Dangerous Love(3)

By: Penny Wylder

Would the guards even come, after the privacy my father requested?

No time to worry about that now. Face him first, then deal with the fallout later.

“I asked you a very simple question, Mr. Tell. Where is the money you stole?”

“Mr. Tell?” Damon clicks his tongue, head shaking ever so slightly. “So formal. Tell me, little fiancée, how much did Marrón pay you to come in here?”

I clench my jaw and raise my chin. “We can make life in here more comfortable for you, you know. Or, if you’d prefer, we can do things the hard way. You see this room?” I gesture around me. “This wasn’t difficult to secure. We can arrange one just like it for you, down in solitary. Want to spend the next, say, six months there?”

“You’re a sexy little thing, I’ll grant you that.” Damon’s gaze rakes over my body, slow and lingering in a way that makes my stomach tighten and my chest feel two sizes too tight. “And you’ve got fight. I like that in a woman.” He takes a step closer. I force myself to hold my ground, to resist the urge to back away. Men like Damon can only understand one thing—strength. And that’s what I’ve always had. I narrow my gaze at him. “But you’re taking the wrong tactic with me. I don’t know who you are, or what you think you know, but barging in here and making threats isn’t going to intimidate me.”

“Who’s making threats? I simply told you how we could help you, Mr. Tell, as well as how we can hurt you. Now, I’ll ask one last time, nicely. Where did you hide the money you stole from the bank during that heist?”

He steps closer again. We’re just a foot apart now, close enough that I catch the scent of his body—soap and sweat and something underneath, something hot and adrenaline-filled that makes my palms tingle in a way I don’t want to acknowledge. His dark eyes haven’t left mine the whole time I’ve been in this room. Now, they narrow, searching. Finally, he huffs out a single laugh, shakes his head, and raises a brow. “Mauricio is going to have to do a lot better than sending in some random chick if he plans on bullying me into talking.”

“Random?” I laugh once, sharp. “More like his heir. And the next time you address me, Mr. Tell, it will be by my proper name. That’s Ms. Marrón to you.”

“Ms. Marrón.” His voice softens as he says it, eyes widening a little in recognition. I can see him piecing it together now. Recognizing my father’s features in mine—the wide brown eyes and black curls we share, as well as my small nose, sharp chin. “My apologies. I didn’t realize I was in the presence of the heir to Mauricio’s fortunes. Tell me, are you as cutthroat as your father?”

“Twice as bad,” I reply without missing a beat. My father is cutthroat, after all, a shark in business. The worst rumors about him, well, he uses those to his advantage to get ahead. He’s not nearly so great a monster as the world makes him out to be. But sometimes it’s useful to let people believe you’re worse than you are.

Like now.

“You’re going to tell me exactly where you put that money, Mr. Tell, one way or another.”

“Please, call me Damon.” He extends a hand. When I narrow my eyes and pointedly ignore it, he shrugs, then runs it through his hair instead. The motion makes the hem of his shirt rise just far enough to give me a glimpse of his washboard abs. “And why don’t we have a seat? Discuss this on more cordial terms.”

Fuck. My thighs clench. A tiny part of my traitorous brain can’t help but think about what those abs would feel like if I ran my hands over them. Or if I tugged off his shirt, ripped it off him right now and pushed him back into that chair so I could touch his chest, bury my hands in his long hair, what would he say then…?

I dig my nails into my palms. Focus. “Damon. Are you agreeing to do this the easy way, then?”

“Anything for my dear fiancée,” he responds with a smirk. “And by the way, now that I know you’re as bad a girl as I am a man, I have to say, I could’ve done worse for myself.” He closes the rest of the gap between us, until his chest is inches from my face. I hate the move, since I have to crane my head back to glare up at him now, but I hold my ground, refusing to budge. “Now, little Ashley, is checking me out part of the interrogation technique, or just a benefit for you personally while you’re in here?”

I bite the inside of my cheek, hoping not to give anything away. “How do you know my name?”

“Everyone who works for Mauricio knows about Ashley. The light of his life, the reason he does all this, blah, blah, blah.” Damon tsks and reaches up to brush a strand of hair from my shoulder, slowly. The move is at once so forward and so familiar that it catches my breath in my throat, and I simply stare at him. Belatedly, I realize I should slap his hand away, but he’s already dropped it and cocked his head to study me once more. “I see now why your father is so proud and protective of you, Ashley. You’re quite a woman.”

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