She was meant to be his assassin A forced player in a rivalry within The Estate Yet her loyalty was to no person but herself When Hope is taken captive by Xander Black She becomes the one thing that can ensure Aaron’s reign
Raised within a rival crime network, Hope Delacroix wanted nothing to do with The Estate. A fierce warrior, Hope is given no choice but to kill Aaron Carmichael. Caught in her attempt, Hope is captured by Aaron’s top guard in an effort to discover who sent her.
Ever loyal and protective, Xander Black’s sole objective is to defend Aaron and Maddy. Willing to do whatever is necessary, Xander gives in to darkness in order to force information out of Hope.
As Xander enslaves Hope to break her down completely, he learns that in the two years since Joseph Carmichael’s death, dissension still exists within The Estate.
“I find it ironic that your name is Hope…especially considering that you have none.” ~ Xander Black
“My name is Maddy, by the way.” She smiled warmly. There was nothing but kindness in her eyes as she reached for a box on the table.
“And this is where I’m supposed to be polite and tell you mine?”
“Not if you don’t want to. Xander will find that out. He’s very resourceful. I’m only here to remove the lead from your body. We’d hate for you to get an infection. Aaron is particular about that.”
“He likes to keep his slaves healthy?” Hope laughed. “That’s new.”
The woman’s eyes flicked up from the supplies she was gathering for a brief second. A blush fell across her cheeks from an unspoken thought. Eventually, after seemingly gathering what she required, she looked up again. “You’re not being kept as a slave.”
She stood from the table and crossed the distance, antiseptic and a cloth held in her hands. “I’m going to clean you up
first, then we’ll see what we can do about the bullet.”
“Surgery will be difficult, don’t you think?” She shook the chains. “Given that I’m chained and all.”
The woman angled her head when she asked, “Would you like me to remove them?”
Suspicion tore through Hope’s body at the suggestion. She wouldn’t kill the woman if freed, but she would silence her in order to escape. Playing on Maddy’s sympathies, she responded, “Yes – please. I’m afraid of what they will do to me, afraid that they’ll…” She let her eyes fall, desperate to appear scared and nonthreatening. Looking up again, she continued, “…I’m afraid they’ll hurt me or rape me. Please help me get free.”
Straightening her head on her shoulders, Maddy took a few more steps, smiled and shrugged. “No problem. I’ll ask Xander for the key when I’m done cleaning you up.” Another smile.
Hope’s shock turned to frustration. “He’ll never give them to you.”
“I know, but if you’re going to make impossible demands, I’ll offer impossible responses.”
M.S. Willis is a romance novelist whose debut novel, Control, was released in 2013. Although currently writing in the romance genre, Willis has plans to expand her literary pursuits into multiple genres and has no fear conquering difficult subject matters in her writing. Willis is a native Floridian who is also a photographer and musician. When not absorbing herself in written, visual or musical expression, Willis is an adrenaline junkie, a ‘closet’ video gameenthusiast, and an avid outdoors person and nature lover.
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