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Ruthless Promise

Ruthless Promise

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All’s fair in love and war.

The problem is, I want no part of either.
I want peace with the Bratva. Safety for my wife. And love?
That’s never played a part in any of this.
But the harder I fight against it, the more she pulls me in. And now I know that she’s carrying a secret.
One that could change both of our futures forever.
I made Sofia a promise.

They’re all about to discover just how ruthless of a man I can be.

Ruthless Promise is the final entry in the Dark Promises trilogy, part of the Vicious Promise series, and is not a standalone. The reading order is Vicious Promise, Broken Promise, Ruthless Promise.

This book contains graphic violence and sexual themes that may not be suitable for all readers. Ruthless Promise is best suited for fans of Nicole Fox and Rina Kent, who love their heroes damaged and their romance dark.
  • Enemies To Lovers
  • Arranged Marriage
  • Age Gap


All’s fair in love and war.

The problem is, I want no part of either.I want peace with the Bratva. Safety for my wife. And love?That’s never played a part in any of this.But the harder I fight against it, the more she pulls me in. And now I know that she’s carrying a secret.One that could change both of our futures forever.I made Sofia a promise.

They’re all about to discover just how ruthless of a man I can be.

Chapter 1 Look Inside


The emotions that I feel when I come to get Sofia from the hospital are more complex than I’d expected. Anger I understand—that I could deal with. But I feel a simmering sense of betrayal too—and worry for her. 

She could have gotten herself killed. She almost did—and what she went through instead was, in some ways, worse.

Saving her forced me to do terrible things. Things that I’d never imagined I’d have to do.

I can feel it gnawing at me as I walk into the hospital, the still too-fresh memory of laying her in the backseat of the car, bloodied and so close to death that I’d thought I might lose her. 

The fear that I’d felt—the intense, blinding ache of impending loss—was a feeling I hadn’t had in a very long time. One that I’d never intended to feel, when it came to Sofia. I don’t entirely know how to deal with it, and a part of me is angry at her not only for nearly getting herself killed and for putting me in the position I’d been in—but also for making me feel this way. 

Making me feel things that I’ve tried so very hard to avoid. Things that have no place in the life I’ve chosen. 

I see Sofia flinch when I walk into the hospital room, and somehow that only fuels my anger, adds to the complex layer of emotions. How dare she, I want to say, feeling my jaw tighten. After everything I did to save her, she flinches when I walk in the room. As if I’d done all that just to hurt her.

A little fucking gratitude would go a long way.

“It’s time to go home,” I tell her, forcing a thin smile that I know doesn’t meet my eyes. “Are you ready, Sofia?”

I see her hand float towards her stomach—almost a protective gesture, and it piques my curiosity immediately. It can’t be. Even if it was, there’s no way a pregnancy could have survived what Sofia just went through. But still—it can’t be. 

I’ve been careful. Sure, there were a couple times when I wasn’t as careful as I ought to have been, but not enough for that. A pregnancy would only complicate things more, and I’m not ready to have that fight with Sofia—the one that involves her terminating it.

But for some reason, that thought—the thought of her having the abortion I already told her would be demanded of her, wrenches my stomach. Our child. It makes me feel almost sick to think about it, and I don’t understand that any more than I understood the hollow ache of near-loss when I found Sofia in the safe house. I don’t want a wife, a child, a family. I never have. 

So why does the potential loss of those things suddenly hurt so much? 

Sofia is able to walk out of the hospital room under her own power, and I stay by her side, ready to catch her if her legs fail her, but all I want is to get home. I can feel the storm brewing between us, Sofia’s tense silence and my rising anger, and I don’t know how long we have before it breaks.

Less time than I thought, as it turns out. I’d thought I could hold back until we reached the privacy of the penthouse, but as soon as we’re both in the car with the doors shut and the divider up, I feel my anger bubbling up until I can’t keep silent a moment longer, Sofia’s pale still face driving me past the point of self-control.

I round on her, knowing that my expression must be cold and hard and terrifying, but I’m past caring. She has to learn.

I will not do this again.

“What,” I grind out through clenched teeth, “the fuck were you thinking? Leaving like that? Going to St. Patrick’s? What the fuck were you doing, Sofia?”

I don’t know what I expected from her. Contrition? Apologies? She’s never done that yet. So I don’t know why I’m surprised when instead of begging for forgiveness, explaining and pleading for me to understand, she lifts her chin and looks me straight in the eyes, unflinching and defiant.

“I left because I’m done with all of this,” she says, her voice as cutting as the lash of a whip, and equally inflaming. There’s no contrition in her voice, no admission of wrongdoing. Just defiant, self-aggrandizing anger, and it pushes me over the edge entirely.

“I’m done with your lies, Luca,” she snaps. “Done with you breaking your promises, done with this fucking sham of a marriage. I’m done with you using me. So yes, I ran away. I went to see if Father Donahue would help me escape you. Because you’ve broken all of the promises you made me. I’m not safe. What happened just proved that.”

Oh fuck no.

“You were kidnapped because you ran away,” I growl at her, seething. “If you’d stayed put, like you were fucking told—”

“I don’t care.” She clenches her teeth, glaring at me without an ounce of regret for what she’s done, from what I can tell. “I thought there could be something between us, when you flew back from the Dominican Republic that night. I thought we might be able to have something real. The dates, the way we were together for a little while—” She takes a deep breath as I look at her, astonished. I can’t believe how brazen she is, how completely unaware of the lengths I’ve gone to protect her. How fucking ungrateful

“But I saw the other night,” Sofia continues, her chin still tilted up defiantly. “When you came home bloody and did—what you did—I saw that it was every bit as fake as our marriage. We never had a chance, Luca. And I’m done pretending.”

“What did I do?” I smile coldly at her. I can feel my hot, burning rage turning flat and cold, and I know that’s not a good thing. I know myself well enough that this isn’t how I want to feel towards my wife, but she’s pushing me to the very brink. I’d expected something better than this from her, after everything. Some fucking appreciation for saving her, at the fucking least.

“I came home bloody from trying to find out who attempted to fucking kill you. And after that?”

“You assaulted me—”

“No I fucking didn’t.” I glare at her, my chest heaving as I try to breathe through the anger. “Accuse me of whatever you like, but don’t ever fucking accuse me of that. You wanted it. You were fucking soaking wet when I got my cock in you. Just like I bet you are now.” I sneer at her, mocking her, but I can feel my cock getting hard at the memory, even in the middle of a fight.

But then again, fighting with Sofia always seems to turn me on in a way that fighting with any other woman never has. 

“I bet if I slid my hand up your thigh, you’d be dripping. You get off on this, on the fighting, the danger of it. On setting me off and seeing how far you can push me. One day, Sofia, you’re going to push me too fucking far.” That day might be today, if it keeps going like this.

“And what?” She glares at me, still seemingly undeterred. “You’ll tie me up and torture me like Rossi did?”

“Don’t fucking say that!” A shot of fear hits me, chilling my blood. No one can know. No one can ever fucking know. I grab her chin, forcing her to look at me. “The driver might hear you.”

“So what? Doesn’t everyone know?”

“No,” I grind out through gritted teeth, frustration rising until it’s all I can do not to scream at her. “Because I had to fucking lie to cover up the fact that I killed him to get you out of there? Do you know what could happen to me—to you too—if the rest of the underbosses and capos found out what I did?”

“But—” She struggles in my grasp, looking at me with confused eyes. “He was torturing me. He was going to let Ricard rape me, he was going to kill me—”

“Sure. And if I could prove that, then Rossi would have been executed, after a trial in front of the council. But I went in there, guns blazing, vigilante-style. I killed them all, to get you out of there, because by the time I managed to take him and the others into custody, if I and my men survived that, you would have been dead. And in doing so I risked everything, Sofia! Do you fucking understand that? Once again I’ve laid everything on the line for you, and you, you—”

I trail off, shaking with rage, nearly bursting at the seams with it. She has to fucking understand, by God, before she gets us all killed. Before I get myself killed over this stupid fucking obsession with her. 

“You are my wife,” I snarl, still gripping her chin in my fingers. Her mouth is so close, full and partly open, and I want to kiss her, to devour her, to fuck her in the back of this car until she understands who she fucking belongs to. “Call it a sham marriage if you want, call it all fake and lies and broken promises, but in the eyes of man and God and most importantly the fucking bosses of all the families, you are my legal and rightful wife. And just as you swore in front of that traitorous priest, by God, Sofia, you will fucking obey me if it’s the last thing you do.”

“Or what?” Her eyes glitter with defiance, and I have to fight not to shout at her.

“Goddamn it, Sofia!” I rake my fingers through my hair, my entire body rigid with anger. “Just—every single person in the mafia, from the highest underboss to the lowest soldier, fucking obeys me. Without question, without a word to my face. Maybe they bitch about my orders later, who fucking knows. But they obey. And I want, no, I demand that from you. Your obedience. Not your love, not your happiness, not your pleasure. Your fucking obedience. You do as I say and go where I say and fuck when I say. And then maybe we can both have some peace.”

Sofia crosses her arms under her breasts, still as defiant as if she hadn’t heard a single word I just said. Who knows, maybe she fucking didn’t. 

“You can’t force me to fuck you if I say I don’t want you.” She glares at me. “Then you’d be doing the one thing you swear you won’t do. And Rossi isn’t here anymore for you to blame it on, to say he’s making you.”

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