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Authors: Diana Nixon

Checkmate

 

 

Checkmate

By Diana Nixon

Print edition details

ISBN-13: 978-1500416836

ISBN-10: 1500416835

 

Copyright © 2014 by Diana Nixon

All rights reserved

 

No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval systems, without prior written permission of the author except where permitted by law.

 

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

 

Cover design by Amina Black

Checkmate

(Summary)

 

Smart, beautiful and ambitious, Scarlett Wilson never thought that trouble could be that irresistible. After she wakes up in a handsome stranger’s bed, with nothing but the vague memories of the night they spent together, her life changes tremendously. What she thought was the biggest mistake ever, turns out to be the only thing her body and mind would never let her forget.

Who would have thought that the only witness to Scarlett’s night adventures would become the new head of her father’s company that she had been dreaming to head for years?

The owner of the most gorgeous face and the most impossible temper ever, Dominick Altier will make the wildest of her fantasies come true…

 

Is falling in love with the devil worth giving up dreams and betraying principles?

 

Will setting the rules help retain dignity?

 

Or will losing a match become the only way to win the game?

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to my family, friends and readers for their infinite love and support. I hope you will
fall in love with every page of this story that I truly enjoyed working on.

Special thanks to my amazing editor, Heather Anne Davis. Your help and patience are priceless, lady!

And, of course, I would have never been able to publish this book without my unbelievably talented cover designer, Amina Black, who has created another stunning cover for me. I hope we will continue working together.

 

Sincerely yours

Diana Nixon

Contents

Acknowledgements

Contents

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter
15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 1
Scarlett

“Damn it!” I swore under my breath, looking at the broken heel of one of my newly bou
ght, emerald shoes. Five hours — this is how long they lived; the shortest life ever. I sighed and wrapped my arms around myself, trying not to panic.

The late August night was uncharacteristically chilly, and spending it in the middle of only God knew where, wearing nothing but a purple mini-dress combined with high heels
, one of which was irreparably ruined, wasn’t helping a thing.

I looked around and tr
embled from head to toe as a blast of wind almost knocked me down. Endless rows of trees spread out across both sides of the road that I hoped would lead me back to New York. I shouldn’t have left the city tonight. Unfortunately, regrets have this annoying tendency to turn all of your small mistakes into one downright failure.

I looked at my dead cell phone and swore again; my night couldn’t have been worse. It started with a not-promising-any-trouble call from my bestie, who was going through another break-up and desperately needed a distraction. In her case, a distraction meant a nightclub full of hot guys, dancing and
a Margarita —
A Holy Fucking Trinity
, as she called it. Even the choice of words sounded ridiculous, but that was Jill for you.

She and I have been best friends for ages. We met in high school, after my family moved to New York
, making me leave everything that I loved so much behind, including my school, friends, and what felt like the biggest love of my life, Andrew Thompson. I thought I would never forgive my folks for ruining our relationship, but after I found out about Andrew kissing Millie Somerfield once I left, I mentally thanked them for saving me from that asshole. And now, after almost seven years of a wonderful, peaceful and even more importantly
manless life
, I’m standing in the middle of nowhere, hoping I could get back home alive, because I was such a fool and let one of those beautiful bastards that I always tried to ignore, muddle my mind.

 

Tonight Jill chose one of the new clubs that she had been dying to visit for weeks. She said it was situated not far away from the city, but right now, I desperately wanted to, God forgive me, punch her in the face. For about an hour I had been trying to find my way back home, and I still didn’t see anything but the damn trees and empty road in front of me.

I rubbed my arms, hoping it would help me stop trembling, but luck was so not on my side tonight.
What a bitch…

I thought back about the way my night started.
The Black Rose
turned out to be a very nice place. Even I, a strong whoop-de-do hater, liked it. It wasn’t crowded, which I appreciate, considering how much I hate sweaty and dead-drunk guys, breathing down my neck. Even if they weren’t drunk, I still didn’t like the way they were watching me: as if I were a prey they were dying to swallow alive.

But somehow,
tonight, everything was a little different. I immediately noticed a dark-haired guy, coming to the bar where I was sitting sipping my fourth Margarita. He was wearing a dark suit, combined with a white shirt; his dark-blue tie was loosened. He took a seat next to me and ordered a double whiskey, draping his jacket over the chair. But what surprised me most, was his accent — such a damn intoxicating, pants-dropping symphony that made me think about the things I was sure were long dead in my mind (and not only there).


Merci
,” he replied, taking his drink.

Oh, I see…

“French.” I smirked, taking another sip of my Margarita. Why the hell
does everything that French men say sound so freaking sexy?


Excusez-moi
?” He said, turning to me. “Did you say something?”

“Nothing to get you interested
,” I snapped, not bothering myself with being nice. The guy even smelled like sex, and I sure as hell didn’t need it now, did I?

“And here I thought you were talking about me,
ma belle
.” He sang the words with that leisure half-smile that always promised so much more than its owner would ever give you.

“And I thought you didn’t hear what I said.”

He nodded curtly, hiding his smirk behind a glass of whiskey. “Bad night?”

“Why would you think that?”

“You look as if you were… how do you say it...
pissed
?” He narrowed his eyes, studying me.


Fuck off.
This is how we say it,” I said, meeting his stare without hesitation. It was hard to say what color his eyes were, in the dim light of the club they seemed gray or… green?


Azuré
,” he said in a low voice, answering my mental question.
Smart ass.

“Right. Blue.” I nodded absently and
turned back to the bartender to order another drink. Jill was nowhere around, which wasn’t surprising. I saw her flirting with some guy, and I was sure she wouldn’t need me, any time soon.

“So
what makes
une si belle femme
sit here alone, drinking and blowing off all the men trying to get her attention?”

I smiled slightly at the question. I could speak French almost as fluently as my companion could, and I knew exactly what his words meant.

“Even
a
beautiful woman
sometimes wants to be alone.”

His grin widened. “
Oh, lala!
Who would have thought that the first woman I talk to tonight would understand me so well?”

I rolled my eyes. “Apparently, you think that a few French
words can make any woman swoon in seconds.” I said the words in such a sweet manner, even to me they sounded too slutty.

He laughed quietly in response and leaned
closer to my ear so I could feel his breath, saying, “Try me out.”

What?
I almost choked on my drink, shocked by his response. I looked at his smiling face, but there wasn’t a hint of a joke in his eyes. He
was
serious.

“I thought I’ve made myself clear about sleeping with you, or anyone else tonight.”

“Not really. Anyway, I thought I could make you change your mind,” he said, moving even closer. As close as he could to make the warning bells in my head start ringing.
Not good…


Sorry,” I said, rising to my feet. “I’m not here alone.”

He blinked and copied my move, blocking my way. “Just one more second,” he said before his lips crashed on mine.

Oh. My. Freaking. God…

I had been kissed before, but not like that! Actually, nothing of what I used to call
a kiss
was even close to what the stranger’s lips were doing to mine now. They were so soft and sensuous, giving and demanding; as if he were testing me, trying to understand if I was good enough for whatever he was up to. When his tongue slid into my mouth, I couldn’t hold back a pleasurable moan, escaping my throat. Unintentionally, my fingers grabbed his tie, pulling him even closer. In return, he pressed me to his chest, deepening the kiss and making all the rational thoughts in my head go to hell in a hand-basket.
So much for I-don’t-need-a-man theory…

I felt the long-forgotten sensations forming in my belly and for the first time ever, I didn’t give a damn about anything but ripping the guy’s clothes out of my way and making the wildest of my fantasies come true.


Magnifique
,” he breathed into my lips, breaking the kiss long enough to look into my eyes one more time. Then, his lips were back on mine, and God only knew how badly I was screwed. All I wanted and needed now was
him

“Come with me,” I said without a second thought.

His eyes darkened and I felt his embrace tightening.

“Come with you?” H
e repeated the words with a mischievous smile curving the corners of his lips. “Like right here?”

Oh God, c
ould this moment get any more awkward? Well… Who the hell cares?

“Yes. Isn’t it what you wanted?” I blurted, sliding my palm down his shirt and to the waistband of his trousers. I was drunk enough not to think about the consequences of my behavior, and damn my sexy stranger, he obviously knew how to make me lose the remnants of my stupid mind.

“The more important thing is
que voulez vous, ma Belle de nuit?
” He asked, caressing my chin with his fingertips.

“I want you,” I replied, watching a
triumphant smile spreading all over his face.

“Making you scream my name for the rest of this night
c'est mon voeu le plus cher —
this is my dearest wish.”

And so,
the stupidest of all of my decisions had been made. I sent all of my doubts to hell and followed my stranger to the exit, not even trying to resist the attraction pulling me to him.
What the hell was going on with me?
I didn’t want to know the answer. 

We went out into
the dark street and came to a black limo, parked at the back door.

“Will it do?” H
e asked, nodding to the car.

I never thought I would fall as low as to have sex
in the back seat of a limo, but why couldn’t I do what I wanted so badly, at least for once? And at least it wasn’t a truck or a taxicab.

“Get in,” I replied, surprised to hear
the sultry edge in my voice. I would even beg him to take me right there and then if I had to. Fortunately, it wasn’t needed.

He opened the back door and pulled me
in, roughly, wrapping his arms around my waist, so as not to let me fall. Thank God, the back seat was big enough to do whatever we wanted. My body covered his and only now, I felt how hard he was.

“Feels promising.
” I giggled, surprised to know that I still remembered how to flirt. Jill was right after all: my body desperately needed a good shake-up. But if it wasn’t for the four Margaritas that made pure fire burn in my veins, I doubted I would ever be as offhand with anyone.

“Slow down,
Chérie.
I want to see your beautiful body arching on my silky sheets.”

He wanted to take me to his bed? What the hell happened to spontaneous sex?
I don’t think I was off the market for too long; I surely wouldn’t miss the moment of men choosing obligations over one-night stands. Or maybe this particular man preferred having sex in his bed only?

“Okay, I can
wait.” I nodded, hoping I wouldn’t hiccup; I didn’t feel so good all of a sudden.

We sat up and I readjusted my dress that somehow managed to slip up too high, exposing a good part of my hips.


J’adore
la lingerie noire
,” he murmured, gliding his palm up my leg and thigh, squeezing it slightly.

“All men adore black lingerie.” I could see
the desire splashing in his blue pools. Only now, I took a second look at the man by my side. He had a natural wave in his black hair, though it didn’t look messy, rather too groomed; I bet he spent a lot of time fighting with the curls. Instinctively, I reached one hand and ran my fingers through them, smiling at the way his eyes darkened at my closeness. Our lips were inches apart, but I didn’t want to kiss him; I wanted to intensify the need we both felt. My eyes travelled down his face, his high cheekbones and his firm chin, and stopped at the full lips that, I swear, were made to drive women crazy.

I leaned closer and he wrapped one arm around me, as if he were afraid I would run away. Eventually, the amount of alcohol in my blood took control over me and my unsatisfied desires; I put my head on his shoulder and closed my eyes, hoping a few minutes of peace and quiet would be enoug
h to force my drowsiness away. 

 

I didn’t notice the moment I fell asleep, but when I woke up after what felt like a few seconds, I was lying in a huge bed, embracing a dark-brown, silky pillow; my dress was gone…

Wait, what?

I sat abruptly in the bed and looked around frantically.

“Did you sleep well?” T
he familiar voice asked.

I turned to my right and saw my beautiful stranger leaning on
one elbow and smiling sweetly up at me.

“Where are we?” I asked, trying to remember the moment I got rid of my clothes.
No such luck. Crap…

“My place,” he said, caressing my hip with the back of his palm.

“How long have I been here?”


Ce n'est rien
.”

“I
t does matter!” I wrapped a sheet tighter around me and jumped from the bed, looking for my dress. It was lying on a small couch near the door, with my shoes lying near it.

“What do you think you are doing?”

“Isn’t it obvious? I’m getting dressed,” I snapped, fighting with the zipper on my back. I didn’t really care about standing almost naked in front of the man whose name I didn’t even know.
Christ, I didn’t even bother to ask for his name? Apparently, my body didn’t need to know it.  

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