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Enamoured (The Enslaved Duet #2)
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1775233022 (ISBN13: 9781775233022)
It was the worst day of my life.
** The Enslaved Duet is a standalone dark romance duet about Cosima Lombardi from The Evolution of Sin Trilogy.**
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Everyone who was anyone in British society was at my wedding. Even the royals had sent Prince Alasdair as their representative. It was the event of the season, of the fucking decade, and everyone worth their salt was in attendance. Everyone, that was, except for my bride.
“What do you mean?” I ground out. “Where the bloody hell is she?”
Riddick blinked, his hands locked behind his back, his feet braced apart like a soldier before his general. “She’s gone, milord. No one has seen her for the past hour. I had Rupert check the cameras, and they went haywire half an hour before that. He’s only just got them back online.”
“Can he recover the footage?” I asked around the swell of rage rising tidal strong in my chest.
Someone had done something to Cosima.
To my wife.
I was seized by the primal urge to stalk around the crowded gardens and crush the pastel-clad guests littered across the grass like flowers under my foot until they confessed who’d taken her. I wanted to read their confessions in their blood, spilled from the hammer of my fists and the weight of my fury.
I wanted each one of them to die for even existing at the wedding when my bride did not.
“We…we can’t be sure. Whoever tampered with them knew what they were doing,” Riddick admitted, his eyes cold with his own fury.
My implacable manservant had developed his own obsession with Cosima.
I didn’t blame him. How could I when I felt savage with longing for her at every hour of the day, even in those minutes when I was buried deep inside her.
I could never get close enough, fuck her long enough, plant myself deep enough.
In her head, in her heart, and in her sweet, tight cunt.
And now she was gone.
“That doesn’t exactly narrow down the list of suspects, Riddick,” I growled lowly. “It could be anyone in the Order, a disgruntled ex-employee even.”
“You want it to be Dante,” Riddick noted because he knew me well.
I wasn’t a man who had friends, but if I had been, Riddick would be the best of them.
“Yes,” I seethed, my hands flexing so hard I could feel the tendons pinch with strain. The pain grounded me. “Everything in me believes it’s him, but I will not be ruled by emotion. If he is the one who took her, she shouldn’t be in any danger. If it’s someone else, if it’s someone from the Order lashing out at me for some imaginary infraction, she could be dying as we speak.”
I ignored the way my heart tripped over the notion of anyone causing her pain but me. It had been foolish to marry her, but I’d been foolish enough before that to believe marriage was the only way to protect her from the monsters I’d brought into her world.
Sherwood was somewhere in the crowd, no doubt ready to read me the riot act for going against The Code.
I didn’t give a flying fuck. I’d given Cosima my name in marriage because there were more forces than the Order at work against us. The name Davenport was a shield, the titles of Greythorn and Thornton a lance and sword. I’d caved in to the compulsion to make sure she was armed for battle even when I couldn’t be there to protect her.
Sherwood wouldn’t kill me. He couldn’t afford to. I was one of the wealthiest, most influential men in Great Britain. The Davenports had been founding members of the Order of Dionysus, and each generation had sat on its council.
So they wouldn’t kill me.
Blackmail, harass, and maim me, potentially.
But any of those were less objectionable than the idea of Cosima being exposed to the harsh elements of my world. I’d dragged her into hell with me, but I would not leave her alone in the dark.
My stomach cramped at the idea of her alone there now, somewhere dank and black where even her considerable light couldn’t keep her mind safe from its taint.
I whipped around to glare at my father as he strolled toward me, adjusting the cuff on his impeccable white dress shirt as if it wasn’t already perfectly aligned by his valet.
Years of latent bitterness sank roots in my gut and gave birth to fury.
I stormed up to him before he could freeze and slammed my fist across the strong line of his nose hard enough to feel the bones break like eggshells under my knuckles. Blood erupted from his nostrils and sluiced down the fine linen of his suit. Before he could recover, I banded my fingers around his throat and pushed him brutally against the wall of the house.
I hefted him into the air so that my hand was an iron bar holding him aloft. His face went pink, then mauve, and shifted into a satisfying shade of purple.