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Cruel Beloved – Cocky Hero Club
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Sign on the dotted line…
I, Carla Star, agree to marry you, Corton Whiskey, on the date supplied in the attached contract. In signing this document, I agree that I shall not, by any means, try to break this contract. I understand that if I do, the envelope held in escrow will be released to the parties identified within the contract, and I shall forfeit my right to the privacy currently afforded to me by the aforementioned Mr. Corton Whiskey.
I received this contract, hand-delivered, and I’m now staring at it in disbelief. Me, the daughter of a senator, is being bribed by a one-night stand.
If he thinks he can blackmail me with his perversions, he can damn well think again.
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I was mad, so damn mad. And when I’m mad, I do stupid things. Like what I’m doing right now. I shouldn’t be doing this, that’s for sure.
“Hmmm…” slips from my mouth. It’s a moan mixed with pleasure as his hands run down my sides, and his breath tickles my ear.
“You like that, don’t you?” His voice is raspy, making my nipples taut against my shirt.
“Arghh…” I breathe out again. This time, one of his hands slips from my hips where he’s gripping hard. He squeezes, and I feel every inch of his hand covering my small breast.
It’s been so long, way too long since a man has touched me this way. The slightest touch, the whisper-soft kisses from his lips, makes me quiver all over when really, I should be pulling away.
“Come upstairs with me.”
I’m about to say no. Whiskey knows this, so he steps in front of me, his mouth disappearing from my neck until he’s standing in all his perfect glory.
He’s handsome—so very handsome.
How is it he’s standing here with me?
How did we end up where we are right now?
I came to a small gathering of people for a get-together. My girlfriend, who I came with, disappeared with some guy when I was on my fourth drink.
I don’t drink much, usually. But when he approached me, he said I was beautiful, then asked me why I was sitting by myself. He pulled me up to dance, when no one else was dancing. But I didn’t care. I had a strong buzz going on, and a very good-looking man to occupy my thoughts. It was a nice change, instead of me dwelling on what my father had said to me before I left. You’re useless. Can you not do anything right, Carla? Hell, you can’t even get engaged right.
I was dating the son of one of my father’s friends but called it off when I knew he was going to propose. Because when I kissed him, I didn’t dream of a future. Instead, I dreamt of imprisonment. My father would gladly take that future over one of my own choosing.
Blinking away those thoughts, I look up at my stranger and into whiskey-colored eyes with flecks of golden-brown shot through them as he stares at me. His hand’s outstretched, ready for me to take it.
My heartbeat jumps, and I know what I’m about to do before I do it. Quickly, before I can change my mind, I place my hand in his, feeling the ridges of roughness from his calloused fingers and remember to breathe when he pulls me to him, so our bodies smash together.
“I’m going to make you mine tonight.” His words seem to hold truth, and with them a shiver breaks out all over me in tiny goose bumps. I don’t reply as he turns, still holding my hand in his, and we make our way up the stairs.
This night will come back to haunt me.
It will change my life, and not for the better.
The man with whiskey-colored eyes will haunt me until the day I see him again.
And it’s not one of my choosing, either.
“You can’t be going tonight, can you?” My best friend, Emma, the only friend in the world who really knows me, sits on our couch looking at me with anger in her eyes.
I want to lie to her, I do. But I can’t bring myself to do it. “I have to. Appearance is everything, you know this. It’s why I got these,” I say, holding out my arm, showcasing my tattoos. Father hates them. She makes some sort of weird sound with her mouth, and I choose to ignore her while pulling my black dress over my hips and around my boobs.
“You do too much for him already.”
Clipping my earrings in, I smile at my appearance, but it’s forced. I hate dresses, and the fact I have to wear one almost every week grates on my very last nerve.
“He’s my father.”
This time I turn at the loud, weird noise she makes and see her throw her hands up in the air, then she slouches on the couch.
“A father who controls your damn life. When was the last time you did something that had no involvement with him?”
My mouth pinches into a tight line, then my nose turns up like I’ve smelled something bad. I bend to put on my sky-high heels.
“See, you can’t even answer, can you?”
Standing tall, I run my hands down my dress and shake my head.
“I had a one-night stand. Do you remember? And the bar… I have the bar.”
She sits up straighter. “Yes, and you need to do that again. You never told me much about him, but you couldn’t wipe the smile from your face for a whole month. That gorgeous man must have hit every lady spot imaginable.” She laughs.