High Stakes Seduction - Book 5

BOOK: High Stakes Seduction - Book 5
3.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

 

High Stakes

SEDUCTION

 

- Book 5 -

 

Ami LeCoeur

PUBLISHED BY:

Career Life Press
Copyright © 2014
Ami LeCoeur

 

 

All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be copied or reproduced in any format, by any means, electronic or otherwise, without prior written consent from the copyright owner and publisher of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events, is entirely coincidental. All names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and situations are either the product of the author's imagination, or used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real.

Any product names used in this book are used without permission and without knowledge of the trademark owner(s).

 

 

 

High Stakes Seduction

The Series

Book 1 -
US
--
UK

Book 2 -
US
--
UK

Book 3 -
US
--
UK

Book 4 -
US
--
UK

Book 5 - due out November 21, 2014

 

Connect
with me on
Facebook
Subscribe
to get an email as soon as the next series is available.

Favorite my
Amazon
Author Page
for an Amazon notification when new books are released.

High Stakes Seduction
Book 5 - Summary

 

 

Angela is delighted when she earns a new position within Antonio Mancini's fashion business. Then Antonio surprises her by providing an equally impressive opportunity for her sister, Maria.

Clearly, her instincts about this man must be correct... or are they? There are still too many unanswered questions for Angela to shake off her misgivings completely. Determined to get to the bottom of it all, she takes things into her own hands, only to discover she's in way over her head. And for once, even her normal resourcefulness isn't going to help.

The only remaining question is: Can she count on Antonio to come through one more time? Or is everything she ever wanted over?

 

***

Where was I? I tried to open my eyes, but that didn't seem to be working very well. Everything was black. I turned my head from side to side, desperate to discover where I was, but the darkness was impenetrable.

I took a deep breath. The air seemed still, slightly stale. At least I was breathing. Or I thought I was.
But why aren't my eyes working?

I was lying on my back, face up. No injuries that I could tell. I felt the slightest cushion of support against my shoulders and hips, and against the backs of my legs. I spread my fingers, feeling fabric beneath me.

Why couldn't I see anything?

I lifted my hand to rub my eyes and hit something solid. Slightly cushioned, but solid, and within inches of my face.
What the hell?
I started exploring with my fingers.
Fabric
.
Over padding. Over something solid
. I could barely move my arms, but I was able to bend my elbow and that gave me more range. I finally found my eyes, pressing with my fingers, and felt my lids move, my lashes flutter.
Okay, eyes working, but not seeing?

I managed to reach my arm above my head, sort of—and again hit another padded wall.
Satin-like, but solid. And close. Too close
.

Wherever I was, it was small and confined. And I didn't like it. Not at all. As I lay there in total and complete darkness, I felt more alone than I had ever felt in my entire life. Alone and isolated. I had no idea where I was.

The total absence of sound and sight washed over me like a shroud.

My heart began to hammer, my breath coming in shallow bursts. Panic rose… from my stomach to my chest to my throat. I wanted to call out, but my voice wouldn’t quite work, I emitted only the thinnest of sounds that turned into a cry as I realized… with total dismay…
oh no
… no one else knew where I was either.

Chapter One

ANGELA

 

"What about this one?" Maria said, handing over one of the images from the pile.

It was a bride and groom, like the majority of the others, but I remembered the shoot very well. It had rained the night before and the bride was distraught. I understood her wedding day stress, and it took me a long while to convince her to see the silver lining. In this case, the silver lining turned out to be some really beautiful clouds and shadows, with rays of sunlight peeking through here and there. I got to play around with this shoot more than usual, and especially had fun experimenting with the reflective properties of the raindrops.

Needless to say, I was pretty proud of the results. And if Maria liked it, then that was enough for me.

"Yes, this is perfect," I said.

"You should definitely put this at the front of the portfolio," Maria said. "Priscilla will love it."

"Do you really think so?"

Maria laughed. "Typical artist. Never believing in her own skill. From the way you’ve described her, Priscilla doesn’t mess around. So if she says you’ve got a great eye, then I suggest you believe her—since you don’t believe me."

I rolled my eyes and gave her a playful punch. I could say the same right back to her. Even though I'd tried my best, no amount of praise
from me
had managed to get her back into painting. It had taken something and someone else.

I smiled as I glanced around the living room, filled with paintings and sketches that now decorated almost every corner. I might not have been the one to convince her to pick up her brushes again, but I definitely wasn’t complaining. I was just so happy seeing the color and joy back in her life again, in more ways than one.

"Thanks so much for your help, Maria. I'm glad I have you here."

"Ange, this is fun! My little sister, working on a big fashion project in Europe? How could I not help out? Not that you really need my help," she added. "You got this Carlo and Poula deal all by your lonesome."

"Well," I said, brushing off the exaggeration with a chuckle and a wave of my hand. "There’s something to be said about Priscilla’s training at the store. I couldn’t have done so well without her guidance. I know it hasn't been all that long since she asked me to bring something in, but I do feel bad for taking my time in putting a portfolio together."

Maria heard my hesitancy, giving me one of her scrutinizing looks. She waited for me to say more, but I held my tongue. The
real
reason for stalling on these photos was that I’d have to look at—

"We should go over the cruise pictures," Maria said softly.

I couldn’t meet her eyes. At the mere mention of the cruise, my mind had already gone back to the trip. Two weeks of Caribbean bliss. At least, that’s what it should have been. And for a few days there at the end, that’s exactly what it was.

If I were to close my eyes right now, I would almost feel Antonio’s fingers on my skin again. Hear his husky voice, murmuring in my ear.

"
Cara."

But I didn’t dare close my eyes. I couldn't afford to have those memories haunting me any more than they already did. Instead, I raised my eyes to meet my sister’s, accepting the warmth and love and understanding I saw in them.

"Yeah," I said, trying to sound more confident about it than I felt, "We should go over the cruise pictures. Antonio did ask me specifically to find suitable locations."

Chapter Two

ANGELA

 

"Thank you," was all Priscilla said when I told her my portfolio would be ready in a couple of days. Maria was busy mounting the photos we'd selected. I was lucky to have an artist for a sister. If it was up to me, I'd have just brought in the loose photos in a manila folder. But Maria insisted my work must have a professional appearance. So, at least that was taken care of.

"Have you spoken with the twins recently about their plans?" she asked.

"Not yet," I said. "I was just about to send them an email."

"Never too soon," Priscilla said.

As if the dismissive tone of her voice wasn’t clear, the fact that she turned and walked away from me would have made it so. I didn’t take offense though. I had gotten used to her abrupt nature, so I took it in stride and headed to the back office to log into my email account and reconnect with them.

I’d been corresponding with Carlo and Poula directly since we’d met at dinner over a month ago. It wasn’t the usual protocol—their manager had said as much—but the three of us had hit it off so well, neither side cared much about what the manager wanted.

People might judge them harshly for trusting me so easily, but there’s something to be said about giving people the freedom to make their own choices. I was glad they had put their faith in me, and I certainly wasn’t going to take advantage of that.

Or let anyone else.

The computer dinged a moment later, letting me know that an email had arrived. "Doesn’t Poula sleep?" I murmured, seeing her name in the inbox.

Carlo and I can send photos for you to look! There is the parkette by our studio to maybe show nicely our spring collection. Please tell me ideas you have for the designs we make. The drawings I send you soon. My pleasure to see you again!

Ciao ~P~

I smiled. I was looking forward to seeing them too—and not just because it was a chance to see Europe for the first time in my life. I suspected we had a lot more in common than the companions I'd shared Antonio with on the cruise.

My phone beeped a moment later. I pulled it out to find Ryan's number blinking at me.

"
How about that movie tonight? There's a new comedy at the Midtown
," the text read.

I twisted my lips into a slight frown. I
had
promised to see him again, and here he was, asking me out on another date. But now I wasn’t so sure that’s what I wanted.

"
I have some info for you
," came the next text.

That definitely caught my attention, and for a moment, I felt ever-so-slightly guilty. Ryan was a genuinely nice guy who seemed to like me. So, was I just using him to find out what the hell Antonio Mancini was up to?

Or was I using Ryan to try to get over my own disappointment and heartache?

The rational part of my brain told me I should keep my distance, maybe even walk away from Ryan before I got him wrapped up in—well, I didn’t even know what I was getting him wrapped up in. And if he had something to tell me, then that meant I’d already gotten him involved.

And
that
meant I was far too involved with Ryan to back out now.

"When should I meet you? About 6?" I texted back.

"See you then. We'll grab a snack."

Chapter Three

MARIA

 

"Hi Mr. Conner," I said into the phone, recognizing the caller ID.

"Hello, Maria! It’s good to hear your voice. Been a while, hasn’t it?"

I tried to think of the last time I’d spoken to him, but couldn’t. Angela had been the one to call the attorney, and old family friend, when we’d discovered the connection between Antonio Mancini and our father.

"Seems like ages. How are you? And the family?"

"We're good. The oldest just had a baby, so now we're grandparents. Quite a change for us," he laughed.

"How sweet! You'll have your hands full I think."

BOOK: High Stakes Seduction - Book 5
3.2Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

A Sprig of Blossomed Thorn by Patrice Greenwood
Ribbons by Evans, J R
The Third-Class Genie by Robert Leeson
Dark Zone by Stephen Coonts
5 Check-Out Time by Kate Kingsbury
Joust of Hearts by Genella deGrey
El gran reloj by Kenneth Fearing
Old Yeller by Fred Gipson