Authors: Erika Masten
HIS SAKE: HIS #7
Copyright © 2013 Erika Masten
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Published by Sticky Sweet Books.
This book contains material protected under
International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint
or use of this material is prohibited. Without limiting the rights under
copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored
on, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by
any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise)
without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above
publisher of this book.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarities to actual
persons or events are purely coincidental.
Warning: Explicit content.
mature readers only.
All characters depicted herein are 18 years or
and all sexual activities are of a consensual nature.
This is a work of erotic fantasy. In real life, please
protect yourself and your lover by always practicing safe sex.
Knowing Adrian Knight was less than twenty-four
hours away from appearing in a Brazilian court made it impossible for me to
concentrate. Every piece of paperwork on my desk had the upper right hand
corner picked away, from me tearing off little bits while I brooded through
meetings. I compulsively bent every paperclip I touched out of shape. And I
accidentally shot a binder clip that I’d been fidgeting with across a
conference table and hit one of the other junior partners in the forehead. Not
like me at all, but I hadn’t been me for several weeks.
For all the pain I’d blamed on Adrian—on the man who
had fooled me, seduced me, wooed me, confided in me, dominated me, lied to me,
and broken my heart in the same instant he’d brought it back to life—the need
to defend and protect him consumed my dreams as much as my waking hours. Like
he needed me with three of the firm’s senior partners already heading his legal
defense. Like a
have more than enough resources at his command. Like our goodbye in his hotel
room yesterday morning hadn’t made it clear that our agreement making me his
sexual submissive had finally, utterly concluded. Back to real life, if there
was such a thing. Just now, nothing felt as real as those hours on the beach
and in Adrian’s villa on his island of Ilha de Flor.
After fifteen minutes of almost mindlessly lobbing
out seemingly random details I had gathered about the recent activities and whereabouts
of my ex, Penn Ellison, something finally snagged the attention of his onetime
business partner and my former client, Karl Richter. I stopped pacing behind my
dark wood desk, the anxious clack of my high heels against the polished floor
falling silent, and I glanced at angelic blonde Nina Talbot where she perched
in the office chair opposite me before we both focused hard on the speaker
The businessman’s smooth, refined voice
disintegrated into a rumbling chuckle of sincere mirth. “Ah, Chloe, I would
hire you away from that law office if I could. You are good luck for me today.”
I shook my head of loose brown hair and winced at
the reference, the second time in recent days I’d been referred to as someone’s
good luck charm. Last month, when Penn had confronted me on the beach at Ilha
de Flor, destroying the tentative peace I had begun to build there with Adrian
Knight, the Ellison heir had said the same thing about me. Even then it had
rung hollow and dissonant, but it had also planted the suspicion in the back of
my head that there was something more to Penn’s presence on the island than his
desire to buy the resort out from under his lifelong rival.
Karl was still laughing, and I perked one dark brow
at the perfectly coiffed and expensively dressed Talbot heiress as she covered
her mouth with her fingers to keep from chuckling back at him. “I’m glad to be
of service, but are you going to share the joke with me?” I asked the man.
The developer cleared his throat and muttered a
brief apology. “Ellison and I are both vying for several contracts right now
through the United States Southern Command, mostly logistical and
infrastructure support services. Altogether, they add up to a pretty penny, and
the requests for bids are all going through an officer by the name of
Nina straightened in her chair and omitted a high,
soft gasp of realization. “Miami? Is Buchanan stationed in Miami by any
“Is that your researcher, Chloe?” Karl asked at
hearing a higher and more cultured voice than my own. Knowing Nina was helping
me—and Adrian—at great risk to herself and her position with her family, I had
concealed her true identity when I introduced her to the businessman at the
beginning of the conversation.
Now I carried on the pretense. “Yes, and she’s very
good, I assure you.” And that was true. Despite being a darling of socialite
gossip columns, Nina had managed to conceal more than four years of her
on-again off-again affair with black sheep billionaire Adrian Knight. I still
fought down resentment at the idea that she was his submissive before I was. It
was a smoldering envy complicated by the fact that I was genuinely beginning to
“Indeed,” Karl confirmed. “Miami is the headquarters
for Southern Command.”
Under her breath and almost to herself, Nina
murmured, “Whitney said she had just gotten back from Miami with Penn when I
spoke to her last night.”
Karl’s voice rose over the speaker. “No whispering,
ladies. Let’s not keep secrets.”
“My researcher is acquainted with Penn’s
new...assistant,” I rushed to explain,
“She got Ms. Yarborough talking last night over drinks.” And about more than
Miami, including Whitney’s mounting jealousy of me over Penn’s reluctance to
let go of our relationship and begin one with her. If only she’d known I’d have
gladly made her a gift of him, decked in bows and strung up with ribbon—by a
certain organ, if I’d had my way.
Richter’s tone fell and grew more serious as he
responded, “It sounds as though Penn is hedging his bets these contracts. After
coming out the worse for wear last time we tangled, I would dearly like to
catch Penn with his pants down and his checkbook out for the wrong people. But
I doubt he’s dumb enough to deal with Buchanan directly. There’s probably a
go-between, someone he thinks he can pay to take the fall if they get caught
fixing the bids.”
“Bribes,” I sighed as a drop down weary and heavy in
my over-padded leather office chair. “This is all about bribes.”
“What are you thinking, Chloe?” Karl pressed.
“Penn’s been trying to force a commercial developer
by the name of Adrian Knight to sell him an island off the coast of northern
Something about its proximity to Venezuela.”
,” Karl breathed, “that makes perfect sense. Southern
Command coordinates all South American operations for the United States
military, and the southern arena includes Venezuela and their problem child of
Thinking out loud, I mulled, “So Penn is sweetening
the pot on his bids by… What? Offering the island as some kind of base of
“Most likely a listening post,” Karl explained. “It
would look like a completely unrelated deal, probably with Buchanan taking
credit for securing the landowner’s cooperation. I’d bet my bank account Penn
will register ownership of the island to a shell company far enough removed
from any Ellison holdings that no one will connect the dots.”
“Filho da puta.”
Penn was using all his influence with the Brazilian government to have Adrian indicted
and to pry ownership of the island out of his rival’s grasp while he himself
was guilty of all the same crimes and more. The urge to confront Penn, to rush
to Adrian’s side, welled up so strong in my chest that I could have screamed.
Swallowing down another flood of curses, I bit the inside of my cheek.
Karl was chuckling again. “I don’t speak Portuguese,
but I think I get the gist of that.” He paused. When he spoke again, it was
more tentatively. “Chloe, do you think there’s any way you can get me the name
of that go-between Penn is using? I… I have to admit to a somewhat petty desire
to take Penn down at his own game after he screwed my company over on that
infrastructure deal.” The case I’d had to recuse myself from, because I was
dating Penn and the firm was representing his father. Even then, I’d never
believed the Ellison accusations against Richter’s company.
Nina sat up a little
straighter and shook her head of short blond curls, only accentuating the halo
effect. “That’s going to be a problem. Whitney said that Penn left for Brazil
yesterday.” As an aside to me, she added under her breath, “And she was none
too happy to be left behind.”
I frowned so hard I felt it in my cheeks and my
forehead. “I’m sure Penn had them fueling his private jet as soon as he heard
Adrian had been indicted. He’ll want to see the proceedings first hand.”
“Sounds like the gentlemen have some history,” Karl
interjected. And they did, from competing for every award and position of
leadership from prep school through college to Penn seducing the girl Adrian
had planned to marry. Only fair, I supposed, that Adrian had taken the first
opportunity to move in on me when I’d left Penn over his public infidelities.
Fair to everyone but me, that was.
Christ, it seemed like I still wasn’t sure if I
hated or loved Adrian Knight.
Karl’s voice drew me back from my momentary retreat
into private thoughts. “If you can pull this Knight out of the mess Ellison put
him in, maybe we can do business.
The enemy of my enemy and
“Oh, I’ll get Adrian out of this all right,” I vowed
before I realized my intention. But even as I promised to call Karl back when I
had more information, as I began stuffing files into my leather briefcase while
Nina watched me with a curious tilt to her head, my better judgment was ringing
bells and blowing whistles in my head.
If I acted on this impulse, if I walked away from
all the cases piled on my desk and out that office door, I was risking my
junior partner of
note at Ferris & Hale and probable censure for unethical behavior…and maybe
more. This wasn’t my case, never was, and Adrian wasn’t my client, just my
lover. Governments were involved,
both the American and Brazilian. More money than I could imagine was on the
line, I was sure. And I was only one woman, a grubby little girl from the poor
side of town who happened to clean up well enough to pass among the moneyed
elite without offending their sensibilities. That wouldn’t last if I acted on
the urge gripping me from the base of my spine to the ache in my chest.
“What am I doing?” I asked myself aloud as I fell
back down into my chair. My face felt suddenly feverish, like the warning flush
of impending flu or exhaustion. “Adrian isn’t even…”
I absently asked myself where I’d put my passport when I’d
stumbled forlorn back to my apartment in the middle of the night last month,
freshly fled from Adrian’s bed after learning he had known all along I was
Penn’s ex-girlfriend, after seeing the subpoenas that seemed to prove him every
bit the underhanded white collar criminal his father was. My fingers wandered
toward my laptop keyboard as I wondered about flight departures and travel
times from JFK to Natal, Brazil. I snatched my hand back. “What am I doing?” I
you doing?” Nina asked, regarding me with an uncharacteristically steady,
focused gaze that I’d seen a time or two over the last twenty-four hours. The
whimsical heiress with nothing more important on her mind than shopping and
where to have dinner was just a persona she wore to keep people from watching
her too closely, I was certain now.
“Brazil,” I whispered breathlessly. The word, the
thought, hurt my throat as it forced its way past the knot of emotion lodged
there. “If Penn is in Brazil, that’s where I have to go. He’s not going to tell
me anything over the phone, but if he thinks… If he thinks I still have
feelings for him…”