Authors: Michelle St. James
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Women's Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #Romance, #Contemporary, #Contemporary Fiction, #Action & Adventure, #Mystery; Thriller & Suspense, #New Adult & College
He stopped circling her clit and slipped his fingers between her folds. She moaned from the exquisite pleasure of it, then gasped when he slid two fingers inside her.
“You’re so hot, baby,” he murmured. “So wet.”
“It’s for you,” she said, moving on his fingers, letting the water do some of the work as she matched his pace. “All for you.”
He lowered his head to one breast, the nipple hard and peaked with her arousal, water beading the plump flesh of her breast. A moment later his mouth, warm and moist, closed around it while he continued fucking her with his fingers.
“Luca…” She let her body sink lower, wanting his fingers all the way inside her.
He raked her nipple with his teeth, then soothed it with gentle laps of his tongue before taking the whole thing in his mouth and sucking until she arched her back.
She wanted more. All of it. All of him. Everything.
She lifted her head. “I need you inside me.”
“I am inside you,” he teased.
She met his gaze, fierce and intent in the moonlight. “I need your cock inside me, Luca.”
He slid his fingers out of her and positioned her ass over his head, then captured her lips with his mouth as he plunged into her. Her cry of pleasure was muffled by the hunger in his kiss, and he sucked on her tongue as he drove into her again, then nibbled on her lower lip as he dragged his cock out of her. They were working with the sea now, their timing every bit as primal as the tide moving around them. She tightened her thighs around his hips, then sunk deep onto his massive shaft as he drove into her again.
He growled. “Fuck, Isabel…”
He moved faster, the gentle rush of waves to shore a backdrop to their shallow breathing as he grew bigger and harder inside her, filling her wall to wall until she thought she might explode from the pleasure of it. It was so exquisite that it almost bordered on pain.
But she didn’t want him to stop. It felt too good, his body rubbing her clit, the friction nudging her that much closer to the cliff of her orgasm as he pumped into her again and again.
“Please,” she said, moving with him.
“Please what, Isabel? Tell me,” he commanded.
“Fuck me harder, Luca. Make me come on your cock.”
She was in that place he always took her. A place where she was no longer Isabel Fuentes. No longer fearful of being called a whore. No longer ashamed of her body. Of what it wanted. What she wanted. The words that came out of her mouth when they were like this hardly seemed to belong to her, and at the same time, they were the truest words she’d ever spoken, said from a place of raw desire, a need that blacked out all others.
He moved faster, drove into her harder. She was lifting into the air, her body weightless as the orgasm took hold, first around the edges of her clit and then to the deepest part of her pussy until it exploded, a ferocious volcano that kept erupting even as he dragged out of her and pushed into her again, shuddering as he pumped his hot seed into her, spreading her ass so he was buried all the way inside her, letting the contractions from her own orgasm milk him of every last drop of his.
When it was over, she clung to him, the water lapping against their bodies. She was limp with pleasure, and he turned her around in his arms so that he was carrying her like a small child, her naked body wet and bare to the sky and moon above them. He gazed down at her with something like reverence.
“I keep thinking I’ll get used to how beautiful you are, Isabel. But it never happens. You’re so fucking beautiful you make my heart hurt.”
Her own heart squeezed, and she looped an arm around his neck and pulled his face down, touched her lips softly to his.
“No pain between us,
” she said softly. “Only love.”
later Luca was leaving a seedy bar in North Miami when the hair stood up on the back of his neck. He glanced around behind his sunglasses and continued to his car at the far end of the parking lot, trying to act casual while every nerve in his body was on high alert.
He was on dangerous ground. After his failed attempt to get information from Benito, he’d resorted to frequenting establishments reportedly under the control of the Columbians, hoping someone had heard about the feud between Lorenzo Sanchez and Diego. The information he wanted wasn’t directly related to the business, but he worked his way from those questions to others; did anyone know where Diego met his shipments? How were his pushers supplied? Did Diego and Sanchez ever meet in person?
His questions had nothing to do with the feud between Diego and Lorenzo Sanchez. Frankly, he couldn’t have cared less if they blew each other to bits and fed the pieces to the sharks.
But Sofia had been gone almost six weeks. Isabel was getting more and more grim. Even Marco’s expression belied his worry — and that was saying something. Elia had taken to stalking the house, uttering strings of curses that could have won awards for originality. Luca knew the words were aimed at Diego, but it seemed futile when the man was nowhere to be found. At least Elia made a point to zip it when Isabel was around.
He heard footsteps on the pavement behind him and resisted the urge to look back. He was being followed. That much was obvious. He wasn’t even that surprised. He’d been courting the devil by asking questions on Sanchez’s territory. Maybe he’d even been subconsciously hoping the man would show himself.
But somehow he’d never counted on it going down like this — alone in a deserted parking lot at the end of the night.
He made a subtle move to position his hands near his weapon. Or maybe not so subtle at all, because a second later, someone grabbed him from behind and shoved him up against his car. He spun in the guy’s grip and landed a vicious blow to his face before bringing his knee up to his stomach.
He hardly had time to notice that the guy wasn’t very big, not nearly as big as he should have been to come after Luca, when a black van barreled forward from the other end of the parking lot, skidding to a stop in front of them. He pulled out his weapon, but he wasn’t fast enough for the five men who swarmed around him, all of them with semi-automatics raised and ready to fire. He was trying to figure out a way to take them all down when the first guy stumbled off the ground and punched him in the stomach.
Luca barely felt it, but then the guy pulled a weapon out of his waistband and turned it around in his hand. He brought it down on the side of Luca’s head.
After that there were only flashes.
A hard metal floor pressed against his face.
A series of leering expressions set against a backdrop of Spanish spoken too quickly for him to grasp the meaning in the words.
Metal pipes and beams overhead.
When he woke he was strapped to a chair, his head throbbing like a motherfucker. Something dripped from his forehead, but he was prevented from swiping at it by the restraints around his wrists.
And his feet, he noticed next.
“Oye, ano está despierto.”
The asshole is awake.
Luca lifted his head, wincing at the pain behind his eyes, and searched the shadows of the cavernous space around him. He was in some kind of warehouse. A bare bulb shone above him, but the rest of the space was dark, the shadows seeming to reach with dark fingers from the edges of the room.
Or maybe that was just unconsciousness threatening to take him again.
Right. The voice. Luca tried to focus on it, following the sound to a figure leaning against the wall of the warehouse a few feet away.
“Who are you?” Luca asked. The words felt strange coming from his mouth. Thick and swollen. Had the bastards beaten him up after they’d knocked him unconscious? Fucking cowards. “What do you want?”
“Hacemos las preguntas aquí,”
the man said, his eyes unreadable from across the room.
The man turned, his shoes squeaking on the concrete floor as he disappeared through a metal door. The room was quiet except for a humming sound from somewhere in its bowels. Electricity? Some kind of machine? Luca didn’t know.
He tested the strength of the restraints at his hands and feet and discovered they were zip ties — the kind law enforcement now routinely used in lieu of handcuffs. The kind that were almost impossible to break or stretch.
No escape then. Not until they untied him, made a mistake. Or until he could get his hands on something sharp enough to cut the ties.
He turned his attention to his captors. They obviously wanted something. If they hadn’t, they would have killed him already. It was a good sign, although Luca had learned not to trust drug lords to do the reasonable thing. Still, they would talk to him before they killed him at least.
Which meant his best chance of survival lay in proving he was worth something even after the conversation.
The metal door opened and five men stepped through it. There was the man from the parking lot — the one he’d clocked who had returned the favor by pistol whipping him — and three others flanking a man at their center. Luca knew who he was immediately.
There weren’t a lot of pictures of the Columbian kingpin on the internet, but it was impossible to be totally invisible in the era of social media, Google, and mass surveillance. Luca had come across the few photos he’d found when he’d done his homework on Sanchez, hoping for an angle that might lead him to Diego. Now it was easy to tell he was looking at the infamous drug lord, both from the dark hair slicked back from his head and the small, brown eyes that seemed to see right through him. He was tall and slender, with a narrow, angular face that made Luca think of a viper.
He recognized the formation of the men, two on each side, Sanchez in the middle. It was the same formation he had once used while protecting Nico, and it immediately told everyone who was most important.
They came toward him, their shadows expanding across the light cast from the bulb overhead. Sanchez’s dress shoes clicked on the floor, and when he came to a stop in front of Luca’s chair, Luca saw that his suit was immaculately cut.
The men fanned out on either side, giving Sanchez some space. He studied Luca with a practiced eye before speaking.
“Luca Cassano,” he said. “What are you doing in my territory?”
Luca shook his head. “Your territory?”
Sanchez sighed, twisting a ring on his finger. “Playing dumb is a very bad idea.” His English was heavily accented, his diction careful and polished. The accent of a well-educated man. Luca wasn’t surprised. He’d heard that Sanchez was a first generation immigrant who had attended Yale. “We know that you’ve been sniffing around, and since you work for Diego Fuentes we can only assume you are doing so at his behest.”
“Fuentes isn’t my employer,” Luca said through his swollen lips. “Not anymore.”
“You still live at the Fuentes house in Coral Gables, yes?” he said, his tone bored. “You’re still fucking Fuentes’s sister?”
Hearing Isabel mentioned so casually by someone like Sanchez set off the barely controlled rage in him, and he strained at his bindings, his voice guttural as he yelled at Sanchez. “Don’t you fucking talk about her. Don’t you fucking dare.”
Sanchez smiled. “You Italians. So protective of your women. It’s a liability, you know.”
Luca didn’t answer. He focused instead on getting his temper under control. On trying to figure out his next move.
“If you don’t work for Fuentes,” Sanchez continued, “why have you been asking around our territory?”
Luca considered his answer. If he told Sanchez that Diego was missing, he was alerting Diego’s competition to a hole in the Miami territory, and while he couldn’t care less if Sanchez took over Diego’s turf, he didn’t want Sofia to become a pawn in a drug war, didn’t want to alert Sanchez to a weakness that might compromise Sofia’s safety before they could bring her home.
“Fuentes is a crazy bastard,” Luca said. “I heard there was a rift between you.”
Sanchez raised an eyebrow. “And you seek to… capitalize on this rift?”
Luca should his head. “I seek to understand it so I can get Fuentes’s little sisters out before the war starts.”
Sanchez paced in front of him, considering Luca’s words. “Why should I believe you?”
“I don’t give a fuck whether you believe me.” He could have tried placating Sanchez, sucking up. But that wasn’t the right move with someone like him. He wouldn’t respect Luca then. Wouldn’t see him as being on the same playing field as he and his men. “It’s the truth, and if anyone knows what a fucking psychopath Fuentes is, I assume it would be you.”
“Am I to understand that you’re interested in a partnership?” Sanchez said.
“Not at all. I’m just trying to get the lay of the land. Stay under the radar until I can get the girls to safety.”
His lips turned up into a chilling smile. “How chivalrous.”
Luca tried to shrug within the bounds of his restraints. “We don’t often get the chance to do the right thing. I take it when I can.”
“Maybe I should kill you,” Sanchez said. “Make sure the Italians aren’t trying to take over our business.”
Luca laughed, but it came out sounding harsh and guttural though his split lip. “The Syndicate has fallen. Our business is in shambles.”
“I did hear something about that.” He shook his head sadly. “And that some of the men turned traitor to their own.”
“I wouldn’t know about that.” A knot began to form in Luca’s stomach. How much did Sanchez know about what went down between Nico and Raneiro? And did he connect Luca to any of it?
“Is that right?” Sanchez held his gaze.
“That’s right.” He sighed. “Listen, I don’t know what else you want me to say. Fuentes can rot in hell for all I care. I’m not interested in being part of your war. Just tell me when would be a good time to get the girls out, and we’ll be on our way.”
He seemed to consider Luca’s words, his men silent, still standing off to the side, pretending like they weren’t listening when Luca knew they were probably absorbing every word.
“Why should I do such a thing?” Sanchez finally asked. “If you are lying, I could be letting a spy back into the waters of our business.”
“And if I’m not, you’ll be responsible for the continued abuse of two innocent girls, not to mention getting on the bad side of some men who would hold their own with your flunkies here. And while I’m sure you’d be willing to take the chance if things were stable, have a good old fashioned war, my hunch is that things aren’t stable right now. A war with my people would make things exponentially more complicated for you.”
He didn’t know if it was true. The people who had been his brothers in the Syndicate had scattered to the wind — all except Mario and Elia, and maybe Farrell in a pinch. But letting someone like Sanchez know he was alone was almost as dangerous as allowing him to think Luca was going after his territory.
“I’ll tell you what,” Sanchez said. “You tell me when and where my drugs are coming in, and I’ll let you go.”
“Where your…” Luca shook his head. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Sanchez looked at the big man on his right and nodded. The man came forward and punched Luca’s already throbbing face.
“Fuck!” Luca said, spitting blood onto the concrete floor of the warehouse. “Beating me senseless isn’t going to give me information I don’t have.”
“If you don’t have it, you are of no use to me.” Sanchez turned away. “Kill him.”
“I said I don’t have it,” Luca said. “Not that I couldn’t get it.”
Sanchez turned around, walked back toward him. “And can you?”
“I think so,” Luca said. “If you tell me what’s going on.”
“If you worked for Fuentes, you should know.”
“Well, I don’t,” Luca said. “Why don’t you fill me in so I can help us both.”
“Diego Fuentes has been selling in my territory.” Sanchez said it slowly, like he was talking to a child. “I have let it go until now because it is my understanding he is not entirely… stable, and so far, the damage to my business has been small. But now he has tapped my supplier in Columbia in direct violation of our agreement. When my supplier sells all his drugs to my competitors, it creates a supply problem for me. Do you understand?”
“Diego’s got a big shipment coming in from your supplier?”
“That’s right,” Sanchez said. “And I’d like to know when and where, both so I can reclaim what is mine and so that I can deal with Fuentes in a convincing manner.”
Luca thought about the spreadsheets he’d taken off Diego’s computer when they’d stolen the video of Isabel. “I think I might be able to get that information,” he said. “In exchange for a heads up so I can get the sisters out before the shit hits the fan.”
He tried not to think about what would happen if Sanchez found out Diego was MIA and Luca hadn’t said anything about it. He was playing fast and loose. He knew it could get him in trouble later, but right now he was just trying to stay alive long enough to save Sofia and get her and Isabel as far from Miami as possible.
He was still debating whether the strategy was a good one when Sanchez turned on his heel and started from the big room. “Cut him loose,” he said to no one in particular. When he got to the door, he turned around. “I had better hear from you soon,