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At His Will: A Dark Romance by Trent Evans – Sample

Chapter One

Alyson Hart’s nightmare began with a simple envelope.

As she’d arrived, late as usual, mumbling another excuse to the scowling office manager, the yellow manila envelope waited for her on her desk. Opening it, the damning contents spilling onto her cluttered desk, the almost certain write-up for her tardiness no longer seemed to matter anymore.

Oh, no. God, no.

As she looked at each one, clutched in her shaking fingers, the documents trembled like leaves in the breeze. The note inside was scrawled in the stark block print of the CEO Will Ellsworth. As she read it, dread sank in her belly like a cold lead weight.

“These are copies, Ms. Hart. There are more, but this is quite sufficient to interest the authorities. Be in my office at 8:30 this morning. You won’t be late.”

Her quaking hands stuffed everything back into the envelope, her heart pounding. She’d been so careful—only shaving off a little here, a little there. Not much more than rounding errors in the company’s books. Who would miss it? She knew she’d taken less cash than the company blew on a single off-site business meeting. Much less.

But somehow he knew. And now her life was over.

“Ms. Hart. I need to speak with you in the conference room.” Connie’s frown and her quiet, exasperated sigh told Alyson everything she needed to know.

“I-I can’t, Connie.” Alyson looked at the clock on her computer: 8:25. “Will, I mean, Mr. Ellsworth. He wants to see me.”

“Now?” Connie lifted a sculpted brow. “Does he even know who you are?”

“I don’t know.” Connie’s eye slid over to the manila envelope, and Alyson snatched it up, stuffing it in her purse. “I have to go though. He was very… specific.”

The walk to Will Ellsworth’s office felt like a walk to the gallows, the long sunlit corridor seeming to stretch before her forever, every step one closer to her doom.

“Uh, I’m here to see Mr. Ellsworth.” Alyson stopped at the admin’s desk, clasping her purse in both hands in a death grip, hoping to hide the tremor of her hands.

“You have an appointment?” His admin Mia lowered her glasses, the dark frames somehow charming on her delicate features.

“I’m not really sure. I was told to be here at 8:30. Is he expecting me?”

Mia’s phone buzzed, her long fingers picking it up. The voice on the other end was barely audible, but the rumble was definitely male.

“Yes, sir,” Mia said. “She’s here now.”

Mia hung up, glancing up at Alyson. “He’s ready for you.”

The door, the blackness of the wood seeming to absorb the sunlight, swung open and Alyson slipped in. With a sepulchral thud, the door closed behind her.

His corner office seemed all windows, and up here on the thirtieth floor the sunshine filled the space with dazzling light and warmth. Not what she’d expected of Will Ellsworth—the man whom many of the other accountants referred to as simply The Unholy.

Of course now, the only sunshine she could look forward to was that which filtered through the high narrow window of a jail cell.

Will was on the phone, his rangy, tall form sprawled in a chair behind the dark expansive plane of his desk. His long fingers flipped and twirled an ornate pen. Deep blue eyes snapped up to her, and his mouth tightened.

“Look, Rick, I need those reports. Without that data we’ve got no chance at figuring out if we can get the account.” Will’s finger pointed at her, then jabbed down at the small gray chair before his desk.

Swallowing down a frightened whimper, she took the seat, the fabric rough against her thin skirt. Her hands shook more than ever, and she clasped them in her lap, afraid to look at him as his conversation continued.

“I have to go, Rick. I don’t care how you do it, but I want them by tomorrow. I pay you well for this, and I want something for my money. That’s all.”

Dropping the handset into its cradle, Will locked his intent gaze upon her. With his jet black hair and the square jaw darkened by five o’clock shadow, he’d have seemed handsome in any other situation.

Here he seemed nothing so much as judge, jury, and executioner.

“Do I not pay you well for the work you do, Ms. Hart?”

“I’m sorry?”

“Are you hard of hearing along with being a criminal?” He pulled open a drawer of his desk, and placed a white business card on the deep brown of the varnished cherry wood, the gold filigree of his fountain pen glinting in the light. “I said, do I not pay you well?”

“Yes, of course.”

“Then why embezzle from the company? From me?”

“Sir, my son and I.” She swallowed hard, knowing it was hopeless. “Since the divorce, we’re barely making it, and—”

“Why didn’t you ask for a raise?”

What? “I don’t—what do you mean?”

“If you were hurting for money, why didn’t you ask for more?”

“It’s not that simple, sir.”

“It never is, is it?” His grin was utterly devoid of warmth, more a grimace than an expression of humor. “So you steal from me instead. Much easier, isn’t that right?”


“You saw the evidence, Ms. Hart. It’s all there—and more.” He stood, the movement of his body as fluid and deliberate as a leopard. He crossed his arms, the dark fitted button-down shirt outlining his muscled chest. “I need only make a single phone call, and you’ll go away for five years. Maybe ten?”

“Please, sir. Please don’t.” Her heart felt like a wild animal frantic to beat its way out of her chest. “I’ll pay it back. I’ll do… anything.”

The glacial blue of his eyes glinted. “About that, Ms. Hart. What are you prepared to do to… resolve this?”

“I’ll work overtime, weekends. I’ll pay it all back, with interest.” Her mind whirled, panicked. “Anything you need, I’ll do it. Please, sir. Just give me a chance.”

He walked around the end of his desk and leaned against its edge, crossing his ankles and looking down with a shake of his head.

Please, God. Please get me out of this!

Will looked upon her then, and the iciness of his gaze made tears prick at the corners of her eyes. She was doomed. What about Noah? Who would take care of him? A four year-old with a jailbird mother, alone, the one constant in his young life locked behind bars.

“You don’t deserve a second chance, Ms. Hart. And you’re not getting one from me.”

“Oh, please,” she said, her voice breaking, the tears welling now. Her legs shook beneath her, the strength draining from her muscles. “I can’t go to jail. I’ll—he needs me. My Noah—”

Will’s jaw clenched so hard she was sure it would break. “Quiet, Ms. Hart. I don’t want to hear it.”

The first tear tracked down her cheek, and she wiped it away with the back of a trembling hand.

Will stood once more, moving close, his form looming over her. His shirt, his slacks, all of it—fine, pressed. Perfect. The white blouse she wore had a yellow stain that refused to come out in the wash, so she’d covered it up with her black suit jacket. At least the jacket hadn’t been too wrinkled. Her gray tweed skirt was threadbare, and she had at least one small run in one of her stockings, discovered only as she was slipping into her heels that morning. She felt like a slob next to this man. He looked down upon her from his great height, and even in her heels, she felt slight, insignificant next to him.

“There may be one way you can avoid prison, Ms. Hart.” His pointing finger poked the lapel of her jacket, his gaze darkening. “I should have your ass hauled out of here in cuffs, but against my better judgment, I’m thinking of… an alternative.”

“Oh, thank you, Mr. Ellsworth!”

“I liked ‘sir’ better.”

“Sorry. Sir.”

She clung to that tiny bit of hope like a drowning man, every second an eternity. Maybe she did have a chance after all?

Will drew in a breath, looking upon her silently a moment. “We’ll see just how much you want to avoid prison, Ms. Hart.”

“I’ll do anything, sir,” she whispered, looking down with a shaky breath. “Just tell me what to do, and I’ll do it.”

“You’ll be obligated to me. In all things, Ms. Hart. Do you understand what that means?”

“I—think so, sir.” Panic rose in her again. How could she agree to this when she didn’t even know exactly what it meant? The thought of being penned in like a trapped rat in some godforsaken cell was much, much worse than the unknown of Will Ellsworth’s offer though.

“Take off your jacket.”

Her eyes shot up to his. “Take off…?”

“Do it, or I call the cops.”

“Sir, I—”

This cannot be happening. This is a dream, some kind of surreal nightmare.

“You have five seconds. Take off that fucking jacket, or we’re done here.”

Numb, her fingers worked at the buttons, and she slipped it off, letting it fall to the floor. The beat of her heart was quick, strained, sound roaring in her ears.

His hands took hold of each side of her blouse, and automatically she grasped his forearms, pushing at him. “What are you doing!”

“Hands at your sides, Ms. Hart.” He flashed his perfect smile at her, the strong, white canines gleaming. “You’re doing whatever the fuck you’re told to do from here on out. It’s that, or prison. Your choice.”

With a frustrated little sound, she dropped her hands, feeling the pulse pounding at her throat.

His hands ripped at her blouse, buttons flying in all directions. He yanked down on each side, fabric ripping, and she cried out.

He dropped his gaze to the white lace of her bra, her breasts heaving as she sucked in a great breath. She’d gained a couple more pounds since the divorce, and the bra was now not quite up to the task of containing her breasts. His eyes glittered as he drank in her exposure.

“You can’t—”

“Oh, yes, I can, Ms. Hart.”

Yanking the torn blouse from the clutch of her skirt, he ripped it down each arm in turn, balling up the ruined clothing and tossing it on his desk. He pointed down.

“Pull that skirt up and hold it at your waist.”

“Wh—right here?”

“Right here. And I’d better hear some respect in your tone, Ms. Hart. I might think better of this and call the whole thing off.”

“Yes, sir,” she said in a defeated murmur, dropping her gaze.

“I’m waiting.”

She pulled her skirt up until it balled in her fists at her hips. Her cheeks flamed hot.

“At least those panties match the bra.”

“Why are you doing this?” She cleared her throat, willing her voice not to break. “Sir.”

“Because I want to see if you’ll do as you’re told.”

Will walked back to his chair, and sat down once more, his legs extended, feet crossed. His ease galled her almost as much as her exposure.

“Drop that skirt, pick up your jacket, and leave.”

“What about… my blouse?”

“What about it, Ms. Hart? You’ve got your jacket.”

Another tear rolled down her cheek as she smoothed her skirt down her thighs, stooping to snatch up her jacket. She buttoned it quickly as far as it would go, then looked up at her tormentor.

“It’s—it’s showing too much. I can’t leave here like this, sir.”

The jacket was low cut, intended to be worn with a blouse or sweater. Her jiggling cleavage was entirely exposed, the bra itself barely hidden by the open neckline.

You look like a whore, Alyson.

“Not my problem.” He spun in his chair, his back to her as he picked up his phone once more. “Get out.”

“I’ll pack my things, sir,” she murmured, eying the ruin of her blouse laying on his desk. How was she going to walk back out there like this? At least she could pack up fast and run out.

“You aren’t packing a thing. Get back to work—but not on your usual accounts.” He looked back over his shoulder at her, his eyes blazing. “I’ll have Mia send over your new assignments.”

“You’re not… firing me?”

“I’m not letting you out of my sight, Ms. Hart. How would I keep an eye on you if I canned you? Stop stalling and go.”

“Yes, sir.”

Time seemed to have slowed, the strange morning getting stranger by the second. She hurried for the exit.

“Ms. Hart?”

She looked back, her hand reaching for the burnished silver door handle.

With a clench of his jaw he took up the gold pen, writing something on the back of the business card then sliding it across the desk toward her.

“Take it.”

The card shook as she read it. It was an address, somewhere over in the Ravenna area. Affluent, exclusive.

“What’s this, sir?”

“The first day of your obligation. Tomorrow morning. Nine o’clock.”

Chapter Two

Though he’d reviewed her file several times since the auditor had flagged her activities, he hadn’t quite been prepared for what came walking timidly through that door.

She was a criminal, a thief. That was now indisputable.

But why did she have to be so… compelling?

Why do you use those words? You’re not in a fucking boardroom meeting.

He wanted to fuck her. Badly. There was no getting around it.

Looking forward to watching her twist in the wind was one thing—and he very much did enjoy watching it. But feeling even latent, quasi-attraction to her was another thing entirely.

Only this wasn’t mere latent, faint interest.

This was a bend her over his desk, bury his cock in her until she screamed, slap a collar on her, and have her serving him like a slave type of interest.


Trying to banish the thought from his mind, if only for a moment, he flipped through her file again. It was elegantly simple, how she seemed to have pulled it off. So simple, it was genius. The auditor had found the account first. It had a vendor number, payment history, and everything. It looked, at first glance, like any other vendor account in Ellsworth Industries’ files.

On a hunch, the auditor had dug a little further—and that’s when it all came apart.

The address was a fake, the phone number disconnected, the email bouncing. Even the EIN was a goddamned forgery—itself a federal crime.

Unraveling it from there had been quick, and damning of little Alyson Hart.

What he was going to do about it… that was a different question.

He had resolved more than once just to turn the little bitch in, to be rid of her. Replacing her would be as easy and painless as a phone call. But something gnawed at him.

That she’d pulled it off as smoothly as she had. That she’d done it for months.

As furious as he was, a part of him held a grudging admiration for her—if for no other reason than for having the brass fucking balls it took to steal from her own boss.

From him.

Embezzlement wasn’t exactly unknown in the business world. But stealing from him? It had never happened before—not without him making the thief very, very sorry they’d so much as contemplated the thought.

Will Ellsworth didn’t suffer fools gladly, and he suffered thieves and cheats not at all.

Alyson wouldn’t be any different. But he was going to have a lot of fun in the process.

For a senior accounting staff member, she certainly wasn’t what one expected though. No prim frumpiness, no matronly figure. No, the damned thief had his cock standing up hard and throbbing.

She had that maddening combination of big tits, narrow waist, and broad hips that was irresistible to him. Worse, she wasn’t stick thin. By no means fat, she had the pleasingly soft, lush figure that he was always most drawn to. Which was bad enough.

Then he’d seen those eyes, those forlorn blue eyes staring back at him from under those chocolate brown locks.

It’s not fucking fair.

Why did she have to look like that? Why couldn’t she have been some evil crone? Someone he could despise, even hate?

No, it had to be a creature that inspired not hate, but possessive, selfish, even twisted lust within him.

Looking upon Alyson Hart wasn’t to look upon a loathed thief. No, looking upon Alyson Hart was to look upon someone he wanted to possess. Right down to her fucking soul.

He hadn’t even planned on doing what he did, at least not until he’d laid eyes on her. Then he’d been helpless to resist his… baser instincts. He still wasn’t entirely certain just what he was going to do with her—or more to the point to her—but he had no doubt he’d make it something quite pleasurable indeed.

For him, anyway.

No, with a body built for sin, Alyson Hart now found herself in even more trouble than she’d been the day she’d been discovered stealing thousands of dollars from her own employer.

She owed him now—and it was going to be her body paying off that debt.

It was going to be a problem though. It was trouble, no doubt. But just as he was certain he should pick up the phone and have her sweet, round ass hauled to jail—and out of his life—he was equally as certain there was no way on God’s green earth he was going to give her up.

No, she was right where he wanted her, under his thumb with no options left.

He was going to enjoy where he had her. And she most definitely wasn’t.

That fact only made his cock harder.

Because it meant he would have her. He had to have her. No man—no thing—was going to stop him either. She was to be his—and only his. For as long as he wanted. Until he tired of her.

Which might be never.

Right or wrong, that bitch was going to be kneeling at his feet, begging for his cock before he was done with her.

She might hate him, she might love him. It didn’t matter. What did matter was that she’d taken from him.

And he intended to take from her. Everything she had to give, every ounce of her.

It was now his.

Chapter Three

Closing the door behind her, she paused, letting her head lean back against the wood.

I’m dead. I’m fucking dead! Oh, God, what the hell am I going to do!

There had to be something, but right at that moment, she had more pressing concerns. Namely making it back to her desk without her boobs spilling out of her jacket. Checking the buttons again, she cursed under her breath that it didn’t close just a little higher up. The bra she was wearing felt paper thin, now that she was bereft of the protection afforded by her blouse.

Mia wasn’t looking at her, but she knew the efficient, eagle-eyed admin was well aware of what was going on. Mia didn’t miss anything.

Taking a deep breath, Alyson straightened her spine, flicking a lock of hair out of her eyes.

Keep it together. Just get to your desk and you can figure this out.

Of course, there was no figuring anything out. He had her. And there wasn’t a thing she could do about it.

It was quite apparent he had plans for what he intended to do about it.

You should just go to the cops. End this. You might have a chance, anyway.

Deep in her heart she knew it was a lie though. She was done for, if she was stupid enough to do such a thing. Prison would be the very best case scenario if she went to the police.

Making sure to step slowly lest she panic and stumble in her heels, Alyson made her way across the deep hunter green carpet, giving the blonde-haired Mia her best smile, even if inside she felt like sobbing her eyes out.

There would be time enough for that later.

Mia looked up from her screen. The woman’s gaze flicked downward for just an instant.

Alyson’s stomach sank.

Mercifully, Mia refrained from commenting on the fact Alyson had less clothing on than she had before she’d had her little meeting with Will Ellsworth.

“Go okay?” Mia’s question was at least confirmation that the perky young woman didn’t appear to have any idea what had just transpired.

Either that, or she was doing a bang-up job of acting like it.

“I think so.” Alyson hated the tightening of her voice, betraying her dread. With great effort, she resisted pulling the lapels of her jacket closer together. “Hard to read him, you know?”

“You have no idea.” Mia winked, returned her attention to her computer screen.

Making her way down the hallway back toward the main office, Alyson cursed the heels she’d picked; without the concealment of her blouse, it felt as if her breasts were dancing around in the flimsy clutch of her brassiere.


“Alyson.” Connie stood up, her head peeking up from behind her credenza, brows knit. “Need to talk to you—right now.”

“Okay, I—”

“Hang on,” Connie said, holding up a finger as the woman’s phone rang. She stooped out of view for a moment, then popped back up, the receiver to her ear, her gaze locked upon Alyson as if she wanted to ensure her wayward employee wouldn’t sneak away.


She hated standing in the passage between two banks of cubicles, coworkers slipping by several times as she waited. It was like being in a fishbowl, on display for anyone interested.

Especially when the girls were in nothing but a bra underneath her jacket.

Connie nodded once, twice—then color appeared at her cheeks. She blinked rapidly, looking down, then fixed Alyson with a basilisk gaze. “I see… yes, sir. I understand. Not a problem. I—”

Then she scowled, holding the receiver in front of her, looking at it. With a hiss, she dropped it in its cradle. Peeking back above the credenza, she practically spit the words. “Back to your desk, Ms. Hart. You’ve… got a message.”

“I… okay.”

She was stunned. Elated. She was sure Connie was going to give her one of her quasi-motherly dressing downs right there on the office floor. It would prominently feature ‘disappointed in you’ and ‘women need to set an example for one another here’ sorts of admonishments, ensuring Alyson would say most anything at all if it would get her supervisor to let her subordinate slink away in shame.

The wide-eyed glances, and the snickering she heard as she snaked her way through the maze of cubicles back to her own had her face blushing hot once more, her pace ever faster as she sought the relative safety of her desk.

Back at her workstation, behind the false comfort of her cubicle’s walls, she finally took a breath. The bubbling of a coffeemaker somewhere to her left had her cringing. It reminded her of soft laughter.

Taking a deep breath, then another, she willed her heart to stop pounding.

She had to think of something—anything—that would get her out of this. Her mind kept going through the choices, the possibilities. They all ended up with her ruined, shamed, jailed. Or much, much worse.

Overlaid her terror was something else… and in many ways, it made it both worse, and not quite so bad.

It had been the shock at what Will had told her to do in that office. Could she have filed a complaint? Yes, it was very possible. Maybe she’d even prevail—until her own trial began.

It would be a Pyrrhic victory, at best.

That wasn’t all of it, either.

It was him. Why couldn’t she keep from replaying it in her mind? The way he’d looked at her as she’d practically bared herself to him.

It didn’t help that she’d had more than one rather… adult dream prominently featuring one Will Ellsworth. He was much more handsome up close than she ever wanted to admit. It shamed her that such a thought even flitted through her mind at a time like that, especially considering he was—in effect—blackmailing her over her embezzlement.

Yes, he was handsome. Yes, he was rich. Yes, he was powerful.

But it was now clear there was a deep well of darkness within Will Ellsworth too, one she would never have suspected.

The most disturbing part about that discovery though? It was just how much that dark well intrigued her.

You’re such a fucking idiot.

Noah’s angelic face, his precocious smile never failing to warm her heart, peered at her from the silver-framed picture next to her monitor. She touched his face, her heart twisting.

She had to be strong. For him, if for no other reason.

The red light on her phone flashed over and over, a silent beacon of her impending doom.

Just get this over with.

She picked up her headset and hit the Message button.

Chapter Four

It had become a weekly routine, his walks with his chief of security along the roof’s perimeter high above the city. Linden Powers was a tall, slender man, his wiry form hinting at a strength out of all proportion to his frame. His salt and pepper hair was cut high and tight; his face, sun-weathered and tan, had a handsome cragginess, the eyes deep-set and dark.

The wind was a pleasing coolness, whipping Will’s short hair back and forth, the air feeling fresher, more bracing than it did far below on the streets.

“You know you shouldn’t be doing this.” Linden’s gravelly bass voice could be clearly heard, even over the steady buffeting of the breeze.

“There’s lot of things I shouldn’t be doing,” Will said, shrugging. “I always do them anyway. Hasn’t failed me yet.”

“Emphasis on that last word, boss.”

“You still think I should feed her to the wolves?”

“Well, the cops, yes.” Linden turned his head, looking out over the waters of Elliott Bay, the surface bathed in shimmering golden sunlight. “She’s trouble, and you know it.”

“Neutered trouble, now. Besides, I think we can use her.”

Use her?” Linden threw his head back, laughing. “For what? She stole from you, Will. What does she have to do to prove she’s not worth keeping around?”

“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”

“Bullshit,” Linden spat, the muscles at the corner of his square jaw bunching. “Once a thief, always a thief. She can’t be trusted. You’re insane to let her so much as set foot in your office again.”

“I never said I trusted her. But she’s got… talent.”

“She does? Or her mouth does?”

It was Will’s turn to laugh. “Asshole. I’m certain of the former. We’ll see about the latter.”

“So you are going there with her?” Linden cursed under his breath as they turned a corner, the wind now blowing directly in their faces. “I knew you couldn’t resist.”

“You’ve seen her. Would you be able to resist?”

“Okay, she’s pretty. I guess.”

“You guess? Cleaned up a little bit and she’s a helluva lot more than pretty.” Will stopped, breathing in the air. “God, it’s beautiful up here today. Look, you’re not seriously going to tell me you wouldn’t fuck her. Given the chance.”

“Do I have one?”

“Not as long as I’m around.”

“So you are going to fuck her?”

Will didn’t answer that, taking in the vista of the cityscape below. One of the massive ferries was just pulling in, the waters at its stern churning to white foam as the maneuvering thrusters slowed it down.

Linden shook his head, unable to suppress a smile. “You’re positively certifiable. I don’t know why I bother with you sometimes.”

“Because I pay you to bother. And because this is the most interesting goddamned job a mercenary sonofabitch like you could dream about.”

“I don’t know about that. I can dream up quite a bit.”

The truth was he hadn’t decided yet. He wanted to get his hands on her more than he was quite ready to admit, even knowing that he could easily do so if he wanted.

He knew he probably should take Linden’s advice and just be rid of her, but what he should do and what he wanted to do were often at odds. And Will liked the fact that he was the sort of man who was just fine with that.

He had her completely at his mercy… and yet, he didn’t know if taking her right away was the route he wanted to take. It was too easy, too obvious. No, he had another idea in mind, but he needed to think it over a while. See if it really had legs.

If it did, things were about to get very, very interesting in his mission of making one Alyson Hart very, very sorry for even thinking about stealing from Will Ellsworth.

She would pay for what she did. He was just going to take the time to make sure the punishment perfectly fit her crime. If she was going to steal from him, she was about to find out that there was a lot more than money he could steal from her.

“She’s a lot smarter than she lets on. You know that, don’t you?”

“I thought you wanted me to send her to the clink?”

Linden scowled. “Just because I think she’s got trouble written all over her doesn’t mean she’s a dumb fuck. Quite the opposite. While I do think she’s a lot better off in an orange jumpsuit I do have a… grudging respect for her cleverness. What she pulled off, ill-advised as it might have been, was impressive.”

“It was. No doubt about that.” They started walking once more, the deep horn of the ferry sounding twice from the bay below. “Look, Lin, we’ve still got those DoDs—the really fucked-up accounts?”

“The ones that aren’t covered by the GSA contract? Yeah—what about ‘em?”

“They’re tough, right?”

“The worst. I… don’t even know how you’d even try to tackle those things. Good thing you only pay me for security.”

“I pay you for a fuck-ton more than that. I want your opinion on an idea I’m kicking around.”

Linden waved a hand. “Oh, shit. This never ends well.”

“Even criminals—especially smart ones—have their uses. What if we gave her a crack at one of those accounts? See what happens? If nothing else, it will be pure drudgery for her. Well-deserved drudgery.”

“My eyes cross just reading the summaries for those things.”

“And if we’re lucky, she’ll actually come up with something useful to us. Best of both worlds, right?” He elbowed Linden. “Come on, what do you think?”

“I think that’s the dumbest thing you could possibly do here. I also think you’ve already made up your mind.”

Will gave him a grin. “You know me well, my friend.”

“What I really want to know is why. We’ve had plenty of nerds work on those, and nobody can figure them out. Why her?”

“Call it a hunch.”

It was obvious Alyson was indeed very, very sharp. He really did hope she could crack some of those tougher cases… but he wasn’t entirely sure why. The truth was he was still enraged at her that she would take from him, and he intended to get his pound of flesh, over and over. But something about the attractive brunette had gotten him thinking. Considering things he resolved he’d never indulge in again.

He’d largely sworn off women, save the occasional booty call with one of several different women who knew how to keep things… discreet. His unaccountably strong interest in Alyson was still something that unsettled him. Yes, she had a body that was pure sin, and she had just the sort of figure that in his younger days he was helpless to resist. But he was supposed to be over that phase. Women were more an encumbrance than something that enhanced his life.

The problem was that attraction of the sort he felt for Alyson… was dangerous. It clouded one’s thinking—and risked him making the wrong decisions about what to do with her.

He intended to take his vengeance out on her, but he would be lying if he said he weren’t a little confused at how far he wanted to take it with her.

Making her submit to him was one thing. But what he really wanted was to make her into his plaything.

His pretty little toy.

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