Book 3 in the Crime Tells series.
"Have you ever wondered what it would be like with a woman we actually cared about? One who belonged just to us? One who wanted more from us than a good time... A woman we could have together or separately. One who saw us as individuals who came as a package deal? One who was waiting for us at the end of the day?"
"I like them easy and I like to share them with you. End of story, Benito."
Getting involved with any woman, much less one who might ultimately drive a wedge between him and Benito, is the last thing Dante needs, especially now, when his life is already in turmoil. The wealthy, influential family of a murder suspect he killed in the line of duty is portraying him as a trigger-happy vigilante, putting his career and reputation on the line.
But as soon as he sees Calista Burke--and witnesses Benito's identical reaction to her--he knows the stakes have just gotten higher and a lifetime of never risking his heart is about to be put to the test.
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Calista's Men by Jory Strong
Dante met his brother's gaze. Whatever was happening with Benito, he wanted it out on the table. "You've met someone?"
Benito's dark eyes, mirror images of his own, actually flashed with amusement momentarily, and then with surprise as his attention shifted to the bar entrance. "Not yet, but I'd like to."
Dante turned in his seat and his cock went from mildly interested to flat-out desperate, while at the same time his mind traveled from oh yeah at the sight of the dark-haired beauty to oh fuck when he saw who she came in with. "Shit."
The two women could almost be twins themselves except the one with the raven-black curls halfway down her back was just a little taller and oozed sensuousness while the one with the straight hair, the one who had Dante's cock pressing hard against his jeans, had an innocence about her that usually would have been more effective than a cold shower.
"You know her?" Benito asked, his cock thick and hard and straight as it strained to get past his waistband. He hadn't been with a women since the last one he and Dante had taken together, hadn't thought to seek one out either alone or with his brother--not that the need wasn't there, but it had changed and deepened until he knew a parade of easy, forgettable women wouldn't give him what he craved.
He hadn't intended to pursue a woman tonight. He hadn't even planned on bringing up the subject of women again until this mess with the shooting was over. He'd planned only on trying to persuade his brother to take over part of the Giancotti Security operation.
His intentions changed the moment the dark-haired woman walked into the bar and his heart tripped into an unsteady beat while his cock rose to rigid attention. He couldn't make out her features clearly, but she looked delicate, soft, with gentle curves that made him think of intense sex--followed by a lingering warmth instead of the usual need to disentangle and distance himself. "You know her?" Benito repeated, his eyes moving to Dante and seeing the lust riding his twin.
"The one with the long curls is Lyric Montgomery. Now Burke. She's married to a vice cop."
Benito gave a slight shake of his head confirming what Dante already knew. It was the woman with Lyric who had caught his brother's attention. "What about the other one?"
"I don't think I've seen her before." He shrugged. "But I don't spend a lot of time down here."
They watched as the two women found a table, then frowned identical frowns when a blond man sporting a ponytail just as long as Benito's joined them, receiving a hug and a kiss from both women before he sat down.
"I want to meet her," Benito said, hating the timing, hating that he had to push now when he'd been prepared to hold until Dante's head got clear about his career, hating that he risked opening a rift between them. But his gut, hell, his cock was screaming at him not to let the opportunity to meet this woman pass.
Dante gritted his teeth. Shit. Either way he was screwed. Benito would go over and introduce himself whether he went or not. "She's not what you usually go for," he said, already knowing it didn't matter. Hell, his own cock was aching for a chance at her.
Benito shrugged and rose from his seat. Cursing, Dante also stood.
Calista watched as the two men approached. God, they were gorgeous. Brothers, maybe twins, not identical, but close enough. She recognized the one with the shorter hair, his face had been in the news lately. He might be a cop, but he had the dark Italian looks and confidence of a street-wise gangster. Dante something. She should remember it. He'd been a topic of conversation around her parents' dinner table. To a one, the men in her family agreed he'd done what a cop had to do and made a righteous kill. Too bad the perp had come from a moneyed, politically inclined family.
She shivered--the pictures hadn't done Dante justice. The man was a walking orgasm, a sexual animal that could give a woman a night she'd never forget. Or repeat. His hard eyes and hard face were warning enough. The only thing he was offering was his body, and only while it suited him.
Calista's eyes moved to the brother and a ball of heated anticipation settled low in her belly, sending a warm flush through her cunt. She'd always had a thing for men with long hair, and this one, with the soft eyes and the lips that promised unspeakable pleasure, had her praying they weren't zeroing in on Lyric. That would be a major bummer. Not that she wouldn't understand it, but...
She straightened her shoulders. This was her night, and if a couple of guys couldn't resist hitting on Lyric, then she was not going to get upset about it. She wasn't going to let it ruin her excitement about getting a chance to work a case for Crime Tells. She was not in a competition with Lyric. Any guy would want to do her sister-in-law. Of course, if they were stupid enough to try it, Kieran would convince them it wasn't a good idea. But...
"Oh shit," Lyric muttered, "Kieran is never going to believe I didn't have something to do with this."
"Not with your reputation," Tyler Keane agreed and Calista's attention shifted back to her companions.
"What?" she asked, her interest instantly piqued by the mischief dancing in Lyric's eyes. What had she ever done without Lyric in her life? Her sister-in-law was a walking catalyst for change.
"That's Dante Giancotti heading our way. I met him when I was helping Cady on her last case, well the last one before she took off to Texas with Kix." Lyric grinned. "Kieran was with me and I teased him with the prospect of introducing Dante to you."
Heat rushed to Calista's cheeks. She could just imagine how that had gone over. The men in her family tended to be overprotective, and that was a gross understatement. Calista shook her head. "Don't bother repeating what Big Brother said. I can guess."
Lyric actually snickered. "I won't have to. I'm sure he'll tell you himself when he gets here." Her eyes moved from the approaching Giancotti brothers to the exquisitely, delicious Tyler who'd been her childhood friend and who now worked as a police artist and as a consultant for Crime Tells. "But don't expect Kieran and I to stick around for long. Not with all this gorgeous male flesh present." Her eyebrows went up and down. "You know how your brother gets when he's around too much testosterone."
Calista was still laughing as Dante and his brother reached the table.
"Mind if we join you?" Benito asked after his brother and Lyric had made the introductions.
Lyric's laugh was pure mischief. "That'd be great, pull up a chair. We're celebrating. As of today, Calista is working for Crime Tells."