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Devil’s AdvocateDevil’s Playground Series

Vivi Paige Bonnie Kennedy

Contents

Blurb

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

Blurb

Sophie’s mine.

And I’ll kill to keep her. 

 

Navigating the mafia underground in Chicago is not easy.

It’s like a waltz where nobody ever taught you the steps.

You show respect when it’s due, never back down,

And kill who they want you to kill.

 

I didn’t become a Made Man by being careless,

But even the most ardent professional stumbles now and again.

Sophie’s job is to keep me from ending up in the slammer,

She thinks we’re done once I walk out of court a free man.

Too bad I’m hooked on my defense lawyer’s lovely charms,

And what I want, I get. 

You see, Indro Lastra is a Made Man,

And a Made Man gets what he wants.

I want Sophie Vercetti. And I won’t let anything stop me.

Not a gang war. Not the police.

And not even the Family stand in my way.

And once I get her…

I’m never, ever, letting her go.

Chapter One

Indro

Ever meet someone you just… don’t… like?

Maybe it’s the way they pronounce certain words, or how they stand, or something less arbitrary, like they’re a Mets fan. Whatever the reason, this individual just rubs you the wrong way.

It’s even worse when you’re forced to work with them on an almost daily basis. Such was the case with me—Indro Lastra, in case you’re keeping score—and one Diego Malone. Like me, Diego was born and bred in the Windy City. Also like me, he was FBI—no, not the Federal Bureau of Investigation, stupid—full-blooded Italian.

He even had dark hair and eyes like me. That, however, was where the similarities ended. Diego was a whiner, pure and simple. He bitched about standing around in the cold while we waited for some deadbeat to come outside so we could bust his kneecaps. He bitched whenever the Don forgot his birthday. (Like anybody would bother to remember.) And he most emphatically bitched whenever he lost all his money betting on the ponies at Hawthorne.

Everybody knew I couldn’t stand the guy, but they kept pairing us up for jobs. I guess maybe they figured we were close to the same age, or it could have been they thought being around yours truly would toughen up Diego. I don’t know.

What I do know is, out of the blue our operations got raided on an almost weekly basis. Like the cathouse in Hyde Park disguised as a massage parlor. Or the high-stakes poker game over Panucci’s Laundromat. When Don Maloik’s favorite nephew got popped for leaning on a dock worker to ‘lose’ a crate full of designer watches, enough was enough.

We had a mole in the operation, a stoolie who fed the Chicago Police Department tips about our operations. Finding the mole wasn’t my job.

I’m the guy who deals with the snitches once they’ve been found out—among other, various duties.

So, on a blustery evening around about six, there I was… Strolling through Englewood while clenching my trench coat tight against the freezing air blowing off Lake Michigan, hoping I wasn’t gonna lose my balls to frostbite. Normally I wouldn’t be caught dead in Englewood, but that was where my prey had decided to lay low.

I stepped around a corner and the wind blew all the fiercer, tossing my hair back and making my face hurt. Cursing the day of Diego’s birth, I quickened my stride and made a beeline for Sal’s Place, a greasy spoon diner whose brightly lit environs promised warmth and a good cup of joe.

I stepped inside and shook off the cold, nodding to Sal’s nephew Grado, who mostly ran the joint now that Sal was getting on in years. He poured me a cup of steaming coffee and jutted his head toward booths nestled in the back.

I smiled my thanks, took my coffee and made my way to the very last booth. The black and white tiled floor shined with such a polish my reflection matched me stride for stride.

I saw the back of Diego’s head and knew it was him, even though he’d shaved his hair into one of those shitty buzz cuts the pigs are so fond of. Diego had lost a notch of his ear trying to sneak through Miss Cutty’s back yard, when he got nipped by her pooch, a big mean Mastiff named Colonel.

Even without the chunk missing from his ear, though, I’d have known it was Diego from the way he slurped his friggin’ soup. Just another thing that rubbed me the wrong way.

I plopped down opposite him in the booth and smiled. “Hello, Diego,” I said. I noticed he’d yet to start in on his chopped beef sammich, so I took the liberty of dragging the plate over in front of me. Biting off a huge chunk, I gestured at him with the sammich and talked with my mouth full. “You’re a hard man to find these days, brother. I’ve been all over Chi Town, walking holes in my soles, and here you are.”

Diego turned white as a sheet. The spoon trembled in his hand so much it made a rattle against the ceramic bowl.

“What, you got nothing to say to me?” I raised my eyebrow.

“T-there’s six grand in my shoe,” he said, dropping his spoon into the bowl. “You can have it, all of it, if you just let me go.”

“Diego…” I sighed and shook my head. “Unlike you, I know the meaning of the word loyalty. You messed up a lot of people’s lives running your mouth to the police. And, quite frankly, I’m insulted you think I can be bought off with six friggin’ grand. I mean, seriously?”

“It’s all I have.” Diego sighed and ran his hands down his face. He didn’t look like he’d

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