Title: Every Minute I Love You
Series: A Tomb of Ashen Tears #3
Author: Kailee Reese Samuels
Genre: Dark Romance/Psychological Thriller/Mafia/BDSM
Release Date: October 1, 2019
Chapter 18 “Never Saw This Coming”:
It’s never something I considered, you know? How do we prioritize loved ones? When did adulting get so fucking difficult? When did I have to choose more than mustard or ketchup for my hot dog? When did homework lose the home and become all work? When did I get so fucking lost?
“Sorry it took me a minute,” Cruz says, startling me. “Great, you’re getting drunk.”
I look down at the three empty mini bottles of whiskey. I blink.
I’m losing my shit.
“Did you do this handiwork before you left?”
“Yes,” I mutter as he examines the seven lacerations lining my arm. He wipes them with a warm damp cloth and sprays some cleanser over them. “I’m sorry.”
“Do you remember doing it?”
“I don’t even remember drinking the booze.”
His lips purse tight. “You handle stress like a fucking soldier on the front lines until it comes to Iris. And you crumble like no one I’ve ever seen.”
“I love her…”
“I can’t keep watching you do this shit,” he seriously says, waiting for my arm to dry. “You gotta stop, Sal. Eventually you are going to kill yourself.”
Beneath my tears, I mutter, “Please don’t tell Dom.”
His jaw sharpens to a hard angle as his head shakes ever so slightly. “Tell me one reason I shouldn’t.”
“Because you love me.”
“Love can only go so far if you won’t keep your heart near me.” His expression twists with agony I cannot explain, like it’s taking everything he’s got to not beat the crap out of me. “You don’t trust me…if you feel like you need to do this,” he yells, lifting my arm to show me the damage. “Then we aren’t right. You are failing—not because you are cutting—but because you aren’t giving me the chance to love you. Give. Me. The. Fucking. Chance.”
“And I should…”
“Yeah, you should because I’m good for it,” he declares, and I know he is right. “I don’t want to see this again. I don’t want you to be so alone that you start feeling like this is the only option because it is not. I am the only option. Goddammit! Why the fuck can’t I override Kaci’s damn programming in you just once? I see you listening to me, but I know it isn’t sticking. I’m just a reel of tape you’ll scratch off and go back to this.”
With a deep breath, I mumble, “You have to lay new track. Take out the old.”
“I don’t know anyone who can do that!”
“There’s one…” He leans back and looks up at the ceiling. “The answers aren’t there.”
“Then where the fuck are they because I’m going to be a fucking pirate and go steal them for you.”
Licking his lips, he nods. “Then I’m going to Guam.”
I snicker, “You can’t. We’re locked into this…”
“This guy you are turning into isn’t you. I’ve seen you load tea with booze at nine in the morning. I’ve watched you drop acid and snort lines and fuck girls you wouldn’t have touched with someone else’s dick. You are having blackouts. You are losing time. And Iris is on the line.”
I rub my hands over my face. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry,” he says, gripping my hands. “Just don’t blame me when everything comes undone because I’m starting to feel like I’m the only responsible adult here.”
“I need her back.”
His hands lay against my cheeks. “Then I will bring her back to you because I love you that much. I’m not going to sit around while you kill yourself over a girl. Not on my watch, Raniero. Never.”
His commitment to me is unreal. “Clean your act up before the curtain falls and you can’t stop it.”
A minute passes as we stare at one another. “I hate Boston.”
“I know you do,” he eases, ruffling my hair with his fingers. “I know you do.”
He solidly embraces me as his offer to be the crutches to keep my ass standing pounds against every muscle in my body. “This isn’t about how much I love you.”
“No,” he says, putting his head against mine. “This is about how much you trust me. I already know when it comes down to the end. I know we don’t end together.…it will be Iris and you…and I’m not ever going to ask you to change that. I just want to see you happy.”
“I’m so far from happy.”
“You have to go through hell to find happy.” He offers a subtle smile. “No one ever said hell was easy. And I know you’re going to do more stupid shit. I know this isn’t over. You’ll drink again. You’ll get wasted again. You’ll screw a bitch I don’t think is good enough. But if I don’t fight you every step of the way and pull you back onto those tracks, we won’t ever get to the destination. If I can’t be the one to lay a new track, then by God, let my rails hold you steady through this storm.”
“You’re a slut for my kind of trouble.”
© Kailee Reese Samuels 2019
Every Minute I Love You (a Tomb of Ashen Tears 3)
She is the heir to a forbidden fortune.
He is the only son of a mafia family.
With the criminal underworld hot on their tail, Sal Raniero hid his true love, Iris Nakamura, far away from the violence. With her narrowly escaping their crosshairs, he manipulated the system to work in their favor, but with his father arranging his marriage to another woman, Sal and Iris are quickly running out of time.
The invitations are sent. The cake is ordered. The gown is fit.
The couple is mismatched, flawed from the beginning.
And someone is bound to be hurt.
In the third book of a Tomb of Ashen Tears, choice becomes the invisible obstacle Sal and Iris must both overcome.
Believing in their precious intimacy, Iris must decide how much blood she will shed for the man she loves. Inching closer to an unwanted future, Sal must choose between fighting the will of his family or flying with the desire of his heart.