Home > Bound to Deception(2)

Bound to Deception(2)
Author: J.L. Beck

She leans in and whispers, “Did he do that to you? What else did he do? Why didn’t you call the police?”

I sigh and give her a look she hopefully takes as me calling her stupid without calling her stupid. “You don’t call the cops around here. That’s just not how it works.”

“But they said everyone here works for themselves. That everyone is happy to be here.”

I shrug. “We are all here of our own free will, but see if you can get a cop out here, especially for one of Doubeck’s crew.”

This time I’ve finally gotten to her. She recognizes the name. As anyone from around here would. The color drains from her face, and she races around me, down the hallway back to the dressing room. I chuckle. She wouldn’t have made it in this life anyway.

Now that the coast is clear, I maneuver the drinks and slip the tiny packet of drugs Essex gave me into the double shot of vodka.

Then I give it a bit of a swirl and clutch the glasses close to my chest so he has a reason to look. I need him on the line before I reel him in.

I head back to the VIP area and slide into the empty spot he left at the edge of the booth for me.

He stares down at my cleavage or the drinks; either way, he’s looking. “What are you drinking?”

I peek at the clear liquid in the glass. “Vodka, same as you, I think.”

I never drink when I’m working, but tonight is an exception. It might make certain things easier to take, but tonight, I don’t want to be clear-headed. At least if half of what they say about Ivan is true.

He grabs his glass and holds it in his hand as his arms spread across the back of the booth. The motion strains the seams of his black suit. He’s handsome in an edgy, I’ll fuck you so hard you’ll be sore, kind of way. Too bad he’s going to murder me soon.

I hold my glass up. “Cheers?”

His eyes narrow, and he scoots closer to me in the booth. The motion is silent. Not even the leather of the seat creaks as he moves. I catch the scent of him, something smoky and dark. It should disgust me. Turn me off, knowing how the night is about to go, but I can’t seem to make my brain hate him. Hell, he’s not the one sitting here trying to drug me. Whatever happens tonight, I’ll have brought on myself.

“You look nervous. Do I make you nervous…” He pauses. “Priscilla, was it?”

I clutch my drink in both hands and nod. “You can call me Cilla if you want.”

“Ivan.”

I nod and don’t explain how all the girls know the entire Doubeck family lineup. Landing one for the night is bragging rights for a while. Especially now with so many seemingly off the market.

“Well, Cilla.” He shifts his legs until his thigh presses against the outside of mine. “Do you want to go somewhere a bit more private with me?”

I swallow, my gut churning. Shit. This is it. I thought I was prepared. I thought I was ready. Now I feel like I’m going to puke and run away at the same time.

No. I have to do this. One way or the other.

If Ivan kills me…I’m free.

If I manage to drug him…and survive…my father will let me go.

No more late-night visits to his drunk friends. No more using me to seduce unsuspecting clients.

So…there’s only one way forward. I give him another smile. My real one and nod. “Let’s go.”

 

 

2

 

 

IVAN

 

 

The little prostitute, half my size, tried to drug me. From the second she threw herself on my lap, I smelled bullshit in the air. But she’s cute with her long blond hair, and I caught a hint of garter under the edge of her black dress. So instead of pulling out my gun and putting a bullet in her temple, I let her play things out.

My paranoid nature means I never take drinks from strangers. In case I find myself in a situation where I might have to drink something, I always wear a thin layer of drug-detecting nail polish on my pinky finger. Andrea gives me shit about it, but after tonight, she’s never going to be able to laugh at me again.

I barely inserted my finger into the drink, and the polish lit up pink. Kai will get pissed at me if I shoot her in our casino, so I’ll take her somewhere private and handle things from there.

She slides out of the booth and wobbles on her ridiculous shoes. No way in hell she’d be able to run in those if she needed to. I snag her drink and mine off the table and tip my head toward the exit.

We head toward the elevator, and she stops, frozen, staring at the chrome doors.

I crowd her on the other side. “Are you going to push the button?”

She shakes herself and rushes over to jab the up arrow. “Sorry, got distracted for a moment.”

As we step inside and the doors whoosh shut, I can’t resist the urge to fuck with her a little bit. “You didn’t name your price.”

She turns to look up at my face. Damn, she has to be at least a foot shorter than me. Gun it is, then. Strangling her would be uncomfortable.

“Oh uh…I just liked the way you looked. On the house tonight.”

I chuckle darkly as the elevator stops. “Your house is my house, as you well know.”

Instead of waiting for her, I head toward the suite, giving her one last chance to reconsider. If she walks away now, I’ll tamp down the urge to chase her. Hell, I might not even hunt her down in the future.

As I expect, she follows me toward the door of my suite. I jostle the glasses, keeping the drugged one in the front, and swipe the key card to enter the room.

Once inside, the heavy door slams shut, and I lock it and latch it behind her.

She watches, then turns to face the dimly lit room. It’s sparse. Unlike my family, I don’t need much. A bed, a bar, a closet, and a bathroom, are about it.

I watch her closely as she surveys my suite, her gaze lands on a pile of weapons stacked neatly on a side table. “That is a lot of knives.”

Slowly, I inch closer to her. “The better to cut you with, my dear.”

She spins to face me, no doubt realizing she left a predator behind her. “Ha ha, very funny.”

I don’t laugh and thrust the drink toward her. “Cheers.”

She takes it and holds it up between us. I clink mine against hers, lock our gazes, and throw the two shots of vodka back like it’s water.

When she does the same, I take both glasses and sit them on the bar. A warm hand touches my back, so warm I can feel it through my suit jacket.

“Why don’t you take this off, hmm…get comfortable?”

I shrug out of it without facing her and drape it over my weapon pile. There are enough knives on me that I’ll be fine if she decides to kill me when her plan fails.

Finally, when I know I won’t lash out, following the dark thoughts jabbering through my head telling me to do unspeakable things to her, I turn. She’s bathed in the dim light, and her tan skin glows. The dress cups her wide hips and full breasts so well I can’t help but look.

She shifts to catch the light off her cleavage. “See something you like?”

I do a quick check to make sure she didn’t drug me after all. It’s not like me to be attracted to anyone. A good fuck is fine, but I don’t make a habit of sitting around and checking put women. They are usually too stupid, and I get turned off when they open their mouths. For some reason, I’m not feeling that with Cilla.

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