SPECIAL DELIVERY (A Kiki and James missing scene from First, I Love You) #NSFW 18+!

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


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




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.


“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.


“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

FILYversion413   SoACoverVersion513   ThirdTimePreReveal

FREE READ|#asmsg #bynr #Mafia #FamilyDrama #Romance|First, I Love You Ch. 11




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.













Mickey sighed with satisfaction as he finished the last fine sanding of the figurine he had been carving. He usually worked on furniture, but occasionally he would challenge himself with smaller hand-carved pieces. He loved the awe he still felt when a piece of wood transformed itself into a work of art. It felt that way too; as if the wood had a mind of its own, an identity struggling to get out, and his hands and tools were merely the medium with which it transformed itself. When he was a younger man he would take months to complete what now took him only a few weeks. But back then he had been consumed with making money and the woodworking had been squeezed in as a way to decompress and allow him to be the family man he needed to be.

It was never as easy for him to switch gears as it had been for some of the other guys, or for his father. Maybe it was because he was more of a money guy than a muscle man, but still, it wasn’t as if he hadn’t had to do or be party to some things that just felt like it left a permanent sort of horror in his brain. The sort of thing that made a person feel like he didn’t deserve something as pure as a child’s adoration, or a woman’s loving touch. And truth was, maybe he didn’t. But selfish man that he was, he would continue to take his cake and eat it too, as long as God saw fit to let him roam the earth.

The shrill ring of the shop phone broke his reverie. He knew it would be Frank Bonanno. Right on cue.

“What you got,” he asked without the preliminaries.

“Listen, before I head back, was havin’ a chat with those friends of ours, and they’re fine with what I’ve laid out. As long as you do your part,” Frank stated curtly.

“I’m a man of my word, Frank. You know that,” Mickey tried to curtail the annoyance in his own voice.

These people, he thought, like vultures mated with a pack of African bees. Stand still and you get it, move and you get it worse.

“Your guest list Saturday before last was … interesting … to say the least. You understand their concern,” Frank stated more than asked.

“My son will always be included in my family events. If he chooses to bring a few of his playmates then it’s no different than Kiki inviting your daughter. I believe we discussed this matter at some length already, Frank. I’m just a retired financial and shipping consultant who likes to tinker in his garage. I’m not a threat to nobody. I didn’t even take my damn ball and bat and go home, I left it to yous guys and forgot what it even looked like,” he said, voice betraying some of the street they had both grown up on, instead of the cultured tones he had worked so hard at acquiring.

“I ain’t so worried about the boy or his pals, I’m sure you’ll handle that. I was referring to your female friend. Remember how that pillow talk ended up last time, Mickey. I’m sticking my neck out for you cuz we’re family. Right? Family. You know what they say, if you can’t get rid of the ticks yourself, you just have to get the dog dipped, capiche?” Frank continued.

Mickey counted to twenty inside his head. His hand trembled so hard the Dremel tool he held in it slipped out and clattered on the floor.

“Listen… listen…” Mickey gritted out half a decibel above a whisper. “We agreed. We agreed to this arrangement and my personal life is mine. I’ve stuck to the terms. You stick to yours. I stay out of your thing… you leave me mine. Or we will have a problem,” he ended, he hoped with enough ice and menace to get the image across of what he’d do to Frank if anything happened… if anything… He felt bile rise in his throat.

“Fine, fine,” Frank’s voice was jovial now, signaling an end to business. “Gotta run. Plane’s about to take off. It was good seeing you again, Mickey. I’ll be in touch.”

Mickey didn’t bother to say goodbye he simply slammed the phone down. He breathed carefully and slowly to slow his pounding heart and racing thoughts. When he felt in control enough, he took his cell phone out and called his daughter.

“Lo?” She sounded breathless, like she’d just woken up.

“Wake up. It’s the middle of the day, princess,” he said as calmly as he could muster.

“Oh! Daddy! I – no I was just… thinking… about my next article,” she answered evasively.

He pursed his lips. He sincerely hoped the girl didn’t have another one of her boyfriends over. Though at twenty-one, he supposed she wasn’t a girl anymore.

“Well, I was just checking on you. Would you like to meet for lunch?” Mickey asked.


He could hear rustling in the background and a distinctly male chuckle. He tried to contain his irritation. The mood he was in, it was a good thing he had called before dropping by or some soon-to-be-sorry asshole would be getting his dick rammed into his teeth.

“Well, it is the middle of the day. In the middle of the week. I thought you could see if your brother wanted to meet us somewhere,” he suggested.

“Tommy already had lunch. I mean – I’m pretty sure they’re breaking for lunch right now, so by the time you get here… How about another time instead?” she ended.

Mickey couldn’t recall the last time his daughter had given him the brush off. Frank’s threats had him on edge, and he started to wonder just who was with her.

“Are you alright?” Mickey asked urgently.

“Of course! Daddy, what’s the matter?” Kiki asked, worry evident in her tone.

“Nothing you need concern yourself with, sweetheart. But I did want to ask you, I know you and Mary spent some time with each other last week. I was wondering—”

“Daddy, for heaven’s sake! Just call her already and stop using everyone else for updates. And the same goes for Tommy. This is getting a little ridiculous don’t you think?” Kiki interrupted.

Mickey was silent. First she brushes him off, and now she was interrupting him and making demands? Who was this girl?

The chime on his doorbell rang in the silence. He looked at his security monitors and saw Tommy standing at his front door. Had the world gone mad? First, his sweet loving daughter was being snippy and now his estranged son was actively seeking him out in the same day.

“I’ll talk to you later, princess. Someone’s at the door,” he said and hung up.

As he walked through the house to answer the front door, he texted Carlo:

Put a man on my p. Report all people.

“Hello Tommy, what a pleasant surprise!” Mickey said as he opened the door. Strange how much it still made his heart ache for those days back in Brooklyn every time he saw his oldest child.

Tommy looked hesitant, but he nodded and came inside. Mickey motioned for him to join him in the study just off the foyer. Once inside, his son made no secret of examining the room, but kept his hands in his pockets.

“Would you like something to drink? Have you eaten? What brings you here? Not that I mind, I’m happy you came, very happy…” Mickey stopped himself before he said any more.

He felt incredibly off-balance between Frank’s call, the one to Kiki, and Tommy’s surprise visit. He hated that feeling of not being in control. Hated it.

“Went to supper with Mom and Kiki last night,” Tommy said.

Mickey nodded. He knew that, of course. He had someone who kept an eye on Mary at all times. He knew where she went and what she did and who she met. And he knew she knew that he knew these things. It was almost like she was taunting him these last few weeks with her activities. He wasn’t sure what she was playing at, but he could practically hear the words ‘Game On’ in his head.

“They both figure that we… that is, you and I…” Tommy started to say, frustration and irritation clearly evident in his voice.

“Ah, I see. Plan A didn’t work, so we’re on to Plan B? First, Kiki rooks Joe into some convoluted plot, and now she’s guilting your mother into doing her dirty work as well?” Mickey interjected. He sighed. This girl of his. He didn’t know if he wanted to shake her for her interference or hug her close for always, always, having his back.

Tommy was half glaring at him, lips pursed. Then he, too, let out a sigh and shrugged, running his hand through his hair.

“Truth is, my mom had already mentioned something to me a couple times before last night about spending more time with you while I’m here. I think I’ve been soundly outvoted here,” Tommy said, still sounding agitated.

“And you hate that, don’t you?” Mickey asked with a smile.

This boy was so much like him sometimes it was uncanny. But he knew instinctively that would be the last thing he should say to him right now. He walked over to the wet bar in the study and fixed an Old Fashioned. It was 5:00 somewhere. He got a cooled bottle of water out for Tommy from the mini-fridge and handed it to him. Tommy was watching his movements with a wariness and body language that spoke of fatigue.

“I’ve made no secret of my desire to have you be a part of my life. Everything’s been said, what feels like a thousand times over by now. But the last thing I want is you standing in my home against your will. Out of some sense of obligation to the people you do actually care about. It pleases me to see you, but it pleases me to see you happy most of all. What would make you happy?” Mickey asked softly.

Tommy looked down at his bottle in his hand, then back up at Mickey through the fringes of his hair, and then looked away again. He didn’t answer, but he took a drink from his water and walked to the Chippendale desk in the corner of the room. Tommy fiddled with Mickey’s Al Capone bobble-head someone had given him as a joke when he first moved to Chicago. It was difficult, but Mickey bit his tongue and waited, giving Tommy the space he needed to answer.

“If I didn’t care it would be easier, wouldn’t it?” Tommy finally answered, still not looking at Mickey.

Mickey remained silent, such was his shock at hearing his son say he cared about him. Or is that what he said? Maybe by ‘cared’ he simply meant ‘cared to never have anything to do with you ever’. His confusion kept him mute.

Tommy finally turned and looked at him. “It’s not like we’re strangers. Like we just met or something. We have… loved ones in common. A shared history; a few fond memories, though long ago. We’ve spent a couple holidays and family events together. But it’s not as if we’re close either. We don’t really know each other except for facts on a sheet and a superficial understanding of likes and dislikes. And, yes, that has been intentional on my part. I’ve told you why. I haven’t been able let go of my anger at you for what you put my mother through, and I can’t help but think,” Tommy stopped and ran a hand through his hair again. “What’s the point of getting to know you better? I’m still a cop and you’re still a man who has zero respect for what I do for a living. But I’ve never claimed to be indifferent. Of course I care. I care that my own father loves me, but I also care that he obviously doesn’t respect me—”

“Now hold up just one second, son! I do respect you. I am very proud of you, and of the man you’ve become—”

“I care that you make me feel important and valued but treat others—”

“It’s true I don’t have any faith in law enforcement—”

“—with such breathtaking callousness and cruelty.”

“—or the justice system but I admire your dedication to it. I admire—”

“I care that you lavish us with obviously heartfelt gifts with money stolen—

“—that you are a good person and a good example to your—”

“—from ‘dedicated’ and ‘good’ people who fear you—”

“Enough!” Mickey shouted.

The bourbon in his glass spilled all over his trembling hand then dripped to the worn wooden floor below. His stomach churned with tension and residual panic, and far from calming his nerves, the alcohol seemed to be ramping up the suffocating sensation of powerlessness that had threatened at the edges since Frank’s call. For years he had called all the shots. For years he had commanded respect from everyone around him. But with the one man whose respect he was so desperate to earn he was completely ineffectual. Everything was hanging in the balance on every front, and he couldn’t guarantee that a few loyal men and few billion dollars would be enough to protect his children and the woman he loved. And he had given all that power up for this man – this man! – who refused to even see him as anything but the sum of his worst actions.

Mickey took a deep breath and forced his voice into a semblance of calm. “Answer the question, Tommy. What would make you happy? How about you just answer that question and be done with it,” he demanded, setting the drink down without taking his gaze from his son’s eyes. Eyes so like his own, bloodshot with emotion.

Tommy’s Adam’s apple moved up and down and his jaw worked. His voice was choked and hoarse as he said, “I promised my mother that I—”

“God DAMN it! I asked what YOU want! YOU! Only YOU!” Mickey shouted, accidentally knocking the stained glass lamp next to him in his agitation.

It crashed to the floor, the light bulb flickering, glass breaking. Tommy stepped back. Mickey closed his eyes and gripped the chair next to him, stilling himself and his emotions the best he could. When he opened his eyes he expected to see fear or disgust in Tommy’s face, but all he saw was something akin to marvel or curiosity. A kind of far-off look, like he was thinking about a particularly confounding puzzle.

“…‘for the first time in his life he put someone else’s needs’…” Tommy whispered.

“What?” Mickey asked, feeling utterly and completely exhausted at this point.

“And you’re actually retired?” Tommy asked, eyes still looking through him.

“I – what?” Mickey asked again, now completely lost, as well as tired.  And it was only the middle of the damn day. He knelt down and started picking up glass shards.

The first bars of ‘Woke Up This Morning’ by Alabama 3 started playing on Tommy’s phone. Mickey’s head jerked up and the absurdity of his son choosing that ringtone, combined with fatigue and alcohol, forced a laugh out of him.

“You kiddin’ me?” he asked and Tommy grinned awkwardly at him.

“Detective Gates,” Tommy answered into the phone. The grin left his face as he listened. “I’ll be right there.”

Tommy put the phone back in his pocket and bent eye-level with Mickey. Mickey met his gaze feeling nothing but numb, and braced himself for another rejection.

“For the record, I don’t think this is going to work,” Tommy said.

“Duly noted,” Mickey said with a nod.

“But… I’m willing to try. And since you asked, it would make me happy if you tried as well,” Tommy said softly.

Mickey sat back on his haunches and watched his son walk out the door.

“Well, what the hell does he think I been doin’?” he said to the silence.

–Copyright 2012, Genevieve Dewey.

read on… Chapter Twelve, “Ginny”.

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FREE READ #asmsg #bynr #Mafia #FamilyDrama #Romance: First, I Love You (Downey#1), Ch. 10 “Mary”




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.












Mary enjoyed the cool feel of cucumbers on her eyelids, and was struggling not to giggle like a schoolgirl at the decadence of it all. It wasn’t her first spa treatment ever, but it had been so long since she’d had one that she felt like a young girl again instead of a middle-aged woman with a grown man for a son.

No, not middle-aged, that sounds so old, she thought. You’re only forty-five, for crying out loud.

But she was certainly the mother of a grown man. A grown man who clearly was having trouble accepting she had a life outside of being his mother, and more damning still, clearly thought she was as gullible as a goose. On the contrary, Mary knew that Kiki was up to something when she got that phone call, but she figured it was something more along the lines of Michael would just ‘happen’ to show up at their intimate dinner… or some such. She didn’t expect the big party, she had miscalculated that, but she did realize that Kiki had something she was planning.

It was both gratifying and strangely disappointing that Michael had clearly been as out of the loop as she was. But, Kiki’s idea of coming to Chicago and having a relaxing, open-ended vacation had sounded so pleasant, so extravagantly self-indulgent. And in exchange for the idea of an all-expense paid trip to see her only child, plus her old friends Jack and Claire, Mary was willing to play along with whatever shenanigans the girl was up to. If that meant running into Michael, so be it. Better to run into than run away.

She felt like she had spent most of her life running from something; from her family’s expectations, from her stifling small town, from Michael’s life, from herself. She made the choice to accept Kiki’s offer because she felt in her gut that something had to give. No real concrete explanation, just one of those weird tingles up the spine. There was so much unresolved garbage between her and Michael, between Tommy and his father, between all three of them really, that maybe Kiki’s idea had been a catalyst or something. Or maybe she just had delayed empty nest syndrome. But this morning when she was sitting in Mass at Old St. Patrick’s, she just knew in her soul she had made the right decision to come and to stay even after the disastrous birthday party.

Tommy had told her at breakfast that Kiki hadn’t even stayed the whole night. At her own birthday party! Mary hoped that Michael and Tommy hadn’t been harsh with her. She wished she could understand why she felt so protective of Kiki, since of course, she wasn’t her daughter, and she still to this day despised the girl’s mother. Maybe it was just there was something about her that reminded Mary of herself when she had moved to New York and met Michael. She had all that youth and energy, ready to take on the world with bright-eyed optimism and determination. Mary didn’t want to see the girl’s dreams, however naïve, get crushed under other’s cynicism like her own had.

“Explain to me exactly what the cucumbers are supposed to do?”

She sat up with a gasp, the cucumbers falling with a splat on her lap. She stared in shock at Michael lounging against the wall, still dressed in his Sunday best. Her mouth opened and closed like a fish.

“Now, talk about a racket, getting already beautiful women to shell out hundreds of dollars to lie on a slab with vegetables on their face,” he continued with that devil’s grin.

“Michael! What – what – how did you get in here?” Mary finally managed to get out.

She didn’t know what disconcerted her most; that she was sitting there with only a towel and a seaweed mud mask on, or that he had deliberately sought her out, no doubt with the aid of his daughter. Had she really been feeling protective of Kiki a moment ago? Nope, she was going to kill that girl!

He just continued to smirk at her.

“I asked you a question,” she struggled to say with as much dignity as one could with goo all over their face.

Michael jingled the change in his dress slacks, then removed his hands and walked over. She gripped the towel closer and scooted back. He frowned at her action.

“I just wanted to apologize again for my daughter,” he said.

“No need. Like I told you last night, I’m sure she meant well, and to be honest, I am enjoying having a vacation. It’s been years really. Tommy and I used to go to Worlds of Fun sometimes when he was younger or camping. But I haven’t really gone anywhere except back home to Massachusetts since he’s grown. No point in taking a vacation when it’s just you going,” she trailed off.

She cringed at her own babbling and attempted to still her hands kneading the towel. They’d made a child together for goodness sakes! Why was she so nervous? His eyes were focused on his shoes. He was still frowning.

“I’m sorry. I have you at a disadvantage. Why don’t you get dressed – the receptionist said you were almost finished in here – and we can meet for early supper in the restaurant?” he looked at his watch as he said it.

She released a short laugh. It was like going back in time with him. He was older and more distinguished looking, but still the same restless, presumptuous Michael.

“Actually, I was planning on meeting Jack and Claire for supper in Elmhurst,” she said, noticing the quick flash of anger in his eyes at the sound of Jack’s name. She couldn’t help herself and recklessly suggested, “You’re welcome to join us. Tommy will be there.”

She could see the gob-smacked look on his face at her inviting him to supper with the man that had come this close to putting him in prison, at war with the temptation to spend another evening with his estranged son.

The Devil must’ve made me do it, she thought with a smile.

“Where will you be dining?” he asked distractedly.

“Galway’s,” she replied.

He blinked. “That’s not a real restaurant, it’s a pub with food,” he said condescendingly.

“It has food and entertainment, and Claire said I will love it,” she said with her chin in the air, confident he would no longer want to come, if he ever had in the first place.

He narrowed his eyes, his lip slightly curling. She’d forgotten how much Michael liked a challenge and she squirmed nervously.

“Well, maybe I’ll drop by. Who knows? How long are you staying in town?” he asked, clearly no longer concerned with her lack of privacy.

“It’s… It’s open ended.”

She thought about lying, but figured Kiki would tell him anyway. He raised his famous eyebrow, or was it infamous?

“Can you afford to be away from your job so long?” he asked politely.

“I’m not sure what business it is of yours. Aren’t you retired from your job?” she deflected.

She didn’t know why she felt so defensive. Well, yes she did, but she didn’t know why she was still having this conversation with him and not kicking him out. He looked momentarily melancholy before he shrugged.

“I’m carving fulltime now. Keeps my mind and hands occupied,” he said as he headed towards the door.

He paused with his hand on the door handle then looked back at her over his shoulder.

“Maybe you and Tommy could drop by and see my shop sometime. I live in Oak Park these days,” he said, with a tone that suggested he, too, was feeling defensive. Then he left, shutting the door softly behind him.

Mary sat silently for a while and pondered if her courage would fail her now. She wished she knew what the right thing to do was. Stay? Go? Let him in? Push him away? She was still fussing on the conundrum that was Michael Downey when she met with Jack and Claire at the pub later.

He didn’t come.

And she couldn’t figure out why that bothered her so. It seemed as if he was always making subtle overtures, but never actually made a move. Like a lion pacing back and forth behind the bars at the Zoo, waiting… just waiting. Was he waiting for her to make the first move? Yes, that had to be it. But she had invited him and he didn’t show. Yet, he had invited her and Tommy to his home…

It hit her then with a sudden, forceful clarity. He wanted her to come to him. Wanted her to be the one to admit defeat, to surrender on his turf, on his terms. Was his pride that important to him? Or was it about revenge and humiliation after the way she left him? Maybe he saw her as just a means to an end, getting Tommy in his life. It was a lowering thought and made her angry to think it. But if that were the case, she couldn’t understand why he would have stayed away, yet kept such a close eye on her. And if he thought she would just come crawling, he had another thing coming. She was done wondering. Done speculating. Done, done, done. Two could play that game. She started formulating a plan inside her mind and tried not to dwell on the fact it made her feel alive in a way she hadn’t felt in so very long.

At the end of the week, after having visited the major museums and gone on just about every tour the city had to offer, including the gangster tour, she dropped by the Federal Building to visit Tommy and Jack. It brought her such pride as a mother to see her son working so diligently on this case and with such a distinguished Federal agent like Jack. Tommy bustled her into the workroom and introduced her to his colleagues as if she were some honored guest instead of a former stay at home mom who tutored music for a living.

She was pretty sure Agent Sommers had a bit of a crush on her boy by the end of the chat. Not that she’d say anything, mind you. If there was one thing she’d learned a long time ago it was that men needed to discover things on their own. She wasn’t sure what to make of James Hoffman though. He didn’t seem to want to meet Tommy’s eyes but was otherwise very friendly and open.

After her visit, Jack and Tommy walked her to the front of the building.

“I’m glad you and Claire are enjoying living in Chicago, Jack,” she said.

“It’s different. Living in the suburbs makes it not so bad except around rush hour. Still on its worse day it’s got nothing on back home,” he chuckled.

She knew by ‘back home’ he meant New York. She also knew how hard it’d been for him to move from Brooklyn to Omaha with Claire when his wife had gotten so sick with cancer. The doctors were not giving her a very good prognosis on her Stage Four breast cancer and she wanted to be back with her family in Nebraska for treatment. He had loved living there in New York, working in Organized Crime, and the decision to transfer to Omaha came with a demotion for him. But with the case against Michael in shambles and his wife so sick, it was an easy decision. Amazingly, surprising even the doctors, Claire had beat the odds, and Jack had settled into a good life in Nebraska.

But after Michael ‘retired’ to Chicago, Jack had jumped at the chance for another transfer. It was like neither one of them could let go of that long ago case. Mary truly hoped Jack would be able to put it behind him. After all, she had a child with Michael; it was only natural that she couldn’t let the past go, but this need Jack seemed to feel to protect her from Michael seemed like a waste of his energy. If Michael was going to do anything to them he could have long ago. And she felt like he was telling the truth about being retired. So what was the point of keeping tabs on him anymore? But like she said, you couldn’t tell a man anything, they had to come around to it in their own way.

“So what’s the deal with your friend James, Tommy? He seemed a little nervous or jumpy,” Mary said as Jack walked back in the building.

Tommy laughed as he gave her an extra hug good-bye, “Oh, I don’t know. He’s good people. I’m sure he just has something on his mind, maybe that girlfriend he’s been ditching us to go see at lunch. He about breaks the sound barrier getting out of here and comes back practically purring. But now you mention it, he has been a little weird with me since Kiki’s party. Maybe he finally realized how rude he was being to her before you showed up and just doesn’t know how to apologize.”

Mary was surprised to learn he had been there because she hadn’t figured that Tommy’s colleague would be allowed at a Downey family event.

“What do you mean, rude to her?” she wondered. “I didn’t realize you all knew each other previously?”

“We didn’t.”

She must’ve worn her confusion on her face because he laughed again.

“Long story. Not important. He wasn’t there long anyway. What are you going to do with the rest of today?” he asked, obviously keen to change the subject.

“I’m sure I’ll think of something,” she answered. There was absolutely no way she was going to tell him her real plans. “Did you get a chance to see your brother again before he went back?”

“Yeah, man, that boy is growing like a weed, and he talks like he’s a Colonel already instead of a fifteen year old kid,” he said with a grin. It warmed her heart to know he was forming such a strong bond with his siblings.

“And your father?” Lord, but she hated that closed look he got on his face at the mention of Michael. It made her feel so guilty.

“He was there, of course. We went to the Museum of Science and Industry and then we all went to supper together on Joe’s last day. Don’t worry, I was on my best behavior,” he said, rolling his eyes.

“I’m sure you were, and don’t be sassy. I’m just asking because I want you to know I don’t mind if you want to, you know, continue to spend time with him while you’re here,” she said, brushing a lock of his dark hair from his forehead.

He looked at her for a beat. “Can I ask you something?” Tommy asked, looking preoccupied.

“Shoot,” she said with a smile.

“When did you realize he was involved with the Mob?”

She stared into his eyes. Was it possible they’d never talked about this? She took a deep breath. She owed him this, at the very least.

“Well… fairly early on, actually. We’d been together a handful of months when I ran into Theresa Anastasio at the church while picking up my choir music for Sunday mass. She was finalizing the last details on her wedding. Took great glee in showing me the Downey-Anastasio engagement photo they would place in the vestibule on their happy day. Michael never went to Mass back then, and I had no idea she even attended the same church. She knew about me apparently, but I had no idea about her existence in his life. That was the first time I broke it off with him. He begged me not to, said he hadn’t planned on falling in love with me, hadn’t wanted to hurt either of us, and he claimed that he was having trouble finding a way to end the engagement. I was young and naïve but not entirely stupid. I told him we were through. Then I asked my friend Claire if she knew anything about the Anastasio wedding and she told me that her husband – Jack obviously – was investigating Theresa’s father and the groom-to-be. She joked about having never sung at a Mob wedding, and it was a shame they hired some famous entertainer friend of the family instead of using our choir. It suddenly made sense to me what he’d said about not being able to find a way to end the engagement if he was afraid of her father and we’d only been dating for a few months. I was torn between sympathy for Michael – yes, sympathy, Tommy – and a sense of relief that I had ended it in spite of how much I’d come to care for him. But when I realized I was pregnant a few weeks later, I worked up the courage to tell him, hoping it might be just the thing he needed to make a clean break. Oh, don’t give me that look Tommy! I was nineteen! I was alone and pregnant. He said he loved me. But it was too late. They’d just gotten back from their honeymoon. But he promised he would take care of me. Foolish, foolish girl that I was, by the time you were born I had let him back in my heart and back in my bed. To be fair, he spent a lot of time with me and you. Way more than he must have spent with her when you factor in the work he did for her father. He did try and leave her a few times, but then she’d have some sort of breakdown and check herself into a hospital and he’d go right back to her for a little bit. I think you were two years old before I realized Theresa wasn’t really what stood in the way of our happiness. He didn’t go back to her out of love or fear. He was never afraid of her father. He wanted what her father had. He would never get a divorce as long as he needed her to get it. And yet, knowing this, I still chose to stay…” she trailed off as the waves of her memories seemed to choke her throat.

She didn’t even realize she was crying until Tommy wiped a tear from her cheek.

“And you actually want me to get to know this man better?” Tommy asked softly.

“Yes,” she declared firmly, straightening her shoulders. She watched his face battle consternation and frustration.

“Of all the crimes that can be laid at the feet of your father, the one thing he has always done right is love you unconditionally. I took you from him, without even giving him a chance to fight for you. Don’t interrupt,” she gritted out in her mom voice when he opened his mouth. “I kept you from him and he respected that, Tommy. For once in his life he put someone else’s needs ahead of his own. This isn’t about how he treated me back then or the mistakes we both made. This is about you getting to know the man I fell in love with. I believe he’s still in there somewhere. If you get to know him and, independent from your feelings about how you think he may have treated me way back then, you still decide that you want nothing to do with him, then so be it,” she finished.

The door opened behind them and James poked his head out.

“Are you just going to stand out here chatting with pretty ladies all afternoon?” he shouted at them.

Mary snorted and rolled her eyes. It was enough to break the tension though, and Tommy smiled at her as he walked slowly backwards towards the building. She waggled a maternal finger at James, blew a kiss to Tommy, then turned and went to retrieve her rental car. She had to see a girl about a man.

Kiki seemed almost giddy when they met up on Lakeshore just off Grant Park. She had a flush in her face and a smile a mile wide. They walked along the jogging trail together.

“My, what a twinkle you have in your eye,” Mary laughed.

“Oh, it’s just a nice day, don’t you think?” Kiki replied.

“Hmmmn, what’s his name?” Mary asked.

Mary was thinking whatever unpleasantness Tommy thought Agent Hoffman had to feel guilty over at the girl’s party a week ago was long forgotten by the birthday girl thanks to this mystery man. Kiki made a dismissive sound but dropped her eyes and worried her lip beneath flushed cheeks.

“I don’t know what you mean, there’s no guy. It’s just nice seeing you again. I’m glad we’re on the same page with Tommy and my dad,” Kiki said earnestly.

Mary let it drop, but she could tell when a girl was smitten. Hadn’t she been the starry-eyed girl once over Michael?

“So what’s the plan?” she asked, hooking her arm in Kiki’s.

Kiki looked surprised, but pleased at the gesture. “We just need to get Tommy over there. That’s all. Dad’ll do the rest I’m sure. You know how he is,” Kiki said as she sat on a bench by the yacht club.

Mary sat next to her and they watched the ducks toddle by in silence. She did know Michael, only too well. He had a way of saying all the right things, but it was the doing that she worried about. She wanted them to get to know each other better, but as much as she wanted her son to know his father, she wanted his father to truly know Tommy. Mary feared it would take a lot more than being in the same room for these two stubborn men to stop talking at each other, and start talking to each other. Of course, she was one to talk, no pun intended, as her current method of communicating with Michael was to not communicate with Michael. She figured she had sent the men he had watching her on quite the merry chase this week, and planned on having even more fun at his expense next week.

Maybe she’d feel bad about that later.


–Copyright 2012, Genevieve Dewey.

[Find out why “Kiki seemed almost giddy when they met up on Lakeshore…” in this missing James & Kiki love scene here: Special Delivery]

Read on… Chapter Eleven, “Mickey”.

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. 1 “Tommy”

For the month of January, I will post a chapter at a time of First, I Love You. That will be at least half of it–around 150 pages of the paperback book. I think this gives people a feel for the different style of writing I have in that book, which is written almost like a third-person memoir and each chapter is from the point of view of one of the six main characters. That’s tough for some to swallow as a concept, but a significant majority of those who’ve read First, I Love You have said they ended up enjoying it.

When I started it, I wanted the reader to get to know the thoughts and personality of these people in the first book before I hit the ground running with the story I had to tell. Second of All (Downey #2) and Third Time’s The Charm (Downey #3) have their own “feel” and “tone”, and the chapters are not constrained to each person as in First, I Love You.  Second of All contains a lot of flashbacks (ala Godfather II), and is more introspective and romantic than First, I Love You. Third Time has a more suspense feel to it.

First, I Love You was the first book I ever wrote, and telling that story was both cathartic and emotionally wrenching. As many authors have found out, there is a difference between having a story to tell and actually writing it. I have learned a great deal since the day I sat down to write First, I Love You in January 2012.

I am going to post the first three chapters today (in separate posts) since that is the standard sample size. Then I will post a chapter every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday for the remainder of the month. I hope you enjoy getting to know the Downeys, along with James and Ginny! If you are enjoying the story, please spread the word to your friends and/or add it to Goodreads! Thank 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.



Washington, DC

Warm breath billowed out in front of Tommy Gates as he stood outside the Hoover Building on a chilly February morning. He could feel his heart beating staccato and wondered, as always, at what point would the others’ eyes change from welcome camaraderie to mistrust, and sometimes, disgust. Even those that didn’t question his loyalties remained wary of what associating with him would bring. It made him feel like a little boy again, instead of a twenty-five year old man, standing to the side of the playground wanting desperately to be picked next. Wanting to fit in. To belong. To be part of a crew.

Guess that’s one thing me and the old man have in common, Tommy thought.

A quick puff of air warmed his face as he chuckled in humor. Ignoring the sick, squirming, uncertain feeling in his stomach every time he thought of his father, he straightened his shoulders and carefully arranged his face into a practiced mask of indifferent confidence.

“Fuck ’em,” Tommy huffed softly, and entered the building.

Past security, a sea of faces and bustling bodies blurred in his usually observant mind as he made his way to the room number written in an untidy scrawl on the back of a business card. He didn’t bother knocking and instead quietly slipped inside the room. It was a relatively small conference room with an oblong table in the middle, but no one was sitting at it. They were all standing along the walls, except for two men standing in front of a portable screen full of pictures and flow charts. At the front of the room, Agent Jack Underwood didn’t pause in his speech but his tired, intelligent eyes seemed to light up slightly at the sight of Tommy’s entrance.

No one else appeared to notice Tommy had arrived, or were too polite to make a point of it. Tommy took a moment to scan the room and assess the competition. Colleagues, he mentally corrected, colleagues. He could easily spot the Feds. He could always spot the Feds, even in this modern version of the FBI. There were about a dozen people in the room, including the two up front, and the Home Team were standing as a unit on the right side of the room, while three odd men out kept at least two feet apart from each other on the opposite side like they were waiting to be picked for Red Rover.

Some things never change, Tommy thought.

As Tommy glanced back towards Jack, he thought he caught a sardonic twinkle in the eye of the agent standing next to Jack at the front, as if he shared in the joke. Federal Marshal, maybe? The few he had met never seemed to recognize themselves as swimming in the same Department of Justice pool. It was doubtful he was a fellow lowly law enforcement officer sent here to be a cog in the wheel of yet another Joint Task Force for Patting Ourselves on the Back. He pursed his lips and mentally took himself to task. It wouldn’t do to start out the thing with a chip on his shoulder. He should be thanking his lucky stars his friend and mentor had listened to him, recommended him, no doubt fought for him to be here today. He was startled from his thoughts by the sound of his name.

“Tommy, glad you could make it! Everyone, I’d like to introduce you to my colleague Detective Thomas Gates of the Omaha Police Department. His extensive knowledge of Organized Crime and his underground contacts will no doubt be of great benefit to us. I’ve already briefed him on where our case stands. He’ll be working with myself and Agent James Hoffman of the DEA for the next few months in Chicago,” Jack Underwood said with a smile.

Jack gestured to the casually dressed man who had shared the conspiratorial look with Tommy. Agent Hoffman grinned, showing deep set dimples that seemed to accentuate his relaxed body language and the humor in his blue eyes. His dark complexion suggested some Middle Eastern or Northern African heritage.

“The Director has agreed to appoint Special Agents Dino D’Amato and Ginny Sommers from the Organized Crime Section to be our FBI liaisons here in DC.”

Jack nodded to a swarthy, sour-looking middle aged man on the Home Team dressed in a classic suit and a pretty blond haired woman around Tommy’s age, dressed in slacks, formfitting sweater, and the most impractical heels he had ever seen a cop wear. It wasn’t hard to guess who played ‘Bad Cop’ in their interrogations.

“Detective Gates, if you could come up here and give us a quick overview on what your department has been able to gather regarding the trafficking activity in your area?”

Tommy smiled at Jack and walked forward to stand in front of the mix of Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and a few select detectives that made up a newly formed human trafficking task force. Its members had been chosen from various larger task forces to assess the scope of a growing trafficking ring stretching from New York to Chicago along the lakes. The recent bust of a truck on the I-80 corridor in Nebraska carrying half a dozen pre-teen girls had clued Tommy in that the geographical scope of this ring was rapidly expanding. But the terrified girls weren’t talking, even with their Russian translators, and his boss at OPD felt there was no reason to suspect a larger, more organized operation was at play here. Were they being smuggled in? Perhaps. But sold on the black market? Tommy had no proof – yet – but a gnawing sensation in his gut told him that the two were connected.

But being newly made detective, against quite a lot of resistance, his ‘gut’ didn’t get much traction. Still, he was pretty sure the Russian Mafia were smuggling young girls and boys into and out of the country and using the well-trod drug routes to do it. This had to mean they were working with either the Drug Cartels or the US Mafia, maybe even both. He had bypassed the call to the Omaha division of the FBI and tipped off his old family friend, ‘Uncle’ Jack in Chicago. He knew Jack would take him seriously. Just as he had when Tommy had decided to become a cop, a dream that never would have happened without Jack’s pull. Looking at the curious, slightly skeptical faces staring expectantly at him, he thought of the only piece of advice from his father he valued, ‘When in doubt, bullshit ’til you believe it’.

It was later in the week, just as Tommy was beginning to relax, that the other shoe dropped. He and James Hoffman were walking side by side in front of Dino D’Amato and Ginny Sommers on their way to a favorite lunch hangout of the local law enforcement. Tommy was anxious to get out of DC and head to Chicago with Jack and James, but he didn’t want to jinx the progress he had made with the Task Force, so he kept up his mask of enthusiasm. They had just begun to hammer out a functional working relationship in their subunit in spite of the often clashing egos in the room and he desperately needed the connections and clout of the federal arm to bust this ring.

He didn’t mind Ginny and James so much, but Dino seemed to suspect there was more to Tommy’s story than the one he had carefully rehearsed when asked about his life back home. Dino just would not let up asking questions about Tommy’s background. Tommy had to give him credit; Dino was a good cop and could smell an obvious omission a mile away. Too bad he had all the charm of a horse’s ass.

“Is it just me, or is there a limo following us?” James asked, voice brimming with humor and a practiced sort of ennui.

Tommy frowned and kept his eyes straight ahead as he quickened his pace.

“Oh, well spotted. Not bad for a DEA slag,” Dino mocked.

“Look, can you two not bicker for five seconds? Aren’t we all on the same side? Isn’t this about interagency cooperation?” Ginny asked in a slightly breathless tone.

He could hear her struggling right behind him to catch up in her heels. Why the hell did she wear those damn things? Tommy thought.

“Which question should we answer first, Agent Sommers? Do we get milk and cookies after?” James bantered, turning around to her with his easy smile.

The man probably has the ladies falling all over him, Tommy snickered to himself and turned to share a grin with James. Unfortunately, turning his head towards James gave Tommy a clear view of the street and the limo in question and he knew with a sinking feeling it was the one he feared most.

He wouldn’t do this to me, he wouldn’t, Tommy thought.

“Best bets? Senator or ambassador. It’s a nice ride, right down to the bullet proof glass and the armor plated sides.” Dino said, dismissing the sleek black limo with a bored tone in his voice.

“Yes, Agent D’Amato, but as Agent Hoffman has already pointed out, it is following us. Why?” Ginny asked, showing the first signs of losing her perky attitude.

Tommy sighed and tried to think of a graceful way to duck his new colleagues – had he dared think potential friends? – long enough to put off the inevitable just a little bit. His scrambled thoughts were interrupted by the slow snick of a window being lowered.

“For God’s sake, son, are we going to do this all day? Get in the car, I need to talk to you,” Mickey Downey said, arching a dark eyebrow, his emerald green eyes full of implacable command. His cold gaze swept briefly over the Federal Agents and dismissed them just as quickly.

Tommy felt rather than saw the stiffened shock from Ginny and Dino as he stopped and faced his father. They moved behind him, but James remained where he stood between Tommy and the limo. Tommy knew they needed no introduction to recognize one of the most notorious mobsters – make that allegedly ‘retired’ mobsters – in the country. One of the few Irish mobsters allowed to rise to the highest ranks in La Cosa Nostra in New York. It was universally accepted this was due to his completely ruthless nature, ability to make scads of money, and the fact he was the son of a gangster who was the son of a gangster of the original so-called ‘Gangs of New York’. Michael Downey had grown up elbow to elbow with the most powerful men in the Gambino and Genovese Crime families.

His uncanny knack for making money without even trying earned him the nickname ‘Magic Mickey’ Downey. It had seemed only natural that Mickey marry the daughter of the Boss of the Gambinos, securing himself a lucrative but loveless path to second in command. When the RICO charges came down for Downey and his father-in-law, he stayed true to his code of silence and never flipped on his boss in spite of the bitter estrangement from his wife. It was the damning testimony of his mistress, Mary Gates that sent shockwaves through the community. Not that it was enough for a conviction. The jury conveniently deadlocked and Michael ‘Mickey’ Downey slipped through the system yet again. Mary Gates and her young son disappeared shortly after.

Thomas Michael Gates was not quite ten the first time his father came looking for him. To this day, he could still remember the suffocating smell of leather shoes and his mother’s stale perfume in the coat closet where she had hastily shoved him. He could see her through the crack pacing back and forth with the phone to her ear.

“Jack, Jack – you’ve got to get over here! He’s here! He’s here! How did he find us? Oh God—” she choked out.

The doorbell rang, echoing through the sudden silence. His mother never moved from her spot as if she had been frozen by one of the freeze ray guns in his favorite cartoon. The front door opened and he could hear the soft click, click, click of a man’s shoes on the faded linoleum of their small dining room and kitchen.

“What’s the matter, Mary girl? Cat got your tongue?” a gravelly voice purred.

Tommy couldn’t quite make out his mother’s face but he could hear the fear in her voice as she replied.

“What are you doing here? Why have you come? Why now?” she half sobbed.

“Where’s the boy, Mary?”

“Gone. He – he’s not here. I-I-I’ve made sure he’s somewhere safe. Somewhere you’ll never find him!”

Tommy frowned, thinking as far as hiding spots went, the coat closet across the foyer from the kitchen didn’t seem to qualify as ‘someplace you’ll never find him’. Assuming the ‘him’ was… well, him. Something was familiar about this man, he couldn’t place what, only knew that whoever he was, he was scaring Tommy’s mom. And as the resident man of the house – that’s what his mama always called him, her ‘little man’ – Tommy would have to protect her.

He looked around the closet and grabbed one of her fancy shoes she prized so much and inched closer to the door, ready to spring into action. He cracked the closet door open a small amount more as quietly as he could. The man’s back was almost hiding Mama from view as they stood on opposite sides of the circular kitchen table.

“There’s no sense in making this unpleasant, Mary. I am not here to hurt you. I’ve had a lot of time to think things through and I understand why you did what you did. Them damn Feds got to you didn’t they? Twisted things around like they always do. Always sneaking in and busting up families—”

“Is that what we were, Michael?! A family? I was your whore, nothing more!” Mama said hoarsely, then stepped back and clasped her hand over her mouth as if she’d remembered Tommy was only a room away.

“You were never that to me, Mary, and you know it! You were my life, my everything! You and Tommy were my refuge from that woman and her incessant demands. I could never please her, but with you it was easy, right, so damn good until you—”

“Until I what, Michael? Had enough? You chose to marry that – that – woman! For what? Power? Money? I was a stupid foolish girl to think you would choose me and our son! Time and time again you went back to her!”

“I had no choice, you know that!”

“There’s always a choice, Michael. Always. Well, I made mine. I chose my son over your stupid filthy business!”

“Where is he?” the man hissed.

Silence stretched on. Tommy could hear his mother’s labored breathing, stifled sobs, and the rustle of clothing as the man sat down at the kitchen table. He could see them both now in profile, Mama still standing opposite, holding herself as if cold. With a sigh, the man took an intricately carved wood pipe out of his overcoat, stuffed it with tobacco and flicked open a shiny lighter to light it. He seemed to gaze everywhere but at Tommy’s mother as he puffed on the pipe.

Tommy pushed the door open just a bit more so as to get a better look at this man, the tiny beginnings of memories tracing tingles on the back of his neck. He remembered that smell. He remembered… rocking on an old oak rocking chair while the big man read him stories, always with the funny voices just like Tommy liked it. He remembered the way the man would run his fingers through Tommy’s hair and say ‘see ya later, sport’ and kiss him on the top of his head before he’d leave.

He came and he went, Mama’s special friend. But he was always kind and gentle. This man didn’t seem nice at all. The man in his memories used to lay on the floor and play cars with him like Mama would never do. He used to tell Tommy silly stories and make Mama laugh with his funny faces and the way he’d nuzzle her neck. This man seemed… cold… distant.

But then he set his pipe down and looked at Mama.

“Mary, I didn’t come here to fight, or to hurt you, I swear. I came to make peace. How long did you think you could keep my son from me? He has a right to know his father. Boys need their fathers,” the man said, his voice tired and sad like Mama’s had been a moment before.

“Boys need love. And to feel safe. Better to have no father than one who would never, could never, put his son’s needs first.”

The man made a frustrated gesture with his hand.

“What are you talking about? The danger is over. I’ve talked with my ex-wife—”

“Oh, ho? Ex-wife now? Finally had enough did you? What does Dear Old Dad say about that?”

“He’s dead.”

“I – I hadn’t heard.”

“That surprises me. I would think your friends at the FBI would have kept you informed. I mean, don’t they take care of their little rats and snitches?” he sneered.

Mama jerked as though slapped. The man seemed to regret his words.

“I’m sorry,” he whispered, almost brokenly. “Maybe I drove you to it. Maybe they tricked you. It doesn’t matter anymore, because he’s gone and Theresa’s not going to fight the divorce as long as I continue to support the kids. We have two. A girl and a boy. Don’t you think Tommy deserves to get to know his brother and sister?”

Mama seemed to not hear his words, instead, stared out the window at the sprinklers futilely battling the browning grass on an already hot Nebraska August morning. Minutes ticked away and finally she said, so low Tommy had to strain to hear her,

“What I wouldn’t have given six years ago to have heard these words from you. But now?”

The front door opened with a bang.

Uncle Jack’s booming voice rang out, “Downey! Get the hell out of this house! Now.”

The man’s entire demeanor seemed to change. Gone was the pleading, tired father, and in its place a whole other man emerged, mocking and snidely cheerful like the older boys on the playground who would pick on Tommy after school.

He stood up, sauntering towards Jack and lazily drawling out, “Well, well, well, lookie who we have here. Mr. F – B – I, himself. How much they paying you to sniff around my son’s mother? Oh, they aren’t paying you to do that anymore, are they? At least that’s what I’m told. You do it for free, then? What’s that pretty little wife of yours say about that, huh?”

“Stop it!” Mama hissed.

Uncle Jack strode forward into the kitchen and calmly stood next to Mama. She seemed to lean into him. The man curled his lip and lazily popped his pipe back in his mouth, then turned so his back was completely toward Tommy. Uncle Jack’s eyes slid to Tommy’s issuing what felt like a silent warning to keep quiet. Tommy made no attempt to hide in the closet anymore, instead moved to stand just outside the door frame. He was sure that Uncle Jack would fix it. Like he always fixed it.

“Downey, I’ve asked you to leave,” Uncle Jack said firmly. “I can have the local cops here in a second if you choose to make this difficult. Mary may no longer be in Witness Protection, against my recommendations, but I won’t hesitate to have your ass locked up for harassment in a hot second. You’ve no rights to the child. You know as well as I do that his birth certificate says ‘unknown’ for the father. You never publicly acknowledged him. Even if you forced a paternity suit, the courts tend to place children with their mothers. Oh, you can smirk all you like, but if you were to bribe your way into custody, I would not hesitate to hide them from you so deep you would never find them. I don’t care if I have to call in every marker I’ve ever had to do it, I will. You once claimed to love Mary and Tommy. Do the right thing for once in your God-forsaken life and let them be.”

The man turned his head a bit and seemed to stare at Mama like was memorizing her for a test. Then, pointedly ignoring Uncle Jack, the man walked forward until he was within touching distance of Mama.

“I’m not trying to take the boy from you, Mary. I just want to be his father. You could come back with me. Come back to New York—”


Mama’s voice was firm, like it got when Tommy was whining for an extra cookie. She seemed to draw strength from Uncle Jack’s words and looked the man in the eyes. She didn’t seem afraid anymore, just resigned and very, very sad.

“No, we won’t come back with you, Michael. That part of my life is over now. Tommy’s better off here, with all his friends. We’ve made a life here. Without you.”

“You can’t cut me out of his life, Mary. I’m his father. He’ll—”

Tommy moved forward, still in his faded, too-small Transformers PJ’s, his Mama’s pointy shoe clutched in his hand like a weapon. The man turned his head enough to finally notice his presence. Tommy met his gaze as a thousand emotions he couldn’t even begin to define flooded through him.

“I – I – I dddon’t wanna go. And… and, you leave Mama alone,” Tommy finally stammered out.

Tommy straightened his shoulders and tried his best to look tough like Uncle Jack. His hand trembled. The man seemed to appraise him like a new item at the store. His eyes warmed and he smiled a slow, satisfied smile at Tommy.

“That’s a good boy, protecting your Mama. I’m proud of you, son. Do you remember me? Remember how I used to tuck you in at night, sing you songs?”

Tommy nodded. Mama let out a soft “Oh!”, clutching her chest. Uncle Jack frowned.

“But you don’t want to come home? You and your mom?” the man asked as he came towards Tommy and knelt down in front of him.

He smelled like sweet smoke and for a second Tommy remembered again what it was like to be rocked by him. Held safe and loved. Tommy looked at Mama and Uncle Jack over the man’s shoulder and thought of the new friends he was making in his new home. Mama had promised they would stay this time. He wanted to stay this time. And the man had made Mama cry and be afraid. He was pretty sure dads weren’t supposed to do that. Besides, it was Tommy’s job to protect Mama. He was her ‘little man’.

Tommy stepped around him and over to his mother. He put his free hand in hers and squeezed it hard.


The man – his father! – slowly stood and turned to meet his gaze. He looked sad again.

“Well, then, young man, I’ll make you a promise. And remember this: a man’s only as good as his word, and you have mine,” his father declared in a voice that was gentle and yet businesslike at the same time.

He held out his hand as if to shake and waited until Tommy put down the shoe and placed his sweaty palm in his large, calloused hand before continuing.

“I won’t take you from your home, son,” he said firmly. “But we will meet again, you and I. And I will always be there for you if you need me. Maybe that means nothing to you now, but someday it just might.”

His father’s hand felt warm and strong, and swallowed Tommy’s own trembling palm. His green eyes seemed to be glittering as he stared at Mama and Tommy for what felt like a long time. Then he dropped Tommy’s hand, turned and left without another word.

For months afterward, Tommy wondered and worried if he would come back and take him away from his mom. But he never did. Tommy began to imagine it had all been a dream except then the presents and letters started to come on his birthday and holidays and his mother would mutter under her breath and look scared again. It made him mad and he felt like he owed it to her to not open them.

But late at night, he would imagine what was inside, and what his father was doing. If he was rocking his other kids to sleep, telling them stories, playing cars on the floor. He wondered what it was the man did that had made Mama so scared she needed to hide. To cry herself to sleep after she thought he couldn’t hear.

He was eighteen when his father showed up again, standing at the back of the room on Graduation Day with two men Tommy had instantly recognized as bodyguards. Gone was the mystery of who his father was. He knew by then just who, and what, Michael ‘Mickey’ Downey was. Google was a mighty thing. Tommy had studiously ignored his presence, and instead focused on his beaming mother’s face sitting next to Uncle Jack and Aunt Claire. They were his family.

Surprise wasn’t a strong enough word for what he had felt when he came home from the school reception to see his father sitting at the gleaming new dining table his mother had scraped and saved for. In front of Mickey lay a neatly bound stack of eight years’ worth of unopened letters, stamped ‘Return to Sender’. His dark, almost black hair was just slightly tinted with gray at the temples and his vibrant green eyes seemed to sparkle at the sight of Tommy and his mother.

Mickey stood up and extended his hand, as he had done so many years before.

“Congratulations, son,” he had said with a smile, as if eight years hadn’t passed since they’d last spoke.

And now here Tommy was again, another handful of years later, staring at his willfully obtuse father and trying to fight through the mess of impossibly conflicting emotions he always felt when face-to-face with the man who had given him life. The man who had loved his mother deeply, but drove her to a life of desperation and fear. The father who was never a real part of his life growing up, but who had never stopped, from the moment he had learned of Tommy’s whereabouts, trying to forge a relationship. The mobster whose very lifestyle was everything Tommy despised.

“Son?” James asked, interrupting Tommy’s memories.

James was still standing sideways between Tommy and the limo, looking politely confused. Tommy met his father’s eyes and blew out a frustrated breath. He had read once that a sign of intelligence was the ability to hold two opposing ideas at the same time and still be able to function.

Tommy figured he ought to be damn near genius levels by now.

–Copyright 2012, Genevieve Dewey.

Read more… Chapter Two, “James”

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


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#ASMSG #BYNR Nov > NEW BOOK RELEASE: Third Time’s The Charm (Downey #3)


The Downey Trilogy #3

Adult Contemporary Fiction: Family Drama/Romantic Suspense



Once to Begin, Twice to Bind, and Third Time’s The Charm…

Of all the things Mickey Downey has accomplished in his life, successfully quitting his vices is the one thing he hasn’t been able to master. For the first time Mickey is free to have both Mary and Tommy in his life, yet he’s never been closer to being pulled back into the criminal world. While Tommy, Ginny and James work overtime to expose a nefarious plot threatening all of them, Kiki and Maeve Downey are hatching their own plots to make Mickey’s dreams come true. With shenanigans afoot in every aspect of Mickey’s life, he may be forced to pick up the weapons he promised Mary he would leave behind in order to protect his children. Can Mary finally accept he might never truly be free of it or will Mickey’s enemies once again succeed in tearing them apart?



It is necessary to read First, I Love You (Downey #1) and Second of All (Downey #2) prior to reading Third Time’s The Charm.

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And now, An EXCLUSIVE (never before seen) excerpt from Third Time’s The Charm:

When her gaze finally lifted to his, his face was blank. The only emotion vaguely present was resignation. The same little devil that had prompted her to invite him to supper with Jack and Claire on her last visit took over. She lifted her chin.

“I’ll stay with you. Ten minutes for every question you answer truthfully.”

“Why? So you can act outraged again and run away?”

“Run away?” Mary’s heart was running so fast in her chest her ribs actually ached. “I’m not running away. And I’ve a right to be upset with what you’ve told me.”

His eyebrows contracted faintly but he continued to stare at her blankly. She walked forward and grabbed the box from his hands. She knew it was his surprise at the action more than anything that had him letting loose.

“These are mine. You meant them for me. You might want to lie to yourself they were meant for you, but the lying to me stops today. Now,” Mary finished firmly.

She ignored the slightly outraged, stunned look on his face and marched towards the door.

“You want to know the truth, Mary?”

She turned back around at the marked anger in his voice. He had only rarely been angry with her. They had fought like cats and dogs that last year they were together but he had always fought with a detached sort of disdain and condescension, only rarely with anger.

He stood up slowly, his eyes burning, nostrils flaring.

“Well, here’s the truth, Mary, and don’t go crying because it’s not what you wanted to hear. I’m as sick of that as you are of the lies. The truth is I didn’t want to retire. Not the first time, not this last time, not ever. I moved mountains to try and be with you and Tommy and it didn’t work. Then I asked you what would work and did that, and all it’s done is put all of us at risk, and you’re still playing games. Tormenting me.”

“Tormenting you!”

“Yes, Goddamn it! Dates, conditions, games. Here’s some more truth, Mary. I hate being retired. I hate relying on Carlo and the fucking cops and I hate being good. I miss the rush of making money, being in charge, breaking the law. Is that enough truth for you? When will it be enough sacrifices for you? When are you going to sacrifice something for me?”

Mary thought maybe it was the trembling from her emotions but it took her several seconds to really grasp he’d said that. She continued to stand there for a full minute. How could he be so clueless?

“Sacrifice? Are you serious? I sacrificed my entire life to be your mistress. The first four years of our child’s life were spent living a lie. I sacrificed the joy of a family unit, I raised our son alone.”

“By choice.”

“I have been alone because I couldn’t risk anyone finding out who his father really was! I sacrificed my young and pretty years on the RUN! I sacrificed finding love and having a real family, having more children. Now I’m a dumpy middle aged woman with a grown man for a son. I just sold the home I worked myself to the bone to earn to move here! I sacrificed everything!”





About the Author:


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Genevieve Dewey is the author of The Downey Trilogy and the Downey spinoff short romances featuring Katelyn & Dominic (The Bird Day Battalion and The V-Day Aversion). She is a wife, mother, sister, friend and Anthropologist. She is also an unapologetic lover of chocolate, bourbon, high heels, guns, and spending hours getting lost in research. Gen lives in Nebraska with her husband and three children. Her books include:

The Downey Trilogy

First, I Love You

Second of All

Third Time’s The Charm

Short Romances

The Bird Day Battalion (Free everywhere!)

The V-Day Aversion

Coming Soon

The Good Life ( A Dom & Kate Novel)