A Fairy Tale for #SexySnippets and romance is in the air for Thorn Valmont #WIP

Sexy Snippets are seven sentences, taken from a work in progress, or published book, brought to you every Sunday.
If you want to join in the fun, sign on at the linky that goes up on 
http://thenuthousescribblers.blogspot.co.uk/p/sexy-snippets.html 

This week's sexy seven comes from
A Fairy Tale Romance 
When delectable Thorn Valmont buys an old palace to renovate on the Mediterranean coast, he never dreams it will cost him his freedom.
Thorn is part of an aristocratic family. He’s a prince and must find his princess to solve a puzzle he inherits from the ancient owners of the Mediterranean palace.
Will he find her in time to stop his loneliness destroying him completely?


She smiled as she approached. Her short beach dress swished around her brown thighs, and one of the shoestring straps had fallen from her shoulder over the top of her arm.

Thorn took in the sight and longing filled him. He wished he already knew her well, knew her so that he could hug her, and kiss her hello, or more than hello. His mouth watered to kiss along her lovely shoulders. Desperation grew as she came near and looked into his eyes.
She stood so close her breath brushed his skin.

WIP, A Fairy Tale Romance, Copyright Elodie Parkes 2014 All Rights Reserved 
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A #newrelease from Bethany-Kris and #EvernightPublishing 'Spray Paint Kisses' new adult romance on the blog today

Spray Paint Kisses by Bethany-Kris
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance, New Adult
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Release Date: August 20th, 2014
Length: 26k – Short Story



He’s left his mark everywhere. She’s still trying to find a place to leave hers.

Gage Masselin is a graffiti artist whose life has revolved around his art, and focused entirely on his career. He’s never needed a muse to get his inspiration flowing, so when an unexpected blonde-haired beauty knocks him out of his zone, he knows he’s in trouble.

Summer Davey is just a traveling girl with a gypsy’s soul. The one constant she has is her need to keep moving on. She’s never stayed in one place long enough to plant roots, never mind finding a man with spray paint kissing the tips of his fingers to make her heart beat faster.

She inspires him. He’s the first thing to ever feel like home.

Sometimes the hardest things to find in love and life are the easiest to lose.

Read an Excerpt:
“Isn’t that illegal?”

Gage Masselin nearly dropped the aerosol paint can when he heard the feminine voice. Whenever he was in the middle of creating a tag, he was in the zone. There were no sounds but the constant whoosh of the spray paint can’s nozzle and his rhythmic breathing. No distractions took him away from his art.

Well, usually.

Turning on his heel, Gage forgot about the black and white bandana he still wore around his lower face as a shield from the paint fumes. The material muffled his surprise as he came face to face with the prettiest damned thing he’d ever seen in his twenty-two years of life.

Long waves of golden hair were tied off to the side in a messy braid, falling over her front. There wasn’t a lick of makeup on her clear peaches and cream complexion. Standing in gladiator style sandals, ripped up jean shorts, and a faded band T-shirt, the girl could have been just about anyone.

Except she couldn’t. Gage’s tiny New Brunswick hometown was a blink and you’d miss it kind of place. Growing up in Plaster Rock gave him the ability to know everyone, even if he didn’t officially live there fulltime anymore. Thing was, people moved away, new people didn’t move there.

Everybody knew everyone else, or they thought they did. Gage didn’t know this girl.

“Uh …”

The girl smirked before waving in Gage’s direction. “Your face.”

His face?

What?

“My—”

Instantly, Gage realized what the girl meant. The bandana still covered the lower part of his face, including his mouth. He probably looked like some little hoodrat hiding in the alley, tagging the shit out of the high school library’s wall.

No wonder she thought he was doing something illegal.

Tugging down the bandana so it rested around his throat, Gage offered the girl a shrug in explanation. “Sorry, habit to wear it. I usually don’t have company when I’m painting, so no reason to have my mouth free to chat.”

“You mean an accomplice, right?”

“No, I mean company,” Gage replied with a smile.

“I didn’t realize graffiti had become legal.”

Oh, this girl had balls, or she just liked breaking them. Either way, Gage liked that.

“It’s not. That’s probably why I spent two years in juvenile hall.”

“Wouldn’t be juvie now, though.”

“No,” Gage said. “It’d be the pen. Good thing it’s legal. I’m not looking to spend any more time in a lockup.”

The girl still didn’t look convinced.

“Honest, sweetheart. See …” Gage pointed at the piece of official paper taped to the brick wall. If a cop happened to stop by, all he had to do was refer to that permit. “Gives me the right to be here slumming up this wall with my work. The school commissioned me to do the piece. It’s all on the legal side of things, promise.”

A small hand rested on her jutted out hip. The action caused Gage to let his eyes wander down the expanse of her creamy thighs and wonder if they felt as smooth and silky as they looked. They probably did. He bet she’d taste like salt, skin, and sin.

Shit, how short were those jean shorts of hers, anyway?

Short enough that they made Gage’s mouth a little dry just from staring.

Fucked, that’s what he was, and he didn’t even know her name.

“If you say so,” the girl mused.

Gage couldn’t help but tease. “What would you have done if I said it was illegal? Call the cops?”

“Nope.”

“That’s it?”

She smiled a blinding sight. “That’s it. It is pretty.”

“Uh, thanks?”

“You’re welcome.”

With one more glance at the bare bones of the mural just beginning to take form, the girl turned to leave. Gage was positive his heart leaped into his throat, creating a lump his words couldn’t make their way by.

“Wait!”

The darkened blue of her eyes glittered as she stared back. “Yeah?”

Gage forced himself to swallow the nerves beginning to form in his throat. Nervousness wasn’t like him at all. “You didn’t tell me your name.”

“You didn’t tell me yours, either.”

“Gage. It’s Gage.”

“Summer.”
Buy Links 





Add Spray Paint Kisses to Goodreads TBR
Author’s Bio
Bethany-Kris is a Canadian author, lover of much, and mother of two young sons, two cats, and two dogs. Between barking dogs, snuggling cats, playing children, and a spouse calling over his shoulder, she is nearly always writing something … when she can find the time 
Author Links
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Bethany-Kris/e/B00FF78PVO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Buckle up for the Dom Wars Final Round #erotica #BDSM


I'm an Ineffable Dom. That just means, do yourself a favor and please don't try to describe me or fit me into your categories. Complicated Dom, Intricate Dom, and Confounding Dom work too.
I love very much the soft side of a woman. Not just her body, but everything on the inside-- her passion, her intelligence, her convictions, her delicate tenderness. But the one fetish that might be a part of what makes me an Ineffable Dom is that I love her strengths. I love a woman that isn't afraid to look me in the eyes and say 'make me'. But I need it to be real, not staged, not pretended. She has to be a fighter at her core the way I'm a Dom at my core. I want an equal that is willing to come hard against me in every sense of the word, exhaust me. I want her so deep inside me that we're lost in each other. I want her to never doubt that I will always use my power to adore her, protect her, liberate her. I don't want a woman I can break, or overpower, or exercise my dominance over, I want a woman I can come undone with. I want a woman I can jump off the cliff with into that abyss of holy hell, this is beyond me, beyond my control. The greatest fear of most people is losing themselves or unravelling their roots. My greatest fear is not finding a woman I can take that plunge with. Yes, it's a huge risk. That's the yin and the yang of it. And while the risk titillates my Dom, it's the ineffable fruit of that risk that moves him. He knows he has to have it. He knows he's supposed to have. And he's prepared to dominate for it.
I think there are many men like myself, and I hope my writing will be a map for them. A map for women as well, to let them know Doms like this exist. I'd like to call them out of the woodwork. Help men join with their natural inner Doms in a way that I think is one of the most fulfilling experiences there are. I want to challenge them all to go for the complete power exchange with a woman, but don't be a coward and not give the same that they demand or expect. And consider that when you give one hundred percent of yourself to a person, there is no more of you to give away. You now belong to them the way they belong to you.
Inner Doms are dogs that need a master to train them. I once bowed to my Dom's reckless and tireless desires, but when I gained control, he bowed to my will. The transformation made me into what I am today. What many would call an Ineffable Dom. But its equal term in the Vanilla world, in my opinion, is a real man.
Dom Wars Round One: http://goo.gl/Ojo2PI
Synopsis…
Lucian Bane’s inner Dom is out of control and hungry for things he can’t name. When he signs up for Dom Wars, he meets Tara who is naive to the BDSM world. Her reckless dominance and puritan heart fascinate him. But when he discovers the pain in her past, it unleashes his true Dom within.

Dom Wars Round Two: http://goo.gl/O2JNe6
Lucian Bane and Tara Reese have made it to round two in DOM WARS. The challenges now revolve around trust and while Tara's inhibitions in the world of BDSM are slowly being crushed by Lucian's passion, her deep rooted fears become the real obstacle he must dominate.

Dom Wars Box Set of Round One and Two: http://goo.gl/TLYjUj

Dom Wars Round Three: http://goo.gl/CJifPR
Dom Wars Round Three heats up with the Demon Domination challenge. Tara is up first to face the demons of her past and Lucian is ready to dominate for her. But that gets tricky when he realizes the demons he's fighting could be the end of them.

Dom Wars Round Four: http://goo.gl/4K07xc

It's Demon Domination for Lucian in Dom Wars Round 4. But it looks like there's more than just his demons they're throwing at him this time and surviving the storm won't happen without suffering.

Dom Wars Round Three and Four Box Set: http://goo.gl/9YnYR3

Dom Wars Round Five: http://goo.gl/kPwQAv

Dom Wars has reached Round 5, and Lucian, Tara, and Steve are prisoners of war owned by the current top Dom, known as the Preacher Dom. All they have to do is find the perfect pitch to sell Gladiator's dildos and ball clenchers to random vanilla businesses. Between Tara, Lucian and Steve, it's looking like an orgasmic circus of humiliation, bonding, and more self-discovery. But there's a catch. Their scores will buy their chances of survival in the next round. And Preacher Dom isn't about to let three cheating hooligans ruin his chances at the million.

Dom Wars The Final Round: http://goo.gl/29HXF1

When Gladiator Inc, an adult toy company expands their market to familiarize the ‘vanilla’ world with the elements of BDSM, the result is a pay-per-view reality show with video feeds streamed live to subscribers. The show, Dom Wars, is a competition to determine the Top Dom that will become the spokesperson for the company.
The contestants all wear cameras to film every moment and angle of the competition, while they complete various challenges to determine who has ultimately Dominated various elements of themselves.
The hero and heroine of the series, Lucian Bane and Tara Reese, have barely made it into the Sixth and Final Round of Dom Wars. This week-long Survival Round will determine the Top Dom, once and for all.
The contestants are taken to an uninhabited island, where they will have to cross formidable jungle terrain. First Dom to reach the boat anchored on the other side of the island wins the million dollars and the title.
Seems simple. Except Lucian’s old adversary, the Sadist Jase Duff from Round One, has been tasked with making sure none of the five teams make it to the boat.
If he is successful, he wins the prize, only it's not money that Jase Duff cares about, its revenge on Lucian and Tara. And his sadistic need to inflict pain makes it game on
                   Aden: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAdenLowe
                   Dom Wars: https://www.facebook.com/DOMWars
                Aden: https://twitter.com/AdenLowe


Business of Pleasure, Sir? as author Ashley Ladd tours with her new #GBLT erotica #giveaway


Guy Rogers is extremely attracted to his new realtor, Tom Beaudreaux. As a passionate vegetarian and animal activist, he’s ecstatic that Tom is a kindred soul. He could never be with a carnivore. Unfortunately, Tommy isn’t really a vegetarian or animal activist. He never said he was either, he just didn’t eat meat when he was with Guy. And maybe he emptied his house of all meat and dairy products before inviting Guy over. In fact, Tommy’s family owns the most popular barbecue restaurant in town and if his family has their way, he’ll manage the new location.

When Guy finds out that Tommy eats meat and his family owns a restaurant that is a monument to eating meat, he’s livid and doesn’t know if he wants anything else to do with Tommy.

But then Guy’s life gets crazy –his dad’s paranoia blossoms into violent dementia, he gets arrested for picketing a doggy mill, and then he winds up in even more legal trouble. When Tommy sticks by him through all his trouble and does everything he can to help him, Guy wonders if he’s been too militant and narrow-minded. Perhaps he can learn to live with people who have opposite views.  
BUY & TBR LINKS
PUBLISHER – https://www.totallybound.com/business-or-pleasure
AMAZON KINDLE US – http://goo.gl/N9u3CD
GOODREADS – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22612730-business-or-pleasure

EXCERPT
Gunshots rang out as they turned onto Guy’s street.
Tommy looked at him and mouthed, “Shit! You don’t think…?”
“I hope not. I don’t know.” Guy pressed the gas pedal to the floor and the car shot forward, fish-tailing.
Tommy fisted the door, hanging on tight. “I hope we’re wrong.”
Guy’s intuition told him he wasn’t. His knuckles turned white they held the steering wheel so tightly. Unafraid for himself but scared for his dad, he pulled into his driveway and jumped out of the car, with Tommy close on his heels.
The woman next door ran outside screaming, tearing out her already tattered hair. She pointed at her front door. “Your father’s shooting up my house and is holding a gun at my dad’s head. He’s going to kill him. You’ve got to do something.”
Tommy yelled as he began dialing on his phone, “I’m calling the police.” As if on cue, police sirens blared in the distance and grew louder by the second.
“I’m going in. I have to stop him.”
“Wait for the police. Don’t put yourself in danger,” Tommy ordered forcefully.
“I have to take the chance. He could kill someone before the police get here. I can’t let that happen.” He put himself in harm’s way for animals, so certainly he could risk his life for his own father and other fellow human beings. He had no choice. It would be his fault if someone got hurt.
So he ran through the open door flailing his arms, hoping he would be in time. “Dad! It’s Guy. Don’t do anything. I’m here. You’ll be okay.”
He’ll be okay? What about me? He’s got a shotgun pointed at my head threatening to blow it off,” the elderly neighbor cried.

AUTHOR BIO:
Ashley Ladd lives in South Florida with her husband, five children, and beloved pets. She loves the water, animals (especially cats), and playing on the computer.

She's been told she has a wicked sense of humor and often incorporates humor and adventure into her books. She also adores very spicy romance, which she weaves into her stories.

How you can contact Ashley: chinara@aol.com
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS:

GIVEAWAY PRIZES

One -$20 Amazon gift certificate

One - Kindle copy of Business or Pleasure

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Naomi Clark visits today with her #lesbian #eroticromance new release from Evernight Publishing, The Beast of Birch Hill



Wildlife photographer and cryptozoology blogger Emma Jordan came to Birch Hill expecting to find another urban legend. The rumours of a big cat stalking the woods around this quiet town surely had to be just that - rumours. But when the evidence starts to pile up that Birch Hill really does have a killer cat on the loose, Emma finds herself caught in a confusing game of cat and mouse. And her blossoming relationship with Abi Blakely might just be pushing her further into danger.


Excerpt

A couple of hours later, showered, changed, and feeling human again, Emma headed back to Abigail's Bakes. She told herself she was just looking to grab a quick lunch and sit somewhere pleasant while she updated her blog. Privately she had to admit it would be nice to just look at Abi while she worked.
            The place was much busier than it had been that morning; it was full of kids and families jostling for table space. Abi and a younger girl worked the counter with cheer and ease, and cafe was filled with chatter and laughter. Emma joined the queue, trying to catch Abi's eye. When Abi saw her, she waved and favored Emma with that infectious smile.
            “How was your hike? Did you catch the Beast yet?” she asked Emma as she served her.
            “Not yet. Maybe later.” Emma picked out a bacon and cheese strudel and a spiced apple muffin. “Do you have wifi in here? I need to get online.”
            Abi passed her a slip of paper with a password on it along with her food. “Help yourself. Catch you later.”
            Emma smiled, hoping the words weren't just a mere formality. She found a table tucked away in the corner and flipped open her netbook. Her main source of income was her photography, supplying stock images for websites and brochures, entering as many competitions as she could, and doing the occasional teaching course if she wasn't traveling. It was steady money, and a hefty inheritance from a grandparent she'd never met allowed her to live in comfort and indulge her other passion – the alien big cat stories. Her blog, After Dark All Cats Are Leopards, was one of the better-regarded in both the cryptid and sceptic communities and she had a steady following. When she'd announced last week that she was heading for Birch Hill, her views had skyrocketed, and even though she didn't have much news to add yet, it was probably a good idea to update now.
            She plugged her digital camera into the netbook and uploaded the photos she'd taken, eating as she worked. The strudel and the muffin were both perfectly delicious, and she allowed herself a brief fantasy of kidnapping Abi and making her bake for her full-time.
            She didn't notice Abi had joined her until the other woman pushed a cup of coffee to her. “Looks like thirsty work,” Abi remarked.
            Emma jumped, then grinned. “Bloggers are powered entirely by caffeine. Thanks.”
            “So I looked you up after you left,” Abi said. “Why big cats?” She leaned her elbows on the table and rested her head in her hands. Her dark curls framed her face perfectly, her expression attentive and interested. Emma squirmed a little under her keen gaze.
            “When I was a kid I wanted to find Bigfoot,” Emma confessed. “My dad used to take me out hiking in the Rocky Mountains and tell me stories about Bigfoot and skinwalkers, all kinds of stuff. I just loved it. Then I grew up and decided there wasn't much chance of Bigfoot really being out there. But big cats? Definitely.”
            “You're so sure? Even though nobody's found a breeding population of wild tigers anywhere?” Abi asked with a grin.
            “America's a big country. There's plenty of space for wide-roaming animals to hide. And big cats are generally elusive in their natural territories anyway. Yeah, I'm sure. People brought lions and tigers over here with circuses in the nineteenth century and there are thousands of people keeping them illegally today. There are orphanages for abandoned exotic animals up and down the country. It's not completely ridiculous that some escape or are released into the wild. And cats are so adaptable. Even if we're not talking big breeding populations, I think it's more likely that there are non-native big cats out there than not.”
            “You love this stuff, don't you?” Abi said, looking thoughtful.
            Emma flushed. “Was I rambling?”
            “No, it's interesting! I wish I could come out big cat hunting with you, but Jed probably wouldn't let me.” She stuck her tongue out as if she'd eaten something distasteful.
            “Well, he's not coming either,” Emma said. “I take it he's more than just prickly with you?”
            Abi shuffled Emma's empty plates around, looking embarrassed. “Oh, we just...clash. He's pretty conservative and I'm not. He thinks I lower the tone of the neighborhood.”
            “Not a fan of baked goods?” Emma joked.
            “Baked goods or lesbians,” Abi said with a shrug.
            Emma's heart gave a little twist, but she kept her tone calm and amused as she replied. “Oh dear. I'd better not answer any personal questions he asks me then.”
            Abi gave her a thoughtful look again that turned into a shy smile. “So what are you doing for the rest of the day? I'm off this afternoon.”
            “I'm going back into the woods this evening but I'm free til then. Maybe...” Emma searched for something that didn't sound too forward but still made it plain she liked Abi. “Maybe we could hang out?” Ugh. Lame.
            Abi didn't seem to notice. She flashed a dazzling smile. “How about a guided tour of Birch Hill? There's not much to see, but with the right company it has a certain charm.”
            “It's a date.”
            Abi stood, grabbing Emma's plates. “Give me an hour and we're on.”
            Emma watched her sashay away with a flutter of excitement. If the Beast of Birch Hill didn't show up, Abi might prove just as exciting.

About the Author
Naomi likes writing, perfume, fancy tea, and unfathomable monsters from the dark spaces between the stars, not necessarily in that order. She has been writing stories ever since she learned how to write, but is still trying to master the art of biography writing. When she's not dealing with werewolves, demons, or sea monsters, she's hanging out with her cat and probably watching a documentary about Bigfoot. If the cat isn't available, she's with her fiancé watching cookery shows and silently plotting her next book.

Find me online:




As summer's end nears I'm clinging onto it in #MWTease Let's visit a quayside cafe

Today's #MWTease is from The Summer Heat, menage romance from Evernight Publishing

Evan sat, an expression of amusement on his face, and then he picked up the coffee Nate had ordered for him, and drank some. “Funny how you still want a coffee, even when the weather is scorching.”
He sounded normal to Nate, so Nate grinned. “Yeah.” He waited for Evan to speak again, and then when Evan remained silent, Nate glanced off into the distance for a few seconds before he spoke. “How are you feeling? I thought that maybe we could watch the game tonight. Have a beer and get things out in the open.”
Evan narrowed his eyes with suspicion. “Not seeing Annabel tonight then? Look, don’t stop seeing her for me. Don’t think you have to keep poor, lonely, Evan company like I’m some lame duck.”
Nate winced. “That’s not it. You’re still my best friend. You think you’re in love with her don’t you? Maybe you are. Ask her out, check out your feelings.”
Evan snorted. “Will you stop? Maybe this, maybe that. I’m not happy about the way I feel. It’s a fucking shock if you must know.”
Nate pushed his coffee cup to one side and leaned close to Evan. “Don’t screw up our friendship. She likes you. We’ve said she gave us both come on signals. Test it out. Don’t storm off from where you live to a houseboat on the river.” He cast around for the right words as he compared the usually happy, even-tempered way Evan met life with his outburst. “This isn’t like you. Hell, Evan, frankly I’m … distraught.”
Evan silently stared into Nate’s eyes, until Nate looked away.
He traced a wrinkle in the blue checked tablecloth with his finger. “Evan, I’m just saying. I love her, but I could stand to see you with her, too. You’ve noticed she’s attracted to you. We could both see her. It happens.”
Evan stood abruptly, gave Nate a look of incredulity, and then stormed off along the seafront toward his boat sheds. His coffee cup rattled on the saucer as the table shook from the force of his departure.

Nate took a deep breath. Well, that went just fucking great. About to return to his office, he froze when Evan strode back and dragged the chair to the table from the yard or so away he’d tossed it on leaving.
Copyright Elodie Parkes 2014 Evernight Publishing All Rights Reserved
Hop to the next #MWTease
The Life by +Bethany-Kris Bragdon 
Sequel to The Arrangement The Russian Guns, Book Two 
Release Date: August 4th, 2014 



The mafia life is a dangerous one revolving around honor, duty, and greed—a troublesome thing like love isn’t meant to play a part, but no one follows the rules. 

Surrounded by men waiting for the Russian mob boss to show weakness, Anton Avdonin should have known showering affection so openly on his new bride wasn’t a good idea. Of course, that didn’t stop him. When Anton’s wife begins attracting unwanted attention from an unknown source, he’s determined to find out just who is playing the risky game and put a stop to it by whatever means necessary. 

From a Cosa Nostra princess to a Bratva queen, Viviana “Vine” Avdonin was made for the life. Pregnant, safe, and loved, she’s more than happy to move on from the history that haunts her to start out fresh. Then again, someone else has other plans. Old rivals from the past and bad blood from the present have mixed in the worst way, threatening to take away the things Viviana loves the very most. No matter what, she can’t let that happen. 

Both Viviana and Anton know there’s only one way this can all end and it’s up to them to do it. But, who is behind the veiled threats and personal attacks, and how far are they willing to go to get what they want? When the truth finally surfaces, the consequences will be devastating and no one could have seen it coming. 

In a life where everybody plays for keeps and no one fights fair, one mistake might cost them everything. 

*Please Note, The Life is not a standalone title. The first book in The Russian Guns series (The Arrangement) should be read before the second book*







Read an excerpt:
Anton rested back to the headboard to catch his breath and brought his wife closer to his side with one arm. Not bothering to make any attempt to leave his sweaty grasp, Viviana laid a soft kiss to his arm as his hand rubbed up her naked side.
After falling into bed around three in the morning once Erik and Ivan were gone, Anton was woken up by his wife not a couple of hours later. It wasn’t like her to be up so early, never mind wanting to fuck like they had, given the new pressure and pain she’d been experiencing in the mornings. Anton had no idea what came over Viviana, but he sure as hell wasn’t about to complain.
Their coupling had been rough—rougher than he liked given her stage of pregnancy. But even when he tried to slow them down, to take her softer, Viviana wouldn’t have it. Anton wasn’t one to deny his wife, especially not of that.
“Jesus Christ,” he mumbled into the palm of his hand. Even though his body was still humming from her high, his mind was downright exhausted. Three hours of sleep wasn’t new to Anton, but he could use a bit more. “Thanks for the wake-up call, baby.”
Viviana giggled, but even the sound felt off. “Yeah, I guess.”
“Hey,” he said into her hair. The grip he had on her tightened momentarily. “What’s wrong?”
“Hmm?” Viviana turned just enough to lean up and press her silken mouth to the underside of his jaw. “Nothing, just thinking about Sergei.”
“Don’t fret over that idiot. He’s not even a blip on my radar. We’ll get that dinner done and move on.”
Anton was lying through his teeth, but concerning his wife just wasn’t okay with him. What he wanted her doing was focusing on the end of her pregnancy, their son, and her health. He was the boss, so he’d handle the Bratva issues. There was no way she was going to be brought into the crossfire of Sergei’s nonsense, so he didn’t think she had any need to be properly informed.
“Actually,” he said, thinking about his conversation the night before with his spies. “I think you might just show, and then go. You haven’t been feeling terribly great lately, so it’s not a stretch to think you might not feel well that day. Just stay long enough to say hello, forgive Tatiana if you want, and then Rory will escort you home and Joe will follow. Business as usual.”
“Forgive her if I want,” she repeated dully.
“It’d be better if you did, or at least say you do, but it’s not expected. You did ask for her, though, so you have to be respectful about whatever you choose to do.”
Viviana snorted. “When am I ever not? Can I claw her eyes out after?”
“No,” Anton said, laughing. That’d surely be a sight. He bet Viviana would give Tatiana one hell of a run for her money. “Not while you’re pregnant with my child, anyhow.”
“Yeah, but making her swallow a few teeth would sure make me feel a heck of a lot better.”
“My God. You know there’s nothing there, right? Her and me, I mean. That’s not … It’s just not there, baby. You don’t have to be jealous.”
“I’m not jealous, Anton.” Strangely, he believed her. Viviana shrugged under the weight of his arm resting around her shoulders. “Why should I be … of Tatiana? I have exactly what she doesn’t. Everything she thought should have been hers is mine. I have your life, your son, and your love. Even if she was nothing more than your whore, which she isn’t, she still wouldn’t have any of those things. So no, I’m not jealous of that girl. On the other hand, I do wonder if she is envious of me.”
“I have no doubt of that.”
Viviana sighed. “Exactly. Tatiana has defied her father, you, and God knows how many others just to hurt me once. That was before we were married, before Demyan, and she only managed to sling words. This time might be different. At this dinner, she’s going to see me pregnant, happy, and protected, all because of you. Again, all that she doesn’t have and everything she wanted. So it brings me back to safety, I guess. You made it clear you don’t want her in any way so would she hurt me, or worse your baby, because of her resentment? Is she that crazy over you?”
Anton stayed silent, letting his wife’s words sink in as he considered them. It wasn’t that what she said didn’t make sense, because it did, but he wondered why Viviana had asked for Tatiana’s presence at all.
“You asked for her to be there, Vine. If you were worried about all of this, why ask at all?”
“I also asked for no guns.”
“And I’ll make sure that’s adhered to as best I can,” Anton said, still feeling confused. “You won’t take a step into any establishment unless it is weapon free.”
Viviana felt tense in his arms. “You don’t need a gun to kill someone.”
“She won’t have any chance to be alone with you.”
“I know.”
“Then what?” Anton asked.
“I want this done,” she said so low he strained to hear. “Put an end to it, however you have to. I don’t want to worry about her or her goddamned family after it’s over. I don’t want to think if she can’t hurt me, she’ll go to the next best thing.”
“You’re worried she’ll try to hurt Demyan.”
“Or you. To me, that’s just as bad.”
“You know that’d never—”
“No, I don’t,” Viviana interrupted coolly. “But if I didn’t have them to worry about, it’d be one less thing for me to consider.”
It was only then that her hidden meanings were starting to dawn on Anton. Viviana never asked him for anything in regards to business. She didn’t like to have her hands in his pots, so to speak. This was entirely different, especially if she was asking what he thought she was asking.
“Come on, Vine …”
“I want it done,” she repeated thickly. “Please.”
“On your head, though? You want that on your mind, bloodying up your hands, too?”
“Please?”
“Stop it,” Anton said, practically spitting the words. “Fuck, just don’t say that shit. I’ll handle it.”
“Before or after one of us is dead?”



The Arrangement by Bethany-Kris           The Russian Guns, book 1 Amazon US | Amazon UK All Romance | Kobo | B&N |iTunes
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