Marine turned billionaire arms dealer Jackson Hawke has one goal–to have the woman who ruined his life at his mercy. He’ll see her on her knees, even if he has to pay for the privilege.
Six years ago, Hannah buried her twin sister. Now, with her family in jeopardy, Hannah must sell herself to a wealthy stranger in order to save their home.
She expects to be scarred by the experience. She doesn’t expect to pay penance for her sister’s sins or to meet a man who brings her body savagely to life.
Jackson Hawke might be a monster, but he’s Hannah’s monster. They belong together and she’s determined to show Jackson that she can love every part of him–light and dark, cruel and gentle, lost soul and Dominant man.
Can a monster learn to become a man again?
Or will dark forces from the past claim Hannah’s life before she can claim Jackson’s heart?
*This box set contains the complete Bought by the Billionaire series
“My employer asked that I help you tie this over your eyes.” He held out a thick strip of heavy black cloth. “I’ve got another for your mouth.”
Hannah’s breath sped. “Why do I need to be blindfolded?” she asked, not wanting to think about the gagging part. The thought of not being able to speak, or even swallow her own saliva, was ridiculously terrifying, almost as scary as taking her clothes off in front of a camera, knowing a stranger was watching.
God, what had she done? What the hell had she done?
“I don’t ask questions,” the man said, his voice humorless and his blue eyes remaining flat. “My employer doesn’t enjoy questions. He prefers efficiency.”
“All… all right.” Hannah’s heart raced as she reached for the blindfold, figuring it was better if she was the one to tie it on. She wrapped the soft fabric across her eyes and tied it behind her head, tight enough to be sure it wouldn’t accidentally fall off, but not so tight that it pressed against her closed lids.
When she was finished, she held out her hand, willing her voice not to shake as she said, “I can tie the gag, too. If that’s okay.”
“Just make sure it stays put,” the man said.
Hannah couldn’t help flinching as the man dropped the cloth into her outstretched hand. Not being able to see was already heightening her other senses, making the sensation of soft fabric brushing against her skin ricochet through her nervous system in a way it normally wouldn’t.
She tied the gag as loosely as she dared, but when she was finished her tongue still felt cramped, forced to coil at the back of her throat like a snake denied the right to strike. The combination of the stressful day, having half her face covered, her eyesight stolen away, and her mouth filled with fabric combined to trigger the worst case of claustrophobia she’d experienced since she was eight years old and Harley had accidentally locked her in the crawl space next to their room.
She’d sat in the cramped portion of the attic, where she and her sister had hidden their secret treasures from their nanny, for hours, sweating and crying in the summer heat until she’d almost passed out. But she hadn’t dared call out for someone to rescue her. She’d known Harley would kill her if she let any of the staff find out about their secret hideout. Harley didn’t tolerate broken promises, no matter how many she broke herself.
Hannah struggled to swallow, fighting to slow her racing, panicked heartbeat. But it was an exercise in futility. Her heart was beyond her control, like the rest of her life, and the best she could hope for was that she would pass out before her owner joined her on the plane.
The thought made her throat feel even tighter and sweat bead around her hairline and above her parted lips. By the time she heard the door to the plane open a few minutes later, she was sweating profusely, panting through her flared nostrils, and so dizzy she didn’t know how much longer she would remain conscious.
She whimpered and pointed frantically to the gag, praying the blond man would understand that she was having trouble breathing and grant her permission to remove it.
But instead of the first man’s firm monotone, she was answered by a low grumble, “The gag stays in. You need to relax. You’re breathing too fast.”
Hannah tried to relax, she really did, but this man’s voice wasn’t one that inspired relaxation. He sounded hard, cold, and enormous. Until this moment, she hadn’t realized that a voice could project size, but this man sounded ten feet tall and bulletproof. He sounded like someone capable of strangling the life out of her with one hand and mean enough to enjoy it.
As the thought passed through her head, her traitorous breath sped even faster and her chest began to shake.
“You’re going to hyperventilate if you keep that up,” the man grumbled again, his voice so deep she could feel it vibrating through her bones, touching her in places a voice shouldn’t be able to touch. “Hannah stop. Right now.”
A whimper escaped her cramped throat and her breath came so fast it felt like she was being spun in circles by one of those terrible carnival rides she’d hated when she was a child.
“Stop it,” the man repeated, his voice closer and dropped to a soothing whisper. “I’m not going to hurt you on this plane, Hannah. I give you my word.”
On this plane. He hadn’t said he wouldn’t hurt her at all, just not on the plane, and she sensed that she wasn’t reading more into the remark than he’d intended.