The sudden and sharp vibration coming from under my pillow jolts me awake. I crack open my eyes then slam them shut before I can clear my fuzzy vision. A burning sensation follows. Everything aches. My mouth is drier than a camel’s asshole during a sandstorm, and I can barely swallow.
I slide my fingers under the pillow and stab buttons on the side of my phone until the buzzing sound stops.
A few deep breaths later, when I’m somewhat confident that I’m not going to hurl all over the thick white comforter, I slowly roll onto my back and try again to open my eyes.
I tilt my head backward to see what’s behind me since my brain is thick with cobwebs.
Jumbled pieces of the puzzle start to fit together as I take in the décor that barely got a glance last night before I fell into this bed. Deep red and ivory jacquard curtains hang on the wall behind the king size bed. Large brass wall sconces hang on either side.
This suite is way different than the simple gold room I’d booked for myself at the Fairmont Hotel so I’d have a place to crash after I drowned my sorrows in way too many cocktails at the bar.
I scrub a hand down the front of my face, my aching brain trying hard to weave together the events that led me into this bed, not the one in the room I’d reserved. Flashbacks of me walking…or actually, stumbling, inside the suite, teetering in my high heels and clutching that damn white envelope, wallpaper my mind.
Bile rises in my throat. I clap a hand over my mouth before making an attempt to choke it down. I force my eyes toward the large picture window that overlooks the city. Gauze white curtains cover the glass. More jacquard hangs in thick sections on either side of the window.
Suddenly, a flood of splintered images of me being fucked hard against that window last night pop between my ears like bullets.
I should have kept my mouth shut and enjoyed my cherry nastoyanka alone. But after the grieving comes the avoidance, a distraction of the most sinful kind.
It was the kind of distraction I desperately needed when I found out that The Julliard School in New York City flatly denied me entry to their revered institution.
My temples throb like a relentless banging gong. The massive pain between my ears screams for relief, relief I figured I’d get with alcohol down at the hotel bar here at the Fairmont Kiev.
I did get some, for a few hours. But then things kind of went down a dangerously slippery slope, landing me in a bubble of erotic bliss filled with mind-bending and body-sizzling filthy hot sex with an angry but devilishly sexy stranger.
“Thank you for your interest, but we regret to inform you that you have not been selected as a candidate for the Bachelor of Music program. We appreciate your interest and wish you well in your future musical endeavors.”
All the vodka in the world couldn’t numb the pain before Adonis himself entered the bar. Even being fucked six ways from Sunday couldn’t block out the pain of reading those words, hearing them spoken in my mind, over and over again.
The grimace that twisted the stranger’s lips, his tight jaw, and his stiff spine screamed volumes but I was too drunk to care by that point. The bleeping “fuck off” sign on his forehead was more of a challenge to my drunk brain than a warning. And I ignored it the second he sank into the stool next to me and ordered a double of Stolichnaya vodka.
“You know, drinking straight vodka here in Ukraine is believed to be indecent,” I say, swaying into him. “You’re obviously a tourist.”
He turns. I gasp at the fire glittering in his blue eyes. They’re so piercing, I almost feel the jab when he narrows his eyes into a harsh glare.
“And you’re obviously drunk.”
I hold up my glass. “Obviously.”
“And you think getting hammered in a bar by yourself is decent?”
I flash what I hope looks like a seductive smile and lean closer. The stool swivels and I spin off of it, landing with my head in his lap. A snort of laughter escapes my lips. I grab his thigh for balance and almost swoon, it’s so muscular.
“Right now, I have no interest in being decent. In fact, I’d really like to be indecent. With you.”
And I was. So very indecent.
The second I put my offer out there, my mysterious stranger seemed to forget about whatever was flicking his dick, too. All the raging endorphins helped us both, I guess.
I swallow a groan when my phone buzzes again. How? I muted the damn alarm. I pull it out from under the pillow and squint at the screen.
Not my alarm.
It’s a call from my brother, Hadeon. But I can’t take his call and risk waking the guy next to me who shall still remain nameless because I can’t remember if I ever heard it in the first place.
I pull the silky white sheet up to my chin, a delicious shiver dancing over my goosebump-pebbled skin. His intoxicating masculine scent hovers in the air like a thick, billowy cloud of abandon, daring me to touch him, to lick him, to jump on top of him and ride him like a tidal wave. But I can’t let myself get caught in his deviant riptide again.
He caught me in a weak and alcohol-tinged moment and it was exactly what I’d needed.
But now, I need to figure out what the hell I’m going to do with my life since the letter I got effectively shattered it.
The man lets out a deep sigh. His long, tan leg kicks away the sheet, exposing his taut ass.
My dry as a camel’s ass mouth actually waters at the sight.
I need to get the hell out of here.
Seconds later, I’m crawling around the thick wine-colored carpet in search of my clothes. I find everything but my panties.
Commando it is.
I dress quickly and as quietly. But, of course, I manage to trip over one of my shoes while tugging on my skirt. I land in an armchair with a loud woof!, silently cursing my clumsiness.
Adonis rolls over to face me, his blue eyes a little bloodshot but still heart-stopping. The scythe inked onto his left shoulder draws my gaze.
He told me it symbolizes justice and death, and how he never shies away from serving up both to those who deserve it.
Maybe he really is the Devil.
I manage a sheepish smile. “Sorry about the noise.”
Heat rises in my cheeks. Dammit. I’m not the one-night stand kind of girl and I have no idea how to navigate the morning after awkwardness.
“This morning or last night?”
My insides erupt into flames like they’ve been dipped in gasoline and I’ve just swallowed a match. Oh my God, how loud was I? “I didn’t mean to wake you.”
“Women don’t usually try to sneak out on me.”
I clear my throat. “I, um, I’m sorry but I have a meeting that I need to get to—”
“On a Saturday morning.” He flips back over, now facing away from me, his ripped, tattooed back on full display. “Have fun with that.”
I pull on my shirt, slide my feet into my heels, and stand up from the chair, ready to bolt for the door. I take a few steps and slam my fists against my legs.
My phone is still under the pillow.
I tiptoe back toward the bed and gingerly slip my hand under the pillow. My brow furrows.
Where the hell—?
The guy lets out a dry chuckle and holds it up without turning toward me.
“You’re holding it hostage?” I ask with a huff. “Don’t you know it screams desperation to try and keep the girl from leaving the morning after?”
He slowly flips onto his back, the sheet jostled enough so that it only covers his ankles. My eyes rake hungrily over every cut of muscle, landing on the deep vee of his hips. I gulp when my eyes travel farther south.
Holy hell, was that thing really inside of me?
My knees lock together because I really want it to be inside of me again.
I lick my lips without thinking and he must see because his full lips curl into a mischievous smirk.
“You’ll probably need this for your meeting,” he says, tossing it to me.
The phone is like a hot potato in my hands and I almost drop it twice before I finally stuff it into my handbag. With a flip of my hair, I force a smile.
“Thank you for last night. I hope that your, ah, business thing works out for you.”
His eyes darken. “It will. It always does. Justice and death, remember?”
A chill whispers against my skin. I had a one-night stand with some random guy who does not only sexually deviant things but criminal ones, too. It’s not at all what I bargained for when I fell into his lap but makes me all the more anxious to get the hell out of this room before he swings his net around and captures me before I have a chance to escape.
I back away from the bed, turn, and jog toward the door. I undo all of the locks and deadbolts, pull it open, and dart into the hallway. When the door slams shut, I turn around and collapse against it, holding a hand to my chest.
What a freaking night.
I give my head a quick shake and walk quickly toward the elevator. My phone buzzes again. I unzip my bag and pull it out. With a roll of my eyes, I stab the Accept button.
“Hadeon, do you know what time it is? What the heck could you possibly—?”
His foreboding tone causes a chill to lick at the hairs on the back of my neck. My lips part but my mind is afraid to send the words to the tip of my tongue.
“You need to get home right away. Tato was shot last night.” Hadeon’s normally strong and self-assured voice cracks, just like my heart does. “He’s dead.”
Eight Weeks Later
Tears spring to my eyes.
As if this past year hasn’t been a total and complete shit show of the most epic proportions imaginable. The loss and heartache of losing my father, the unraveling of his legacy and mafia empire, and now this.
I hold up the pregnancy test, staring hard at the prominent pink line, willing it to turn back to white.