He was sent to kill me. So why can’t I resist his touch? A full-length standalone Russian Mafia romance with no cliffhanger.
I know I should be afraid of him. He’s huge. Powerful. Cold as ice.
But when he looks into my eyes, he can’t pull the trigger. And the way he gazes at me makes me weak.
Now we’re on the run together. They say he’s a monster, but I’ve glimpsed the person inside.
The man sent to kill me is the only one who can save me...and I might be the only one who can save him.
Recommended for 18+ due to adult scenes. Trigger advisory inside book.
Gabriella meets Alexei for the first time
It’s fair to say I was distracted. I heard the big guy move, in front of me, and just assumed that he’d move to the left, towards the little rack of milk and sugar and wooden stirrers. It was only when I took a step forward that I found he’d just turned around, and now we were practically touching.
I looked up.
My first impression was one of hardness. Everything about him was brutal, but not brutal and ugly. Brutal and beautiful. His suit was so black and its creases so sharp that it looked as if it would hurt, if you ran your hand down it. His gray raincoat glistened like a wet sword blade. The sheer size of him—a head taller than me and heavily muscled—made me think of some military machine, all power and strength. He looked as if he could go through a brick wall.
His shirt may have been white and pure, but it only worked to contrast the danger underneath. A powerful chest swelled under the soft fabric, pushing it out, drawing my eyes to follow the hard lines of him all the way to his shoulders. The collar almost hid his tattoos—I could see the very edge of them, a hair-width line of blue-black on his tan skin. There was no way to know what they were. But the very fact they were designed to be hidden meant they must be some sort of code, only to be revealed to the right people. I wanted to be one of those people.
He was gorgeous...but in a way I’d never seen before. His face was utterly uncompromising, as if a sculptor had carved it from ice-cold granite, filing away rock to form the high cheekbones, chiseling out that solid jaw. The fact he was still wet from the rain only added to the effect. It was like watching raindrops slide down a rugged cliff face, chasing each other over the valley of his upper lip, sliding down over the swell of his full lower lip—the one part of him that looked soft—and breaking up as they hit his darkly-stubbled jaw. He was thunderstorm-beautiful.
I heard coffee hit the ground and realized he’d spilled it towards himself, rather than spill it down my front. I looked down at his shoes, now steaming and wet. Then I looked back up and—
This time our eyes met and I felt a wrench. Like something had caught hold of my soul as it flitted along in life and brought it to an immediate, shuddering stop.
His eyes were steel-gray, shockingly light. I’ve never seen eyes like them, bright and clear but completely without warmth. Eyes that decided your fate in a millisecond. They had such an utter sense of purpose that they made everyone else look as if they were sleepwalking. Being under his gaze was scary as all hell. If I could have remembered how to move, I would have taken a step back. They were eyes that made you run.
As I stared into them, I thought I saw them change. I thought I saw the faintest hint of blue, like clouds breaking apart to reveal the sky. And that wrench happened again, pulling me towards him instead of away. I rocked on my heels, my brain screaming at me to go one way, the rest of me drawn forward.
And then I didn’t have a choice anymore, because he grabbed my wrist.
Alexei takes Gabriella to meet a Russian gang boss in a steam bath. One problem: they’re not allowed to wear any clothes.
I stared down at the tiles beneath my feet. They were a complex mosaic of black and white swirls and looked very, very old. “Um…”
“It is rules,” said Alexei. “Sorry.”
I wondered if he was really sorry. He looked sorry, but in the car I was sure I’d seen a hint of something else. A flash of raw lust at the thought of seeing me naked. All the moments we’d shared so far came back to me: his hand on my wrist, in the coffee shop; him on top of me, in my apartment; the way he’d been so protective of me, in the strip club.
He took his jacket off and I saw the holster he wore underneath. I gulped—I’d known it was there, but seeing it was still a shock. I’d never even seen a gun, in real life, until he’d pointed one at me, but Alexei just took the holster off and laid it in his locker like it was nothing at all. Then he rolled up his pants leg and there was another holster there, with another gun. Jesus. I just stood there staring like a moron. I could see faint hints of his Bratva tattoos through his shirt—and then, as he started to unbutton it, the harsh, black ink of them. He’s so completely different to me. He lives in a whole different world. I knew I was staring and I could feel he was aware of it, the tension building and building. I wanted to say something, but I had no idea how to even process something like this.
And then something happened that I could react to, a chance to delay things: he took out his phone.
“That’s your phone?” I blurted.
He turned and frowned. “What is wrong with phone?”
It was an ancient Nokia, a thick block of plastic with actual buttons you pushed and a one inch screen. “Please tell me it’s a retro-cool thing.” I stared at his uncomprehending face. “Oh God—it isn’t, is it?”
He shrugged. “It is simple. I like simple.”
I took my own phone out of my purse. “But new phones have cameras. And apps! And email and... I can even track this on my laptop, if it gets stolen, and find out where it is. What do you do if you lose that?”
He looked blank. “Buy another one.” Then he nodded at my clothes. “You should get undressed.”
I swallowed. So much for delaying things.
The idea of him seeing me naked terrified me. I barely knew him! And yet, at the same time, it sent a scarlet ribbon of heat twisting down my body, finishing at my groin. I glanced around, but there were no cubicles, nowhere to hide.
I settled for turning my back. I opened a locker and concentrated very very hard on the empty interior as I began to take off my clothes. My sweater, first—that was easy enough. I mean, I wouldn’t even be wearing that if it wasn’t so damn cold outside. I stripped it off over my head and put it in the locker.
Next, my blouse. Well, he’d already seen me in my underwear, back at the motel. So I unfastened it all the way and took it off. Then my sneakers and socks. Then, with shaking hands, I unfastened my jeans and bent to push them down my legs. I folded everything up and put them in my locker, surprised to find I was a little light-headed. I probably straightened up too quickly.
Now I was about to cross a line. This was the most of me he’d seen.
I reached back and felt for the clasp of my bra. Usually not a problem but—dammit, it was stuck—why wouldn’t it—
Warm hands suddenly took the straps from my fumbling fingers. My whole body went tense. The hands effortlessly unclipped the bra clasp and then retreated.
I swallowed. “Thank you,” I said in a strangled voice. Every beat of my heart seemed to reverberate throughout me, as if I’d turned into one giant kettle drum. The vibrations filled my ears and throat, shuddered outward through my breasts to ache and tingle at my nipples. They throbbed downward through my legs and back up to my groin, leaving me trembling.
I hooked one shoulder strap off me, then the other. I held onto the bra until the last possible moment and then tossed it into the locker along with everything else. And then I was standing there topless, my back to Alexei. How much can he see? I wasn’t certain. My breasts are on the large side so they weren’t hidden completely by my body. Even if I was precisely angled away from him, he could probably see some side boob.
I glanced down at my panties—simple black briefs. I hooked my thumbs into them and—
He’d stopped moving.
Sometimes, you aren’t aware of a noise until it stops. I realized now that I’d been hearing little movements and rustles of clothing behind me...but now they’d suddenly ended.
He was standing there, watching me.
You don’t know that.
Yes I do.
My heart seemed to speed up ten-fold. I was panting and I couldn’t pretend it was just due to the heat and humidity. I felt drunk on adrenaline, every square inch of revealed skin throbbing, so much more alive than ever before. I felt like—
I felt like one of the strippers, back in the strip club. Stripping off for men.
Stripping off for my man.
I can’t do this. I wasn’t that sort of woman. I can’t just—Not with a man I barely—
And then I remembered that I had to. And if I didn’t have a choice...well, that was okay, wasn’t it?
I bent at the hips, nowhere near as graceful as one of the strippers and very aware of how my breasts swung forward and hung down. I slid my panties down my legs—
--I heard an intake of breath behind me—
--and stepped out of them. I could feel his eyes on me, roving up my naked calves, up my thighs, up between my legs—
I knew I had to do it fast, or I’d never do it. I spun around to face him.
And realized I’d made a colossal error: I’d been so busy obsessing about taking off my clothes that I’d forgotten that he would be naked, too.
The first thing I saw was—no, not that. Not yet. I’d just turned around and my eyes were staring right at his chest. I’d glimpsed it when he’d taken that shower but now there was no half-closed shirt to get in the way. I could feast my eyes on those broad, powerful muscles, a solid wall of strength. His pecs flowed into massive shoulders. I thought of cannonballs: not just the shape of them but the heavy, hard mass. If you’d made a statue of Alexei, you would have had to cast it from iron. It was the only material that could possibly do him justice.
His tattoos were fully visible, now: the vicious-looking scorpion, the delicate rose and that big, muscled bull. Then those rows of hard, piano-key abs with the deep center line between them, defined but also big. The broadness of his chest made his waist look small by comparison so it was only when you got up close to him, as I was now, that you appreciated how big he was all over.
All. Over. My eyes dipped down below his waist and—
My brain went fzzt and refused to process, skipping to his legs.
He didn’t look like an underwear model. He was too big, too sturdy—he looked as if he’d crush an underwear model into the mud. He reminded me more of photos I’d seen of soldiers: muscles that were actually used for something, thick and hard and powerful. His calves seemed as big as my thighs—he looked as if he could stand firm in a hurricane.
And then I’d reached his feet and my gaze went automatically back up to—
O. M. G.
My first thought was that he was big.
My second thought was: that doesn’t make sense, because it looked as if he was only halfway hard.
Then my brain put those two together and it very nearly went fzzt again.
His cock was hanging down the side of one of those marvelously strong thighs. The skin was a soft tan, just a shade darker than the rest of him. The head was a blunt-nosed, purple-pink fruit hanging ripe at the end. Ripe and...swelling.
The shaft was thickening and hardening, right before my eyes. Hardening as he looked at—
I looked up into his eyes. There wasn’t a trace of embarrassment or guilt there. He was far past that. He held my gaze for a second and then I saw his eyes drop and rove over my naked body and I imagined his cock hardening and hardening, lifting to press against that washboard stomach. I didn’t dare look down at it again. My whole body was throbbing and pulsing, the tension between us building towards a screaming, nerve-shredding peak. I wanted to run and hide; I wanted to hurl myself at him and feel his hard body against me...inside me—
Alexei drew in a shuddering breath and twisted away. “We should go,” he said. And turned towards the door, plucking a towel out of the basket on his way. His ass was tight and hard, dimpling hypnotically as he walked.
I hurried after him, grabbed a towel and tried to brace myself for whatever was next.
I write the Kissing books, which are bad boy romances, usually with at least one character being caught up in crime. Each book is a standalone. So far we’ve had:
Lying and Kissing – A troubled CIA agent is sent to Moscow to spy on a Russian mafia boss, but finds herself falling for him. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B010IFZMXQ/
Punching and Kissing – To save her brother’s life, a young woman volunteers to take his place in an illegal, underground fight. Her only hope is to persuade the gorgeous Irish badass, Aedan O’Harra, to train her. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B012LOWUPA/
Texas Kissing – On the run from her Mafia roots, a forger hides out in Texas. She doesn’t expect to have her solitude shattered by a huge cowboy called Bull who decides she has to be his. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B014GEGEG4/
I like to write when it’s gray, cold and rainy outside. Fortunately, I live in the UK so that’s most of the time. My first series was the Fenbrook Academy New Adult romance trilogy about a ballet, music and drama student finding love with (respectively) a billionaire, a bad boy Irish guitarist and a cop. This is now available in a box set. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017IZRX6S/