Pretty things aren’t meant to be broken.
But I broke her, and now we both have to pay the price.
I’m her nightmare.
I’m her savior.
And now that I have her signature on an ironclad contract, I own her body and soul.
She doesn’t remember me.
Because as much as I know I need to stay away, for fear of unlocking the memories I helped her father bury–I can’t.
She was the apple in the Garden, dangled in front of me, her core so tempting and sweet. A voice whispered. Just. One. Bite.
Welcome to the world of the Russian mafia, where death, is your only future.
Barnes & Noble
“You are your father’s daughter.” His lips curved into a delicious smile, “You resemble each other, not in looks, but definitely in attitude.” His gaze was unapologetic as he tilted his head and started raking his eyes from my feet up my legs until finally settling on my face. I clenched my legs together tightly and forced a smile.
“If you don’t mind, Mr. Blazik, I’d really like to get on with the interview, I know your time is precious.”
As was mine, I wanted to stress, but didn’t, just barely restraining myself and clenching my teeth to keep from giving him a much-needed verbal lashing.
“I blocked out my entire day.”
Did he want applause? “Right, well, I assure you I can be fast.”
His dark laugh had me shivering and wanting to lean forward all at once. Men that good looking shouldn’t be blessed with chuckles like that—a freaking sirens call that’s what it was.
“Amazing… You truly don’t know why you’re here, do you?”
How many times did I need to repeat myself and why was I getting the sudden impression that the guy was on some seriously hard drugs? I looked closer; didn’t pinpoint pupils mean he was high or something?
“I assure you I’m not drunk, nor high, if that’s what you’re thinking.” He chuckled again and rubbed his hands together. “Though the idea does have merit, all things considering.” A muscle clenched in his jaw.
Oh good, so he was a doctor who liked drugs and had more money than God. That should go over well for addiction problems.
I scooted back against the leather and clicked my pen for, oh, I don’t know, the tenth time. “If you aren’t going to answer my questions, I should probably go.”
“You won’t be going anywhere,” he said in a quiet voice. “And for that I’m truly sorry.” His eyes met mine, and they seemed… apologetic.
“Pardon?” Was he threatening me? Warning bells went off in my head as adrenaline shot through my system.
“Your father…” He tilted his head. “He owes me a debt… of gratitude… I asked for something irreplaceable, something that’s been owed to me for a very long time.”
My stomach sank as my heart started hammering against my chest.
“What exactly did my father give you?” I choked out, hating that I probably knew the answer, because my father was ruthless, he was a business man after all, and he never backed out of a deal. It was business over family and our business was darkness itself, horrible, something I blocked out because it made me feel better when I woke up in the morning and fell asleep at night.
“Well…” Mr. Blazik stood. “I thought that would be obvious.” He turned his back to me and walked over to his desk then pressed a button causing blinds to creep down all the windows. When he turned, the room was already starting to blanket in darkness, making it so that his teeth practically glowed. “He gave me you.”
“You,” I said simply. “It all leads to you. Everything. And I think, for now…” I leaned up, brushing my lips across his. “That’s all that matters.”
“And if I’m the key to both your survival and your destruction, what then?”
“You mean what if your water is poison?” I asked.
He didn’t answer.
“Then I want to drink.”
There were two seconds.
Two brief moments in time.
When I felt my heart race and wondered if it matched his as Nikolai took a steadying breath… then swallowed hard.
One beat against my chest, and his lips were touching mine.
Two beats as my heart picked up speed, and I could feel the heat of his mouth as he slid his tongue across my lower lip.
I moaned in response, reaching around his neck, grasping fistfuls of his hair and tugging as his body moved against mine. Without breaking the kiss, Nikolai found the hem of my cotton T-shirt, lifted it and pulled it over my head, our mouths parting for seconds before, with a sizzle of heat, they met again, and again. Each time our lips grazed it felt new, and yet familiar, like we’d shared hundreds of kisses, thousands of embraces.
He leaned back and helped me to a sitting position, his muscles flexing from holding his own weight. Moonlight shone across the planes of his firm chest. Something about Nikolai’s masculine beauty was lethal, so dangerous that my heart raced even harder. He frowned, pressing his palm to my chest as if trying to calm me down.
I wasn’t safe.
Not in his arms.
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she’s not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!
Want to be kept up to date on new releases? Text MAFIA to 66866!