A Billion Vendettas

By: Jessa York

Gosh, this man was really pissing me off. “Do you have a clue how much it costs to see a doctor? Not only that, but to take time off for an appointment?”

“Your husband won’t pay for a doctor?” he asked so sarcastically that I wanted to hit him.

“Of course, he’ll pay. I haven’t had an attack in a while, so it hasn’t been an issue.”

Suddenly, I began to feel uncomfortable with my lack of clothing.

It wasn’t like I could put my wedding dress back on.

And Maxim hadn’t exactly given me time to pack.

“How often does that happen?” he asked, his voice and face a bit more serious now.

“Lately? Hmm,” I said as I tilted my head in mock concentration. “It seems to only happen when I get kidnapped. So, I guess I need to stop doing that. Oh, and whenever scary dudes show up with needles. That’s another new trigger.”

He blinked his eyes and shook his head. “Mateo isn’t scary. And it’s just a little something to help you sleep.”

I stared right into his eyes. “Yeah, to me he’s scary. And the ‘little something’ you had your other guys give me, did more than make me sleep. I hope Nick sent you the bills for all the scans I needed and the medications I had to be on.”

He let out a long sigh. “They weren’t supposed to hurt you. That wasn’t part of the plan.”

“It was like living on a Tilt-A-Whirl for a freaking month.”

His stern, stone-like face didn’t move. “Like I said, that wasn’t the plan.”

I sat back, and let my head rest against the soft, leather seat. Now that I’d allowed my body to relax, my face was beginning to throb.

My fingers drifted up to my nose, and I felt dried blood caked on. “Gross,” I said, feeling how swollen it was. When I touched my top lip, I could tell it was easily three times its normal size.

Maxim grabbed my arm and shook it. He stared at the diamond bracelet Nick had given me.

“Take it off,” he said, then his eyes narrowed in on my ears. “Your earrings, as well. Those are my diamonds.”


I didn’t want to give him my jewelry.

I felt an ache inside my chest when I realized I had no choice in the matter.

What was I going to do? Arm wrestle Maxim for them?

Reluctantly, I unhooked my bracelet, and removed my earrings—and handed them over to Maxim.

He stuffed them into his pocket.

“Thank you,” he said right before he clutched my left hand. “Let’s not forget this.”

Then, he started yanking on my engagement ring.

I expected it to slide right off—but, my ring held tight.

He used two hands, now, tugging hard on my finger, and the ring.

“What the fuck? Why won’t this come off?” he swore under his breath.

I pushed his hands away.

“Let me do it,” I said, and started pulling on my ring.

It wouldn’t come off.

“Huh, weird,” I said, beginning to feel a bit panicked at not being able to get my ring off.

I mean, I didn’t want it off.

I didn’t want to give it to Maxim.

But, the fact that my ring was incredibly stuck gave me an odd feeling inside.

“My fingers are probably swollen from that stupid rope you used to tie me up with,” I said as I came to the conclusion that this ring was staying on my finger.

At least for now.

“Hmm, we’ll try again later,” he said, then reached for something on the floor.

“Hands.” He held out the same rope he’d used on my wrists earlier. “I’ll tie them in front this time.”

I quickly yanked my hands back against my chest. My heart started beating hard, and I felt like I might begin another panic attack all over again.

“What? No, why?” I said almost incoherently as I squirmed away from him as much as possible.

“So you don’t whack me over the head in my sleep?” he asked incredulously as if I were an idiot.

It was my turn to frown at him. “And what exactly would that do? I club you on the head, and then jump out of a moving airplane while I’m only wearing my underwear—and no parachute?”

That only prompted him to scan my body again with his lecherous eyes. “That’s some quality, top of the line lingerie, princesa,” he said, gazing back into my eyes. “I’ll enjoy taking it off you later.”

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