I’m Katrina Sanchez and I have to marry Mark Finley, the bully who made my life miserable in high school. I hate everything about Mark – his icy blue eyes, his sneering smile, his bulked-up tattooed body, his insufferable grumpiness and bossy attitude. But my dad is in real trouble and if I don’t marry Mark, Dad will lose everything.
I don’t know why Mark is insisting on this sham of a marriage, either, other than he wants to torture me for life. Well, I’m not having it. He can have me as a wife, but he can’t have my heart. He’s taken everything else, but that belongs to me.
Publisher’s Note: This contemporary romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, danger, sensual scenes, power exchange and is intended for adults only.
Mark laughed again. His laugh is annoying as hell, by the way—deep and booming, like he means it. He isn’t holding back anything, and he thinks other people’s suffering is freaking hilarious.
“Stop it! It’s not funny. There’s nothing funny about this.” I smacked his chest hard, which really only just hurt my hand. He gave me a look like I was a bad puppy, which gave me a bit of a chill, but I held up my head and continued. “Your house is not a home, and that’s without mentioning the BDSM tower on your property—which, like, do you have people coming there all the time?”
“Only for club gatherings,” he said. “The rest of the time, it’s just there for me and special guests.”
“Great, well, and that’s normal in your mind?”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“Where do I start?”
“Anywhere you like,” he said. “What is the problem with my lifestyle, in your mind?”
“You get off on causing pain. You’re a sadist.”
“Anyone I play with is a willing participant,” he said. “They trust me to give them what they need. I make them feel good by making them hurt in just the right way. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
“It’s twisted,” I said, though I felt like a bit of a hypocrite considering my private fascination with all of it. He didn’t need to know what the tour of the tower had done to me. He’d already assumed I hated it, and he was locking me out of that part of his life. It was better that way. If I opened the door, I was sure I couldn’t close it again. But I also knew that being so close to it happening, without taking part, would be torture for me. “You shouldn’t be doing that kind of thing anymore.”
“No, that’s not how this works,” Mark said, speaking gruffly. “I promised not to get you mixed up in my lifestyle. I promised to give you your space and leave you alone, but you don’t get to demand that I give up who I am.”
“Why? You’re demanding I give up who I am!”
“Back to the teaching thing again.” He raised his palms. “I’ve already explained that, Katrina. I won’t explain myself again to you.”
“Fine, whatever, like I said, we’re going to be unhappy. I warned you you’d regret this.”
“Fuck John,” Mark said, under his breath. “When we get home, I’m going to teach you a lesson, little girl.”
“I doubt that,” I said, folding my arms.
Fish Face. Again. “Never doubt me, Katrina. You can’t win by provoking me. Whatever power you think you have. Forget it.”
As soon as I got my cheeks back I put on my best ‘Miss Sanchez does not approve’ face and stared Mark down. Well, up, because he’s way, way taller. “Ditto, asshole,” I said.
Then he pulled my hair and kissed me roughly again, like that was going to shut me up for good. “You’re a liar, chiquita,” he whispered. “You’re a naughty, naughty little liar. I know the truth.”
“Don’t call me that,” I said, though it cost me a lot to say anything at this point. I could barely breathe.
“I’ll call you whatever I like, wife,” he said it like wife was a nasty word. “I own you now. I know who and what you are, and I’m going to prove it to you.”
Okay, so like my panties got a little wet, but Mark didn’t need to know that.