Kidnapped by the Billionaire

By: Jackie Ashenden

Blood slid slowly down over his dark olive skin that looked like the legacy of some Mediterranean ancestor, obscuring the strange rose tattoo. This close she could smell the heavy, metallic scent of blood, and something else. A darker, earthier scent, like a forest covered in snow.

He didn’t speak, his breathing slow and even. The gun never wavering.

The silence in the room was so thick it felt like her ears were stopped with cotton balls.

And then just when she thought she was either going to burst into tears with fear or scream from the pressure, she felt the metal tips of the forceps close around something hard. Muttering a prayer in her head, she tugged and slowly drew the bullet out.

The only sound from Elijah was a short, barely audible intake of breath, and then he was taking the forceps from her suddenly nerveless fingers, dropping them with a clatter into the sink, and reaching for a bottle he’d gotten out earlier.

Putting the gun down, he opened the bottle and poured it directly onto the wound. Then he reached for a thick white pad as more blood began to slide down his chest.

Violet stood back, watching him, trying to still the tremble in her limbs. Now would be the time, of course, to see if she could grab that gun. Or maybe hit him over the head with something.

Yet she made no move. Even with a wound like that he’d probably be light-years faster than she was, not to mention about a thousand times stronger. And she really didn’t want to test whether or not he’d actually shoot her.

Better to wait for another opportunity or think of a plan that didn’t involve a physical fight.

“Press hard here,” Elijah ordered, pointing at the white pad with his chin.

Reluctantly, Violet came back to the vanity and did as she was told, pressing her hands against the pad to stop the bleeding. She didn’t really want to touch him; at least there was a whole lot of white wadding between her hand and his bare skin. Yet even so, she could feel the heat of his body burning through into her palm. Didn’t seem right for a man who seemed so goddamn cold to be so goddamn hot, and it made her uncomfortable.

She looked down to the vanity instead, where the gun rested.

“Don’t even think about it.”

“I’m n-not.”


There was a surgical needle and thread next to some bandages. With a series of brisk economical movements, he bit off a length of thread then threaded the needle. “I should give those hands of yours something to do.”

Her fear spiked. “I won’t … I m-mean, I-I’m not—”

“Sewing,” he interrupted flatly. “Sex is the last thing I want from you, princess.”

She should have felt relieved, and she did, because God knew it was the last thing she wanted from him too. But there was also a little flash of something else. Something she didn’t want to examine closely.

You’re fucking crazy.

Yeah, she was. She might have been fascinated with him when he was her father’s bodyguard and she was completely safe from him. But all bets were off now.

Shifting her hands on the pad at his shoulder, she said, “I can’t sew to save my life.”

“Fine.” The word was uninflected. “You can stop pressing now.”

Lowering her hands, Violet stepped back.

He peeled the pad from his shoulder and seemingly without any pain, began to sew up the wound.

Perhaps this was a good opportunity? While he was distracted?

The gun was too close to him, and she probably couldn’t grab it without a fight. But … maybe she could hit him in the shoulder, where it hurt. Or push him. Or maybe even slip by him and run back into the lounge area of the apartment.

And then what? You can’t get out the door without that code.

No, but her purse was out there, and inside her purse was her phone. She could call the police, get help somehow. But then she’d have to wait until help arrived and he might very well shoot her in the interim. Not exactly the best plan.

Perhaps it would be better to wait until later, when he was asleep or something. So she could make a call or send a text without him knowing.

“Yeah, I know what you’re thinking.” The cold, rough sound of his voice was a shock. “You’re thinking about how quickly it would take you to run for the phone in your purse.”

Violet stared at him. “I wasn’t … I mean I didn’t—”

“You’re a fucking hopeless liar too.” He didn’t look up from his wound, pushing the needle into his skin and drawing the thread through it. “Try it. I’ll even time you.”

She tensed. “What would you do if I did?”

“Shoot you.”

A shiver swept through her. “That’s kind of your response to everything, isn’t it?”

Top Books