me entrance. I walk through and up the stairs to the private area where my target is sitting in a roped off section. He’s appraising all the women walking around, but I know what he likes. Not only have I studied him, I know him personally. I walk by him, ignoring his eyes, and head for the bar to order a drink I’ll barely sip. I move my body seductively to the song, curving my hips in ways that attract many men’s attention. A large hand lands on my shoulder, and it takes everything in me not to break it or drop them for touching me. I don’t like to be touched. “Da?” I ask. My voice I’ve been told sounds like a phone sex operator. But the whiskey tone is barely heard over the loud, pumping music. “Mr. Kalshnik khotel by pogovorit' s vami,” he says in Russian. Excellent. My target wants to talk to me. “Da.” I tip my head and drop my eyes. He leads me over to the roped off podium area. I step up and walk right to Kalshnik. “Nadya?” He says my mama’s name and another slight tremor runs through my body. He thinks I’m her. The woman he “loved” until she betrayed him with his enemy. The woman he gang raped as revenge. “Nyet.” I shake my head. “Irina.” I point at myself, giving him my alias. “Nu davay zhe.” He directs me to follow him. He leads me through the door into a private chamber where I knew he would bring me. I try not to inspect the room too much, though I’m aware there’s only one exit door. But I prepared for this. Kalshnik sits in a chair in the center of the room. Every night he picks one lucky girl to come in here with him. They think it’s a privilege to be picked out by a member of the government and Bratva. They dance for him and then he fucks them. He won’t be fucking me though. He won’t be fucking anyone ever again because tonight he dies. “Poloska.” He orders me to strip. I smile as I drop my eyes and tip my chin down. He likes them shy. I move my hips to the song playing in the room. “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails is perfect for what I have planned for him and what he thinks is going to happen. I lean forward and move my body like I know he likes. In the years I worked with him, I learned what turns him on. I make my way behind him. My hands land on his shoulders and I rub against the chair between us. I slip off my belly chain and flip it over his shoulder onto his chest. He eggs me on. “Poloska.” He demands again. I reach my free arm over his other shoulder, rubbing my breasts against the back of his head. I grab the other end of the belly chain and drag it up his body, and then pull it tight across his neck. He becomes aware of his predicament too late. He can’t call for his guards as I tug the chain tighter against his neck, choking the life out of him. I move my hands back and forth in a sawing motion. The fine teeth of the chain start to break through his skin, slicing into him. I lean close to his ear and look across the room at the mirror. “Do svidanya, tovarishch,” Goodbye, comrade. His eyes flare wide as he realizes who I am. The smile widens on my lips as I push my foot into his back and yank with a sick pull, slicing into his neck, killing him. Blood sprays as I step back and admire my handiwork. I have ten minutes until his guard enters the room to bring us drinks and take his turn watching. I turn and head for the lone window on this side of the building and in the room. I slide it open and reach for the rope I secured to the roof earlier. After quickly fastening it around me, I climb out the window and rappel down the side of the building. I hit the ground and yank the rope, pulling it from its holder, leaving only small traces of me behind. There is a bag hidden in a small alcove. I extract the long black trench coat and cover my body. Next, I rip the wig from my head, allowing my braided long brown hair to fall to mid back. I slap on a newsboy cap as another way to cover my identity. I hurry away before the guard peeks out the window to figure out where I went. With another job done, I head deeper into Moscow toward the hotel I’m actually staying at. A laugh rips free from my body. The chuckle sounds evil to my ears. “Oh, dear Uncle, today I became what you created,” I say out loud. I’ve killed all his Brigadiers who partook in the rape and murder of my mama. Only one more man left and my revenge will be complete. The smile doesn’t leave my face as I continue to walk. I enter my real hotel room. My cellular phone rings from my bag and I answer it. “Anatonia?” A heavily accented Italian voice comes across the line. I don’t recognize it. “Si,” I say in my native Italian. “I’m Capo Morello. Your father was killed tonight in an attack on my family.” The breath whooshes from my lungs and eyes that haven’t cried since I was young tear up. “Who?” I ask, converting to English. “Ivan Medvedev.” The name causes terrifying memories to flash behind my eyes. He’s the only man I haven’t killed yet. “I’ll take care of him.” “No, I need you to protect my family. Your father said you would.” “Si.” I understand that my father’s dying wish was that I protect Capo and his family. He waits for me to say the words I need to say to him. Words I never dreamed of saying. An oath that goes against everything I was raised to do. But I will do what my father wanted. “I swear by my blood to protect you and your family.” I give him the vow. He tells me their location, and for the second time in my life, I walk away from everything I know. The capo heir was gravely hurt, and I’ll help him heal so he can get his revenge, or I will do it myself. I was created to destroy the Morellos, but now I will protect them.


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Mafia Made Series reading and author order:

Book 1 – His Kingdom by KL Donn

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Book 2 – Her Empire by E.M. Shue

Book 3 – His Jailbird by KL Donn

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While each book can be read as a standalone, readers may find more enjoyment in chronological order.


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