“Usually, if people like you try to take down a member of the Bratva, you eliminate the whole family,” she says, her voice trembling.
Leaning forward, I rest my elbows on my thighs. “If people like me come after you, you’d be dead already. You wouldn’t see it coming. The fact that you’re sitting here should be enough to give you peace of mind.”
“Peace of mind,” she scoffs and then lets out a bitter chuckle while shaking her head. “You break into my apartment. Choke the living shit out of me. Kidnap me, and now you’re keeping me on some island…” She lets out a huff. “Yeah, peace of mind is the last thing I have right now.” A frown forms on her forehead, then she says, “I saw you on Saturday. At the Starbucks. How long were you watching me?”
“It’s good to hear you’re not totally clueless of your surroundings.” I lean back against the couch. “Two days. The contract for you came through three days ago.”
“Why would someone take out a contract on my life?” she asks, her eyes filled with doubt.
Wanting to give her time to adjust to her circumstances before dropping another bomb on her, I answer, “You being Sergei’s daughter is enough of a reason.”
“Will you let me call my dad?”
I shake my head. “Wait for my associate to make contact with him. It’s safer that way.”
Ariana shakes her head, and getting up, she carries the plate to the kitchen.
I reach for my own plate and rise to my feet. Ariana stands by the island in the middle of the kitchen, her eyes following me.
I set the plate down on the counter, then say, “If you try to attack me with that fork, it’s going to end with me tying your ass to the bed.”
Ariana darts forward, and as she lifts her arm, my right hand darts out, and I grab hold of her wrist. Twisting her hand, I force her to let go of the fork as I spin her until her back slams against my chest. She lets out a frustrated cry as I wrap my left arm around her waist. Lifting her off her feet, I stalk toward the stairs.
“Let go of me,” she hisses, thrashing in my hold.
Her soft scent drifts up to me, and feeling her petite body struggling in my arms makes my own body take notice of her. I shove the unwelcome burst of desire down faster than it rose.
“You won’t get away with this! My dad and brother will find me.”
I let out an annoyed sigh as I carry her up the stairs, avoiding the back of her head as she tries to headbutt me. Walking into her bedroom, I let go of her with a hard shove, and it sends her sprawling over the bed.
She begins to push herself up off the mattress, but I grab hold of her hips and whirl her onto her back. Placing my knee on the bed, I straddle her while grabbing hold of her wrists.
“Let go of me,” she screeches, fighting me like a wildcat to free herself.
I lift her hands to the wrought iron bed frame and reach for one of the belts I left in the room when I untied her earlier.
“NoNoNoNoNo,” she begins to chant, her face tightening with panic.
Wrapping the soft leather around her wrists, I tie her to the bed frame, then bracing my hands on either side of her head, I glare down at her. “Stop!”
Her body instantly stills, and she stares at me with wide eyes.
Christ, she’s breathtaking.
“The last thing I want to do is babysit your ass. I’ll keep you tied to this bed if I have to. It doesn’t matter to me whether you’re comfortable or not. I just have to keep you alive,” I bite the words out past the attraction and irritation whirling in my chest.
Her lips are parted, breaths exploding over them, and the sight only turns me on more.
“Do you understand, Ariana,” I demand.
She quickly nods.
Pushing away from her, I stalk out of the room and yank the door shut behind me.
“Worst job of my fucking life,” I mutter as I head to the security room while trying to ignore the way she made me feel.
My father is the head of the Bratva, but being born out of wedlock, I’ve never been a part of that world.
Until a hit is taken out on me. I’m kidnapped in the dead of night and waking up, it’s to come face to face with Demitri Vetrov.
Dangerous and heartless, Demitri is the most feared man in the world. I’ve heard whispers of what he’s capable of.
I’m thrown into a nightmare where I don’t know who I can trust, and fear for my life is my only constant companion.
I’m forced to be at Demitri’s mercy, I’m just not sure he has any. It also doesn’t help that he’s disarmingly attractive.
Tall, dark, and deadly.
Knowing this, he uses it against me like a weapon, breaking down my walls faster than I can put them up.
There’s a war coming, and I’m right in the middle of it.
The only question is, will Demitri be the one to save me or kill me?
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Michelle Heard is a Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling Author who loves creating stories her readers can get lost in. She resides in South Africa with her son where she's always planning her next book to write, and trip to take.
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