I SMELL FEAR

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EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER

Sintia was frozen in place, had she ever been so turned on in her life? One kiss and she was a mess.

She watched him a few feet away watching her with a predatory gaze. His lack of touch made her feel cold, vulnerable.

Her breath was shallow, her skin, still tingled deliciously.

What the hell had just happened!

She tried to speak, recalling his words. In all her life no one had ever called her delicious.

If she wasn’t so turned on, she might have giggled, but hell, the words were not just comparing her to food. Oh no, not by the look in his brilliant eyes. His sea of unnatural blue hues showed so much more. This man, a crowned prince, loyal, duty-driven, not a foot out of line, could unleash a beast in bed, it was all right there, a blatant statement in his eyes, and she just knew it would be devastatingly divine.

“You need to stop.” Delacourte’s nostrils flared as he looked her up and down slowly.

“Stop what?” Sintia almost whispered, she hadn’t moved a muscle, hadn’t even said a word yet.

“The way you are looking at me.” He gazed at her with pure lust. She blushed instantly, the look in his eyes was eroding every bit of common sense she had! The look of his unmasked desire was more seductive than any aphrodisiac, how could she not feel it too!

“I can’t.” Sintia spoke out loud before she could process logical thought.

Delacourte bit his bottom lip hiding a smile as he took a few steps towards her, “Then why did you want me to stop?”

She tried to answer, didn’t in fact, have an answer, she just wanted him! It didn’t make any damn sense.

Taking a final step nearer Delacourte notched his finger under her chin raising her beautiful face to his, trailing a thumb over her bottom lip, loving the way her lip glass had been smeared off from their kisses.

Her cell phone rang again, and she jerked away with fright turning to see it on the floor.

They both bent down to retrieve it, smacking into each other.

Sintia fell backward off her feet, flat onto her butt, tumbling backward with a humph. Delacourte dropped her phone again to help by reaching for her, stopping mid grasp dropping his head to his chest.

She looked up after having done an upside-down, legs in the air spider style fall, leaning back on her hands as she caught sight of the man before her shaking. It took a few dumbfounded moments to identify the motion.

He was laughing!

The dam man was laughing! She couldn’t believe it watching him place his hands on his knees as he silently shook.

“Ouch.” She mumbled trying to sound mad, reaching for her head where they had smacked into each other. But his shaking had become soft snorting sounds which dissolved all her strength of trying to be angry. “You ass.” She giggled climbing back up to her feet dusting off her suit pants.

“I’m sorry.” Delacourte panted trying to swallow the laughs escaping him, he picked up her phone, handing it to her as it rang again.

“Are you?” She took it giggling,

“No, not really.” His laughter was deep and rich, contagious. She pressed the green button on the dam, persistent, ringing phone without looking at the screen.

“Hello?” She answered a smile in her voice as she looked at the gorgeous man winking at her, he was grinning ear to ear trying to calm himself, so bloody handsome!

“Ah, so she does, still exist.”

Sintia jerked, turning away from Delacourte, rushing back inside as her blood ran cold. She pulled the phone back looking at the number displaying Kiki’s desk phone. “I was beginning to wonder, and when your office wouldn’t let me in, I knew.” The voice continued.

Sintia spun around looking for a weapon, a knife, maybe Rod’s gun, unable to logically think as panic gripped her, till she registered that the monster was not there. She had to focus.

*

Delacourte stepped back inside the lounge feeling an odd dread, pushing it aside to see Rod and Don trying to hide their smiles from him.

“What?” He smirked lifting his chin proudly, chuffed he had finally kissed her.

“Oh, nothing, nothing at all, your majesty.” Don wiped his mouth trying to cover the smile.

“If we may say, D, we like her, it’s been too many years since you have been happy.” Rod said raising his hands apologetically for speaking it aloud.

“Spying is not part of your job.” Delacourte mocked.

*

“What have you done to Kiki?!” Sintia shouted at her phone, an uncontrollable tremble radiating through her voice.

Delacourte instantly picked up on her panicked tone, the dread and fear he had sensed but ignored, was from her.

“Your staff has nothing but bruises for resisting my entry, but they learn fast, unlike you.” Came Jarred’s deep voice through the speaker, filling her head. Sintia closed her eyes trying to think rationally, what did the bastard want, why was he still a thorn in her side!

“I’m calling the police!” Sintia shook looking back down at the phone in disbelief seeing Kiki’s desk phone number again.

“Call them, we both know nothing will happen.”

“What do you want Jarred?!”

“I have a proposal for you, and since you have blocked my number and emails, this was the only way to reach you, naughty Tia.” He tisked like a disappointed parent would a child.

“Is Kiki ok?”

“Fuck the assistant this is about us; have you not been listening? I can make this little video; blackmailing drama disappear.” A menacing smile in his voice.

Delacourte turned the corner, finding her in the passage towards her room, pale in color, as she paced running a hand through her hair. He reached out to touch her, stopping himself as he caught sight of her terrified wide eyes, but there was more to her fear, there was a deep anger building.

“What are you talking about?” Sintia frowned snapping at the phone.

“Marry me this weekend and I can make it all stop.”

“Huh?” Sintia asked at a loss for words looking towards Delacourte’s concerned face.

What’s wrong? Delacourte mouthed to her, but she shook her head turning her back on him as the devil continued to speak.

“Don’t act dumb Tia, do I need to spell it out for you? I can make this video and the little couple disappear.”

“If I marry you? Who is blackmailing who exactly?! You are sure as hell not worth five hundred thousand dollars to get them off my back.”

Marry her?! Not on his watch! Delacourte’s blood boiled, he growled adjusting his ears to listen in.

“Not even to save your contract with Ching enterprises?” Came his usual evil laugh that made her cringe.

“What…” She gritted through her teeth. “You are after them too? I will kill you!”

“No need for such drama, I’ll see you soon my love.” He purred right before the phone went dead. Sintia dropped her phone closing her face in both hands.

“Who was that?” Delacourte asked stepping in front of her, carefully pulling her hands away from her face. She looked up at him, tears in her eyes, they hadn’t fallen yet and they were not tears belonging to a victim. He held his breath as he read her, they were tears of frustration, anger, a deep desire for revenge, she was so tired of being afraid, tired of being stepped on. If the bastard that had upset her so could see them, understand them, he would probably see a warrior about to fight to the death.

“The pig I told you was making my life hell.” She sneered looking away as she wiped her tears. “Sorry, now is not a good time.” She turned to walk away and against his better judgment Delacourte grabbed her arm stopping her.

“It’s never a good time for people like us.” He knew he had to leave, let her have space, but he wanted to stay, wanted to make her feel better.

“I won’t have you or anyone see me weak like this, good day.” She said pulling out of his grip turning away, walking towards her room.

“Screw your image Sintia!” Delacourte snapped watching her stop in her tracks. “I want to help.”

“I don’t need your help.” She notched her chin up, her back straight, eyes still glistening. His lips pulled into a knowing smile, she was as stubborn as he and his brother. Their father had often told them to stop being proud, sometimes asking for help does not mean they were weak, looking at her now, he understood. His father had seen the world on their shoulders as he saw it now on hers, and only wanted to assist in carrying its weight.

“Come with me someplace.” Be pleaded, wanting to take her away from it all, if only for a little bit.

“Not now, as you can see, I am literally the news, I have a lot to sort out.”

“Isn’t that what your lawyer is for?” He gave a small grin. She felt herself give a small one back as she sniffed tucking hair behind her ears, realizing for the first time something.

“Why are you here? Why did you come to my door today before all this drama started?” Sintia asked.

“Oh, I, nothing. Don’t worry about it.” He back-stepped clearing his throat suddenly wanting out, his request juvenile compared to how her day was going.

“No, tell me.” Sintia followed him reaching out to grab his broad shoulder.

“As you said, you are busy.” He looked over his shoulder at her dipping his head in farewell.

“That’s it?!” Sintia stopped in her tracks folding her arms over her chest. “You witness me exposing a vulnerable side to you, but the moment I ask something of you it’s goodbye?” She shouted at his back as he walked away.

“Yup.” He said arrogantly walking towards the front door.

“Why did you come here? It’s not a hard question to answer!” She shouted after him.

“I said forget it.” He growled back continuing his walk.

“Thank you.” She snapped turning on her heel stopping her chase of him. Delacourte’s frown deepened at the comment causing him to look back.

“What?” He asked pissed off and confused.

“I said thank you, thank you for proving my theory right, I hate bloody men! They all bastards, and you,” She shook her head as a dangerous chuckle escaped her. “You were different, the kiss we had was, you,” She bit the tip of her thumb trembling with rage as she searched for the right words. Then she looked up at him, and he instantly saw a coldness on her face, as if they were strangers passing by on the street, she had just shut him out. “Thank you for sealing my theory on men, you are all the same.” She sneered. He watched her top lip raise on the left slightly with distaste before she turned to leave the room. “Goodbye your majesty, have a great day.” Came a cold, heartless tone.

He watched her walk away standing in stunned silence, Delacourte felt as if her words had actually hit him, physically punched him in the gut. Who the hell did she think she was cutting him off like that? He shut his eyes trying to swallow his fury recalling how cold and instantly distant she had become till her last words hit him again. Why was he so affected by her, it made no rational sense!

“No.” He said aloud to himself, shaking his head. “No, no. no.” He shook his head again waving his hand in disagreement, opening his eyes still alone in the foyer. “All the same?” He called loudly through the house repeating her words, licking his lips in stunned disbelief before biting his bottom lip with frustration as he stormed forward to confront her, demand an answer, then stopped. “Screw this.” He snapped at himself turning back towards the main door, dam her if she wanted to compare him to the low-life piece of shit on the phone a few moments ago, he didn’t have to prove anything to anyone! He was a king!

Delacourte yanked the front door open in a huffing rage as his inner wolf fought to pull him back inside, he had hardly ever disagreed with his wolf before, this woman was driving him bloody nuts!

Cursing he turned around walking back in, slamming the door shut with him inside, Rod and Don came into view as the front door and wall rattled from his force.

“Stay out of this.” He growled brushing past them towards her room. “Sintia.” He called stopping outside her shut bedroom door.

“What!” Came her snappy tone through the door.

He clenched his fists and jaw shaking his head as a deadly smile pulled at his lips, he couldn’t believe he let her continue to disrespect him, she had no bloody regard for him and who he was. No one he knew would dare go against him like this, not without some serious consequences.

“May I enter?” He sneered more to himself having to ask a human for permission than anything else! He swallowed at the scary thought that he actually enjoyed interacting with her, even if it was only to fight, anything to just be nearby.

“No! The only thing you may do is leave!” She yanked the door open mimicking his request before slamming it again, but It didn’t close, she looked down at his boot jammed in between the door and frame preventing her from shutting it in his face.

“I wanted to ask you to the ball.” He raced through the words so quickly, he was unable to think it through, leaving her blinking with confusion.

“What?” She asked still holding the door against his boot.

“I, wanted to ask, if you would accompany me, to the ball.” He said slowly, looking up at her from his still jammed-in-the-door boot. It was the truth, he had come there to ask her to be his plus one, hoping it would shove Annabella in his brother’s direction leaving him with a bit more leash to search for a mate with at least some connection. He felt slightly guilty for shoving Annabella onto his brother, only slightly. Besides, Sintia was drop-dead gorgeous and an icon figure, no one would think it odd to have her on his arm at the entrance.

“I, I don’t understand you.” She placed a hand to her cheek in confusion.

“It’s the reason I came here today, you looked amazing in that red gown the other night, it framed your mad curves perfectly.” He said softly. “I couldn’t keep my eyes off you.” He whispered feeling her grip on the door relax somewhat.

“And then, I said I wasn’t a one-night stand girl and you disappeared.” She said looking at him with suspicion. “I’ll give you this, you smooth, remembering what I wore is a plus in any women’s book. But you disappeared, and now that whoever you chased is gone, I’m guessing you back at trying your luck with me again?” She asked a wall around her heart; she would not fall for this man’s trickeries; he was a hot and cold wind blowing her emotions everywhere.

He frowned understanding now why she had been so hostile towards him when he arrived.

“I had to leave for urgent business in Moscow, if not for that I would have pursued you. You are worth the chase.” He smiled down at her lazily feeling the door give way as she backstepped, letting him enter. “So, the ball?” He asked again.

“Why me? One unplanned dinner and you want me to be your date to an event that will be talked about for many months after, especially with me alongside you.” She shook her head with a no, but kept her smile, “We cannot be in the same social circles.” She said softly, “Your royalty, and according to the news, you choosing a wife this year, I cannot be labeled as a random eye candy on your arm with all I have at stake.” She smiled.

“Eye candy?” He asked with a wicked smile, “So you admit you are delicious?”

“Stop.” She blushed, “I’m serious, you and I are from different worlds.”

“It’s just for the entrance on the carpet, after that we have to join different social circles.” He smiled a sadness in his eyes realising she was right; he would be proud to have such a woman on his arm.

“Hopefully, you will save me one dance?” He stepped nearer to her.

“In my red dress?” She mocked; grateful he took her rejection so gracefully.

“I wouldn’t care if you wore a potato sack.” He said edging closer to her looking to her lips, she saw his eyes wander down and wet her lips in anticipation recalling his mind-blowing touch.

“Come with me someplace.” He put out his hand waiting for her to accept. Sintia looked from the bedside table where her phone was lighting up with a million notifications, the real world was waiting for her, she had a difficult choice, reality or infatuation.

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