Home > Always A Legacy Novel (Cross + Catherine #1)

Always A Legacy Novel (Cross + Catherine #1)
Author: Bethany-Kris

“What are you looking at?”

“A full shipment,” Wolf replied.

“Of the handguns.”

It wasn’t even a question.


The olive-toned, dark-haired man on the other side of the table nodded. “One-hundred grand, then.”

Nearly fifteen-year-old Cross Donati’s brow furrowed as he surveyed the guns on the table again. He knew a thing or two about guns; he liked them. He liked them a whole lot for longer than he could remember. Instead of porn stashed under his bed, he had Guns and Ammo.

Nearly seventy percent of America’s black market gun trade was exclusive to handguns, with a large majority being semi-auto pistols. A very small percentage of that market went to rifles. It wasn’t where the money was.

All good dealers—the illegal ones, anyway—went where the money happened to be.

Cross glanced back to the table just across the way, where he’d left his backpack hidden underneath with his phone inside. The calculator on the damn thing would help him figure out the numbers, but he was sure—

“Cross, eyes on the table,” Wolf snapped at the back of his head.


“I just wanted to get my—”

“We’re doing business, principe. What does that mean, huh?”

Cross rolled his eyes while his back was still turned. If his father’s consigliere saw him doing that, Wolf wouldn’t hesitate to smack him for it. “Means eyes on the table.”

“So get them there.”

The man who had brought the guns into the strip joint that Wolf owned chuckled, so did the three guys that accompanied him.

“He’s grown quite a bit, hasn’t he?” the man asked, watching Cross with a hard stare that betrayed his kind tone.

Wolf kept his gaze on the guns, even as he answered. “Quite a bit this last year, actually. Puberty kicked in hard with him a couple of years back before anyone knew what the fuck was happening.”

“Calisto’s got him under your feet, I see.”

“Somebody needs to keep an eye on the principe when his zio can’t do it,” Wolf said absently.

“How old is he now?”


“Almost fifteen,” Cross interjected before Wolf could finish. His mentor—for all purposes—gave him a side-eye that warned him to pipe down without even saying a thing. “Well, I am.”

Wolf lifted a hand and waved it at Cross as if to ask, what can you do with him? “He’s still learning, but he’s quick. He has a good interest in this sort of thing, and it would be a shame to waste it. Problem is, he’s also got a mighty attitude that can’t seem to be cured. Maybe it’s puberty, or maybe he’s just going to be one of those cocky shits when he gets older. Who the hell knows? Right now, I have his attention focused. That’s what Calisto wanted me to do. Focus him on something other than easy pussy, idle hands, and trouble. Mostly, he listens. It’s the best I can say for him.”


The men ignored Cross’s indignant mutter, and went back to discussing the weapons on the table as though he wasn’t even there to begin with.

“One-hundred G’s, you said?” Wolf asked, scratching at his lower jaw.

The guy nodded. “That’ll get you a full shipment of these handguns and the pistols.”

Without a word, Wolf bent down and pulled one of two bags out from under the table. Both had cash in them, as Cross had seen Wolf check, double-check, and then triple check both bags before his … associates arrived.

Money was another thing Cross liked.

A lot.

Wolf set the heavy bag on the table with a thud. “There you are, all large bills.”

One of the three men that had been standing back stepped forward to stuff the guns into duffle bags, while another man grabbed hold of the bag with the cash.

“Leave the pistols,” the man told his man, “just pack up the rifles.”

Cross kind of wanted one of those rifles.

He stayed quiet.

“Pleasure doing business with you, Puzza,” the man said, smirking.

Wolf offered the same back. “And you.”

“Say hello to the principe’s zio for me. It’s been a while, but you know how the Marcellos are. We don’t mingle with other families very often unless it’s for business. How Giovanni gets away with it and doesn’t get himself killed, I’ll never know.”

“I’ll tell Calisto you asked after him, Lucian.”

That was the first time Cross heard Wolf use the man’s name since he had entered the strip joint an hour earlier. He stared at Lucian Marcello’s back as the man’s men flanked him from the sides and behind to follow him out.

Cross blinked out of his daze when Wolf’s hand ruffled through his dark hair, messing up his curls. He smacked the older man’s hands off his head. “Fuck off, Wolf.”

Wolf laughed loud and hard, turning back to the table. “Just figuring out who that was now, are you?”

“Lucian Marcello.”

“Yeah, yeah. But why is he important, kid?”

Cross bristled at the kid comment, but spoke anyway. “He’s Dante Marcello’s underboss.”


Cross was not a stupid teenager, despite what Wolf liked to sometimes say. Besides, he was pretty sure Wolf told people stuff like that to keep them from looking at Cross too hard. Like then they might see that Cross had a better understanding of the shit happening around him than anyone was aware of.

He knew who his step-father was in New York. Although, technically Calisto Donati was his cousin, despite the fact Cross referred to him as an uncle, who had married his mother when he was just a baby. A mafia boss, running a criminal organization and living his life by the Cosa Nostra code.

Cross figured all that shit out when he was younger, and realized no, not everyone got a bodyguard like he did when he played in his own backyard during turbulent times. No, not every kid had rules that dealt with things like respect, honor, and dignity repeated to them over and over again by every man in their life. And no, not every kid got someone like Wolf to take them on trips and business meets that they weren’t allowed to talk about with people outside the family.

Also, family meant a whole different thing to Cross compared to other people.

It wasn’t just blood.

It was famiglia.

No, Cross wasn’t stupid.

“Cross,” Wolf said.


Wolf gestured toward the front door of the strip joint where Lucian had disappeared out of earlier. “And?”

“And the Marcellos dominate organized crime in New York,” Cross said. He parroted the same words that had been repeated to him a thousand times in an effort to teach him about the rules, families, and expectations of a business that his step-father kept telling him he couldn’t keep his nose out of.

“So what does that mean to us?”

To the Donati family, he meant.

Cross heard the unspoken words loud and clear.

“We defer to the Marcellos,” Cross said, “on stuff that might affect their business or streets. It’s what’s right.”

“It’s the proper thing to do,” Wolf corrected. “It’s about the respect and the point of the matter, Cross.”

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