Also by this author: High
Hate Me by L.P. Lovell
Series: Collateral, #1
Published by Indie on February 26, 2018
Genres: Mafia, Romance
Anna I am a whore. A slave. A possession. I accepted my fate long ago, but fate is not done with me yet. Freedom is so close I can almost taste it, only to have it snatched away under the guise of protection. A guilded cage is still a cage. Friend or foe? Saviour or oppressor? Rafael D’Cruze is a bad man. I hate him, so why do I feel safe with him? Rafael She’s a favour. Collateral. A pretty slave. I have no interest in her beyond keeping her alive for the man who now owns her. And yet…I’m fascinated by the little Russian. There is no room for weakness in my
world, but it appears the delicate rose has steel petals. I’m willing to bleed for a willing touch, a trusting glance… A broken little bird. The big bad wolf. A longing that could heal or destroy. Hate me or hold me?
“Tell me, sweet Anna, what would you do if you were to have your freedom?”
My mind hits a wall, and my mouth snaps shut. “I don’t know.”
“You never thought about it?”
“I survived because I refused to hope. So no, I never thought about it.”
He takes a piece of my hair, twirling it around his finger until the gold strands are wrapped tightly around his tanned skin. “Well, maybe you should start thinking about it.”
“What if I don’t want to?” I breathe. Being free would mean leaving him, leaving my safe harbor to walk into a world of danger and enemies.
I take his face in both hands and stare into his eyes, my lips hovering barely an inch away from his. I find myself dancing with this sense of curiosity, remembering the way his lips felt on mine. Soft and yet hard. Demanding and yet never forceful. That kind of kiss is something I’ve never experienced, and…I liked it. I liked it with him.
“Take it, Anna,” he breathes. I swallow heavily and swipe my tongue over my suddenly dry lips. Rafael lets out a tiny groan, his hand cupping my cheek as he swipes a thumb over the corner of my lip. “Take what you want, avecita.” He somehow manages to make it sound like a threat. I slowly close the gap between us until my lips brush his. He doesn’t move, waiting for me to kiss him. As I press my lips fully to his, I feel a sense of empowerment. To have a man like Rafael willingly submissive to my exploration… My hand slides around his neck and my tongue brushes his bottom lip, making him tense.
Taking my face, he holds me away from him as his warm breaths wash over my lips. I feel the blush creep over my cheeks. “Did I do something wrong?”
He groans again. “No. Fuck, no.” He throws his head back against the chair. “Anna, you have no idea how tempting you are.” I freeze, my pulse leaping in my throat. “No. Don’t do that. I’m not them, avecita. I will never touch you unless you want it.”
He smiles. “I’d promise you the world if I could, little warrior.”
“And what if I can’t offer you a single thing in return?”
He leans in, placing the softest kiss against my throat. “From you, sweet Anna, I would ask only for a smile.”