Page 24 of Code of Silence

“Let me worry about the board.” Standing, I button my suit jacket. “You will allow me full rein of all fifteen locations in exchange for twenty percent of my incoming finances. And in the meantime, I won’t rat you out to the feds.”

He falls into his chair and lets out a sigh. He’s thinking about it. Good. It’s a fair offer. I’m not gonna railroad him because I want something else of his as well.

He concedes, releasing a long breath. “I’ll see what I can do.”

“And I want Haven.”

“What?” he snaps, jumping back to his feet. “Absolutely not!”

I snap my fingers. “Nite.” He walks over and drops the black bag on top of the desk. “Open it,” I order Jimmy.

He arches a brow, staring down at it, but eventually, his curiosity gets the better of him, and he unzips it. He pulls out stacks of hundreds. “What …?”

“In exchange for her hand in marriage, I will give you five million dollars.”

“Marriage?” he whispers softly as if he can’t say it out loud, but the way his eyes light up at the cash he grips in his hands tells me I’ve already won. He’s in deep debt. So, what if he sells his only child? His adopted child? She doesn’t mean anything to him. Not like she does me.

“I’ll let you think about it.” I turn, letting him keep what little money is in there right now while he thinks about it. As I place my hand on the doorknob, he speaks.

“Wait.”

I bite back a smile, turning to face him.

He stands there, both hands gripping a stack of money, and his chest heaves in his tight button-down. But his eyes tell me all I need to know. She’s mine.

That was three months ago. I needed things to be set in place because I couldn’t just go and grab her. Papers needed to be signed, and I needed access to all the locations before I stepped in and removed her from her home. I needed my ducks in a row. She was the last one ’cause I knew she would be the only one to fight me.

But in the end, she would lose.

And it didn’t take more than a few days for him to come around. He was practically drooling when I handed him the money and couldn’t get her to sign fast enough.

I turn off the shower and step out. Wrapping the towel around my hips, I walk back into the bedroom just as I hear commotion downstairs.

Making my way to the first level, I walk into the spare bedroom, listening to the shower turn on in the adjoining bathroom. I enter and see her removing her sports bra and then shoving the sweaty yoga pants down her thin legs. And I have to fight the urge to shove her to her knees and fuck her mouth. She always gave great head. The woman knew how to use that mouth. Even if at times I wanted to duct tape the damn thing shut.

I’m not sure why she’s being such a bitch now. I paid for her. Her father was the one who tossed her to the side. I want to make her my queen and give her anything she wants. All she has to do is ask, but I’m starting to lose my patience. And that is not a good thing for her. She’s gonna push me to the point I’ll no longer give a fuck, and then she’ll hate me even more.

She stiffens when her eyes meet mine in the large bathroom mirror.

I push off the wall and walk up behind her. Placing my hands on her narrow hips, I lean down and kiss her bare shoulder. She glares at me in the mirror.

“Good morning, Haven,” I whisper, and I feel her body shiver.

She wants me. She always has. I’ve been able to push her in ways that no other guy could. Ever since I saw her in grade school, I wanted her. She wasn’t like all the other girls who wanted to be seen with me. She didn’t care one bit.

“I bought you flowers.” I gather up her mess of a hair into my fist. I run my lips across the top of her back to her other shoulder, softly kissing her damp skin.

“Flowers die,” she growls.

I smile against her skin. “Would you prefer diamonds?”

“Diamonds were just once coal,” she bites out.

“How about orgasms?” I ask, tightening my fist in her hair and pulling her head back. My free hand slides around her skinny waist and dips between her legs.

She pushes me off her and spins around to face me. “Luca …”

I slam my lips to hers, cutting her off, and grind my hips into hers. The movement has the knot holding my towel on loosening and falling to the floor at our feet.

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