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After running away from his heritage, former District Attorney Gage Gibson returned to his roots —cattle ranching.
Things were running smoothly…in fact, much better than he expected, but a quick lunch with some of his law enforcement buddies changed everything. Gage got himself a stalker, a sexy stalker at that. He’d left their get together missing something but decided it was best to forget the red-headed beauty.
Running scared, Hope Cummings had to get out of Texas and away from the man who helped make her and the man he sold her freedom to. Ducking and dodging people including an insanely hot cowboy, she found herself trapped like a rat.
Gage wouldn’t take her safety lightly; he’d guard her with his life.
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“Alfonzo, she’s worth the ten million.”
Hope closed her eyes, trying to breathe, but the burning ache in her chest made it difficult. Her father’s words were like a hot branding iron on her heart.
Ten million, Hope mouthed, incredulously shaking her head as she sat in the tiny hidden room between her father’s office and the library. A lone tear spilled down her face, falling onto her lap. She was nothing but a commodity to be traded. A lifetime investment that had reached maturity with the payout massive.
From the moment her mother died, she’d been nothing but a burden to her father. When she received a large inheritance, he demanded she sign it over to him for her safety and because she owed him. He’d forced Hope to sign over the twenty million dollars to build his empire and to buy this estate.
It made no difference to her if she had twenty million or twenty thousand as long as she escaped her father’s clutches—something she’d been waiting to do since her mother died eight years ago. Her father had done every he could to break her, but this topped it all. Selling off her innocence and freedom was monstrous.
Gaining control of herself, she tilted her ear toward the door and listened in.
“No woman’s pussy is worth ten million—not even an untouched one,” the Latin drug lord scoffed in his rich, deep accent. “Your daughter is lovely. And I’d love to take her as my mistress, but for no more than two.”
“You can’t pump it up to three? She’s beautiful.”
Hope choked back the tears, pressing her hand over her mouth to stop herself from releasing even the smallest gasp and alerting them to her presence. She knew there was no love from her father. If he found her in this room, he’d have her in Alfonzo Navarro’s hands on the spot.
Hope had never felt any love from her father or even seen a hint of it throughout her life, but this was beyond pitiful. All her life, she’d wondered why he bothered to keep her under lock and key when he never cared for her. Now, she learned the sickening truth. She’d been a valuable good, gaining stock as her body blossomed into a statuesque redhead with killer tits and ass.
Her mother had been radiant and stunning with silky red hair and fair skin, and Hope shared those exact same features. She had the Irish roots embedded in her features, making her undeniably gorgeous. Now, it made sense why he limited her contact with the outside world, especially the opposite sex.
“Two is my final offer. Take it or leave it, Cummings.” The man stood up, sliding the heavy chair back in the process. Hope jumped backward about a foot, startled by the movement. Luckily the sound of him standing up muffled her mistake. She closed her eyes, hoping her father would turn it down.
“I’ll take it. My habits are getting expensive.”
A part of Hope died. The last vestiges of familial love had left her soul. She sat there with her arms around her waist, feeling broken, but she continued to eavesdrop on them while staying hidden from view.
“Well, be careful. You don’t have any other daughters to sell.” Cummings chuckled at Navarro’s warning as if the conversation had been on a frivolous topic. As if somehow, those words weren’t based on his vile choices for his only child. “I want her to be seen by a doctor before she is brought to me. I don’t want damaged merchandise. I can’t say I don’t want her either way, but two million is too much for a popped cherry. Adios.”
“You don’t want to meet her?” Cummings asked Alfonzo.
“No. I have seen her picture. I might be too tempted to have a sample,” he insinuated with a lecherous grin. Hope wasn’t sure how she managed to hold down her breakfast as her body revolted at the image of him touching any bit of her. “I’ll be back in town next Sunday. By Monday, I want her in my possession. When she is in the car with my men, I’ll transfer the money. No games, Cummings, or you’ll regret you ever came to me for a favor.”
Monday—she had until Monday. Hope waited for them to leave the room before she snuck out of her father’s secret panel and then up to her room as quietly as possible. In the house, not a single soul would be looking for her. It was outside that they guarded the front door like a hawk. No way in hell could she escape before they were on her.
None of her father’s men would assist her. Only once had one of his men been friendly. He’d been close to her age and had taken an interest in her. He’d made her laugh and was kind until her father found out about their friendly behavior. The guard was transferred, and she never saw him again. Her father promised that he wasn’t killed, but knowing all she did about the bastard old man, the guard had been more than likely…murdered.