She climbs through the open window and disappears from sight. I sit back in my seat and calm myself. She will be collected and brought back by my people. I cannot go back through straight away. I must calm myself.
Emotions are rising up in me that I do not want. Compassion. Warmth. Kindness. I want to comfort her, to tell her I, as her husband, will protect her, will take care of her. That is what husbands do. Look after their wives.
She is revenge. She is nothing else. I must stop thinking this way.
“Something is troubling you,” Igor says.
“I am feeling things I do not like.”
“Don’t tell me it’s love at first sight. This isn’t a movie.”
“No, of course not.”
“What is it then?”
“Her eyes. There’s a lot of pain there. I want to… I don’t know. I thought I wanted to let her go a minute ago.”
“Her beauty is bewitching you. Women do that. They have power but you have more. You are Pakhan. You have the power to make her obey. To shut down the compassion that may arise when you deal with those who appear innocent. Remember Tony Harrison?”
“This is not the same.”
“He looked innocent, didn’t he? Fresh out of college, comes to get a job in the household. Almost got that knife in your spine, didn’t he?” He points at me. “Don’t fall for innocence. Don’t let the act trick you. Make her obey.”
“Have the wedding dress brought to the library in five minutes.”
I glance at my watch. Three thirty in the morning. By three thirty-five she will be naked and regretting running.
I get up, crossing to the door and stepping out. I can hear her cursing, screaming to be put down as she’s carried back into the house.
I see them taking her into the library and I have to bite my lip to keep from roaring at them to put her down. No one should lay their hands on her but me. She is mine. I already see her as my possession. As my wife. The ring will only cement what I already know to be true. She belongs to me.
Time to make her see what happens when she disobeys an order from Alexsei Volkov.
I’m dragged, by three masked men, into an enormous library filled with leatherbound volumes with a roaring fireplace in the far wall.
A wave of heat reaches me as the men ignore my protests, carrying me toward an armchair in royal blue. Reminds me of my father’s favorite. Did Alexsei buy it?
Alexsei is no different to my father. All money and power but no humanity. Sees me as a possession. Uses faceless goons to do his bidding.
No, that’s not right. There is one big difference. Alexsei is fucking gorgeous.
Why did he have to be so good looking? It would have been easier to hate him if he looked like my father. Instead, I’ve got to fight an arranged marriage to a man my ovaries want to tie themselves around and drag him in like the catch of the day.
My pussy only has to glance his way to soak my panties like a flood. I’ve never reacted to any man this way. My nipples pebblejust thinking about the way he stared at me when he pulled the hood from my head.
When he touched my chin, my throat went dry and I thought my heart might leap out of my throat. All the air was sucked from the room. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t think. All I could do was feel. Feel anticipation of that hand between my legs, plunging a finger into my waiting pussy.
Broad shoulders, strong arms perfect for holding me tight, or holding me so I can’t escape. Soft looking lips to contrast his rough looking fingers. Tattoos peeking out the top of his shirt, ruffle of dark hair that suits him just right. Expensive suit and well manicured nails.
Everything about him says power. He’s clearly a man used to getting what he wants. The fact he wants me makes bubbles pop in my stomach, tingles spreading over me at the very idea of being his.
Is that what’s doing it for me? Confidence so strong it’s turning into arrogance? Or is it the stubble and the dark eyes, the devil may care attitude to life? Most likely it’s my body betraying me, trying to tell me I could handle a guy like that.
I don’t want him. I don’t want to marry a monster. He might deny killing my mother but could I ever trust the Russian butcher? The man my father hates more than any other, am I supposed to walk down the aisle to marry him?