Hey hey hey!
Tomorrow, I drop an urban romance BOMB. Thief will be yours to indulge in, in less than 24 hours!
Thief: A person who steals another person's property, especially by stealth and without using force or violence.
Luca Kareem and Riana Santee made an exchange a little over eight years ago - a heart for a heart.
Riana had no problem relinquishing her heart to Luca, but Luca preferred spreading his love and his body thinly to almost every attractive woman he came in contact with. After a year of warring for a place in his heart, Riana finally gives up, but when Luca leaves her, he takes her heart with him.
Riana Santee and Herbert Jacks made an exchange a little under seven years ago - a life for a life.
Herbert had no problem saving Riana's life, knowing that one day, she'd be able to return the favor in the most lethal way. She'd become a heartless, emotionally detached hit-woman, stealing the hearts of men on her path just for fun. It's when Riana chooses to leave her life of crime that Herbert decides to cash in on that last lethal favor.
When Luca and Riana's paths cross again, Riana has the opportunity to not only reclaim her heart but stop Luca's as well. There's just one problem; the Luca of now is not the Luca from back then. This Luca has the ability to not only return Riana's heart but make her love him twice as deeply with it as well. Will Riana finally receive her revenge, or will she end up losing more than she ever thought was possible because of her love for Luca Kareem?
A life for a life – that had always been their agreement. Herbert saved her life, so she took lives for him.
“Since when do you need details on the mark, beauty? Why is your answer no longer an automatic yes?”
Riana massaged the center of her wrist with her right thumb. It was a habit she’d been unable to shake. Not since that night. It was one of the last places he’d touched her, and it was the only way she’d felt connected to him since. Not that she wanted to be connected to him. No. That would be stupid of her. That would be utterly stupid of her to want such a thing.
“I don’t work as a hit-woman full time anymore, Herbert. You know that.”
Herbert smiled as he sat up in his seat. “I know that, but I didn’t know that included me too.”
Mirroring his smile, Riana sat up in her seat. “Who is it and why do you want him dead?”
Interlocking his fingers, Herbert licked his lips and remained silent, piquing Riana’s interest. Sitting back, he lifted his legs and crossed his ankles on top of the table. With his hands locked behind his head, Herbert closed his eyes and pulled in a long breath.
There was no moment of fear greater than the one right now. Riana’s heart literally stopped at the sound of his name. This wasn’t the first time someone had mentioned him. In fact, her grandmother had done so hours earlier. But this was the first time she’d heard his name in seven years, and that still hadn’t been enough time for it to not affect her.
Riana’s hand trembled as she slid it down her face. Standing, she wiped her sweaty palms across her pants as she whispered, “No.” She grabbed her purse to leave, and Herbert allowed her to get to the door and touch the doorknob before asking…
“Leaving Memphis turned you soft on me?” Riana released the knob but kept her back to him. “He hurt you. Damaged you seemingly beyond repair. That day and night changed you, and it was all because of him. The baby, the breakup, not having anywhere to live, getting raped. That bum tried to kill you, beauty. All of that was because of Luca. And the fact that he told you the biggest, most hurtful lie of all. He said he loved you, but he treated you like shit. He owes you his life, Riana. Make him pay.”
He’d been feeding her the same speech over the years, and Riana couldn’t help but wonder if this moment was why. She’d come here, making it clear that she was about to retire, and now, he wanted her to kill the only man she’d ever loved. The only man she’d ever given access to her heart to.
Luca had stolen her heart with no remorse. No regard. And Riana wasn’t sure she’d ever get it back.
Herbert made his way behind her, and although his touch was tender, she froze when his hands squeezed her shoulders. The feel of his lips on her neck made her shudder.
“I’ve waited to give him to you. It’s time, beauty.”
Everyone in the streets and law enforcement knew about the war between Herbert’s family and Luca’s family. It had gotten so bad that any time a murder or crime was committed to one person in the family, they automatically put the other family at the top of the suspect list. The feud started close to twenty-five years ago when Herbert Jacks’ father was rumored to have stolen from Luca’s grandfather. Ever since, the back and forth feud has led to countless thefts, fights, and murders.
The last? Herbert’s middle son was murdered. Although they couldn’t prove it, Herbert was sure it was Luca’s father or his brother’s doing. Even with Luca’s father being long gone, Herbert was dead set on making the Kareem family pay, and now… he wanted to use Luca and Riana to do it.
“I can’t, Herbert.”
“Why not?” Herbert’s voice, though calm, was laced with irritation. She turned to face him, and his face was covered with distress. “He stole your heart. Left with it without your permission. Take back what belongs to you, Riana.” As if he was sure she would agree, Herbert turned to return to his seat. “I want his heart. I want his life. You owe me this. When you pay up, I will make it clear to the streets that you are off limits. That the Femme Fatale is out of commission. And if anyone gives you a hard time because they suspect you are her, I will handle them personally. But that’s only after you deliver him to me. A life for a life, remember? You will not survive in Memphis without me. There are too many bitter women and family members needing answers for the lives of the men you took. You will be a walking target, whether they can prove you are the Femme Fatale or not.”
“Okay!” Riana pulled at her hair gently, growling quietly under her breath. “I’ll take care of it.”
Herbert smiled softly before it turned into a full laugh. “I knew you would.”