The Last Ones Standing is Live
I'm here with great news. The Last Ones Standing is live. That's right, the finale of the Work Husband Series is here.
Award winning, Bestselling, Author Blue Saffire presents
The Last One Standing
Work Husband Series
I call him the puppet master for a reason. They slept on him and woke a monster. You don’t touch his queen and you steer clear of his Knight. Well, they f*cked up and came for his entire army. They’re all going to learn Don Gio is the wrong one. They done f*cked around and found out.
They say it’s lonely at the top. Well, from my view I say f*ck them. Everyone who’s meant to be here is here. I always finish what I start. They want to bring this to my doorstep. Andiamo. I want all the smoke.
To my last breath. That’s how far I’m willing to go for them. I know what I want, but I want them happy more. My silence is their real power. Because while you’re listening for them, I’m coming.
Will we all get our wish? Will the title of Don come with too heavy a price? Or will the ones left behind be the last ones standing?
Thirty-four years ago…
“That was so scary, G,” Ny whispers from the top bunk bed.
I feel bad. I knew it was a really scary movie, but once Jace left, I had her all to myself. Instead of holding both our hands, she only held mine.
There was no Jace on the other side of her. We never have that. It’s always the three of us. I wanted to comfort her by myself, so I went with the scariest one I could find.
“You don’t have to worry, I’m here to protect you.”
“Always. I’d never let anything happen to you.”
“Do you think we’ll all be best friends when we’re big? You know, me, you, and Jace?”
I sit and think about it. Jace is like a brother to me. He saved my life. We’ll always be friends. However, when I think of Ny, I see more than a friend. When we’re older, I want to buy her pretty things and take care of her.
“I hope so.”
“It’s going to be so great, we can all get a house together,” she yarns. “And when we watch scary movies, we can sleep on the couch together and protect each other.”
“Yeah, that sounds cool. I’ll buy you any house you want. As long as you’re happy.”
“It’s going to be great,” she says sleepily. “Night night, G. Love you.”
“Love you too, Ny. Good night.”
Her little snores make me smile. I toss and turn in the bed a bit. Something doesn’t feel right. I sit up and throw my legs over the side of the bed and rub my eyes.
I’m a little thirsty so I get up to go down for a glass of water. I stand and look up at the top bunk. Ny’s safe and sound asleep with her hand hanging over the side of the bed.
She doesn’t know it, but I never plan to leave her life. I smile and turn to head downstairs. The doorbell rings as I get to the top of the steps and start down.
“Oh my God, Jace, what happened?” Beth says as she waves him into the house.
I rush down the stairs. Something’s very wrong. He’s shivering uncontrollably, his pajamas are soaked through, and he’s barefoot.
When I get to the bottom of the stairs, I see the blood on his pajamas and hands. He’s not answering any of the adults.
I open my arms and he rushes into them. I hold my friend tight. I know something is terribly wrong, and I’m going to hurt whoever hurt him.
“They killed my papa. Mama is gone too,” he says in Danish.
“What?” Ma yells. “Someone go to the house. Find out what’s going on, now.”
I rock Jace in my arms and squeeze. He never cries. I’ve watched kids pick on him at school and he remains quiet. Always allowing them to tease him without saying a word, not shedding a tear.
“Shh, it’s going to be okay. Don’t cry,” I whisper.
I look up and Grandpa Riccardo is staring at us. He has a glare on his face as he watches us. I don’t like him, and I don’t think he likes me either.
Beth catches him watching us and comes to place a hand on both our backs. “Come, boys. Let’s get Jace into some dry pajamas and get you guys in bed.”
Grandpa Riccardo scoffs, causing me to turn and glare at him. “Maybe now those two won’t be stuck to each other,” he says bitterly.
“Don’t you start that shit,” Ma growls.
“What? The boy can’t stay around here. They’ll find him a nice home somewhere. We won’t have to see his weird little ass around here anymore.”
Ma tries to lunge at him, but Uncle Lucas catches her around the waist. Mama is pregnant with my two brothers. She shouldn’t be upset or fighting.
I clench my fists at my sides. Jace and I are eight, but we’re not stupid. Grandpa hates that we’re friends and he calls us names all the time.
“The boy stays with us. I’ll take care of him,” Uncle Lucas says.
“Why am I not surprised?”
“Why are you so disgusting?” Ma fumes.
“Me? Disgusting? What’s disgusting is the fact that you just watched how this little friendship is affecting Gio—making him weak, and you still insist on keeping them in each other’s lives,” Grandpa Riccardo snarls.
“He’s my friend,” I say angrily.
“He’s a finook. The little weirdo, he’s a long-haired faggot, and so are you,” he bites back.
I see red. I’m tired of him calling us those things. I run at him, ducking under my father’s arms as he tries to grab me. I slide across the tile floors and stop right in front of my grandfather and punch him in the nuts, then kick him in his left leg.
He drops to his knees, and I punch him in the face. “Stop calling us that. Don’t call me or my friends any more names or I’m going to kill you myself,” I snarl with my chest heaving.
“Gio,” Ma calls.
I turn to her, dropping my head. I shouldn’t have lost my temper, but I hate this man. She comes over and lifts my head in her hand.
When I look at her, she’s smiling at me. “Good boy.” She bends to kiss my forehead, tears in her eyes. She’s sad, but I don’t think it’s because of what I’ve done.
She turns to a groaning Grandpa as he rolls around on the floor. “I promise you. One day it will be this son who makes good on what you deserve. Stay away from my boys. They are innocents and don’t even understand the things you imply.”
“My fucking balls. Little bastard.”
“Get out of my home. Now, before I kill you,” Mama yells.
Dad and Uncle Lucas come to help him up. Mama keeps one hand on my shoulder and the other on her swollen belly. I watch as they put him out.
Mama turns to me when he’s gone. She lowers until we’re eye to eye and cups my face in her hands.
“I’m so proud of you. You will be a great man one day. Don’t allow fools like him to change how you feel about yourself. You can love anyone you want to. That means protecting anyone who needs you and showing kindness to those kind to you.”
She then kisses my forehead. Gwen appears with a sad look on her face. Ma turns to her and collapses onto her behind.
“No, no, no, no,” she cries.
“I’m so sorry, Ava. Jace was telling the truth. He’s gone. They both are. The boyfriend was there too, it looks like he committed suicide. I think he set Emil up. Give me time, I’ll get more answers.”
“Emil,” Mama cries and curls into a ball.
I’ve never seen her like this. Mama never shows any weakness. I go to hug her, but Uncle Lucas comes and lifts her up from the floor.
I knit my brows and look at Dad, not understanding why he’s not the one comforting Ma. I think of Nonno telling me not to show my feelings for Nyla to keep her safe. Maybe that’s what Papa is doing. I don’t really like it, but I shake my head and mind my business. I still don’t understand adults.
Instead of trying, I turn and head upstairs to follow after Beth and Jace. When I get to my room, Ny isn’t asleep like I left her. She’s sitting on the floor. Jace has his head on her lap as she combs her hand through his hair. She’s speaking to him in Danish, the language he’s most comfortable with.
“Papa is gone. My family is gone,” Jace says in Danish to her then starts to weep again.
I ball my fists. I hate this has happened. Uncle Emil was so strong. I didn’t think anyone could take him.
How did this happen? It shouldn’t be happening to Jace. Not my friend.
“We’re your family now,” Ny says as she brushes her hand over his hair. “We always will be. Don’t cry. I promise, Jace, we’re your family.”
She’s right. From this moment, I vow that we’re all family, just like I promised her. We will grow up and be together, always.
I move over to them and sit behind Ny, my legs on either side of her. Reaching around her, I place my hand on top of hers as she brushes his hair.
“We’ll always be together. I’m going to find out who did this and we’ll get them together. I promise, Jace. I have your back. Always.”
“Everything is gone,” he sobs.
“Not everything, what’s mine is yours. My life is your life. You can share my things. You know that.”
“Thanks, guys,” he sniffles. “I never want to lose you two.”
“Det vil du aldrig,” I promise because he never will.
I promise when you get to the end of this series you will say Blue Saffire and the Work Husband Series owes me NOTHING. I put my all in this one. Hands down.
Enjoy, my love. I'm headed to find something to eat before I get back to the demanding Ox. See you soon.