I Have to Have Her by Sam Crescent



Still nothing from his lawyer. He made a quick note to call him in the morning. Even though his world never slept, he allowed his people to get some sleep. He was used to power napping. A couple of hours here or there, never with anyone. If he took a woman to bed, she left it before he got any sleep.

Staring out at the night, he watched people coming and going. Some were dressed to party. Others were homeless, and a couple looked like they were just finishing work. The hard, gritty world.

This was his paradise. He’d made it his bitch and he ruled over all of it. Anyone who tried to take any of his territory, he slaughtered them without a second thought. This was his part of the world and no one was going to take it from him.

****

Claire Sutton’s eye still hurt. She’d pressed peas over the damn thing, and she’d gone to the emergency room, all for nothing. She was going to have to wait for the swelling to go down. How was she going to get a job looking like this? A nice black eye because of her ex.

That fucking bastard. Tony would pay the moment she found him. If he thought he could get one over on her like this, he was very much mistaken. She was pissed off. Sticking her earbuds in, she turned up a rock song so that it was blaring, killing a few brain cells in the process.

She closed her eyes, lifted her hands in the air, and started to sway her hips from side to side.

The bedroom Rhianna had given her was just amazing. It was a spare in her brother’s penthouse suite, and it was bigger than the apartment she’d just gotten kicked out of. Again, another of Tony’s mistakes. He hadn’t paid the rent even though she’d left the money out to be paid. Stolen.

She had the worst taste in men. Simple as that. She’d sworn off men now. They weren’t worth her time. There was no way a few orgasms was worth any of this. It just wasn’t happening.

She was thirsty and hungry. Rhianna was taking a private phone call in her own room, and Claire had already been told to treat the place like it was her own. Glancing down at her panties and vest top, she shrugged. Rhianna had said her brother was never home, and she didn’t want to fight through her dirty clothes to find something decent. All courtesy of her landlord. She’d come home from getting fired to find her clothes strewn out on the street as if she was worth nothing, which to him, was probably the truth.

No matter how many times she tried to tell the man she’d paid him, he had shown her his records and she’d seen that no money had been paid for two months. It didn’t matter her promises, he was done. So now she had no clean clothes, and Tony had taken off with her savings. He’d cleaned out her checking account as well.

Broke.

Opening the bedroom door, with her music still blasting away, she kept on dancing. There was no way in hell she was going to let all of her worries bother her. She was bigger than them. Swinging her hips harder, faster, she allowed the music to seep into every fiber of her being and just consume her.

She opened the fridge and found a yogurt. Smiling to herself, she couldn’t recall the last time she’d enjoyed a fruit yogurt. After pulling off the lid, she looked through the drawers and found a spoon. Dipping into the creamy dessert, she swallowed it down with a moan. Flavor exploded on her tongue. She hadn’t eaten since last night, and she was starving. Before coming to Rhianna, she’d tried to figure something out. It seemed people didn’t like to hire someone with black eyes.

She wasn’t going to think about it.

Just keep on dancing and eating. That was all she could do.

When a pair of hands wrapped around her neck, and she was crushed to a very hard, large chest, she let out a squeak.

The earbuds were removed.

“What do I have here?”

She clawed at the hand around her neck. Her heart raced and she closed her eyes as his breath brushed across her ear.

“I didn’t leave a woman half-naked in my apartment.” He was so strong as he lifted her and moved her with ease, pressing her against the fridge. She let out a start as the coldness touched her butt cheeks.

Claire would recognize this man anywhere.

So much for Rhianna’s brother not coming home.

He stared at her.

She hadn’t seen him since she was eighteen at their graduation. Gabriel Locke had always been scary. He rarely spoke to her and when he did, it was always filled with disapproval.

He believed she was the reckless one, always convincing Rhianna to go to parties, which turned out to be the other way around. His sister liked to go out and party. She mostly followed along. She adored Rhianna and loved her like a sister.