Easter's Lilly Easter's Lilly Book 1 by Judy Serrano Genre: Mafia Romance
It was Easter Sunday; the day Lilly's life went from safe and comfortable to dangerously unfamiliar. Her transformation takes her from a small town girl having an affair with a low ranked gangster in the Montiago crime syndicate, to a woman of grace and fortitude married to the head of the organization. Easter's Lilly is an inspired journey from the idyllic to the darker side of self-discovery. Read as the over-privileged brothers embark on their journey that twists and turns down the road of unbridled passion in this first book of the series.
“You’re my Easter Lilly, aren’t you.” He smiled again.
“I love you,” I said before I left.
“I love you more,” he replied. I walked to my car and he followed behind. He opened my door and let me in. “Be safe,” he said, “and always remember that I love you more.” I put the keys in the ignition and the car purred. I blew him a kiss as I drove off and he pretended to catch it.
As I drove away, I noticed a black sedan following behind me. It was Ray, the man who had been watching me in the bar. Johnny must have sent him to keep an eye on me. This was starting to become a way of life. I wasn’t sure I liked it.
I pulled into my driveway and walked to the front door. The sedan was parked across the street. I breathed in deeply, remembering the events of the evening for my strength. Then, I pushed open the door.
“Lillian Margaret O’Hara!” my father shouted. “Where in the bleeding hell have you been?” My father’s face was a new shade of red. He was standing with his hands folded and my mom was sitting on the couch, equally annoyed.
“Dad, I’m a grown woman!” I shouted in anticipation of the upcoming argument.
“Are you kidding me?” he asked. “Grown women don’t stay out all night.”
“I’m fine,” I insisted. “I was with some friends.”
Suddenly his face changed. “Oh no, no not him!” He began pacing back and forth like a mad man. “Are you sleeping with him, Lilly? Are you part of his harem now?”
I was shocked and mortified that he assumed I would allow myself to be part of a string of women. “It’s not like that, dad.”
“Oh no!” he kept saying. “It’s worse than I thought.” He was still pacing. My mother got up from the couch and stood beside him.
“Do you love him?” she asked.
“He’s a skinny, little drug dealer, of course she doesn’t love him,” my father barked.
“I do love him, dad.” I moved slightly away from him. “I can’t help it, I need him.” My father continued to pace. If it were possible, steam would be coming out of his ears.
“I know this guy, Lil. He has a different girl every night. I know his friends personally. I have arrested all of them at least once, but we can’t seem to catch John.”
“Maybe you’re wrong about him!” I shouted. “He’s with me now, dad. Only me.”
“Lilly, why are you being so naive? He sells drugs to kids.”
I didn’t quite know how to win this one. Of course, I was suspicious that he was involved in illegal activities. He wouldn’t have people watching me if he wasn’t. But I never asked, and he never told. It was just kind of understood that I didn’t want to know. He carried a gun; that much I did knew. He was the first person I had ever known to carry a gun that wasn’t a police officer.
“Have you noticed the Hispanic population growing around you?” he asked. “Roberto and Ray, just to name a few.”
“So what?” I asked.
“John’s superior is a Latino somewhere. We’re trying to find him. He’s having you protected for some reason, Lil. This means you have a purpose. I don’t like it.”
“Purpose?” I asked in surprise. “I don’t have anything they would want.”
“You are now his Achilles’ heel. They’ll keep you safe until they need leverage.” He said that last part very slowly as if to make his warning clear. I began to feel a little sick to my stomach. This was too much for me and my head was beginning to spin.
“Lilly, I may have to move you,” he said. Then there was a pounding on the door.
“Is he coming over here today?” he asked.
“It’s Easter.” I too was surprised. “He works on Easter at the restaurant. I’m not expecting anyone.”
My dad reached for the doorknob and pulled the door open. It was Rudy. He had sweat dripping from his face and his hands were shaking. He pointed a gun at my father and said, “Sorry, Mick. Wrong place, wrong time.” We heard a loud BANG! My father dropped to the floor and the vase behind me shattered. His icy blue eyes were blood red. My mother ran into the kitchen screaming. He turned and pointed the gun at me. “You should’ve picked me, Lilly. But they always go for John. It could’ve been different. I would’ve protected you.”
I am sure I had that “deer in the headlights” look as he stood there pointing his gun at me. His sweat was covering the gun as his hands shook involuntarily. I began to think my relationship with Johnny might have been a mistake. How many times was I warned? Why did I continue to see him?
“At first you were just something new to play with. But then you became like an obsession and he couldn’t put you down. You’re now nothing more than an unnecessary distraction.” I bit my bottom lip as I watched him get ready to shoot me. “Goodbye Lilly.” Before I had a chance to move, I heard another loud BANG!
Brother Number Three
Easter's Lilly Book 2
Coming in third place was something that was all too familiar to Hector Montiago. As his strength and grounding personality pushes him into first place with the woman he loves, lines are crossed and sides are chosen.
In this second book of the series, Brother Number Three depicts family ties in a light unequal to any other. Lilly tells the story of how the brothers unite in the effort to recover her missing son, as blood becomes both the indestructible bond that holds them together and the opposing force that pushes them apart. Read on as they fight temptation while the enemies of the Montiago cartel unleash their wrath, only to discover that the true danger lies within.
He got up and started cleaning the dishes. “Please,” I said. “I’ll clean, you get moving on that MacGyver thing you do.” He turned and kissed me gently on the lips. Then without further delay he began searching the kitchen for materials. I looked out the window and a wave of panic ran through my body. My adrenalin rushed as my heart began to accelerate. “Hector!” He turned and looked at me.
“Don’t worry, it won’t take me long,” he continued.
“How fast can you make a bomb?”
“Why?” He looked outside and saw what I saw. The forest was on fire.
“John must have been convicted. They don’t need us anymore.”
“What are you talking about?” I asked.
“Max went ahead with the trial without our return. How very inconvenient for us,” Hector said sarcastically.
“John is trying to kill us?” I was in a little bit of shock. “What now?”
“I will get us out of here.” He was putting together cleaning products like a cocktail. “I think they made it look like we were out here together on purpose and got trapped inside by a forest fire.”
“Hector, the fire is really close!” I began to feel a great deal of anxiety. “I don’t think we’re going to make it out of here.”
“Now don’t you wish you made love with me,” he said calmly, still making up some kind of concoction. “Give me just… one more minute…”
I wanted to kill him. Still making jokes at a time like this.
“Lilly, get in the bathroom. I’m ready to get this party started. I need it to be far enough away from the stove, so it doesn’t blow.” I ran into the bathroom and Hector came inside after a few minutes had passed. He put his body over mine, covered my ears and something exploded. He got up and looked outside. “Come on, girl, we don’t have much time!” He put his hand out for me to take and I grabbed it. He pushed me out of a small hole he was able to make in the wall. He was afraid the door might have bars on the outside and we only had one shot to get out. I was glad he thought about that because they had in fact, secured bars on the door when they left us there to die. He held my hand as we ran as fast as we could away from the house. The gas stove was his biggest concern. The flames began to engulf the house and suddenly there was a huge bang and he threw himself on top of me as debris flew over our heads even as far away as we were. We looked up and saw nothing but flames behind us. “Come on,” he said. He helped me up and we continued to run. We could hear continued explosions as we got farther and farther away. Finally, I stopped running and lay down on the grass.
“I – can’t- go- any- further,” I said breathlessly. He stopped and laughed. He lay down beside me.
“This was almost better than sex!” he exclaimed. “Wow, that was incredible. I have a HUGE adrenalin rush.”
I looked over at that crazy man in horror. “When I was with Max,” I started.
“When you were with Max?” he repeated. “Does that mean you’re not with Max anymore?”
“No, no… I mean in the beginning.” He laughed, obviously teasing me. “Everyone said you were the crazy one. But when you got to us, you were the calm, sober one. Now… I finally see what everyone was talking about.”
“I am the crazy one,” he confirmed. “Max is the emotional one, and I’m the risk taker.”
“You are a little dirtier than Max,” I said, mischievously smiling.
He laughed again. “That is what Regina says.” He rolled over and looked at me. “So, tell me… what makes me dirtier?”
“Nothing,” I said, pushing his face away. “There’s just a raw sexuality about you, that’s all. It is almost irresistible to me.”
“Almost?” he asked.
“Almost,” I assured him.
“Lilly, I know you’re tired, but we’re losing daylight, and I have to find the road.” I got up and we started walking. “Lilly, can I ask you something?”
“Of course,” I said, turning to check his facial expression.
“Is it over?”
Relatively Close Easter's Lilly Book 3
Recovering from the latest family trauma has made the Montiago family wake up to the fact that their priorities have definitely been misplaced. With Max throwing himself into the depths of his work as an FBI operative, he inadvertently sends the wrong message to his wife and brothers. In Relatively Close, the third book of the series, Lilly fights for the attention of her husband, until it becomes painfully clear that she is up against a mistress way more powerful than the ones she has fought before. Keeping it relatively close is something with which Lilly is way too familiar. She turns her attentions to another, only to find out that the reality of the business, which has kept her dripping in diamonds and living in mansions, is nothing more than an ugly reminder of El Diablo anda suelto: The devil running loose.
Max fell to the ground followed by Hector. Max shouted out, “Junior, I forgive you,” as his eyes began to close. I fell to the floor… hard. Max pushed me down as the bullet flew in our direction. I sat up to find that Max had a hole in his chest and Hector had blood pouring from his side. The bullet must have gone right through Max and into Hector. Junior was standing there holding the gun, not moving. Diego sprang into action. He grabbed the gun from Junior. “Maria! 911!” he shouted to his girlfriend. She began to dial. “It was an intruder!” he shouted again. “Probably from the Malone organization. Do you all understand?” Maria and I both answered immediately with a, “Yes sir,” while Regina, Hector’s wife, sat at the kitchen counter obviously in shock.
“Junior!” Diego called. “Take off your clothes and throw them into the fireplace. Take a shower. You need to wash all of the residue from the gunshot off of your body. I’ll get rid of the gun.” He took the gun from my son and Junior followed him up the stairs.
“Max, Max!” I reached for him. He grabbed my hand.
“Baby girl,” he gasped for breath.
“Max, you fight for me, do you hear me?”
“Yes, baby girl, I live for you.” That was something he said to me the last time he was shot in the chest; only the last time he said it in Spanish. He opened his eyes for a minute and I could see the fear poised like a dark cloud, ready to rain.
“Diego!” I screamed. “Diego! Where are you?”
“He’s taking care of the gun, Lilly,” Maria reminded me. “Give him a few minutes.”
It wasn’t too long before he came running back into the room; although it felt like an eternity. He pulled out a credit card and put it on Max’s wound. Max let out a yell that made me shudder. “Go check on Hector,” he told me.
I ran to Hector and knelt down beside him. “Talk to me,” I said. “Hector, talk to me.” He reached out for my hand. “I have never been able to forget you, Lilly.” I could hear his voice begin to weaken. “I need you to know that I am still in love with you.”
“I know, Hector, I know,” I whispered, putting my lips closer to his ear. He squeezed my hand and then closed his eyes. I looked at Diego.
“Wake him up, Lilly. Wake him up!” I slapped his face a few times gently and he looked up at me.
“Max… Max…” Hector gasped.
“Hector, save your strength,” I told him.
“Max, is he..? Max…” he was muttering, barley conscious.
“He’s alive,” I answered. “He’s alive.”
“Lilly,” Diego called. “Were you hit?”
“No, they both took the bullet though.”
“Lilly, it’s okay,” Hector whispered weakly. “I’d do anything for you.”
“Lilly,” Max reached out his hand across Diego to me. I quickly became overwhelmed.
“Regina!” I yelled. “Get over here, now!”
She continued to sit motionless at the counter. Maria came running to me with a towel and pressed it against Hector’s side. He opened his eyes. “I love you,” he whispered and closed his eyes again. I kissed his forehead and moved back over to where Max was lying on the ground.
We heard the sirens, and the paramedics made it into the kitchen. Regina was still sitting at the counter, looking as though someone had shot her. They put them both on gurneys.
“The wives can come but the rest have to follow in a separate vehicle,” one of the paramedics told us.
“Regina!” I yelled. “Come on!” She still did not move. I got into the ambulance and Diego pushed her in beside me. She still said nothing.
“Regina,” he’s your husband. You have to get it together… for him.” She sat there almost in denial. It was as though she thought that if she didn’t respond, none of this would be real. “I can’t believe this,” I said. “He’s been shot. It’s time for you to act like a real wife.”
“I guess I don’t have the experience you do with the correct mob-wife protocol.” She blurted. I was really starting to become angry with her.
“Do you love him?” I yelled. She looked at me with empty eyes. “Do you love him?” I shouted again. “I can’t be with him right now, so you have to be the one to help him. Do you understand me?” She still said nothing. I kissed Max’s cheek. He was fading in and out of consciousness, but I knew Hector heard every word I said. “You hold on for me, Max… hold on for me,” I pleaded, brushing the tears out of my eyes. His eyes opened suddenly, and I could feel him squeeze my hand. Hector reached across the gurney for Max’s other hand and Max grabbed it. They were really scared this time.
We got to the hospital and I was happy to see that Diego and Maria were already there. I ran into Diego’s arms and he held me close. “Both of them, Diego. I can’t lose both of them,” I said as my voice began to crack.
“We won’t lose them. My brothers are tough, remember?” Maria took Regina to a chair and Regina sat there almost lifeless.
I let go of Diego and walked over to her. “What the hell is wrong with you?” I asked. “Why can’t you can’t be there for him?”
She finally looked up at me. “He doesn’t want me,” she responded. “So, who’s it going to be, Lilly, your husband or your lover?”
Memoirs of a Mobster Easter's Lilly Book 4
Diego Montiago Jr. was groomed to run the largest criminal organization in both the United States and Mexico by the kingpin of the syndicate himself, who also happens to be his uncle. With no conscience or remorse he becomes a true killer with a reputation that keeps most people at a distance. The betrayal of his high school sweetheart sends Diego into a tailspin, which causes him never to expect love to be a feasible addition to his world. During a lavish birthday party for his mother, his best friend and cousin decides to collect on an overdue debt. Little does he know that this exchange will change him forever. In book four of the series Diego Jr. continues to protect his family and fill the shoes of the former Mexican Godfather, Diego Montiago Sr. His real father, who is the kingpin of the rival organization, begins his deceitful attack, causing Diego to choose his allegiance. The organization engulfs his life and the lives of those around him as the siblings begin to realize that things are not even close to what they appear to be. Will love find Diego Montiago after all? Only time will tell.
I’ll never forget the day I put a bullet in my uncle Hector’s brain. I was 16 years old. He had a gun to my pregnant mother’s head and my uncle Max, her husband at the time, couldn’t bring himself to pull the trigger. Iron Man, they used to call him. He was a great shot and impossible to kill. But not that day. That day my uncle Max froze. Too afraid Hector would kill my mother. Too afraid he couldn’t live with the guilt of killing his brother… he was afraid. My mother lost the baby: Hector’s baby. And Uncle Max was both distressed and relieved that the rein of Uncle Hector was finally over.
The Lost Years Easter's Lilly Book 5
Finally thinking they are free from the mob, Max and Lilly settle down in a small town in Texas called Quinlan. Lilly's son, Diego Montiago Jr., is preparing for the day when he graduates high school so he can learn the ways of his uncle, and become the next kingpin of the Mexican Mafia. In this fifth book of the Easter's Lilly Series, this young adult spin-off finds Lilly doing everything in her power to make sure that does not happen. During his high school years, Junior falls into a crowd of misfits, just to fall in love with the quarterback's girlfriend. But this is no ordinary girl and their trials are no ordinary trials. Junior grows up quickly while the mob's ever-present arm is still squeezing the life out of him. Just when he thinks he has found what he is looking for, everything changes. With love and hate balancing delicately in the distance, life and death become suddenly all too real. As time begins to run out, Diego Montiago Jr. is forced to make a decision that will change his life forever.
He started dragging her out of the classroom, and I followed. “Someone call my dad in room 2302. He’ll know what to do.” I saw a group of girls run to the phone to make the call and check on the teacher. I could see the blood pooling under her desk. Hunter grabbed my arm as more shots rang out in the hallway.
“Junior, no,” he whispered. “Don’t be a hero.”
“He’s got my girl, Hunter. Wouldn’t you do the same for Linda?” Linda was his brand-new girlfriend, so I wasn’t sure that I really had a good comparison. Savannah was my best friend. She wasn’t just the love of my life. She was my every breath and I couldn’t sit on my hands and do nothing.
“I don’t know,” he answered. “Please Junior. Don’t go.”
Colton crawled over to where we were all down on the floor by the door. I could see two of the campus police officers down on the floor, unconscious or dead. It wasn’t clear yet. “Junior. Let the teachers handle this,” he whispered, putting his hand on my arm, trying to keep me still.
I shook my arm free. “I just need a gun,” I told them. “If I can get my hands on a gun, I can get to them.”
“No,” Hunter said again. “We won’t let you go. You do remember reading about this kind of thing in the paper, don’t you?”
“I don’t care,” I answered. “I’m going after her.”
I stood up and looked out the door. The two of them got up with me but Hunter stood in front of me. “You have no idea where he is, Junior. Just stay put!” He put his face up against mine. I shoved him hard and got free. I found myself standing alone in the hallway with what looked like two deal police officers. I got on the floor and started frisking them. One of them was unarmed. Obviously, Tony had taken the gun. The other still had hers on her. I grabbed it and some ammo. It was still loaded. She didn’t even let out a shot, probably out of the fear that she might hit Savannah. I could see Hunter and Colton looking at me from the inside of their very safe classroom.
“I’ll be fine,” I told them and I showed them the gun. They went back inside and shut the door. I started down the hallway, following the screams. I saw Max running down the stairs with a gun in his hand. “Thank God,” I said, when he finally got to where I was standing. “I knew you’d have a gun on you.”
“Where’d you get that one?” he asked, nodding towards the gun I was holding.
“A dead policewoman,” I answered.
“Anyone else hurt, Junior?”
“My teacher,” I answered. “I’m not sure how badly yet.”
“Give me the gun and get back inside the classroom?”
“He’s got Savannah.” I realized that my voice was shaking when I said that. I sounded like a little boy getting ready to cry.
He looked at me for a moment as though he was making a decision on if he was going to let me help him or not. “I’m not going away, dad.”
“Okay,” he answered. “I get it.”
My hands were shaking, and the tears were stinging my eyes. “What if…”
“Don’t worry, Junior,” he started. “You’re a better shot than I am. I’ve been in this situation more times than I’d like to admit. We’ll get her back.”
I believed him. I had to.
We headed in the direction of the screams and the shots. We finally got a glimpse of him dragging her down the hallway with his arm locked around her throat. She was screaming wildly, crying and struggling.
“Tony,” Max started. “It’s Max, Tony. You remember me, right?”
“Get the hell away from me, Mr. Montiago. Don’t make me shoot you.”
“Tony, you don’t want to hurt anyone. I know you. You want to let her go.”
“I hate you!” he shouted, shooting at him. Max ducked and hit the floor.
“Tony, let her go. Send her to me, I’ll take care of you.” Tony shot at Max again. He continued to drag Savannah by the neck down the hallway. I couldn’t figure out why Max just wouldn’t shoot him. He used to be Max Montiago: Iron Man. No reaction time. When he stood up, I realized he was bleeding. I wasn’t sure from where just yet but there was definitely blood. Tony pointed the gun at him again and shot, but thankfully there were no more bullets.
“Max, you’ve been hit!” I shouted.
“Just a graze,” he answered. But it wasn’t a graze. He took the bullet in his forearm. He grabbed my arm and we pushed a door in front of us to shield us from the flying bullets. Tony dropped the empty gun and picked up one of the others he had lifted from the dead police officer. I was too afraid to shoot at him with Savannah as his shield.
“You can let her go,” Max said again, stepping out from behind the door. I tried to get closer, but he shot at me and caught the side of my stomach. I fell and noticed blood trickling onto the floor. He started shooting randomly as students were running to get away.
“No!” Savannah shouted. “Diego!” She reached out her arms to me as he continued to drag her down the hall and out of our sight.
The Last Fall Easter's Lilly Book 6
Octavio Montiago has been living in his cousin’s shadow for years. Diego Montiago Jr., also known as Junior, has taken over the organization from his step-father and has made quite a name for himself. As he and his cousin Octavio co-run the syndicate together, Octavio finds himself unable to keep out of trouble on his own, leaving his cousin consistently in charge of damage control.
Finally, Octavio has met his match and falls in love with the beautiful Siobhan. Although Siobhan is on the right side of the law, that makes her the enemy of the Montiago family. As Octavio continues to walk down the path of desperation, things take a turn for the worst. The Mafia encroaches upon his life, forcing him to make a difficult decision. As he finally feels he has met with some peace, the odds are yet again against him. Can Junior get him out of this one, or is Octavio on his own to free yet another damsel in distress. Is love worth dying for? You be the judge.
I lifted the weights over my head. I had to forget her. I had to get her out of my system. Enough time had passed, I thought. Junior’s wife, Tess, who was also my sister, had Junior’s baby last fall. They now had two children. The oldest was Daemon, not Junior’s biological son, and his new baby was Catalina. They called her Lena for short. Daemon was the spawn of Junior’s biological father, who raped my sister almost three years past. The plan was to never tell Daemon he was really Junior’s little brother, but I always thought that was a bad idea. Secrets never stay secret for long. Junior and I were not related by blood. That’s how he was able to marry my sister. Although he carried the Montiago name, he was the only one of us with no true blood ties.
Enough time should have gone by for me to forget her smile, her laugh, or the scent of her hair as it lay spilled on the pillow beside mine, but I could still feel her silky skin against me when I closed my eyes. I had never told another woman that I loved her. I still could not get over her disappearance.
I was just waiting for Junior to show up with fire in his eyes. I knew he’d be angry, disappointed… pick a word. I had to leave. I had to sweat it out. I knew her husband was staring holes into the back of my head, but I didn’t care. It wasn’t supposed to go this far, or go on for this long. How did I get here?
I continued to lift the weights when he finally appeared in the front door, guards in tow. He was angry, there was no doubt. He walked up to me and whispered in my ear, “You left her in your bed, in my house. Why, Tavy? Why would you do that?”
“I had to go, Junior.” That was all I had to offer right then. The truth was that I waited until she fell asleep, and like the coward that I am, I slipped out the door. I didn’t even shower until I got here, that’s how badly I needed to disappear.
“What’s wrong with you?” he asked in a slightly elevated whisper. “If he had her followed, and he probably did, he’ll think I was the one who took her to bed. Did you frame me on purpose?”
“No, Junior, I’m sorry,” I managed after I thought about it for a few seconds. “I guess I didn’t think it through.”
“You think?” he whispered again. “I fed her and called her a cab,” he said, uncomfortably glancing in Michael’s direction. Michael was Gina’s husband; Gina, being the girl I just dumped on Junior. “She said it, didn’t she? You’re still not over Savannah? Is that what this is all about?”
“Don’t say her name to me,” I warned him. “Don’t ever say her name to me.”
“Don’t blame me,” he continued. “I had nothing to do with her disappearance. She threw herself at me; I am a happily married man, and you know that.”
The funny thing was that even though Junior and I were both involved with Savannah, we were very different in every way. Junior had almost black hair with bright blue eyes. He had fair skin and was built pretty well. He was a little bigger than I was, taller too, but he worked out a lot, something that ran in his family. Although I worked out too, there was something more threatening about Junior. I was blond and blue eyed, and younger than him. Not by much, but enough. Junior was terrifying when he wanted to be. No conscience; no remorse. I was not like him. That was why I was having such a hard time with the loss, and he had since forgotten. He didn’t really care what happened to her. My pain was like a raw nerve through my entire body. I think she liked that we were so different. She loved us both for different reasons.
I didn’t say a word for what felt like a long time. It was still too raw, too painful to discuss. She made a fool of me, but still I couldn’t send her away. Now that she’s gone, I won’t let any woman take that kind of control of my heart again.
“So, she said it,” he went on. “What’s the big deal? You say it back and you get to keep…” he paused and leaned into me, “you get to keep on having her. That’s what you want, isn’t it?”
“I can’t say it back,” I reminded him. “It’s just sex. That’s all it’s ever been, and that’s all it will every be.”
“Not to her.” He smiled. “Not anymore.”
“Maybe I’ll just keep my distance for a while,” I answered.
“She’s not the kind of girl who just goes away, Tavy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”
I continued to lift the weights over my head while the sweat drizzled down my forehead. “Do you want me to get rid of him?” he asked, pointing his head in Michael’s direction. “‘Cause I can do that.”
“I don’t want her,” I replied. “It was just supposed to be a fling. I sleep with…” I looked behind me and Michael was still watching us from the treadmill on which he was running. I put the weights down and Junior closer so he could hear me better. “I prefer married women because there is no commitment. They usually get scared after one or two times, and I move on. She is the only one who just won’t let go.”
“And the most precarious one at that,” he added. “Michael is the most dangerous Italian crime boss on this side of the country. If he finds out, he will kill you both.” He said it quietly but assuredly. “Is she worth it?”
“Hell, yes!” I said, still trying to keep my voice down. Junior laughed. “It is the best sex I have ever had in my life.”
“Even better than…?” Before he could get the words out, I slammed him up against the wall by his throat. His guards began to approach, but he put his hand up for them to stay back. The room got suddenly quiet, and all eyes were on us. “Get your hands off me, Tavy,” he said in a calming tone.
I backed up and walked back to where I had laid down my weights. “I’m sorry, Junior. I don’t know what came over me.”
“It’s okay,” Junior announced, straightening out his clothes. “Just friends fighting over a woman. You know how it is.” The room began to buzz with conversation again, and Junior walked back over to me. “I’ll take that as a yes.”
“I don’t know what to do, Junior. I need some time. I have to find a way to cut her loose.” Just then two police officers walked into the gym. One was a young woman with her dark hair pinned back behind her head and the other was a man, probably in his 40s.
“Mr. Montiago?” he asked.
We both said, “Yes.” They looked confused.
“Diego Montiago,” the man said again.
“That’s me,” Junior answered. “What’s the problem, officer?”
“It looks like a shipment of yours was intercepted. Your men were killed and the truck is registered in your name.”
“What kind of shipment?” he asked.
“There was one bag of cocaine on the floor of the truck, so I’m guessing they took the rest of it with them.”
“Hey Junior,” a voice from the back of the room called out. “Maybe if you stop taking things that don’t belong to you, people will stop taking from you.” We turned around, and it was Michael smiling mischievously at us. Obviously he had framed us.
“I haven’t taken anything from you, Michael. I don’t need to take anything from anyone.”
“Maybe I should ask your woman about that,” he said again, laughing. “While she’s under me.” Junior lost control and the bodyguards and I grabbed him and pulled him back.
After the Fall Easter's Lilly Book 7
After The Fall. In the final book of the series, the fall of the Montiago syndicate may be inevitable. With tensions growing between Tavy and Junior, the search for Tabatha is on. As time passes, Tavy finds himself needing control, and the balance of power begins to shift. In the meantime, Lilly is missing, and the family is in disarray. Fortunately for Lilly, a person from her past unexpectedly appears to keep her safe until she is found. As the series comes to a close, Lilly has an important decision to make. Who will she choose? Does the Montiago syndicate remain standing, or are they all forced to learn to live without the Mafia? Read on and see how Lilly’s life unfolds.
I saw a dead man. I know he was dead, or at least that was what they told me. When his icy-blue eyes touched mine, I was unable to breathe. It was him. I’m sure of it. I think he saved my life. It is hard to be certain because when I turned away for one second - he was gone.
I will never forget the day that she married my fiancée. I was in my dress, putting on my veil, and saying goodbye to my matron of honor. Her name was Tess, and she was Diego’s wife. Diego Montiago Jr., drug lord, was the cousin and best friend of my husband-to-be, Octavio. I call him Tavy.
“Tabatha,” I heard in a whisper outside my room. “Let me in, Tabatha.”
I leaned against the door trying to suppress a smile. “Tavy, go away. It’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding.”
“You can’t possibly believe all that,” he said.
I can’t believe he asked me that. “We’ve had enough bad luck, Tavy. I don’t want to risk it.”
“Come on, baby,” he moaned, “let me in.”
“Go away, Tavy.” And he was gone.
I looked in the mirror. I still couldn’t believe it. My makeup was perfect, and the dress was so much more beautiful than I deserved. Tavy and I were finally getting married. His family is irregularly close, and it was important that his cousin, Diego, and I got along. For starters, he likes to be called Junior by everyone except the select few. I have always called him Diego. Tavy does not like that. I am a cop, which caused a great deal of conflict in the beginning, and Diego was convinced that my intentions were not in his best interest. He has gone as far as holding a gun on me. No, I’m not kidding. He is famous for having no remorse. He could shoot me in cold blood in the middle of his kitchen and never break a sweat. Not a desirable quality in your fiancée’s cousin.
I met Tavy one random night at a bar. No names no sorrows, was our theme for that evening. We hooked up that night and ran face first into each other the next morning. It was not a good thing. Well, I guess it is now or I wouldn’t be standing here, but at the time, it was quite the shocker.
I moved here for a job. Tavy’s girlfriend was a cop, and her partner had been murdered a few weeks earlier. I had been recruited to be her new partner. What are the chances of that? I went to pick her up at the Montiago estate, and there he was, gorgeous as ever. She was suspicious, of course, but we managed to keep it under wraps for as long as we could. She and Tavy were heading for a breakup, so it’s not like I stole him form her. She left him shortly after.
The sad part of this story is that she has since become deceased. She was killed by Tavy’s family’s enemy, the Vasquez Cartel. They held us hostage, and as usual, Diego, I mean Junior, saved the day. He and his family swooped in and rescued us, but not before something horrible happened to me, and Tavy’s girlfriend was murdered, but all in all, the rescue was very romantic. It was after the rescue that Junior softened up about me. I had a new respect for him.
As I said before, Junior is a gangster in every sense of the word. He is the type of man who could walk down the street, shoot someone in the head, and keep walking. Getting Diego Montiago Jr. mad is a grave error in judgement. In order for me to be “allowed” to marry Tavy, I was told to be an informant for the family. A leak in the police department as it were. It was a rough line to walk, but it was worth it.
So, here I am, ready to marry to love of my life with the family blessing, and then everything went wrong. My life would never be equaled to what I have now. It was all because of her. Everything is always, all because of her.
I heard a knock at the door. Again. “Okay, Tavy, I’ll let you in,” I said as I pulled the door open with a smile. She pushed her way past me with two men behind her. One of the men grabbed me by the throat and stuffed some kind of foul tasting cloth inside my mouth. The other tied my hands behind my back.
I tried to cry out, but I couldn’t make a sound. It was Savannah. Why wouldn’t that girl just find two other men to play with. She smiled at me and laughed a little. “You thought you were going to marry Tavy. Tavy still belongs to me.” She was in bed with the enemy. This was clear. Oscar and Hector had her “put away” to get her away from Tavy and Junior quite a long time ago. When they went to get her out of wherever they stashed her, she was gone. Lucky me … I found her.
When I awoke, I was on a concrete floor. As I looked around, I could see a kitchen counter with some kind of garment on it, a bathroom, and not much else. I stood up and realized I was in someone else’s clothes. They were her clothes. I had on her jeans and T-shirt, and no shoes, but I did have on my own underwear. Thank God for that. I put on white lace everything for our wedding night. At least she had the decency to leave me that.
All that meant to me was that she was wearing mine. She was going to marry Tavy. How could this get any worse. Remind me not to ever ask that question.
I walked over to the counter and picked up the garment. It was a nighty. A completely see-through nighty. It had black, lace trim all around it, and it tightened a little under the breast area. They didn’t think I was going to put this on, did they? Whoever they were.
There was a small window with black bars over it. It called to me, and I gingerly approached. There were men outside loading trucks. Most of them were Mexican and not much to look at. Except one. There was one man with slightly long, blond hair, not quite up to his shoulders, wearing a red bandana. He was shirtless with a body to die for. Shoot, if I was him, I’d never wear a shirt. But I digress. He threw a box into the truck and our eyes touched. He stopped what he was doing as though he recognized me. He moved his mouth. I couldn’t hear him. I couldn’t read his lips. He did it again. I swear on everything that’s holy that he was saying, “Lilly.”
I pounded on the window shouting, “Help! Help!” and he approached me. It was as though he was in a trance. He looked like he may be about Hector’s age, or Lilly’s I suppose. He actually resembled Hector. Could it be? No, that’s impossible. He had crystal blue eyes that made me a little dizzy at first. “Lilly,” he said. This time, I could hear him.
“Call Junior!” I shouted. “Call Hector!” Lilly was Junior’s mother, and Hector was Junior’s uncle. Hector and Lilly were “an item” right now. I had no idea who this man was, but I was guessing that he would know that. He put his hand through the bars and touched the glass. “Lilly, what are you doing here?”
I put my hand up against the glass so that our hands were almost touching. “Please,” I started, “call Junior. Tell him I’m here.”
“I want to take you out of here, Lilly, but I can’t. They’d kill us both.”
“Please,” I continued, “call Junior.” He looked around, and I heard a knocking at the door. I turned my head for a second, and the door flew open. I looked back over at the window, and he was gone. Whoever he was, wherever he came from, he was nowhere to be found.
Judy Serrano holds a Master of Arts in English from Texas A&M University, Commerce. She is the owner of Make Cents Editing Service, and was an adjunct professor at a local college. Currently she teaches high school English and is a freelance writer for certain on-line publications. Judy also writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels. She is the author of The Easter’s Lilly Series,The Linked Series, and Ivy Vines, Visions.
Although originally form New York, Judy resides in Texas with her husband, four boys, four dogs and now two cats. She sings and plays guitar when she has time and enjoys singing with her very musical family in church when she is able.
An interview with the author of the Easter’s Lilly Series: Judy Serrano
Q: Thank you so much for visiting with us today, Ms. Serrano. I understand that Easter’s Lilly was first published in 2010. What was your inspiration?
A: I am so glad to be here. Thank you for inviting me. To be honest, I began Easter’s Lilly as an attempt at telling my story. I have had a rather interesting life and tried to put it on paper. Almost immediately, Lilly, the main character of my story, hijacked my journey and made it her own.
Q: Interesting … don’t you create an outline before you attempt to write the story?
A: It just won’t happen. I sit down at my MacBook and let my fingers dig deep into the psyche of my characters. I never know where they will take me and am almost always surprised.
Q: That being said, there must be some truth to your stories? Care to share?
A: Of course not! All my characters and situations are purely fiction.
Q: Oh, come on now. There are some pretty steamy scenes in the Lilly series. There must be some truth embedded in there.
A: I’ll never tell.
Q: It looks like over the past eight years you have grown the series. The final book was recently published. We all want to know. What happens to Lilly?
A: You know I can’t answer that. Let’s just say that luscious Lilly will be missed as the series comes to a close. It is a wild ride, and I think it even leaves her breathless.
Q: What does the future hold for you?
A: I still have to write the third and final installment for my Linked series; however, I have a young adult novel brewing in my subconscious. Once that begins to happen, I have to start writing it down, or it will keep me up at night. Also, I have another book on organized crime, not related to Lilly, burning a hole through my flash drive. I am hoping to publish that one sometime this year.
Q: Thank you so much for your time today. Is there anything else that you might want to cover?
A: I just want to say thank you for having me here today. I do appreciate you. I also want to say thank you to my readers who have loved Lilly as much as I have.