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Authors: Shelly Bell

Red Handed

BOOK: Red Handed
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Chapter One

. T

With the loaded Glock in his hand, he leaned on the doorframe and watched her sleep.

So innocent.

So pure.

He doubted her ability to carry out this mission, but they had no choice.

In a room decorated with framed Degas prints, Danielle Walker lay on her king-sized sleigh bed, tangled in her silk sheets. Her window was open, paving the way for the moonlight to illuminate her creamy skin and the desert breeze to caress her flesh.

His fingers itched to do the same.

She wasn't his normal type. He preferred his whores thin, blonde, and tan like the California girls he'd heard sung about on the radio as a child. Although Danielle had lost weight this past year, she was still soft and curvy. He'd studied each and every photograph his man had taken of her over the last few months, especially the ones of her sunbathing naked by the pool in her backyard. He wanted her, and damned if he would allow anyone to stop him from having her.

A sigh passed her plump lips, and she rubbed her thighs together as if inviting him to her bed.

He checked his watch and peered down the hall.

Perhaps he had time to accept her invitation.

He crossed the room and settled on the edge of her mattress, inhaling the faint scent of lilacs. His dick hardened as he traced her raven hairline with the muzzle of his gun. She stirred and licked her lips before opening her sleepy brown eyes.

It only took a moment for those eyes to widen into terror.

Before she could scream, he covered her mouth with his gloved hand and waved the gun in front of her beautifully frightened face.

Not that it mattered if she did scream. No one would help her.

“Stay quiet, Danielle, and I promise no harm will come to you.” The whispered lie spilled effortlessly from his lips.

True, no harm would befall her tonight, but the countdown to the end of her life had begun years ago.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

She nodded as she stared at his masked face, no doubt trying to identify him. Between the mask, dark paint covering the skin underneath, and colored lenses, he could be her father come back from the dead for all she could discern. He leaned closer, trailing his gun down the length of her neck.

The echoing boom of a gunshot fired down the hall pierced the silence of Danielle's room. She startled, her body convulsing in fear and tears spilling down her face. She shouted beneath his gloved hand.

Damn it, he'd lost his chance.

Oh well. He'd take her after she finished her assignment—after she became just another whore . . .

Right before he killed her. His associates had ordered an efficient execution-style gunshot to the head, but after they got what they wanted, did it matter if he tortured her a bit before he ended her life? How could he resist such a sweet temptation?

“Stop yelling or next time my men will shoot your stepmother. That was merely a warning to let her know we mean business.” When she quieted, he removed the hand from her mouth and patted her cheek, his gaze trained on her cleavage and the Tiffany sterling silver heart key locket that she always wore around her neck. “I'll prove to you she's alive and well. Come with me to her bedroom.”

After slipping his gun into the holster at his waist, he grabbed her hand and pulled her out of bed. Thankfully, she allowed him to lead her down the hall to Tasha's room. He couldn't afford to bruise her. Yet.

The scene came into view. His three men had done their job. Bound and gagged, Tasha lay on the carpet, helpless in a shimmering silver peignoir set, a rivulet of blood trickling from the corner of her mouth.

On a sob, Danielle bolted for her stepmother. He stopped her at the entryway of the bedroom and gripped her by the shoulders, forcing her to stay in place.

“Now be a good girl and listen. There's something I want, and only you can get it for me. Until you do, I'm taking Tasha as collateral.” He slid his hand into the pocket of his black leather jacket and pulled out the papers. “This is a plane ticket and your instructions. By your home's front door, you'll find a suitcase packed with everything you'll need.” He checked his watch and nodded to his men. The strongest of them scooped Tasha off the floor and hoisted her over his shoulder as if she were a sack of potatoes.

Tick-tock. Tick-tock.

“I don't understand,” Danielle whispered. “Why me?”

He spun her around and yanked her down the hall back to her bedroom. “The only thing you need to understand is Tasha will die if you fail. And don't even think about calling the police.” He pushed her on the bed. “If you breathe a word of this to anyone, I'll not only kill her, I'll torture her first.”

Taking Tasha with them, his men strode down the hall and down the staircase.

Time to go before the police arrived.

“Your plane leaves in five hours. I suggest you make the best of the situation and enjoy yourself.”

Surprising him, she began laughing. “Enjoy myself? How the hell am I supposed to enjoy myself while my stepmother's life is being threatened?”

His dick swelled at the thought of how Danielle would spend her days and nights. He couldn't wait until he'd force her to bargain for her life by demonstrating her newly acquired skills on him.

He motioned to the papers in her hands. “Your application has been approved. Congratulations, you are Benediction's newest sex slave trainee.”

Just as he'd expected, all humor disappeared from her face.

His watch beeped. “When the police arrive in one minute, you'll tell them you triggered the alarm accidentally. Remember, we'll be watching you. The clock is ticking, Danielle. You have a week to get me what I want.”

Thirty seconds later, he disappeared into the quiet night, praying Danielle would get the job done.

For all their sakes.

Chapter Two

years Danielle Walker had waited to officially meet Cole DeMarco, she'd never imagined standing in front of his home, half-naked under a mink coat in the middle of a Michigan blizzard. Fat snowflakes fell from the dark gray sky and swirled around her as though she'd shaken up one of those snow globes she'd collected as a child.

If she were smart, she'd take it as a sign to get the hell out of there and return to sunny Arizona, where she could wear full-size panties underneath her skirt. Despite the kidnapper's threats, she should've gone to the FBI.

But smart wouldn't get her the answers she needed to lay the past to rest.

Smart wouldn't save her stepmother, Tasha. Although Danielle and she hadn't always been close, she was grateful to her for the companionship she'd given her father and admired the numerous hours Tasha spent fundraising for charity. She and her son, Roman, were the only family Danielle had left, and she'd do anything to keep them safe.

Thank goodness Roman was currently in Russia on business. As her best friend, he'd know the minute he saw Danielle's face that there was something wrong. The warning that she not tell anyone about the kidnapping remained in the forefront of her mind.

As the taxi that brought her here drove away, she licked the melted snow off her lips and climbed the steps of the porch to the sprawling stone mansion known to insiders as the sex club, Benediction.

A nervous bubble tickled her belly. If anyone back home heard that she was about to become a sex slave for a billionaire recluse, they'd never believe it.

could hardly believe it.

Yet here she was—in her Prada heels and little else—about to allow the man who'd destroyed her family to see her naked. To command her as though she were a toy existing only for his pleasure and use her body to slake his deviant lusts.

Tasha had told her all about the man who'd helped send her father to prison on charges of embezzlement and fraud. She'd warned her to stay as far away from him as she could. And despite Danielle's curiosity about the handsome man she'd spied on in her youth, she'd listened.

The wind whistled and whipped snow at her back. She had just lifted her fist to knock on the solid walnut door when it opened, and the air inside blasted her with its inviting warmth. A gorgeous blond-haired man no more than thirty years old smiled at her in greeting.

He wore black slacks, a black tie, and a silver vest over a white dress shirt, a variation on the conservative butler uniform. But oddly, his feet were bare.

She'd grown up in a mansion. All her childhood friends were raised in mansions. She'd seen her share of butlers throughout her lifetime. Not a single one looked like him.

Her gaze traveled up his body and stopped on the impressive bulge.

His laughter broke her out of her trance. She snapped up her head, embarrassment heating her cheeks.

Smoothing her hands over the soft fur of her coat, she stepped inside the entrance and glanced around the room, noting the hanging crystal chandelier and built-in desk with a coatroom behind it. If she hadn't known this was a house, she'd think she'd walked into a five-star restaurant.

“Welcome to Benediction, Danielle. I'm Adrian.” He swiped his hand over his erection. “And yes, I'm proud to say it's all mine. Master Cole has decided to torture me today with a cock ring . . . ” His gaze flicked up to a discreet video camera in the corner of the entryway. “Which I accept with most humble gratitude.” He mumbled a litany of profanity under his breath. “He's waiting for you in his office. May I take your coat?”

She opened her mouth, and all that came out was a squeak.

He waited for her to respond, and when she stood there frozen, unable to move or talk, he arched a brow. “You are Danielle Walker, right?”

She swallowed the lump in her throat and nodded, her long dark hair falling in front of her eyes.

BOOK: Red Handed
4.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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