Jonathan flashed Cecelia a broad grin, imbuing it with a predatory edge that he knew would awaken the desire within her. And it wasn’t too difficult a role for him to play. The petite brunette was gorgeous, after all, with strikingly blue eyes and full, red lips. Her high cheekbones were accentuated by her hollow cheeks. Jonathan found her slenderness immensely appealing after Shay’s curves. He liked thin women; they felt all the more breakable.
He had been staying with the Frenchwoman in her rural chateau for a month now, slowly pulling her under his influence. He knew that soon she would do anything for him; she was clearly already infatuated, and she had readily welcomed her into her home. They had spent a passionate week together in Cannes a year before, and it was obvious that she still carried a flame for him. She was perfect for his needs: rich, malleable, and desperate for him. Jonathan was unable to touch his own money without giving away his location, so he had been relying on her hospitality. That rankled a bit, but his influence over her had grown so that her funds were virtually his own. And now he was so close…
Cecelia was already on his side. He had told her that Lucas had cooked up lies against him to steal Shay away for himself, feigning heartbreak at the loss. Now he was preparing to make his move against them. Very soon Cecelia would be so thoroughly under his control that she would consent to anything, even helping him kill Lucas. But he couldn’t tell her about his plans for Shay; he still had to pretend that he harbored feelings for her. And Cecelia’s jealousy of that fact only served to make her even more anxious to win him over, to please him. After he fucked her tonight, he was going to broach the subject, feel out just how deep her loyalty ran.
Shay tried to force back the worry that had been constantly hovering at the edges of her mind for the past month. Jonathan had somehow escaped and disappeared without a trace. He could be anywhere, could be watching them even now. She hadn’t had a full night’s sleep since learning that he had gotten away. She was awoken by nightmares every night, living through his attack again and again. The worst were when she actually died in the dream. That had never happened to her before. Sure, she had experienced the classic nightmares of falling off a cliff in her lifetime, but she had always awoken before she hit the ground. This was different. She could feel the life leaving her as she struggled for breath, Jonathan’s strong hand squeezing her throat. And then… nothing. Nothing except the knowledge that she was dead, that she would never see Lucas again. When Lucas awoke her from these dreams, her face was wet with tears, and she clung to him as she came back to reality. At his insistence, she had spent every night with him since Jonathan had attacked her. But it hadn’t taken much convincing for her to comply.
It was nighttime in London, Shay’s least favorite time of day now. Nighttime meant darkness and disturbing dreams that she could not escape. Even in Lucas’ flat, which had the best security system money could buy, she didn’t feel entirely safe.
Then his gentle fingers were under her chin, lifting her face to his. Meeting his gorgeous green eyes brought her back to reality; his presence was the only thing that could allay her fears. “Come back to me, Shay.” He spoke softly, but it was an order. She couldn’t help complying. Obedience to his will had become almost second nature in the time that they had spent together. And Shay reveled in it. During the day, she focused hard on her work, diligently overseeing the construction of Augustan Technologies’ new Charlotte headquarters. When they worked together, Lucas was nothing but professional towards her. It was clear that she had earned his respect, his trust, and they were developing a healthy, normal relationship. Well, normal aside from the fact that when they were alone he was the one in charge; he could turn the tables on her at any time on a whim. And she loved it. The complete release from the responsibilities that weighed so heavily on her was incredibly freeing.
But Lucas could tell how worn down she was getting. Between work and sleepless nights, she was constantly on the edge of exhaustion. So he had ordered that she take a week off, leaving the building project in her boss’ capable hands while he whisked her off to his home in London.“Now sub,” Lucas continued, shifting into his Dominant mode. “I feel like I haven’t been doing my job lately. It’s my responsibility to take care of you, and your worrying is making that incredibly difficult.” He was speaking to her reprovingly, but he paused to plant a gentle, sweet kiss on her forehead, as though he could drive the worry from her mind with the touch of his lips. And he almost succeeded. “But I’m going to fuck you into exhaustion tonight. I guarantee you that you won’t even have the energy to dream. Understand?”