I Have to Have Her by Sam Crescent

“I don’t know. She left the trailer on my graduation day. I went there the next day with my bags waiting for me, packed, and another family already there.”

“Your mother was a bitch,” Rhianna said. “Still is and I hope she has herpes.”

Claire laughed. “I find it easier to not think about her. She hated me, made me aware of it whenever she knew I existed, and I chose to not let her get under my skin.”

“You’re the bigger person?” Gabriel asked.

“I try to be. I don’t always succeed but I’m trying.” She didn’t look at him.

“What was your boyfriend’s name again?” He knew exactly what would happen. Claire jerked her head up but his sister was a wealth of knowledge, spilling all the details he needed to hear.

He smiled, quite content with what he learned. All this time, he winked at her, waiting for her to explode or do something. She didn’t do anything but he knew deep beneath the cool façade, she was boiling. Good. She was going to learn he always got what he wanted and he didn’t have to pay a price to get it.


Her clothes were now clean but Gabriel wouldn’t let her wear any of them. He came back to his apartment with a dress.

Claire couldn’t believe what she was wearing. Wrapping her arms around her waist, she pressed her lips together. She hadn’t worn any makeup because she didn’t actually own any. Her hair fell around her in curls, and no matter how many times she tried to flatten them out, they refused to be controlled.

The dress she wore was modest, yet indecent. She didn’t know what to think of it. At the chest, it was tight, squeezing her breasts together, but doing it in a way that didn’t show the half-cup bra he’d also bought. At the top, it opened up with straps around the neck, a strip of fabric to cover the bra, and then opened up at the waist. The dress covered her ass, stomach, hips, and then at the sides were two large slits that gave glimpses of skin when she walked.

It felt sexy, dirty, exposed, and daring all at the same time. Her body was covered but also gave a hint of what could be.

Gabriel hadn’t spoken a word but she was very much aware of his closeness. This was a punishment. Working for him hadn’t been on her agenda. Even without Rhianna giving her little hints and tips, the name Gabriel Locke spilled fear and arousal across the city. She’d heard whispered rumors. At one of her last jobs, she’d overheard some women who’d claimed to have graced his bed.

He was known for being dominant, the one always in control. When you entered a relationship with him, you played by his rules. She’d also heard that he didn’t actually do relationships. Women were given an amount of time. That was it.

She didn’t know why she was thinking about him or sex, or anything like that. Glancing out of the window, she tried not to think of those hands on her body or giving her pleasure. She and Gabriel had never gotten along and she wasn’t about to even think or believe in the possibility of them being friends.

The car came to a stop in a parking lot. She saw several expensive cars outside, but there weren’t any lines. In fact, she’d been so lost in her thoughts she didn’t even realize they’d entered a private residence.

“Come with me,” Gabriel said, climbing out of the car and holding the door open for her. She’d been Rhianna’s friend her entire life and knew not to ask questions when it came to her brother. She didn’t want to know about the men who followed him, or the fact they wore guns. Sliding out, she hoped she didn’t make a complete fool of herself with the heels she wore.

He held his hand out.

“What is this place?” she asked.

“One of my clubs. This is where you’ll be working,” he said.

The club looked more like a private mansion. The doors were opened by two security guards who bowed their heads as if Gabriel was royalty. She kept her mouth shut as they entered.

The hum of music filtered through the rooms.

“What you are about to see, you must never speak of. Not to Rhianna, not to anyone. This is a completely private place and must remain so.”

“But what do I tell her when she asks where I work?” she asked.

He smiled. “One of my strip clubs.” He opened the door and waited. “It’s this or you’re on your own.”

She didn’t know what to say or do. This was all a little too much. Glancing back at the car, she knew she didn’t have anything to do. Work was hard to come by in the current market.