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I walked away, continuing on my path and shaking my head once more at the absurdity of it all. It would’ve been one thing if the embarrassing incident that had just passed had been a one-time thing. But it wasn’t. Nearly every damn day I’d spotted a woman on the streets of Manhattan that I was certain was her, only for the woman to turn and reveal that it was someone I’d never seen before in my life.

As I approached my building at Fifth and West Fifty-third, I reflected once more on how strange it was that a one-night stand had left such an impression on me. While one-night stands were no longer common for me these days—I was far too busy with work for that—I’d had more than a few when I was younger. Most had been fun, one-off things, the woman and I going our separate ways in the morning, no strings attached and no lingering feelings.

Georgia was different though. She’d made an impression on me that I couldn’t shake, one that made me furious with myself for not asking for her last name or any other sort of information that would’ve allowed me to get in contact with her.

Then again, maybe it was for the best that we wouldn’t be seeing one another again. The last thing I needed was for a woman to be taking up mental space. Work was demanding enough already without a distraction like her on top of it.

I slipped my apartment keycard out of my wallet and waved it in front of the sensor for the big revolving door of my building’s lobby. The lobby was stunning—situated in an art-deco style pre-war building, it featured marble and gold with a huge chandelier hanging high above it. There was always someone working the front desk, no matter the hour, and the employee greeted me with a nod as I strode past. Another swipe of my card in front of the elevator sensor, and I was on my way up.

I did my best to push Georgia out of my mind though not an easy task. The moment she disappeared from my thoughts, however, I found myself thinking about the shift I’d just finished. Namely, the poor kid I’d managed to bring back from the brink of death. Some nineteen-year-old biker working for Seamless had gotten himself smacked by a truck running a red light over in Long Island City. Our hospital, Midtown Presbyterian, had one of the best trauma surgery units in the area, so he’d been airlifted in around five PM.

The kid was covered in blood when he arrived, and part of me believed that he wouldn’t make it. Lucky for him, I was never one to back down from a challenge, or a chance to save a life. Me, and the rest of my team, spent ten straight hours working on the kid, and more than a few times I’d been worried we were going to lose him.

I’d never been one to give up, however. Slowly but surely, we repaired the damaged organs, set the broken bones, and sealed the numerous lacerations. The kid was in rough shape and was going to need a hell of a lot of PT to even hope to be back on his feet.

But he was alive. Experiencing times like that, where someone would be waking up in the morning who otherwise might be dead, were the exact reason why I was in this business. Well, that and because I was damn good at it.

The elevator opened to the forty-fourth floor, and I made the rest of the walk to my front door. One final keycard swipe and I was in, my body aching with fatigue as I stepped over the threshold.

My place was small ? two beds, two baths, the whole apartment eight-hundred square feet in total. But that was more than enough for someone like me who spent most of his waking hours at work. Not to mention that the view, an incredible sight overlooking the rest of Midtown and Central Park beyond, more than made up for the lack of space.I could have afforded something much grander but preferred the smaller and cozier digs after a long shift at the hospital.

I tossed my wallet and phone onto the kitchen counter, stepping over to the fridge and taking out some fruit and protein powder for a pre-bed smoothie.

The late-night shift wasn’t normally my thing—it’d been part of the arrangement I’d made with the hospital for the couple weeks I’d taken off to visit my mother in Greece. It had its perks, however. I’d always been a man slightly out of step with the rest of the world, so a schedule that reflected that suited me. Besides, it wouldn’t be forever.

I threw the ingredients into the blender, topping it all off with a couple scoops of protein powder and a glass of milk. A minute or so later I had my smoothie. Glass in hand, I stood in front of the big, wall-window that looked out over my private balcony, the city just as majestic as ever.

Right as I raised the glass to my lips, however, my phone sounded from the counter. Normally, I kept the thing on vibrate once I finished my shift. There were two exceptions—the first was for Nico Drakos, the kingpin of the Greek mafia in New York. I had set theGodfathertheme as the ringtone for him. His nickname around the city was “Godfather of the Night.” Nico, sadistic and short-tempered, wasn’t a man you let go to voicemail.

TheGodfathertheme wasn’t playing, instead a series of high-pitched beeps sounded, chosen because they were loud enough to cut through whatever noise I might be around. Those beeps meant Johnny Baros, Nico’s number two in the city—the man he relied on when hands needed to get dirty. Or, in my case, it meant that someone was hurt and needed medical attention.

I hissed a curse under my breath, knowing that the sleep I needed wasn’t going to happen. I got a sip of my smoothie down the hatch before setting it down and heading over to the phone.

“This is Alex.”

Silence at first. “Where are you?”

“My apartment. What’s going on?”

“You’re needed at the club. Gunshot wound. Not sure how bad.”

Shit. “Got it. Coming now.”

“Car’s already on the way. Be outside in fifteen. You’ll know it when you see it.”

With that, the call ended.

Fifteen minutes meant just enough time to get out of my scrubs and into something that I wouldn’t mind getting blood all over. I stripped, throwing on some dark jeans and a black T-shirt along with a pair of black sneakers.

When I was ready, I grabbed my things and hurried out of the apartment. A short time later, I was downstairs in front of the building. The warm, early summer air was pleasant enough, though the midnight heat didn’t bode well for what was to come when the sun came out later.Thoughts of weather quickly left my mind as a car pulled to a stop in front of me, a silver Bentley sedan, to be precise.

Before I had a chance to move, the driver, clad in a sharp, black suit, sprang out of the car and hurried over, opening the door for me.

“Get in. He’s waiting for you.”

I flashed him a skeptical expression before sliding into the car, the door shutting behind me.

I couldn’t believe who was sitting inside the car—none other than Nico Drakos, the Godfather of the Night himself.

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