My creature of darkness is the devil himself, a beautiful, dangerous man who plans on stealing my body as well as my soul.
But he will never claim my heart.”
“Mr. Falco. I’m going to finish stocking the walk-in before I leave.”
“How many times have I asked you to call me Eddie?” The kind, older man gave me a sly grin as I placed the last of the items needing refrigeration into the crate.
He’d been good to me since my sudden return to New York, offering me a job after less than five minutes of an interview. My mother had told me he’d be kind. I’d never waited tables before in my life, but he’d liked my style, or so he’d said. He knew this was a temporary gig for me, hopefully no longer than three months, but that was dependent on my mother’s health. The uncertainty had forced me to quit a job I loved. “Eddie,” I repeated as I lugged the last items around the counter, grateful it was closing time. I was exhausted, the late evenings taking a toll.
And it was only my third night.
Eventually, I’d get another job in my field, but not in New York. I loathed the city and always had. At least the diner allowed me flexibility. And free food. I laughed as I struggled to throw open the latch, slapping my back against the frigid steel door to steady the crate before walking inside. The blast of cold air instantly forced goosebumps to skitter down both arms, the ugly short-sleeved shirt doing little to provide warmth or comfort.
I eased the crate onto one of the produce boxes, placing the containers in their required space, eager to climb into a warm bed. Within seconds, my teeth were chattering, forcing me to pick up the pace. As I turned to leave, I tripped over the edge of one of the boxes, throwing out my arm just in time to slam my hand against the door latch, almost tumbling onto the floor of the kitchen.
The sound was distinct.
Gunshots inside the diner.
The horrific reverberation immediately echoed in my ears, the vibrations jarring as my eyes caught the muzzle flash. As Eddie was pitched backward by the force, I realized the two bullets had gone clean through, blood and brain matter splattering across my face, neck, and chest.
In slow motion, the sweet, older man crumpled to the floor in front of me, a portion of his skull shattered by the bullets.
That’s the moment all time seemed to stand still. I was instantly paralyzed as I slowly lifted my head, startled from the sight of the assailant standing in front of me.
While bathed in shadows, it was easy to tell he was a large, muscular man dressed in all black. He exuded raw power, his chest rising and falling.
Now he had his weapon pointed directly at my head.
I took several deep breaths, trying to process what I’d just witnessed, the spots dancing in front of my eyes making it impossible to see clearly. But I knew exactly what had occurred.
My boss, the man I’d known for less than a week had been shot, two bullets entering his frontal lobe, rendering him dead within two seconds. The assailant had entered through the front door before Eddie had a chance to lock up for the night, the assassin turning off the main lights to avoid drawing unnecessary attention.
I lowered my gaze, still trying to process what had happened when I realized the assailant had moved around the counter, headed in my direction. When he pointed his weapon in my face, I finally took gasping breaths.
You need to get away. Move. Move!
But my body refused to cooperate. Besides, it was obvious I wouldn’t make it a single foot without being shot.
“What do you want?” I managed, my voice shaking.
“A very loaded question that you wouldn’t like the answer to. However, we don’t have to make the situation any more difficult than it is.” His voice was deep, husky.
And very much in control.
The killer also had an accent, although so slight I couldn’t detect from what country. The darkness of his tone was sensual, dominating. I concentrated on the rapid thumping of my heart, counting the beats as he moved even closer. Now I was able to gather a strong whiff of his aftershave.
Sandalwood and spices, a hint of a deep forest fresh with a dash of the ocean.
My God. What was I doing?
I managed to catch a good look at his weapon, shocked at what he was carrying. The MP-443 Grach was used by Russian military, not typically sold in the United States. The double action, short recoil semiautomatic was a powerful weapon, used for exactly this purpose. He wasn’t some criminal off the street. He was a trained professional.
I was drifting onto a precipice, uncertain if what I’d just seen had really happened. The moment he grabbed my arm, spinning me around so my back was against his chest, I almost lost it. As he pressed the frigid barrel of his pistol to my temple, I was no longer certain I was standing. There was a presence about him that was larger than life, which should add to the moment of terror, but I remained in the protective vacuum, just trying to clear my vision. Then I realized why I was having difficulty seeing clearly.
There was blood in my eyes. And on my face. And in my hair. And on my hands and… I finally let out a ragged moan, still unable to put a coherent sentence together. No. Hell, no. This bastard wasn’t going to strip me of my humanity or my intelligence. I tried to think of every scenario of how I could get away from him but in all of them there was very little chance I’d survive.
“When there’s nowhere to run then you listen, remain calm, and stay vigilant. The criminal will make a mistake. The last thing you want to do is antagonize your captor. No sudden moves. No excess talking. Just breathe. Practice with me. Breathe.”
My father’s words continued to play in my mind. At least they provided a small amount of comfort. I took several deep breaths, holding the dense air into my lungs as I counted to five. Then I asked a question calmly, devoid of any emotion.
“I asked you a question. What do you want? Mr. Falco was a very nice man, but he didn’t have much money. However, you can take what you want. The cash box is in his office and I’m happy to show you where that is.”
He snickered as he led me toward the back of the diner. “I assure you that Mr. Falco was not a very nice man, and I certainly don’t want his money or yours.”
“Then what? What? Please just take what you want and leave.” Every bit of training I’d received from my father over the years was being challenged, ugly scenarios crowding out his calming voice. Maybe because there’d been a quietness about the assassin as soon as I made the demand, which scared me more than what I’d just witnessed. I sensed the assailant was trying to figure out what the hell to do with me. He thought I’d seen his face, but I’d been too frightened to capture much more than the fact he was huge in stature, his anger evident by the way he held his weapon. And the way his jaw remained clenched. He hadn’t expected anyone else to be inside the diner.
“Unfortunately, you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, which means you’re coming with me.”
“No. No, I’m not.” I’d heard stories about how victims of violent crime reacted, some so stupidly they’d gotten themselves killed. I fell into that category when I jerked my arm, almost managing to get out of his clutches. I was failing my father and perhaps myself, but I gathered a sense that if I walked out of the diner with the gunman, no one would ever hear from me again.
His second yank was brutal, forcing me tightly against his body. That’s when I realized just how large he was, six foot four at least. I wasn’t tiny by any means at five foot six, but he seemed like a giant, the strength in his hand easily able to crush my windpipe if so desired.
He was a solid mass of chiseled muscle, which made him extremely dangerous. I allowed my gaze to fall on his forearm, memorizing the tattoos. Black ink covered almost every inch of what I could see, a single vine drifting onto the top of his hand. What the hell was this about if not a robbery? My mind drifted to various scenarios, finally processing what he’d said about Eddie.
The assailant had known him. Drugs? That didn’t make any sense. Eddie was a family man. Then what? Blackmail? What could this asshole possibly gain? A debt owed? That was always possible, but for what reason?
Within seconds the gunman walked us to the back door, jerking me to a stop. “Now, are you going to remain quiet?”
“What do you want me to say?” There hadn’t been a single night since I’d arrived back home that I hadn’t heard screams in the night. None of them had been followed with sirens. That was another reason why I’d left New York. No one seemed to care about their neighbors any longer. Arizona was completely different, a place I’d almost thought I could call home.
“A yes or no will do.”
“Fine. Yes. Whatever. If you’re asking whether or not I’ll scream, why bother? No one will come to my aid. Besides, I know what you’re capable of.”
He seemed to contemplate what I said, his hot breath skipping across the base of my neck.
He chuckled in my ear then cracked the door, allowing the stench of the alley to waft across my nostrils. The combination with Eddie’s blood was putrid, my stomach finally lurching. I was aware of how masculine my captor was, muscular in all the right places. I closed my eyes, horrified from what I was thinking. A very sweet man had dropped dead in front of me, and I was languishing over his assailant’s aftershave.
Obviously, the gunman didn’t trust me, slapping his massive hand across my mouth as he led me outside. He wasted no time crossing the alley, taking long enough strides I almost tripped twice. When he approached a sleek dark sports car of some kind, another shock filtered into my system. A murderer in a sports car? I don’t know why that seemed odd.
When he opened the passenger door, my brain finally drifted out of the fog and I started to struggle, trying to remember every self-defense class I’d taken.
He sensed every move before I made it, finally wrapping the arm holding the weapon around my neck. Suddenly, his lips were against my ear, mere centimeters away. Too close. I felt suffocated, my throat closing. There was also something far too intimate about the hold, his fingers resting on the top of my breasts. As he crushed me against him, another slight moan escaped when I felt the hard ridge of his cock pressing against me. The man was fully aroused. Oh, God. Oh… God.
“You need to listen very carefully because I’m only going to say this once. If you try anything like that again, I will be forced to hurt you and I don’t think you want that to happen. Correct?”
“No, sir.” Sir? Really? I was losing it, no longer the same woman who’d started the shift. I certainly wasn’t naïve to this type of crime. I’d been taught how to defend myself from as early as eight years old, my father insisting I learn methods of getting away from anyone who attempted to abduct me. Then he’d taught me how to shoot, not only handguns but assault rifles and crossbows as well, much to the chagrin of my mother. He’d added wrestling moves and boxing as training exercises, something I’d hated but grew to appreciate over the years.
I’d dealt with criminals while interning at the hospital, junkies drifting into the emergency ward in search of a quick and easy fix. I’d been the one to ‘handle’ the situations, able to render the addict no longer dangerous until the cops arrived. But tonight, I’d lost all my training, surrendering to the fear.
“Good girl. That’s much better.”
I darted a quick glance at him as he shoved his weapon behind his back, still scanning both sides of the street at regular intervals.
Good girl? Had he really just called me that? I fought back the tears that were threatening to form, realizing what this meant. He was taking me somewhere else to kill me. As soon as he forced me onto the passenger seat, another thought raced into my mind.
Wait a minute. Why hadn’t he killed me inside the diner? What was the difference in one dead body or two? Oh, God, no. He was taking me for another reason.
Finally, the fight or flight mechanism kicked in and as soon as he was near the front driver’s side, I fought to get the hell out of the car, fumbling to find the handle, almost able to throw myself onto the pavement.
The bastard was too quick, grabbing me around the back of the neck and jerking me backwards by several feet, tipping me at an awkward angle. He’d left his door cracked in his hurry, and I was finally able to lock eyes with his. They were dark, obsidian black pools of pure evil.
Another wave of absolute terror raced into my system, but as I gazed up at him, I was struck by his incredible beauty. His face was expertly chiseled, his full lips and a high forehead adding to his stunning good looks. The ugly glow highlighted a three-day shadow covering his angular jaw, the look sexy as hell, adding to his dangerous aura. He had curly dark hair, the long strands covering at least an inch of his collar. Without a doubt, he was the most gorgeous man I’d ever laid eyes on. A flutter of excitement surged in my tummy, the hardness of my nipples as shocking as the entire experience.
The air was ripped out of my lungs as he cocked his head, exhaling, his hard glare penetrating. I was lying across his lap, forced to realize he’d remained hard as a rock. There was a quiet danger about his demeanor, cold and calculating yet the sexual energy he exuded was powerful. My mind went places that it shouldn’t have, sensing an odd connection, a tether that was electric, abstract, and intense. I blinked several times, my lower lip quivering. He noticed my reaction, a smile curling on his upper lip.
“I thought you were going to be a good girl.”
“I…” I was never speechless but as before, I couldn’t form a single sentence to try to plead for my life.
I also realized my skin was crawling, but my body was radiating the same heat his was; white hot, the touch of his fingers searing my skin.
He closed the door, shutting down the light, now only the dirty streetlight highlighting his oppressive shadow.
“Don’t try that again or I will be forced to punish you.”
What the fuck had just happened? I was told that there was no one else working the diner at night, leaving my work unhindered. Then she walked out from the walk-in and straight into the path of the two shots I’d taken. That wasn’t how I operated. I’d never been forced to take anyone as a captive in the years I’d been handling business issues.
By all rights, I should have ended her life to prevent any unwanted baggage, but I always made it clear to anyone who hired me that there would never be a single woman or child killed in the process of eliminating scum. It was obvious I was losing my touch. Now I was faced with figuring out what the hell to do with her.
While I normally cleaned up every kill scene, not only wasn’t there time, but Eddie’s death would also seem like a typical random murder in the heart of the Big Apple. Even if the police dusted for fingerprints, mine had never been on a single file in any country. However, if my lovely hostage had brought some of her belongings to the diner, then questions would be asked. I would need to leave this godforsaken country within a few hours.
While I had a secure location to take her on a temporary basis, providing borrowed time, there was a strong chance Eddie had already spread the word of my identity to the highest bidder. I had my share of enemies and there was no doubt the asshole knew that. Anyone of them would pay a pretty penny to have my dead body shipped to them in a pine box.
I took several deep breaths, her fragrance filtering into my nostrils. My attraction to her was as ridiculous as it was dangerous. There was no reason for my cock to be hard, the thought of indulging in pleasure remaining in the back of my mind.
She was as unexpected as the incident itself, able to handle herself in the moment. Anyone in the position she’d been forced into would normally scream or attempt to get away immediately. Instead, she’d remained calm, ignoring the fact she’d been showered with blood and brains.
Her face and neck were covered, her flimsy tee shirt soaked. However, that didn’t detract from her utter beauty, something else to shock the hell out of me. Finding her attractive wasn’t in my best interest, but taking one look into her large, dazzling green eyes had caught me off guard, my hunger for her pushing me to do something stupid.
Now I had to deal with her.
Perhaps I’d wanted her to plead for her life. That would have made things much easier. She’d just stared at me, her fury increasing as the reality of what she’d seen settling in. Her look of defiance remained, which intrigued me. She’d faced a killer, but the steel of her backbone prevented her from succumbing to the bad man.
I’d walked into the diner with a single purpose in mind, eliminating the goddamn snitch who’d found a way to track me, something no one else had ever done. I was a ghost, a man with no past and no sense of mercy for anyone. My rage had been almost uncontrollable after I’d finally located the man, blinded by the need to exterminate the threat. I’d performed unspeakable acts of violence over the years, my choice of professions making my skills highly sought after, feeding the darkness that often became overwhelming. But this single assassination had been personal.
No one fucked with my anonymity or my power.
Hissing, I pulled myself out of the preposterous moment, easing her into a sitting position. “You’re going to sit still and stay very quiet. Do you understand me?”
“Yes.” This time, her answer was clipped, her anger fully present. She held out her hands, staring down at the blood on her palms. Her body was shaking more than it had been before as a moment of shock started to settle into her system. I’d seen it several times in the men I’d interrogated before ending their lives. Only they’d begged for their survival, something my unexpected guest had yet to do.
She had no idea how intoxicating she was to me, as if being around her was a drug that would sustain my life. I studied her intently, impressed with her strong resolve.
After watching her try to rub the blood on her shorts, I reached over her to the glove compartment. The second my arm touched hers, she let out the yelp I was waiting for, scooting as far away from me as possible.
“Relax. I’m getting something to allow you to clean off the blood.”
“As if you think I’ll ever get rid of it, you… bastard. You fucking horrible bastard.”
There was the fire I’d seen in her eyes, the very one that had intrigued me in the first place. I ignored her comment, unlatching the glove compartment and grabbing one of the packages of wet wipes I’d stored inside. When I handed it to her, she turned her head slowly, her expression incredulous.
“Don’t look so surprised. Just take it.”
She stared at the package before accepting, taking a few seconds then ripping at the plastic, yanking several into her shaking hand. I watched as she started to wipe her hands, slowly at first as if determined to wipe every spot of blood away, certain it would put an end to her nightmare. Little did she know it was just beginning.
“What’s your name?” I started the engine, checking all the mirrors to make certain neither my arrival nor the act of vengeance had been captured by some wayward bystander. The night had been planned to go entirely differently, get in and out in less than a minute, leaving the city within an hour of my attack. Now that wasn’t going to happen.
She was quiet, now wiping harder, grabbing a few more then rubbing her face indiscriminately.
“I’m not a patient man. When I ask you a question, you will answer me.” I threw her a look as I roared away from the alley, her expression sexy and determined, which only fueled the ache buried deep inside.
Her mouth pursed, her breath skipping as she clenched her jaw. “Emily.”
“Emily,” I repeated, allowing the softness of her name to slide across my tongue. “Last name.”
“What does it matter? Dead woman. That’s my last name. You’re going to kill me, so why bother?”
Her spunk was admirable, if not stupid, but the spirit she carried drew me in even more. My cock was uncomfortable as hell, hard enough I was forced to shift in my seat. I wondered if she had any idea how enticing she was. I could envision her naked body under soft sheets, waiting for my arrival like a good little girl.
“I have no intention of killing you, Emily, unless you don’t cooperate. Besides, if I’d wanted to, you’d already be dead.”
She allowed a ragged breath to escape. The way she chewed on her lip was just as enticing as everything else. “Shephard. Emily Shephard.” Now she was wiping furiously, making small grunting sounds as she did.
“Well, Emily Shephard, your life is about to change.”
“I have a life.”
“As a waitress.”
When she laughed, I detected the lovely woman wasn’t exactly who she purported to be. Her last name nagged at me, although I wasn’t certain the reason. There was nothing special about it, common in every city in the country. Yet, I was never wrong when red flags were raised.
“Why do I sense that’s not your only job?”
After shaking her head, she glanced out the passenger window, her nails digging into her skin.
I wrapped my hand around her thigh, squeezing until she forced herself to look at me. “Stop or you’re going to hurt yourself.”
“As if you give a shit.”
Exhaling, I tried to control my anger and desire, both colliding together. Now was not the time. She held the filthy rags balled in her hand, her brow furrowing as she scooted forward in the seat. “Put your seatbelt on, Emily.”
God, the woman was stubborn as fuck. Did she want to get herself killed?
“Fine,” she muttered.
I was surprised when she followed my command.
“What do you want?” she asked, her tone not nearly as timid as I would have anticipated.
“The truth, Emily. You have another job. I want to know what that is.”
“I wait tables at a diner in New York. Nothing more.”
The way she mentioned the city held a sound of disdain. She was also hiding her life from me. Did she not believe I could find out anything about her with a single phone call? “What were you trained to do?”
I could almost hear the curse words she mumbled under her breath.
“I’m a doctor, a pediatrician. So the hell what? I save lives, not take them. Do you want me to tell you stories about the babies who come into my waiting room so sick they can’t hold down food or water? Or would you prefer the ones where something more tragic happened and I was lucky enough by the grace of God to save their lives, keeping their beautiful families intact?”
Her expression of hate bore into me, reminding me that I was a soulless man. I removed the wipes from her hand, almost required to wrench them away. Then I shoved them onto the dashboard.
“No, of course not. You couldn’t care less. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do. There’s nothing like hearing their laughter or being able to dry their tears.” She laughed again, the sound bitter.
Something snapped inside of me, the need to consume her overriding my purpose in coming to New York in the first place. The way she’d felt in my arms had awakened a desire I’d shoved aside almost fifteen years before. While there’d been women on occasion, there’d never been a single minute of peace or passion shared with them. They’d been vessels, their purpose similar to mine, a moment of satisfaction and nothing more.
Emily was entirely different. She carried an air of pride, even if only waiting tables in a greasy diner. She reeked of innocence, intelligence, and the kind of sexuality I craved. Although I doubted that she had any idea just how vulnerable she was sitting barely eighteen inches away from a man with no heart and no soul, my conscience and humanity tossed away twenty years before.
I’d felt the attraction the moment she’d been forced to look in my eyes. I’d gathered an incredible whiff of her desire, which she continued to fight valiantly. Did she have any idea the lurid, filthy thoughts running through my mind, images of what I could do to her voluptuous body?
I rubbed my jaw as I thought about how to handle her.
I had two choices in my mind. Kill her or keep her. Only one appealed to me. Letting her go could only prove to cause additional issues, even if my plane was standing by, waiting to fly me out of this godforsaken city. Still, I found myself compelled to taste her. Perhaps with a single night spent, her lovely body writhing under mine, I’d be sated enough to let her go.
Damn it. I longed to bask in her beauty, ripping away her slim tether to purity and goodness. I wanted to rob her of her innocence, relishing the moment of bringing her pure ecstasy. Perhaps her virtue could rub off, providing me with a sense of remorse for my sins.
Laughing to myself, I knew that would never happen.
As I headed onto the interstate, the same needs furrowed into the back of my mind. She’d made the mistake of entering my life. Now there was no turning back.
After all, I always took what I wanted.
Emily Shephard now belonged to me.
Fear was vapid and cruel, never ending when it wrapped its claws around someone’s throat. I took short breaths, my mind frozen, every muscle tense. Sitting beside the dangerous man was surreal, as if I’d been ripped out of my life, plunked down in the middle of an action movie. He was larger than life, darkness to my light, evil personified.
And as I sat beside him, rubbing my fists against my shorts, I remained disgusted that I found him attractive. I continued to stare at my hands, resigned to the fact I’d gone into some shock because of the incident. That wasn’t unusual, except I never believed I’d succumb to it if anything tragic happened. However, there was no amount of training to prepare someone for what I’d been through.
Or what I knew I’d be forced to face.
Being stupid enough to tell him what I did for a living churned in my stomach. Why I’d felt the need to try to appeal to what might be left of his humanity was laughable.
“Why did you kill Mr. Falco?” I was certain he’d never answer my question. Just asking something so forward put me even further into harm’s way. Why should he tell me anything anyway? I studied the area, unfamiliar with where he was taking me. I’d obviously lived a sheltered life when I was young, protected by my father’s abilities and his insistence that I never venture out from the world where we lived.
“Because he was my enemy.”
“That’s bullshit,” I said without thinking.
I sensed his heavy glare as he shifted gears, slowing down to take the upcoming exit. I memorized the sign number and name, just in case I was lucky enough to get away from him, able to contact the police.
“And why is that, Emily? Everyone has at least one enemy.” His voice was just as dark as before, the deep baritone sweeping over me like a warm blanket. I was unnerved by my body’s reactions, both from fear as well as the warmth between my legs. The look on his face was impassive, but I sensed a fire burning deep within.
“Because we don’t live in a society where you can just kill your enemy for no reason.”
“Oh, I assure you that I had a very good reason.”
“What? He didn’t make your Salisbury steak the way you liked it?” I dared turn my head, chewing on my inner lip as I studied him. He was in his late thirties, the small lines next to his eyes providing the clue. I hadn’t noticed the scar under his right eye, or the one on his neck. He’d been in several brutal situations, which meant this wasn’t his first time eliminating an enemy.
When he laughed, my stomach did flipflops, the ache building between my legs threatening to drag me to the precipice of raw ecstasy. I was furious with myself, disgusted about my reactions. I hated him and all he stood for.
“No, Emily. Some men will go to great lengths to destroy others, eliminating their ability to live in peace. That’s what Mr. Falco did to me.”
“That’s not possible.”
“Then you obviously didn’t know him very well. How long did you work at the diner?”
I wanted to issue a nasty retort, but I did what I could to remain calm. “Four days.”
“As I said, you didn’t know him.”
“So you killed him.” There was no reason for me to make the statement, but maybe I wanted him to feel guilt, remorse. That was crazy. He wasn’t that kind of man.
“I did what I had to do.”
“Murder. Is that the kind of man you want your children to grow up knowing?”
If I thought my impassioned plea would matter to the man, I was in a dream state. I gripped the dashboard, keeping my head straight while I scanned the street, trying to memorize every sign. While he wasn’t driving erratically, he wasn’t wasting any time taking me to another destination, the rumble of the engine keeping on edge.
“This is no world for children, Emily,” he said after a few minutes.
“No, at least we agree on something. I’m no longer certain it’s a world for anyone.” I heard the sadness in my voice and closed my eyes. As if the bastard cared. He was part of the problem, a man with a penchant for violence, his hunger for power superseding everything else. I only opened them when I realized he’d slowed down even more. The realization we were in a typical neighborhood, pretty little houses only a hundred yards from sidewalks on both sides of the street providing hope.
When he pulled into a driveway, my heart was in my throat as I peered out the passenger window. I couldn’t fathom that he lived in a normal house next to neighbors who likely had no idea he was a trained killer.
The moment he cut the engine, yanking the keys from the ignition, he jumped out of the vehicle. There was no use in attempting to get away at this point. He would only hunt me down. As he opened the door, his odd gesture of holding out his hand struck me badly. Did he really believe I wanted to touch him? I was repulsed at the thought.
“Take my hand, Emily.” His tone wasn’t threatening, yet I knew better than to ignore his demand.
When I placed my hand in his, the instant shot of electricity rattled my system. If he sensed it, I couldn’t tell, the darkness preventing me from clearly seeing anything. He yanked me to my feet, placing his other hand around my mouth as he led me into the shadows. He was a trained killer, but not easily riled, which meant even an act of revenge was calculated. I’d learned of men who had ice running through their veins, capable of the most heinous crimes. What my father had always told me was that they never acted on impulse, calculating every move. However, if they were forced into an unknown or unwanted situation, they would resort to their savage methods in order to stay alive.
I reminded myself of that as he pressed his fingers against a keypad. The house was equipped with high dollar security. Once inside, he immediately armed it again before turning on a light. What I saw terrified me even more. This was no normal house. There was little in the way of furniture, no televisions or comfy pillows, the windows covered in bars of steel. As he dragged me down the hallway, I was struck by the lack of smell. This wasn’t a place he slept and ate in, merely a control center for whatever missions he was required to complete.
He hadn’t killed my boss indiscriminately. Whether or not what he’d told me was true, he’d acted on a plan to eliminate him. The room at the end of the hall had a similar security system, only the scanner was a heat sensor, reading his fingerprints. As soon as he flicked on a light, I winced, sucking in my breath. The previous bedroom had been altered into a communications center, complete with several computers, printers, and other equipment I couldn’t identify.
He jerked out one of two hardback chairs, pushing me down then giving me a stern look.
“Do not move,” he instructed then moved to one of the cabinets.
I studied him intently, able to get a much better look with the array of ceiling lights. He was every bit as tall and muscular as I’d observed, his spectacular arm muscles bulging through the dark Henley shirt, his black jeans accentuating his sculpted legs. His olive skin emphasized his dangerous good looks, enough so it was difficult not to stare at him.
Obviously, he either had money or connections given the impressive computer terminals. They were all high dollar Macs, with printers capable of handling the size of blueprints. I slowly turned my head, realizing he also had scanning equipment. Jesus. What the hell was this man involved in?
After grabbing something from one of the drawers, he took three long strides in my direction, his eyes hooded as he studied me like a specimen. “Put your hand on the screen, Emily.”
“Because I asked you to.”
Every word dripping out of his mouth was laced with utter domination, the husky tone continuing to filter into my eardrums. I did what he asked, realizing almost instantly he was fingerprinting me. No. No! That couldn’t happen. The moment I tried to jerk my arm away, he snapped his fingers around my wrist, leaning over.
“Is there something you need to tell me, Emily?”
“Stop saying my name. Just stop it.” Would it matter if he knew who I was? I had no doubt with his expensive equipment he could find out my lineage. It no longer mattered. I’d lost a portion of my family over a year before.
“What would you prefer I call you?”
“Just let me go,” I whispered, almost succumbing to the wretchedness of my fear.
He pressed my hand on the screen, the same wry smile on his face making me sick. “Unfortunately, I can’t do that, mi premio.”
Spanish. Now I was able to catch his accent, although the inflections were entirely different than others I knew who spoke the language. “I’m not your prize.” Everything I said seemed to amuse him, the sparkle in his eyes creating a wave of shivers. “Why don’t you tell me your name?”
After pulling the screen away, he finally let go of my hand, immediately pressing his index finger against the surface. Then he immediately pulled a cell phone from his pocket, hitting a single button then pulling it to his ear. Great. He had some other asshole on speed dial. Maybe they’d compare notes on how best to get rid of me.
Even though I’d taken Spanish all through high school, I couldn’t keep up with his clipped words, the guttural sound of his voice making every word drip with sensuality. He threw me a single look, indicating he was talking about me.
I took another look around the room, recognizing at least a few names on some of the equipment. Next-Gen. SOCOM. Both supplied tactical communication systems to the military. Who the hell was this man? When he ended the call, he turned toward me.
I recoiled as he dragged the second chair closer, sitting down and leaning forward. I immediately looked away, unable to handle being this close, but I’d caught a glimpse of his heated gaze. He was stripping away my clothes, memorizing every inch before violating me. That wasn’t going to happen. I would kill him first. Sadly, I was just as drawn to him as I’d been in his car, the man devastatingly handsome, but he was the devil in disguise.
“The less you learn about me the better, Emily. Just know that I am a very bad man.”
A nervous laugh threatened to give away my increasing terror. I stared at him incredulously, resisting all the ugly words forming in my mind. As he leaned closer, I started shaking visibly. “You have a Russian military grade weapon, tactical communications systems that cost more money than your fancy car out there. You speak Spanish and Russian fluently. Somehow, I don’t think you work for the United States government.” As soon as I’d issued the words, I looked away. In my anger, I’d spouted off far too much information.
“How very interesting you know so much about military equipment.”
I looked away, trying to keep my composure. “I read a lot of true crime novels.”
His laugh was deep, the tone sending another wave of shivers dancing through me. Did I really think I was going to bargain my way out of his clutches? “What are you going to do with me?”
“That depends on you.”
He studied me for a full minute, inhaling as he rubbed his stubbled jaw.
“I think you need to fully understand that given the circumstances of our meeting, your options have become limited.”
“My options? What are you talking about?”
“That means you will obey me without hesitation. Any infraction will be dealt with swiftly.”
“Punishment,” I mused, taking several deep breaths, my mind a cataclysm of uncertainty and terror, the combination finally reducing my resolve to rubble. “What the hell do you want from me? If you’re worried that I’m going to the police, what the hell can I tell them? About this place? Even if I knew where I was, I have a feeling that by the time they got here, you’d have it dismantled. You have the means to do so. That much is easy to tell. My guess is you have an army of men working for you, doing your bidding.” I was so agitated, my voice had raised several decibels.
“Calm down, Emily.”
“Are you crazy?” I tried to keep from displaying any other emotion but anger, but reality was finally sinking in. After what he’d allowed me to see, there would be no return to my life.
He jerked up from the chair, cursing in Russian as he moved toward the back of the room. I remained where I was, still shivering, noticing the windows were not only blacked out, but two also had the same bars covering the exterior. He’d taken no chances on allowing anyone to find out what he was keeping inside the house. All I knew is that we were in the Bronx, nothing else distinguishable enough to guide police officers to the location. I’d seen a single street sign yet without an address or a better description of the house, whatever information I might provide would be a wild goose chase.
Seconds later, he eased his arm over my shoulder, a glass in his fingers. “What is this?”
“Bourbon. I think you can use it.”
Now he was supplying me with liquor? When I hesitated, he laughed in that same damn husky tone of his. He returned in front of me, taking a sip of the same dark liquid in his glass then exchanged the two, lifting a single eyebrow.
I wanted to bash his head in with the heavy glass, but I was grateful for the alcohol, taking a swig then another. “You don’t live here.”
“You’re far too observant, but you are correct.”
“Then where do you live?”
“Tsk. Tsk, Emily. You’re asking far too many questions. I doubt you’ll like any of the answers.”
“Why are you doing this?”
There was nothing like the heat of his gaze or the lust in his dark eyes. I already knew the answer before he told me. “Because I take what I want.”
The words held a finality to them, a statement that made sense to him yet one that had put the nail in my coffin. And I had a terrible feeling that when he wanted something, he would never give it up.
“What are you waiting on, another assignment? The name of the next person you’re checking off a list?”
He crouched down in front of me so close that I gasped. He took my hand, yanking it closer to him when I did everything I could to pull it away. “You’re awfully forward for a woman in this position.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve never been known to have patience either.”
“Very well, Emily. I’m waiting for answers.”
Why did I have the feeling those answers were all about my background?
He remained exactly where he was, his eyes never blinking. I’d never felt so vulnerable before, almost as if I lay completely bare in front of him. Everything about him was intense and angry, as if the world had done him wrong. I tried to keep the same hard stare but failed after a few seconds, concentrating instead on taking small sips of my drink.
I had no idea how long he remained in a crouched position, the only sound in the room that of my ragged breathing. Finally, he stood and walked away, allowing me to breathe easier. His presence was overwhelming, leaving me trembling even more than before. Time was at a standstill again, which allowed me to experience a near freefall as images of the shooting raged on in my mind.
I had to find a way out of here. The moment he leaned his head against the wall, closing his eyes, I dared to scan the room, including turning quietly to study the door he’d brought me in through. Even if I tripped the alarm, I might have enough time to get out of the house. Once I did, the darkness at least would provide some cover. Then I could run to one of the houses for help.
Would that put the residents in harm’s way? No, I wasn’t going to do that. I had to get the hell away from him. If this location was used as nothing more than an office, it was entirely possible he’d take me out of the city. Then I’d be doomed. Maybe I could find a weapon of some kind. My guess was he had bags of them hidden away.
“Is it possible to use the bathroom?”
He lifted his head slowly, turning his head toward me after a few seconds. As he’d done several times before, his eyes penetrated mine, searching to see if I was lying to him. “It’s directly across the hall, Emily. I don’t need to remind you what will happen if you try and defy me.”
I nodded, fighting with my nerves to get to my feet, placing the glass on the chair. I tried to act conciliatory as I headed out of the room, making certain he could see me as I walked into the small room, flipping on the light. Almost instantly I could tell there would be nothing of use, but I was determined to look anyway. I started to close the door, only to have it pushed open by several inches.
“Nice try, Emily. I’m afraid you haven’t earned any privileges yet.”
His statement was a clear indication he planned on taking me with him wherever he was going. I didn’t bother arguing, giving him a single nod and nothing else. When he didn’t walk away immediately, I threw my head over my shoulder. “Are you going to watch? Are you some sick kind of freak who likes to watch girls pee?”
He sneered at me then walked away, returning to the room. I sucked in and held my breath before moving to the cabinet beneath the sink, wincing when the door creaked slightly. The only thing underneath was a roll of toilet paper. The small closet wasn’t any more helpful, the stack of hand towels obviously purchased at a thrift store. Dejected, I stared at myself in the mirror, fighting a whimper just from seeing the blood remaining on my neck.
For some crazy reason, all I could suddenly think about was removing every reminder that my life had just ended. I grabbed one of the towels, sticking it under the water. Tears formed again and this time, I lost the battle, two trickling down from both eyes. When I felt his presence, I snapped without thinking. “Just leave me alone. Okay? Just fucking leave me alone for a couple of minutes. That’s all I’m asking.” This time I glared at him, which surprised the hell out of him.
“Don’t cry, mi premio. There’s no reason to ruin that pretty face of yours.”
“Just go.” I slammed my hand on the counter, praying to God I just hadn’t signed my death warrant.
After a few seconds, he nodded and walked away for a second time, but not before his eyes darkened, another reminder of the evil surging deep within him. I gasped for air, trying to think of anything I could do to detract his attention for ten seconds. That’s all I’d need to sprint to the door. As I wiped my face, I startled to unravel even more, fighting the ugliness and demons, the fear that almost became crippling.
And I prayed.
Only a few seconds later, I heard the distinct buzzing sound of his phone. My prayers had been answered. I took a quick peek around the still cracked door, terrified he’d seen me. He was speaking in Russian again. I listened, noticing a slight difference in sound. Then I dared to take another look.
Thank you. Thank you.
His back was turned. Without hesitation, I pushed the door open a few additional inches. Then I slipped out, not wasting any time heading for the front door. I had my hand on the latch, twisting it when there was no mistaking the scent of the brutal man or the heat from his rage.
He jerked me by the arm, wrapping his hand around my throat then pushing me against the wall. As he took scattered breaths, I slapped my fingers around his forearm, digging my fingers in. He tore his gaze away from my eyes, dropping them ever so slowly to my hold as an actual growl erupted from his mouth.
“It would seem you’ve been lying to me, sweet Emily.” The pressure from his hand was intense, but since he could easily snap my neck, I didn’t struggle.
“I… don’t understand.”
“I think you do.” He waited as if I was going to tell him that he was right. Not a chance in hell.
“What? What did I lie about?”
My God. The man wasn’t going to tell me. All he did was stare at me with his gorgeous eyes, even though they were filled with fury. His chiseled features were tight, the lines around his eyes increasing. He was full of fire and rage, his chest heaving as he held me.
“Get off me,” I hissed. I couldn’t catch a full breath, my thoughts jumbled. What the hell was he going to do to me? What had he found out? I was a nobody to him, just a girl trying to do something important in her life.
While that was true, a nagging feeling remained in the back of my mind.
Did this have something to do with my father? If so, then I would face the man’s full wrath. Please, don’t kill me. Please. Even if I’d pleaded with him, I knew it wouldn’t do any good. The man wasn’t just on the edge of losing his control; he was ready to jump off the precipice, taking me with him.
“Hmm… And I thought we were getting along so well. I promised you exactly what would happen if you lied or disobeyed me. It would seem you’ve done both. I’m a man who always keeps my word.” He stretched my neck with his hand, lowering his head until his lips were only centimeters away. As he rubbed his thumb back and forth across my jaw, I took several shallow breaths.
I tried to turn my head, but his hold was too strong.
“Fuck you,” I managed, leaving me to consider my horrible words coldly, absent of any emotion but aggravation.
“I assure you, my little prize, that will happen eventually when I’m able to take my time enjoying every single inch of your luscious body, feasting on what now belongs to me. Until then, I’ll accept a mere taste of what you will provide when I require it.”
I couldn’t have been more shocked when he captured my mouth, leaving me instantly breathless. He was demanding in his actions, refusing to accept anything less than full submission.
He shifted his hand, fisting my hair instead of my neck, crushing me against his body until wave after wave of electricity soared through me. The kiss became a blinding whir of passion, the intensity I’d seen in him before exuding all understanding as he explored my mouth, drinking in my essence.
He was a man capable of tremendous violence, but I sensed there was an agonizing need for darkness and intimacy. I was thrown by my body’s reactions all over again, every nerve ending seared, my legs wobbling as he thrust his tongue inside. My core was ignited, the flames turning into an obliterating firestorm of longing, leaving my mind fractured as to how I could feel so strongly toward such a repulsive man.
The kiss became more powerful as he dominated my tongue, his actions rough, bordering on brutal, but I’d never felt so alive, crazed with wild abandon. A moan slipped past the kiss as I felt the hard ridge of his cock pressing into me, throbbing as much as my pussy. I was wet, my panties already damp, my nipples swollen and aching.
It would be so easy to give in, to allow this savage man to take what he wanted, but I wouldn’t ever be able to look myself in the mirror again. I wanted to live, but not in exchange for this. Never this.
Nothing good would ever come of allowing him to believe that I’d surrendered even for a few seconds. I finally managed to collect a small part of my sanity, pushing hard against him to no avail. I stiffened, refusing to kiss him back any longer, the only defense I had against a man so powerful.
He suddenly realized my thirst for him had dried up and he pulled away, his stare becoming hard and cold all over again.
“You will be punished.”
As he started to pull me out of the room, I tried to fight him, struggling with everything I had to get out of his strong hold, but it was no use. When he dragged me into the kitchen, tossing me over the kitchen table, I gasped, kicking out and catching him in the shin. Then I jerked up, almost managing to twist away from him.
He didn’t budge or make a sound as he shoved me across the table again, pressing his hand against the small of my back.
We were both breathless from desire and anxiety, and for a few seconds, he dared to stroke my back. I continued to shudder from the way I’d felt in his arms, my mind a blur from the deliciousness of his kiss. As I tried to catch my breath, I heard him unfastening his belt. This couldn’t be right. This just couldn’t be happening.
Another damn laugh rushed to the surface. I was delusional to think this was anything other than what it was.
Then I thought about his words.
I take what I want.
Another part of my strong resolve broke away, no longer capable of fighting him mentally. I was far too overwrought, exhausted, and terrified. When he’d removed his belt, he placed it on the table beside me, allowing me to see exactly what to expect. He wanted me to cower in the anticipation of what he was about to do, another form of punishment. I was stronger than he had any clue about, capable of surviving almost anything.
Except maybe his touch.
When he yanked me further away from the edge of the table, allowing him to unfasten my shorts, I did what I could to shut down my emotions. I’d done that successfully when necessary, but this was no exercise. This was real life. A moment of raw humiliation tore through me as soon as he yanked down my shorts and panties, exposing my naked bottom. I half expected him to strip them off then rip away my tee shirt, shocked when he didn’t.
“Don’t try and fight me, Emily, or I will start over again. Do you understand?”
“Fuck you.” My reply was answered with two hard cracks of his palm against my backside, the immediate pain startling.
“I’ll ask you one last time. There won’t be a third. Do. You. Understand?”
“Yes. Okay? Yes, I do.” Asshole. Dickweed. Fucking son of a bitch. The situation was hopeless, fighting him any longer out of the question. I wasn’t strong enough. I wasn’t resilient enough. Maybe I was just numb inside, incapable of thinking clearly. I pressed my face against the fake wood, staring at the belt, trembling all over.
Not from fear of what I was about to face.
Not from worry that I couldn’t handle the pain.
From the way I’d fallen into a treacherous abyss, starved from something that no woman should ever dare allow herself to feel. I hated him for who he was and what he’d done, but even that didn’t deter the excitement that I’d experienced. God help me.
As soon as he claimed the thick piece of leather, I eased my arms to the sides, gripping the edges of the table. How could he do this to me? How? What was the point?
What would being spanked feel like? I’d never been given discipline of this nature, hadn’t even had a boyfriend that kinky in the bedroom. I was also unaccustomed to the level of passion oozing from every pore in his body. I bit back a moan as he rubbed one ass cheek then the other, concentrating on his footsteps as he backed away a few feet. The anticipation was driving me crazy, my nerves on edge. I took several deep breaths until I heard a whooshing sound.
The expectation didn’t meet the reality as the stinging sensations coursed through me, the pain not nearly as bad as I’d thought.
Until he brought the thick leather down four times in rapid succession. Then I nearly jumped out of my skin, the agony blinding. I jerked up from the table, gasping for air as tears stung my eyes. “Oh… You can’t. I…”
“You should have thought about that before you tried to escape,” he growled.
“I don’t belong here. I did nothing wrong. I have a life.”
“I have other business to attend to as well, Emily. Now, we will both have a different scenario that we never intended.”
He pressed me down again, gently rubbing the tips of his rough fingers from one side to the other. I was appalled that his touch tingled my skin in any way, but it did. He swirled his fingers around in lazy circles and I sensed he was hesitating, his breathing as ragged as mine. Then he pulled my legs further apart, before starting again.
I dug my fingers into the table, trying to keep from screaming. My entire world had just tumbled out of control. I was being spanked by an assassin.
And I didn’t even know his name.
As he continued bringing the belt down, I closed my eyes, pretending I was anywhere else but here. There was such a strange set of vibrations flowing through me, tickling my senses, that I was pulled into an entirely different kind of vacuum. He refused to stop, slicing across the tops of my thighs.
When he stopped again, I whimpered slightly, shifting back and forth on the table. That’s the moment I realized I was aching for an entirely different reason. I was wetter than before, my pussy clenching and releasing several times. My God. I was being spanked by a fucking killer and I was aroused by a primitive form of discipline? I was in full blown shock. There was no other explanation. None.
I could still hear his heavy breathing, the husky sound filling me with a combination of excitement and tension. A part of me continued to anticipate he would fuck me, taking me on this disgusting kitchen table. When he rolled his fingers from one side of my body then the other, finally easing them between my legs, I knew I’d been right. He caressed my inner thigh, brushing the edges lightly against my skin.
The electricity soared, my entire body pulsing as I tried to catch my breath.
Then as quickly as he’d ignited the fire, he pulled away.
The two words were stark, just as cold as the man. He wasted no time, one coming after the other. I was in an abyss, the fogginess of my mind only finding clarity with one aspect. I was hot and wet, my pussy drenched from the sizzling vibrations. Heat remained on my face, my heart thudding wildly, matching the husky sounds of his heavy breathing.
He leaned over, pulling hair from my face, caressing my cheek. “You are quite beautiful. The vile things I could do to you.”
“You’re a pig and I’ll never let you touch me. Ever.”
“It’s not your call any longer,” he breathed as he rolled two fingers down the crack of my ass, sliding his hand between my legs.
My God. I couldn’t stop shaking, stars floating in front of my eyes as he flicked a single finger across my clit. I used that exact moment to shift hard to the right, practicing a move I’d been taught years before. Even with my shorts at an awkward angle, I managed to ram my body against him, rocking him enough I was able to smash my fist under his chin.
“Fuck!” he growled, almost going down.
When he snagged my hair, jerking me back, I swung a second time, this time able to ram my fist into his jaw.
The change in his eyes was instantaneous, the dark and cruel look unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Lust had combined with his anger, woven together in a malevolent force. What small amount of humanity he might have left in him was tossed aside, replaced with nothing but the filthy needs of a beast.
He slowly lowered his head, taking several ragged breaths as he returned his hand between my legs. “That wasn’t very nice of you.”
“You must have me mistaken for someone else.”
“And you must have mistaken me for a man with a conscience. All infractions are required to have punishment.” He cupped my mound, allowing a single finger to slide just past my slickened folds. Even though I tried desperately not to react, the slight moan was a clear indication that even though my mind screamed he was a twisted fuck, the chemistry between us was something I’d never experienced before. “You’re very wet. I think you crave the darkness. Don’t you, sweet Emily?”
“Never. Especially not from a horrible fuck like you.”
“You’re right. I’m a very bad man, the kind of man who just altered your future. As of now, you belong to me. And I’m going to enjoy every moment of devouring you, breaking down all your defenses. Is that what you want, Emily?”
Even the way he said my name was seductive, pulling me into a swirling cloud of darkness and explosive heat. I was sopping wet, the repulsive scent of my own desire forcing me to shut down my mind. I refused to accept my body’s betrayal, slamming my hands against his chest.
“You can fight me all you want, but that’s not going to change a thing.” He laughed, the sound so deep and throaty that my nipples hardened, aching for his touch.
No. No. Oh, hell, no.
He drove several fingers inside, flexing them open as he thrust in and out, taking his time to indulge in teasing me.
“Yes, very wet.”
I closed my eyes, no longer able to think clearly, the tight clutch of my fingers relaxing as I fell into a lull. Then I realized I was jutting my hips forward, meeting every thrust. Oh, God. Oh, no. How could I be this starved from something I didn’t know existed? It was crazy thinking, my mind nothing but a ridiculous blur. I was sick inside, embarrassed that he could tell how aroused I’d become. As his hot breath skipped across my skin, I could tell easily he was becoming even more turned on.
“Do you like the feel of my fingers pleasing you?”
“No. Fuck you.” My voice was little more than a breathless whisper, a ridiculous attempt at denying the sickest, most incredible feeling of pleasure. I did everything I could to drag myself out of the dark oblivion, finding the strength to punch him in the gut. He was hard as a rock, the only movement that of my hand, an ache immediately developing.
He’d pulled his hand free and when I opened my eyes, I knew I’d crossed a line that had changed everything.
“You shouldn’t have done that, Emily. You really shouldn’t have done that.”
He jerked me around, pushing me onto the table once again, only this time grabbing my two wrists in one of his massive hands. I was exhausted from the fight, the very core of my world on fire, the closeness of the man driving me to a dangerous edge where fantasy and reality combined. As he leaned over, I held my breath, uncertain whether he was going to put a bullet in my head.
“There’s something you should keep in mind, Emily. I can either bring you pure, raw ecstasy night after night or I can generate mind-bending anguish. That choice is entirely up to you. If you’re a good girl and obey me, you’ll get exactly what you crave. If you fight me on any level, then the punishment you receive is going to be something you remember for a very long time. Do I make myself clear or would you like a reminder?”
What the hell was I supposed to say? I couldn’t form a coherent sentence. Not one. Everything had turned into a surreal nightmare.
“Answer me. I need to know that you understand.”
“Yes. I get it.”
“Good. Now, I’m going to make certain I provide you with incentive for remaining a very good girl.”
“What does that mean?”
“That means that I’m going to fuck you.”
There was an even more ominous tone to his voice after he’d taken the last phone call, as if capturing me held an entirely different meaning. I sensed he’d reined in his control for as long as it was possible, his true predatory nature clawing its way to the surface. When I heard his button and zipper being undone, I almost lost it, fighting him with everything I had.
But as he brushed his hand under my shirt, caressing in a soothing manner, I was torn between the self-loathing and the delirious rush of excitement.
“Voy a disfrutar tomando cada centimetro de ti, mi florecita.”
I’m going to enjoy taking every inch of you, my little flower.
I relished the sound, the raw hunger oozing through every syllable. I could barely catch my breath, my heart racing. He yanked my shorts and panties all the way down, crawling his fingers along the inside of my leg, rubbing them toward my aching pussy.
“I’m not your little flower. I’ll never be your anything.” Even as I said the words, there was no conviction in them.
“We shall see. Won’t we, mi hermosa flor?”
Names. I hated all the fucking nicknames and why? Because they made me feel special. Because they made me feel wanted. Because I felt the heat and lust dripping in every word. As his scent filtered all though my system, I closed my eyes, shuddering from the sheer jolt of current jetting through me. When I felt the hard press of his thick cock against my bruised bottom, I let out a moan, the sound almost like a pure invitation to take me.
As he pressed his cockhead past my swollen folds, my body acted entirely on its own, pushing against him. A warm, almost dizzying series of sensations washed over me, shooting straight into my aching pussy. Nothing was going to stop him from taking what he wanted.
He was huge, my muscles struggling to accept the thickness. I was stretched wide open, involuntary moans rushing up from my throat.
“So wet. So tight. Your hunger is as great as mine.”
Why did his guttural voice have to slide across me like a warm blanket, soft and velvety?
He pushed another inch inside, allowing me to get used to his huge girth. I was thrown into a frenzied state of mind, intoxicated by his musky scent, allowing the disruptive fire to ignite the embers I’d buried long ago. How could this bastard manage to do that to me? There weren’t enough adequate answers and there never would be.
“Uh. Uh.” My pants were primal, my starved-for-attention body and mind yanking the brazen woman from the dark catacombs of my being.
He thrust the entire length inside, digging his fingers into my skin. His husky growls were cries of satisfaction, his breath just as ragged as mine. “You’re tight. So fucking tight.”
Every part of me was on fire, my hunger almost as desperate as his. I was crazed from what was happening, unable to process his actions.
Or my body’s intense explosion of sensations. I couldn’t believe I was so wet, my pussy muscles immediately clamping around the thick invasion.
“When you learn to obey my every command, I’ll bring you pleasures unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.”
Obey. He was out of his mind if he thought for a second that…
He pulled out, interrupting my thoughts and when he slammed into me again, I arched my back, my moans strangled. As he developed a rhythm, the force enough to pitch me across the surface of the table, I fell into a sweet lull, no longer the woman I’d thought I was.
I’d become some lust-crazed girl who’d found her perfect drug.
Then he huffed before easing me into his clutches. As he placed his arm around me and across my chest, lowering his head, I closed my eyes in some crazy effort to try to block him from my psyche.
His touch was like a thousand bottle rockets, his heated breath electrifying every cell. I was thrown into utter bliss, his relentless plunges awakening my senses. As I gasped for air, he shifted his angle, driving the tip of his cock against my G-spot.
“Oh. My. God.”
“Do you want to come, Emily?”
“Yes,” I whimpered without hesitation.
“Then I’ll give you this gift.” He let go of my arms, slowly sliding his hand down my hair, wrapping the long strands around his fingers. Then he gripped my hip with the other, rolling onto the balls of his feet.
Within seconds, I was unable to hold back, my mind splitting in two as a climax roared into me. No. No. No… This couldn’t happen. This… Panting, I threw my hands against the table, rearing back as the orgasm became a giant wave, the intensity stealing my breath.
Every growl he made added to the combustion shared between us, the strange connection that made zero sense. I was lightheaded, nauseated from everything that had occurred, yet I wanted more. Oh, God. What the hell was wrong with me?
I could sense his body tensing, shaking violently. I clawed my nails on the table and clenched my eyes shut, fearful of what would happen next. When he let out a long, husky roar, erupting deep inside of me, all I could do was pray he’d allow me to live.
He slumped over me, the weight of his body almost crushing. After a few seconds, I dared to ask him a question, uncertain I was prepared for the answer.
“Why are you doing this?”
His searing breath scalded my skin and after he nipped my earlobe, he whispered words that would haunt me for years to come.
“Why? Because you betrayed me, Emily Shephard, daughter of Jonathan Shephard, otherwise known to some very dangerous men I work with as Ivan Romitoff. Once a former DEA agent, now deceased at the hands of the Bratva.”