I love my naughty stepbrothers! And I think I could keep writing them forever. For me, they’re all different. This one was especially fun to write. A woman who works for her stepbrother has to help him flip a client and convince this other man to invest in their family company. This Russian’s background is a bit sketchy. He’s scary big, speaks in a heavy accent, and doesn’t suffer fools easily. My heroine, Lila, gets trapped, by the Russian and her brother, into accompanying Fedor on a trip. Now, she’s completely at his mercy… Hope you enjoy the excerpt. She’s no shrinking violet, and he has limits to his patience… With His Client releases on Tuesday! So you don’t have long to wait to read the rest of it! And as always, if you love this story and want more of my couple, you have to tell me so! I can be convinced…
A woman tempts a Russian strongman to save her stepbrother’s company…
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The bedroom where he left me to change was gorgeous. The rug was an antique Persian, the colors softened with age. Blue, green, and gold medallions against a deep brown. The bed was covered in a rich brown brocade comforter and looked sumptuous, but I tried not to look there. It was large enough to accommodate his body with tall posts on each corner. All seating in the room was upholstered in a dark, buttery-soft leather. The bathroom was enormous with a walk-in shower with many heads and tiled in natural stone. The bathtub was copper on the outside and coated with an ivory enamel on the inside. I’d need to use the steps beside it because the sides were so deep.
I heard rustling in the bedroom and hurried back into the room to find a servant, dressed casually in a cotton skirt and tank, emptying my suitcases. She was pretty and young, and her smile flashed white against her dark skin. “I’ll only be a minute, miss.”
I cleared my throat. “Fedor…Mr. Medved…?”
“He’s waiting for you in the living room. Dinner is being prepared. He thought you might like a drink before eating. He wants you to wear this,” she said, sliding open a closet door and pulling out a dress that was more like a filmy caftan.
The material was so thin, I knew my shape would be revealed. Underwear would look ridiculous beneath it. The dark filigree pattern against a blush background would play peekaboo with my nipples and the dark hair cloaking my crotch. “I don’t suppose he included a slip…?”
She giggled, and her smile stretched wider. “He included sandals.”
“Of course,” I said, my mouth going dry.
When she left, I didn’t let myself think about what I should do—which was select one of the outfits Brian had packed. They were short but covered me. Instead, I stripped and pulled the caftan over my head. I spent a few minutes repairing my makeup, brushed my hair, then slipped on the dark sandals. As I walked from the bedroom, the thin silk fluttered against my hot skin, gliding against my nipples, between my legs. The caftan was as much of a tease for me as it would be for him.
By the time I found him, I was already aroused, and there was no use pulling at the fabric that caressed my tight nipples to try to hide that fact.
He faced a wall of windows overlooking a long strip of pristine beach. He’d removed his jacket, and I noted that his white dress shirt was perfectly tailored, forming to his broad shoulders, lean back and waist. His slacks hugged his rounded buttocks.
He had to know I was there; the soft leather soles of my sandals slapped on the tiled floor. I came up beside him and looked out at the view. From the corner of my eye, I watched as he glanced sideways, his gaze raking over my body. I couldn’t help drawing a deeper breath that lifted my chest—and my tight nipples.
“Why didn’t you just ask me to come naked to you?” I said, glancing his way.
He turned his body then lifted a hand to finger the silk at my waist. “Do you like how it feels?”
His voice was different. Deeper, smokier. My breasts quivered as I drew a shuddering breath. “Yes,” I whispered.
He gave a nod. “Your pleasure is important to me.”
I pressed my thighs together in an attempt to stopper the moisture wetting my sex. “Why should my pleasure matter?” I asked, lifting my chin.
His mouth quirked, and I stared at that small smile. “I am not an ogre, Lila.”
“You forced me here.”
He canted his head. “Did I?”
“You knew I couldn’t refuse.”
“You mean, your brother wouldn’t let you refuse. You could have said no…or simply left my limo waiting at the curb. But here you are—wearing my gown.”
I dropped any pretense of pride along with my chin and gazed down at our shoes—his polished loafers, my scanty sandals. Drawing in a breath for courage, I said, “You’re right. I wanted to come. I guess…I was…curious…”
Fedor’s hands reached out, palms up, and moved slowly toward me.
I could have stepped back, but instead, allowed him to cup my chin. He raised my face. “Before we met, I knew who you were. I have…friends…inside your company, who told me of your frustration with your brother. That you warned him long ago of where his excesses would lead him.” His dark eyes narrowed as he stared down at me. “You are lovers.”
“We…are.” But looking at him, I knew that was no longer true. “Were,” I whispered.
He gave a crisp nod. “I don’t share, Lila.”
“This is… I’m not…” I shook my head at my dithering. “I still don’t understand why I’m here. Is it to punish my brother—or play some game?”
“I saw you before…at a gathering at your country club.”
I shook my head. “That’s not possible.”
One eyebrow arched.
“I would have remembered,” I said, lowering both of mine. And it was the truth. The first time I’d looked at him through the screen in the restaurant, he’d taken away my breath. He was too large, too commanding to miss.
“I watched from a distance while you walked with your brother. His hand against the small of your back. I knew then that the rumors of your affair were true. But you were as much mother as lover, trying to steer him toward the people he should speak with, your eyes narrowing when he drank too much. I thought your…attentions…were wasted on one so unworthy.”
“Brian isn’t unworthy,” I said, frowning.
“He’s a child.”
I drew another deep breath, ready to argue, but he was right. Brian was spoiled. Unprepared for his role as CEO. His father had thought he’d have time to groom him.
“I remember thinking how remarkable it was that you were the same age. Both lovely to look at, but he’s empty and immature. While you are…too good for him.”
I shook my head. “I’m not. My mother married into wealth, but I—”
“Had the same opportunities, to a point. I understand. His set is privileged, with advantages they never earned. I could care less about their privilege.”
I sighed. “I don’t get it. You sneer at him. You refused his request. You don’t care to partner with him, I get it. So, why am I here?’
“It’s simple. I want you.” He pursed his mouth and tilted his head in a sideways nod. “And I want your shares. I will not invest my money with a fool. He cannot retain control.”
Disappointment chilled me. “Your shares, alone, wouldn’t give you control, and he wouldn’t give you controlling shares.”
“I will work with you. You are sensible. Smart. You wouldn’t balk at instituting a program of austerity to rebuild your company. You will tell him that I will accept thirty-three if you are given thirty-four.”
“Why would he give up control?”
“Because he has no choice—and he believes you will give it back to him.”
“And I would.”
Again, Fedor raised one wicked brow. “Would you, even if you thought it wasn’t in his best interests?”
I paused, unsure now. “You want a partnership, and you think that I’ll go along with you when it comes to voting. Is that why we’re here? Are you trying to seduce me into giving you control over my shares?”
“I wanted a chance to talk to you. To go over some ideas I have for saving your company and for moving forward. But I could have accomplished that over a private business meeting. No, I told you already. I want you.”
I barely stopped myself from stomping my foot. He was infuriating. “You said you want me, and you want my shares.”
He grunted. “Perhaps I didn’t say that right. I want you. With me.”
I widened my eyes to glare at him. How many ways could he tell me he wanted my damn shares? “You want me—with you—so you’ll have power over my brother.”
He gave me a darkly fierce frown. “I don’t want power over yourr brother. Just leverrage.”
Suddenly, I wanted to laugh. His frustration was making his accent thicker, his Rs sounding like growls. His anger spiked my own. And again, that quickly, I was aroused. I tossed back my hair and gave him a harder glare. “You want to seduce me to gain leverage over my brother.”
“I would seduce you anyway.” His jaws ground together. “I do not want to fuck yourr brother. I want to fuck you.”
My mouth twitched, and I fought not to grin. Pushing him had been fun. Which probably wasn’t very smart. The man had earned a rep for his fists. I guessed it was time to give him a break. I cleared my throat and nodded. “Just so we’re straight. I don’t like being played.”
A tic pulsed beside his eye. “I am not playing you. I am being straightforward. You arre not.”
I lifted my brows.
“You are wearring my gown.” His hands clenched at his sides. Then he stepped closer, towering over me. “You wanted me to see you.”
Well, yeah. But I didn’t like that he read me so easily. “I wore what you provided because I thought it was part of the deal.”
One dark brow rose. “You would sell yourrself to me?”
“I was ready to do whatever was needed to save Brian’s company. We’re family.” I tilted my chin.
He gave a sharp shake of his head. “Not blood.”
I felt my bottom lip push forward. “He’s the only family I have.”
“And he was only too happy to give you to me,” he said, lowering his face toward mine.
I swallowed. “Only because he knew…”
“You arre trrying my patience,” he whispered. “What did he know?”
God, my nipples hurt they were so tight. “That I want you.”
His hands shot up and gripped my hips. His face lowered. The moment our mouths touched, it was as though a match scratched. We ignited.