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Authors: Roxie Rivera

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Seduced by the Loan Shark

BOOK: Seduced by the Loan Shark
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Table of Contents









Seduced by the Loan Shark

Copyright © 2012 by Roxie Rivera

This book is a work of fiction. The names,

characters, places, and incidents are

products of the writer's imagination or

have been used fictitiously and are not to

be construed as real. Any resemblance to

persons, living or dead, actual events,

locales or organizations is entirely


All rights reserved. No part of this book






distributed in any manner whatsoever

without written permission from the author

except in the case of brief quotation

embodied in critical articles and reviews.


"Mr. Hagen will see you now."

My stomach churned as the words I'd

been dreading were spoken by the hulking

goon looming in the open doorway. I

reluctantly slid off the leather stool and

crossed the mostly empty bar. I didn't miss

the curious looks from the handful of

patrons bellied up to the bar this early in

the afternoon.

I swallowed hard as I neared the goon.

He glanced down at me and offered a

pitying smile. I figured that didn't bode

well for me. With a jerk of his head, he

indicated that I should head through the

door at the end of the long, narrow and

dimly-lit hallway. I forced my feet to

move, the thin soles of my red ballet flats

silent on the tiled floor. In my head, a

dreadful tune played. No doubt I would

soon regret sticking my neck out for my

loser brother.

But he was family and he hadn't always

been this pathetic or irresponsible. He'd

been a great brother to me once. I had to

try to help him out of this jam.

I nervously smoothed the front of my

skirt and stepped into the office. I shut the

door behind me with shaking hands. My

eyes adjusted to the soft, natural lighting

streaming through a small, frosted

window. Unlike the smoky bar, the office

had a clean, fresh scent. It looked

immaculately neat and tidy.

The man behind the desk was no

different. He exuded control. Perfectly

pressed charcoal grey suit, snappy white

shirt, clean-shaven face—he looked more

like a banker than the mobbed-up loan

shark I knew him to be.

Hagen rose from his seat and shocked

me with his height. I'd heard that he was a

big guy but he made the super-sized goon

out front look like a toddler. Hagen

gestured to the chair in front of his desk.

"Have a seat."

His gentle voice caught me off-guard.

Instead of falling under the spell of his

gentlemanly display of manners, I recalled

just how ruthless this man could be. I'd

learned enough over the last week of

helping my brother dodge the heat on his

ass to know exactly what Hagen was

capable of doing with those big hands.

I settled into the chair, my butt right on

the edge of the hard seat and my back

ramrod straight. Hagen sank into his and

looked me over. "So you're Ronnie's


I didn't miss the disbelief in his voice.

"Yes. I'm Cassie."

"Cassie." He repeated my name.

"You're the little sister studying to be a

rocket scientist, right?"

"Sort of," I replied while wondering

how the hell he knew anything about me.

He frowned. "You're not in college? Or

you're not a rocket scientist wannabe?"

"I'm studying astrophysics. It's not

exactly the same thing as a rocket






Hagen's lips twitched with amusement.

"I see."

"I doubt it."

The briefest flash of annoyance crossed

his face at my sarcastic come-back. "Why

are you here?"

"You know why."

"Because your weasely bastard of a

brother owes me thirty large?"

I gasped. "Th-thirty? But I thought—"

He laughed, the sound harsh and cruel.

"Let me guess. He lied about how much he

owes, right?"

I reluctantly confirmed his guess. "He

said five."

"That was the initial loan but then he

rolled it into another one and another one.

He's been light for the last six pick-ups in

a row."

"Light?" I felt completely lost by the

gambling and loan lingo he tossed around

so easily.

"He was short thousands of dollars

each time I sent my pick-up man around

for the payments," Hagen explained. "Add

in the interest and we're sitting at thirty

thousand owed."

"Thirty thousand," I echoed softly. I

couldn't even wrap my head around that

number. I lived on less than half that in an

entire year. How the hell had Ronnie

managed to piss that huge amount away in

just a few short weeks?

As if he could read my mind, Hagan

said, "Poker. Your brother had a hot

streak a few months back and then went

cold. He just keeps digging that hole

deeper and deeper. Frankly, you're lucky

he hasn't had his fingers broken for those

card counting tricks of his."

I sighed heavily. It wasn't the first time

he'd tried his stupid card tricks. Like me,

he had a mind for numbers. He simply

didn't use his gift wisely. It was always

about the next get-rich-quick scheme.

"So let me guess," Hagen said, a

patronizing smile on his face. "Ronnie

gave you some sad, weepy fucking story

about being down a couple grand, right?

You thought you'd come in here and shake

that tight little ass of yours to get me to

wipe the debt clean?"

"What? No!" I vehemently shook my

head. Reaching into my purse, I withdrew

the fat envelope of cash and placed it on

his desk. "I brought this."

He eyed the envelope. "Four thousand?"

Surprise rippled through me. "You can

tell just by looking at it?"

Hagen nodded. "When you've been in

this business as long as I have, you pick

up all sorts of useful tricks." He sat

forward and snatched up the envelope.

"That still leaves him twenty-six short."

I bit my lower lip. "I thought he owed

five grand. I brought what I could scrape

together and hoped you'd let me pay the

balance of one thousand over the next

month or two but twenty-six thousand? I—

I just—I can't."

He tossed the envelope back at me. I

barely caught it. "You shouldn't. He's a big

boy. Let him dig himself out of this mess.

Besides," he sat back in his chair and

lifted his hands behind his head, "I don't

do payment plans."

I shivered as his searing gaze roamed

my body. When he spoke again, his tone

had changed. "Although…I might be

willing to make an exception—just this

once. It's not every day a brilliant,

beautiful college girl walks through my


I bristled with indignation and shot to

my feet. "I'm not a whore."

"I didn't say you were," he replied


I dropped the envelope on his desk.

"Here's the four grand. You can take it or

leave it but that's all I've got."

Pivoting on my heel, I gripped the

handle of my purse, strode to the door and

jerked it open.
Fuck you

"Do you know if your brother has good

health insurance?"

Hagen's warning remark froze me in

place. My eyes closed and I tried to slow

my racing heart. His threat hit home. I

knew what happened to men who owed

Hagen money. They ended up in the

hospital with smashed faces and broken

ribs. Sometimes even worse than that.

Sure, Ronnie had gotten himself into

this mess but he'd never been the same

since the car accident that took our

parents. He'd been driving that night and

so proud of his new car, a graduation

present. Wet roads and a deer in the

middle of the highway had taken away the

two people we'd loved most. The guilt of

the accident had changed him forever.

Gambling seemed to be the escape from

reality he'd chosen.

Gulping down the painful ball of nerves

clogging my throat, I stepped back into the

office and closed the door. On shaky

limbs, I turned slowly and leaned back

against the wooden surface. I met Hagen's

triumphant gaze. Defeated, I asked, "What

do you want from me?"

He eyed me carefully. "You love your

brother this much?"

"He's all I have left."

Hagen studied me for a long moment.

Finally, he held out his hand. "Come


I hesitated before complying with his

request. I placed my purse in the chair in

front of his desk and walked around the

edge of it to stand next to him. He grasped

my small hand in his huge paw and

dragged me between his knees and the

desk. The sturdy piece of furniture bit into

my bottom.

Only an inch over five feet, I was so

short we were practically eye to eye as he

sat in his office chair. He dwarfed me like

some kind of giant. At least he smelled

nice. I picked up on the faint cedar note in

his cologne. He had nice eyes, I

grudgingly admitted to myself, the brown

irises a rich coffee color. There was

something handsome about him. Not in the

classical way, of course, but in a rugged,

tough guy sense.

"You're shaking," he commented gently.

"You scare me," I answered honestly.

"Don't be afraid of me, Cassie. I'd

never hurt you."

"Your reputation tells me otherwise."

"Don't believe everything you hear." He

grasped my waist and effortlessly lifted

me up onto the desk. My eyes widened at

how easily he manhandled me. "Lift up

your skirt."

My fingers trembled as I pinched the

hem of my dress and lifted the fabric up

around my thighs. My stomach wobbled

and dipped as panic took hold. I muscled

down the fear creeping through me.

can do this


My gaze jumped to his. He wore a no-

nonsense expression and I didn't dare

BOOK: Seduced by the Loan Shark
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