Sensual surrender, p.1
Sensual Surrender, p.1Part #2 of The Serafina: Sin City series by Katie Reus
By Katie Reus
Copyright © 2014 by Katie Reus
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Cover art and design by Sweet ‘N Spicy Designs
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This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the author.
Ellie shifted from foot to foot on the cold stoop, waiting for Sierra to answer the door. It was too cold to walk in slippers, even just to go next door. Vegas weather liked to keep her on her toes like that. October was a transitional month from pool to sweater weather, but there was nothing transitional about the chill snaking through her right now. It had to be in the forties or fifties.
As Sierra opened the door, Ellie rushed inside, keeping her arms wrapped around herself. She’d walked over from next door where she lived with Jay and hadn’t realized how chilly it was outside.
“Jeez, what the hell are you wearing?” Sierra asked, taking in Ellie’s thin sleep T-shirt, shorts and pink slippers.
“I didn’t know it was cold outside. Jay is a freaking furnace and I grabbed this off the floor. I thought I’d sneak over before he woke up so I could snag a couple eggs. Please tell me you have some.” Ellie was pretty certain she did. Sierra was only twenty-two, but she was head chef at Cloud 9, the casino owned by billionaire Wyatt Christiansen they all worked for. Ellie was Wyatt’s personal assistant and oversaw a lot of his businesses, and she spent a lot of time working from her office at the casino since it was so new.
Sierra snorted as if the question was ridiculous. “Come on.” She motioned toward the kitchen. “Hayden’s a furnace too. Must run in the family.” Sierra was living with Jay’s brother—they’d just moved in together. “What are you making?”
“Just an omelet with a side of bacon. I wanted to cook a quick breakfast for Jay since I know he’s got meetings all day.” Jay was basically Wyatt’s right hand man and head of his personal security, and Wyatt wanted him interviewing possible new security guys for his own team and for a couple of his other establishments. She understood why too. As a former SEAL Jay was good at seeing through bullshit and assessing things you just couldn’t get from a resume. He would be able to gauge whether these interviewees would be a good personality fit. All the experience in the world wouldn’t matter if someone was a grade A asshole.
“So fancy,” Sierra murmured, unhidden laughter in her voice as she opened the fridge.
“Ha, ha. Whatever Miss Fancy Pants, I don’t want to hear it. The man is lucky he’s getting any breakfast at all.” It was no secret she didn’t cook well. But Ellie knew she couldn’t screw up eggs and bacon.
Sierra snickered as she handed her the half empty egg carton. “I don’t know if lucky is the term he’d use.”
Ellie’s eyes widened at the unexpected joke from Sierra. “If I hadn’t started a tiny fire the last time I used the kitchen, I might be insulted.”
Sierra stifled another laugh. “Do you want a sweater?”
“Nah, I’m just running back over there. Thanks again.” Once outside she hurried to the house she now shared with Jay. Unlike Sierra, who had moved in with Hayden after a couple weeks, it had taken Ellie months to officially move in with Jay. During the months he’d been recovering from an explosion meant to kill their boss she’d practically lived here, but once he was on his feet and back at work, she’d set up some boundaries for almost half a year.
It wasn’t that she didn’t love him, because she did. More than anything. But moving in with someone was a big deal. She and Jay already saw each other all the time because of their jobs and she’d been worried about losing her little personal space. Plus, she’d kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. She’d been convinced that what she had with Jay was too good to be true. That it was all going to end if she got too happy with him. Because that’s how life worked in her experience.
And the intuitive man had known, had called her out on it once and told her to accept that he loved her and wasn’t going anywhere. She knew that in her heart, but it was so damn hard getting her head to line up with that knowledge. At least he hadn’t pushed her. Ellie knew Jay wanted more from her—as in, ‘til death do us part—but he was never pushy about anything. For that, she was grateful. It just solidified how right he was for her. Hell, how right they were together. They definitely balanced each other out. Lord knew he balanced out her neurotic tendencies.
Once inside their two-story home, she shut and locked the door behind her. Out of habit, she put the alarm back on stay mode. That was the one thing she and Jay were both vigilant about. Of course he had his own version of security with his trusty SIG and his SEAL training. The man definitely knew how to take care of himself. And her—in more ways than one.
Her chill started to fade as she made her way to the kitchen. The second she stepped inside she found Jay leaning against the countertop, steaming coffee mug in hand, and the cold disappeared all together. At six foot, five inches, with a skull trim haircut, and sleeves of tattoos covering his arms, he made her mouth water.
He started to give her one of those wicked smiles that melted her insides but it quickly turned into a frown as he raked a concerned gaze over her. “Were you next door? It’s freezing outside.”
“How was I supposed to know that? It’s not even cold in here.” Which was weird. She hadn’t felt the cold because Jay was so warm at night.
“I turned the heater on around midnight when you shivered in your sleep.” He set his coffee cup down on the counter and started to head for her.
Her throat tightened at those simple words. She never thought she’d have a man like him care about her, even that much. Jay’s thoughtfulness touched her in ways she hadn’t imagined. As he took the egg carton from her hand, she knew what he had in mind by the hungry glint in his piercing green eyes. And it wasn’t breakfast. Turning from her, he set the carton down and before he’d looked back, she stripped off her shirt, shorts and panties and tossed them to the floor in a messy heap.
When he turned to face her, she was just stepping out of her slippers. His big body went still as he drank in the sight of her standing there naked. An undeniable shudder rolled through him as he reached for her. She loved that she still got that reaction out of him. Over a year later and the chemistry was still as powerful as ever.
Sliding her hands up his hard chest, she pressed her body to his as she linked her hands behind his neck. Her breasts rubbed against his chest, now tingling from the feel of his body instead of the cold.
“You’re going to make me late,” Jay murmured before hoisting her up so that she had to wrap her legs around his waist. Through his boxers, his erection pressed insistently against her abdomen, making her body flare to life in the way only he could.
“I can head upstairs instead and—”
He cut her off with a scorching kiss that made her toes curl. His big hands cupped her behind as he walked them to the nearest counter where he set her down. When he tugged her shorts off and knelt between her legs, burying his face in her heat, she arched into him with a ragged moan, knowing they were both going to be incredibly late.
And control freak that she was, she still didn’t care.
Thirty minutes later, Ellie propped up on one elbow against the kitchen floor and set her chin on Jay’s bare chest. “That was amazing,” she murmured against his skin, hating that they had to g
Looking supremely smug, he grinned at her as he stroked a hand up and down her bare spine. The tile of the kitchen floor was cool beneath them, but she was still coming down from her climax so nothing could dilute her pleasure.
When he groaned and started to sit she pushed off him and stood. “All right old man, let me help you up.”
For a moment, he betrayed such a vulnerable expression she wanted to smack herself. He was in his late thirties whereas she’d just turned twenty-five—though she felt a hundred some days—and recently he’d made a comment that led her to believe the age difference bothered him a little. Even if it wasn’t a big deal to her. Thanks to an apathetic mother and an alcoholic father, she’d grown up with no real childhood to speak of and she’d always felt light years older than she was. With the exception of her deceased sister’s help, Ellie had always taken care of herself. “Jay—”
That brief sense of vulnerability she’d seen disappeared as he smiled and stood. He wrapped his big arms around her and brushed his lips over hers, silencing whatever she’d been about to say. “I’ve gotta head out soon and I’ll have to turn my cell to silent for a few hours once I reach the casino.”
“Okay. I don’t have anything big today. Just joining in two meetings with Wyatt this morning so if you want let’s meet for lunch. At the Cloud?” What most employees called Cloud 9.
He nodded and kissed her again, this time a claiming that left her breathless. Once he’d gone upstairs she put the eggs up and snagged some coffee. By the time she’d finished it and made her way up to their bedroom, Jay was dressed and looking impossibly sexy in a black suit and silver and green tie she’d bought him. One of his tattoos peeked out on the top of his left hand, part of an intricate script listing the names of friends he’d lost overseas. When she met his gaze again, she saw that familiar hungry look as he watched her.
“Go,” she said, close to jumping him again. Then they’d truly be late. “Or we’ll both get fired.”
He snorted at that. It would take more than that for their boss to fire them. They’d have to burn down the casino for that to happen. “I’ve got something special planned for tonight, so don’t be late getting home.”
She paused at the unreadable note in his voice, but nodded. His little surprises were always fun—and always sexy. “It looks like it’s going to be a low key kind of week.” Of course by saying that she’d probably just cursed herself for a manic one.
Another kiss and he was gone. Moving into gear she showered and was getting dressed when her cell rang. No one called her this early except her boss. Hell, she probably had jinxed herself. When she saw the caller ID she frowned, not recognizing the number. But it was local. “Ellie here.”
“Eleanor Johansen,” a familiar, hated voice from her past said with a dripping kind of smugness that made her want to reach through the phone and punch him.
Feeling her blood turn to ice, she collapsed on the edge of the king-sized bed, her knees giving way upon hearing Kevin Murrell on the other end. He wasn’t supposed to be out of prison for another fifteen or twenty years. “How’d you get this number?” she demanded, thankful her voice didn’t shake. She knew she should just hang up on him, but she needed to find out what this creep wanted. And when he’d gotten out of prison, because she didn’t think he could be calling from inside.
He made an obnoxious tsking sound. God, how had she ever thought she was in love with this moron? “Taking your mother’s maiden name isn’t enough to hide from me.”
“I’m not trying to hide from anyone.” And she wasn’t. Not truly. She’d just wanted to put distance between her past self and who she’d become. “I take it you’re out. Good behavior?” She couldn’t hide a snort of disbelief.
A long pause before he spoke again and this time he didn’t hide the bite of annoyance in his voice. “You’ve changed.”
“If you mean I’m different than that pathetic seventeen year old who thought you hung the moon, then yeah, I’m very different. Why are you calling me?” Finding her legs again, she went to her bedroom window and slightly pulled the curtains back. She knew she was likely being paranoid, but she wanted to see if this bastard was watching her house. She wouldn’t put it past him. Not when she had something he wanted.
“You know why. I want my belongings.”
Ice settled into a hard ball in her stomach as she had to confess the truth. “I’ve got most of it, but I don’t have all of it.”
Another pause, longer this time. “How short am I?”
She closed her eyes, rubbing her temple. “About fifty.” Meaning fifty thousand dollars. For all she knew he was being monitored by the police or even the criminal he’d stolen from in the first place. “I didn’t expect you out for a few more years.” Because she would have replaced the money by then, with him none the wiser. She wasn’t sorry she’d taken it, not when it had given her a path to schooling and a better life. Kevin had stolen half a million from a low level mobster before getting arrested for something completely unrelated. Since Nevada was a three-strike state and he’d committed his third felony robbery of a residence with a deadly weapon, he’d been locked up and was supposed to have been kept there for a good long time. Looked like the justice system failed again.
He was silent again, but this time when he spoke she could practically hear the glee in his voice. “No bother then, you can return what you’ve still got and do me one little favor. Then we’ll call it even.”
She swallowed hard, knowing his type of ‘favor’ wasn’t something she’d be willing to do. Especially not if it was worth fifty thousand to him. She was tempted to hang up on Kevin, but knew it would be a mistake. He’d just harass her in person. “Favor?”
“You’re going to help me rob the Serafina. And if you don’t, I’m going to rip apart the pretty little life you’ve made for yourself. I’ll start by telling De Luca you stole his money.”
Without responding she ended the call, fighting the panic bubbling up inside her. She wasn’t sure if Carlo DeLuca would actually believe she’d taken his money, but she couldn’t take the chance he did and came after those she loved.
Fighting panic, she went to her closet and grabbed a small suitcase. Staying here like a sitting duck wasn’t the answer. Her phone rang again, but she ignored it as she started grabbing clothes from the closet she shared with Jay. For a brief moment she thought of confessing everything to him, but knew she couldn’t. Because he’d want to go all protector male on her and the type of people Kevin associated with didn’t play by any rules.
They were true criminals who had no problem killing others to get what they wanted. She couldn’t drag Jay into that. She loved him too much. Plus, deep down, she knew that her sweet, perfect Jay wouldn’t understand the decisions she’d made at seventeen. She’d had obstacles she refused to let stand in her way and had made some hard decisions that she didn’t regret. But Jay hadn’t grown up like that and he wouldn’t get it.
He’d judge her, look at her differently and in the end, he’d cut ties with her anyway. No, she’d have to cut and run to keep him safe and to keep her own secrets safe. Once she’d figured out this mess and put some distance between her and Kevin, she’d call Jay to let him know she was okay. Until then, she couldn’t pull him into the gutter with her. He didn’t deserve it and she’d never put him in danger. This is what she got for thinking she could actually be happy.
Ellie smoothed a hand down her black pencil skirt as she handed her boss Wyatt his planner with detailed notes about his meetings and other agendas for the next month. She had three different alerts sent to his phone for meetings, but he was old school and liked to have a physical reminder on hand. Probably because he’d learned to tune out the alerts. “Remember, the meeting next Tuesday is very important, Wyatt. You’ve put it off twice already and—”
“I won’t miss it,” he said, taking his planner and setting it down without looking at it. He star
She bit her lip, trying to find the right words. Impossible ones she just needed to get out. Maybe the silence was more weighted than she realized because he looked up then, his blue eyes electric in their intensity.
“You are going with me to that meeting?”
“Wyatt, I’ve enjoyed working for you more than I can say.” She smoothed her hand down her skirt again, a stupid nervous habit.
His expression went flat. “You’re not quitting.”
She blinked at his forceful tone. “I appreciate everything you did for me when I graduated.” He’d given her a job right out of school. She’d just gotten her Master’s in business administration and had been hungry to work. Landing a position with one of the richest men in the country had been a dream come true. She worked her ass off, but he compensated all his employees well and she loved what she did. Leaving this position was one of the hardest decisions, but she knew she had to do it. Once she told Kevin that she’d been fired—a tiny lie—she wouldn’t be able to help him with whatever plan he had to rob the Serafina. This was the only way.
Frowning, Wyatt stood, pushing his chair back before rounding his desk. Wearing a custom-made pinstriped suit, the tall man with midnight black hair and electric blue eyes that were so damn intense as to be scary was giving her all his focus. She didn’t like feeling as if she were under a microscope, but stood her ground.
Crossing his arms over his chest, he leaned against the front of it and faced off with her. Even though he wasn’t as tall as Jay, the man was certainly intimidating. She’d seen him use this glare with business associates and even enemies before and had never thought to be on the receiving end of one of his ‘looks’. “Are you giving your resignation?” he asked quietly, disbelief threading through every word.
Sensual Surrender by Katie Reus / Romance & Love / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes