Will his dominance and love be enough to keep them together when danger from the outside world threatens to tear them apart?
Scottish billionaire Lord Logan Kendrick is an alpha wolf, a predator who operates with stealth in business: buying and stripping companies to build in his own image. Dubbed ‘The Wolf of Lochaber’ by a women’s magazine, his dark good looks and dominant character ensure he attracts many women and can take whomever he desires to his bed. But he also has a secret – one that could ruin his famous, fierce reputation forever if it came out.
Lord Kendrick is married. It was a marriage of convenience for their families. However, he loves his wife, and he has never stopped loving her.
After not seeing Megan since the day of their wedding, he runs into her at the Royal Opera House in London. He discovers she’s in danger from the Russian Mafia – because of a human rights case she is conducting in the High Court – as well as from her abusive partner.
Logan is determined to protect his wife from the enemies swirling around her, and to get to the bottom of the distance she keeps him at. He wants to remind and convince her of the love they share, and show they can thrive in a relationship together. The billionaire reasserts his role as husband, and sets about tackling her reckless nature with much-needed marital discipline.
Publisher’s Note: This steamy contemporary romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, and power exchange.
He hadn’t expected to see her. Did she even know he was there watching her across the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden from his own box? He knew his face was obscured by the shadows in the darkness as he sat at the back, but he still hoped she would see him, acknowledge his presence, anything to break this silence between them. He was kissing the woman he brought as his guest for the evening as Madam Butterfly played out on the stage beneath them, but he could not take his eyes from the woman on the other side of the Opera House, the woman who belonged to him. He continued pulling the zip down on the seductive, red silk evening dress his female companion for the night was wearing, lowering his mouth to kiss at her neck so he could take a better look at Megan.
She hadn’t changed after seventeen years. She was still as beautiful and fragile in her appearance as ever with her long, dark chestnut curls piled high on her head in a stunning off the shoulder magenta evening gown. The dress brought out the colour in those haunted deep brown eyes that always captivated him, leaving him helpless under her spell. He swept his hand over Andrea’s bare back wishing it was Megan’s skin he caressed so lightly with the tips of his fingers noticing tears falling from Megan’s eyes with the emotion of the performance. She’d always loved Madam Butterfly and the tragedy of the story. It served to heighten the vulnerability he saw within her she worked so hard to hide. Slipping his hand discreetly into Andrea’s dress, shielding her body from view with his own, he caressed her breast cupping and squeezing, imagining the whole time it was Megan’s flesh he held so tightly.
Look over. Look over. See me. Be jealous. Be angry, be anything.
Perhaps his thoughts had power because she raised her eyes from the stage to sweep them around the Opera House and rested them on his box. The billionaire immediately lifted his head from Andrea’s throat to make direct contact with Megan’s eyes while he still caressed Andrea’s breast. He held his breath, feeling his heart pound with anticipation. Her eyes widened as she came to realise who was watching her so intently. For a brief moment, he thought he saw something, hurt, jealousy and even love mingle and tense her features, but it was fleeting. That damn mask of control she wore so well covered her face once more to leave him wondering, wishing again. Wanting to provoke the reaction once more, he lowered his lips back to Andrea’s throat and sucked passionately raising his eyes to see her. Megan was staring at him unable to tear her eyes away. He hadn’t been mistaken there was hurt in them. So, there was hope after all. She wasn’t lost to him even after all this time.
But the Scottish Billionaire and Lord, Logan Kendrick was to feel the pinch of jealousy himself when Megan’s handsome male companion narrowed his eyes at him and leaned towards Megan to brush his lips across her cheek then down the side of her neck. It was a direct communication of ownership. Hands off. But to Logan’s surprise Megan appeared angry and disturbed by the action. She moved her head away and glared at the man before standing and lifting her gown to leave the white gold edged box, much to his amusement in a particularly dramatic moment in the performance that fit the situation and her departure.
Oh, no. You don’t get away that easily. I am not letting you just walk out of my life again.
Logan let go of Andrea.
“Forgive me,” he whispered giving her a quick kiss. “I have to go. The driver will take you home.”
Ignoring her confusion and delicious pouting lips, he stood and made his way out of the box determined to catch Megan outside. He ran down the deserted stairs in his tuxedo as the performance echoed out around him, his heart thudding. When he reached the lobby, she was just going out the main door.
“Megan,” he called out to her.
She lifted her face towards him, hearing his voice. She shook her head and opened the door to run outside. He followed her and caught hold of her arm just before she crossed the road no doubt to find a taxi and get away. He swung her around to face him.
“Let me go. What the hell do you want?” she growled as he pulled her towards him. “Don’t think you can just walk back into my life and start treating me as though I am a piece of your property,” she retorted.
He made sure he kept hold of her wrist anxious she would try to run from him again. He gave her a frown.
“Why are you running from me?” he asked.
“You said you would keep away. That is what we agreed,” she said, trying to free her wrist.
“I know what we said,” he was trying to keep his cool and argue that it was the wrong thing to do. He regretted everything he said and did all those seventeen years ago.
“Did you know I would be here tonight?” she snapped.
“No, I didn’t. I promise you. This is a shock for me as it is for you. Please, let’s just go for a coffee and catch up. We used to be friends, remember?”
She was silent for a minute and stopped struggling, realising he wasn’t going to let go. He watched Megan sweep her beautiful, chestnut brown eyes over him and flutter those long, dark, deep lashes he had always admired since they grew up as friends. She was still as breathtaking as ever and if he had wondered if his everlasting love for her was a sham built on memories from his childhood, he was wrong. His heart was still beating for her.
“You look well,” she suddenly said in a soft voice.
“So do you.”
Her smile widened.
“I have heard about all about your exploits with women.” She raised an eyebrow. “You have quite a reputation. There are always so many beautiful women around you.”
So, you have been keeping tabs on me all this time as well. Score.
“Just some fun. I see you are still with Tom.”
Megan lowered her eyes and said with a sigh, “Yes, but I don’t know for how much longer,” there was a frustrated anger creeping into her tone as she finished, “things change.”
“I see. I am sorry to hear that.”
“But your career as a Barrister is going very well. I see you made Queens Counsel a couple of weeks ago,” he said, forgetting himself.
“So, you have been following my life closely?” she asked, surprised and a little unsettled.
“Why did you run from me?” he asked gently letting go of her arm, changing the subject quickly.
Megan lowered her eyes to the pavement.
“I don’t know. Too many memories, I guess. I don’t know. It was just a shock to see you after so long. It must be fifteen years.”
Logan felt frustration and disappointment rise and it was an effort to dampen it down. He put his hands in his trouser pockets and viewed her intently for a moment.
“How are you?” he asked.
“No, I mean how are you really, Megan? Are you happy?”
She looked at him directly and her eyes were glassy. His owned widened in response. Suddenly, she looked tired and there was fear in her eyes. She was looking behind him as though reliving a memory. He heard the doors of the Royal Opera House open.
“Megan. What are you doing out here? What are you doing with him?”
It was Tom. Logan knew that pretentious English tone anywhere.
“We were just talking, Tom. I didn’t expect to see him here.”
Logan didn’t like the nervous tone to her voice. He searched her eyes. Was Tom hurting her?
He came to stand next them.
“We should go back inside,” he insisted.
“No, I just want to go home.”
“But you love Madam Butterfly. I planned a whole night.”
“I thought we were going for a coffee to catch up, Megan. I haven’t seen you for so long,” Logan urged in a possessive tone.
Why couldn’t Tom just fuck off for a while so they could catch up? He knew the score with their relationship. He’d been there from the start.
“Like hell are you. Megan, you are coming home with me, now,” Tom said roughly taking hold of Megan’s arm to pull her to him. Logan stiffened watching her tremble when Tom touched her. She grimaced with his tight hold and struggled to get away as he began dragging her down the street to hail a black cab.
“Let her go. You are hurting her,” Logan insisted following them down the street.
Tom wagged his finger at him. “You were supposed to keep away. That was part of the agreement.”
“I have kept away for thirteen years and I am beginning to see that was clearly the wrong thing to do. Let her go, now.”
He didn’t like the way Tom was manhandling Megan. He caught hold of her arm when she squealed and tried to pull her back, lunging forward to remove Tom’s grip. “Get the hell off her. I said let her go.”
“Get back to Scotland or New York wherever you reside now and your damn life. She belongs to me, not you,” Tom shouted, shoving Megan away so hard she moved sideways to trip on her dress and fall to her knees in the road. Logan saw red. Before he could reach her, Tom was swinging a punch at him. He moved sideways to avoid it and grabbed his arm to turn it up behind his back. He placed his other arm around Tom’s neck and pulled it tight.
“I don’t want to see you treating my wife that way again or we are going to take this discussion further. If I hear or see you hurting her again, I will run you out of London. Do you understand?”
Tom was silent, trying to pull himself out of the headlock Logan had employed. It was a technique to subdue the enemy in Logan’s days as a special forces SAS soldier.
“Why the hell are you back in London?” Tom gasped and spluttered.
Megan came to stand shakily in front of them.
“I came back for business.”
“No, you came back here for her. I saw the way you were looking at her tonight.”
“No. I came here for business. I kept my promise and stayed away. I never expected to see her here tonight. Do you understand what I have just said to you?”
“She is your wife in name only. Your marriage is a sham, a business transaction for your families, nothing more. She is mine.”
“I am not a possession to be fought over. And he is right, Logan, don’t start calling me your wife. You have no right. We agreed it was just for business to give them what they wanted so they could merge the two merchant banks they owned together into one and create GH Kendrick Tyler. It was never meant to be about love and a relationship.” He could hear tears in her voice. “We agreed. You were in a relationship at the time and so was I. You have no right.”
“I have every damn right especially when he is treating you like this.”
“Let him go. Go home, Logan. There is nothing for you here.”
Stunned and hurt by her words he let go of Tom and pushed him forward, so he fell to the ground.
“I meant what I said, Tom.” Logan pointed at Megan. “You lay a finger on her like that again and I will run you out of London and her life. I am still her husband, like it or not, and I have the final say who I allow to be around her.”
Megan glared at him as Tom stood up. Tom possessively put his arm around her body to guide her to a taxi coming down the street. He raised his hand and flagged it down. Logan watched Megan get in with Tom and turn back to look at him with glassy hurt eyes. He couldn’t believe he was going to let her escape again. Why the hell couldn’t he just tell her how he really felt? Why hadn’t he done that thirteen years ago? What the hell was he doing allowing her to go home with Tom? There was clearly something wrong between them. She was frightened of the man. He watched the taxi go and then started walking down the street. A walk around London would clear his head. He put his hands in his pockets and took a walk around Covent Garden.
He sat in a coffee shop drinking an Americano thinking about how he could have handled their meeting better. What had he expected? The last time they’d seen each other was the day of the secret wedding. He had insisted on the secrecy so Megan could live her life in peace with Tom and he in his relationship. Both of their partners had agreed to let the union take place because of the money that would indirectly benefit them. He’d had no doubt of that but at the time he’d cared for Joanne and he didn’t care if she saw him as some sort of meal ticket. He didn’t want his true feelings for Megan to come out. They were so close as kids but then University made them drift apart. He never forgot how he felt about her, but as she got older, she became more distant and unwilling to share her feelings. He’d always thought they would end up together at some point, and he thought the marriage might do it even though it was based on money for their families. But as the time grew nearer, he knew it would be better if they stayed apart and in their existing relationships, denying both families a full union with an heir, a punishment for their callousness in using them.
He’d always thought she’d felt the same about him. But she refused to acknowledge or show it preferring to stay with Tom, whom Logan always thought beneath her. To make it easy for Megan he made sure he stayed out of her life. When things ended with Joanne, he removed himself from his role on the board of the bank, refusing to involve himself in its running like Megan continued to do. He joined the army. Proving himself, he was quickly urged to try out for the SAS. After leaving an illustrious career with them three years ago, he had gone into business for himself and become a billionaire. He had never forgotten about her. Not once. If anything, his love for her had grown in her absence.
His mind cast back to seeing her in the box, then outside on the pavement when they were alone. She had kept her small, sexy, slim, curved figure and not gone too thin like a stick, something she had always been desperate to achieve. It would never suit her. Daydreaming, he saw her trying to get away from him again and her cruel words. Go back home, there is nothing here for you. This time he would pull her to him, and bring his mouth down hard on hers, forcing his tongue inside. This time she would respond and let go of that mask she wore, reveal her true feelings and passion that were always simmering under the surface for him. Why did she deny it? He could see it. He saw it tonight and more importantly he felt it. She was about to tell him something before Tom arrived. She wasn’t happy with the man, he knew it. The way he was treating her was despicable. Something was wrong. He should have persisted, made her come away with him even if he had to spank her bare backside in the middle of the street to make her. He envisioned himself dragging her to somewhere he had found to sit outside the Royal Opera House and pulling her struggling body over his knee. Even now his hands itched to slide that sexy long lace magenta dress that became narrow at the calves up her legs and over her rump while she cursed and kicked her legs trying to free herself in vain. He wouldn’t have given a damn who had walked past as he pulled the sexy thong she would be wearing down to her thighs, exposing her pretty pale bottom so he could spank her soundly until she capitulated and realised, he was taking care of her. His mind drifted irritatingly back to Tom. He was making Logan feel more and more uneasy and worried about Megan.
He couldn’t get her out of his mind. Megan’s beautiful image down to the soft pale skin around her wrist that had felt so delicate when he’d taken hold of it tormented him. He saw her naked in his arms as he held her down in his bed and thrusted hard inside her, reclaiming her as his wife. Logan wanted her back in his life and beneath him in his bed. He sighed. There was no way that was going to happen any time soon and he was going to have to get used to it.