Tags: #Romance, #Fiction, #Contemporary
Lily Petrov will kill me. It is good then that I watch her on the club’s security feed, because I cannot be trusted around her, and not because I want to hurt her back. Hurting her is the last thing I want, particularly when I have so many filthy, wonderful, fucking awesome fantasies from which to choose. I blame the plenteous selection entirely on Lily, of course. Tonight, her four-inch heels star front and center in the dirty scene currently playing in my head. Added fantasy fodder? She is short, curvy, and completely bare between her shoes and the hem of her white cocktail dress. When she moves, I can almost but not quite see the curve of her ass, and while I pretend her bare skin is an invitation to run my hands up the smooth length, I also believe in honesty.
Lily Petrov hates me.
We share a history, and it is not a happy one. She dated my stepbrother, he got her into trouble, I exposed her, and then I worked out a deal with her father to take care of the mess. Initially, that appeared to work out poorly for me because, at the time, her father ran one of Miami’s top Russian mob families while I was a junior member of a competing family. In corporate terms, I still worked the mailroom while Lily’s father was CEO. Even then I was hungry. I made Lily’s problem into an opportunity by ratting her out to her dad and then making my case that I could clean up the mess for him. The mailroom guy does not get many chances to negotiate with the CEO and I ran with it. Reader, I fucking married her because her daddy could give me a leg up in the mob world.
If I were a smarter man, I would head in the opposite direction of Lily, because there is one reason only why she is here at the club despite my promotion to Russian mob boss and billionaire. She wants something. Unfortunately for me, I have not learned how to tell her
Instead of running, I watch her ease into the room like a swimmer not quite sure of the water’s temperature. She looks uneasy and more than slightly uncomfortable, as if she thinks someone might actually try to kick her out of the Billionaire Race’s pre-party.
The Billionaire Race gets tons of press coverage, and that makes my public relations people happy. We have two criteria for entering. You must be a billionaire, and you must own a racing yacht. Score two out of two? Welcome to the race. We are the Young Boys Club rather than the old guard, and nothing makes us happier than rubbing all our lovely money in your face. A penis is not an actual race requirement, but so far our membership is exclusively male. You ladies should feel free to earn your place with us—I am always happy to have a girl around.
Racing is straightforward. I go out, I make my ten-million-dollar yacht sail faster than yours, and I score another trophy and front-page coverage of my smiling, handsome face as I either loft the cup over my head or swill champagne out of it. Usually I have a couple of women hanging on me too, because their hot, bikini-clad selves make our photos go viral. People have dirty imaginations. They prefer to believe I keep an enormous list of filthy, erotic things I’ve done or am about to do to those mostly naked women cavorting with me in the photographs. Possibly in public. I did mention that I am a good-looking bastard,
? And this is the racing world where money and power make the boats go round as much as the ocean currents and the wind do.
Tomorrow’s race is the hottest ticket since the America’s Cup or those round-the-world races where you sail your yacht through some of the most dangerous water in the world. Since we are not actually trying to kill anyone (I have people who handle that if I ask—it comes with the mob-boss job title), we race around the Caribbean. Tomorrow’s race is a grueling, nine-hour haul from Miami to the Bahamas through some truly challenging water. While the trophy is shiny and I like the idea of scoring the million-dollar pot for the charity of my choice, the real action comes in the side bets because every man racing tomorrow is a billionaire and this is one of the ways we do business.
Tonight’s party is therefore a multipurpose event. Mostly, I am negotiating to get what I want. When you are a billionaire, other people are either chump change or they want a piece of you. Lily has never wanted anything to do with me. When I discovered my stepbrother had been fucking her
had taken her to a club where he had owed money, I recognized that I had an in with the Petrovs. I am a good businessman—I knew Ivan Petrov would reward the man who could get his pretty little princess out of trouble. I set my stepbrother and Lily up, and then I fixed the problem for Ivan. I married her, and then I took the fall for the assault in the club. I paid Ivan’s price.
My wife knows nothing about set-ups, prices, or falls. She married me and then she proceeded to ignore me for the next six years. I did not merit so much as a card or roses on our anniversary. Still, her father gifted me with a few choices pieces of Miami real estate as a wedding present. His properties were the launch point for my billions—before our wedding, I’d had the ideas but not the capital. Afterward, the sky was the fucking limit, even if my alliance with Ivan Petrov remained a secret one. I am his hidden weapon, his concealed carry, and his last line of personal defense. The other mob families do not know about our ties, and we both prefer it that way.
There is one more thing that Ivan Petrov himself does not know. I wanted more than just his property—I wanted Lily. At sixteen, she was too young for me. Now, she is older. So am I, but that means I can protect her better. I am richer and more powerful. She will be safe on my watch.
Still, watching on camera as Lily works her way across the dance floor, I wonder if I should have come for her sooner. Maybe twenty-one was not too young, or even twenty. Eighteen. She is fucking gorgeous, a feminine version of a Venus flytrap sucking down boy mosquitos as if they were candy. Tits, ass, and legs—Lily’s petite package is gorgeous, but that is not the best part. She looks up at the security camera, although I suspect she is unaware of its presence. For a Russian mob princess, Lily is strangely innocent—or maybe the rest of us are just too fucking deviant. She has cut her hair since our spectacularly ill-fated wedding day, the honey-blond length now falling in long layers around her face instead of the straight, slick ponytail I have spent the past six years dreaming of fisting. Full pink lips flash a reserved greeting at someone in the crowd, her brown eyes frowning slightly. She usually avoids the Russian mob families; it is possible she cannot put names to all the faces. Her own face is heart-shaped and her nose has the tiniest tip at the end as if her whole face wants to smile. Lily Petrov is one of the happy people. She is short and curvy, and the minute she steps into the sun, her skin turns the color of gold.
Honestly? Her pretty veneer is simply one more weapon in a well-loaded arsenal. She can think circles around most of tonight’s party guests. It is one more reason for me to stay here in security’s command central, watching her on the live feed rather than engaging her. Of course, I am also an adrenaline junkie who thinks taking a fifty-foot yacht through the edge of a hurricane is the best way to spend a Friday night, so I am unlikely to leave her alone.
I keep an eye on her for the next few minutes while I plan my move. She is really not supposed to be here. This is my club, my territory, my house. Did I mention that I am now the head of the Miami branch of the Bratva? Just think of us as the American cousins of the most powerful Russian Mafia family in Moscow. And while I recently took us mostly legitimate, you do not want to piss us off. I make sure Lily keeps on walking past the smaller players currently manning the drug pipeline that fuel the Miami club scene. She does not need their brand of trouble. Those stupid bastards had better keep their drugs in their pockets and their dicks in their pants because delivering a beatdown would put my developing plans for the night on ice.
Fortunately, when idiot number one offers her a little narcotic something-something, she laughs and shakes her head, sending honey-colored hair dancing across her shoulders. She even manages to look both mortified and slightly offended as if she cannot believe anyone would offer her drugs. Lily Petrov does not frequent the Miami club scene, but she could totally rule it if she wanted.
She glows with happiness and pleasure. When a passing waiter offers her a tray of drinks, she contemplates the selection for a long minute, clearly undecided about which to choose. If it were me, I would hand her the whole goddamned tray. Eventually she picks the frozen glass, mouthing a
at the server. I definitely would not have pegged her for a whiskey-sour gal. She strikes me as more of the fruity daiquiri type, the kind with a little pastel umbrella and a cherry.
I need to
think about tongues and cherry stems.
. My dick tents the front of my very expensive tuxedo pants, making its preference for the evening’s entertainment clear. Kiss the girl. Lick the icy froth off her upper lip, because my unexpected party guest is downright uninhibited in her enjoyment of her drink. I promptly imagine that white cream is my jizz and I have just come all over her face, her throat, her tits. Painted her until she is filthy—and mine.
Lily Petrov is not my type. I remind myself of this. She is a fresh-faced twenty-two, and she looks as if life has not shit on her ever, although I know the truth. She is strong. She has had to be. Men turn to follow her with their gazes as she crosses the dance floor, her hips rocking left-right-left thanks to her ridiculously high heels. My kind of woman is older. She knows the score, the rules to the game, and she lives to play.
Or my kind
That is right. I am at the end of a six-year sexual drought. I have not had sex since the day Lily Petrov’s father suggested I marry her to cover up my stepbrother’s sins and then offered to compensate me well if I took the fall for the club assaults as well. I took his daughter, his real estate, and his deal. When I say she is not my type and she has no place here? That is wishful thinking, ladies and gentlemen.
I may not have talked to my wife since we faced off across a courtroom, but she owns every inch of this Russian’s ass.
The club sits square in the heart of some of Miami’s most overpriced real estate. Expensive racing yachts and motorboats crowd the exclusive private marina, each boat competing to be bigger and more costly than its neighbor. Penis boats, as in
mine’s larger than yours.
When my town car pulled up to the gated entrance, I simply nodded at the armed guards manning the security gates. I didn’t and don’t have an invitation, but since I’m Ivan Petrov’s daughter, getting in posed no problem. Our family might not be what it used to be, but my dad’s still a powerful man. You don’t piss him off without fearing the consequences. The guards held a brief, whispered consultation, the gates swung wide, and they waved me right on in.
It’s a good thing I came in peace, because I could have done a hell of a lot of damage.
Those two words sound so elegant and fancy, but the name doesn’t begin to capture the essence of the place. Not only is the real estate top notch, but the building itself is a multistory mansion. It rules over the marina from a well-manicured lawn. Immaculately groomed palm trees line the drive, and the whole place is lit up like Cinderella’s palace. It shines and sparkles, all white and glass. Naturally, it’s won architectural awards and graced magazine covers. The men who belong here accept nothing less than the best.