Kidnapped by the Billionaire

By: Jackie Ashenden

Violet stared rigidly at the doors in front of her, making no move to speak or to do anything else. She looked turned to stone.

Excellent. That would make his life a shitload easier.

As the doors opened, he urged her across the hallway to his apartment door, keeping his gun pressed to her back as he keyed in another code.

The door unlocked and he pushed her inside, kicking it shut.

For a second he allowed himself a moment to relax, lowering the gun and leaning back against the closed door, the pain and the cold starting to bite deep. He’d probably lost more blood than he’d thought. This could be a bitch to recover from if he wasn’t careful.

It was only when he heard movement that he realized he’d closed his eyes for a moment.

Opening them with a start, he was just in time to see Violet’s fist heading straight for his face.

* * *

She knew she had no chance, that she’d never win against a man like Elijah Hunt. But dammit, she had to do something because sitting back and taking it had never been her style.

He’d closed his eyes and sagged against the door, and she’d managed to shake off her shock enough to launch the heel of her palm up against his chin the way she’d learned to do in the self-defense classes she’d taken at college.

Unfortunately his head did not snap back the way it was supposed to.

Instead his hand came up—far quicker than it had any business doing—and fingers like iron clamped her wrist in a vice. Then before she quite knew what was happening, her arm was being twisted around and her body along with it, until she was jerked hard against him, her arm pulled up behind her and pinned agonizingly between her shoulder blades.

She tried struggling, unwilling to let the moment go where she might have, in a different universe, had a chance at fighting him and perhaps winning. But her struggles made no difference at all to the iron hold he had on her and when something even harder than the body up against her back pushed into her side, she knew the moment had gone utterly.

Violet stilled, panting. Fear sat in her chest, so large and sharp she could barely deal with that let alone the other thing he’d whispered in her ear back out on the sidewalk outside the subway station.

Your father is dead.

The words echoed in her head, meaningless syllables all jumbling together.

Her father. Evelyn Fitzgerald. She didn’t even begin to comprehend it. He’d always seemed invulnerable, untouchable. A cool, clever man who prized control in all things. A cool, distant parent.

Now he wasn’t either of those things. He wasn’t anything.

How did Elijah Hunt know? And did he have something to do with it? Was he even telling the truth?

Okay. So. First things first. Pull yourself the fuck together.

“What the hell are you doing with me?” she forced out, her voice thin and tight. “If you’re going to rape me then just get it over and done with, you prick, because the suspense is killing me.” All bravado of course, but it was better than whimpering like a child.

He made a sound of disgust at that and suddenly she was free as he shoved her forward. She stumbled, going down on her hands and knees to the hard wood floorboards beneath her feet. Shaking, she turned over, raising her arms to fight.

But he didn’t come any closer. He only pushed himself away from the door and pointed the muzzle of that nasty-looking gun in her direction.

The fear turned over in her chest, making her want to cower on the floor.

Elijah had always been a frightening man, right from the moment her father had first taken him on as his new bodyguard five years earlier. Her father never went anywhere without him, and Violet had hated the way the man seemed to hang around all the freaking time, like a gargoyle, all scarred face and cold black eyes. He never smiled. Never seemed to have any expression other than “don’t fuck with me.”

She didn’t like him. And yet for some reason she couldn’t ever quite put her finger on, she found him vaguely fascinating too. He was like a blade she wanted to test the edge of, just to make sure he really was as lethally sharp as she’d thought. Or a tiger she wanted to poke a stick at to see if he was as dangerous as he seemed.

But those urges had fled now. Because yes, he really was as sharp and as dangerous as he seemed, and if she wasn’t careful she was going to get herself either cut or killed and eaten.

“That was a pretty fucking stupid move.” His voice was so cold, like the rest of him, yet with an oddly rough, sensual edge that sounded like he’d spent one too many nights drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes. Except of course she’d never seen him do either. His idea of a fun night out was probably polishing his knives and checking over his guns.

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