Coming April 4th
It wasn’t until Cameron that I knew what real darkness was…or that I’d crave it so much.
I’ve let the world weigh down on me; pull me under until nothing makes sense anymore. Maybe that’s how I let myself get into the mess I’m currently in? Maybe that’s how I’m in my current situation with a man I knew could save me from a fate worse than death. Even if being with Cameron, giving him the very part of me, the only part that’s worth anything—my body—might very well ruin me, I have to survive.
Drug lord. Crime Boss. Murderer. I should fear him, be horrified by what he wants from me, by who he is. But instead, I find myself wanting to please him, wanting to give myself over completely.
Because I know that gives me control over him.
Cameron Ashton reins over the gritty underworld, the danger and violence of depravity, from his throne. A pistol is his sword, and apathy is his second-in-command. I know he’s dangerous, know he’ll break me and not think twice. But he’s my only chance, the only way I’ll survive.
He’s possessive and controlling. And he does own me, every part of me. The darkness in him runs stronger, deeper than it ever had in me. Maybe we’re not so different? Maybe giving up my control to Cameron, giving him my very soul, makes me the powerful one?
Maybe, in the end, I’ll be the one who owns him.
Warning: This is a filthy, dark romance. There may be subject matter and triggers that are sensitive to some readers. In the end, this IS a romance, albeit a twisted one. If you’re looking for a story that gives you the warm and fuzzies, this is not the book for you.
The sweat running down the valley between my breasts was reminiscent of fingers moving along me. I was hot, my body flushed, my heart racing. Everything in me felt alive, ready to tear through my skin like another entity wanting to escape.
I was drunk, and I felt incredible.
The bodies pressed tightly against me, moving sexually, suggestively, made me feel even better. It made me feel alive. I moved with them, swaying to the music, inhaling the scent of sex and alcohol that seemed to surround me. I was sure a lot of people would be fucking tonight. No doubt it would be dirty, their inhibitions having been left at the club as they took home a random person. It would be the kind of sex that drunk people had, sloppy, carefree.
I wasn’t a good girl. I didn’t follow the rules. And my life was less than memorable. I lived like today was my last, because for all I knew it would be. It could be.
I came to this club when I couldn’t stand the box that was my life, the one that was sealed tight, no airholes, no light getting through the crack. I got wasted, danced until my body was covered with sweat, my muscles sore, and some poor, hard-up frat guy got off in his jeans by grinding against my leg. I was a wreck in many ways, and I had no doubt that people assumed I was slutty by the way I dressed, by the way I moved on the dance floor.
But how I dressed and acted didn’t make up who I was: a virgin who was lost, who had no one, nothing. I was an inexperienced woman who came here and danced because I wanted a little bit of release…the only kind I ever got. How I felt here was like being consumed by the water, of being helpless but weightless, of being sucked down to the very bottom where no light was permitted.
I wasn’t light. I was darkness wrapped up in a five-foot-five frame, with dark hair, a wild streak, and no one to stop me.
Maybe I was a contradiction to myself, a lost girl who didn’t know what she wanted in life. But it’s who I was, how I got through each day.
I embraced it, knowing that maybe my upbringing made me this way, that having an absentee mother, a drunk for a father, and a penchant for getting slapped on occasion by said parents had shaped the woman I now was.
I wasn’t broken, but I was damaged.
Or maybe it had nothing to do with my parents or what I didn’t have growing up: love. Maybe I was just born this way.
Either way I didn’t try and stop it. I didn’t try and change.
“You look good out here dancing, girl.” The feeling of a guy behind me, of his hands on my hips, his hard cock digging into my lower back, had dual sensations moving through me. “You feel good,” he said again, his voice thick, aroused, slurred from the no doubt many drinks he’d consumed. “What’s your name.”
I thought about lying, pretending I was someone else. Instead I said, “Sofia.”
I wanted him to get off, because knowing I had that kind of control, that kind of power, fueled me. But on the other hand I felt disgust, mainly for myself. I felt and smelled his hot, liquor-laced breath along my neck. I shivered, and the way he groaned made me assume he thought it meant I was into this.
I wasn’t, but I didn’t stop from grinding on him.
I lifted my hands, closed my eyes, and just thought about something else. I wasn’t here, wasn’t trying to get this guy to come in his pants. I was far away, so distant that nothing could touch me. I was the one who had control, and that control made me feel free, alive.
“Come home with me. Hell, let’s go back to my car.”
“Come home with me. Hell, let’s go back to my car.”
I shook my head. He needed to shut up.
“Come on, girl.” He ground his dick against me again. He felt small, even though he was hard.
“No. Either shut up and dance with me, or go find someone willing to go home with you.” I didn’t even know if he heard me over the rush of the music, but if he said one more word, I’d just go get a drink.
He tightened his hold on my hips, digging his small dick into my back. “I bet you’re wet for me right now, aren’t you?” His breath was hot, humid. It was acidic and I gagged.
I was bone-dry, not even the teasing of arousal playing over me. I never felt anything when I danced with these guys. It was what made me feel free, made me feel powerful in an otherwise unstable world. I might not have any kind of control with my personal life, with my finances, with anything that could ground me, but at this club, where the drinks flowed, the sex was potent, and my power was immense…I was the one in charge.
I’d been called a dick tease, a bitch, whore, a cunt…any and all of the above. None of that mattered. They were verbal bullets, and in this club I wore my bulletproof vest.
I pushed away from the guy and made my way to the bar. He was either cursing me out or had hopefully moved on to someone more receptive to what he was actually after. But when I got to the bar, the people crammed together, shouting, lifting their hands to get one of the three bartenders to come their way. I decided tonight was done. I’d hit the bathroom, then call a cab.
Pushing my way through the throng of bodies, the air stale, humid, the heat suffocating, I said a silent prayer that the line to use the bathroom wasn’t up the ass. But there were still a few girls ahead of me. I leaned on the wall, resting my head back against it, and stared up. I noticed the video camera aimed right at me. There were several in this hallway, two in the back, one pointing at me, and another aimed at the dance floor.
I had no doubt there were a dozen more at other locations. Although this place was wild on most nights, it also had a reputation for being safe—well, as safe as a nightclub could be. It had just been renovated by the new owner over the last year, a man I’d heard rumors about, and one I never wanted to meet.
Dark and dangerous. Violent and psychotic. He’s not a person you want to meet in a dark alley. He’d just as soon slit your throat for looking at him the wrong way.
Rumors, of course, but it was those words, whispered by everyone and anyone, that told me there had to be a little bit of truth behind them.
I feel sorry for anyone who pisses off Cameron Ashton, because he’ll solve that problem with a shovel and a six-foot-deep hole.
Pushing off the wall when it was my turn inside, I used the facility, went over to the sink to wash my hands, and stared at myself in the mirror. The girl who stared back looked sad, and not in an emotional way. My reflection showed a hot mess. My eyeliner was starting to smear under my eyes, pieces of my dark hair stuck to my temples, and the lipstick I had on, once red and vibrant, now looked dead and colorless.
I finished in the restroom, pushed my way through the crowd, and finally opened the door that led outside. The cool night air washed over me, and I involuntarily closed my eyes, moaning softly. It felt good out here, the crush of bodies and heat a distant memory the longer I stood here.
The alcohol that had once numbed me, clouding my head with the nothingness, started to clear. Maybe I hadn’t been as drunk as I’d thought. Being behind those doors was like another world. The lights, music, the people trying to get off any way they could, brought you down low to a depraved, sticky and disgusting level. It’s what I loved.
I needed to get home now, had work in the morning, had to get back to my shitty life. I fished my cell out of the miniscule handbag I carried with me, dialed the cab service I had memorized, and told them the address. Coming here for the last year should have had them knowing me by name. As I waited for them to arrive, ten long fucking minutes, I moved away from the front doors and leaned against the wall off to the side.
I glanced up, the streetlight close by bright but not quite reaching me fully. Looking to my left, I noticed another security camera, this one pointed at the front doors. Never let it be said this place didn’t have their shit together.
The sound of a lighter going off to my right had me glancing over. I saw the flare of the flame, smelled the scent of the cigarette as its owner inhaled and then exhaled.
I exhaled. God, of course the guy from inside, the one with the small dick and the need for me to go home with him, would be out here. I didn’t bother replying, didn’t want to engage. Instead I turned my head in the other direction and glanced at a few people across the parking lot smoking. I felt the lightest touch on my arm.
I glanced to my right, and before I knew what was happening, that light touch from the asshole turned into him pulling me farther into the shadowy side street.
Jenika Snow is a USA Today Bestselling Author that lives in the northwest with her husband and their two daughters. Before she started writing full-time she worked as a nurse.