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Written by Caitlin Crews

Chapter Six

I seethed. I raged. I paced around my tiny apartment and called Zain every name I could think of.

Because I didn't like men who thought they could tell me what to do. I stormed through life with the tattoos my mother hated, the combat boots that made my stepfather grit his teeth, and I kept my hair dyed inky black because it made my blue eyes pop even more, in case anyone was tempted to forget I was pretty. I had a piercing in my nose, a hoop in my belly, and one more, lower still. I was a New Yorker, entirely unanswerable to anyone. Especially men.

When I’d ended up in Germany, scowling around a stuffy boardroom table as the three half brothers I'd never known I'd had were made instantly rich, it had only confirmed that life was unjust. They all got part of the St. George legacy.

I was given a project instead.

"All you have to do is obey your father's wishes," the executor had told me in his prissy way.

“About that," I’d drawled. I was lounging back in the chair the way all my brothers did, because I could see these stuffy businessmen expected more ladylike behavior from me. That meant I'd die before I simpered. "I don't really do obedience."

I didn't obey anyone.

But what I did like was money.

And, if I was honest, I was sick and tired of bartending in New York. I was tired of the hours. The little dramas that kicked up amongst those of us in the lifestyle, with the after parties and the romantic nonsense and the sleeping through to the next afternoon.

I’d decided that I wanted to grow up—and that the hotel my birth father only wanted me to have if I jumped through a few hoops first was the best way to do that.

I should have known that the one man who could help me do that would want me to obey him first.

I indulged my temper and indignation about it for two whole days.

But then I did what Zain had said and turned up where he told me. Right on time.

I was shown into the impressive Greenwich Village town house by someone who I suspected had to be a real, live butler. The man led me through room after room that shouted out elegance and class—a foreign language I’d never understand. But I could feel it sink into my skin.

And I liked it.

Finally I was delivered to Zain, who waited in an office, all modern lines and white spaces, which somehow made him look bigger. More lethal.

Then again, that could easily have been the fact that he wore nothing but jeans slung low on his hips and a black T-shirt that made me want to climb up the front of his body and swing from his perfect biceps. Maybe with my mouth.

“Look at you," he murmured in what sounded like approval. “You do what you’re told after all.”

"I only do what I'm told if it leads where I want to go," I managed to say. Because it suddenly occurred to me that he could issue far more intriguing orders, if he liked. And I might just follow those, too. No matter that the very notion made my head spin. I frowned at him to cover it. "You can either help me or you can’t, Your Highness.”

“Don’t call me ‘Highness,’” Zain said. “That’s my cousin, not me.”

“Your Royal Highness, then? Your Excellency? Supreme and mighty prince of something or other?” I shrugged. “Whatever you want me to call you, I will. If you can help me.”

Something much too hot—and dark—moved over his hard face for a second, then was gone.

“If you must address me with all your questionable respect,” he said quietly, his gaze intent on mine, “you can call me Sir.”

And oh, how that shivered down my spine, then spread out like heat inside of me.

I wanted to throw something back at him, but I couldn’t seem to speak.

“I can help you," Zain said. "But first, Angelique, we must agree to our terms."

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About the author

I discovered my first romance novel at the age of twelve. It involved...

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Caitlin Crews

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