I’m so excited, and I just can’t fight it – I have five sexy authors and a brand new boxset on my blog today! Ooh and a rafflecopter too – show me the money!! Grin. Without further ado, I’ll hand you over to Meredith and plenty of Christmas Naughtiness 😉 Hi! Thank you for having […]
The Velvet Chair
My name is Mark Matthews. I own half of London, and the part I don’t own, I’m working on.
Life was all going swimmingly well until Michael Redcliff entered my life, demanding that I marry his daughter. Actually, swap demand for blackmail. He’s got goods on me that I want no one else to see, so for the time being I need to be his little lapdog.
I’ll marry his daughter. I’ll give him all the status, money and power he can handle… for as long as it takes me to get a divorce. You see, I can’t renege on our little arrangement – but she can. I give her a week. One week and she’ll be screaming the place down for her legal counsel.
Chapter One – Mark
It felt like a death sentence around my neck. Marriage. The mere idea was a suffocating blanket of dread that was slowly beginning to strangle me. Each step I took towards my impending nuptials had me itching to run away in the opposite direction, as far and as fast as my legs could carry me – but that wasn’t going to be possible. I would be marrying Jennifer Courtney Redcliff in exactly one week’s time and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. As my body was once again consumed by feelings of utter helplessness and fury, I had to resist the urge to punch something.
I could not believe how easily I had been duped. I still had no idea what Michael Redcliff’s end game was, but I had now made it my mission in life to find out. Whilst it was clear he wanted me to suffer in every way imaginable, judging by what he had done to me in the abandoned Greyson building, I was still no closer to discovering what it was he actually wanted. Quite a few theories had been flying around my head but I had nothing concrete. He could be after money, property, status, power, or something else entirely. The not knowing frustrated me. Even though I had Khalil, my head of intel, working on the problem twenty-four-seven, he’d not managed to unearth anything of consequence yet. He had advised me to make the entire staff of my office redundant, and to my chagrin I had found myself doing exactly that. After one key employee’s colossal betrayal, I was prepared to take no more risks with my general wellbeing. Though I bore no scars from Redcliff’s and Katrina’s hands, I had frequently begun to look over my shoulder wherever I found myself alone, and I didn’t much like the feeling.
The first thing I wanted to do was get my hands on Miss Morreau. How in hell she’d managed to slip through the net and enter my employment, only to betray me less than two years later, was something I clearly needed to look into. Of course I knew Redcliff was behind the mess, but I wanted to find out just how much she knew. If Khalil managed to unearth the dark hole she’d managed to hide herself in, I would show her exactly the same courtesy as she’d shown me. She’d be drugged, kidnapped, and strung up, before being hung out to dry. I would find out everything I needed to know and my methods of torture were as good, if not better than Redcliff’s. I might not be quite as extreme, but I took a certain satisfaction in a job well done. Miss Morreau had better pray I never managed to lay eyes on her ever again, or I was going to make her wish she’d never set foot on this earth. My thoughts maddeningly returned to Jennifer.
I wanted to make that woman bleed so badly. Already, I could picture myself wrapping my hands around her neck and squeezing until every last breath of life inside her evaporated. Lucky for her, they were just dark thoughts. I was not a murderer. Well, not yet at any rate. In a couple of weeks’ time, after the traitorous, lying bitch had walked down the aisle with me, there was a possibility I might change my mind. Scrap that. Death wouldn’t be nearly as painful as the torments I had in mind for my bride, and I fully intended that she would pay dearly for her crimes. If she wanted to play with me, then I was more than capable of taking her on, except this time I would fight dirty. If Miss Morreau was in for a hard time, Jennifer Redcliff would be made to think that an eternity in hell was a summer camp, when compared to a single week with me.
Currently, I was plotting the worst possible torments that I could heap upon my future wife, so that she would feel compelled to divorce me immediately. I was aiming to have her screaming for her legal counsel inside of a week, give or take a couple of days. I had considered the idea of getting the marriage annulled, but that wasn’t going to be possible if I didn’t want to lie in a court of law. Yes, believe it or not I still have some morals, no matter how questionable they may be. You see, I fully intended to fuck the living daylights out of my future wife. Even though I now knew her for a scheming, conniving wretch, I also knew that I soon as I saw her, my body was going to go into overdrive. She has an effect on me much like heroine, addictive and deadly in the wrong dose. As much as I cursed my weakness, I didn’t think I’d manage to make it through a week of celibacy if she was under my roof, and there was no possibility of playing around because the risks were too high. So, if I wanted to expend some of my ample energy and sexual tension, there would be only one way to do so. I smiled. Miss Redcliff was about to reap her own sweet rewards. Except they wouldn’t be very sugary, and when I was pissed I was a whole lot of creative. Oh, the things I had planned for that woman. Conjugal rights didn’t even come into the equation. I was going to own that body and mind for a week, and when she left my abode she’d be lucky if she wasn’t scarred for life. She might have expertly planned my downfall, but now it was my turn to plan hers. I was going to break that girl down piece by piece until her screams were deafening, and her tears formed a veritable ocean. I was going to be the ultimate bastard and I would show no mercy. Lie to me once, shame on you, lie to me twice, shame on me. I’d already decided that after our wedding day, she’d get no further opportunities to lie. She’d either learn to keep quiet or I’d have her jaw wired shut. The idea had merit. I’d add that to my arsenal of threats and torments to inflict upon her.
I was prepared to pull out all the stops to get rid of her as quickly as possible. I was going to fuck with her head in the worst possible way and just when she thought she couldn’t take any more, I was going to shovel a load of new cerebral bombs her way, until there wasn’t much grey matter left. At this moment in time I honestly didn’t care what state I left her in, all I cared about was my freedom. They might temporarily steal it from me, but there was no question I would be claiming it back. I was not going to be used as a pawn in Redcliff’s happy-ever-after plan, whatever that might be. Realistically, and upon given the right incentives, I knew that Jennifer would be relatively easy to control. Getting even with the old man was going to prove a much harder task, I suspected, but damned if I didn’t relish a good challenge. Grinding his face into the dirt was going to give me an extraordinary amount of pleasure and I was prepared to spend a lot of money, and I meant a lot, to ensure the job was done properly.
Fuck Redcliff, fuck Marianna, and Jeniffer, well, she had better fucking brace herself, too. I was rip-roaring mad and my temper, which was normally tightly leashed and carefully controlled, was nearing DEFCON 1. Tension rippled through my body, bile bubbled up my throat, and blood solidified in my veins. I would have my pound of flesh, so help me god. Everyone who had wronged me was going to feel the wrath of my vengeance, and just like Icarus, they were going to burn. I might not be able to control the path of my destiny right now, but I would damn well be shaping my future. A week gave me plenty of time to plot and scheme, and I was extremely good at both. The inactivity was going to kill me, though. Seven days was a long time when you were trapped with nothing but ugly, dark thoughts inside your head.
Steeling myself to concentrate on the task at hand, I continued to flick through several glossy magazines, which all promised to have me in exquisite sartorial splendour for my wedding day. I couldn’t help but grimace. Throwing one across the room, I swore. I didn’t care who made the damn suit, but I knew it would be black. This whole charade was beginning to make me feel as if I was about to attend my own funeral – so I might as well dress the part.
One Week Later
Anxiety clawed at me, like a beast with no conscience that was intent on swallowing me whole. Giving up all pretence of sleeping, I left the stifling confines of my bed and padded through to the kitchen. I’d been tossing and turning for a good two hours now, and it seemed pre-wedding jitters were getting the better of me. I rolled my eyes at the irony. I didn’t give a flying fuck what Redcliff thought of me, and Jennifer Redcliff was going to get hers soon enough, but there were so many other tiny little details that I couldn’t get out of my head.
What if I couldn’t bear to look at her as she walked up the aisle, especially with all those cameras flashing and the video footage rolling? What if I couldn’t get the lies of my vows past my lips, or worse, stumbled upon them? Damnit, what if I couldn’t bring myself to go through with this farce? I hated to think how many people Redcliff had invited. Some would be close friends and associates of mine and I felt physically sick at the thought of creating an intricate dance of lies for them. Whilst I knew I had no choice in the matter, it wasn’t going to make the deceit any easier to swallow. I would have to make a speech, for fuck’s sake. How was I supposed to wax lyrical about the love of my life, knowing full well I was marrying the daughter of the enemy? Tomorrow might well be the greatest performance of my life, if I managed to pull it off. What was wrong with me? My usually unwavering confidence appeared to have deserted me this evening and I’d gone from being an untouchable God to a mere mortal. The armour I usually surrounded myself with had taken a good-sized dent.
As I turned on my poor, recently much overused coffee machine, I sighed. Worrying about things I couldn’t change would get me nowhere. I would get through this because I had managed to get through much worse. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Grunting, I searched around my kitchen cabinet and plucked out a shiny, glass tumbler. Filling it with water I necked the lot and then refilled it once again. There was a way out of this mess. Khalil would help me find one. Yesterday, he’d informed me of a possible sighting of Miss Morreau. She’d disappeared before my team could pinpoint her exact whereabouts, but now they had a rough idea of her location, they could begin closing the net. I needed answers and I needed them yesterday.
Flicking on the television, even though I knew I wouldn’t listen to a word that was said, I poured myself a coffee and then settled lengthways into my leather couch, with my hands behind my head. The noise was comforting. It calmed the clambering thoughts in my head. Oddly enough, tonight I seemed to need noise in order to receive peace.
*** NOW IN EDITS – RELEASE DAY TBC ***