The Wrong Type of Seduction

34 Matt vs. The Patron


34: Matt vs. The Patron

Matt scribbled in another few notes on his music sheet when the doorbell rang. He waited a moment, knowing anyone who had a key would follow the ring by just walking in. And sure enough, the door opened. He glanced up for a moment expecting Cody. What he didn’t expect was his biggest patron, Gabriel Walthour.

The man rarely made personal visits. He either called or summoned Matt to him in Cody’s condo.

“Mr. Walthour?” He sat his pencil and his composition to the side to stand.

The man closed the door behind him and waved for Matt not to get up. “What do you know about the woman you’ve been persuading?”

He knew it was coming eventually, but not so soon. “Other than the fact she owns a company, volunteers for a domestic violence charity, and is working on their gala…” She was hotter than hell doused in hot sauce. And he wanted to strangle her ex-husband. “Nothing. She doesn’t talk about herself.”

Mr. Walthour unbuttoned his black suit jacket, took a seat on the couch, and leaned forward on his elbows looking concerned. Matt wasn’t used to that look. Or any other look except the man’s usual blank expression.

“I don’t like to interfere into personal lives. And I don’t want to here either. But…” He blew out a breath. “There is a potential for a shit storm and Cody wouldn’t want you in it.”

“If you’re about to tell me something private of Val’s, I’d rather it come from her.”

“If you wait on Val, you’ll never get it. Trust me. That woman’s secrets are nearly airtight. If not for your father’s investigation into her, I wouldn’t know half of what I know.”

Matt’s eyebrows rose. “My father investigated her?”

“On my orders. One of many projects he left unfinished.” He looked unsettled talking about it. Matt’s father’s death was still a sore spot for Walthour. Despite his father being a complete motherfucker, the man was the best at his job. “It took him years to dig up what he could. And unfortunately, he only scratched the surface before his death.”

If his father had gotten involved and still hadn’t learned everything about her… “This is a pretty big deal isn’t it?”

Walthour nodded. “I know Cody talks to you, so you probably know the name Domenic Ricci.”

Matt nodded. He was a powerful Italian mobster. One of the biggest mobsters in the world.

“Did she also tell you I don’t like dealing with Domenic?”

Matt nodded again watching the man who watched him. Matt spoke up. “She said something about you two not seeing eye to eye.”

“Normally, a man like Domenic wouldn’t concern me. Our families have been allies for years, distantly related actually. Though the ties have strained since Domenic took over. Until five years ago, the man was either a powerful ally or enemy depending on how you got on his bad side. Many feared him and several like myself, just steered clear. We did business on occasion with a clear understanding of the lines. He no more wanted to bother me than I him. A mutual understanding because of our ties. Now he’s barely clinging on to his organization and his company.”

“What changed?”

“Valeria Ricci. His wife. Now ex…I suppose.”

Matt’s eyebrows rose. Val? A mobster’s ex-wife? Hell, that was hot. “Wait…she was the reason he was so powerful? Why? How?”

“Val ran his wine company behind the scenes. And even further behind the scene, she was his hand of death.”

“Hand of what?” Matt swallowed not liking the sound of that.

“She ran his organization from the guards to the assassins.” He shook his head. “Don’t tell anyone about this because it was never confirmed, your father was still investigating. No one ever saw her outside of the Ricci estate unless she was on Domenic’s arm. So it was just a rumor. But Val is believed to be the mastermind behind his plots and…assassinations.”

Oh damn!

“Ricci is known to have some of the best assassins. Maybe the best assassins ever. But no one knows. No one alive has ever seen evidence or the assassins themselves.”

Holy shit… “Bet you could take on an assassin,” he said nervously.

Gabe frowned. “Maybe. Hard to gauge an opponent who you don’t fight and goes straight for the kill. Most assassins aren’t fighters. They don’t do honor. It’s all about the best method to make a quick clean kill. Regardless, if she truly orchestrated the deaths, there is no proof. Most of the kills associated with Ricci look natural or like an accident — some call it the Ricci Curse.”

“What?” Matt chuckled at the name.

“Think of it like a folklore or myth, if you piss off Ricci it won’t be long before the curse falls upon you and you die or someone close to you does.”

Matt lost all humor.

“The only reason I know what I do is because…” The man frowned. “I instructed Radford to start digging up her past the moment Domenic married her. The marriage was out of the blue. No one from any of the families knew about her or where she came from.” He blew out a breath. “It was revealed two years before you guys met Cody that she had a unique education growing up. One of her teachers that mysteriously disappeared was a chemist with a unique knowledge of toxins. Then there was a biologist who specialized in bacteria and viruses. They weren’t the only ones who mysteriously disappeared… There were also teachers for ancient medicine, etiquette, languages, and…many other subjects. The more I learned, the more I realized what Domenic’s quiet demure wife was.”

“You think she taught his assassins what she knows.”

“Very possible. Or she herself is an assassin. But like I said, she never left the estate without Domenic being present.”

“And you want me to stay away from her because she could have me killed.”

He chuckled. “No. Because Domenic wants her back.”

Well he can’t have her. “Why did he divorce her?”

“From what little I’ve learned, he thinks she betrayed him,” Walthour answered. “Honestly, I think he wants her skills more than he wants the woman because it was well known that the man slept with who and what he wanted.”

“Did he?” Matt’s brow furrowed, hating the man more and more. “What about Val? Did she also get that same privilege? To sleep with who she wanted?”

Walthour said nothing for a long time as he stared at Matt.

Matt held the man’s gaze, waiting.

“No. She was…obedient. Perfectly obedient.”

“No questions asked?”

“Not in front of guests. Or ever from what I gathered.”

“So…” Matt took in a deep breath. “You didn’t know her before the marriage, but during… How much did you see?”

“Other than the cheating? I saw enough.”

“Like the negotiations?”

One of Gabe’s eyebrows rose in surprise. “She told you?”

“Nope. She didn’t. But I overheard a conversation. And I want to know how much of that was Val’s idea.”

“None of it. She never benefited from a thing. Everything she ever did was to benefit Domenic, despite how horrible it made her look. Everything had always been for Domenic as if…she owed him her life.”

Irritated with that idea, Matt looked at Mr. Walthour’s suit patterned tie before looking back up into those pale green eyes. “And you?”

“I never slept with her if that’s what you mean. Yes, I wanted to. What man doesn’t? But I’ve never paid to sleep with a woman. And now I have Cody, I will never need another.”


“But I did flirt with her, mercilessly in front of Domenic. Mostly just to see her smile, she was so…like a lifeless doll going through the motions. I also did it to piss off Domenic. The way he treated her annoyed me. I never saw him lay a hand on her, but there are other forms of abuse.”

Matt blew out a breath.

“Does that bother you?”

“The flirting? No. Val flirts with everyone.” He laughed, jealous as hell.

“Yes. She does. It was part of her charm and what made her so successful under Domenic. But with her gone, his business is failing and the fear he used against his adversaries is fading. The truth about how his wife had been running the vineyards is starting to come to light. And the curse hadn’t struck in years, making people think it’s over. Either way, if he finds out you two are a thing, he might try to harm you. I’ll be forced to get in the middle.”

“Don’t. If he wants me he can have me.”

“Cody will-“

“I’ll talk to Cody.”

Walthour just looked at him. “You still plan to pursue this.”

“You’re kidding, right? She’s… hell those legs and brains and ass and a smile that could send me to heaven happy. If she wants to kill me in my sleep, she’s welcome to it.” Then he smiled imagining the sex before his demise. “Yep, that would be the best way to go.”

“She was right. You’re hardheaded.” Walthour groaned. “You better start talking to Cody then. I don’t want her crying over you. I don’t want her crying period.”

Matt snorted knowing if she was crying tears of joy on the guy’s cock, he’s be just fine with it.

Walthour watched him for a moment. “I hope you know what you’re doing.” He stood. “But if you can get her on your side, and get her to release some of her secrets-“

“Now, now, Mr. Walthour, I won’t be spying for you.”

“Then send her my way. She’d be a useful asset.”

“No promises.” Because first he had to chain those assets to him. And now that he knew the risks were higher, he knew the reward would be so much sweeter…


The next morning, Matt took the subway to the midtown theater where Val was setting up for the Gala Against Domestic Violence. He had tried to call her yesterday, but she never answered. So he called Tina who was more than eager to tell him where she was.

Grateful that Val didn’t scare off easy, he watched like a stalker in the shadows as she put up decorations. Of course she glanced back noticing him but kept working. She helped another woman who looked about Matt’s age, put up colorful streamers.

“So I heard rumors that he was releasing a new album soon, but this time he’s going to be collaborating with some of the top pop artists in the world. Is that true?” The girl on the ladder asked Val.

“You’ll have to ask him,” Val said as if bored.

“Do…do you know if he’s seeing anyone?” The girl asked.

“You should ask him that as well,” Val said turning her pretty hazel eyes to him as he approached.

He smiled liking she always knew when he was around. Those eyes looked at him knowingly.

“So Matthew, are you seeing anyone?”

Matthew? He approached her and kissed her forehead. The fact that she let him, made him want to take her into a back room and have his way with her. Or vice versa.

“I want to. I so want to. But she keeps playing hard to get. You think you can convince her to let me see her more. Possibly on a permanent basis.”

She laughed. “Nothing’s permanent.” Her eyes turned away from him and focused back on the girl who was now staring at them open mouthed.

“So about lunch…”

“I have work to do, Matt.”

“Mr. Walthour came to visit me yesterday. He said something about how I should stop seeing you because you-“

She turned to him and with a sickeningly sweet smile she said, “How about that little shop on the corner. I’ll meet you there for lunch.” Her eyes narrowed on him and Matt chuckled. 

If looks could kill… He leaned down and whispered in her ear. “Can I eat you out before you have me killed?” He breathed in her warm tropical scent.

“You are… nuts…” She whispered back, breath caressing his neck.

“And don’t forget needy.” He moved his head and quickly stole a kiss on the cheek. Then he spun to leave. “See you at lunch- ack!” He nearly choked on his shirt collar when she grabbed the back of it and hauled him to her.

“What does the rest of your day look like?” She asked whispering in his ear making him hornier.

“What do you want it to look like?”

“Don’t spoil me, Matt, and answer me honestly.”

“I want to spoil you.”

“Matthew?” She warned sounding authoritatively sexy. Dominatrix sexy. Yep, he could imagine her spanking him.

He laughed. “I meet with my manager at five for dinner so he can discuss my schedule. And if I’m lucky, I’ll have dessert a la Val later tonight…that will hopefully turn into breakfast?”

She let go and blew out a breath, “I can’t believe that made you hard.”

He laughed louder walking off ignoring the stares sent his way. For someone who didn’t want people knowing about their relationship, she just let the cat out of the bag. And he was so happy!


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