Falcon at the Organization Headquarters in Rome, Italy
What I’m about to tell you is intended to scare you into awareness. I’m talking about il Dragone. They want you and they’re coming.
In my business I’ve come to know human instincts pretty well. The basic instinct to survive triggers the most genuine reaction in crooked politicians, mass murderers and nuclear arms dealers with the barrel of my Glock in their mouth.
Well, that taste test doesn’t work on il Dragone. They come with a little something extra. Like cats with nine lives, they know the Glock is only a temporary inconvenience. They live forever.
If you meet il Dragone it’s not by chance. You may not make the connection but they remember you. My advice to you: be afraid, you’ll live longer.
And call me. Consider it a favor. Understand that I’m not going to stop killing until they are all dead, even if it takes the rest of this life into the next.
Like a little horror mixed in with your romance? Here’s one for you.
“You want the Stradivarius!” She jabbed her finger in the air towards the speakerphone, her next statement louder so Granger would hear. “He tried to take it from me that day. You’re working together.”
“It’s not what you think. I’m trying to protect you.”
“Oh, that’s original! You’re not trying to protect me, you’re lying. You lied about everything!”
“No, tesoro, I didn’t lie about us. I love you.”
“Great, just great.” The lament from the speakerphone rang out in the silence.
Angelina looked into Tony’s eyes. She wanted to believe him. She wanted to rewind the last twenty-four hours of her life and go back to living with him, loving him, when she felt safe with him.
But the proof of his deception was all around her. She was standing in the apartment he’d claimed to have missed out on. The detective’s words played over in her mind, a subliminal message.
“No…” She shook her head. “I don’t believe you Tony, or Armand, or whoever you are. If you really loved me, you wouldn’t have lied.”
“You know I love you. You love me, too. You feel it, like I do.” The calm conviction in his voice made her pause. But he moved towards her once again. “You’re mine, Angel, you always will be.”
“No! I believe the detective. He said you wanted the violin!”
“What detective?” He tilted his head as if he hadn’t heard her correctly and his eyes narrowed.
She backed away. “You know what detective! He’s been trailing you for a long time. Detective Luciano Biagi told me all about you yesterday at the restaurant!”
“What did he look like?”
“Stop it! Will you please just stop the lies? It’s over, and I never want to see you again!”
Angelina ran through the living room to the front door and turned the knob. But with the swiftness of a loping panther, Tony had reached the door. His hand above her head held it closed. He stood behind her hip to hip, his breath against her hair.
“You don’t mean that. And I can’t let you go.”
There was love and regret in those quiet words, filling her with a strange ache that she was horrified to recognize as craving.
He kissed the top of her head and for just a moment, she leaned back against him. Why does it feel so right?
She let out an agonized sigh. I’m in love with a master thief!
Angelina pushed back, kicking him in the groin before she jerked the door open and ran.
Blinded by her tears, she ran down the stairs, furious for being so weak, for wanting him so badly. For giving herself to him so completely. A horrible notion snaked its way into her thoughts. What if she never got her heart back now that she had given it to him?
She didn’t know where she was going. She ran all the way to the first floor and then jerked that door open. She felt like running all night, until she was out of breath and couldn’t run anymore, couldn’t think anymore. She was running down the deserted Piazza Avellino when she heard him behind her.
“That hurt, Angelina!” Tony sprinted towards her like a distance runner, his back straight and elbows bent, his long legs effortlessly closing the gap between them. “Come back here!”
Angelina tried to run faster over the uneven cobblestones on the ancient street that hurt her bare feet. She ignored the pain because he was coming swiftly towards her and would soon overtake her. He was much faster and stronger. She had to get as far away from him as possible.
The midnight street darkened even more. A shadow fell over the moon and she looked up.
There was a black fog overhead, hanging so low in the sky it came almost to the apartment building windows.
She stumbled, looking around for whoever had called the name. Someone had spoken in her ear, but no one was there.
“Angelina! Stop!” Tony was gaining on her, she had to run.
“Signorina Natale! In here!”
A Fiat was at the curb with its rear passenger door open.
Detective Biagi waved to her from the front passenger seat. She didn’t think twice, but jumped into the back seat and slammed the door behind her.
She was pushed back onto the seat when the car lurched away from the curb.
There was a loud thump on the back of the Fiat. She turned to see Tony on the hood, shouting at her to get out of the car.
Angelina put her hands over her ears to block out his shouts. Someone was sitting next to her in the back seat, but she couldn’t look away from Tony.
“What about him?” The man next to her asked.
Detective Biagi glanced out the window at the sky above, thick now with the fog blacker than night. “He’s not going to be a problem.”
Detective Biagi nodded to the driver and the car swerved with such force that Angelina was pushed against the person sitting next to her. She had a terrifying view of Tony being thrown backward against the sidewalk headfirst. He lay still on his back.
“Stop! He’s hurt!” Angelina screamed at the driver, but he didn’t stop the car. They were speeding away.
The black fog descended on Tony, obscuring her view of him. “What is that? What is it?” She tried to open the passenger door, pushed against it, but it was locked.
The distance between her and Tony on the dark street grew until she couldn’t see where he lay anymore.
In this old district of Naples, there were no street lamps, no traffic lights. There were no rules in this section of the city. Tony could be killed laying there at the side of the road.
She turned to Detective Biagi. “Stop!”
The car’s engine sputtered. They coasted until the driver got the engine started again.
The detective turned. “Jacopo, put her out before she…” His eyes traveled over her in compassion, as if she’d breached social etiquette. “…Upsets herself,” he finished quietly. He faced forward in dismissal.
Angelina stared at his dark ponytail, speechless, and then felt a pinprick on her arm.
She turned just in time to see the man sitting next to her put a needle away in a leather case.
When the man turned facing front, folding his hands in his lap, done with her, she saw the gold earring in his ear.
Angelina tried to lift her hand to pull at the dragon loop, but it wouldn’t move. Her body felt weighted down, as if something heavy rested on her chest. She could only move her head now, and turned it slightly, an arduous task, it felt filled with water.
Hardly able to keep her eyes open, Angelina tried to get a look at the driver, who remained silent throughout this high-speed getaway. Her last thought before she lost consciousness was that his ear was no longer bleeding.
Falcon’s Angel – blurb
Angelina wants to go unrecognized when she leaves her family’s Yorkshire estate to play in a symphony in Italy. When she starts running she has no idea just how much she is running from: a stolen Stradivarius, a birthright of mysterious powers and a past that got her killed over two hundred years ago.
Falcon wants the Stradivarius in her possession, and goes undercover to track down a thief. But he is not the only killer in search of the violin.
il Dragone, a devil-worshiping cult, wants revenge for a past only they can remember.
Falcon’s Angel is a paranormal romance of love that ended in tragedy in eighteenth century France. That love is tested in a fight of good versus evil some two hundred years later. This time around Falcon and Angel have an opportunity to put a stop to the cycle of murder and mayhem, if only they can remember.
The Cardiff Family Series
In my paranormal romance debut Falcon’s Angel, time is running out on a fatal reunion with ancient enemies seeking revenge for a past only they can remember – and a priceless Stradivarius.
In this first novel of the Cardiff Family series, I explore the soul-mate theory and how love can last several lifetimes.
Falcon and Angel have a history with each other but don’t realize it. They met and fell in love two hundred years ago in the not-so-gentle time of King Louis IVX. Not only do they have to deal with that volatile time in history, they must remember it to stay alive when part of that history comes after them in modern-day Naples.
il Dragone, a devil-worshiping cult which has been after them for centuries and watches and waits to finish what they started.
If Falcon and Angel can love and trust each other this time around, with their combined memories they have an opportunity to put a stop to the cycle of murder and mayhem.
The rest of the Cardiff family – a mom with special powers, a dad who comes from an ancient Roman line of vampire hunters and an uncle who is contemplating immortality for love – are counting on Falcon and Angel to get this right.
In the second novel in the Cardiff series Entwined, Angel’s parents reveal more of her unique family history.
A part of me could not write this novel without including my love of music and the arts. As a matter of fact, the violin was the second inspiration I had for this story, right after Falcon and his near death experiences. I’m preparing dinner and on the other side of my counter block il Dragone and Falcon wrestle on the floor. Il Dragone makes a deft motion toward Falcon’s face with a long, serrated knife. It stopped my meal preparations briefly, long enough to jot it down. Falcon was fine, after all. Just another dire image, one of many I was bombarded with for three weeks before I realized Falcon wanted his story written. Once I knew who my personal James Bond was, the music chose Angel. Nightclub and studio singing did not fit Angel’s lifestyle as it did mine. However, she was a perfect fit for the violin, one of my favorite musical instruments.
If you asked Danita Minnis which is easier, writing songs or writing novels, she would say it is the former. Melodies and rhymes are second nature. What her characters want is another thing entirely. With her debut novel, Falcon’s Angel, she learned to listen to her spunky heroine and sinfully confident hero. They’re funny and in danger, and that’s just the way they want it. Lesson learned: don’t try to save them.
When Danita’s not writing, she exercises her lungs at her son’s soccer matches and their favorite theme park, because everyone knows it’s easier on the stomach to scream your way down a roller coaster.
You can find Danita here:
Liquid Silver Books: http://www.lsbooks.com/falcons-angel-p225.php