Authors: Stefanie Graham
P.O Box 301095
Brooklyn, New York 11230
Copyright © 2013 by Stefanie Graham
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. This book contains material protected under international and federal copyright laws and treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this material is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author/publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher with the subject line: “permissions” at the email address below.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales are purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author’s imagination and are used fictitiously.
Cover Design by Tammy Luke
Edited by Carol Taylor
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Catalog Number: 2013941710
About The Author
made her first attempt at writing romances at sixteen. She spent her proceeding years dreaming of ways to create the essence of passion and desire between pages filled with sultry and exciting text. She is a voracious reader, a fan of the written word in all forms and is happiest when curled up in a corner with a good book. Her goal is to create quality multi-genre titles that will capture the imagination of her readers. Stefanie enjoys traveling above all else and plans to visit every corner of the earth. Until then, she calls the East Coast her home. Stefanie would love to hear from you. Visit her at
This book is dedicated to my mother, Maureen.
How could I write about love if you
hadn’t shown me what love was?
I am forever in your debt and
I plan to repay you with hugs and kisses.
And to my fellow writer and friend, Yvonne;
thanks for refusing to let me rest until I wrote a
romance novel up to your exacting standards.
I did it! Hope you’re happy now.
The door swung open and hit the wall. The sound rattled the windows of the eighty-dollar a night motel room. Cairo Kane bolted naked
out of bed. He landed on his feet with his fists raised. A quick glance over his shoulder revealed that despite the noise
his new bride still slept. Positioning his body between the bed and the open door, Cairo crept silently toward it,
his heart beat wildly against his ribcage with every step. He froze seconds later as a cleaning woman stuck her head into the room. With wide eyes she took one look at his tall, naked body then quickly snatched the key out of the door and scurried away. Cairo lowered his fists to his sides. His heart was just resuming its normal rhythm when the silhouettes of an older couple filled the doorway. They entered quietly
and paused only a moment to take in their surroundings before the man turned and closed the door behind him locking them all inside. The woman swept her gaze over his nakedness then breezed by him heading straight for the bed. Cairo watched in shock as she reached down and dragged away
the faded red silk comforter. The tousled head of a sleepy young woman emerged from beneath a sea of twisted sheets.
Jessica Storm! Get up and get dressed this
, do you hear me!” The woman’s voice was shrill enough to burst eardrums. “I could just kill you.” She slapped the bed for emphasis. “If you think you’ve won this little battle then you’ve made a grave mistake. This changes
. Get up!”
Without waiting for her to comply, the woman stomped around the side of the bed and roughly hauled his bride to her feet. The minute she was standing, the woman shrugged off her floor-length fur coat and roughly bundled his wife into it. She then pointed to
the crumpled wedding dress that lay discarded on the floor. “Put that on and let’s get the hell out of here. This room smells like piss and poor taste.”
Jessica Storm, lovingly called
by her new husband, looked like a sleepy child jerked from a dream. With platinum strands of hair in her face
and emerald green eyes still heavy with
sleep, she seemed disoriented, uncertain if she were awake or still asleep.
The stern face and the crossed arms of the woman in the room confirmed that she was wide awake.
Cairo didn’t know what to do. Since strangers had invaded the room, he stood frozen in place. He watched in a helpless daze as his wife bent to pick up her belongings while casting worried glances in his direction. He didn’t move the whole time. He felt as if all his insecurities had cemented his feet to the ground and robbed him of his ability to speak. He felt young, awkward and ill-equipped to deal with whatever was happening.
His moment of paralysis cost him. The man guarding the door walked into the room with purpose. He grasped
Storm’s arm and then without a word he turned and dragged her out of the room.
That’s when Cairo came to his senses. “Wait!” He yelled as he yanked on his boxers and ran to the door. The woman slammed it shut and turned to him. She placed her delicate manicured hand covered with expensive diamond jewelry in the middle of his chest. He stopped and looked down at the woman in front of him.
“Come near my daughter again and we will have you arrested.”
Pamela Storm said wiping the hand that had touched him on her skirt.
“You can’t stop me from seeing her. She’s my
.” The words were forceful but the inadequacy of youth and the strain of so unexpectedly
coming face-to-face with his new mother in-law made his voice crack.
? You must be
.” Her smile was
a mere twisting of the mouth. “First thing tomorrow morning my husband and I will get this travesty annulled. I hope you enjoyed your one night with my daughter,” she said glancing at the rumpled bed. “That’s all you will ever have.” Then she turned on her
stiletto heels and walked out.
The slamming door propelled Cairo into action. They’d taken his wife. He took off in pursuit and was almost at the stairs before he realized he was still half-naked. He ran back to the room and with shaking hands slipped on
his borrowed black tuxedo and shoes. He knew where they were taking Storm. He knew the Upper East Side Manhattan home where she lived, he’d just never been allowed inside. People like him never were.
Her mother gave her a shove that sent her stumbling through the doorway. Storm caught herself just before she fell on her face in the main foyer. She straightened with as much dignity as she could summon while clutching her mother’s fur coat to her chest. With her chin held high, she turned to face her adversaries: her parents. Anyone who tried to keep her away from Cairo she considered the enemy. Her mother’s
look was as cold as the black and white marble that graced their opulent home.
“Look at you; nothing but dirty, damaged goods!” Her mother meant to draw blood with her words.
Storm flinched as if struck but didn’t respond. Cairo was her first.
“What’s this?” Her mother’s gaze raked over
her from head to toe. “Nothing to say? That’s a first. Go upstairs and get rid of that ridiculous dress. We’ll call Briggs in the morning and get this thing annulled.” She then
turned her back on her only child; as far as she was concerned the conversation was over.
“I won’t do it.” Storm clenched her hands into fists.
“What did you say?” This time it was her father who spoke.
She squared her shoulders. “I won’t do it. He’s my husband and I love him. I won’t give him up and you can’t make me.”
“That’s where you’re wrong little girl.” Her father’s gaze cut like jagged shards of dark glass. “We
.” Storm begged, reaching out to him.
They had never been close, but she didn’t want them to be enemies. The look he gave her convinced her to keep her hands to herself. Storm braced
herself for the fight to come. “I’m not annulling
. I’m legally old enough to make my own decisions. I’m going up to my room now but don’t be surprised if I’m not there in the morning.”
She was halfway up the stairs before her mother’s words stopped her in her tracks.
“Nigel, darling, doesn’t Jessica’s new husband work as a bellboy in one of your hotels?” The trap was being set.
Her father mumbled a response.
“Didn’t you say you were thinking of laying some people off?” The softness of her words hid their venom.
“Yes, I did say that.” Her father caught on quickly.
Her mother placed a bejeweled hand against her cheek
“Weren’t you told that Jessica’s new husband lives with an old man who also works for you in one of your factories in the Bronx?”
“Yes, he does. It seems that when it comes to information, a hundred dollars buys a lot.”
Her mother watched her like a cat toying with a mouse. “Aren’t you planning on making cuts there too?”
Storm walked back down the stairs. She stared at the people who called themselves her parents. “Don’t do this. Blackmailing me won’t get you what you want. I love him and he loves me. We’re going to be a family. If you do anything to hurt Cairo or his godfather, I’ll make you both very sorry. Please, let me go, I’m eighteen and we’re married.”
“You’re married when I say you’re married.” A vein started to throb in her father’s forehead. “I didn’t waste a fortune on the best schools, the best clothes and the best things that money can buy just for you to throw your life away on the first street thug you meet. If you marry anyone it will be James Montague. He likes you
and he comes from a good family. This is the plan we have for your future. If you do anything to ruin it, I’ll break that old man. I will strip him of his job, throw him out of his home and then start on that foolish boy you had the nerve to marry. If you think that I’m joking, test my goodwill
little girl and you will see.”