Kiki Downey

FREE READ|#asmsg #bynr #Mafia #FamilyDrama #Romance| First, I Love You (Downey#1) Ch. 5 “Mickey”


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FIRST, I LOVE YOU

By Genevieve Dewey

Copyright 2012 by Genevieve Dewey, All Rights Reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
This is a work of fiction; any resemblance to living persons is entirely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademark status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

CHAPTER  ONE “Tommy”

CHAPTER TWO “James”

CHAPTER THREE “Kiki”

CHAPTER FOUR “Mary”

CHAPTER FIVE

 Mickey

Front Royal, VA

Sitting in his car outside the Military Academy his youngest son attended, Michael Liam Downey ran through strategies for convincing his oldest son to help him in the ultimate case of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’. Trouble was, neither one of his boys were fools. Most of his life Mickey had figured the world was made out of fools, willfully blind to the realities of life, and it was their own fault if greater men were able to get one over on ’em. After all, it wasn’t the fox’s fault if the rabbit was too damn slow. As far back as the family Bible could go there had always been a Downey with a little something on the side. Sure, there were plenty of teachers, welders, carpenters, farmers in the family – respectable people, in respected professions – but there was always at least one enterprising individual ready to step into the gulf between the law and giving the people what they want.

For a price, of course.

When he was growing up in Brooklyn it was common knowledge on his block that ‘the law’ was a joke, just a tool to be manipulated to suit one’s purposes, and those that thought otherwise were just kidding themselves. All the Wise Guys knew which cops were on the take and which ones to avoid. Mickey’s Da, Pauli Downey, had run numbers and provided protection for a couple of them. Mickey was allowed to play in the back room of the butcher shop where old Two Fingers ran his books. They’d send him away, of course, when they talked real business but he heard things. He knew things, growing up in that life. And it seemed normal. Right. He figured people who lived a good, clean life were either just pretending – putting on a mask – or not smart enough to see the realities of life. It was all a game, start to finish, of who had the most greenbacks at the end of the day, of who was powerful enough to keep his loot after a friendly game of snatch and grab.

Mickey’s parents were never rich, but they never hurt for the basics and a few fineries either. Mickey’s mother Maeve was from Galway, Ireland which had endeared her to Mickey’s proud-of-his-solid-Irish-roots grandfather, not so much to Mickey’s Sicilian grandmother, Rosa Bruno, who had hoped her son would marry a nice Italian girl. After all, Pauli was working for Two Fingers Luciano; this would go a long way. Mickey’s Nonna always said they’d be as rich as any of those ‘made’ men if his Da wouldn’t ‘waste his money drinking and whoring’.

Mickey didn’t think his Da actually did all that much drinking and whoring. Seemed like all Da did was play poker with the guys at Two Finger’s, drive some cars around, and collect money. But what’d he know? Ma didn’t seem to mind; she’d just roll her eyes and scoff whenever Nonna would bring it up. His Da had died when Mickey was fifteen, leaving him to earn for his Ma and two sisters. But that was alright, Mickey had been selling stolen cigarettes, beer, and watches for years by that point anyway.

All the movers and shakers came to his Da’s funeral, an unusual and inexplicable show of respect considering Pauli Downey was just an associate, and a half Irish one, to boot. That was the day he had first met Giovanni ‘Big Joe’ Anastasio. The circles his Da ran in didn’t involve actually meeting the Boss, just his soldiers, maybe the occasional Capo. Most people didn’t even speak Anastasio’s name when talking about him, that’s how protected he was. But everyone knew who he was. In retrospect, Mickey realized that they had used the funeral as an ‘innocent’ way to meet because the Feds were tapping more and more places back then. At the time, however, he had been awed by their fancy clothes and hats and cars and the way the tough guys would defer to them. He made the decision that day he wouldn’t settle for being useful like his Da. He was the one who would be doing the using from that moment on. He would be the one with all the power and respect.

So, he’d clawed and scraped his way to the top by keeping his eyes and ears open for every money making opportunity, and not just by being the first in line, but making sure there was a healthy distance between him and the next guy. People said he had a knack for making money, had the ‘luck of the Irish’, but making money wasn’t about luck. It was about exploiting weaknesses and capitalizing on strengths. Sometimes it was in how he structured the thing, sometimes it was in how he used people’s weaknesses against them, sometimes it was both.

Mickey had no problem using his fists or a gun to make a point but he far preferred manipulating assets and brokering an intricately layered web of quid pro quos. That way, no one knew what had hit them until he was long gone, and even then, they could never quite finger him. He liked the tactical advantage it gave him. He liked the finesse involved in money work. It was a thinking man’s con. Better yet, money didn’t argue, money didn’t fight back, but it sure as hell talked. Money was tangible, by its very nature quantifiable. One either had it, or one didn’t.

Even when it never existed in the first place, he thought with a chuckle.

He was already earning enough on his number schemes to have the patronage of Big Joe when others were still busting kneecaps and knocking off banks hoping to get noticed. He worked hard to cover his Brooklyn-Irish roots with a more posh Manhattan accent. But he could blend in with normal people when he had to, and it made them not only trust him as he was fleecing them blind, but proclaim his innocence with their last breath, “Nooo, not Mickey Downey, he’s such a nice young gentleman. So well-mannered and well-spoken. Always follows the rules.”

Mickey chuckled again at the memory. “Fools, every one of ’em. Only saw what they wanted to see,” he would often crow to Big Joe.

He was past trying to ‘blend in’ and onto working his way into the fancy limos, fancy clothes, and even fancier women when he met Mary Gates. He’d been dating Big Joe’s daughter Theresa for a year and was meeting Big Joe and his cousin and nephew, both in the business, to talk about Mickey’s impending engagement. That he and Theresa would marry was a foregone conclusion from the time they first started dating. It was the best thing for everyone involved, especially to silence the men who grumbled Mickey was only a tiny bit Italian and mostly Irish. Big Joe would just laugh if anyone brought it up, and say, “But the Irish side is purebred gangster.” Everyone else would laugh because no one argued with Big Joe Anastasio.

Mickey and Theresa hung out in the same circles, had warmed each other’s beds from time-to-time, and he was her father’s protégé. He remembered thinking she’d make a good wife who’d been raised from infancy knowing how to keep her mouth shut and not ask questions. He had the engagement ring he had chosen from the bag Frank Bonanno had brought courtesy of his crew’s last heist sitting without a thought in his pocket when he met Mary at the Drunken Monkey later that evening. There was no reason why he couldn’t have a little fun before the shackles went on. No reason he couldn’t have a drink with a pretty girl even after.

Mickey stifled thoughts of Mary, as he always did, before his mind could get carried away remembering her smile, her laugh, the feel of her skin under his. Twenty years later and none of the many other women he’d had could compare to the obsession he still had for her. Twenty years! That stupid phrase ‘keep your eyes on the prize’ was wrong – he had been leading the world’s longest sleeper campaign against that woman and, quite the opposite, he felt it better for his sanity to not dwell on the quarry before the quarry had been caught… with no desire to escape this time. People said Mickey was at the top of his game when he retired, but he figured he was at the top of his game until he met her. Every decision he ever made after that no longer became a matter of ‘just business’, it was always about her, because of her, for her, against her, in spite of her.

Yeah, Devil take it, the day he met Mary Gates was the day Mickey figured he’d joined the Legion of Fools.

Now here he was, a little over twenty-five years later from the day he met her, on the backside of a mountain of money, lies, and power, practically begging one son to be in his life, and desperate to keep the other son out of it. He hadn’t thought it was going to be a problem until recently. Never saw the signs. Joey and Kiki always knew their dad was not like ‘normal’ fathers. And, hell, their mother’s family had made a few History channel specials themselves. He had never tried to sugar coat the downside to the lifestyle he’d chosen. And his children wanted for nothing, between their mother’s inheritance and his own amassed fortune. Who in their right mind chooses this uncertain life when every other option is available to them?

He had made the final steps five years ago, not only to cement this lesson in the minds of his younger children, but to sweeten his chances with his eldest. If Tommy was bound and determined to be a cop, and that it would preclude a relationship because of his profession, well then, Mickey would ‘retire’. Only for ‘normal’ people that meant 401ks and pensions. For him it meant doing the impossible. Not that it was unheard of for a fifty year old man to retire. It was just infinitely less plausible for a fifty year old so-called mobster at the top of his game. There were no hedge funds or friendly fare-thee-well parties.

That was the thing with that mountain of power; a man stands up there alone at the top kicking wildly at the hands grasping at his feet, threatening to take him down. Actually, Mickey figured it was more like one of those spinning wheels in a child’s park, stuck on an endless loop. The kid spins and spins and enjoys the powerful danger-laden rush, only after a while, all he feels is dizzy and nauseous and alone – made worse as he catches glimpses of all the other kids heading home and just wished he knew how to stop the thing or how to jump off without breaking his neck.

He had plotted his exit strategy almost from the moment he seized power from Anastasio fifteen years ago. Money had been his ticket in, money would be his ticket out. He just had to keep his mouth shut and make sure the money talked louder than his enemies. If his enemies didn’t have the ability to talk at all, even better. Five years ago he ‘retired’ in the way a man is retired from the giant corporation he worked for his whole life, yet still works as a checker at the Walgreens in the worst neighborhood in town. Meaning he watched his own back more now than he ever did before, paid daily for his freedom in cooperation and kickbacks to the Alma Mater – so to speak – and never, ever talked to the cops.

Except Tommy, he chuckled.

He didn’t mind being under the protection of men he had once ordered around … much… if it meant he could pull off what so few had done before him. He had spent his life working the long con. He’d just switched his target from the malleable minds of the populace to the very hand that had once fed him. Getting one over on professional criminals gave him enough of a thrill that, tempered with the idea he might finally get the one thing that he had never been able to buy or steal for himself, he was able to suck up the blow to his pride.

But this – this thing – might just be his undoing.

Kiki had come for supper at his home in Oak Park last week and said she was worried about Joe, that her friend’s little brother had seen him sneaking out to meet with drug dealers. Worse, that word was getting around ‘Little Joey’ wanted in on the action in the nearby Washington, DC area, playing on his family name. Kiki was worried that maybe Joe wouldn’t be given a release to come to her party. A call to the Headmaster revealed some recent infractions they had felt he ‘need not be bothered with yet’.

But Kiki had seemed so certain, and he didn’t want to upset the balance by making inquiries in his former circles. First he had to find out, had the incidents not happened, or was Joe just slick enough to not get caught? Something didn’t add up about it all. Joey had never shown any signs of wanting to follow in his family’s footsteps. Sure, he had never been shy to bandy about the Downey or Anastasio name, but to use it to throw away his future?

Joe had always planned a career for himself in the Air Force; even at a young age he always seemed to have his head on straight. It was Kiki who frittered her life away on parties and shoes and even more useless men. But he couldn’t take any chances with Joe unprotected, especially now that he didn’t have the power he once did. He was still rich, but just rich enough to be a burr in the backside of far more powerful men, not rich enough to guarantee the safety of his youngest child if he’d really gone off the rails.

He had thought it fortuitous that Tommy was in DC when these troubles arose. Mickey could appeal to his obvious deep affection for his little brother, and the fact that as a cop, Tommy was what society deemed a good role model. Sure, Mickey didn’t have much respect for the law, or its puppeteers, but he’d never heard of any dirty dealings or shenanigans associated with Detective Gates’ name. Mickey was damned proud of that, if you were to ask him. After all, if a guy had to have a cop for a son, at least don’t let him be a damned dirty cop. Maybe that’s where he differed from some of his other friends, who just assumed that Mickey had Tommy in the bag, using him as a mole. Mickey was fine with letting them think that, it was probably safer for Tommy that way anyway. But the truth was he liked that he had a man with such strong-willed convictions for a son.

The trouble with that was how he would get such a strong-willed son to stand still long enough to listen to him and, in this case, agree to intervene with Joe. Afterwards, God-willing, they could all go back to Chicago together for Kiki’s birthday. Problem solved. But as usual, Tommy wouldn’t give him the time of day. It was exhausting dealing with Tommy because Mickey felt like he couldn’t use the usual tactics he would use with a recalcitrant child. It was like trying to get a wild horse to come to him, but all he had to offer were rotten apples.

The limo door opening jarred his thoughts. Joe grinned and sat down on the seat opposite Mickey, propping his feet up.

“Hey, Dad, how’s doings?” Joe drawled.

Mickey arched an eyebrow. Joe’s grin widened.

Why is it that this silent gesture used to spark fear in hundreds of men but was completely useless on these children? Mickey thought.

He took a deep breath and leaned forward. “I was about to go in and meet with your headmaster about your recent behavior. How is it that—”

“Listen, Dad, before you get worked up, I’ve got my pass for the next five days. That’s not a lot of time to work with but I’m here to help,” Joe stated with all the certain demand of a board chairman.

When had his baby boy grown up? Fifteen years old and he was sitting here acting like he already commanded armed troops. Mickey felt completely off kilter.

“Help?” Mickey asked.

“Well, Kiki and I didn’t think that it’d be enough for Tommy to come to her party, what with the way he has of avoiding you. This way we’re seeding the clouds, so to speak. Our brother will be concerned about my ‘recent behavior’, as you say, forcing him to actually interact with you for more than a second, and then we do the family thing this weekend. Like a one-two punch, see? What do you think?”

Mickey stared at him. Joe’s bright, hazel eyes seemed to sparkle with all the enthusiasm of youth.

Well, he had the confidence down, but his strategic planning needed some work, Mickey thought with pride and relief.

“I think… that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in some time, son.”

Joe looked as if Mickey had punched him in the gut. Mickey sighed and leaned forward some more, clasping his hands.

“Now, listen, son, I appreciate you and your sister wanting to intervene, but things between your brother and me are complicated. Not just by our lifestyles, but by what his mother did, the ideas she’s put in his head, and to be honest, from my own actions. Let me give you some advice. You’ve played your hand too soon, you see? Not only would Tommy have seen through this rather quickly as soon as he talked to you – he is a cop after all – but he would then have blamed me for the thing. It would’ve set us back. People might be easy to manipulate but they aren’t like chess pieces. They’ve an annoying habit of thinking for themselves and there are so many permutations to be thought of before you put your move in play. You’ve got to anticipate all the possible moves and set about neutralizing them one by one. What’s your back up plan? And the one after that? I see on your face you haven’t got one… Was this your sister’s idea?”

Joe sat there, saying nothing.

“You don’t want to rat your sister out. I respect that,” Mickey continued. “But this has her written all over it. I should have seen that from the start, but I was just so worried about you out here all alone. There’s a lot at stake here, son, not just between me and your brother, but in my business.”

“But you’re retired now,” Joe interjected.

Mickey frowned. “Son…” he paused and looked out the window, then back at Joe, “Son, without going into the details, because you know I can’t, my survival, all of our survival depends on me laying low. Have you actually been involved in the local drug scene, or was Kiki making that up?”

“I… I haven’t actually… you know… done anything but maybe I might have… you know… told certain people I was going by ‘Little Joey’ these days and I’d be interested in getting my foot in the door, just, just so it’d get back to Tommy eventually,” Joe confessed sheepishly.

“Goddamn it, Giovanni!” Mickey exploded.

Joe cringed. Mickey counted to ten, then twenty, then thirty, then said fuck it in his mind and buzzed the intercom.

“Carlo, drive us into DC and take us to Tommy’s hotel,” Mickey’s voiced vibrated with fury.

Calm down, calm down, calm down, he told himself.

Certamente,” his driver, bodyguard, and oldest friend said.

“Joe, you have a little over an hour to explain to me exactly WHO you have been talking to, and exactly WHAT has been said so I can do damage control,” Mickey demanded.

He was thinking about how in one way the plan (almost certainly his daughter’s handiwork) wasn’t too bad for a rookie run if it created common ground between him and Tommy, but on the other hand, it could backfire in a big way. He was convinced Tommy had been trying so hard to avoid him lately precisely because Mickey was getting to him, finally getting under his skin. Tommy had never tried so hard to put distance between them in the beginning when he had even more to prove and more to lose than he did now. In the beginning, Tommy had seemed almost indifferent, now he seemed indignant in a he ‘doth protest too much’ way. It was a tenuous position they were in right now. He didn’t want to spook him; if Tommy felt like he was being used or manipulated he might turn his back on them permanently.

But that was the least of his problems if Bonanno got wind Mickey’s youngest child was breaking the agreement between the Outfit and the Bonanno-Anastasio wing of the Gambino family. A thought suddenly occurred to him, and Mickey interrupted his son’s panicked babbling about Tony Luciano’s cousin.

“What other surprises does your sister have planned for her birthday party?”

“N-n-nothing! Nothing,” Joe said nervously.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. These children. Forget the Five Families, forget the Outfit. His children were gonna be the death of him for sure.

–Copyright 2012, Genevieve Dewey.

Read on… Chapter Six, “Ginny”.

[Author’s note: Get another glimpse into Mickey & Mary’s early relationship by reading this flashback: Second Chances]

First, I Love You is available in print or digital format at these official retailers:

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FREE READ|#asmsg #bynr #Mafia #FamilyDrama #Romance| First, I Love You (Downey#1) Ch. 4 “Mary”


FILYversion413

~~~~~~~

FIRST, I LOVE YOU

By Genevieve Dewey

Copyright 2012 by Genevieve Dewey, All Rights Reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
This is a work of fiction; any resemblance to living persons is entirely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademark status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

CHAPTER  ONE “Tommy”

CHAPTER TWO “James”

CHAPTER THREE “Kiki”

CHAPTER FOUR

 Mary

Omaha, NE

The only thing that could have surprised Mary Elizabeth Gates more than a phone call from Michael’s daughter was a call from Michael himself. She hadn’t heard from either one of them for seven years. Well, she’d heard from Michael. He had a way of making his presence… known. But he hardly ever talked to her. Not directly, anyway. He preferred to communicate by proxy, for lack of a better way to phrase it. It both infuriated her and thrilled her that he did even that little, to her shame. And that was probably his point. As for Kiki, Mary had never imagined the girl had given her a second thought after their initial meeting so many years ago. Just thinking about that meeting at the hotel brought back the mixture of pleasure and pain she always felt remembering Michael. Her mind seemed to rush with memories of him like a twisted series of rapids on the river.

On the day of her only child’s high school graduation, Mary walked through the door of the house she had made her own to see his father once again sitting uninvited at her kitchen table.

He never changes, she thought in stunned exasperation.

Michael stood up and held out his hand towards Tommy.

“Congratulations, son,” he said, smiling.

Turning to Jack, she saw her old friend’s expression mirrored her own.

Jack shook his head. “You know, Downey, breaking and entering is still a crime in all fifty states,” he said.

Michael kept his gaze on their son but she could have sworn the corner of his mouth twitched a bit in humor, whether at Jack’s comment or his own sense of self-satisfaction she couldn’t tell. Tommy made no move to walk forward, instead he shoved his hands in his pockets and looked down at his shoes. Michael lowered his hand and subconsciously mirrored his movement.

Claire – bless her – put her hand on Tommy’s shoulder and said, “How about I run down to the grocery store and get us some refreshments before you open presents. Jack, you coming with?”

Without waiting for an answer, Claire grabbed Jack’s hand and pulled him back out the door. Mary was torn between the desire to leave with them and the urge as a mother to hover over her baby.

Not a baby anymore, all grown up, she thought.

“Don’t you think it’s time you opened these letters, son?” Michael asked softly.

Tommy shrugged, sneaking a glance through the fringes of his messy, dark hair. Who was going to remind him to comb his hair, now that he was going to be leaving? Her heart ached while she fought the urge to brush it out of his eyes. Tommy had her classic Gates heart-shaped face versus the more angular planes of his father’s features, but he shared Michael’s same dark hair and emerald green eyes. It was those once expressive, now cold, beautiful eyes that had been her downfall.

She had just turned nineteen when she set out to make her dreams come true in the Big Apple. She had driven away from her sleepy little Massachusetts town with nothing but a suitcase stretched almost to the breaking point, $100, and enough grit and resolve for a small army. She was working in a Manhattan restaurant as a hostess when she met Michael Downey for the first time. He came through the doors as if he owned the place, brushing the snow off his fur-lined overcoat and striding past her podium with a distracted, yet purposeful air.

“Sir!” Mary squeaked. “Sir, do you have a reservation—”

He stopped and turned smartly on his heel, cocking his head. His arresting green eyes twinkled with mischief and humor, and he grinned a grin she was sure the Devil himself had handed him. He looked like he was only maybe ten years older than her, but carried himself with an air of a much older man used to giving commands.

“You must be new here. I’m Mickey Downey. I’m here to meet some business associates of mine. In the back,” he crooked an eyebrow, indicating the VIP table set back by the large fireplace.

“Oh. Sorry,” Mary said.

She felt her face flush as red as her hair. She had only had this job a few weeks and was mindful of how lucky she was to have it. It beat working as a waitress in that dingy Brooklyn diner she had started out at by a long shot, and she certainly didn’t want to make the mistake of insulting an important patron. The long hours standing in her heels and the not-so-subtle leering of the owner was worth the increase in pay and the opportunity to rub elbows, however briefly, with people who might help launch her music career.

“Don’t worry your pretty head about it… Mary,” he said, reading her name tag.

His eyes lingered on her front a bit longer than necessary, but instead of making her feel uncomfortable it sent a warming tingle through her.

Her voice was slightly breathless as she asked, “Do you have a card? I mean, for the jar.”

He drew one out of his breast coat pocket, wrote something on the back, and leaned across her to place it in the jar with the other business cards. She could smell a sweet, musky scent on him and smiled shyly as he drew back. She waited about 2.8 seconds after he’d left to fish it out and turn it over.

Drinks? 9pm @ The Drunken Monkey.

She flipped it back over to read a Staten Island business address and Michael L. Downey, Shipping & Finance Consultant. She wasn’t sure what that meant, but she was already planning what she’d wear…

She’d made a rash choice that day, one that had changed the course of her life forever. It seemed like her life was a study in punctuated equilibrium. Things would go along swimmingly and then – bam! – one moment in time shifted course, and off she’d go in a whole new direction.

First, there was the day he came into her life. She’d fallen in love with his deep, baritone laugh that night at the bar: “Michael, why on earth do they call you Mickey? Your Christian name is so beautiful. I’m sorry, I refuse to call you Mickey. It reminds me too much of Mickey Mouse!” she’d said, then laughed ‘haha!’ like Mickey Mouse did in the cartoons. And Michael had laughed so long and hard that it brought stares.

Then, the night he discovered she had betrayed him. Her heart had broken when he walked out on her and Tommy without even letting her explain why she’d done it: “I’m sorry! I’m sorry! It’s too late! They already know everything, where you hide the extra cash, what you told me about Big Joe’s Ponzi scheme, everything! But they said, they said, if you just tell them the rest, that they’ll make a deal with you! Michael, wait, Michael, PLEASE!”

She’d never meant to deprive Tommy of a father, she’d just been… scared… alone… so terribly confused, that she hadn’t stopped to think how it would affect father and son. Jack and the other agents had convinced her that Michael would take a deal. They wanted Big Joe Anastasio, not Downey, they had told her. She could help give the FBI leverage over Michael and he in turn would give them Anastasio. If he flipped, maybe they could go on the run together. Be a family. Be free of his wife in their lives. But it didn’t play out that way. Not even close.

Jack had seemed so friendly, so concerned in those days. He and Claire were the only friends she felt she truly had in a neighborhood where she was an outsider. She had met Claire first, a fellow choir singer at Our Lady of Angels. They had bonded instantly as they were both outsiders, Claire being from Nebraska, and Mary from Massachusetts. Jack and Claire would always ask after her and Tommy; did she have enough, could they help with babysitting, how was she feeling? It had made such a contrast to the growing distance between her and Michael in that last year, and the fights they would have over his continued marriage to Theresa Anastasio. Her frustration with the secrets and lies and the company he kept grew until she couldn’t stand it.

Michael had made her so many promises, so many broken promises, that Jack’s gentle and insistent lobbying that she deserved better seemed to only accentuate those fissures in their relationship. It seemed to make a mockery of the little family she’d dreamed of having with him. She had finally made the decision to help the FBI record conversations and divulge Michael’s hiding spots in their home after Michael had refused to allow her to tell Tommy that he was his father, saying that it wasn’t safe yet. It just sort of… broke her, in a way.

Still to this day, she could remember the feel of panic and queasiness when she took the stand, the look of complete pain and betrayal in his eyes the moment he realized she would go through with it. In the back of her mind she had known that what she would testify wouldn’t be enough to convict either men on its own, but she had hoped – oh, how she had hoped – that playing that card would be enough to get him to choose her and their child over his business. They were always playing games with each other, since the moment they’d met, and this had been the ultimate game of who blinked first. He hadn’t blinked and neither had she, but who had lost and who had won?

She couldn’t regret going out with Michael that first night, getting pregnant shortly after, or the love they shared in their little home. It had been good at first. She didn’t even regret finally taking a stand against his lifestyle. Her son not only had never gotten sucked into that life, he worked daily to shut it down. But she did regret, and would always regret, not being strong enough to fight for more between them on her own terms and not Jack’s or the other FBI agents. Because that one decision she’d made had turned out to be a bigger crossroads than either of them had imagined.

So, there again, on the day of her son’s graduation, she was faced with another crossroads. But it had seemed different somehow that day, like it was not just changing course, but going backwards and forwards all at the same time. A do-over in some respects for all of them, as crazy as that thought was.

There was Michael standing in her kitchen with a bundle of letters she’d had no idea that Tommy had been secretly mailing back to him, probably out of blind loyalty to her. And there was Tommy standing opposite, too unsure of what she wanted to even look at the man who had never actually done him any harm. And if Mary were honest with herself, as lowering as that would be, Michael had never done her any harm even though in his world it must have made him seem weak after her betrayal. All those years she had lived in fear wondering how could he not hate her for what she had done? How could he not want revenge? But he had found them and done… nothing.

Mary had kept Tommy from Michael’s lifestyle, for reasons she didn’t regret, wouldn’t ever regret, but she could see in that moment on graduation day that she had done irreparable damage to both of them. She hadn’t realized until that very moment the power she had wielded. Had she ever asked Tommy what he wanted? Had she ever asked what Michael had planned before she had taken matters into her own hands and chosen for them both? Guilt choked her up.

Time to strap your big girl panties on, she thought and walked over to her son’s father.

“Hello, Michael,” she said, as friendly as she could muster.

He stared at her for a beat, wrinkles at the edges of his eyes now visible. Oh, those eyes… the way he looked at her like she was the only woman in the world.

God help me, why does it still matter? Mary wondered.

“Mary, it’s good to see you again. You look…” Michael stopped and cleared his throat, “You look well. I hope you don’t mind, I was wondering if Tommy – if the two of you – would like to join me and his sister and brother for brunch tomorrow at our hotel?”

So smooth and cool his voice was, as if all those years and miles apart and tangled up feelings had meant nothing. But his eyes told a different tale. They were full of vulnerability, like she had only rarely seen in those early years together. She thought again of his promise to their son eight years before that he wouldn’t interfere, wouldn’t take him from her, but he would always be there for him. He had made good on that promise and it would have been so easy to take Tommy from her with his connections and money. And hadn’t it broken her heart a little that he hadn’t tried, while pleasing her all at the same time? Maybe that had been his punishment for her. Or was it a test? Why did one never know the answers to these things ’til after the milk had been spilled?

Yes, life was made up of these instances in time; big moments hidden inside little decisions.

Mary turned to look at her son, at their son, “Tommy, what do you think? We can celebrate with Uncle Jack and Aunt Claire tonight, and you can spend the day tomorrow with your brother and sister, if that’s what you want,” she suggested.

Tommy’s face was a picture of surprise and confusion. Her little man was all grown up. Oh, how she had leaned on him. Too much… clearly, too much. His eyes darted between her and Michael, and then settled on the letters.

Michael cleared his throat again. “Tell you what… You read those letters, son, and think on it. We’re staying at the downtown Hilton, near the Old Market. We’ll be in the lobby, say, around 10am? You and your mother are both welcome,” he said.

Then he walked forward and put his hand on Tommy’s shoulder. Tommy shrugged away.

“Well… Congratulations,” Michael said quietly. And without another word, he was gone again.

Later that night, she and Tommy had sat on the couch and read the letters together. It was clear to her that Michael had been keeping track of them even though Tommy had never responded to any of the letters, because there were references to events in his life; ‘I hear you play hockey. Your brother likes the Islanders even at his young age… Congratulations on winning third place at the Science Fair, so far your sister hasn’t made me help her with such things, a blessing to both of us…’ Always, always, he would tie each achievement of Tommy’s to his siblings as if with his words and sheer force of will he could weave Tommy in absentia into the family tapestry.

Mary fell in love a little with those two children through those letters, a true miracle given the feelings of loathing she had held for their mother. But she’d always believed a child shouldn’t be held accountable for their parent’s sins. If Tommy hadn’t made the decision on his own to meet Joe and Kiki, she’d have gone herself out of sheer curiosity. But mostly, because Michael’s constant opening, ‘First, I love you’ seemed to burn guilt into her very heart. And he had meant it so, she knew it. He had been fond of saying the very same thing to her when he would come through her door in Brooklyn.

Maybe he hadn’t been quite as forgiving as she had thought. Still, he had kept his word and she had kept her child safe. But now their son was a legal adult, free to choose for himself if he wanted his father in his life. The least she could do was make sure Tommy knew he had her full blessing to figure out what that meant to him without her in the equation.

She and Tommy had made the decision to go the following morning, and though she’d only stayed a few moments, they were etched in her mind. Little Joe had seemed to have all of his father’s energy, none of his restraint. Kiki had been a shy, already beautiful girl who resembled her mother greatly. Thankfully, she had none of her mother’s superiority complex, at least as far as Mary could tell, since the poor girl barely spoke a word. Her intelligent eyes didn’t miss a trick though. The girl seemed to watch the awkward interplay between Tommy and Michael and Mary like they were a fascinating exhibit at the museum.

As Mary took her leave of them, Kiki said in a voice far more mature than her years, “It was nice meeting you, Mary. I hope we’ll meet again.”

And that was that, and here we are again, Mary thought, as she heard that very same voice nearly seven years later. Why on earth would Kiki be reaching out to her now? She couldn’t shake the feeling the Hand of Michael was at play here. Or maybe it was just the mad sprint down memory lane she’d just had.

She shook herself from her reverie. “Yes, Kiki, of course I remember you! What can I do for you?” she asked, trying not to betray her nervousness.

“You know Tommy’s moving here to Chicago for a while to work on some big case, and I’ve asked him to come to my birthday party this weekend. But I was wondering, it would mean a great deal to me and Tommy if you would consider coming as well? I could send you a ticket or pay for the gas, it’s only about six or seven hours to drive. I only figured, it would be a fun surprise for Tommy don’t you think, since he’s going to be away from Omaha for so long,” Kiki said in one long rush.

Well… talk about big moments hidden in little decisions…

–Copyright 2012, Genevieve Dewey.

Read on… Chapter Five, “Mickey”.

[Author’s Note: Read a bit more about how Mary & Mickey got together in this flashback: Her Prince.]

First, I Love You is available in print or digital format at these official retailers:

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FREE READ|#asmsg #bynr #Mafia #FamilyDrama #Romance| First, I Love You (Downey#1) Ch. 3 “Kiki”


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~~~~~~~

FIRST, I LOVE YOU

By Genevieve Dewey

Copyright 2012 by Genevieve Dewey, All Rights Reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
This is a work of fiction; any resemblance to living persons is entirely coincidental. The author acknowledges the trademark status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

CHAPTER  ONE “Tommy”

CHAPTER TWO “James”

CHAPTER THREE

 Kiki

Chicago, IL

In her mind, there was nothing in the world quite as invigorating as the smell of a new pair of designer pumps. Katherine Anastasia Downey – Kiki to her family and friends – loved a great many things, but spending Daddy’s money had to be at the top of the list. She often thought in her cynically altruistic moments, that it was almost her civic duty to put money back into the pockets they came from. Kiki spent her money on a great many different things, some important, some unimportant, but today was a rare all-about-her day. She was not going to stop shopping until she found herself a pair of Dolce and Gabanas or Jimmy Choos to match the designer necklace and earrings her mother had gotten her for her twenty-first birthday. They were one of a kind. Literally.

Her mother had cultivated a number of useful friends over the years being the daughter of Giovanni ‘Big Joe’ Anastasio and the wife of Michael ‘Mickey’ Downey, but the ones she’d made living in Paris these last several years seemed to be extra… generous… to put it mildly. Kiki might be a daddy’s girl in most respects, but her mother’s one enduring claim on her heart was the way she supported Kiki’s job as a fashion blogger for the Sun-Times. Daddy found it amusing at best.

The trouble with having a father who adored her unconditionally was being left with the feeling of never quite having earned his approval. It left her in a constant competitive state of ‘Look, Daddy, no hands!’ and the emotional dissatisfaction of him not even looking up from the paper to say ‘Knew you could do it, sweetheart.’

“Well, damn, Kiki you’re gonna be the hottest fucking thing in all of Chicago this Saturday night wearing those. Have you picked out a dress yet?” Jessica Bonanno trilled out, interrupting her thoughts.

“Like it matters, stuck here in this hell-hole,” Kiki mumbled, thoughts of her parents ruining her usually cheerful mood.

“Oh, come on, Chicago is far from a hell-hole and you know it. Besides, they have one of the best Nordstrom’s in the country. And I’m here for your party, aren’t I?”

“You know what I mean. All our real friends are back in New York. I just don’t get why Daddy had to retire to Chicago of all places. I mean, who does that?”

“Kiki, you’ve lived here for five years. You’re not a minor. You’re filthy rich. You can leave anytime. Besides, I’m not going to believe you haven’t made some friends here. I mean, I’ve got four or five cousins here I can think of, which means you do too, if you’d just reach out… And, please, no one believes your dad is actually ‘retired’.”

Jessica did the air quotes with her perfectly manicured fingers and a wiggle of her equally manicured eyebrows, forcing a laugh out of her oldest friend and cousin. She scooted closer to Kiki on the bench.

“Is… Is your brother going to be there?” Jessica asked softly, a gleam in her eye.

“Joe? Of course!” Kiki answered, surprised.

“No… I mean… you know,” Jessica whispered.

Kiki sighed and slipped the shoes back off. Not meeting Jess’s eyes, she tossed her chestnut curls in a flippant gesture. She was tired of pretending to be what people wanted her to be, so tired. There used to be a time when she and Jessica had been close, inseparable really, when she felt she could be honest with her, instead of keeping up the role she played for everyone else. But now they seemed so far apart, not just in geography, but in interests. Jess was a couple years older and married with a child, but her husband was serving 5-10 in prison, and she clearly felt fidelity was not necessary while she waited; she didn’t even use his last name. Jessica’s life was a never ending party. Most of the time it was Kiki who was drug along for the ride, but yet the papers painted her as the wild child.

“How should I know? Probably not. Not that I care,” Kiki finally replied, thinking, why does she always bring up Tommy? What’s it to her anyway?

“You’re a terrible liar. Just sayin’,” Jessica said.

Kiki forced herself to meet Jess’s eyes and started laughing. “Let’s see if they have another pair for you,” she suggested in a desperate move to change the subject.

She didn’t want to talk about Tommy because she never knew what she was supposed to think – or feel – about him. The prodigal son that Daddy made with the woman he loved far more than her own mother. Everyone knew that. The man he kept trying to pull into the fold even after he became a cop. A cop, for God’s sake! Resentment was definitely there, maybe some jealousy, but there were other emotions – other softer, sweeter emotions that far outweighed the bad ones.

And these were the feelings, oddly enough, that she felt the most defensive about with everyone but her father. One of her fondest memories was how kind Tommy was to her the day they first met seven years ago, the way he teased her out of her painful teenage shyness with silly and often really, really bad jokes. Even though he was only four and a half years older than her, and just out of high school, he had looked so grown up and oddly sophisticated in his faded jeans and Huskers T-shirt.

She smiled remembering it; little Joey running all over the hotel lobby getting into things the way restless nine-year-old boys do, Daddy all tense and silent, staring at ‘that woman’, as Mom had always called her, and Tommy – Ha! – Tommy, acting like he had just wandered into the Omaha Hilton because he had nothing better to do. But she could see in his eyes he was just as nervous as she was. Just as curious to finally meet his siblings. He was just better at hiding it than she was.

Kiki was never good at hiding her emotions. Instead, she hid herself. When she was little, she used to pretend each room in the sprawling mansion was an exhibit at the museum that Daddy would take her and Joey to on Saturdays (when he wasn’t busy with ‘work’ of course). In this room, she was an Egyptian princess, in this one a Native American princess, this other, a Mayan princess. She was always a princess. Daddy’s little princess. That’s what he’d call her in his distracted way, with a quick, whiskery kiss, the hint of pipe tobacco on his breath.

She far preferred Daddy’s smell to Mom’s. Mom always smelled like French perfume and the Benedictine she drank with her whiskey ‘for her health’. Kiki had snuck a taste in once when she was eleven. It tasted like a forest with too many flowers in it; sickly sweet, not like the wine they drank with supper. When she was younger, she was always proud to tell her friends that Daddy let them drink wine at the table with the adults. He’d wink at her and say, ‘One glass won’t hurt a Downey; it’ll put hair on your chest!’ Then he would laugh his gravelly laugh and Mom would purse her lips.

Her mom hated it when he referred to them as Downeys, even though that was their name, like it was ignoring the Anastasio blood in them. Mom was very proud of her Anastasio blood. Kiki figured Daddy did it on purpose since the only time they ever interacted after the divorce was at family suppers. Her mom had insisted in the settlement that all holidays and one Sunday a month the entire family get together for a traditional Italian supper. ‘There’s nothing more important than family,’ Mom would singsong.

Except by ‘family’, Theresa Anastasio meant her family. The first time Kiki found out about her half-brother Tommy was when her parents were having one of their many, many fights.

Kiki was busy pretending to be Princess Jasmine turning down her suitors in the throes of true never-ending love for Prince Ali Baba in the pink – ‘It’s salmon, darling!’ – guest bedroom when she heard her mother shouting. This was worth pausing for, since Mom never shouted. That was Daddy’s thing. Mom was more fond of jeering insults, crying jags, and dramatically leaving the room, all of which tended to drive Daddy’s temper through the roof.

Belly crawling to the balustrade she peeked over and watched them below.

“I will NOT stand for this one SECOND longer! You will NEVER bring up that woman’s name or her brat in my home ever again, do you hear me? How could you disrespect me this way?!”

“Disrespect you? That would imply I ever had any respect for you, Theresa.”

CRASH!

Mom threw her prized Tiffany vase against the wall. Daddy raised a dark eyebrow the way he did when one of his men didn’t do what he told them to do fast enough.

“Maybe the stress of the new baby has you—”

“Don’t you dare – don’t you DARE, Mickey! This has nothing to do with our son, and everything to do with your BASTARD! Do you know how much I tried to be a good wife, to ignore the fact you had that gumare, that whore on the side? That you preferred her company to mine? That you gave her your firstborn son and you barely touched me?”

“You know exactly why I married you, Theresa. Don’t play coy at this late date. It was a mutually beneficial agreement, nothing more than a business deal with added benefits. But after the trial, I tried my best to patch things up with you, to devote myself to the family we agreed to make together.”

“Bullshit! You only tried for a baby to suck up to my father because he was so furious with you for not putting a muzzle on that snitch bitch. I thought she was gone from our lives forever. Her and that boy. I thought we had a real chance finally. This whole time you’ve been looking for her. This whole time!” Mom’s voice broke on the last word.

Daddy turned away and scooped his Lexis keys off the Italian marble vanity.

“It doesn’t matter what you say, Theresa. I’m going to get my son. I’ll have my lawyer send over the papers. But understand the children stay with me. You try to fight it, and you will regret it.”

“Not for nothing, but my lawyers are gonna take you to the cleaners, you know that, right? You were nothing without me and my father. Nothing!”

“Maybe without your father, God rest his soul, but not you. Without you, I had something. And it’s past time I got it back, whether you like it or not.”

Daddy walked out the door without looking back. Mom screamed a little scream that sounded almost more like a groan, then she sat on the tile and cried. Kiki knew better than to bother her mom when she needed a good cry, so she crept down the hall to where her baby brother slept in his hand-carved crib.

“It’s ok, Joey. Daddy’ll be back. He always comes back. And he’s going to bring us a brother,” Kiki said, and then frowned. She would have preferred a sister, so they could play Princesses together.

But Daddy didn’t bring back her brother. And after Mom moved out, he spent a lot of time alone in his study. Men would come and go, sometimes they would bring her and her brother presents, sometimes they’d bring their kids, most of whom she knew from church and kindergarten she’d just started that year.

Not too long after he came back, she knocked on his study door and waited for his husky voice to bid, ‘Enter.’

“Daddy, it’s Kiki. Can I come in?”

She heard the creak of his chair then the door opened. His eyes looked tired, but they lit up when he saw her.

“Come in, princess. Sit on daddy’s lap while I write this letter to your brother.”

Kiki giggled as he swung her high and into his arms, then he pretended to stumble into his chair. He cuddled her close.

“Silly Daddy, Joey’s too young to read,” she said, nuzzling his strong chest.

“No, this is for your older brother. Tommy. You haven’t met him yet. Maybe one day,” he answered.

“Does he like to play Princesses?” Kiki asked.

Daddy didn’t answer, just chuckled as he picked up his pen and wrote:

Dear Tommy,

First, I love you. I hope you enjoyed the present I sent—’

“Daddy, guess what! I read the word love!” Kiki said, feeling proud of herself.

“Very good, sweetheart, very good,” he seemed to choke out the words like something was stuck in his throat. Then he kissed her head and continued to write.

Whenever she would catch him writing to Tommy over the years, his letters would always start the same, ‘First, I love you.’ Then they would contain some mention of what Kiki and Joe were up to and always end the same way, ‘Your loving father’. It didn’t seem to matter to Daddy that the letters would come back marked ‘Return to Sender’, he would just put it in his desk drawer and write another. When she was eleven (Blame it on the Benedictine, she thought) she got up the courage to ask him why he still wrote to Tommy.

He smiled his distracted smile and said, “Because I’m a Downey. And Downeys don’t give up until they’ve got what they want. Ever.”

She never did figure out how he got Tommy to come that day in Omaha, but she was pretty sure he stayed because of her and Joey. On the rare occasions she saw Tommy in the years after, it was always something important in their lives, not Daddy’s, and he always, always, would do his best to distance himself from their father. Tommy communicated mostly through texts and major-holiday phone calls in between those times. But this time it was going to be different. She had a plan.

Quickly she stifled the hope – hope was so dependent upon someone else, and that made one weak – and focused on a more practical emotion, grim determination. Tommy had texted her a few weeks back and said he’d be working right here in the windy city on some big case for the next several months. That only gave Kiki a short time to work with, but the only thing she prided as much as the fiercely stubborn Downey constitution was the Anastasio cunning. Downeys might not give up, but Anastasios make it happen.

Ducking Jessica on Michigan Avenue, she stopped in a tourist shop and fished her smart phone out. It only took a minute to find the phone number she needed.

“Hello?” a sweetly cheerful voice answered.

“Hello, Mary. It’s Kiki Downey. Do you remember me?”

In the gulf of answering silence, she could hear her Daddy’s voice in her head; ‘Now this here is what you call a Hail Mary pass…’

She smiled in anticipation.

–Copyright 2012, Genevieve Dewey.

Read on… Chapter Four, “Mary”

First, I Love You is available in print or digital format at these official retailers:

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A Look at Theresa Anastasio, mobwife and fashion maven…


theresa

Name: Theresa Francesca Anastasio

Age: 52

Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York.

Current Residence: Paris, France.

Status: Clothing and shoe designer.

Aspirations: Getting her inheritance back from her ex-husband, Mickey Downey .

Hobbies: Fashion shows, shopping.

Parents: Giovanni “Big Joe” Anastasio and Katarina Bonanno

Grandparents: Salvatore Anastasio and Bella Maria Luciano; Antonio Bonanno and Isabella Torrio

No siblings; considers her first cousin, Frank Bonanno, as her brother.

Children: Katherine “Kiki” DowneyGiovanni “Joe” Downey

Significant Other: money

~~~

‘There’s nothing more important than family,’ Mom would singsong.

Except by ‘family’ Theresa Anastasio meant her family. The first time Kiki found out about her half-brother Tommy was when her parents were having one of their many, many fights.

Kiki was busy pretending to be Princess Jasmine turning down her suitors in the throes of true never-ending love for Prince Ali Baba in the pink (‘It’s salmon, darling!’) guest bedroom when she heard her mother shouting. This was worth pausing for, since Mom never shouted. That was Daddy’s thing. Mom was more fond of jeering insults, crying jags, and dramatically leaving the room, all of which tended to drive Daddy’s temper through the roof.

Belly-crawling to the balustrade she peaked over and watched them below.

“I will NOT stand for this one SECOND longer! You will NEVER bring up that woman’s name or her brat in my home ever again, do you hear me? How could you disrespect me this way?!”

“Disrespect you? That would imply I ever had any respect for you, Theresa.”

CRASH!

Mom threw her prized Tiffany vase against the wall. Daddy raised a dark eyebrow the way he did when one of his men didn’t do what he told them to do fast enough.

“Maybe the stress of the new baby has you—”

“Don’t you dare – don’t you DARE, Mickey! This has nothing to do with our son and everything to do with your BASTARD! Do you know how much I tried to be a good wife, to ignore the fact you had that gumare, that whore, on the side? That you preferred her company to mine? That you gave her your firstborn son and you barely touched me?”

“You know exactly why I married you, Theresa. Don’t play coy at this late date. It was a mutually beneficial agreement, nothing more than a business deal with added benefits. But after the trial, I tried my best to patch things up with you, to devote myself to the family we agreed to make together.”

“Bullshit! You only tried for a baby to suck up to my father because he was so furious with you for not putting a muzzle on that snitch bitch. I thought she was gone from our lives forever. Her and that boy. I thought we had a real chance finally. This whole time you’ve been looking for her. This whole time!”

Mom’s voice broke on the last word. Daddy turned away and scooped his Lexis keys off the Italian marble vanity.

“It doesn’t matter what you say, Theresa. I’m going to get my son. I’ll have my lawyer send over the papers. But understand, the children stay with me. You try to fight it and you will regret it.”

“Not for nothing, but my lawyers are gonna take you to the cleaners, you know that, right? You were nothing without me and my father. Nothing!”

First, I Love You (Downey #1)

“Never make the mistake of not protecting your own interests, Kiki.  Now, Frank is understandably devastated at this turn of events and the horrible impact it has had on his wife and children, but we have to stand by him in his time of need.”

“Mom, I am standing by Jessica and I’m standing by you, but can’t you see how he’s put himself into this position? It’s not like he’s actually innocent here!”

Theresa snatched Kiki by the arm.

“You watch what you say! It doesn’t matter whether he is innocent or not, Kiki. It only matters we are family. Family stands by each other no matter what, unless we’re talking about rats. Rats like your father’s little putanna and her bastard spawn. He stood by her and that fucking cop and it’s led us to this spot right here. Him hiding out in some third world country. Let that be a lesson to you, daughter.”

Kiki stared in horror at her mother. Any thoughts of telling her mother she was pregnant left completely.

“Mom… Daddy didn’t do anything. He didn’t betray anyone! Is Frank saying that?”

“No one had to say anything, darling,” Theresa cooed, rubbing Kiki’s arms up and down. “I know how these things work. Perhaps better than you do. Now we’re going to go back out there and I will attempt to be civil to this man to make you happy and because I love you, but tomorrow as soon as you shake free of him we need to chat about how we can turn this situation to our advantage, alright?”

Kiki shook her head.

“Mom, I can’t—”

“You can. And you will. Frank’s defense team needs to know what the other side is going to hang their case on.”

“Mom, James doesn’t talk to me about work. It’s separate between us—”

“So separate that he just happened to work his way into your bed right after your father disappears? He’s obviously using you to help them find him and make him flip on your Uncle Frank.”

“Cousin,” Kiki muttered to herself.

“All I’m saying is return the favor, darling. It’s the least you owe your family. You think it’s escaped Frank’s notice that your father’s whore and his bastard just happened to be in town when this all happened? This Fed you’re dating obviously tried to use them to flip Mickey and when that didn’t work, moved on to an easier target. You. If your father does contact you, you tell me or Frank right away and for God’s sake, no one else! Especially not the Fed or Carlo.”

Kiki frantically shook her head.

Second of All (Downey #2)

At the door to his daughter’s nursery he paused and sent a quick prayer her mother would not be inside. As usual, his prayers went unanswered. Theresa sat in a rocking chair (not handmade, the best money could buy) wearing only a negligée and a look of practiced maternal contentment. She fooled no one in the room. It was his ritual every morning to come and check on his child before his run, and she knew it. With one long, outstretched, perfectly formed leg she rocked the bassinette (not the best money could buy, handmade with love) and smiled in welcome at Mickey.

He nodded without returning her smile, because it pleased him to deny her, and moved forward to gently lift his baby daughter out of her bed. Kiki’s wild chestnut curls were matted against her forehead from sweat and sleep. Her already deep brown eyes peeped open briefly, her pink bowtie lips pursed, and her little brow furrowed. She started wiggling and making demanding ‘uh-uh’ sounds.

“Shhh, little princess, mine,” Mickey crooned, peppering her face with kisses.

Kiki started laughing those deep, from the belly, baby laughs. He realized his morning whiskers must have tickled her and he grinned down at her innocent, joyful face.

“Da, Da, Da,” Kiki said and his heart jumped into his throat.

Her first words! Or were they? Who knew with babies? Seven months might be a little early, Mickey thought.

He remembered Tommy was almost a year before his first word, ‘Mama’…

Mickey frowned, swallowed, and forced himself – again – to not think of his lost son.

“I thought we might take Katherine to the San Gennaro—”

“No. Too many people,” Mickey interrupted.

Theresa’s eyes flashed and her nostrils flared.

“I’ve already discussed it with Dad. He thinks an outing as a family would be the best thing at this particular juncture. Frank agrees.”

“Oh, well if Frank agrees, I guess that settles it then,” Mickey sneered.

Kiki started squirming in his arms and he loosened his hold. He hadn’t realized he was gripping her to his chest in a close vice. He rubbed his hand up and down her little back and she nuzzled her face against his chest. It calmed some of his agitation and he walked with her to the bay window.

Theresa said nothing more, but he could hear and feel her approaching. She ran one tickling fingernail along his back. He stifled the shudder.

“Michael—”

“Don’t call me that,” Mickey interrupted with fury. First, waking to thoughts of Tommy then she had to remind him of… her.

She laid her hands flat against his back then patted him once briefly.

“I’m sorry. I forgot how much you hate your given name. Hey, you remember that one time when we were over at Lou’s as kids? He got you so worked up about your name that you gave him a broken nose, and his mother called your mother over and they started shouting right there in the street. Mrs. Luciano was all ‘you bettah pay for this doctor bill!’ and your mother said ‘well, since I’ll be payin’ for his bill ye might as well schedule him for some surgery to zip his big mouth oop because there’s no doctor in the land can fix stupid. Ye poke a tiger and that’s what yer gonna get, any baboon knows that.’ Mrs. Luciano was so furious and Maeve was just standing there all cool as an Irish cucumber,” Theresa finished the story laughing so hard she was almost snorting.

Mickey couldn’t help chuckling a little at the memory. Theresa came around his side and ran her fingers through Kiki’s hair then traced her nose as she slept on his shoulder.

“Let me put her back in her crib, and maybe I can fix us some breakfast?” Theresa said against his ear.

Mickey continued to look out the window pane at the manicured lawn and hoped his silence would be enough answer. As usual, Theresa didn’t take his unwillingness as anything but a challenge.

Third Time’s The Charm (Downey #3)

A Look at Kiki Downey, Professional Planmaking Mob Princess…


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Name: Katherine Anastasia Downey, “Kiki”

Age: 21

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York.

Current Residence: Chicago, Illinois.

Status: Fashion blogger for The Chicago Sun-Times, major shareholder in Downey Industries, controlling shareholder of the Giovanni Anastasio and Franco Bonanno trust funds.

Aspirations: High Fashion Event Planner, being taken seriously by anyone.

Hobbies: Museums, reading, “fiscal redistribution”, meddling, and driving James Hoffman crazy.

Parents: Michael “Mickey” Downey and Theresa Anastasio

Grandparents: Giovanni “Big Joe” Anastasio and Katarina Bonanno; Maeve O’Malley and Paul “Pauli” Downey

Siblings: Thomas “Tommy” GatesGiovanni “Joe” Downey

Significant Other: DEA Agent James Hoffman

~~~

[James] looked flatfooted and uncertain, the TV casting shadows across his confused face.

Good, [Kiki] thought, serves him right.

She was so utterly sick of people thinking they knew her, knew what kind of person she was because she was always in the spotlight. Because of who her father was, who her mother was, who her grandfather was, who everybody was, but never really seeing her.

First, I Love You (Downey #1)

Once in the limo, she sat the little figurine on top of the banker’s folder and got out her phone to call James. Then quickly changed her mind and decided she would just text James and tell him she had something to tell him when she got home. Which was adding an extra unnecessary step of mystery, but James was probably used to that by now. Her phone was blinking a message from Tommy:

Kicks, the silent treatment is getting old. How am I supposed to know what I’m kicking James’ ass for if you won’t tell me? Sending you a care package, she bakes great brownies. I love you, Tommy

…Forgetting all about telling James – she would have Mary to talk about it with soon – Kiki decided to throw her brother a bone:

How’s Ginny? Tell her I have some shoes for her since I won’t be able to wear them in a few months. –K

Ha, Kiki thought, let him stew on that. Served him right for thinking a text message could substitute for calling her back like he had promised.

Second of All (Downey #2)

Kiki jumped and turned. She placed a hand to her racing heart and caught her breath at the huge grin on her fiancé’s face. She met it with one of her own.

“We’ve got to stop meeting like this, Agent Hoffman.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s my line,” he answered with a chuckle.

He slid the panel shut behind him except for a finger-width crack that let in just enough light for him to find her at the bottom of the four steps. She figured he might want to steal a kiss or several but his face became serious.

“What’s really going on here, Katherine?” James asked softly. …

“James, I don’t know what’s going on between Tommy and Daddy or you or Ginny. Grandmother and I are just working on a way to get Daddy and Mary together for good. I swear that’s it.”

James closed his eyes and groaned.

“Seriously, what is the longest stretch of time you’ve gone without a ‘plan’, woman?”

“Mmn, I think the length of time between birth and the ability to crawl,” Kiki replied cheekily.

Third Time’s The Charm (Downey #3)

SPECIAL DELIVERY (A Kiki & James hotshot from First, I Love You) 18+NSFW!


Special Delivery is a Kiki Downey & James Hoffman missing love scene from First, I Love You. (18+ NSFW!)

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Special Delivery can also be found in A World of Romance Anthology:

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SPECIAL DELIVERY

By Genevieve Dewey

Kiki Downey changed the wording on the last sentence of her blog post for what she hoped was the last time then hit . She was pretty sure her copy editor was only making her submit yet another draft to him because she had turned him down for a date again. He never cared what she wrote in her blog before and this nit-picking was the only change in the routine. She doubted he had developed a sudden love for wedding coordinations.

She crooked her head. On the other hand, maybe he’d finally found The One. Even a beady-eyed, sweaty-palmed rodent like him could find love.

She sighed. No, if he had found someone he wouldn’t have tried to grope her the last time she went over to the Sun-Times building. She really didn’t want to have to talk to the Editor in Chief about him. She knew for a fact her boss was terrified of Daddy and she liked to think she had this job because she possessed a keen sense of fashion and not because she had a mobster for a father… and grandfather… and cousin… and Godfather…

The knock on her door jerked her from her meandering thoughts and she popped up to answer it.

“Who is it?” She asked as she undid the bolt.

“Special Delivery!”

Kiki brightened. It was only a week past her birthday. Maybe it was a late present. She opened the door to see Agent James Hoffman with a smirk on his face. He slouched against the door jamb with one hand in his pocket, the other holding a take-out bag.

“You always answer the door without looking first?” James asked. “What’s the point of asking who it is if you’re just going to open the door for every Tom, Dick, and Harry anyway?”

Kiki let out a nervous giggle. Her heart started racing and she could feel her cheeks flooding with red. A visit so soon after their hook-up on Sunday? She slowly smoothed the front of her velour track suit—to make sure it was showing all the most important parts, of course—and opened the door wider.

His smirk morphed into a frown and he stopped the super-sexy broody slouch thing to walk past her into her apartment.

“Seriously, Kiki, you shouldn’t open the door without looking first. And you should keep your latch on, too,” James continued as he set the takeout bag on her coffee table.

Kiki sighed. She had enough men in her life being overprotective worrywarts she didn’t need her new… Hookup? Co-conspirator? Whatever he was… nagging her. She grabbed her hair and twisted it into a loop in back as she walked over to the divan and flopped onto it. She enjoyed the way his eyes followed her every move.

“I’ll keep that in mind… um… what was your name again?” she asked, trying hard to keep the smile from her lips. She tamped down the shudder of pleasure at the predatory look in his eyes.

He chuckled. “Play nice, kitty cat, and I might share. I only have a half hour before I have to be at the Federal Building.”

“Share what?” She purred, running the zipper up and down slowly on her track suit. “And you know you’ll never make it in time. Besides, it’s rather presumptuous of you to think I’d want to play anything. I’m a busy girl.”

“You want me to go, Katherine?”

She shivered at the use of her given name. Of course she didn’t want him to go, and he knew it. But she did have somewhere to be this afternoon, too. She was going to meet up with Tommy’s mother Mary. Mary’s support would further James and Kiki’s mutual goal of convincing her brother Tommy to let Daddy back in his life. James insisted doing so would help his and Tommy’s current case, but Kiki was only going along with it because having Tommy back in the fold—Detective or not—was the one thing Daddy wanted most. This sex-on-the-side thing between her and James was supposedly a separate thing entirely. She’d never dated a DEA Agent before; it’d be a nice change of pace being with one of the so-called ‘good guys’… assuming he wasn’t just using her.

Kiki hopped back up to grab the takeout bag and swing it playfully.

“So, what’s on the menu, Agent Hoffman? Taco? Clam? Sausage? Hot dog and a donut?”

His whole body shook from laughter. He snatched at the bag but she sidestepped him and deliberately rubbed up against his back as she danced away.

“Now, I know you haven’t forgotten my first name,” James drawled, turning around and shoving his hands back in his tight jeans. “After all, it was on your lips so many times the other night.”

His dimpled grin and twinkling eyes had her breath catching. He was so damn sexy even out of his formal wear. And the black shirt and leather jacket he was wearing with jeans seemed to highlight the contrast of blue eyes and black hair. He started walking toward her and she started backing up.

“How come you aren’t wearing a suit and tie? Isn’t that standard Federal Agent gear?”

“In general, drug runners don’t care how we look when busting their door down. All that matters is the gun and the handcuffs.”

“That’s kinda hot, maybe you should show me how that works sometime.”

He laughed outright then he shrugged out of his jacket and shoulder harness, all without stopping his menacing approach. Oh, please let him be for real, and not just another manipulator, Kiki thought. James made a grab for the bag but she hid it behind her and kept backing up down the hall. He only deepened the grin and started taking his shirt off.

Kiki bit her lip to keep from panting. Holy cow, he was… wow… ten times as amazing in the daylight. His hands swiftly unzipped his jeans and he managed to simply walk out of them and his shoes. She was so mesmerized by him that the crunch of the takeout bag smacking the end of the hallway wall startled her. She barely had time to register the thunk of it hitting the ground before his hand hooked behind her and yanked her flush up against him.

She frantically started to tug at her track suit. Why was she still wearing the damn thing? It didn’t matter anyway. He made short work of it and then she was soaring through the air in to her bedroom. She would have sucked her breath in at the swooping sensation in her tummy except his tongue was in her mouth and who could think about breathing anyway?

Her hands sunk into his short black curls and she wrapped her now naked legs around his waist. She thought he would set her down on the bed but he turned at the last second and sat on the edge. His lips finally left hers to explore her neck.

Oh, how she loved his neck kisses. It was some strange combination of kissing, licking and nibbling that made her feel like ice cream melting in July. She wanted him to lick her all over and eat her up. Literally. The way his fingers gripped her ass and pressed her up against his cock, his hot breath and his efficient mouth… this man played her body like it had been special-ordered just for him.

His tongue licked along her collar bone and he rubbed her wetness against his cock some more. His shaft was hitting her clit just right and he seemed to know when she was ramping up towards an orgasm because he would painfully grip her hips and stop just as she got there. She began to whimper from the teasing and he chuckled again, damn him.

Well, two could play that game.

She stopped gripping his shoulders and started running her fingers up and down his back in a half scratching, half tickling manner. He shuddered as her finger teased his crack.

“Say my name,” he demanded.

“Oh, how terribly cliché of you, Agent Hoffman,” Kiki snickered and licked her lips. She watched his nostrils flare a bit and he bit his lip for a brief moment. Then he stood up and tossed her on the bed. She rolled over to crawl further up the bed but he trapped her face down and straddled her, hands pinning her wrists. She could feel his cock prodding at her ass.

“James!”

“Ahhh…see? Now, that wasn’t so hard,” he snickered then started nibbling at her back.

It didn’t hurt at all, just sort of made her tingle all over. She squirmed underneath him and he let out a groan. He lifted one hand up and yanked the drawer open on her nightstand to grab a condom. Her heart was beating so fast in her chest her ribs ached. She wasn’t ready for any backdoor action if that was what he was going for. On the other hand, he had done things to her the other night no one had ever dared before and she had enjoyed every single delicious second.

He let go of her other wrist and raised her hips. His cock entered her and she sucked in her breath. No, no backdoor action yet, but she felt suddenly dizzy from the strange sense of disappointment that brought. No one had ever made her wonder or want to know what that would be like before.

Suddenly his mouth was next to her ear and he whispered, “I haven’t been able get the other night out of my mind. I can’t stop thinking about you.” His husky voice seemed to immobilize her. He licked her earlobe. “About all the things I want to do to you…”

His fingers trailed lightly along her sides and she squealed from the tickling sensation. Her legs trembled and she felt gooey and helpless in an erotic sort of way.

He licked along her spine as his hips set a demanding pace. She grabbed the comforter underneath her and pushed back so he would have better penetration.

“Katherine…” he let out in a sort of whispery groan. It was simply amazing how he managed to make such a stodgy old name sound sexy.

“James… please… I need to touch you,” Kiki said.

It was the truth; she needed to feel his strong chest muscles and watch his eyes as he came. It was the only time his face had betrayed any vulnerability with her in the short time they’d known each other. And really the only time since she’d met him Saturday that she had felt even remotely in control.

He let out a quick breath and pulled out. He flipped her so fast her hair got caught but the pain of it left her as soon as he entered her again. She was denied the pleasure of watching his face, though, because his mouth was on hers in a bruising, ferocious kiss. She moved one hand to his head to yank on his hair, and the other to his ass to rest a finger between his cheeks. His mouth left hers and she could hear his breath hitch.

“God, stop, baby—I can’t—I won’t be able—” He struggled to get the words out. His pace doubled and his face cramped up in a panicky expression.

She knew he was about to come and was fighting it. The way he needed her was nothing short of intoxicating. She clamped her muscles around his cock and came apart watching his face battle for control.

He groaned with his own release and it vibrated against her body.

“Ahhh,” she sobbed as the force of it had her coming a second time. She gripped his hips and pressed him against her one last time to keep the waves of sensation coming.

His arms holding himself up were trembling slightly and he dropped his forehead to hers. He let out a shaky laugh then kissed her quickly and rolled off.

Kiki stretched lazily like a cat, enjoying the soporific after-glow.

James sat on the edge of the bed and grabbed his underwear.

“Shit,” he mumbled as he looked at his watch.

“What?”

“Gonna be late,” he muttered as he quickly started gathering his clothes.

She sighed. So much for any post-coital cuddling. She followed him into the living room, not bothering to get dressed. Let him see what he was leaving, so he’ll come back for more, her mind whispered. It sounded a bit like her mother’s voice and that was more than a little disturbing so she plastered a cheerful, carefree, don’t-worry-about-me mask on her face.

He was dressed and fastening his holster in record time. He checked his phone with a frown, face otherwise completely free of emotion. He looked up briefly as he turned the knob on her front door and a quick blink was the only reaction to her still being naked. He flashed that devastating grin.

“Call you tonight?” he asked and shut the door before she could answer.

Kiki blinked at the door in the sudden silence. The door opened again.

“Latch the door,” James said and slammed it shut.

She sighed and retrieved the take-out bag from the hallway. She looked inside it and saw her favorite Portillo’s sandwich.

Bring her something, followed by a quickie? Check.

Immediately after, consult watch and phone for work? Check.

Ambiguous promise of future hookups? Check.

Yeah, so far, dating a Federal Agent wasn’t too much different than dating one of her father’s ‘employees’.

The bright side?

The sex was amazing and unlike the men who worked for Daddy, she wouldn’t ever have to worry about sending him care-packages in the clink. And if James was using her, well, she could tell herself she was using him as well. Plus, she perked up, they had known each other less than a week and he had already sent her half a dozen texts, had sex with her at least that many times, called her once, and made her breakfast. Come to think of it… this might be her first ever real grownup-type relationship.

She smiled and grabbed her phone to call Mary.

It was time to get cracking on James and Kiki’s ‘mutually beneficial’ plan, and maybe she could get all of her wishes.

–Copyright 2013, Genevieve Dewey

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Shenanigans, and love scenes, and flashbacks, oh my!


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I put up this poster on Facebook the other day to mixed reviews. What do you think? Some think it is too soft for the series, and they have a point. I was thinking that at the heart of the series (no pun intended) is love and family, so that was the theme I was going with. I’d really love more opinions before I go to the expense of making posters to give to fans. Thanks!

On a related note, have you read all of the supplemental scenes? If not, here are the links that can always be found on this website. I hope you are busy reading Third Time’s The Charm; I cannot wait to hear your opinions!

Downey Series Missing Scenes:

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NEW BEGINNINGS (A young Tommy Gates Flashback)

This short scene features a young Tommy Gates and Kyle Anderson (from Bird Day Battalion & V-Day Aversion) and is set shortly before the flashback scene in the first chapter of First, I Love You in which Mickey finds Mary & Tommy.

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HER PRINCE (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

This scene features a nineteen year old Mary Gates, freshly arrived in New York, talking with her new best friend Claire (Anderson) Underwood about the mysterious new man she started seeing, Michael…something or another.

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CONVERSATIONS AT 30,000 FT (A Maeve Downey & Ginny Sommers Missing Moment)

This is a quick missing moment from Second of All set aboard the flight to Dublin that both Maeve and Ginny are on. Don’t read if you don’t like spoilers!

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LETTERS FROM MICKEY DOWNEY (Letters Mickey Downey wrote to his loved ones)

These are the letters referenced in the Downey Trilogy that Mickey wrote to his loved ones over the years. In the books, the reader rarely gets to see the contents of these letters so I have begun sharing them as Wednesday blog posts. Check back as I add more.

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THE GOOD LIFE (A Dominic Valentini & Katelyn Anderson Flashback)

Right now this flashback is the prologue to the Dom & Kate novel “The Good Life” but it is possible it may not make it in. It will stay here in any case.

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SPECIAL DELIVERY  (A Kiki Downey & James Hoffman Missing Moment from First, I Love You)

A love scene shortly after James and Kiki first “hook up” as Kiki puts it. — Warning! 18+ For Sexual Material!  Published in A World of Romance Anthology

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SECOND CHANCES (A Mickey Downey & Mary Gates Flashback)

This is a flashback to when Mary tells Mickey she is pregnant with Tommy, and Mickey persuades Mary to be his mistress. — Warning: 18+ For Language and Brief Sexual Material!

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#ThirdTimesTheCharm: A Letter from a father to his baby daughter


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The following is a letter referenced in Third Time’s the Charm;

He let go of Kiki and fished a letter out of his pocket…

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Dear Princess,

I am writing you this letter on the occasion of your seven month birthday. Why seven, you ask? Seven is a lucky number and I want as much luck infused into this letter as I can get. It’s actually my third attempt. The first was a bit too combative I think, a failure on my part to acknowledge the inevitability of certain things. The second, I dwelt a bit too much on other things I’ve lost and which should never be your concern. And so here we are, third time’s the charm, as they say. 

I’m going to hold on to this letter until you are grown and ready to start your own family. Which I hope is long after my death. Just kidding. Today your mother wants to take you to Festa di San Gennaro which I think is a horrible idea because my mind spins with all the possible ways you could get hurt by the crowd or scared by all the noises and scents. When you have your own babies I think you will understand how consumed a parent can get with protecting their child, and that brings me to the point of this letter. I want you to know that I love you far beyond any earthly want or need and that as long as it is within my power–even if that power is only my two bare hands–I will do my best to protect you from harm.

The day I give you this letter, or have it given to you, will be the day you have found someone who will love and protect you as much as your father can. I do hope I will give you this letter someday because even at seven months old I can tell you deserve nothing less than everything your sweet, joyful heart desires. I truly believe you are a gift from a God who has no reason to give a man such as me anything. But I will cherish every moment with you until the day I give you away to another and then I will cherish the memories I have of you.

Please know, in this life and the next, I will always watch over you and love you.

Your loving father,

Mickey.

Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

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An excerpt from First, I Love You (Downey #1) |#asmsg #bynr #Oct #amreading|


Getting impatient for Third Time’s The Charm (The Downey Trilogy #3)?

While we wait for October 31st, I’m reliving some fan-favorite moments from First, I Love You and Second of All. This one from First, I Love You is the spark that started the “maelstrom of unexpected consequences” in the book’s description, ie, when James and Kiki first meet.

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“Kicks?” James asked.

“Tommy’s nickname for me. Because I love shoes so much,” she answered with a bite to her tone and a challenge in her face.

Oh, did the little kitten want to play? James thought.

He stepped right in front of her.

“You know, it occurs to me, Katherine, we could be quite useful to each other,” he said, smiling his most ingratiating smile and scanning her head to toe.

Hell, if a woman was going to go out of her way to wear so little, a man might as well enjoy the show, right?

James heard a throat clearing and remembered Ginny was still standing next to them. He turned his gaze from Kiki’s narrowed eyes to raise a questioning eyebrow at his colleague. She looked somewhere between flabbergasted and offended. On whose behalf? James wondered.

“Yes, Agent Sommers?” James asked, as polite as he could muster.

He still hadn’t gotten over her crashing the party on his own home field. True, he was also crashing the party, but again, this was his territory and she was supposed to be back in DC, not sweet-talking Detective Gates into a date. He had clearly underestimated her ambitiousness.

“You were going to show me the restroom, Kiki,” Ginny said pointedly.

Kiki was clearly flustered and unsure. She kept twirling a lock of her curly dark-brown hair and darting glances around the room. James wanted to press his advantage and didn’t appreciate Ginny blocking him, especially since they had made a pretty good tag team just days before. He needed to convince Tommy to get Downey on board or at least to use his connection to gather information, and Kiki was another way to accomplish this, maybe even an entirely different route in. But here was Agent Sommers trying to nip that in the bud. Was this a gender solidarity thing or did she think it was a dead end?

He shrugged his shoulders and walked around Kiki, deliberately stopping right behind her and leaning down so his head was next to her ear.

“It was nice meeting you, Katherine, but I don’t want to miss out on the next Act of this little family drama you created,” he said, smiling with satisfaction when she shivered a bit.

Her hair smelled like piña coladas, and he was surprised she didn’t wear any perfume…

–Copyright 2012, Genevieve Dewey.

 

ICYMI: The Kindle version of First, I Love You is currently ON SALE at Amazon for $.99 (Sale Ends October 7th)!!

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A Letter from Mickey Downey, Part Nine.


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The following is a letter referenced in Third Time’s the Charm;

He let go of Kiki and fished a letter out of his pocket…

~~~

Dear Princess,

I am writing you this letter on the occasion of your seven month birthday. Why seven, you ask? Seven is a lucky number and I want as much luck infused into this letter as I can get. It’s actually my third attempt. The first was a bit too combative I think, a failure on my part to acknowledge the inevitability of certain things. The second, I dwelt a bit too much on other things I’ve lost and which should never be your concern. And so here we are, third time’s the charm, as they say. 

I’m going to hold on to this letter until you are grown and ready to start your own family. Which I hope is long after my death. Just kidding. Today your mother wants to take you to Festa di San Gennaro which I think is a horrible idea because my mind spins with all the possible ways you could get hurt by the crowd or scared by all the noises and scents. When you have your own babies I think you will understand how consumed a parent can get with protecting their child, and that brings me to the point of this letter. I want you to know that I love you far beyond any earthly want or need and that as long as it is within my power–even if that power is only my two bare hands–I will do my best to protect you from harm.

The day I give you this letter, or have it given to you, will be the day you have found someone who will love and protect you as much as your father can. I do hope I will give you this letter someday because even at seven months old I can tell you deserve nothing less than everything your sweet, joyful heart desires. I truly believe you are a gift from a God who has no reason to give a man such as me anything. But I will cherish every moment with you until the day I give you away to another and then I will cherish the memories I have of you.

Please know, in this life and the next, I will always watch over you and love you.

Your loving father,

Mickey.

Read the rest of the letters here: Letters From Mickey Downey

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