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Deeper (The Underground #3)
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When Stella Vincent’s father gambles away her childhood home, it is up to her to get it back, but when she finally meets the man who holds the deed, she realizes just how dangerous he really is. He is tall, dark, and gorgeous, and so very bad for her.
Tate Wessen knows he his dangerous, and he counts on others realizing the same thing in order for him get what he wants. Running an illegal underground fight club isn’t the worst he has ever done.
When Stella walks into his office the attraction is instant. She’ll do anything to get her father’s house back, and he knows that he can use this to his advantage. What he offers her is very simple. She must submit her body to him for the next two weeks. After that her father’s debt is absolved.
The only problem is he finds himself falling hard for the woman who was only supposed to warm his bed.
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When Stella prayed for a way out of her blind date, she hadn’t been talking about picking up her drunk father—again. The drive to the Horseshoe, the new casino that had just opened up off Sunset and Broadview, was slow going given the fact it was Saturday night and prime time for the partiers to be out.
When she pulled up to the curb, a line of people wrapped around the building. The casino had only been open for a few months, but every day when she drove by, there was always a line. There was no disputing the fact that the casino increased the revenue in their town, but there was a part of her that loathed the idea of it being built just three blocks from her apartment building. It also didn’t help her disposition that her once-recovering addict of a father had fallen off—or gotten on the wagon, whatever the hell the saying was—and could be found at either the casino or the twenty-four-hour bar.
It didn’t take long for her to spot her father, seeing as he was sandwiched between two burly-looking men in suit jackets with white tees underneath. The men had a hand under each of her dad’s arms. Whether it was to support his drunken ass or keep him from running off was still unclear, but Stella knew it was probably a little bit of both.
The burly guys saw her get out of her car and made their way toward her, her father in tow. Each time she had to pick up Henry Vincent, it was always the same scene. Her father had been a great man at one time, a celebrated contractor who’d built many of the homes in their town. But her mother, Bonnie, had died of breast cancer when she was seven, and that was when Henry’s life went down the drain to addiction.
Now, fifteen years later, Stella was still making sure he was home and in bed, just to wake up the next morning to start the whole vicious cycle once more. Oh, he’d tried rehab, had even been sober for a year, but there was always something life threw at him that would make him pick up the bottle again.
It didn’t matter what Stella told him; she’d learned that early on. When Henry wanted something, there wasn’t anything or anyone that could stop him. His years of building houses had made him a big man, and that, coupled with all his pent-up emotions from her mother’s passing, made him a scary man at times. There was never any abuse, but she’d walked in on enough of his bar fights to know how that aggression could become flying fists and broken bones at the drop of a hat.
The men brought her father right up to the passenger door, and she opened it while they folded him inside. He groaned and grunted, and the smell of liquor that came from him was so strong she wouldn’t have been surprised if she got drunk just from being in the same vehicle with him.
“Um, thanks.” It was always awkward talking to the men that had to drag her father to her car. She’d shut the door and started rounding the front bumper when one of the men’s deep voices stopped her.
“Mr. Wessen would like a word with you, Miss Vincent.” They came closer to her, and she wondered if they would take her to him by force. They certainly were big enough to.
“Okay, but can I maybe come back tomorrow? I can’t just leave my father in the car passed out.”
“Not to worry, ma’am.” The one with a bald head and dark, trimmed goatee took a step toward the passenger door. “While you’re speaking with Mr. Wessen, I’ve been instructed to wait here. I’ll keep an eye on your father and your belongings.”
A glance at her father showed he was blissfully unaware of the trouble she was no doubt in because of him. She could only imagine what the owner of the majority of the properties in their town wanted to speak to her about. “Okay.”
She was led through the main doors of the casino, and instantly the sound of slot machines and ringing bells surrounded her. The vestibule was gorgeous, with white marble and an impressive crystal chandelier hanging from the cathedral-style ceiling. If she was being honest, the casino looked a little out of place in their small town, but it had become an instant attraction.
The main part of the casino was straight ahead, but she was led to the left, down a long hallway that had bright red carpet with a gold ivy pattern inlaid through it. The walls were a muted cream, but the bland color didn’t take away from the fact that it was clearly expensively decorated. Double doors stood to her right, the wood dark and glossy.