The Wrong Type of Seduction

46 Matt, Look Alive


46: Matt, Look Alive

Matt played a few bars on his piano, testing out his new song. It was still raw, needed polishing, but it was turning out pretty damn good so far. He scribbled down some corrections on the hood of the piano and then typed it in on the laptop stand setup on the side.

The doorbell buzzed.

No one got up to answer it. Cody slouched on the couch watching a game. Bailey beside her. Tyler was off working with Walthour so it couldn’t be him. Plus, Tyler never rang. Maybe it was their mother.

It buzzed again. Matt frowned, looking at his phone.

“You want me to get it?” Bailey asked.

No one called him to say they were coming over. And the studio session wasn’t until around six.

Matt immediately jumped up thinking of the only other person who might come without calling. He pushed the intercom system.


“Mr. Delarosa,” The doorman said, “There is a Ms. Braun here for you.”

“Be down in a minute.”

Matt grabbed his keys and ignored the stares from the couch.

Not stopping to put on shoes, he took the elevator in his socks. When he got to the lobby, she stood there looking uptight as hell. And he knew why. It was the reason he was ready to kill every time he saw her. How could a man ever hurt her? How could anyone ever hurt her?

“Val?” He rushed to her.

She smiled but she continued to hug herself. “I have a new phone-” He never let her finish. He kissed her wrapping his arms around her.

Her arms finally unfolded from her protective stance and came around his waist. When he pulled back he leaned his forehead against hers.

“What am I doing, Matt? I could get you in so much trouble.”

“I like trouble.”

“Matt… He’s in New York.”

“Good. Point me to him.”

“He has guards!” She punched him in his side to get him to let go, but he refused.

“So if I ordered you to kill his guards so I could go after him…” He murmured low. “Would you?”

She seemed to think about it. Hell, she was thinking about it! Matt grinned loving her even more, if that was possible.

“Too risky. I take out one it will alert another. I don’t usually do multiple kills at once, unless I’ve run the numbers several times and-” He cut her off again kissing her.

“I love that you were considering it,” he said nibbling her lips.

“It was a hypothetical question?”

“For now. Until we can’t find another way.”

“Murder should be the absolute last option. Especially if it gets you in-“

“Hi. My name is Bailey.”

Matt stiffened hearing that deep commanding voice and pulled Val close but she squirmed free.

“Yes, I know. You play American football professionally.” She took the hand that his brother held out and shook.

Matt glared at Cody who stood behind him and silently mouthed, “Sorry, I tried to stop him.”

“How old are you, Val?” His brother demanded.

“Older than you.” She smiled politely in that way she did that was all business, emotions shoved aside. He loved it! Almost as much as he loved her seductive smile.

“Bring her upstairs, Matt.”

“But Tyler-“

“Is in Japan. He and Walthour just flew out. Come on.” Bailey turned his back to head up to the condo.

Matt grumbled under his breath not wanting to fight his brother in front of Val.

“If Matt doesn’t want me to come up to his apartment I won’t,” Val said stopping Bailey in his tracks.

Bailey turned and just stared at her. Matt immediately felt protective. His brother could be intimidating, but it usually didn’t bother Matt. However, he didn’t want Val feeling uncomfortable because of it. He looked at the woman who appeared as calm and composed as if she was used to such expressions.

But of course she was. Married to a gangster, this was probably a walk in the park. And don’t forget she could put my brother in the ground… Yeah, there was that too.

Cody bounced behind Bailey nervously watching the stare down.

Matt didn’t want to get between them because it was kind of fascinating watching the battle of wills, but he knew they couldn’t stand there all day.

“Bro, you’re making your pregnant girlfriend nervous,” Matt said.

Those hard eyes shifted to focus on Matt.

Instead of commenting, Matt took Val’s hand and they walked to the elevator.

They all rode up quietly as Matt’s thumb nervously stroked the back of Val’s hand. She squeezed his in return, hard enough to reassure him.

When they got into his condo, Bailey sat at the kitchen table like it was his throne. “What’s going on, Matt? Explain.”

“Nothing to explain,” Matt said dragging Val beside him where he stopped by the kitchen island.

“Nothing? Matt, if my ears weren’t deceiving me, you could be…contemplating murder?”

Well, shit. “And if I recall, I’m nineteen and no longer answer to you.”

“Dammit, Matt, I’m worried.”

“I get that. But…” Matt couldn’t hold back any longer. His brother needed to understand. “I’m trying like hell to seduce her. I’m trying to keep her from leaving town and me. Dammit, do you know how hard it was to get her to this point. I’ve begged just to go on one date. One! Now she’s here. She came to me. So don’t you fucking ruin it.”

“Why not?” Bailey stood. “Clearly something is going on-“

“Bailey, shut the hell up,” Cody finally said exasperated. “I know you love your brother to pieces, but you might lose this one. Think about it. Think, dammit,” She said slapping the side of his head. “Think about who you’re talking to. And how damn independent he is. You push, he walks. He doesn’t need shit from us. Never needed us. He wants us because he loves us. But he doesn’t need us.”

Bailey nodded, sat back down, and closed his eyes.

“I’m twenty-nine years old,” Val said.

“Twen- Matt!” Bailey shot up. “She’s ten years your… Fuck!”

Matt leaned down and whispered in her ear, “You did that on purpose didn’t you?” 

“Couldn’t help it,” Val said not changing her calm stoic facial expression making Matt inwardly laugh. He knew she had a devious streak but why was she pulling it out now of all times?

“I need you to behave.” Matt kissed her cheek.

“Fine.” She sighed.

“Matt! She’s-“

“I already know.” He’d gone over the numbers in his head the night she told him about her marriage and how old she was when she got married. Using her ten years of marriage as a timeline plus the “divorce”, he knew she was pushing thirty. And it didn’t bother him one bit.

“What the…” Bailey began pacing.

Cody just stared in shock. “Really? You’re twenty-nine. I mean that’s not old really. Just… he’s nineteen. But you don’t look your age. I mean…twenty-five at most… And I’m not judging because I… Well… not judging…” She trailed off then grinned at Matt. “I should’ve known you wouldn’t do ordinary.”

“Should I just tell him everything?” Val asked finally looking amused.

Matt chuckled. “You want to torture my brother.”

“Only because he makes it easy.”

Matt laughed pulling her to him. “Please never change.”

“I’m glad you two are bonding. Now talk.” Bailey growled

“Me and Val are just sex friends. That’s all.”

“Bullshit,” Cody and Bailey said at the same time.

“I’m in love with her. She’s playing hard to get. We’re not official yet. But I want to be. Now go away, and let me work my mojo,” Matt said making shooing motions with his hand.

“Matt, think this through.”

“He’s been thinking it though for over a month.” Cody spoke up. “That means it’s too late to dissuade him.”

“Over a… You knew!” Bailey whirled on Cody.

“Yep. But because you tell Tyler everything I bottled it.”


“Move it, grumpy. They need to talk.” Cody pushed on his back toward the door.

“But I’m not done. I need to know-“

“When Matt’s ready.”

Bailey left cursing.

“You weren’t kidding. Your brother is intense,” Val said wistfully to the air.

“He’s the good one.” Matt inwardly cringed knowing it was now only a matter of time before Tyler finds out.

“If we’re together he’s not going to like that I was the hand that killed your father. Ever.”

He knew that already. “I don’t care. Now what happened? What did Domenic do?” he asked rubbing his hands over her arms.

“Oh, I nearly forgot. Your family is a fun distraction. I only came to give you my new phone number.” She fished into her pocket and pulled out a scrap of paper. “I plan to meet with Domenic in two days.”

“I wanna be there.”

“No,” She said it so plain and quick he almost missed it.


“My fight. Now take the number and put it into your phone.”

Matt took it and then opened the scrap. “Move in with me.”


“Let me move you somewhere close.”


“Let me move in with you.”



She groaned. “I know you want to protect me. And it’s sweet, but I’m a big girl. I can take down men twice my size.” Her hand shot up and jabbed Matt in the side of the neck. He barely felt it, but when he blinked he was on his knees trying to catch his breath.

I…Val…” He said choking on what little bit of air squeezed into his lungs. Spots soon began dancing in his vision, taunting his consciousness.

She began to count. “Three…two…one…”

His breathing returned, chest easing, pressure lifting. Feeling was coming back into his legs as they tingled.“What the fuck…”

“Pressure points. I only used enough force to make it temporary. I am the type of assassin that doesn’t master in hand to hand or normal weapons. I master in the fastest way to immobilize and kill without you ever suspecting what I’m capable of. Poisons, paralysis, pressure points. And concealable weapons when all else fails. But I don’t like using them because it’s harder to clean the evidence.”

“Shit. You…”

“Scared of me now?”

Instead of answering, he grabbed her wrist and pulled her down to the floor with him. He took her face in his hand and kissed her so hard, he sucked the air from her lungs to replenish his own. His tongue explored her mouth as he considered how best to fuck her on the floor.

She pounded at his chest to push away, then glanced down at him pants. “How? You should be running from me?”

“Never that… I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.” Matt took her chin in his hand and lifted it up so their lips met. Their kiss lingered, soft and sweet as he tasted her. When she mewled, clearly wanting more, he pulled away. “Does it bother you? Killing?”

She rubbed her lips lightly against his. “I’ve killed enough that it no longer matters.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“I don’t know if I can. I was raised to be a killer, Matt. I was shaped by my environment, its a part of my morality. While I hate that I was used by others to exact petty revenge, I felt there were those in the world who needed my services.”

“Like the rich?”

She laughed. “I use them more than they use me. Where do you think I get the money for my charities and my business? Yeah, it’s unethical, but… My hands will never be clean so unethical isn’t the problem.”

“So you don’t think you can ever atone?”

“Atone… I don’t look for that… I just want things to be better for certain people.”

“Like the women at your shelter and the foundation.”

Val nodded.

He kissed her. “So you can take care of yourself. I get it…” He kissed her again. “…but I care about you.”

“Yet we’re still keeping things from each other. Both of us. Can we survive like that?” Her lashed lifted to meet his gaze.

He blew out a breath. “I fear my secrets might have you fleeing more than your secrets.”

“Try me. I’m not a child and I’ve been through some things.”

He smiled. “Yes, you have. But not everything is so easily explained and accepted. I want to trust you. I want to tell you so bad, it hurts. But I also know that you could run. I barely have you now.”

“I’d never tell. No matter what it was.”

He smiled. “I know.” He did. They were already keeping each other’s secrets. Except for that part he told Voronin…but he would never admit that until it was time. “How about… you let me go to the meeting with you and Domenic, and then I’ll tell you everything.”

She shook her head. “I have to go.” She pulled away, but Matt grabbed her and kissed her. Hard. She grabbed on to his shirt and held on. When he let go, she still clung to him.

“You’re… making this hard.” She mumbled.


“I’ll let you know how the meeting goes.”

“Please do.”

She stood and walked out of the condo. It was all Matt could do not to follow. 

Now to face his brooding brother. Good thing he’d be leaving soon.


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