Authors: LeTeisha Newton
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is
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 names, characters, and places are fictitious. Any
resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or
dead, is entirely coincidental.
is for my readers. You asked me to blend my paranormal romance with a fairytale
and I listened. Thank you for being behind me, always. I wouldn’t be here
Copyright © 2015
music was too loud and her feet were aching, but she just couldn’t sit down.
The rhythm pulsed through her like a living, breathing thing. Her heart pounded
as she shook her hair out and writhed to the thumping base and the pluck of the
guitar strings. “Catch Hell Blues” were the realest words she’d ever heard in
her life on a song, and she kept them close.
Thomas, better known as Bella, was sick to death of bullshit and fuck ups in
her life. Tired of asshole men who didn’t know how to treat her right, and
whiny men who didn’t need to have a dick, because they were way too much of a
Unfair, maybe, but so damn true.
twisted around, dropping to her knees on the dance floor, and bent backwards.
She sang with the music, letting all her cares free as she shook her hair
around her, the strobe lights her dancing partners.
As the bass beat came back she stepped with
it, laughing as others around her circled around her and watched.
right. Watch me. Wish you were this damn free.
gonna catch hell!” she yelled to the other dancers and they whooped, flinging
their hands up into the air. Funny to think, just an hour before, she was
crying her eyes out, wracked with pain like she’d never known. Why? Because her
stupid, immature, and nerve-wrecking brother had, once again, taken money he
couldn’t repay. And, once again, she was going to have to pay it all back.
now, though, she could forget about her brother’s gambling addiction, and the
loss she’d felt every time. Forget that he’d sent their mother into an early
grave. Their mother hadn’t been able to deal with Nathan’s gambling trouble.
Nathan had always been the problem child. He’d struggled in school, not because
he hadn’t been intelligent enough, but because he preferred the easier way out.
Momma had pushed him through, and got him into college, and it had only served
to flame Nathan’s rebellious nature. He’d leeched every dime he could from
their mom until she hadn’t anymore to give. Their father had died a hero,
taking a bullet for his partner while in the line of duty as a police officer.
He’d left them the house, and his pension. When Nathan took the house from
under her, betting against the deed he’d talked her into signing over to
had been the last straw. Anger at her brother
hadn’t stopped Bella from fending for him when she could. He was all she had
left, and she’d always felt, as his only living relative, she was responsible
for him. Their mother had asked her to, at the end.
to always to take the blame, Bella had paid the first loan shark off, and then
others had circled around her. Like the cold-blooded animals they were, they
smelled blood, and she was a damn leaking faucet. Her savings, checking
account, and liquefiable assets were all but gone to save her brother’s life
because—God help her—she couldn’t live with his blood on her hands.
Lord knew she’d seen plenty of it to give her nightmares.
though, she was going to breathe easy and dance her troubles away. Because
tomorrow she was going to the one man that the loan sharks feared—one that was
a one man army, and she’d have to sell her soul to. She knew it, but if she had
her brother under his protection they wouldn’t dare to hurt him.
Wouldn’t dare to come after her again.
It was a last ditch
effort, but, this time, she didn’t have the money to pay for Nate’s release. If
she didn’t pay over two million dollars, a sum larger than it had
been before, he’d die.
though she may be, she loved her brother.
smacked her gloss covered lips and flung her dark brown hair over her shoulder.
Drenched in sweat, it pelted the small of her back. Her jeans clung to her
thick thighs and rounded hips. She might be closer to a size sixteen than a
size ten, but she knew how to strut her stuff. She bent forward, swinging up in
a sexy roll and slanting her dark chocolate eyes, at whoever was watching.
Warm, large hands spanned her waist and she sank into the body behind her.
Whoever the man was, he was tall, massive really. She was a good five-foot-ten easily,
and this man wrapped around her so her head rested on his chest.
didn’t turn around. Let this fantasy stay for a minute. For the last two years
she hadn’t the time to give into romance, even a night long one, because of
worry and stress. She wouldn’t take this man home either, but she’d enjoy it
while it lasted. She
her hips and ran her
hands over his legs behind her. His thighs were like oak trees, strong and
sure. Her hands traveled higher and his waist was trim and gave into a nice
hint of chiseled abs, she could tell by just his oblique muscles.
never seen someone move like you,” the man whispered in her ear, his accent
thick, keeping step and bending around her to talk. His hot breath heated her
wet flesh and she bit her lip against the temptation. His voice rumbled through
her insides with the impact of a freight train. She didn’t think she’d ever
heard a man’s voice quite that deep. He wrapped his arms around her, well-built
arms she noted, and went with her to the floor and back up. She could see the
black bands of tribal tattoos down both of his arms, and she could feel them
under her fingertips.
She was a sucker for a tatted up bad
intertwined their fingers, sucking in a breath when electricity streaked
through her. God, touching him was like magic. She held him tight to her,
feeling a delicious shock everywhere their bodies connected. Her partner gasped
behind her, a tortured sound filled with such longing her body answered to it
of its own volition. Her breasts felt heavy, her pussy heating and growing
slick. Never, never in her life had she had such an immediate reaction to a man
without even seeing him.
took her breath away when he spun her around, fitting one of her legs between
his and dipping with her again. She kept her eyes closed, lost to sensation as
his big hands held her at her waist and the center of her back. She gripped the
front of his shirt. It was slick and cool against her palms, but the well built
body beneath the material was tantalizing. Even without looking at him the
package was a gift on Christmas to a woman starved for presents.
song started to filter out but the crowd yelled encore and it thumped on again,
taking her worries over having to finally open her eyes away. The guitar rift
at the beginning was slow and sexy, and her partner swayed with her, running
his fingers through her hair. She leaned into his hands as he gripped the
strands and pulled her head back. His hips rocked from side to side faster as
the beat picked up.
Touch me more
she begged internally. As if he heard her musings, one of his hands left her
hair and gripped her throat, in a powerful and yet gently grip. His other hand
then wrapped around her and pulled her close. He controlled her with his hand
at her throat, and she buried her face in his chest and she moved with him.
and whistles filtered to her ears and she smiled against him. Whoever he was,
he was helping her give the people a show. Before her brother, Nate, had taken
her down the road to Hell, she’d been a different woman. She would have laughed
with this man, looked into his eyes and let him know just what she’d wanted to
do with him, on him, and around him. She would have never let such magnetism go
to waste. But she wasn’t that woman any longer. She was a scared little girl,
living on the knife’s edge and seeking the Devil to help.
Vargas, the man who could make her dreams of freedom, even if she had to stay
in a gilded cage, come true. With Elijio, ruthless was a nice term. No one knew
exactly where he’d come from, or why even the mob steered clear, but he was a
force to be reckoned with. He was known to clean house, in the worst way, when
someone challenged him. Known to make people disappear if they wronged him, and
he was paid well for it. No one, absolutely no one, held his leash, and he was
a monster that could eat the others. He was the one the loan sharks were afraid
he was the only one who could save her and her brother.
stiff, baby. What’s wrong?” he asked, stroking her neck soothingly. She leaned
into the caress for a moment, loving the security there. It was only temporary,
she knew, but she still needed it.
Just a few seconds of
That’s all she needed, before she walked away and went home for
her last night of freedom. Because when Elijio helped, he had to get paid, and
if you couldn’t pay, then you belonged to him. Bella had nothing but herself to
give to him.
you couldn’t take away,” she whispered, knowing he wouldn’t hear her.
me,” he whispered back, surprising her. Startled into opening her eyes, she was
staring into the most amazing face she’d ever seen. His jaw was strong and
firm, his lips full and lickable, if you asked her. His nose was straight and
his cheekbones high. Dark, almost black eyes, were focused on her intently,
surrounded by the longest eyelashes she’d ever seen in her life—the kind that
curled into the eyelid and gave women some serious penis envy just to have them.
His hair curled around his face with a flair that had to be created in a salon,
because nothing was that perfect. For a moment she was speechless. He smiled
sadly, and gripped her hand.
on,” he commanded and walked her off the floor. Other dancers cried out as they
left, but he didn’t stop. He made a beeline for the door, and no one got in his
way. Even the bouncers moved as he stalked past them. Bella was helpless to
stop. Once outside, the cool autumn air chilled her. He tucked her under his arm,
warming her, as they walked just a little way from the club’s entrance. It was
far enough that the sound of the music was muted, but not enough that she would
have struggled. He stopped near a low-slung sports car that she didn’t know the
name of but looked like it cost a hell of a lot of money.
me,” he commanded as he leaned against the car frame, never releasing her hand.
wouldn’t understand,” she started.
it good to tell someone who doesn’t know? No loss or gain.”
need to meet a really dangerous man tomorrow to help my brother,” she said
finally, not sure why she wanted to tell this man her problems.
wrong with your brother?” he asked. It surprised her that he didn’t even bat an
eyelash at the dangerous man part, but she didn’t stop talking.
got a gambling problem.”
you pay the price. How much is he under for?”
that with inflation or true debt?” he asked.
How the hell—”
it will increase ten percent, at minimum, every week. When was the demand for
think. Just answer,” he interrupted.
“A week ago.
I have until
tomorrow to make a payment. Two weeks for the in-full amount.”
owe two million two hundred thousand by tomorrow, and two hundred thousand more
by next week. Did they tell you that?”
I don’t know who you are, but I’m done. Thanks anyway,” she said and she pulled
her hand from his. She felt the loss of his heat immediately, but didn’t stop.
She spun on her heel, determined to get to her car and go home.
wouldn’t walk away from help so easily,” the man called out.
who the hell are you?”
Vargas. And I’m sure, whoever you are going to see tomorrow, isn’t as dangerous
couldn’t get her mind to function properly, no matter how hard she tied, as she
turned back around slowly to look at the man she’d danced with.
Vargas. He was standing in front of her. The man she
had planned to see the next day, to ask if he could help her with her brother’s
debts. What sort of luck did she have that he was here now?
Did he already know she was coming? Was this
some sort of trick?
She though wildly. When Pace Giuseppe, one of the men
who held Nate’s debt, told her she could either get the money from the bank,
sell everything she had, or herself to him to help, she’d hung up on him.
But not fast enough not to hear one name.
Beast can’t even help you now,” he’d said. She’d put out feelers to other
families, walked the streets, and put herself in danger to find out exactly who
the Beast was. She’d succeeded in gaining an audience with him. She wasn’t
prepared. She couldn’t have been. She clenched her hands into tight fists,
resisting the urge to run away. She had made a complete fool out of herself,
and she was terrified that
wouldn’t help her.
That he would turn his back and leave her standing there, alone.