I tried to push him away, but my arms felt heavy. All I wanted was for him to kiss me, to make love to me, to be the woman he thought I was. But I wasn’t her…
You are her, a voice inside me said with conviction.
I knew he was some kind of monster. I was terrified. He had never touched me beyond the courtesies expected in public, but it had been apparent in his tone that was going to end tonight.
Cohabiting with a polite monster was one thing… bedding one was quite another. My first thought was to flee. But the servants that manned the doors were all his people, ones that could see with his eyes. Damien had grown unbelievably strong these past months. There would be no escape.
I undressed and waited for him in bed, shivering. In a few moments, he entered, then came to stand beside the bed, where he began undressing.
The human that had been my husband had been a drunk, and his body had reflected that. But the new Damien rarely imbibed in smoke or drink, and never ate to excess. I had noticed that his suits had changed in that time, and not just in the expensiveness of their cloth. The proof was there before me in naked flesh, smooth muscle having replaced flaccid fat. Lust at once washed through my heart, and I averted my eyes.
They were all part of the mafia… an old word for an old world. Operating under the radar, they had their own set of rules and they were absolute. But there was one man who thought he could use the family as pawns in his sadistic game of chess. That man was Sal Bennito. Luci, the only Italian at a boarding school for privileged white girls, was his dirty little secret, his meal ticket, and he planned to punch his card as long as he could.
Bending down, he kissed her full on the mouth in the presence of everyone. She never would have expected such a greeting from Sal Bennito, a man who had risen through the ranks of the underworld. He was monitoring the club that night, as word had gotten around that she was going to be there. She could work the pole like nobody’s business, and Sal had paid a pretty penny for her. She wasn’t aware that she was under constant surveillance by Sal, nor did she know that she was under the watchful eyes of many others. They were all part of the mafia… an old word for an old world. But they preferred the word family. It was cozier, less threatening, and if it was a family, Sal Bennito was everybody’s daddy, whether they knew it or not.
She was young, barely of age, and Sal insisted that she live near the club. He arranged for a local boarding school to let her live in one of the dorms and attend classes with the other girls. Arranged meant that he had paid the headmistress to make an exception just for her. Sal paid a lot for what he wanted, if he wanted it bad enough.
The Stratford School was one of a new breed of preppy boarding schools that seemed to have sprouted up overnight in the Northeast region of the U.S. It was a school for girls who had just graduated from high school and were scheduled to attend an elite university, most likely in the Ivy League, following a year or two spent at the boarding school. Anyone with half a brain could figure out that there was really no need for the new schools, but someone’s pockets were being lined with big bills. Rumor was the schools were run by the mafia, but no one said as much. No one dared.
The Stratford School was a school where girls like Luciana were not exactly welcomed with open arms. Dirty Italians were what girls like Luciana were called, so Sal told the school that her name was LeAnn… LeAnn Wentworth. But to the family, LeAnn Wentworth was Luciana Giordano, and when she danced at the club and worked the pole, she was simply Luci.
Watching Luci on the pole was a turn on to the stodgiest of patrons, and as soon as Luci turned eighteen, she did more than dance for the men. But not for nothing. Time spent with Luci came at a price… a hefty price. She was Sal’s meal ticket, and he planned to punch his card as long as he could.
He pulled her down onto the bed and spread her legs across his body with his meaty thighs. He smoothed his hand between her legs and felt the heat that emanated from her. Maddy moaned, and he stripped the bikini panties from her beautiful body and brought her to him to feed his primal hunger.
He looked into her eyes and a slight smile spread across his face. He gently stroked her cheeks as he kissed her parted lips. He pulled her close to him and lay down beside her, holding her and comforting her, as he thought she needed him to do.
Maddy couldn’t sleep, and as she held tightly to her mate, she thought about Mrs. Wolf. She was underhanded and manipulative, and she played the game well. But why wouldn’t she? It was her game.
When Janie is sent to live among the Sioux, she is met by a proud native, as well as his sarcastic remarks and smirky grin. She wants to hate him, but she needs him to survive on the reservation, where life is filled with hardship. Beneath the hard exterior and demeaning words of the proud man lies a warrior with a heart of gold, but he will never allow the privileged young white woman to know the truth about him, or let down his guard in her presence, no matter how much she needs or wants him. He has other intentions.
“You want me to leave, don’t you? You have done nothing but give me a hard time since I got here, with your paleface comments, your smirky grins, your blame, and your backward thinking that I can’t do anything. You are a male chauvinist pig!” Janie could see him clench and unclench his fists and she knew she had gotten to him.
He turned around, pulled her to him, and locked his legs around hers. He placed his strong hands on her face and bent her head back. “You have no idea what I am thinking.”
She stared at him, her face smooshed between his warm brown hands. He towered over her and she felt as if she were shrinking by the second. The blue eyes that stared up at him were kind with their sparkle and their naïve brilliance, and he wished he could build a protective shield around her and keep her for his own.
“What… what is it now, Janie?”
“My face is squished.”
He wrapped her long brown hair around one hand and gently kissed her parted lips. He had not meant for it to happen, but it had, and he didn’t want to stop. He kissed her with passion, and in a way that was new to young Janie. He couldn’t get enough of the woman whose skin was as white as snow. When he felt the slender arms on his back, he held her closer. When he finally found the strength to pry his lips from hers, he held her to his chest and kissed her neck.
Janie turned her head to breathe, and thought about how she had watched him sleeping earlier that day when she stopped at the door to his room. He had worn absolutely nothing, with no blanket covering any part of him. He was perfect… all of him. His chest was broad, his stomach like a washboard, his legs as thick as tree trunks, and what lay between them was meant to be hers and no one else’s. She had tiptoed quietly by, wishing she were not a virgin.