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Authors: Nikki Winter

Tags: #Romance

Beauty and the Barracuda

BOOK: Beauty and the Barracuda
7.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

© 2014 Nikki Winter

Katriena Knights

Cover Art: Marteeka Karland




All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced electronically or in print without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in reviews. This is a work of fiction. All references to real places, people, or events are coincidental, and if not coincidental, are used fictitiously.
Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously and are no to be construed as real. All trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, and registered service marks are the property of their respective owners and are used herein for identification purposes only. eBooks are NOT transferable. Re-selling, sharing or giving eBooks is a copyright infringement.




(silent scream) I am done! It is finished! The hardest tale I have
written has been completed and I am officially going into hibernation for an entire week. Of course by the time you all read this, I’ll be
of hibernation and Billy and Janet will be trying to stem my anxiety about…well
Speaking of the grabby heauxs that I adore, can I just say that the both of you are literally
the best
beta readers I could ever ask for? There. I said it. I would also like to say thank you to the women of Violette Dubrinsky’s Fantasyland. Because of your not-so-subtle, borderline threatening, push I parked myself in front of Sansone one rainy Sunday and would not move until I typed
The End
on his story. You ladies are wonderful. Scary and kinda insane, but wonderful nonetheless. Now, go forth and—



Copyright Acknowledgement:



registered trademark of AG Corporation.

Yves Saint Laurent:
registered trademark of Yves Saint Laurent Parfums.

registered trademark of Prada S.A.

Manolo Blahnik:
registered trademark of Manolo Blahnik.         

Michael Kors:
registered trademark of Michael Kors, L.L.C.

Cabbage Patch Kids:
registered trademark of Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc.

registered trademark of Apple Computer Inc.




“I’m convinced that those children are minions of the dark lord.”

Sansone Sultana chuckled, set aside the tablet in his hands and looked toward the woman slipping into a bedroom that used to be his alone. He knew for a fact that she was referring to their niece and nephews. Having gotten saddled with babysitting them tonight while his brother did filthy things to his sister-in-law, he thoroughly enjoyed that he wasn’t alone in the adolescent torment.

“Definitely heard Marco and Vincent planning a blood sacrifice earlier.”

She pouted a bit. “This does
comfort me. How am I supposed to sleep knowing Children of the Corn are just down the hall?”

His lips curled as he crooked a finger and crooned, “Come let Uncle Sunny help you.”

She burst out laughing. “That sounds incredibly wrong.”

“And yet...oh so right.” He waggled his brows as he waved her over. “C’mere,

With a smile that never failed to break and reassemble him, Nyssa Blackwell fell into his arms and Sansone found himself letting out a sigh from deep within his chest. He buried his face in the side of her neck, relishing the sweet scent of rosemary and mint as she straddled his lap and wrapped her arms around him. The easy affection was so incredibly open that he wanted to absorb every second of this moment. Being with Nyssa was akin to taking your first breath, and Sansone would give his last one if they could stay here, just like this.

They’d screamed, they’d laughed, they’d hurt and they’d healed just to be able to sit and revel in a love that hadn’t been easy by any means but was more worth it than either of them could’ve imagined. The groundwork had been done nearly ten years ago the first time he’d laid his eyes on this wee, bronze-colored beauty attempting to push her way out of a flood with a hybrid and a prayer. That had somehow led to many arguments, many angry sex sessions and many painful days away from one another. Where had the time gone?

“Love you,” she whispered against the shell of his ear, the soft, breathy tone of her voice causing his cock to rise. There was nothing better than waking up to that very same voice every single morning, nothing better than having her yell at him for leaving the toilet seat up. Cohabitation had been an adjustment but he’d go through it a million times over just so he could roll over and throw a thigh over one of her own, feel her breath tickle his collar bone as she softly snored. Sansone had had to be sneaky to get Nyssa moved in with him and God, had it paid off.

He placed a kiss on her throat. “Love you more.” Sansone leaned forward until she was on her back and he rested between her thighs. “Now how about you pretend that my boxers are France...and invade them.”

Nyssa started chuckling and apparently couldn’t stop. “Dude! That is
the way to get me to love up on you!”

“Och! That was a

She slowly shook her head and he pushed up onto his elbows. “Don’t question me, woman! Just get naked!”

“You’re ruining my mood.”

He quirked a brow. “Give me five minutes and a salt shaker...I could change your entire outlook on life.”

“You’re insane.”

“But my cock is
so you casually overlook that little facet of madness in order to face your reflection in the morning.” Sansone slapped the mattress. “I rule here, woman. My word is law and the law involves your nipples being in clear view. I decree it!”

She was practically curled into a ball she was laughing so hard. “Since when do you rule

“Since the first time you allowed me to admit a knight at your round table.”

Nyssa slapped his shoulders. “I tripped and my clothes fell off. You took advantage. Predatory bastard.”

Sansone snorted. “I love you enough to fuck all the disillusionment out of you. Prepare your soils to be raided!”

Her entire form shuddered with her amusement. “Why do I put up with this?”

“For my sword is mighty and—”

She slapped a hand over his mouth. “Stop it. Stop it right now.”

Her bow-shaped mouth was curved into a hauntingly beautiful smile, her eyes alight with nothing aside from pure pleasure. How did they get here? Gazing down at her now, Sansone thought of a time when she’d run from this, from him. It had been the hardest war of his life but he’d fought until he won...until there was nothing left but himself and the very thing he was attempting to conquer: Nyssa’s heart...

Chapter One


Three years earlier…


“You wanna kiss me, don’t you?”

The quietly stated words stopped Sansone Sultana in his tracks. His hands paused in the task of pulling his best friend’s sky-high stilettos off and he swallowed.

Nyssa Blackwell swayed one leg back and forth, a shoe dangling by the strap alone from a delicate ankle. When he allowed his gaze to move upwards from that ankle to her long, extremely beautiful, butter-soft legs, past the hem of a dress that was
too short and to a face that held deep-set, large, thickly lashed brown eyes, he felt it. That jolt of awareness that always seemed to pass between the two of them no matter how much they shoved it away like it wasn’t there. Yes, Sansone wanted to kiss her.

He wanted to kiss her and tunnel into her so deeply that he found a new way to China but he wouldn’t. Because he knew the damage that would cause would be irreparable. And no matter how much it hurt to keep pretending like the very thought of pressing his mouth to hers didn’t keep him up for hours at night, he’d continue doing so.


He plastered on a smirk and caught her glazed-over stare. “You’re drunk, Nyssa.” She’d been partying for the last six hours due to a lovely birthday bash he’d planned and had set up for her. When she started dancing on tabletops and screaming, “Who wants a lap dance?”
he knew it was time to bring her home. Her sister and his brother had escaped hours ago and were up to only God knew what. Those two had been running circles around their attraction almost as long as he and Nyssa. It was a scary thing when they were together. One would get the impression that the call of the wildebeest was about to sound off right before clothes went flying.

Nyssa made snow angels in his sheets. “Am not.”

Sansone chuckled as he finally got a hold of her shoes and safely tucked them away under the bed, lest she wake up tomorrow screaming about the injustice he’d committed to her Pradas. “You are.” He stood back up and came face to skin with her stomach because she was standing on his mattress, struggling to get out of her dress.

Jesus Christ, it was like the good lord was testing him.

Nyssa wrestled with the cotton-blend fabric wrapped around her shoulders and head, shouting, “Off! Get it off! I’m dying!”

He caught her by the hips before she could go flying backwards and bit the inside of his cheek to keep from laughing at her or unconsciously running his hands along her semi-nude sides. “C’mere, you rocked-off little ball of crazy.” Easing her down onto the duvet, he pulled the dress up and over her head then shook it out.

“Freedom!” Nyssa’s arms went up and he quickly turned on his heel to open a drawer and snatch out one of his T-shirts. He’d officially reached his threshold for the night and needed to get away from her before he did something incredibly stupid.

He spun back around just to find her standing behind him and jerked backwards into his chest of drawers. His eyes went from her vacated position on the bed toward where she now stood. Goddammit, how did she move so fast?


He swallowed at the saccharine tone, attempting the hold the T-shirt in front of him as a shield. Sansone had been in this very position so many times and yet, for some reason, this particular occurrence felt different. “Yes?”

Nyssa sent him a look so potent through her lashes that he almost ripped the cotton in his hands. He felt like cornered prey!

“Will you tuck me in?”

He didn’t realize he’d closed his eyes until she said that.

Peeking from under one lid, he tried to gauge what the too-innocent expression on her face was about. “Uh…yeah?”

She lifted her arms. “T-shirt.”

Carefully rolling it up, he placed the neck- and armholes in the appropriate places before sliding it down her nubile form and watching it drop mid-thigh.

“Thank you,” Nyssa murmured before climbing up onto his bed on all fours, exposing the halves of her ass in the process. The devil was currently on his shoulder, making all types of suggestions that were equal parts illegal and immoral.

He placed his hands together in a praying motion. “I will attend mass every Sunday if you just keep me lord…just

The vixen beneath his duvet flopped backwards. “Ready!”

Taking a deep breath, he moved over to where she was as though he were being pushed into a lion’s den with zebra meat hanging from his

Sansone gripped the covers on each side and pulled them up, tucking her in nice and tightly. Hopefully tightly enough that she’d sleep her enjoyment off and return to sanity in the morning.

“You didn’t answer my question, Sunny.”

He choked on the saliva that had begun to thicken in his throat the moment he got near her again. The moment he inhaled the sweet scent of rosemary and mint that clung to her skin. He’d loved a lot of women, slept with twice as many but
had ever come close to Nyssa Sidra Blackwell and none ever would.

His head lifted slowly and for the briefest moment, he saw total and completely clarity in Nyssa’s stare. The alcoholic haze seemed to disappear and she leaned up on her elbows, bringing their faces mere inches away from one another.

“Do you want to kiss me?”

Sansone’s jaw clenched. “Got to sleep, Nyssa.”

She shook her head slowly. “Not until you answer me, Sansone.” Catching her bottom lip between her teeth, she suddenly said, “I want to kiss

He shut his lids tightly, effectively wiping the image of her mouth forming his name from his sight. “I’m not doing this with you. Water is on the nightstand and the aspirin is in the first drawer. Good night, birthday girl.”

Moving away, he started to stand fully and head to his guest room for a long
shower when small hands reached out and fisted his T-shirt, yanking him down and back to the bed before the lips he’d been secretly lusting after for
attached themselves to his own.

Sansone had every intention of pulling away immediately. Really he did. The spirit was willing but his flesh was
When Nyssa whimpered and forced her tongue past the opening of his mouth, every good intention he had was shot execution style by the overwhelming desire to claim her. He cupped her delicate jaw in one hand and pushed his tongue back against hers, rubbing and dueling until she moaned and nipped his bottom lip, pulling it between her teeth.

He growled and her hands went to his hair, tugging. His own fingers were careful as they ran through her shoulder-length tresses, remembering all the things she’d ever told him about a black woman’s hair and how it was to
be abused without complete consent and signed paperwork.

When she yanked at his shirt he knew it was time to bring things to a halt.

Pulling away, he grabbed her hands in his much larger ones and settled them by her sides as they both heaved in inhales to make up for the loss of air they’d just experienced. Sansone’s head spun as he wrestled with the urges she’d brought out in him.

Nyssa’s eyes blinked wide. “Well, then.” She tucked her lips in and cleared her throat. “I suppose that answers my question.”

Sansone rubbed his chest, attempting to calm the heartbeat that was galloping like a wild herd of oxen. “Yeah…er…I’m just going to…” He stood quickly, making sure to keep his back to her. He’d embarrassed himself enough for the night and even in the low light of his personal man cave, he was sure she’d still be able to spot the erection tenting the front of his pants.

Walking quickly toward the door, he tossed out a “Goodnight Nyssa” over his shoulder and kept on going.

He almost tripped over his own two feet when he heard her mutter, “No vibrator. No drunk sex.
No bueno
, holmes.”

Nyssa Blackwell would probably be the cause of the cardiac arrest he felt steadily coming. And if it were to happen in a moment like that, he’d just have to greet Saint Peter at the gates and explain that his bad record was propaganda and slander. That should work, right?



Thirty-two. That number didn’t just represent Nyssa’s age. Oh, no, it was how many times she’d attempted to open her eyes without letting out a scream of sheer agony. Precisely what the
had she done last night? Every inch of her body felt as though she’d been peeled and reupholstered. Satan’s nectar had been involved. This was the only explanation for the screaming in her head and the sandpaper grit behind her closed lids.

The question was, where exactly had she landed after partaking in the Devil’s libations and was she being primped to be the next cage pet of some basement freak?

Moving as gingerly as possible, she rolled to her side and inhaled. The subtle scent of saffron and cardamom settled the steady tension building in her limbs—she was home...
Nyssa spent the majority of her time in Sansone’s Upper East Side, waterfront townhome so this wasn’t exactly foreign. The tingling between her legs from simply taking a deep breath of his signature smell
Time to get up.

Nyssa placed both palms to the pillow-top mattress and pushed upwards as she slowly opened her eyes. The man was a god. He’d made sure his curtains were closed and that there were aspirin and water on his nightstand. She popped two pills and swallowed half the glass of water, running a hand through the mess of curls on her head and wondering if they’d be salvageable without her usual early morning wash. She needed to get up and allow hot water to cleanse the sins of her birthday celebration and then she needed to make sure she hadn’t done anything the night before that she couldn’t take back. The last thing Nyssa remembered was climbing on a tabletop and yelling out, “Who wants a lap dance?”
Being that Sansone—her perpetual guardian—was in attendance, she could pretty much guess what happened next. More than likely he’d wrestled her down, tossed her over a shoulder, and made her wave good-bye before packing her away and tucking her safely into his bed; a place that she found herself enjoying far too much.

God only knew the lengths she’d go through to have this luxury regularly without the worry of watching everything she’d built for the last eight years falling down around her. And yet, it would never happen. There were some fantasies that were meant to remain just that...
That didn’t mean she couldn’t give into the temptation to bury her face into Sansone’s pillows and languish for just a few more minutes, right?

Nyssa touched her nose to one and imagined for the briefest moment that she wasn’t holding years of unrequited lust for a man who looked at her and saw someone he had to protect. How fucking pathetic was this? She fisted the pillow briefly before dropping it.

“Look at me. I’m one step away from stealing socks to keep in my cleavage and sniff occasionally.”

She rolled to the edge of the bed and placed her feet on the floor, shuffling toward the bathroom. She’d shower, she’d find her clothes and she’d be out the door before Sansone lumbered out of his guest room. Avoiding him at work would be easy enough. She could always hide under her desk. It wouldn’t be the first time she’d done so…

Nyssa didn’t dare turn on the light in Sansone’s granite kingdom. She made her way to the shower by memory and made sure the temperature was hot enough to melt away early morning shame and despondency. Shedding Sansone’s T-shirt, she climbed in beneath the waterfall showerhead and leaned against the tile, standing perfectly still until the sluggish sensation weighing her down slowly faded. She slapped her hand against shelves until she caught a bar of soap.

Ten minutes later and she had a towel in her hand. Five minutes later and she was slipping back into her dress sans underwear—which she’d tucked into her clutch. Two minutes later and she had her shoes hanging from a finger and was halfway down the stairs when she heard, “And where are we off to so quickly, Ms. Lohan?”

BOOK: Beauty and the Barracuda
7.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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