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UPDATES TO THE CLUB

Wondering where the updates to the free clubhouse are? Have no fear! I'm working on a MAJOR update to that area in secret, but trust me. Not only will you get all the stories you see now, but so, so SO much more. What's your favorite genre to read? Comment down below!

COMING TO VIP

Coming to VIP in March 2018 and beyond! Get sexy in the office with Bad Boss. Get inside the dark brain of a mad man with Seven and reconnect with a tormented lover in King's Horses. Which one are you MOST excited to read? Leave your answer down below and that one may get an update sooner than later.




NEW TO VIP FOR A LIMITED AMOUNT OF TIME


Check out the draft of Beautiful Monsters book 2 for a limited time! Scroll down to read a full sample of the prologue. This book follows Espi in the wake of the events of Crescendo.


Prologue: Danny

I don’t put stock in concepts like heaven anymore. I’ve learned my lesson the hard way. Places, no matter how sacred they are, can always burn to the ground.

People are far more resilient, collecting damage over their battered souls like trophies. Put two such creatures together and they become like magnets. Clinging. Inseparable. Here and now, with this man inside me, I’m unreachable. For a second. Maybe two. The real world can’t touch us until we decide to let it.

Rolling onto his back, he groans in that unsettling way that makes my toes curl into the sheets. It's partly sated, partly pissed. He’s frowning, even as I face him and run m­­y fingers over his chest, delicately tracing the swath of tattoos adorning it. The caress doesn’t soften his expression. No, apparently sex can’t erase the darkness in his mind for long. Darkness I carved there with desperate, selfish strokes.

“You sure about this?” he grunts without looking at me, denying me that contact I crave. His gaze stubbornly fixates on the ceiling as I lower my head and press my lips to his chest. My Lucifer. He’s warm. Like fire. Like hell.

I can’t resist swiping my tongue against him, and I wind up tasting salt.

Rather than answer his question, I slide my thigh over his hip and mount him completely. He hisses when I do, automatically palming my waist as I straddle his hips. His crudely bitten lip conveys a statement he doesn’t voice out loud. No fair. He’s semi-hard already, stirring against my lower back. One swipe of my fingers along the tip has him shuddering beneath me, and my sly grin offers a nonverbal rebuttal. All is fair in war.

It’s cruel to tease, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I seek out his gaze—ruthlessly. Shamelessly. I watch the pleasure unfold across each indigo iris as I palm him, forming a fist in a series of quick, sure strokes. His eyes narrow, but rather than protest, he tilts his head back and braces his hands against the mattress. Resigned. Emboldened.

Think you can break me? Do it, then.

Dare accepted. My hair falls forward, across my face, as I lean down, bringing my lips as close to his as I dare. My right arm contorts against my back, my fingers still wrapped around him. Each stroke elicits a reaction he can’t hide, even as his gaze eyes me defiantly.

My Lucifer. He’ll never ever let me watch him fall. He prefers to drag me down with him. When I least expect it, one of his hands captures my hip, the callused fingers biting deep. Painfully. I do my best to bite back the moan building in my throat as his thumb begins a dangerous path toward my inner thigh. He chuckles at what he finds there: slick wetness. My body betrays me almost as eagerly as his does—not that either of us surrenders.

We fight fire with fire. Months of exploring him have armed me with ample knowledge to exploit. His neck is his sweet spot, a rare weakness. One swipe of my tongue and he tightens his grip on me in retaliation. A nip of his jugular between my teeth draws out a growl.

But as well as I’ve come to know him, he knows me better. Always. His fingers find that secret, sweet place inside me that makes every thought…

Disintegrate.

The next second, I’m on my back. He’s on top of me, marking his ownership by seizing my lips. He’s already staked his claim over my soul. My body.

But there is one part of me we both know he’ll never be able to claim. No matter how much I wish he could.

My mind is a corroded, warped lock box and no one has the key.

Not even I do.

“I could go alone?” I croak out against his mouth the moment his cock teases my entrance.

His eyes are blue fire as he braces his weight over one hand while the other guides the head of himself inside me. One thrust doesn’t sheath him the entire way, and the aching fullness draws out a cry I can’t suppress.

Oops. These walls are paper-thin and I suspect that the manager is already close to kicking us out after one damn night. Still…

He starts to thrust in earnest, and the pathetic whimpers deepen into full-throated moans. I can’t help it. He plays me like an instrument, manipulating the remaining shreds of my sanity. Our melody is a beautiful sound: wet skin rasping over skin mixed with intermittent gasps. But my tainted thoughts form a chorus, impossible to smother.

Through gritted teeth, I add, “I’ll go alone.”

He says nothing, thrusting a slow, steady rhythm until I can’t say a damn thing. My body copies his pace, hips arching into each thrust. Hard. Harsher. Harshest.

God, he feels so good—I’ll never get over that. Good the way salt does when ground into a wound. Painful. Burning. Sinful.

All I can do is savor. His skin. His mouth on my throat. His teeth delivering a searing tit-for-tat along my neckline, avenging my earlier assault. He’s vicious. I’m vengeful.

The next minute, I’m on top of him again, raking my nails down his chest, feeling the skin relent in their wake. “I’ll go alone,” I tell him, panting out the words as my body continues to rock on him. Back. Forth. Slow. Fast.

A curse revs up in his throat, ripping from him seconds before I feel him buck against me and grind out his release. Then his head falls back, his eyes drifting shut in bliss. My appreciative sigh disrupts loose strands of my hair. I rarely get to savor him like this. It’s surprisingly overwhelming, watching my devil revel in the feel of me.

It doesn’t last long though. Without warning, he shifts his weight, throwing me off. Instinct spurs my body into motion and I wind up on my knees, clutching the end of the mattress for balance.

“Like hell you are.”

The bed creaks on its flimsy frame and I turn my head just in time to see him climb to his feet. Another sigh escapes me. Light plays off the gold in his skin, enhancing the shadowy lines of each tattoo. He’s shaking, still riding the high of me. Without looking back, he pads to the corner of the dingy suite and fishes his jeans from the floor. After he gets them fastened, he stoops for another article of clothing and tosses it back to me.

“Let’s go.”

The abrupt change of heart isn’t worth challenging. Instead, I savor the victory and snatch up the shirt he threw to me. It’s one of his—my wardrobe staple lately. The gray cotton reeks of him: sweat, cologne, and that rare spice his skin emanates. It’s potent enough to distract me from the fact that, once again, I’ve manipulated him into doing my bidding. Not that he’ll ever call me out on it.

And he should.

Vinny always told me that I was selfish in the rare moments I felt brave enough to challenge him. “You only care about yourself, Daniela.” But that’s the irony my old tormentor didn’t live long enough to realize. The more I care about someone, the tighter I cling to them. The more I suffocate them. Even the devil isn’t immune. Dark circles haunt the skin around his eyes as he pulls another shirt on and heads for the door.

“Wait…”

He stiffens at the sound of my voice. It’s funny how we can communicate so well in frantic touches and hushed groans—but not like this. Out loud, spoken into the air with no sheets to smother the truth into.

“Have you talked to Espi?”

Guilt eats through the delicious aftermath of Dante. His brother is a sore topic we both avoid, like an open wound. Espi—sweet, kind Espi. I stole his brother away without a word of explanation. Does he hate me?

I would.

“No,” Dante says. His guttural tone draws an invisible line in the sand I instinctively heed. Not now.

Letting the topic go, I climb off the bed, and we pack up what little we’ve brought between the two of us. After five years spent trapped in one place, I'm awed by this newfound sense of wanderlust. The devil doesn’t seem to mind it though. He snatches up the ratty duffel we’ve been sharing and crams our meager belongings inside it. A toothbrush, a handful of clothes, and a wad of cash fished from underneath the mattress.

Along with something else. It’s small and misshapen. A trash bag? He withdraws something for it, and it’s black, slinky…

A dress?

Something glaringly out of place in a motel room that smells like piss and rotting garbage. He must have hidden it when I wasn’t watching. The price tag is still on it, and I suspect, even before he holds it up, that it’s in my size. Small, cut modestly, with a dangerously low neckline.

I can’t escape the comparison that flits across my skull: Vinny never would have picked out something so daring. To him, I was an object to be jealously guarded, but the devil seems to think the opposite.

“If you want to do this, then you need to look the fucking part.” His expression is stern as he holds the dress out to me, but I know him too well. He watches avidly as I curl my fingers around the surprisingly soft fabric.

It’s expensive, and given how little money we have between us, he must have scrounged the amount up on his own. Does that alarm me? Maybe. Secrets never bode well. At the same time…

We’re both selfish creatures at heart, still learning how to share. His eyes narrow as I take a step toward him and raise both hands above my head.

“Help me put it on.”

He muscles in closer, snagging the hem of my shirt in his fists. The background noise of sirens and traffic fades to a hum as he strips me bare right here in front of the window, for any passerby to see. Not that I care if we are being watched.

His endless gaze swallows me whole. His nearness alone is a prison more confining than any Vinny could have ever devised. Maybe because I don’t want to escape it… I could stay here for an eternity, just watching him watch me. Those cold eyes reveal nothing. I have to feel what he's thinking; even his touch holds a predatory efficiency. Without a care for the waste, he bunches his old shirt up and tosses it toward the small wastebasket. My new dress slides easily over my head, falling down to my knees. I move to take the shorts off myself, but he beats me to it, hiking the hem up to wrap his fingers around the waistband. One tug. Two. He doesn’t shy away from grinding his callused fingertips into my skin with every inch he frees from the confines. When the garment finally strikes the floor, I step out of it.

“Thank you,” I say, smoothing my hands along the soft fabric.

He frowns, insulted by my gratitude. I don’t think he’s used to it yet. Luckily, there is one language he appreciates beyond simple words.

Coiled, tense muscle ripples beneath my fingers as I run my hand along the length of his arm. The motion draws him in closer, his eyes drifting down to admire the skin bared beneath the neckline of his gift. When our gazes reconnect, he leans in and our lips meet. Soft. Gently. Violently. We can never play nicely for very long.

Sure enough, teeth come out to play seconds into the kiss. He nips my lower lip, hard enough to sting, as one of his hands fists in my hair, holding me steady. His tongue grinds against mine, erasing all traces of my thanks. Just when I start to push back, he pulls away, swiping at his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Let’s go,” he tells me, jerking his chin toward the door.

I follow him, running my hand along my hip to smooth the dress. He’s right. I catch sight of myself in the bathroom mirror and have to admit: I look the part. The dress hugs my body. Obscene, Vinny would have said. My hair hangs wildly around my shoulder, barely grazing my chin. I noticed the dark circles around his eyes, but mine sport the same. Together, we both look the part: fallen demons scrounging around hell.

Ready to conquer the whole damn thing.

“Come on.” He tugs on my wrist, pulling me along once again.

Together, we enter the hallway and leave the motel. The shadow of the massive buildings that tower around us blocks out most of the daylight. He picked this spot for its close proximity to the heart of the city. A hellish mecca where criminals lord over their subjects.

For all of his hesitation before, he doesn’t falter a single step as he turns down an alley, dragging me behind him by my wrist. In a dizzying rush, we skirt the bustling traffic of the mains street in favor of the shadows. He seems to dwell within them, my Lucifer. Darkness enhances the ebony in his hair as it fans across his face, obscuring those searing eyes.

I fall into step behind him, eyeing his broad shoulders, which are straining against the cotton of his shirt. His grip tightens, keeping me tethered to his side without my having to say a word. The action reassures me more than I’d like. What feels like an eternity ago, music used to be my refuge—not a person. Not someone so unreachable that, at times, it really does feel like he’s not human. Someone who knows me better than I’d like. We cling to each other, using our limbs like a leash. Which one of us really owns the other?

Who knows?

All that matters is the danger awaiting both of us at the end of the short trip to the heart of this rundown district. It’s deserted here. At the same time, the hair on the back of my neck rises on end with every step we take. It’s the same feeling I stomached during the years spent in Vinny’s suite.

Someone is watching me.

“From the left,” Dante mutters. He stiffens at the hint of danger in the air.

The danger I willingly led us into.

My steps quicken, which draws me to his side. I cock my head just enough for my voice to reach him. “Do you have…”

He doesn’t even have to answer. His right hand goes to his hip, brushing the bulge of a gun. Of course he’s armed.

So am I, admittedly in a very different way than he is. We guard of respective weapons closely, waiting until the last possible second before…

It happens fast. Two men appear from an alley up ahead. They’re dressed simply, shrouded in black hoodies and jeans. But I know the look in their eyes. I see it every day in the mirror: hunger. Hunger for power. Hunger for revenge.

“You’re late.” The speaker lingers beyond the mouth of the warehouse, just beyond sight. His voice is gruff. Familiar, though I’ve only heard it once before. A face comes to mind regardless. Dark, beady eyes. Short, graying black hair. His name is something long and Italian in origin. Vinny used to just call him Fitz.

He’s low-level. Someone Vinny used to call a “pusher.” A common thug who worked the streets, clearing the route for whatever drugs or women Vinny wanted to sell. They used to call him a mutt, a term that might be fitting, all things considered.

Where else does a mutt belong but a junkyard?

The air here reeks. Not even the breeze blowing off the wharf can dispel it. The closer I stand to Dante, the less the stink can reach me. But not even the devil can shield me from the worst of his realm.

“Are you ready for this, princess?” Fitz asks, his tone mocking but cautious. His posture straddles the thin line between wary and eager. “Once you fuck with the Russians, there is no going back. They’ll be out for blood.”

The Russians. A syndicate with an ironlike grip on the sex trade—and other illegal operations flooding the city with vice. Vinny considered them cherished business partners once.

Now? They’re the first on my list.

“I’m more than ready,” I say, surprised by how fiercely my voice comes out. “Are you?”

The men gathered around me share guarded looks and then nod.

“Good.” I hold my hand out, empowered by my new dress and the creature standing beside me. “Then give me a gun.”

After all, if I’m to destroy my old captor’s world, I have to enter the flames.


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