“Because God knows, if He ever took Celia from me, I'd burn the world down around us all”
“She's saying Santa Claus doesn't come to our house."
Celia tensed a bit, realizing he had been listening. "He can."
"No, he can't."
"We have a chimney."
"If something comes down my chimney, I'm shooting it...especially a fat man wearing a suit.”
“Mumbling some more, John made a speedy escape. Had he even said goodbye to Celia? Corrado wasn't sure. He wasn't sure of anything except for the look in her eyes as she leaned across the table toward him, her smile turning sinister. "Oh, we're close." "How close?" He hardly recognized his own voice, the demanding tone as the question forced its way from his lips. "Very close," she whispered seductively. "So very, very close." His jaw clenched, his eyes narrowing as his body instinctively seemed to follow her lead, moving toward her, his voice dangerously low. "You're lying." "Am I?" "You are," he insisted. "Tell me you're lying. Tell me that pesky little boy hasn't gotten close to you. Tell me he hasn't… that he hasn't touched you. Tell me he hasn't—" "What if he has?" "I'll kill him." "Why?”
“I waited a decade," she said. "And then I waited some more. I've waited enough. It's your turn to catch up.”
“I don't want just bits and pieces of you that I can steal away. I told you—you're worth more than being someone's secret."
"Yeah, well, it's not really a secret anymore," she declared.
"I know it isn't."
She groaned. "Then what, Corrado? What do you want?"
His strong hands cupped both of her cheeks as he leaned down toward her. He stared into her eyes, drinking in the devotion she—for some godforsaken reason—felt toward him. "I'm a greedy man, Celia. I want everything.”
“I've been trying to take the high road, you know, the Capone way...”
“A blush tinged her bronzed skin as she wrapped her arms around herself. Corrado grasped her wrists, pulling her hands away when she tried to shield herself. He stared at her, stunned to see the uncertainty in her eyes.
"You're not nervous this time, are you?" he asked, half-teasingly, half honestly wanting to know. She'd been so confident, unwavering before.
"It's the way you're looking at me."
"How am I looking at you?"
"Like you look at the Taj Mahal. Or the Sistine Chapel. You're staring at me like you stare at the Mona Lisa."
"I've never seen those things."
"It's like you've never seen something so beautiful before."
“He'd never seen anything so downright beautiful. A sense of peace fell over him, calming him, pacifying the always-tense nerves inside of him, and soothing his very soul. He wanted to take that moment, to capture it, and keep it forever.”
“Everyone was good at something. Some people painted. Others played music. Corrado just happened to be good at murder. He accepted that. Embraced it. That was who he was. The Kevlar Killer.”
“A job is a job, sir. If you’re doing it right, there’s nothing nice about it.”
“Please," she pleaded again, hands roaming his back, nails scraping his skin. "More." He pushed into her slowly, sinking every inch of himself inside again. "Like that?" "Harder," she demanded. "Fuck me, Corrado.”
“He opened his eyes and scanned her face, trying to find any sign of distress, but he there was none. Excitement, he realized as she opened her eyes and bit down on her bottom lip, as if she were fighting to contain it all inside of her.
The blood furiously pumping through his system cleansed away every ounce of hesitation. Despite what he'd said to her, despite his warnings about what type of man he truly was, she offered herself to him. She was giving herself to him, all of her, and it was a gift he was more than happy to receive.
'Everything,' he'd said. He wanted everything.
And now he would take it.”
“The sensation of being inside of her, their bodies connected, sent a chill down Corrado's spine that rivaled only the thrill he got from hearing her whimper and moan. He did that. He caused that. His hands—hands that roamed her flushed skin, hands that cupped her warm cheeks as he kissed her deeply—didn't just cause pain. Those hands didn't just brutalize. They were capable of pleasure, too, pleasure reserved for her.”
“Smiling, Celia leaned up on her tiptoes and kissed him. She pulled back, pressing her hand flat against his chest. His heart thumped erratically against her palm.
"You're wrong about yourself," she said seriously. "You said you were heartless, but that's not true. I can feel it, Corrado. It's in there. And as long as it's beating, I know it's there, working overtime, and you'll never convince me otherwise.”
“After one last kiss, she stepped away, wrapping his jacket tightly around her. "I'm keeping the coat."
"I'm going to wear it to bed."
"With nothing on underneath it."
Winking, she slipped inside, leaving him on the porch with that mental image ringing through his head.”
“Vincent doesn't like seeing Maura upset, and well, it's hard for her not to be upset when I'm around." "Can't say I'm surprised," Vito said. "She's Vincent's weakness. If he doesn't learn to control that, he'll get her killed." "Antonio says it's the other way around." "I don't often disagree with the Boss, but nah... her blood will be on Vincent's hands someday.”
“She eyed the shirt cautiously, and he knew what was coming next before it even happened. "This isn't my brother's blood, is it?" "No, Bellissima, it's not." He was pretty sure it wasn't, anyway. "Thank God," she whispered, disappearing into the hallway. 'Thank God' was right. He sincerely hoped a day never came where he had to answer yes to that.”
“For the first time I could remember, I felt weak, woozy and stupid— like a human-being. Like a very small and helpless human-being.”
“It was funny how the old practices always came around again. It was the rhythm of human enterprise to invent and worship some new approach, to fully reject it a generation later, to realize the need for it again a generation or two after that and then hastily reinvent it as new, usually without its original elegance. Scientists hated to look backward for anything.”
“Never trust people who smile constantly. They're either selling something or not very bright.”
“I love you too.”
“Don’t say too, it sounds like you’re just agreeing with me.”
“He always thinks because I'm reading, I'm not doing anything. There is no greater plague to an introvert than the extroverted.”
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