Second of All Quotes
(This list will include the quotes I shared at the book release party so some chapters may have more than one quote!)
His heart stuttered a bit as he looked at the faded and worn candid photo of his parents, capturing a moment both intimate and pure.
She was reasonably certain James didn’t mean to be a jackass where her family was concerned, he just tended to see the world in a black and white law enforcement sort of way.
Michael’s mother even resembled a rabbit a bit, with her startlingly white hair and fretful movements as if every fiber within her was made of pure energy.
Chapter Three (40 years ago)
Grief and bitterness fused with blind ambition, and he raised his chin and held out his hand towards the Boss of his father’s Boss.
“Someday I wish a love like that will come along for you, mo ghrá,” Ma said, tears falling freely. Mickey met his mother’s pain ravaged eyes… and sincerely hoped not.
One would think such a fiercely dark and slightly ominous expression would be a put off, but to Ginny it always sent a fissure of excitement through her body.
No, nothing much had changed in the old neighborhood. She was still just an actress in someone else’s play.
Luchese lit his cigar and pushed up the sleeves of his jacket as if preparing for work. Bring it on, fuckface, James thought. It was hard to take seriously a man that wasn’t smart enough to just take the damn jacket off.
“I realize now what you meant about certain paths meant to be. Maybe being away from home with nothing but my thoughts has leant a certain clarity I never had before.”
Intentions were powerful things.
Chapter Seven (23 years ago)
Mary’s heart squeezed in pain not just from the impossible request but from hearing her son call his own father the ambiguous nickname he had picked for his mother’s ‘special friend’. She saw shadows flicker in Michael’s eyes before they went inscrutably blank.
She took large gulps of air desperately trying not to cry and focused on the starburst pattern on the counter top until the sting of the held back tears no longer burned.
He could feel nothing but the cool scratchy tickle of sand and tiny broken sticks, and his heartbeat, and her.
This man, this enigma, he may be her undoing, but she could never get enough of him.
His mouth crushed against hers again, almost painfully in its possessiveness and his hands grabbed her hands and pressed them above her head against the wall.
Well, Kiki thought, the broody Neanderthal version of James did have some benefits.
He didn’t understand how a family that claimed to love her could put conditions on Kiki’s loyalty.
Chapter Ten (16 years ago)
She was a beautiful succubus, one capable of love, but more likely to use it as a weapon rather than a gift.
Now that there was nothing to stand in his way, if he had to scour the entire face of the Earth himself, he would find the other half of his heart again… and bring them home.
It seemed like the pain of it was no longer the dull wistful ache it had been over the last decade or so and was back to being that ‘hurts to breathe’ sort of pain she had felt when she first realized it would just be her and Tommy in the Witness Protection Program.
She smelled like vanilla spice, or pumpkin pie, or something sweet yet sinful.
Maybe he should stipulate some rules to the Friend Pact as well, like no standing directly in front of Tommy while looking and smelling delicious.
Between her mother’s constant sniping remarks about choosing a man over family, Jessica’s sudden silent treatment and snubbing after Kiki sat with James in court, and the way people looked at all of them as they entered the courthouse, the Bonannos with contempt for James, the witnesses and prosecutors with contempt for Kiki – all of it made her feel like she was being torn in two.
Chapter Thirteen (10 years ago)
It was a sickening, humbling, maddeningly powerless sensation this watching them and waiting for them to come to him. For the time they could be a family again. But Mickey did it like one’s tongue pointlessly finds a mouth sore over and over again, half to see if it was still there, half to see if it still hurt. And Mickey did it because for the first time in his life he wanted something to belong to him that he hadn’t stolen, bought, bribed or threatened to gain.
And maybe then when they were all a family, Tommy would be able to see what Mary used to see, what his other children saw, not just a man who would kill for them but a man who would die for them…the man underneath it all.
Just what kind of a man did she think he was underneath? Did she really think after insisting she move in with him that he was just going to cut and run, all, it’s been fun, hope you kept the lease on your apartment…
Screw it, chocolate and wine and yachts were overrated anyway, James thought.
Funny how when James sounded extra-Chicagoan it was a turn on, but with Ted, Kiki more or less wanted to punch him in the face. She had never punched anyone in the face, but there was a first time for everything.
Tommy felt like he had been fighting this attraction so long like a person on a self-imposed diet staring at the pecan pie and denying himself to the point that he had almost convinced himself the longing was just going to be a permanent ache.
It was just this room, it seemed to be exuding his presence and memories and vestigial emotions of what it used to be like to be his.
He remembered thinking that Tommy and Kiki were intriguing challenges when he first met them, but nothing had prepared him for the challenge of having to actually earn the right to Kiki’s love.
Chapter Seventeen (7 years ago)
“You go after any of them and I will leave you with nothin’, no money, no reputation, nothing but the dick in your hand some bubba claimed in the back of a four by four prison cell.”
“But his children did not weep, for there is nothing so perfect as a thing with no ending and no beginning, such as a family of souls intertwined.”
Every time they kissed she felt like time stood still. It was really sort of… not normal.
He thought about what she said about wanting to help him find the balance, what came first, what came second, cop, son, friend, lover and all the combinations in between. Different things to different people. Maybe what came first depended on the situation.
Maybe this was how his mother had felt after the smooth assurances of the FBI got her nothing but five years on the run from the mob.
Mary had woken flushed and sweaty and tingling, tangled up in his black satin sheets like it had been real, the feel of his calloused hands on her thighs, the tickle of his whiskers against her neck, the cold burn of his tongue on her breasts and neck.
Tommy rubbed his hands up and down her back trying to find the right words but everything was so mixed up in his head and heart and it felt like the confusion went all the way into his soul.
“Y’ever notice that sometimes we get so focused on the path we’re treadin’ that we lose sight of where we’re goin’ in the first place?”
Oh, the sweet, painful pleasure of anticipation!
Her eyes filled with tears. She wished with one part of her soul this weren’t real and with the other that it was, but wasn’t it just another goodbye either way?
“Mary girl, life is as simple as we let it be.”
“I would be willing to kill anyone if it meant protecting my family. I have done and I will again if necessary.”
It felt like Tommy’s very bones ached for the inability he and his father had to truly understand each other and most of all for all the years lost between them.
“So while I tell myself I’ve done a good deed, I’m mostly kicking rocks in my head… Does that make me a bad person?”
“It’s all in how you look at, I suppose. Is it the end of the storm or the eye of the storm? Either way, have a stiff drink and hope the looters hit your neighbor’s house, is my motto.”
Tommy was really getting tired of the amount of pointed silences fraught with meaning he’d had to endure today.
He looked so… amazing, and open, and trusting. It made Ginny’s heart squeeze and she couldn’t figure out where love ended and protectiveness began.
It both sickened and thrilled her to see his face was finally betraying a flicker of humanity, and both sickened and thrilled her that it was mostly comprised of twisted lust.