Gabriel Mancini represents everything Ardan Murphy hates.
‘Honor’ isn’t a word he knows.
He is also too damn handsome for his own good.
When mob boss Sloan Killough finally gives Ardan permission to find and kill Mancini, the job isn’t as straightforward as he expects. Ardan’s never had a target quite like Mancini, and the ex-CIA agent always seems to be one step ahead of him.
When their game of cat and mouse turns into something more, their heated connection changes in ways neither expects, and their history becomes irrelevant. When enemies close in from both sides, Ardan and Gabriel must choose between their budding romance and the promises made to very dangerous men…
The Assassin is part of The Killough Company series. It’s best to read this book as part of this series to understand this story fully. Please read the trigger warnings before beginning The Assassin as this book is a dark romance.
Gabriel stared at the screen in front of him, scrolling down the news article about the latest Ricci trial. He’d agreed to testify against the Giordanos, or at least that’s what it said. If that was true, even if it wasn’t, he wouldn’t last long. Gabriel knew what kind of people the Giordanos were and they were as vicious as the Follieros and Sloan Killough. They didn’t take too kindly to rats, especially the kind who used to work for them.
Gabriel whistled in surprise at the article just as Ardan settled into the seat across from him. He’d seen Ardan get out of the Uber and search for him, so it wasn’t a shock to see him there, and neither was the gun that Gabriel knew was pointed at him below the table.
“If you’re going to point it at me, at least use it.” Gabriel set his iPad on the tabletop and smiled, linking his fingers in front of him and resting his chin on his hands. “If not, put it away, Ardan.”
“What happened to calling me Murphy?”
“Sex changes that, don’t you think?”
“No.” Ardan’s shoulder twitched and his arm moved. He shuffled forward in the seat and reached behind his back to put the gun back into his jeans. The bruises on his cheek and jaw had darkened over the course of the night and Gabriel noticed the small flinches every time he moved a certain way. He was subtle about it though and only a trained eye could see it.
It was odd to see him in a t-shirt and jeans, nothing like the Ardan that Gabriel was used to seeing. He looked more relaxed, even though Gabriel knew he was anything but. Ardan was always on high alert, even when he was sleeping. Gabriel had to take extra care leaving the bed that morning and he’d been ready to defend himself if the other man came at him. It never happened though.
“How about you save me the trouble and tell me where you’re heading next?” Ardan said calmly, grabbing the menu from between them and opening it. A waitress came toward them, but Gabriel waved his hand at her to tell her they’d need a few more minutes. He’d already had three coffees, but he was an addict when it came to caffeine. He needed to be. Gabriel could never sleep for long periods of time.
She glanced between them with wide eyes and Gabriel suspected they made quite a sight, with bruises and swelling on both their faces, before she scampered away.
“What fun would that be if I told you?” Gabriel sent him a charming smile.
Ardan slammed the menu closed and placed it flat against the table, palm pressed against it. “Let’s end this game of cat and mouse. It’s becoming boring.”
“Oh, I’m having heaps of fun.” He grabbed his mug and raised it to his mouth, taking a sip of his mostly cold coffee.
Ardan stared at him with those dark eyes of his, almost studying Gabriel as though he was a bug, before his gaze dipped to the screen of the iPad. Gabriel noticed him reading it, even from upside down. An assassin needed those types of skills.
“Ricci. Mario Ricci, right? He was Angelo Giordano’s right-hand man out in Chicago.”
Gabriel nodded. “Looks like he’s ratting himself out.”
“Giordano doesn’t seem like the type of person who’d allow that.”
“He’s not. I give Ricci until the end of the week and he’ll be dead. Even in WITSEC, Giordano has contacts.” Gabriel hit the power button, shutting off the screen.
Ardan pressed his lips together. “Just because we fucked doesn’t mean I’m not going to kill you, Mancini.”
“I don’t want you to stop trying. I’m enjoying the chase.” Gabriel finished off the last sip of his coffee before he pulled his wallet from his suit jacket. Pulling out a fifty, he threw it on the table to cover his drinks and a tip, before he grabbed his iPad and stood.
Ardan didn’t move, watching Gabriel carefully.
“I’ll see you soon?” Gabriel teased.
Ardan’s exhaled deeply. “You won’t see me coming.”
“Oh, tesoro, I’ve seen you come and it’s glorious.”