Crime Lord’s Paradise
Series: Crime Lord Series #4.5
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Buy the Book: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Playster
After Gavin Pyre steps down from his position as crime lord, he and Lyla focus on picking up the pieces of their lives and creating the paradise they deserve.
The sound of her feet rhythmically hitting the treadmill was the only sound in the exercise room. Listening to music only distracted her from what she was doing. Her eyes moved restlessly over the mirrored walls to reassure her that she was alone. The machine’s display was covered by a gun and her cell phone. The phone played a live video feed of Nora asleep in the nursery.
Lyla embraced the burn. Running had become her go-to when she couldn’t sleep or when her stress level was through the roof. She trained with Blade daily even though Gavin was out of the underworld. It kept her active, focused, and ready for anything.
It had been three months since Steven Vega died in Hell. Three months yet it felt like yesterday. Some days she felt normal, hopeful even. Other days, she felt as if she had weights strapped to her ankles. Today was one of those days. She wanted to lock herself in the basement, turn off the lights, and deal with her demons in peace.
As if on cue, the door behind her opened, and a man in a suit entered. She watched him approach in the mirror. Her husband stopped beside the treadmill. She got a whiff of his cologne as she panted, and he smelled amazing, as usual. He was home later than normal. She’d been grateful for the reprieve, so she could work out her bad mood because she wasn’t up for an interrogation. There was no doubt in her mind that’s what she was in for after her excursion today. Blade never failed to fill Gavin in on every little thing.
“You’re done,” Gavin said.
“I just started,” she puffed. “Give me thirty minutes. I’ll meet you upstairs.”
He slapped the off button, and the tread immediately slowed from a sprint to a walk. She glared at him. He looked as alert as he’d been when he left at four this morning. His gray tailored suit fit his broad, muscled frame perfectly. His white shirt was open at the throat, showing off his tanned, defined chest. Black hair was slicked back, and his stunning amber eyes were assessing as they moved over her. She wanted to bite him for looking so composed and controlled. Nothing affected him.
She hopped off the machine and paced with her hands on her hips. “I left some food out for you.”
He didn’t reply. A quick glance in the mirror confirmed he was tracking her as she circled away from him. She didn’t want to be touched right now. She wanted to be alone, but clearly, he wasn’t going to accommodate what she wanted. She didn’t want to discuss it. Gavin could be bullheaded when it came to ripping off Band-Aids, and she wasn’t ready.
“I’ll meet you in the kitchen,” she said pointedly, willing him to leave her be.
She shook her head as she marched restlessly. “Give me ten minutes.”
All day she kept a chokehold on her emotions for Nora’s sake. She did her mommy role the best she could when she wanted to shoot something. Now that her baby was asleep, it was her time. Or it would have been if Gavin would give her space.
“I just need some time alone, Gavin.”
“You’re not gonna get it.”
She whipped her head around. “I don’t interfere with your workout time!”
He walked to the punching bag and reached for something. When he turned, she saw he was holding black hand wraps.
“Blade says you like boxing. We can do some mitt training,” he said.
Blade introduced her to boxing two months ago, and it had quickly become her latest obsession. It would take hours of running to take the edge off her foul mood, but boxing would accomplish the release she needed in half the time. She came forward and held out her hand for him to bind it. He grasped it and drew her against him.
She looked up. Intense hazel eyes bored into her. His energy pulsed in the air. Gavin was always on, always ready for anything. In the past, she shied away from his aggression, but now, she leaned into it. He was her savage. He may spend most of his days in an office tapping at a keyboard, but her husband was a warrior beneath the ten thousand-dollar suits. They had been through hell and back together.
She braced a hand on his muscled chest and rose to her tiptoes. She gave him a quick, close mouthed kiss. When she would have pulled away, he grasped her nape to keep her close and applied pressure on her chin so her mouth opened. He covered her lips with his and slanted his head to go deep. His tongue stroked hers, and he let out a low growl of pleasure. He drank from her as if he couldn’t get enough. She dug her nails into his chest and tensed, fighting his drugging effect on her. He massaged her neck, coaxing her to relax, but she couldn't. She was too revved up. She pushed away from him and staggered back.
Gavin's hand hovered between them for a few beats before he dropped it. A muscle flexed in his cheek. She roused the lion. She could see it watching her. Baiting him was never wise, but she didn't want to be soothed or petted. She wanted to fight. Today had been an emotional roller coaster, and sex wasn’t going to cut it.
“Not now,” she said.
Gavin held out his hand again. She hesitated before she extended hers. He slipped off her wedding ring and pocketed it before he began to wrap her hands. “You want to fight first? Fine with me.”
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