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Adelaide was going to do my fucking head in.

This hadn’t been the first time she’d gotten herself into trouble where I had to go get her and I’m sure it wouldn’t be the last. Nothing could ever be easy with her.

She had thanked me for making sure her sister and she had gotten back safe, something I never thought I’d hear come from that spiteful little mouth, and gone into her room, shutting the door behind her. I stood there, staring at the empty spot where she had stood just moments ago rolling around in my head what had happened tonight, what could have happened if I hadn’t gone to get her.

Adelaide and I had no say in what was to happen to us, bound together by a contract that our families had created to pay for a mistake. A mistake on her father’s part that I now had to endure. Sure it would be easy to say I wouldn’t go through with it, I wouldn’t marry her, but seeing the look on her father’s face whenever I was with her, knowing that I’d take her away made it all worth it.

As much as I wanted to kill her most times, her attitude and spitefulness more than any person should ever have to endure, that never-ending fire she burned with, burning down everyone and everything who crossed her made her all the more desirable. She was untamable, like a wildfire, but I sure as fuck was going to try. She’d resist like she always did and get herself wound up, but God she was something else when she was. Something worth not breaking the contract for, not worth letting Liam fucking Blake get his hands on to break apart. Or anyone for that matter. She was mine the second she signed that contract. My princess.

I entered my room, running my hand through my hair as I blew out a sigh and putting my hand on my hip, staring at the door that adjoined our rooms while I tried to figure out why Damien Moretti had sent someone after her. He would have known that I was here for the week, staying even longer to finish mapping out the new territory with Gabriel, Adelaide’s father, and my father and brothers. We had just taken over another rivals shipping yard, expanding our area of influence even further. Damien hadn’t been happy about it but harming Adelaide or her sister wouldn’t stop it. There had to be something else he wanted if he was willing to send someone knowing full well I’d be there to stop it.

She’d been right to let Marcus know someone was following them, even if she thought she was overreacting, no doubt Hannah telling her she was. While Hannah had seen enough of this world thanks to Roman Burton, she couldn’t let Adelaide think it was nothing. Adelaide hadn’t known or seen enough, Gabriel and I not allowing her to do so, in order to keep her safer. I wouldn’t allow her to even when we were married. The less she knew about what kind of shit we were into the better off she’d be, despite the fact that she’d be taking my last name and our marriage being very public. Marcus had given me the run down and secured the perimeter, catching Damien’s spy before he slipped down a back alley. He’d been caught with a knife and a gun, no doubt planning to take one or both of the sisters for some kind of leverage as his car was found close by with rope and duct tape in the trunk.

My blood began to boil at the thought of someone taking her, or harming her in any way. Though she was a force of her own, she had no clue what these men were capable of and what they wouldn’t stop at to bring Gabriel down, and my family with him. Adelaide and I couldn’t stand one another, both of us angry at our circumstances, but I wouldn’t let someone hurt her for the sake of harming her father. She was innocent and I’d keep her that way.

I could hear through the door her turning music on, the muffled beats coming through and knew she’d be in the for the night. She didn’t like being told when she could and couldn’t leave the property, especially with me keeping an eye on her, but she was smart enough to not try and sneak out, more than likely exhausted from her ordeal today. And I had taken all her coffee this morning just to watch her get wound up.

She burned with such an intensity when she was angry with me, those pretty blue eyes burning right down to my soul, her cheeks turning pink as she heated up, her messy waves swarming around her head adding to her wild look. She was as wild as they came, and it was a fucking turn on. I wanted nothing more to pin her to my bed and take her, fuck her all day and night long. And I hoped that’d be sooner than later, seeing as we hadn’t even set a date for anything. I knew the time to give her a ring would be creeping up soon enough, her already 21, and our marriage expected within the next year.

Once she was a Katsaros, it would seal the contract and half of her father’s empire would be ours, split between my father, me, and my brothers. She’d been used as a simple pawn to gain power, and she knew, which is probably what made her hate me the most. The fact that it wouldn’t be a marriage like her sisters had, one of actual love and nothing to gain. She didn’t get to choose her husband, I’d been chosen for her and was a constant reminder of a choice that’d been taken from her.

Except you didn’t fight until she did.

I let out a frustrated groan, heading to take a shower and wash away what happened tonight. What had happened the past two nights, really.

I’d kissed her, multiple times, and she had done it back so willingly. I’d even pinned her to her bed while we fought after dinner, her making me so fucking angry stomping on my foot and then implying she’d have Liam walk her back to her room. Was she out of her fucking mind? I’d sooner hand her over to Damien Moretti than Liam Blake. He wanted her out of spite for me, loathing that he had something taken from him by me before he could even consider her. He hadn’t given a fuck about her until he found out she’d signed that contract. And he’d hurt her worse than Damien ever could, he’d sink his teeth into and never let her go, never let her free again.

Why do you even care? She hates you and you hate her.

But I didn’t hate the way she felt against me, how her lips felt, how she’d clung to me out on the patio and in her closet when I had pinned her against the wall. God, how I wanted to pin her up again and kiss her until her lips were bruised. Claim her in every way I could, make sure she knew she was mine. The way she reacted to me pinning her from behind on her bed only made me want her even more, the way she responded to my touch, pushing back up against me as I ground into her. She truly was my princess, expecting me to bow down to her and that entitled, bratty attitude she held with me.

I’d come out of the shower, still hearing her music through the wall which meant she was still awake. She’d always had trouble sleeping, I’d hear her late into the morning pacing her room or watching a movie. I’d dressed in a pair of boxer brief and sweatpants and grabbed my phone, shooting a text to Park to find out what he could on Moretti and the spy he’d sent.

Me – Moretti sent one of his men after Adelaide and Hannah, kidnap attempt. Find out what you can from the spy, I need to know why Moretti wants her.

Park – Finally gaining a soft spot for her, huh? Owen and Jack are with him now, I’ll let you know what we find out. Might be a bit, he’s not budging.

Me – Funny. Plan on visiting Moretti tomorrow, something’s up.

If anyone could get him to talk, it was Park. He was even more ruthless than me and that’s saying something. Park was built like a tank, intimidating even the toughest boss. Owen and Jack followed in his footsteps, learning what they could about the business and what needed to be done to gain more territory, matching me in the fighting pits at our home. We’d trained almost daily, never knowing what to expect from my father’s enemies, and now Gabriel’s.

I walked to my bed, laying back on the comforter and pillows while I stared at the ceiling, tucking an arm behind my head to rack my brain as to what Moretti could want and what he’d say tomorrow. He wouldn’t know we were coming and wouldn’t have time to plan a trap, thankfully, now that we had his spy. What the fuck could he want Adelaide for? She had no power, she couldn’t give him anything. Unless… unless he wanted her for marriage as well, gaining something else over Gabriel.

I was fucked if that’s what he wanted with her. He wouldn’t stop until he had her, and I already had to deal with Liam trying to sink his claws into her.

Why did she have to be so enticing? Why her and not her sisters?

I stared at the ceiling for a long while, listening to the muffled sounds of Adelaide’s music and her quiet shuffling of feet, no doubt pacing around her room trying to figure out what had happened to her today when the room went dark. There was a crash of thunder, loud enough to shake the entire house, the windows rattling in their frames, and a blinding flash of lightning. A terrified scream came from Adelaide’s room, and I shot off my bed, bolting in the direction of the door. My hand connected with the doorknob, throwing the door open to have her scream again. I’d scared her in the dark and could just barely make out her small figure.

“Luca?” Her voice frantic, and I could see her throwing her arms out to reach for me.

“I’m here, Princess. The storm must have knocked out the power.” I reached out, wrapping my arm around her waist. She threw her naked arms around my neck, clinging to me for dear life and I could feel her trembling against me.

My name coming out of her mouth like that was the first time I’d heard it with actual need in her voice, not hate. And I liked it, even if at the moment she was terrified.

“I hate storms.” Her voice trembled as much as her body and I scooped her up in my arms, taking her back into my room with me. Another flash of lightning lit up the room and she whimpered, hiding her face against my neck, her warm breath coming out in fast pants against my skin.

“I’ve got you, Princess. I’m right here.” I sat us down on my bed, her straddling my lap as I pulled us back against the pillows and headboard so I could hold her trembling frame.

For as much fire she had with me, having her scared in my arms wasn’t something I’d ever experienced, nor thought I would. She was stubborn as shit and she didn’t back down from anything, not even me when I really went at it with her, on the verge of strangling her sometimes for that mouth of hers. That attitude that earned her her nickname of Princess from me would never let on that storms had her trembling her terror.

She hadn’t stopped shaking as I held her tighter, pushing the blankets down from the bed with my legs and then grabbing them to wrap them around us. From what I could feel she was wearing another short nightie, her legs bare up to her mid-thighs and her shoulders and arms completely bare so I knew she was cold.

“Breathe, Princess, I won’t let you go.” I shushed in her ear as she buried her face deeper into the crook of my neck, still clinging to me. I rubbed her back comfortingly, feeling how thin her nightie was.

Any other time I’d be an asshole and take advantage of the position we were in, with her nightie riding up her thighs and straddling me. But not tonight, not with her like this.

“You need to distract me otherwise I’m going to have a panic attack.” She said against my neck, her lips soft and warm as they moved.

“How? I can’t exactly put a movie on or anything if you hadn’t noticed.” She just shrugged in my arms.

Well this changes things.

I know of a few ways –

She won’t like it though

In one quick movement I rolled us over and pinned her beneath me, lacing my fingers with hers like I had earlier tonight when I brought her inside and putting them next to her head. My body laid between her legs as I felt them cling around me, unsure if she knew she had done it. Even in the dark I could see the shock in her eyes she realized what I’d done and where I was.

“Luca!” She gasped out when it finally hit her, her trembling stopping but her heart rate picking up. I felt her heating up against me as I pushed my hips into hers, keeping her pinned to that spot.

I knew she was still a virgin, never having experienced this with anyone else. No one other than Liam had even dared to try to get her into bed, fearing what I’d do if I found out they’d touched her in any way. She was mine and I’d keep her that way.

“You said distract you.” I played, pushed her head to the side with my nose and planting a kiss on her neck. Her breathing hitched just slight enough that I noticed, her hands tightening around mine.

“Not like this!” She breathed out, trying to control her breathing, loosening her fingers. She snapped her head back to stare up at me, our noses almost touching. I ground my hips into hers a little more, causing her breathing to hitch again as she felt me getting hard against her. Everything she did turned me on, from when she was angry with me and looked like she wanted to kill me, to now, hearing her breath change and her pulse quicken beneath me.

“I’m left with very few choices, Princess.” I leaned in, brushing my lips against hers and kissing down her jaw, moving back to her neck to playfully nip and lick. She’d let out a small moan, her hands tightening again as I placed a kiss between her neck and shoulder. “Do you want me to stop?” I said as I moved back towards her lips, stopping right above them, feeling the heat of them against mine.

“No.” She said, barely a whisper against my lips.

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