Home > Danger's Heir(6)

Danger's Heir(6)
Author: Mari Carr

Casson had been in this hotel before, as its event spaces were legendary. On one rather memorable occasion, he’d come as part of the entourage of a very wealthy Swiss family. For that particular job, he’d spent nearly a year undercover as a tutor, teaching the family’s children and traveling with them on most trips.

They’d come because the mother of the family, a diplomat, had an event to attend. The security for that political event had been tight but far less overt than what the mafia had brought to bear right now.

Casson rose, quickly scrolling back so he could show the girl the picture he’d taken of her on the DSLR’s small screen.

He parted ways with the American teenager, and then casually strolled down the street as she made her way back to the hotel.

Options. He had options for entry, and now he needed to decide and execute.

Pretending to be staff and coming in through the kitchen was the first thing he’d considered and the first to be ruled out. There were hotels in the world where it was easy to slip into the back halls wearing a white shirt and dark pants and pretend to be a server. That pseudo uniform also usually made it easy to lift a master key card and a real uniform if needed, which was why it was one of his preferred covers for quick jobs like this one.

Given the caliber of food at the Grand, all the servers were hospitality professionals, and well-known to each other, so unfortunately that approach was out.

He could practice his breaking and entering, and try scaling a terrace and slipping in that way, but that had a high risk of being seen, even if he waited for the middle of the night, since the hotel exterior was bathed in dramatic light that created shadows few and far between.

The front door was the next best option. But in his earlier recon, he’d learned that they were checking names, and the only way in was if you were a guest. That should have been easy enough, but the hotel was sold out. Clearly not every room was occupied by the Camorra, as evidenced by Braileigh’s family staying there, but when Casson tried, there were no available reservations.

The next option would be a reservation at one of the restaurants, but again, they weren’t taking reservations, either because the entire kitchen was closed as they prepared for tomorrow’s engagement party, or more likely, because the Camorra families had demanded they close as a security measure.

The mafia in Italy might not have the power it once had, but they were still powerful enough.

Casson turned down a narrow street, more of an alley, flanked by tall stone walls. The street rose and curved, and though there were somewhat desperate signs written in several languages, assuring guests that the restaurant at the end of the old vicoli was open, it was deserted.

Ducking into a recessed doorway, Casson pulled out his phone, reading through the emails he’d forwarded himself from the girl’s phone. Someone had helpfully created a detailed itinerary of the family’s trip, including times, locations, and reservation information.

Most interesting of all, Braileigh had two younger siblings, and the parents were going out to dinner tonight. Rather than make the older girl babysit, they’d hired a sitter from a local service.

“Nice parents,” Casson murmured to himself. He checked his watch, then slid his leather satchel off his shoulder. Tucking the camera inside, he pulled out a few pieces of clothing.

Two hours later, as the sun started toward the western horizon, Casson watched as the woman from the babysitting service walked up the steps and approached the guard on the right. The guard checked her name against a tablet, but he didn’t tap the screen or appear to mark off her arrival in any way.

Casson waited five minutes, then mounted the steps, moving fast to overtake a couple that were also approaching the front door. He positioned himself so that the couple were subtly herded to the right. Casson went left. Stopping in front of the guard, he fumbled in his pocket, waiting until he heard the other guests engage the right-side guard before he spoke.

“Good evening. I’m here from International Sitters,” he said in perfect Italian.

The guard eyed him. The weakest point in this plan was that the guard might not accept Casson, a man, as the one-night nanny. The Camorra were not known for their open-mindedness to gender roles. To hopefully combat that, he’d adopted the air of a disheveled academic, with glasses, a rumpled sweater vest over his dress shirt, and scuffed shoes.

“I’m actually a teacher,” Casson said with a shrug. “But Americans pay well.”

The guard grunted. “Name?”

“Raniero Pio. I’m here for the Jones family.”

The guard frowned at his tablet.

Casson made a show of looking at his phone. “They’re in room 104. Oh, and originally the company was sending a woman. Uh…” Again, Casson consulted his phone. “Fulvia Oria, but she couldn’t make it.”

The guard nodded, thankfully not checking with the other guard, who’d just let the real Fulvia in, then jerked his head toward the doors.

Casson shuffled into the hotel, heading straight for the lobby bathroom. Ten minutes later he emerged, now a completely different person. The slacks were the same, but minus the rumpled sweater vest, and with Casson standing tall rather than with bowed shoulders, the creases hung perfectly straight, breaking at just the right spot on shoes that were now spotless. His tie was silk, and his bag was now gripped by the top handle like a briefcase rather than slung across his shoulder by a long strap.

He was in. Now it was time to find Rodrigo.

The hotel staff certainly wouldn’t tell him. They were most likely too well trained at discretion…or too scared of the Camorra to dare give him any information. He wasn’t going to risk any I-lost-my-key or I-have-a-surprise-for-my-friend ploys.

There were other ways. As Casson walked toward the elevator, he plucked a hot-house rose from one vase, a sprig of greens from another, and by the time he veered toward the guest-room hallway, bypassing the elevator, he held a small bouquet in one hand.

 

 

An arranged marriage had seemed like a good idea. God knew she had better things to do than try to date men who would either use her for her family’s power and connections or be too intimidated by her family to be useful.

But now that the marriage was actually happening, Giada Russo was pissed.

She’d assumed her uncle would marry her to someone within the family. Not an actual blood relation but someone who worked for their clan of the Camorra. Someone who was already trained to follow orders, and therefore, would follow her orders once she took over as don of the family.

She never imagined she’d end up marrying that misogynistic fucker Armani Capello’s son.

Her uncle hadn’t even had the balls to tell her about the engagement to her face. No, he’d arranged it, then left on “business,” saddling her aunt and parents with telling her.

She supposed it was a compliment that he didn’t want to face her wrath.

In public, Giada was exactly who she needed to be. Who everyone expected her to be. The daughter of a wealthy, secretive family. She never caused trouble, never drew attention to herself—though she occasionally popped up on a society blog when she attended public events.

That meant Armani Capello, and his son, probably thought she was going to be a good little submissive wife.

Unless the submission involved some A+ quality bondage and calling someone “Daddy,” Giada wanted nothing to do with it.

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