Anti - Romance Clause

Riley Mason has been a friend of the Mob for a long era. When several attempts on her life start to play, the Don, who hold her in a special place in his heart, hires one of his men, Thorne Radcliffe, to work as her bodyguard. Riley refuses profusely but soon, her ways drop. She can do nothing more but allow him to protect her. Her life is in danger but no one is positive why. She doesn't answer the questions given to her, and avoids confrontation from anyone. So the Don puts Radcliffe in the spot. Not only does Radcliffe have his work cut out for him guarding a temperamental, untamable beauty, he has to figure out what she is hiding and report it to the Don, all the while, trying to not fall in love with the vixen.


Prologue:

Riley Mason stood on the side of the black pavement. The wind howled in her ear as it forced strands of her ponytail to come loose and trail alongside her face. The skies were smeared with glooms of gray. It had been that way for days. She wasn't supposed to be here. This day was not supposed to have happened.

---

A death had occurred in the big city. The Family, if that is what you would call it for being the mob, had discovered the body on its doorstep and all hell had broke loose. People scattered around like a bag of marbles being dropped. Questions arose out of thin air yet there were no answers to appear. No one noticed her in the background where she stood staring into the abyss trying to tame the wild beasts within her mind. Her hands had gripped themselves into fists, her nails digging into the heels of her hands. Eyes of deep gray seas were wide with fright and suspicion as the shifted around the room. Finally, she was awaken from her terror when the deceased's look-alike came walking up and pulled her within his arms.
"I'm so sorry, Ri! You shouldn't have been the one to open the door. My god, what could have happened?" He whispered inside the crook of her neck as he held on for dear life. Gabriel De Luca. The twin brother of the deceased. The deceased - Damian De Luca. Riley's lover. Riley's confidant. What Gabriel, or the rest of the 'family', didn't know was that Riley and Damian had been working on their own secret. Even in the brightest room, shadows lurked in every corner.

---

The rain, cold as ice, swift as bullets clashing down swarmed around her as she moved her feet with an unsteady slowness. Her feet brushed past the cold pavement onto soggy, gray green grass. The hood of her sweatshirt kept most of her head from being soaked, but it didn't stop the rain from hitting her face and seeping down her neck. The cold chilled wind caressed her like a iced piece of silk. She shoved her hands down into the jacket pockets that was over the top of her sweatshirt.
The closer she came to the dark gray piece of stone, the stiffer she became and the harsh feeling of loss pierced at her chest. Larger and larger it became as her feet moved mechanically forward. The wind became nothing more than a whisper as her vision narrowed on the gravestone. Then before she realized it, she stood in the front of it. What seemed like hours was only minutes as she stared blindly at it. Finally, she broke free from her fixed stare.
"Hey Damian," she whispered to his tomb. "I'm sorry it's taken me so long to come see you. It's hard, you know?" Sucking in air, she moved to kneel down in front of him. "Your brother is a wreck, Dam," she murmured as she remembered last night.

---

Down the stairs she walked, barely noticing the people she passed or the voices that spoke to her. She answered mechanically, unsure of what she was saying at all. It was as if she were in a coma, seeing life from an outside view with no feelings at all. Numb. The kitchen became the only thing she could see in her daze until she recognized a body sneaking out. Gabriel. A pang went through her heart. He was sneaking away with a bottle of whiskey in his hand, keeping it to the side as if no one could see it. He subconsciously knows it's bad, so he attempts to hide it behind his leg and quickens his pace. "Oh, Gabriel, what are you doing?" she mumbled under her breath as she watched him disappear.

---

"I'm going to fix this, Damian. I started this mess and I drug you into it when you should have just kept to your life. I shouldn't have let you in on this disaster. You would still have been alive." The tears escaped the damn she kept in place, but nothing was heard except for the glass bullets hitting the pavement. "Jamie will pay for what she has done to you and the family. One day, she will get what she deserves." A hoarse whisper spoke to the motionless rock as her hands fisted in her lap. All the emotions she had pushed down into the corner of her mind were now boiling up to come rushing headlong at her. The hate. The sorrow. The guilt. Damian had been looking into a lead on Jamie that night when he was killed. The lose control she had became a haze until she fought against the demons. One deep breath, then another, and another until she finally could see through the mess. The cold was felt on her knees until she finally stood up and gazed straight ahead. Her eyes were cold, harsh, revealing nothing but hiding so many secrets. She took one last glance at the stone before moving back toward the pavement that seemed to stretch on for miles. "I'm going to find her, Damian. I'll make her pay for what she has done to this family."

That night she disappeared. The rest of the family searched for her only to discover a long note about how she had to leave. She didn't tell the truth, but they didn't know that.