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Bestselling Demanding Daddy, Spicy Fairy Tale Retelling Romance Series

Bestselling Demanding Daddy, Spicy Fairy Tale Retelling Romance Series

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Excerpt - Captured

“Put me down, you oaf!”

Hauling Bella inside, I dropped her on a chair, tossed our luggage on the living room floor and secured the door. I spun at her and folded my arms across my chest, a feeble attempt at restraining my urges, “What are we going to do with you, Bella?” A vein throbbed beneath the tightened skin on the left side of my face, and I attempted to rub it into submission. 

She was frozen in front of me, helpless because of her cuffs.  And yet, it wasn’t my place to show mercy in the least. She was asking for it, and I was clearly the right person to make sure she got what she deserved: a good walloping. This girl needed some sense spanked into her if I ever met one. 

That was the last semi-rational thought that crossed my mind before I bent down in a tackle position and hefted her over my right shoulder. The thought of taking her over my knee wouldn’t go away, and there was only one way to fix that. 

She slapped at my back, her blows hindered by the fact that her wrists were bound together. “What are you doing, you barbarian!? You can’t treat a prisoner this way! It’s against regulations. I’ll have your badge!”

I chuckled and felt her bounce on my shoulder. “What badge? I don’t need no stinking badge. I’m a hired gun. I certify myself.”

Chapter 1 - Captured

Bella

Sacramento, California
The Dive Bar

I parked myself on the bar stool, back stooped, holding my chin tucked to my chest to cover my face with the brim of a black baseball hat
that said “I can’t people today.” The vibe I meant to lay down was don’t talk to me.
The bass beat filled the air around my head, cuffing my eardrums with occasional pressure while I checked out the front door for assassins.
The disco lights mopped the dance floor every few minutes, displaying sticky, spilled drinks in overlapping, translucent layers. It was too shadowy
to see properly.
Exactly the point.
No one working from a photograph would recognize me beneath this
imperfect lighting. There was an untouched shot of tequila, to keep up appearances, in front of me. I picked it up and rolled it between my palms
and wondered how it would sound if I threw it against the back-lit bottles of
booze arranged like ornaments on the racks behind the bartender. How
many people in this room were holding shot-glass-throwing feelings
beneath their skin and stifling their unrest with booze?
The prospect was unnerving. I searched around to check for
hooligans again.
The Dive Bar had its charms and appeared to be free of knuckle draggers for the moment, full of young people liquoring themselves up to
dance and inspecting the area for potential hook ups. I’d been here thirty minutes, to avoid going stir crazy in my room. Left to my own devices, I
could make myself miserable in a matter of seconds, using only my brain.
It was only humanly possible to pick apart at computer security
systems for so long, and I had been at it all day. So it was a welcome distraction to hear patrons chat about the fact that the human aquarium overhead cost one-point-five-million dollars. Let’s hope that price tag made the tank structurally intact.
Being “on the run” was surreal. I knew I needed to keep moving—that the same characters who needed to locate my dad figured that I was just the person to point them in his general direction. They were mistaken. My dad was too smart to be traceable via cell phone or computer. His last
communication let me know he was fleeing the country and would be back when he had ample proof to put Bunker Inc. away for good.
And he told me: “Run.”
The line between ethical hacking and just plain hacking was a fine one. Papa and I both served clients who hired us to break into their computer network, find security vulnerabilities, and suggest solutions.
While doing a job he was paid to do, he discovered abnormal activities, which incriminated Bunker Inc., a corporation worth millions. Whenever I
thought of the thugs that were after my dad, they appeared as cartoon characters in my mind. Pinstripe suit. Black fedora with a flashy baby blue band. A five o’clock shadow covering the chin and lower cheeks in a broad stripe. Heavy black stripes staining the brow, like shoe polish swiped over pencil-dot pupils. Eyes surrounded by dark, sagging circles, with a round nose. And two ham-sized hands, curled into angry fists. It was better to think of them as comical. Easier to escape cartoonish goons than the evil and clever masterminds who controlled their puppet strings from behind the
respectable screen of their company.
My fear needed damping down. I could feel my shoulders tighten and my legs shake where I had them perched on the rungs of the bar stool.
I found gangster movies soothing. “My circle is small. I’m loyal as hell. Never fuck me over.” (Scarface). The leading characters lived with horse
heads in their beds; dead, or semi-dead bodies in the trunks of their cars; poison in their cannoli. Their torment made my life simple and solvable by
comparison.
Until it wasn’t.
Now here I was sitting under the human mermaid tank, wishing to go on undiscovered in the gloomy light and disconcerting dance music decibel.
Being on the run was one way to have an adventure. All my life, I’d kept my head in books, escaping reality, yearning for the day when I could seek
excitement of my own. And now that day had come.
The mermaids and mermen showed off spinning slow somersaults above cocktail-sipping patrons who ignored their fin propelled antics. The
swimming creatures kept my attention. I saw a faint, blue-green scaled tail propel from the far end of the tank to above where I was sitting. Its owner
plucked out a mirror and silver comb from a wooden chest at the bottom of the container and combed the long blond tresses of her hair, which floated
diaphanously above her. When would she take a breath? How long could she hold it?
I counted. I got to forty-five seconds when I was interrupted by some dude in a black leather motorcycle jacket who plunked himself on the stool next to me. “New in town?” I got an instinctual alert that skittered across
the back of my shoulders like a daddy long-leg spider. “Buy you a drink?”
He perched his feet on the bar stool and jiggled his knees, drumming his fingers on his acne scarred chin.
“No, thanks; I'm all set.” I crossed my arms against my breasts.
“Oh, come on, that’s no way to make friends.” He sidled his barstool closer to mine, and I slid my hand into my right pocket, wrapping my fingers
around the comforting shape of my pepper spray. You can never be too careful. Especially when trying to avoid being captured by goons.
There was a deep, rumbling voice behind me, “Hey Bud, she said she wasn’t interested. Besides, she’s with me. You wanna get off my stool?”
I sure as shit was not with anyone, male or female, let alone an hombre with the voice of Barry White and the manners of a caveman.
“If the two of you don’t mind, I’ll just be seeing myself out; thank you very much.” I still hadn’t turned around to see the source of that oh-so- jagged sound, the kind that threaded through your veins like liquid longing.
Hot. Sexy. Even if you weren’t thinking about licking him, the noise would wind your biological clock to ticking speed.
Suddenly, the shot of tequila in front of me was tempting. Burn away the lustful feels. Send them back into the closet where they’ve been hiding
since…well, since ever.
I refused to turn around—no matter what. I’d toss back the Cuervo and head back to my hotel. But the skeevy guy on my left butt in on that
plan with his exit.“I, I, ah meant no harm. I’ll just be on my way. I don’t want to intrude
on your date.”
That libido-licking voice again. “Excellent choice.” He took his place next to me and placed his IPA on the counter next to my shot of tequila; a beer drinking Goliath settling in next to his giantess. I noticed he wasn’t
touching his drink either.
Sweet heavenly sprocket. He had gladiator arms and a sailor’s ink.
Okay if seamen turned you on, I guess.
Not my type at all. A far cry from Mr. Darcy, Heathcliff, or Atticus Finch: the gentleman heroes that fueled my fantasy.
His bulging biceps were nothing in comparison to his granite jaw and angel lips, which I admired while sneaking a sidelong glance at him. If a
stone statue of a messenger of God came to life, it would have the mouth of this man. Strong lips, frozen almost in pout. The sheer size of them put
Angelina Jolie’s pucker to shame, and my mind began to wander down the
path of what was possible to achieve with lips like those.
Kiss.
Nibble.
No distractions! You’re on the run. Don’t forget it for even a second.
Vigilance. He may be a bad guy.
“You should be more careful with strange men.” His stern scolding made me implode and crumple inward. I just met him and this warrior’s disapproval crushed me in its hand.
“I’m sorry; aren’t you a strange man?” With that, I tossed back my shot of tequila and waved goodbye at the bathing beauty who was fluttering her hands at her sides in the tank above me. An elegant and tiny trail of
bubbles trickled out of one nostril nostril. I felt connected to her, even though we
hadn’t spoken a word.
“That’s not what I meant. I’ll do you no harm!” His protest was
inappropriately loud, such that people noticed and looked our way.
Suddenly, this abrasive stranger scared me. “Well, thanks for coming
to my rescue. I’ve gotta go.” I hopped off the bar stool, pushed my way through the pelvis-thrusting dancers, wondering if Mr. Make-Me-
Ache liked to dance, and turned around one last time to admire his throw-me-on-the-bed forearms. The left side of his face lit up under the strobe
light which blinked with forced festivity. My mouth fell open and my hand flew to my chest at the same moment he turned to slam his stare into mine.
Terrible scars covered this side of his face, and his hairline was unnaturally receded like something you would see on a Halloween monster mask.
Oh crap.
He caught me staring. I gaped at him like a rude guppy.
Spinning around and stepping onto the rainbow-colored spots shining from above, I followed them like a garden path, and walked out into the hot
summer air. Sacramento summer. It was always at least a hundred degrees.
I needed to get out of there fast and back to safety. The Benton Hotel was only two blocks away from The Dive. It was stupid of me to leave my
room in the first place. I recognized the brick wall that led me here but my mind was a fog when I tried to remember how to get back. The night time
air churned around me. My feet took swerving steps of their own accord, as if following the path of a snake, and my eyelids lowered like an automatic
garage door. It was impossible to hold them open. They closed, and for the
last time I heard that unmistakable voice behind me. I fell into his arms, avoiding the splat of my head on the pavement.
The last thing I made out before letting my eyes flutter shut was that spark-my-inner-sex-pot voice of his. “Too easy.”

★★★★★ stars I absolutely loved it. He's a bad good boy and she's his prisoner. It a drive across the country where she reveals the truth that he has it all wrong. He's scarred physically but she's very much taken with him and of course there's hot and steamy scenes. It's an age gap book and she's years younger. This has a great HEA.. That in the end will make you smile. - EJT

★★★★★ stars There was so many different aspects to this story, but they all blended into a very well written story. I liked that she was innocent, and the instant attraction just flowed. I liked her teasing and his smart comebacks. It showed who they really were. We all have scars. Some are visible, some are not. But the most important thing is to find someone who loves you as you are. That is what makes them worthy. Loved the epilogue!! - Scarred

★★★★★ stars Loved it! I absolutely loved reading this beauty and the beast retelling. I couldn't put this book down and read it in a few hours. It was amazing and I would recommend it to my friends.Their chemistry was off the charts, and they were so right for one another. - JYT

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