Claimed for the Master's Pleasure(3)By: Jan Bowles
Feeling threatened and very alone, Lia stepped back, putting some distance between them. “Please. Look, I don’t know who you are. Please just go away and leave me alone.”
Without warning the bigger guy took hold of her arm, and almost lifted her from the ground. “Get in the car.”
Instinctively she clawed her nails down his cheek and pulled herself from his grasp and began running, running, running for her life. “Please, God, somebody help me,” she screamed. Nobody. Nothing.
She felt stagnant male breath getting closer and closer before finding her progress halted completely. “Hey, Juno, grab her other arm. For fuck’s sake, buddy, get her in the car before we’re seen.”
Jake Benetti studied the bank of high-definition CCTV pictures covering the wall of his office. He always liked to keep an eye on his business. It made sense, when there were huge amounts of money involved. Experience had taught him not to trust anyone.
In disbelief, he watched a woman being roughly escorted through the back door of his casino. After thirty-seven years of life, nothing much fazed him, but seeing a woman who closely resembled his dead wife made him stop and stare, openmouthed. Thank God he had time to compose himself before Juno and Moose knocked on his office door.
He studied the CCTV images closely. The resemblance unnerved him. He’d laid his beloved wife in the casket himself. Besides, if Hannah had still been alive, she would have been thirty-five this fall. This woman was clearly in her midtwenties.
Dressed in gray sweatpants and wearing a white sweatband around her head, she looked like she’d just been jogging. He hoped this small excursion from her daily routine wouldn’t inconvenience her too much. When his two bodyguards showed her to the private elevator, he had the distinct feeling that she wasn’t happy. He hoped Juno and Moose had behaved themselves. In the past, they’d had a tendency for being overexuberant when it came to following his instructions.
The rap on his office door came all too soon. Jake made himself comfortable in the leather executive chair before arranging the legal documents he required on the mahogany desk. When he was completely satisfied, he called out, “Enter.”
The door opened, and Juno poked his head around the oak panel. “Boss, we brought the Constantine woman to see you.”
“Good. You did well to persuade her—”
Before Jake could finish his sentence the woman burst into his office. Her green eyes flared wide. “This is outrageous!” She pointed an index finger at him and wagged it angrily several times. “Are you in charge here, Mister? How dare you tell these animals to force me into a car?” He could see she was shaking with fear and rage. “Do you know what the penalty for kidnapping is? Especially at the whim of some lowlife casino owner?”
If Jake hadn’t been so stunned at the beautiful vision before him, he might have taken offense. So Fred Constantine’s sassy daughter hated casino owners with a vengeance? But what did he expect? The woman was clearly here against her will.
Although not an exact replica of his wife, she was disturbingly similar. The angry, frightened woman standing before him was a little taller, and her exquisite, heart-shaped face had more defined cheekbones than Hannah’s. It was her hair that captivated him most. Long cascades of honey blonde spread out across her shoulders and flowed down her back, just like Hannah’s had. How he longed to thread his hands through the thick, golden strands, and dream they were still together. Fuck, he’d barely looked at another woman for the three years since Hannah’s death, and it still made him feel as guilty as hell.
Jake couldn’t help admiring the beauty of the young woman standing before him, but he didn’t want to be reminded of what he’d lost. He looked at Juno instead. The guy was certainly no oil painting. In fact his chief bruiser was ugly as fuck, but he felt uncomfortable looking at this beautiful ghost from his past.