Breaking Bones(4)

By: Amanda Washington

“Carlo?” Markie’s sister, Ariana, asked. She was sitting beside Nonna, watching Angel and Markie out on the balcony.

“Family business,” Nonna replied. “Bones’ll take care of it.”

Nonna apparently had more faith in my abilities than I did. I stepped into the hallway and spoke to my capo, my boss.

“What the hell’s going on?” he asked.

I glanced down the hallway, making sure I was alone before replying. “I don’t know, but it sounds like the boss is setting Angel free.”

“What about you?” Carlo asked.

Angel’s great uncle usually had all the information long before I did. “Angel asked me to go with him.”

“No. Neither of you is going anywhere. You fix this, Franco. You need to talk Angel into staying.”

And how the hell was I supposed to do that? Angel had already made up his mind. “He’s in love, Carlo,” I replied. It sounded lame even to my own ears, but it was the truth. Angel would do anything for Markie, even abandon his family.

“Well, that’s inconvenient. I’ll see what I can do.”

The line disconnected.

For the first time in his life, Angel was happy. Of course his family would try to take that away from him. Dreading the meaning behind Carlo’s threat, I slipped back into the apartment and waited for my friend to return and tell me what the hell I was going to do with the rest of my life.



THREE A.M., THE third week of December, and I was awake and doing a full evaluation of my life. Despite the hiccups over the past year (douchebag ex-boyfriend who conned me out of my money and my inability to catch a freaking break in my career), I’d been surviving on my own. So what if I couldn’t always pay all my bills, and I’d made a couple of bad decisions, at least I had a plan and I was working toward it. Until my sister popped back into my life on Halloween and changed everything.

Now she was lying beside me, fast asleep. She’d had brain surgery a little over a month ago, and was still recovering. A layer of blonde fuzz covered her head, almost hiding the scar that went from her front hairline to behind her ear. She was the strongest, bravest person I knew, and thanks to the help of her boyfriend and his powerful and scary family, she’d even kicked cancer’s ass. Markie’s position with Angel’s family put her at greater risk than cancer ever had, earning us a bed in Angel’s two-bedroom condo while his best friend and roommate, Bones, slept on the couch. It was a temporary arrangement, and as soon as the doctors released Markie to travel, Angel, Bones, Markie, and Angel’s grandmother would get the hell out of dodge. They’d invited me to come with them, and I was thinking about it while I should be sleeping.

Honestly, I could think of nothing worse than suffocating in Markie’s happily-ever-after as her doting boyfriend whisked her off to their agreed-upon destination where they’d most likely marry and start popping out perfect little babies.

But at least I wouldn’t be alone in my envious suffering. Bones would be there too. He and I had gotten close over the past month and a half, and although I wasn’t certain how he felt about me, Angel’s muscle-bound bestie made my heart flutter every time he glanced in my direction. I could leave Vegas with them and explore the possibilities that lay down a road shared with him, or stay behind alone, forever chasing after my elusive big break, likely to become a lonely old washed-up never-was.

Decisions, decisions.

I gave up on sleep at about five and stumbled for the coffee machine. Bones was already awake and pouring himself a cup. He offered it to me and pulled down another mug.

“Thanks,” I mumbled, trying not to be too obvious as my gaze raked over his muscular arms and drifted over the tank top barely hiding his well-defined chest. My entire body heated up, and it had nothing to do with the coffee cup in my hands.

“I’m taking you to work today,” Bones said, pulling my attention back to his face and my mind out of his pants, reminding me what a bossy control freak he could be.

Lucky for him, I was too exhausted to argue. “Whatever.” Bones wasn’t the boss of me, and he had a lot going on. If I really wanted to, I could sneak out and catch the bus before he even knew I was gone. I’d done it yesterday and, judging by the scowl on his face, he still hadn’t forgiven me.

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