He ignored the attention he received as he stepped inside. He was the replica of all the men in his family tree. His dark looks were called smoldering, his six-foot-three physique dead sexy, and his magnetic pull on females maddeningly hypnotic, or so they kept saying. He didn’t care for it much and found it more a hindrance than anything else.
He’d hoped to have come to his senses by now—something that would have entailed turning around and leaving. To say he didn’t have a horse in this particular race proved an understatement. He had zero obligation, but he remained compelled for no easy decipherable reason.
A variety of women gyrated their bodies against his to meaningless music as he scanned the room, its erratic neon lights blurting from the ceiling. He was there not only to find a certain woman, but to somehow integrate his orderly life with hers too.
His gaze rippled over an array of glass domes lining the perimeter of the club, each containing a sparsely clad woman dancing either alone or with a partner. He expected to find Ms. Elliot in one of them. And there she was, the defunct heiress turned alcohol-guzzling attention-seeking party girl.
His attention fell onto an obscene amount of leg—long, shapely, and satiny smooth under the fluorescence of the lights. The curve of her left ankle, balanced in crazily high red stiletto heels, was sensuously adorned with a bracelet from which glittering gold charms dangled. Her pretty knees carried even prettier thighs but her skirt barely covered her bottom. Anyone standing around the encased platform had a clear shot of her ass.
And she wasn’t alone.
He banged his fist on the glass enclosure to get her attention. When she eventually looked down at him, she gave a small wave of her fingers, flashed him a dazzling smile, and continued to use her curves to sway to the music.
He banged again, harder this time. “Ms. Elliot, please come down. I need to speak with you.”
She couldn’t hear him, but surely if he slowly mouthed the words combined with self-explanatory hand gestures, she’d catch on. Instead, she rotated her hips and dropped her body in a slow, sensuous motion to lean back on her heels. Then she kissed her fingertips and touched her hand to his own still resting on the glass dome.
By the time she rose to her petite height, she had given him her back, discarding him… well, almost. He didn’t have the time or patience for such games. He scaled the platform, slid open the door, and detangled her from the boy whose hands had begun to wander over her backside.
“You want to dance with me that badly?” she asked. Her words tumbled from pink wet lips as she smiled at him again. She then shimmied her hips in every seductive way possible before turning around to dance her way down his body, her ass firm and feminine against him. He took a light hold of her arm and lifted her to her feet. He spoke into her ear. “I need a private moment with you, Ms. Elliot. We have important matters to discuss. I’m afraid—”
“What?” She turned to face him.
“Ms. Elliot, please come with me.” He took hold of both her arms. She tried to jerk free.
“Look, I don’t know who you are or what you want from me but please leave me alone before I call security.”
“I’m here on business that concerns your father.”
“In that case, you have five seconds to leave me alone before I start—” she shouted.
“Let go of her, man.” The blond, pierced, and tattooed boy she’d been dancing with decided to get involved. “She’s coming home with me tonight, so I think you should find someone else.”
In any other circumstance, Nico might have been tempted to laugh, but not today. He dropped one of his hands off the little exhibitionist’s arms to face her stupid knight. “This doesn’t concern you.”
“What are you, some sort of a maniac?” she cried, trying to get herself released. “You can’t just come in here—”
Nico didn’t give her a chance to finish. He bent at the knee, wrapped his arm around her legs, and tossed her over his shoulder.
“Put her down, man, I don’t want to hurt you,” said her dance partner.
But Nico had reached his patience’s end. By the time the boy came at him with his fist ready, Nico deflected the strike, twisted his tattooed arm around, and pulled it up behind his back.
“You have two choices,” Nico said. “Stay out of this or allow me to break your arm.”
The boy lifted a hand covered in skull-shaped rings in surrender while he winced in pain like a small child. Nico wasted no time. He shoved him aside then jumped off the small stage. He marched across the room carrying the weightless though extremely noisy piece of satiny flesh flung over his shoulder.
Three bouncers approached, but he didn’t hesitate in his stride. “I think it would be in your best interest if I removed this girl from your premises. She is, after all, only sixteen.”
“I am not sixteen!” she shouted. She tried to hit him while the bouncers cleared out of his way.
“You crazy animal!” Her words were much louder now that they had exited the club and were heading toward the parking lot. “Put me down. If my father put you up to this, I swear I’ll do something so outrageous, it will ruin him forever. Forever! Put me down, you ape, put me down. Put me down this instant!” She started to scream her head off.
Domenico grinned. She had quite the pair of lungs. But a pounding headache was working itself into his brain and so he promptly slapped her ass—hard enough to shock her into silence, for a moment at least, before she embarked on an even noisier tirade about him hitting her.
He spanked her again. “I can go as long as you can, Ms. Elliot. The more you scream, the more I’ll spank. The harder you scream, the harder I’ll spank. Have we reached a mutual understanding?”
“Screw you!” she screamed, louder and angrier now.
Her skirt barely covered her behind and he brushed against bits of her soft flesh as he spanked her, keeping his promise. He’d never touched that degree of velvety smoothness before. After three rapid swats to the area just below her ass, she heated up under the palm of his hand. She had stopped shouting and he couldn’t mistake her soft slow moan as he pressed his fingertips into her spanked-hot skin. The sound of her raspy breathing sent blood sizzling through his veins. He’d officially lost his mind for agreeing to be a part of an elaborate plan only because it involved her.
He arrived at the limo. His chauffeur waited with the passenger door already opened, a mischievous smile on his face. Nico shoved his charge inside but not without her struggling with new fervor. Avoiding her hands, teeth, high-heeled shoes, and a stream of swear words proved harder in the back seat of his moving limo. As previously instructed, his driver Luigi drove them toward her father’s penthouse.
“Calm down. Cazzo. I only want to talk to you. I mean you no harm. Your father sent me to—” He barely finished speaking before he had to grab her from reaching for the door. Perhaps he had gone about this the wrong way. Her father had warned him she’d be difficult. At the time, Nico had smiled politely. Now he had only one option to get this out-of-control girl to listen without him losing an eye or his nuts.
Capturing both her hands in one of his and keeping them down on her lap limited some of her movement. He then whipped off his tie and wound the strip of fabric around her wrists before raising her arms and fastening her hands to a bar on the ceiling of the limo.
That still left her legs free.
With all her struggles, her skirt, or rather that band of material he assumed she called a skirt, rode up to the apex of her thighs. He couldn’t help but notice the subtle warmth of lilac peeking from between her legs. God help him, he really should never have agreed to this, considering he had nothing to do with it in the first place.
She shrieked in shock, followed by more shouting and incoherent yelling and he let himself grin a little when she called him a crap-eating, overstuffed chauvinistic pig cock. Where did she come up with that stuff?
He unbuckled his belt, slid it through the loops on his trousers, and knelt, catching her ankles and wrapping the leather around them. She kicked out at him and he had a pleasurable time trying not to let her smooth legs slip through his hands.
Once done, he took a seat opposite her. He ignored the riotous feeling coursing through him at seeing her restrained by his own hand. Instead, he pushed those thoughts aside and concentrated on enjoying the fact that he had rendered her speechless. He used the opportunity to ensure she stayed that way.
“Now, Ms. Elliot, as you can see, nothing is above or beyond me when it comes to you, so please be advised I would have no qualms about removing your lilac underwear and gagging you with it as a means to keep you quiet while I explain myself.”
“Oh, my God, what did you eat for lunch today, asshole casserole?” A deeper shade of pink blossomed over her already highly flushed cheeks. The dip between her collarbones glistened. Her hair had gotten itself into tousled mess and ocean blue-green eyes sparkled with rage.
He sighed theatrically before getting up from his seat to do as he promised.
“Okay, fine. I’ll listen to what you have to say. Just make it quick,” she relented.
“Good. To put your mind at ease that I’m not a serial killer, or anything else you may think I am, a simple call to your father will confirm my identity.” He removed his cell phone from the inside of his jacket pocket and pressed a button. “Do you recognize that number?” He held the phone out to her. She didn’t reply until he prompted her again.
“Yes, it’s my father’s cell. Happy?”
Happy? Not likely. Mad? Definitely. He called the number and put it on speaker.
“Nico,” Ronald Elliot said on the other side. “Did you find her?”
“Yes,” Nico said. Kay rolled her eyes and bit her lip.
“Thank you. I’ll be waiting for the two of you. We are running out of time.”
Nico disconnected the call. “Now that we have that out of the way…” He leaned forward in his seat, relishing the confused look in her gaze. Her breath seemed to still as he neared her. A breast lovelier than he had ever seen had escaped the flimsy encasement of the top she wore and a sleepy nipple peeped at him from her lacy bra.
He reached out to the strap hanging on her shoulder. She stopped breathing as his fingers slid beneath it then grazed her skin as he lifted it back into its former position. By the time he got to her skirt to pull the little thing as far over her legs as it could go, her thighs clenched into a death lock and she released a strangled gasp. He frowned. Her breath had feathered out sweet and clean and yet her clothes smelled of alcohol.
“Now that you’ve satisfied yourself that I’m decent enough, can you start talking already? I don’t have all night,” she said, a haughty look in her eye, so different from how she’d looked moments ago. She’d looked scared… of him.
“I am a man of honor, Ms. Elliot… when required.” He dragged his hand through his hair as the sudden heaviness in his cock disputed the first half of his words. For the millionth time he questioned his motives when it came to the woman sitting before him, and why he felt bound to her based on one quick glance years ago. Even being in the same city as her equated playing with fire. He’d ignored his interest in her well enough over the years. He’d have spent the rest of his life happily without her in it. But circumstance had thrown her at his feet, and he wasn’t half the man he’d thought he was, because resisting her, turning the other way and pretending she was still off limits, wasn’t an option for him any longer.
When her father had come to him and explained their situation, Nico had closed his eyes as his past gripped him in that suffocating way it did. In a split second his mind turned over possibilities that left him cornered and afraid for the first time in his life. He couldn’t have Kassandra Elliot without facing the one aspect that had tormented him all his life. He could be with any other women on the planet and walk away unscathed. Yet this young girl who he had tied up, whose buttery soft-looking lips unnerved him, would bring to the surface memories he’d prefer to forget. He couldn’t have her and not face his past. One didn’t work without the other. He was truly fucked now in every way possible. But it all depended on whether he allowed her into his life.
He had no intention of allowing her in.
He didn’t get to where he was to become undone at the hands of an innocent, no matter how fierce the strength of his attraction for her. He was stronger than her hold on him. He planned to play with her, in every way possible, until his interest in her was exhausted. Then he’d let her go. But he’d never allow her to scale his barrier. He just wouldn’t allow her or anyone else in. He really was being absurd for worrying she could derail him. He wanted to fuck her, and that would be the end of his interest in her.
“Yeah, right.” She jerked her bound hands and stomped her feet. “And this is the personification of honor. Spare me the character reference and tell me what you want from me. Are you going to be my new bodyguard? Because I’ll have you know, the last one didn’t work out so well. He could barely keep it in his pants—”
“I have no doubt you could benefit from an authoritative figure not afraid to discipline you when required.”
“You mean someone like you who would spank me when I’m naughty and tie me up when I won’t listen.”
“Perhaps. But Ms. Elliot, back to why I’m really here. My name is Domenico Bellini. And I’m going to be your husband.”
Suddenly, the ever so charming Ms. Elliot emptied her stomach right into his lap.