Wildfire

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9.

ADELAIDE

My breath had finally come back to normal, my body ceasing its twitches as I still clung to Luca. My eyes adjusted in the dark to see his eyes were full of hunger for me, wanting more and more until he was satisfied.

“I don’t think so.” I said with a sly smile on my face. He didn’t like that answer.

“Why not?” He said as he rolled us over, I shrieked in surprise. He placed me on his lap again, fully seated against his erection as he held my hips tightly, my nightie pushed up high on my thighs.

Well he already knows what’s under it so there’s point in acting shy now

My hands landed on his chest, trying to steady myself on top of him. His chest was hard as rock, muscles contracted under my fingers. I ran my hands lightly down his chest over his abs and stopped at the top of his boxer briefs sticking out, causing him to suck in a quick breath and buck his hips up while he squeezed mine. A smile played on my lips.

“You like having me under your control too much. Besides–“ I said moving my hair over my shoulder, trying to tame the messy waves that he had caused, “I don’t think you actually like me. I think you were just saying it.” He stared up at me for a moment, a look of confusion briefly flashing across his face.

I prepared myself to be absolutely crushed if he said he didn’t. We had just shared an intimate moment and the thought of him using it to his advantage made my stomach roll with nausea, hoping it wouldn’t be true. I knew eventually when we were married we’d be intimate at some point, and I could only hope it would be out of actual want, not just lust and sharing a bed. I didn’t want us to end up like the Greene’s, hating each other from the start.

He reached up and picked up a piece of my hair that had settled at my waist, twirling it around his fingers. Our eyes stayed locked on each other, shadows from the night partially hiding his face. The storm must have passed over as all I could hear was soft rain hitting the windows, the only sound between us other than soft breathing.

“I like you. Very much so. Even if that fire in your eyes wants to burn me to ash every time you see me.” His thumb rubbed softly over my hip, making me relax a little. Breathing came a little easier.

“Then why do you pick at me every single moment? Why do you flirt and mess around with other girls like Cecilia?” I eyed him suspiciously. Just like at last night’s dinner, jealousy started prickling in my chest, making it feel tight. A smirk crept across his lips. God, those glorious lips that I just want to kiss for hours and hours.

“You’re just so fun to get worked up. Like right now. I can see the jealousy on your face, I felt you stiffen.” He tugged on the piece of hair he was playing with, making sure he had my full attention. “Cecilia is just as easy to wind up, except the difference is I would never fuck her and she hates that. It drives her fucking insane. You’re just too busy letting me get under your skin to notice.”

I blew out a long breath from my nose, concentrating on what he had just said. I crossed my arms over my chest, and turning my head to look at the rain patterns on the window pane. They crisscrossed and fell faster than the one next to it, never fully meeting up.

It had still stung that he had been with other women. Not that I had ever expected him to wait for me, I couldn’t even imagine kissing him up until yesterday. And up until this moment I had been sure he disliked me as much as I disliked him.

But you don’t anymore. You want him. In every way.

“Doesn’t it ever bother you that you didn’t get to pick this life? You’re being told who to marry and that’s just it. No say whatsoever.” I continued staring out the window. He was silent for a long moment, but I could feel his eyes on me, wanting me to look back at him. In that moment I felt like I couldn’t though, I couldn’t face the reality of it all.

Something in that reality had changed enough for me to let him touch and kiss me the way he did, but I was unsure if it was just acceptance or actual want. Of course I wanted to like the man who I would marry and share more moments like we did, just the two of us fully giving into each other. But it scared me how quickly my feelings for him were switching over when just yesterday I screaming at him to get out of my room. How many years had we spent warring with each other, throwing cruel words and names at one another just out of frustration? How many nights over the years had I laid awake, terrified that he wouldn’t want me and no one else would because he had me?

No. But I know you think you’re being used to give my family an advantage against yours.”

“Am I?” I turned back to look at him.

When my father had signed the contract along with me all those years ago, he knew he was allowing his enemy to get a foothold large enough to bring him down in the future if they wanted. But there was nothing he could do. Though he had kept it all a secret what he’d done, only ever letting know the bare minimum, and Luca never telling me anything, I knew it was bad enough to give me over to the Katsaros.

“In a way. Our marriage makes it a hell of a lot easier to gain territory, making our alliances stronger, back to what they were before your father took over. You taking my name ties that together.” He moved his hands so that they rested on my thighs.

Me taking his name.

My stomach tightened with something unfamiliar around Luca.

Excitement?

No, it couldn’t be. Who’s excited to marry someone who’s never liked them?

“You don’t want to marry me, though.” He rubbed his thumbs comfortingly over my thighs as I tried not to give away how I was feeling in that second.

“Not forced, no. I’d rather this gone a different way.” His eyes bore into mine, his tone now becoming more serious. “But that’s not how marriage works in our world and we both know it. Marriage is for gain, seldom for actual love.” Pain shot through my chest as I knew it too. You were lucky in this world if you chose who you married out of love and not for anything else. My parents had been married for an alliance, as well as Luca’s.

“Not for Hannah or Chelsea.” I said quietly, trying not to show the pain in my voice as I felt like I could just crumble right there. Crumble in defeat that Luca would never actually want to marry me, that I was just being used. I’d never have what Hannah has, or Chelsea. Chelsea and her husband had been able to choose their marriage, a rarity. She had married though back when my father had less enemies, less reason to fear anything. Now, I was to be used against those enemies.

“Your sisters are very lucky in the fact that their husbands already had interest in them before they were together. It’s just not always the way it is, Princess.”

That made me feel spiteful.

Is he really admitting he didn’t have interest in me?

“So you really don’t have interest in me like you said. All of this was just to get in my panties tonight, wasn’t it?” I snapped at him for what he had said, how he had said it. I went to move to get off him but he grabbed my hips firmly, keeping me in place, glaring down at him.

“No, what I’m saying is that marriage isn’t always for what you want it to be unfortunately. I do want in your panties — badly. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have interest in you. I don’t want to have interest in you because it would make this a lot fucking easier, but I do. I really fucking do and it does my head in.”

Something sparked in my chest, a glimmer of something.

He had finally said it. He had finally said that he liked me, that he was interested in me.

I’m sure the look on my face said it all, my eyes widening, taking in what he had said.

Did the infamous Luca Karsaros just admit that he liked someone? And me, nonetheless, the spiteful brat?” I playfully put my hands to my chest over my heart to act flattered.

Luca had never liked anyone, or if he did he sure as hell didn’t show it. Anytime there was an event we were to attend he had always stayed with his family, ignoring anyone who tried to talk to him. He plastered a bored, annoyed look on his face most of the time, seeming as though he’d rather be just about anywhere else. Other than going at it with me at these events, nothing peeked his interest. Nothing and no one could wipe that look off his face. Even when he had toyed with Cecilia, though there was a look of amusement, the bored mask stayed on.

“Don’t let it get to your head. You’re still a pain in the ass.” I rolled my eyes.

Of course.

“And you’re just so charming all of the time.” I played back.

“I just made you come, I think I’ve shown I can be very charming.” He moved his hands from my hips to my thighs, running his hands slowly up them. “Now, about that round two...” He sat up keeping me in place and wrapped his arms around me, pulling me to his chest, leaning in to kiss my neck again.

As much as a round two with him sounded fun, I was exhausted. And still didn’t fully know why someone was after Hannah and me tonight, which has me pacing nervously around my room before the power went out. I had to hope that Luca would tell me and not skirt around it like my father always had.

“I’m exhausted, Luca.” I said as I put my arms around his shoulders again, leaning my head back to give him better access to my neck. I may be exhausted but that didn’t stop him from feeling so good. “Why did Damien Moretti send someone after Hannah and me?” I asked quietly.

He stopped kissing me abruptly and leaned back to look at me, meeting my gaze.

“How do you know who he is?” He scrunched his eyebrows and I could see his mind working, trying to figure out how I knew who Damien was.

“I overheard my father and you talking about him one day when I walked by his office. Something about how the shipping yard had been taken off his territory.” I said knowing that I probably shouldn’t know that information. I probably shouldn’t even have recognized the name when my father had mentioned it to us that he had one of his men after us. Judging from the look on Luca’s face I shouldn’t know any of it.

“How often do you overhear what we’re talking about in that office?” He cocked his head slightly to the side, waiting to see how much I’d reveal about what I knew. I didn’t know much at all, but it didn’t take a genius to do a quick Google search on the name ‘Moretti’ to find out he was one of the largest drug lords in the world, and had a particular knack for making rivals disappear without a trace.

“Not often. Only that one time.” I watched his eyes flicker with deciding if I was being truthful or had listened to more.

“Is he someone I need worry about trying to come after me again?” I said quietly, hoping for the best answer but expecting the worst. This wouldn’t be the last time Damien would send someone after me.

“Yes. And you’re not to leave the property without me or Marcus. If you thought I was dangerous, he makes me and my brothers look like puppies compared to him.” He held me tighter, making sure I meeting his gaze, not allowing me to break it. I could hear the severity in his voice.

“I don’t want to catch you listening in to anymore conversations I have with your father in his office. Do you understand, Princess?” He looked at me with that annoyance in his eyes that usually showed up when I had really pissed him off, like mouthing off to him in front of his brothers. I narrowed my eyes, annoyed that he was treating me like a child now.

I threading my hand through his hair on the back of his head, softly to make him think I was being sweet despite the fact that fire burned in my eyes. He leaned into my touch, allowing me to ensure I had a good grip on his hair. And then I yanked his head back, him letting out a hiss of pain.

“I’m not a child. Don’t speak to me like one.” I seethed out.

There went our whole night and we were back to being at each other’s throats.

He let out a laugh, not resisting my hold on his hair. He just held me tighter, his grip like a death lock.

“And there’s that fire again. I wouldn’t have to talk you like a child if you didn’t do childish things like listening into conversations that don’t involve you.” His nostrils flared, more annoyed at me now that I think I’ve seen in awhile. I felt his hand snake up my back and into my hair, fisting it so my head shot back, though not as hard as I had done to him. I gasped in surprise, letting go of the grip I had on his hair so he now had the advantage.

Fuck.

“Don’t do anything stupid and he won’t be a problem. Understood?” He leaned in to place a light kiss on the front of my throat, my pulse beating hard in anger that he had me like this.

“Yes.” I said through my teeth, trying to get out of his grip. He held me tighter around my waist, not releasing the hold he had on my hair.

“Good girl.” He said finally letting go and I pushed against him, getting off the bed to stand next to it. Our eyes were narrowed on one another and I’d end him right then and there if I could. I didn’t care that he liked me or that we had been intimate with each other.

“Go fuck yourself.” I said, turning to go through the door that lead through my room. It was still dark, the lights still not having come back on but I could see well enough. I heard him laugh behind me as I reached the door.

“I’d rather do that to you. Sleep well, Princess.” I could hear the smile in his voice, knowing he’d gotten me wound up again. It was his favorite game and he was winning at it.

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