Once upon a time…I held her life in my hands. Felt her heart beat like the wings of a hummingbird; fast and light. I’m not the prince riding on a white horse. I’m the villain wearing black Armani.
Our destiny was always dark even from the very beginning.
Two twisted souls, brought into the world with the stain of sin marking us more than the rest.
We make Romeo and Juliet look like a Disney Film.
Our dark love skates on the edge of insanity.
How far will she go to avenge her family?
How far will I go to bring my twisted Cinderella to her knees?
I’ve done many things.
Necessary things…but one thing I’ve never done is fall in love. Love makes a man weak. Love is an enemy. When she made my black heart bleed I knew I had no choice but to go to war.
**This is the first in a three book series**
“What kind of game is this?” Tati asks trying to sound confident.
One by one the guys move chairs into a circle. Rafe drops an empty bottle in the middle of the wood floor points to me and says, “spin.”
“Are you kidding me? Frat boys playing spin the bottle? So lame.” But the laugh I try to force out is dry and fake.
The guys pin their hard gazes on me. “You came to our party. Broke our rules,” Johnny crosses his arms looking almost bored as he states our punishment. “Now you must pay to play.”
“This is so stupid…juvenile….,” I mutter. Huffily, I try to ignore the seat on my palms as I reach out and flick my middle finger up before hitting the bottle in protest. Everyone watches it spin and spin, rolling across the floor like a car spinning on black ice… out of control and careening as gravity forces its course of direction.
Fate is cruel and twisted. Just as it always was meant to be for us. The bottle finally halts its momentum and of course can only point in one direction.
His eyes gleam in the dim light. Giving away the truth he tried to hide earlier. He wanted it to be him. He was affected by my mask. Carefully, we assess each other, mentally sizing one another up in this new game of play.
“Ten minutes.” Johnny announces, taking a long, old-fashioned key out of his pocket. Obviously one that fits into the keyhole lock on the solid wood door that I was curious about from the minute I stepped inside.
“Ten? Can he even last that long?” My wit draws quick howls of laughter. But my bravado is all faked. Roque straighten and points to the arched wooden door on the opposite side of the room. “Get in and wait for me.”
I lift my chin. “I wait for no man. You get in and wait for me.”
Tension runs thick and hot between us. I feel it just as strong as I did that day in the woods a lifetime ago and yet it rushes back as if the two of us never left that moment.
His lips thin, his jaw clenches and his eyes promise payback. His left cheek tics and he stares me down. Wordlessly, he strides through the circle yanking me into his arms. My chin tips despite every effort not to gaze into the handsome face of that man I loathe. His breath is light but full of mint with a hint of the gin and tonic he had put down after walking in. “You shouldn’t have come into the lion’s den, high school sweetheart.” His fingers circle my wrists.
I want to fight. Take out the blade in my back pocket and feel it slide between his ribs, cutting him deep. So deep the pain will never go away.
But I can’t.
The pain I want him to feel won’t be quick. I want my slow burning vengeance to come on slow and build until this man begs for mercy that I’ll never give.
I lower my head and play submissive. Desperate to hide the fury simmering under the surface. It’s a good thing the closet will be dark because I know my eyes would give me away.
“Good girl,” he mutters huskily as he leads me toward the door of doom.
“Make sure she has something left for me! I want a taste!” My cheeks heat at the hoots and crude remarks flying at us from all directions.
Does he really think I’m going to fuck him? In a closet? I heard these parties could get crazy, but I never really thought I’d ever get myself into a situation like this.
He opens the door. Up close, my hands trail over the thick wood, grabbing it as if I can stop the inevitable. The heavy oak is at least five inches thick. It swings shut behind me. The heavy key is inserted into the lock, the sound of it clicking seals my fate.
Jax Hart: Singer, a songwriter, living creatively through art. Dirty Romance author from the great state of Washington. Duke is his first full-length novel. He generally hates most people, plays the bass guitar, and enjoys camping trips with his son.