Defiant Queen

Defiant Queen

Page 15

Brett’s eyes go wide in the spotlight as realization sets in. “No fucking—”

I stand up and land a kick to his face, wishing I could finish this job myself, but I won’t. There’s somewhere else I’d rather be.

I climb out of the boat and look at Saxon. “Get creative. Take your time with it too. He doesn’t need to die fast.”

“Hey—” Brett protests, but Saxon kicks him in the head and he goes silent again.

Saxon turns back in my direction and gives me a nod.

Knowing that piece of shit was never actually married to Keira doesn’t change anything, but it will surely matter to her. Then again, it just shows how badly she was conned.

Maybe I won’t tell her. It won’t matter in a few minutes anyway.

I step out of the boat and look at Saxon. “You got this?”

He almost looks insulted at my question. “Of course.”

My gaze shifts to Ransom. “Make sure the body’s never found.”

Ransom laughs. “After all these years, you think I need directions like that? Besides, I got a couple hungry gators waitin’ to be fed.”

I reach for my phone and open a secure app. With a few taps, my part is completed. “Your money’s already in your accounts. I want to know when it’s done.”

“Yes, sir,” Ransom says, and Saxon just nods.

Saxon gags Brett as Ransom fires up the deafening engine of the airboat.

I turn on the dock and head toward the nondescript black Mercedes I drove out to the meet when I got the notification from Saxon that he had the package and Ransom was ready to dispose of it.

The airboat flies away from the dock, skidding across the water around a turn, disappearing out of sight before I start the car.


As I drive back toward the Quarter, I can’t help but think about how fucked up this day has been on every level. Brett. Keira freaking out. Her attacking me, and somehow setting off an impulse I’ve never had in my entire life.

I kissed her.

I’ve never kissed a woman, just like I’ve never fucked another woman without a condom. Ever. Keira Kilgore is the exception.

It pisses me off to know that Brett Hyde was never the barrier I thought, and yet I let him stand in the way. He was already married.

Why the hell didn’t my people find that marriage certificate in his records? My PI has a fuck-ton of explaining to do.

I’m still shaking my head at how big of a dumb fuck Brett Hyde was. If he was even minutely less stupid than I thought, he’d have made sure that shit was legal so he’d be guaranteed a piece of the assets. The more important point? Keira was legally free the whole time.

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I could have swept in and taken over so much sooner. Then again, Keira needed to realize what a piece of shit Hyde was all by herself. When I caught word that she’d secured her own place and was meeting with a divorce lawyer, I knew it was my turn. Finally. It still pisses me off to think about the time I wasted.

But now, she’s really fair game. There’s not a goddamned thing stopping me from keeping her indefinitely.

The devil that always rides on my shoulder chimes in with his opinion. Or you could get rid of her right the fuck now because she’s making you weak.

I’d like to say there’s an angel offering an opposite perspective on the other side, but there never has been and never will be.


I don’t reach my suite until hours later. Because of that fucking voice, I forced myself to make my normal rounds on the gaming-room floor to see and be seen. I won’t deviate from my pattern, because I refuse to acknowledge that the voice could be right.

Once I’m satisfied, I head through the passageways and push open the door that leads into my living area. The first thing that hits me is the strange aroma of food coming from the coffee table. I lift the silver covers to find soup, lobster, steak, and God knows what else. All of it untouched.

The nightstand lamp on the bedside table is still on, and Keira is passed out on top of the covers fully clothed, clutching what looks to be my most expensive bottle of vodka. An empty bottle of vodka, to be more accurate.

Her phone is next to her head, and I reach over to pick it up, expecting the movement to wake her. It doesn’t. When her mouth opens and she releases a soft snore, I know there’s not a chance in hell she’ll be rising before noon, which suits me just fine.

Carefully, I remove the vodka bottle and roll her to her side to unzip her skirt and remove it, along with her blouse. The lingerie beneath is sexy as hell, but the curves of her body are what make my dick harden against the silk lining of my pants.

Not tonight, I think, willing my body to calm the hell down. She’s mine, which means tomorrow I’ll get what I want.

I remove the bra because I can’t imagine that would be comfortable to sleep in, and can’t help but admire the pale skin of her tits and those perfect pink nipples that pucker in the cool air of the room.

Not tonight, I remind myself, and tuck her under the covers naked, like that will somehow dull the temptation she presents.

Like Eve in that fucking garden. Adam never stood a chance.

A rush of satisfaction fills me to see her wild red mane spread out on my black satin pillowcase like fire. I’ve never had a woman in this bed before, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t pictured this exact moment more times than I’ll ever admit.

I knew I wanted Keira Kilgore in my bed, but what I didn’t see coming was how much she’d challenge me outside of it—and how addictive gaining her submission would become.

I back away from the bed slowly and retreat to my closet to shed my suit. I make a mental note that I need to contact G tomorrow to arrange for a full wardrobe for Keira. Up until now, I’ve had him provide only specific outfits at my request, but things have changed.

When I slide under the covers beside her, she moans and curls her body toward me as she shivers. If she were conscious, she’d never do that, so I take advantage and pull her back against my front. My body heat soaks into her skin, and I wrap an arm around her waist.

She makes a noise, like her brain is fighting to regain consciousness.

“Sleep,” I whisper, and in moments, she releases another soft snore. The fact that I think it’s cute tells me just how fucked I am.

I told Hyde the truth; it was never about the money. It was always about her. He was too blind to see a treasure when he had it in his hands, but I’m not.