Tortured Duchess excerpt
Music pounds. My hips sway. The scent of sweat and desperation permeates the air as I move across the dance floor. Hands above my head, feet agilely gliding left to right. I can feel all eyes on me as I swing seductively around the new club in town.
Peaches & Cream is one of the few places you can enter without having to be twenty-one. I'm wearing a special stamp so I’m not served alcohol, but I don’t mind. I’m not here to deaden my senses; I’m here to celebrate my eighteenth birthday a little late.
My best friends, Aria and Lake, are here too. Aria is sandwiched between her men, Seven and Severo, as they struggle to keep their hands off her while Lake sits at the bar sipping a club soda. Saint Rivers is hovering, scaring off any man from five feet away.
Opening my eyes as I drop my head back, rolling it on my shoulders, I meet the stare of a mysterious man on the private balcony. Turning to face him a little more, I notice he looks pissed—more like filled with rage—as I feel his intense stare scorch me. I watch as he reaches down to adjust his manhood, and when he makes no further move to catch my attention, I turn away.
Feeling steady, unfamiliar hands on my hips, I force myself not to push them off. I'll allow it to get the mystery man to come to me. Also, Bishop Kincaid is keeping an eye on me. He’s been like a brother my entire life, and just as with the rest of the boys, I know he won’t let anything happen to me. My father, Castiel Adair, would slaughter anyone who dares take from me what I won't give freely either.
“Hands off, asshole,” I hear Bishop growl as he stands in front of me, arms crossed, a deadly stare focused on the man behind me.
As the guy removes his hands, I decide he's not worthy of my time if he retreats. It’s how I rate all men who show interest, which happens a lot. I have my mother’s gorgeous blonde hair, soft curves, and model-like looks. I’m not vain; I don’t necessarily like the attention, but when I get it, it’s sometimes nice.
“Thanks, Bish.” I smile up at my friend as he glowers at all the other males around us.
“Stop tempting them, and I might not have to commit murder tonight.” I laugh at his threat. I know he means it, but it’s funny all the same.
“I can take care of myself, you know? Spent a lifetime training how to kick a man in the nuts and run,” I joke as I spin, the mystery man from earlier now gone. I try not to think too hard about the disappointment that settles in my belly.
“Doesn’t mean you should have to break one of those pretty nails,” he retorts. “Fuck.” He curses, and I stop moving, glancing back at him to find his eyes fixated on Saint with his hand around a man’s neck, holding him two feet off the ground. Lake is cowering under the bar, and I see red too.