Thril Ride: A Dark Romance
Thril Ride: A Dark Romance
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They say you never forget your wedding day.
Except, I never made it to the church.
Instead of walking down the aisle to marry the man who has promised to love me forever, I’ve been kidnapped by a man from my past.
I haven’t seen Hendrix Blake in over three years, and we didn’t end things on the best terms either. He thought I had betrayed him, so he left me behind, shattered and broken.
Still, I haven’t forgotten a single thing about him, especially not his dark eyes or the way they always seemed to pierce straight to my soul.
Now, I’m locked inside a limousine with the criminal who once owned my heart, speeding down the highway, headed to who the hell knows where.
With no money, no phone, and no clothes, and hundreds of miles from home, I find myself completely at Hendrix’s mercy, which is exactly where he wants me.
- Possessive Hero
- Kidnapped Bride
- Second-Chance Romance
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CLICK HERE TO READ AN EXCERPT
I tap my perfectly manicured nails rhythmically over the laptop keys while watching the clock. I'm bored out of my mind waiting for this “urgent and extremely important” meeting to commence. The one my father's secretary said would begin promptly at three p.m. sharp.
And he's late.
But really, what else is new?
Ever since I started full-time at the firm, I've felt like dad's errand girl. While some of his requests have actually involved trips to the United States Attorney's Office, my responsibilities in the building only included delivering or picking up documents. I've also been assigned the extremely important task of hole-punching a thousand pages of discovery before organizing them into binders. And last, but certainly not least, to remind me I'm the lowest on the totem pole he's actually sent me out to pick up his freaking lunch! I keep wanting to remind him that there is, in fact, a law degree hanging in my office, just like the one in his. I may have only recently graduated and passed several state bars, but being treated like a freaking intern is getting tiresome.
"Page," my father says when he breezes quickly into the room. "Sorry I'm late, got held up on a conference call. We may have just settled our trade secret violation case with SynTech for a million."
"Good for you," I say with as much enthusiasm as I can muster. It's not much since I know our clients are making a killing stealing their old company's ideas.
My dad, Miles Davenport, has always specialized in corporate law. My older brother, Logan Davenport, is an expert at patent law. My uncle, John Davenport, has been doing wills and estates for twenty-five years. All three areas of law put me to sleep faster than an elephant-sized tranquilizer dart. I'm still trying to figure out my specialty; what cases I'll actually enjoy doing for the long-term.
The senior Davenport settles into the rolling chair at the head of the conference room table, slapping down a brown accordion file in front of him with a thud. Could it be that he's actually going to give me a real case to handle on my own? Usually the closest I get to a case is when I'm assigned research projects for him or my brother.
"Our three o'clock is late, not that I'm surprised. His father just posted his bond this morning, so they probably got held up at the jail," he tells me while checking his phone.
Oh no, no, no. I'll practice any area of law, but I won't do…
"It’s a new criminal case," my father says, grinning greedily from ear to ear.
Represent miscreants? He can't be serious. There are two attorneys in our firm who do all of the criminal work. Ryan handles the state court cases, and Mark takes all the federal cases. So why the heck is my dad, a corporate attorney, talking to a potential criminal client?
"I'm sure you've heard of him, Jackson Malone, the famous MMA fighter?" he asks. I probably dislocated my jaw based on the speed at which it hit the wooden table. "His head coach, Don Briggs, and I grew up together. Don called me this morning and asked if we'd take his case."
"You mean Jackson ‘The Mauler’ Malone, the man who raped and strangled a woman?" I ask in horror. It's been all over the news ever since the story first broke three days ago.
"Innocent until proven guilty, remember?" my father says, finally glancing up at me to raise a condescending gray eyebrow that matches his perfectly combed hair.
"Yeah, that's the motto of all criminals," I snort. "So what am I doing here?"
"You're going to represent him," he says, sliding the file across the table to me.
"Like hell I am!" I exclaim, jumping to my feet and raising my voice at my father for probably only the third time in all my twenty-four years. "I don't have any criminal law experience other than a summer internship with the DA's office, and even if I did have experience, I wouldn't represent him!"
"You are," he says with the narrowed cobalt blue eyes I inherited, and the cold tone of finality I've always dreaded. It means he isn't going to budge, and there's no convincing him to change his stubborn mind. "This is going to be a huge case. Not only is he going to pay us a small fortune, but the national publicity we'll get will be incredible! It's also exactly what you need, to put yourself in the spotlight to boost Elliot's campaign."
Oh please! Like I give a rat's bare bottom about Elliot's campaign. I don't even bother responding to that nonsense.
"There are nine other attorneys in this firm, why can't one of them do it? You know, maybe one that has actual criminal courtroom experience," I argue.
"You and Logan are the only ones who've passed the bar in New Jersey, which has jurisdiction in this case. And you're the only female in the office. It'll look better to the media and the jurors to see a woman sitting beside Mr. Malone at the defense table. Don't worry, Ryan will carry the brunt of the load."
Oh no. Now I'm starting to understand. My father isn't giving me this case because he thinks I deserve it. No, he wants me to be the sacrificial lamb. The woman the media and feminist groups will all tear into for representing a chauvinistic pig. He really doesn't give one shit...ake mushroom about my reputation. After this case, I'll be nationally known as the idiot woman who represented the rapist jerk. Speaking of…
My dad's secretary cracks the conference room door, and announces in her nauseatingly sweet voice, "Mr. Davenport, the Malones are here."
I have a slight dislike of Margo. Okay, maybe a tad more than slight. She's so freaking pleasant, it's obviously fake. As soon as her back turns her smile falls and is replaced with a gaping maw of gossip, spewing filth to anyone who will listen.
"Show them in," my father instructs her while straightening his blood red tie, the color appropriately representing his strict conservatism. Then he turns to me, and says, "Be nice, and don't you dare fuck this up," sternly through his clenched teeth.
I make an attempt to ignore the knife sticking out of my chest from the second half of my father's directive, and instead, try to come to terms with the idea that he wants me to be nice. Be nice to a ruthless, cocky meathead who thinks that since he's all rich and famous because of a brutal, barbaric sport that he has the right to do whatever the heck he wants with women and get away with it.
Maybe my uncle will hire me if I get up and walk out the door. Sure it'd be tedious work filling in blanks on templates for old people, but at least I wouldn't be stuck working with an actual hardcore, violent criminal.
An older man, looking roughly in his fifties with shaggy black hair and a beard sprinkled with a dusting of white, steps into the conference room first. The heavy bags under his hazel eyes and his deep frown lines make him look tired and highly annoyed. I paste on my fake smile and reach across the conference table to shake his hand.
"Mr. Malone, I'd like you to meet my daughter, Page Davenport. Page, this is Martin Malone and his son. I'm sure you'll recognize Jackson Malone from his outstanding MMA career," my dad says when he makes the introductions.
"Nice to meet you," I lie as I hold out my hand to the older man. Shaking it, he gives me a polite nod of his head while assessing me. He's not looking at me in a creepy, sexual way, but his eyes are narrowed, and his crinkled brows meet, making it obvious that he's asking himself, ‘Is she really old enough and experienced enough to represent my son?’ Of course not, and everyone in the building knows that.
My curious eyes finally dance around the older man to the one standing behind him. The spacious conference room that can easily accommodate ten ego-inflated attorneys suddenly feels too small. Intimidating doesn't even begin to describe the vibe this man is putting off. He practically comes with his own flashing neon sign over his coal colored pompadour cut that says in big, bright letters, "Danger! Stay back at least 100 feet!"
It isn't necessarily the guy's size that makes him scary, even though he’s built like a tank at more than six feet tall, with a broad, muscular build. But when you add in his black bottomless pit eyes and tight, unshaven jaw...he looks like Mount Vesuvius about to erupt. Violence and tension radiate off of him in waves that are almost visible. In nothing special faded jeans and a plain white tee contrasting nicely with his golden tan skin, he's absolutely, without a doubt, the most…scrumptious looking man I've ever laid eyes on. His mug shot photo plastered all over the television and Internet doesn’t do him justice.
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