Claimed for the Master's Pleasure(4)

By: Jan Bowles

“Don’t you dare turn away from me. I asked you a question, Mr. Big Casino Owner. Do you often force women into the backs of cars against their will?”

With his voice much harsher than normal, he asked Juno, “Is this true?”

Juno shuffled his feet, looking increasingly uncomfortable. “Boss, you wanted to see her. We got the lady here double quick. Just as you wanted.”

“That’s not what I asked you.” He turned to Moose. The guy looked hot and bothered, and ran a hand over his hair. “So, Moose, you went along with this kidnapping?”

Moose just shrugged. “I guess so, boss.”

They were good men, but perhaps went about their work a little too enthusiastically at times. He shook his head. “Do either of you two guys have an ounce of sense?” Jake raised his hands in exasperation. He didn’t want the cops to become involved. As the woman said, kidnapping was a serious offence. Anger surged through his veins, and he pointed to the door. “Just get out my sight, the pair of you, before I kick both your asses. I’m docking you a month’s pay for stupidity.” He wouldn’t do it, but she didn’t have to know that. Moose and Juno had young families to look after.

“Yes, boss.”

“Sorry, boss.”

“Wait a minute.” They both stopped suddenly in the doorway, looking like naughty children waiting to be admonished. “Have you anything to say to Ms. Constantine?” When they looked dumfounded, Jake raised a brow. “I’m thinking of an apology, you dumb bastards.” He guessed she wanted to see some asses kicked for the shoddy way she’d been treated. He was happy to oblige. After all, it wasn’t every day he met a woman who bore a close resemblance to the woman he once loved, still loved.

Moose nodded. “Sorry, ma’am, didn’t mean to be so rough with you.”

“We didn’t mean you no harm. I apologize.” Juno bowed his head.

He watched them both retreat from his office. Left alone, Jake then turned his attention to his guest. “You must forgive my men. They’re not the brightest guys you’ll ever come across. Their hearts are in the right place, although they do have a tendency to overplay things.”

“Overplay, are you serious? Overplay?” He knew she was angry. “Pulling me off the sidewalk and manhandling me into a car is hardly what I would call overplaying. In my language we call it kidnapping, or even worse. I was so frightened.” She took a deep breath, as if trying to rein in her emotions. “I didn’t know if those gorillas you employ were gonna mug, rape, or murder me. You’re this close”—she held her finger and thumb an inch apart—“to being busted by the cops.” She folded her arms defiantly across her chest to show she meant business.

Impressed by her sassiness, Jake pointed to the chair opposite his desk. “I apologize once more. Please take a seat, Ms. Constantine. This won’t take long.”

“Mr. Benetti, I think we’re done here. Don’t you dare try and stop me walking out of this hellhole.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it, Ms. Constantine.”

“Good.” She turned abruptly on her heels and began walking toward the door.

Jake calmly shuffled the papers on his desk, before saying, “But out of respect for your father, you need to hear what I have to say.”

Chapter Three

“I knew your father very well. He was a good man. I respected him.”

Lia turned in the doorway and looked back into the opulent office. Jake Benetti sat there as calm as anything, yet she felt like a rug had been ripped from under her. How on earth could her father have known this man? He ran a casino, for Christ’s sake. It was obvious, he had to be making it up. Still fuming at being kidnapped by his two goons, she just stared at him, waiting for God only knew what.

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