Deklan stares into my eyes with intensity, his pupils dilated. I have no idea how to respond to his statement; I don’t even know what he means. He won’t hurt me right this second? He won’t hurt me when he fucks me? Or does he actually mean he’s going to be merciful and wait to kill me in my sleep so I won’t feel anything?
“I know you’re scared,” he says.
“I’m not.” I don’t even sound convincing to myself.
“I know you are,” he says again. He releases my chin and sighs. “You have every right to be scared. This whole situation is…is…fucked up.”
I can’t argue with the sentiment.
“But I’m not going to hurt you.”
I nod though I’m still not sure I believe it. Deklan looks back at me.
“Stand up,” he says as he takes my hand in his and pulls lightly.
I do as he asks, and he pulls me around until I’m standing in front of him. With him sitting on the bed and me standing, we are just about at eye level. He watches me as he reaches to his waistline and pulls off the plain white T-shirt, and I’m staring at his naked chest.
Every muscle is outlined. He’s got an eight-pack for abs instead of the usual six. His shoulders and arms are huge. They look like they could crush a man without any effort at all. There’s a long, thin scar near his shoulder.
I look back to his face, and his blue eyes have a softer look about them. For the first time, I find myself really looking at him. His cheekbones are high, his jaw strong, and his nose perfectly straight. His dark hair is cut short, nearly military style, and contrasts sharply with his skin. The calm displayed in his eyes has changed his appearance completely, and I feel some of my fear slip away.
I watch as he drops his gaze from my face to my body, feeling heat rise to my skin as he looks down to my feet and then back to my eyes.
“You’re a beautiful girl,” he says, and I glance away, embarrassed by his words. Deklan reaches up and touches my shoulder before slowly tracing his fingers down my arm and gripping my hand until I look back at him.
He takes my hand and places it on his chest, right above his heart, never taking his eyes off mine. I take in a long breath, wondering why my heart is beating so quickly. He doesn’t speak. He just holds my hand against his skin until I move my thumb back and forth, running it along the curve of his pectoral, and a shiver courses through my body.
He’s so warm. I can’t believe how soft his skin is, considering the hard, external appearance he’s displayed before. I can feel his heart beating under my palm, and my head swims.
Deklan reaches up to my hips and steadies me. I didn’t even realize I was swaying. He moves his hands up and down my sides, and I tense.
“Relax,” he says quietly.
“I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
“You can do whatever you want, as far as I’m concerned.”
“But…what am I supposed to do?”
He smiles gently.
“Touch me,” he says.
My father owes a debt.
I am his currency.
I’m supposed to marry the recently crowned mafia king of the Foley family as repayment for my father’s transgressions. I don’t understand why the Foleys would want me, but I’ve grown up in a crime family, and I know the ugly consequences of not doing what you’re told.
But as the wedding date approaches, the deal changes, and I’m about to be wed to a man I know nothing about. In fact, I don’t even know his last name.
Instead of becoming a mafia princess, I’m marrying the henchman.
After one look at him, I’m not sure I’ll survive the wedding night.
Available June 20th.
From the author: “It’s my job to make you FEEL. That doesn’t always mean you’ll feel good, but I want my readers to be connected enough to my characters to care.”
Savage’s books many books span a wide variety of topics and sub-genres with deeply flawed characters. From cavemen to addicts to hitmen, you’ll find yourself falling for these seemingly irredeemable characters!
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