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The Player

The Player

Cute and Steamy! ★★★★★ stars 
I really wanted a fast read with good feels and this hit that spot.

Great read! ★★★★★ stars 
Loved Finns and Ivys journey to find love. It was a short story but showed loves journey. Loved going on the journey with them❤️
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Main tropes

  • Angst Romance
  • Dark Romance
  • Enemies-To-Lovers


Expect the unexpected from The Player…

This guy sounds like a prick…

Name: Finn Cavenaugh
Age: 30
Personal Description: blue eyes, brown hair, 6ft 4ins, 200lbs.
Profession: Software architect and games developer of Fortune 500 company
Cavenaugh Tech.
What do you want in a mate: Looking for a beautiful, confident woman who
can give as much as she gets in the bedroom. Must be into BDSM, adventurous and
Personality Traits: highly promiscuous and sexually charged, always.
Hobbies: F@%king.

As a matchmaker, I’m not supposed to judge.

I know what billionaires are like.
Their special tastes are exactly what made my three best friends and I set up
this dating agency. We exist to meet the demands of their wild fantasies.
Players and playboys are nothing new to me.
It’s just me who’s changed.
I don’t know what I expected to happen when I first met Finn Cavenaugh.
What I didn’t expect was for him to pick me when I tried to find him the
perfect match.
That was the day temptation made me crazy.

So crazy it tempted me to see what would happen next with The Player…

This is a Steamy, Sexy, Short Romance with scorching hot love scenes. If you
love short romances with insta-love you’re gonna love this sexy alpha treat.
Dive in.

Chapter 1 - Look Inside


Six years ago

I glance over my shoulder to check on Alyssa. 

She’s in the living room taking off her shoes. She stands and looks around the little cabin-like house we’ll be staying in tonight and lowers back to the sofa. 

She’s scared. 

I’m fucking scared, too, and that’s not going to help either of us. 

Satisfied she’s not listening in on my conversation, I continue talking to Gio, one of my head guards. 

“Make sure the perimeters are secured.” I keep my voice low as I speak into the phone. 

“Yes, Boss. We’ve got men around keeping watch. They got here a few minutes before you arrived.” 

“Good. I don’t want shit today. Not today of all days.” I can’t keep the strain out of my voice. It’s times like this when I remember as badass as I am, I’m human. 

We all get the reminder we’re human when the shit hits the fan, and you realize there are some things you can’t control. 

Like having a mad man who’s after your wife, insisting he wants her body rather than the millions, he was paid to release her from the debt her father owed. 

I sigh and press the phone to my ear, releasing a shallow breath. 

“I’ll be keeping watch, Boss,” Gio promises. 

I can hear it in his tone; he knows how worried I am. And weak.

Weakness and Tristan D’Agostino are words that should not be combined in the same sentence. They don’t fit together. I hate the word weakness with a vengeance. It reminds me of the other word no one from our world likes to feel. 


“You call me at the first sign of trouble,” I ordered. “I mean it.” 

“Yes, Boss.”

I hang up the phone and shove it into my back pocket. 

Gazing out to the night sky, I wonder if I did the right thing by coming here. 

I rest my hands on the baroque balcony’s stone surface and look over the extensive grounds, pitch-black against the night. 

I can’t see much at all. That means if someone is watching, they can’t see much of anything either. Tucked away on the edge of San Bernardino Forest, the cabin is far away from home and anywhere associated with us. That’s supposed to make it the perfect place to offer the safety I need right now to protect Alyssa. 

I should take comfort in that sense of safety, but I feel out of my element. I’ve felt like it all day before if I’m honest. 

Trouble’s brewing. Trouble that wasn’t resolved and might not ever be. That’s what happens when you deal with a soulless devil like Mortimer Viggo.

That is who wants my girl. Mortimer Viggo. God…I can’t even believe I’m thinking that man’s name. It’s synonymous with death. 

He and his Circle of Shadows, a group of Bratva assassins, are like demons from hell who will stop at nothing to get what they want. Right now, they’re on the hunt for my wife.

This shit shouldn’t be happening, not to my girl. She’s sweet and innocent and deserved a good day today—not this. 

It was our wedding day. A day I looked forward to since my crazy ass proposed to her when I was twelve. 

I never imagined having to watch our backs this way. I’ve taken all sorts of measures for us to have today the way we planned and be safe so far. I just pray to God in his high heavens that nothing will happen. 

“Tristan,” comes Alyssa’s soft voice from behind me. 

I turn to face her and give her my best smile. 

My angel smiles back at me. Those bright brown eyes look back at me with the same love they always show me, and her raven hair frames her beautiful heart-shaped face. 

“Hey,” I rasp out and walk toward her. 

Cupping her face, I recall our vows we took earlier, and I take a moment to feel the special thing she does for me. Alyssa tames the beast. She soothes the raging animal inside me that’s threatening to break out and kill any motherfucker responsible for this situation. 

Really though, it’s just one person who deserves the wrath of what I feel, and that’s her father. 

“You aren’t going to stay out here all night, are you?” she asks. 

“No, I just want to make sure we’re okay. Make sure you’re okay.” 

The twinkle dulls in her eyes, and she presses her lips together. 

Swallowing hard, she forces a smile. “I’m sorry about this.” 

“Don’t be.” It’s not her fault. She’s a victim of greed and the darkness that can happen in our world. What’s happening is the sort of thing that the innocent get caught in when evil is at work. I talk like I’m a good man, like I’m not evil myself for being a mobster. But it’s truth. Truth is truth. In our world, when people don’t get what they want, they take other things. Like those you love. 

“We’ll be on the island tomorrow,” I assure her. “We’ll be able to stay there, and no one will bother us. We’ll stay for as long as we need to.”

“It’s not good to cage something wild. It’s not right,” she says. It’s a saying she’s said to me many times. It was the first thing she said to me when we met many years ago as I attempted to cage a wild bird I’d tended to when it was injured. 

I smile at her. “My love, are you talking about me or you? When last I checked, we were both as wild as each other.” 

She chuckles at that, laughter which fills me with hope. When she schools her features, and the seriousness returns to her face, I get my answer. “You. I’m talking about you. The island is beautiful, and I can’t believe you actually got it, but a man like you isn’t meant to stay on an island. Kept away from everyone else, family and friends.” 

“It’s our paradise. The castle for the princess. A refuge from harm. I will keep you safe, Alyssa, no matter what,” I vow, and I sounded like earlier when I pledged my life to her. “You hear me?” 

She nods her head. “I do.” 

“I got the island for us to make our home. Just like I promised.” I did promise that. She was ten, but she remembers. At the time, I was dirt poor, and we were both living in Stormy Creek. A place known to house the poor and unfortunate.

When I release her, she stands on the tips of her toes and plants a kiss on my chin. 

“You did promise, Tristan. Can I have my husband to myself now, please?”

“You may. Head upstairs, and I’ll grab the champagne.” 

“Don’t keep me waiting.” 

“I don’t plan to,” I assure her.

She smiles, and I feel at ease. I watch her and try to push away my fears as she saunters away. 

Everyone is on high alert. The place is secured; my father and brothers are on the streets looking for the devils. I can take tonight. Take the next few hours as a reprieve. A rejuvenation so I can be ready for tomorrow.

I just hate feeling like Mortimer is constantly watching me. 

Closing my eyes briefly, I remove the stress from my mind and make my way into the kitchen. I had champagne and some other things delivered earlier in my attempt to garner some part of the celebration. 

I grab the basket that everything was delivered in. It’s one of those massive arrangements with an assortment of cakes and wine. 

Pulling in a deep breath to clear my head, I head back out to the passageway, but a prickling sensation has me stopping mid-stride. 

Something suddenly feels off about the place. 

Something more than it already did. 

A flicker of trepidation sweeps through me when I sense a presence about the house that wasn’t there before. The same sort of presence I’ve been trained to pick up on when danger is near. It’s the same presence that tells me I’m not being paranoid. I feel for my Beretta in my back pocket and continue up the winding staircase leading to the bedroom. 

Glancing around, I check the place. This house is small. Several times smaller than the home we live in on Redondo Beach. It has more land around it, though. Nevertheless, I should be able to tell if someone was in the house. 

That’s what it feels like. 

I walk into the bedroom, expecting to see Alyssa inside, but she isn’t in there. 

I set the basket with the champagne on the bed and look for her in the en-suite bathroom, but she’s not there either. 

“Alyssa?” I call out. 

No answer. 

I make my way into the other two rooms on the floor. The only other two rooms on the floor which are another bedroom and a larger bathroom. But … she’s not in either of them. 

Panic assails me, making my heart gallop and my racing blood pump through my veins like liquid fire. I rush back downstairs into the living room and stop in my tracks when I see the front door wide open. 

It definitely was not fucking open just now when I was down here. 


“Alyssa!” I call out, and there’s still no answer. 

Reaching for my phone, I call Gio. When his phone goes straight to voicemail, a shiver of ice runs down my spine. He always answers his phone. My heart sinks into a chasm of hell when I call my other guards, and the same fucking thing happens. 

No one who is supposed to be watching the place is answering their phones. And I can’t find Alyssa. 

I rush to the door and gasp out a horrified breath when I see her bracelet on the threshold. It’s just lying there like it’s waiting for me. 

Like it was set there to show me I’m helpless. Helpless, the very thing I feared. Oh, God…



This isn’t happening.

They took her. She’s been taken. 

She’s gone. They got to her. 


Fuck, how?

How did I not see them? 

Why didn’t I hear them? 

I was only away from her for a few minutes. That’s all. 

“Alyssa!” I shout, sprinting outside. My shoes meet the gravel path leading up to the driveway. 

Where is everyone?

I run out to where Gio is supposed to be stationed. Ahead is his car. The door is open. In the moonlight, I can make out something on the ground. 

Adrenaline carries me, but I stop short when the night lights come on, and I see what’s lying there. It’s his phone. 

Walking up to his car, I see why he didn’t answer me. 

He’s dead. His throat has been slit from ear to ear, and blood covers his chest. 

I turn and gaze down to the gates about forty-feet away, and my fucking heart stops beating when I see the shadowy figures of the two men who are supposed to be watching the house slumped at the sides, and the fucking gate is open. 

* * *

“Tristan, tell me everything again,” Massimo demands. 

I gaze into my brother’s eyes, and I try to calm the fuck down so I can answer him. I’m trying, but I can’t do it. Not now. 

I grab the glass of whiskey and knock back the acrid liquid. Dominic just looks at me cautiously. He’s been quiet this whole time, not saying a damn thing. Not because there’s nothing to say, it’s because of the obvious. It’s not often that someone is taken that we get them back. My little brother isn’t talking because he doesn’t want to tell me that. 

I don’t know why but when shit’s going down, it’s usually us three who stick together. Andreas, my oldest brother, goes off to be the hero and save the day. Maybe he’s got that big brother gene that makes him do that. 

These two stick together and me with them. Today I don’t know if I want them near me or away from me. 

Dominic’s not saying shit because he knows I’m right to fear the worst, and telling Massimo what happened again isn’t going to help. 

“We’ve been looking for her all night,” I say, my fucking voice sounds muffled. I’m a mess, and I can’t control myself. 

“Tristan, maybe we missed something,” Massimo answers. 

I gaze at him and see the reflection of myself in his eyes. People say we look like twins. As I regard my brother now, I see he’s a reflection of me, internally and externally. 

I focus back on Dominic. He’s the youngest of us, and although we’re just a year apart, I sometimes feel older than he is from the respect he shows me. People know the four D’Agostino brothers are a force to be reckoned with. People see the strength of us. Behind that, however, we each have our individual qualities. 

Dominic is the heart of the group, the most perceptive and intuitive. He knows I’m hurting, and I’m at the end of the fucking line.

The intensity of my gaze makes him glance down at the floor of this fucking cabin I thought safety would come from. I continue to stare at him even as his gaze climbs back up to meet mine. 

“What say ye brother? You’ve been quiet?” I say to him. I don’t know why I bother. 

His lips part to answer me but the click of the front door has me bolting to my feet. 

I rush out to the passage as Nick, one of our enforcers comes into the house carrying a box. 

“Boss, this was at the office with your name on it,” he says. 

Massimo and Dominic join me. 

My eyes are on the box. It looks like a standard size delivery box. Nothing sinister; it’s my heart that’s clenching with the anxiety that’s gripping it. 

“It was just left?” I ask. 

Nick nods. “We checked the footage, and it was wiped.” 

Yes… just like the fucking footage here. 

I move to him and take the box. 

It feels heavy. Strangely heavy. 

Massimo comes to my side when I set the box down on the table. 

Drawing in a breath, I open it, and everything inside me changes when I see what’s inside.

Everything changes, and I know nothing will ever be the same again as I gaze into those bright brown eyes of my girl. 

Her head sits in the box, her eyes open with terror gazing back at me, blood stains her cheeks as tears run down mine, and my soul weeps. 

They killed her. 

They killed my Alyssa. My wife.

She’s dead. My worst fears have come to light. I couldn’t keep her safe. I couldn’t protect her.

Massimo and Dominic are saying something, but I can’t hear them. One of them holds me. I don’t know which. I don’t know anything. Time has frozen, and it’s like I’m watching a nightmare unfold before my eyes. 

Except it’s not a nightmare. This is real. It’s what happens in the darkness of my world. 

This is what Mortimer Viggo does to anyone who crosses him. 

My Alyssa is dead. 

My soul weeps, then dies. 

Darkness fills the void as the last traces of the man I was fade away into the ether, and the beast takes his place.

Darkness comes, and so does the thirst for vengeance.

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