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Come to Daddy (Love Don’t Cost A Thing #1)
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Rules for the new sugar baby:
1. Are you worth it? Hell yes you are, ten times over
2. Hustle big, hustle hard and get out fast
3. Never, ever fall for your sugar daddy
I’ve always believed “I’m not that sort of girl,” but with my father’s debt to a bloodthirsty crime lord to pay off I have no choice but to dip into the sugar bowl.
Misha, a handsome older billionaire, is willing to pay top price for me. Something about my daddy doesn’t add up but with a debt to pay I don’t have the luxury of being picky. I’m the luxury in his life, his fantasy to fulfil, and I’m going to play my part to the fullest.
My name is Ciara, and when daddy calls, I come.
Book 1 of the LOVE DON’T COST A THING series
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“You’re a fucking idiot. Why did you come back here?”
There’s so much blood. Running down my chest. On the floor. All over my hands.
“I thought it was the right thing to do.” I wince in pain as I try to sit up. Next to me lies my father, the knife still buried in his chest and his blue eyes glassy and staring.
Holy fucking hell. He’s dead. There’s a buzzing in my ears and everything at the edges of my vision goes gray.
Damir grabs a fistful of my hair and strikes me hard across the face. “No passing out. We have shit to do.”
I blink and shake my head rapidly. “I’m awake. I’m fine.”
“You’re not fine,” he growls, ripping off part of my shirt and holding it over the six-inch gash on my chest. Fuck, that hurts. I think the wound is longer than it is deep. I saw the knife coming at the last second, the vicious downward stab that would have ended my life, and jumped back.
“If we don’t stop the bleeding you’re going to need a transfusion, and you can’t get a transfusion when we’ve got a fucking body to dispose of.” Damir takes his own shirt off and binds it tight around my chest. “I’ll stitch it up or something later, but for now, stop bleeding.”
I laugh weakly, wondering if the light-headedness I feel is from shock or blood loss. “Yes, brata.”
Damir stands up, bare-chested, surveying our father with a flat expression in his eyes. I notice there are new tattoos decorating his flesh. A dragon breathing fire over his heart. A skull on his shoulder. A thick band around his right bicep. One tattoo for every year he was missing.
“I’m glad he’s dead,” Damir says. “After tonight we’re never going to look back, Mikhail. It’s just you and me from now on. Forever.”
Him and me. The son who was loved, and the son who was not.
Free at last.
I hold my hand out to him and he helps me up. The world spins a little, but I force myself to stay on my feet. Like Damir said, we’ve got our father’s body to get rid of.
“You and me. Forever.”
Eighteen years later
It’s her parents’ funeral, but she isn’t crying.
The girl in the footage is a petite, pretty blonde of around twenty in a black dress and blazer and a broad-brimmed hat. She’s standing next to the priest while a stream of people shake her hand. I search their faces, trying to pick out any lawyers or investment managers among the mourners.
She’s got money somewhere and we’re going to fucking find it, says the email from my brother, Damir. You know all the money people in this city. Look at their faces. Who’s helping the little bitch? Once we know who they are we can sort them out.
The mourners dwindle to nothing and the priest goes into the church. I didn’t see anyone we need to “sort out”. I go to close and delete the video but see that Miss Alders hasn’t followed the priest inside. She takes a long, pensive look around the churchyard, and I notice her fingers are fiddling nervously with her bracelet. My mother used to do the same thing shortly before my father was due to arrive home.
“Are you all right, Mama?”
“What? Oh, I’m fine, Misha. Go and play, and keep out of your father’s way.”
I sit back in my chair. It’s a gray, still day in London and I glance at the Ravnikar Enterprises skyscraper a few blocks away where Damir works. I’m part of the company but I like my space, so I’ve rented my own office on the thirty-ninth floor of a different building. The less I have to do with Damir—with anyone—the happier I am.
In the footage, Miss Alders firms her lips, ready to go into the church. Then she freezes, her eyes going wide like a startled fawn’s. A man steps into the shot and she presses her back against the church in fear.
I lean forward to get a better look at the screen. It’s Damir, his broad back and tall figure almost obliterating my view of this small young woman. What the hell is he doing there? Her gaze flickers past him, as if she’s yearning to escape.
Intent on the footage, I don’t notice that my PA is peering over my shoulder.
“Hey, look. It’s the dead girl.”
I slam my thumb on the spacebar to pause the video and glare up at Bethany. “What is it?”
She tosses a file onto my desk and shrugs. “Here’s the report thing you need for that meeting or whatever.”
My eyes sweep disapprovingly over her unprofessional attire. Today it’s an off-the-shoulder blouse showing a great deal of creamy cleavage and a tight lace pencil skirt. Her wild black curls are swept to one side and tumble down her arm.