Home > The Proposition: The Ferro Family(9)

The Proposition: The Ferro Family(9)
Author: H.M. Ward

It’s as if he can read my mind, because his lips come crashing down on mine again. We’re back in that ravenous kiss that’s all hard tongue and teeth. Bryan nips my lip which makes me pulsate in all the right places. Clutching his face in my hands, I suck his lip into my mouth and bite. It’s not a nip. There’s nothing light and playful about it. It’s hard and I know it hurt a little.

He rips away and growls before going for my neck. Bryan forces my head to the side and presses me back to the wall, as he hikes up my dress and shoves his knee between my legs. The sensation of restraint draws me out. Something about being under his control turns me wanton and I need more. As his lips work down to the place on my throat that makes me want things I shouldn’t want, I fight him. I gasp and grab at his hair, pulling it, as his kisses turn to bites. His teeth drag along my skin, nipping at my collarbone until he passes across the base of my neck and to the other side.

The torrent of sensations flooding through me from his touch and rough affection make me want more. My heart is pounding in my chest, and my body demands more. I gasp as his mouth brushes against the section of my neck that turns me into someone else. When his lips touch that spot, and he sucks my skin, taking it between his lips and licking my flesh, I stiffen and then go limp in his arms. I can’t think when he kisses me there. That one place seems to connect to every erogenous zone in my entire being, and makes me flush with heat and pulsing desire. I’m aware of who we are and that’s about it. My mind becomes fuzzy, charged with sexual tension that flows through my veins like a current. It transforms every touch to a burning need for him to dominate me. It’s like it was, back before my life fell apart, and I give in to him.

Moaning his name, my head falls to the side and my knees give out. I can barely hold onto him, because his kisses make me so weak. It’s in that moment that his lips still, and his hands no longer rove my curves, squeezing each one he finds. Bryan stills. Tension that lines his hard body seems to increase as he slips his hands off of me, and to the wall just behind my head. He’s breathing hard and his body is covered in a thin sheen of sweat that I want to lick off. But I don’t get the chance because he abruptly stops. When he pulls away, I nearly fall over, but manage to lock my knees and grab the wall before he’s gone.

He paces the floor, grumbling things I can’t hear, and running his hands through his dark shiny hair. Bryan stops and presses his eyes closed tight as he grips his face and inhales deeply. When he finally looks over at me, he straightens. His eyes are filled with an unidentified emotion as his jaw tightens. “Leave.”


He might as well have slapped me. I blink, not understanding what just happened. We were so lost in the moment that it felt like it was years ago and he never left. The illusion was perfect, so I don’t know what he’s doing. “What?”

“I said you can go.” Bryan keeps his back to me before heading to the bar in the room.

Something slinks through my stomach and floods my face. It’s mortification, but Bryan can’t see it because he’s turned away from me, pouring a drink. What the fuck? He tells me that I have to come or he’ll expose me and do everything in his power to ruin my life, and then he rejects me? Fury courses through me until my jaw is locked tight and my hands are balled into fists at my sides.

When he finally turns around with his drink in hand, I let him have it. “Just because you’re a f**king Ferro, you think you can do whatever you want! You use people and throw them away, like they don’t matter. I didn’t want to be here—”

He laughs at me with that arrogant, cocky smile of his and then lifts his hand toward me. “And yet, here you are.”

My face scrunches into something that’s the opposite of pretty. “You didn’t give me a choice, Bryan.”

“I most certainly did and you came.” He smirks and moves toward me. “Or is that what you’re upset about? That you didn’t get to have sex with me tonight?”

He stops a step away. I can’t help myself. I slam my open palms into his shoulders and shove him hard, but he doesn’t move. The man is built like a mountain, and is completely indestructible. Tears bite at the backs of my eyes, but I refuse to let him see me cry. Bryan shoos me away as if I were completely insubstantial. After he does so, he walks over to my purse, sifts through the contents on the bed, and lifts my phone.

He shakes his head, like he’s disappointed with me. “I thought we had an understanding.”

Folding my arms across my chest, I look away. It frightens me that he found it, but his utter calmness about the recording is beyond scary. Bryan swipes his finger across the screen a few times and the recording is gone. Then he steps toward the nightstand by the bed, and picks up a remote. The TV flickers to life and I’m not sure what I’m looking at. It’s black and white and the camera angle is shot from up high, like it’s looking down… on this room. My heart lurches as ice fills my chest. I stiffen and freeze in place. He presses a few buttons and all of a sudden there’s a video of me and him where I look like I’m more than willing to be here.

He turns it off, and glances over at me. “You can’t win, Hallie. I call the shots and you say ‘Yes, sir.’ There’s no way for you to win.”

Every fiber of my being wants to lash out and scream at him, but I don’t. Holding my emotions in check, I suck in a shallow breath and ask, “So, what do you want?”

“You, whenever, wherever. It’s not a complicated concept, Hallie.” Bryan flashes me a wolfish grin and downs his drink.

“You said it was only for one night.”

“Yeah, I told you—I changed my mind. I want you for as long as I want you.” My body is shaking from trying to keep still. “What’s the matter? Your boyfriend won’t approve?”

My gaze narrows and I’m seeing red. The depth of his betrayal stings so much that I’m in shock. I finally manage to speak. “I don’t care what he says, I don’t approve. I won’t sleep with you over and over again just because you tell me to.”

Bryan’s laughter fills the air, but there’s nothing merry about it. It sounds jaded and angry, but I don’t know what I’ve done to make him like this. The book doesn’t make sense. That can’t be the reason he’s turned on me like this. I can’t stand it anymore, and blurt it out. “What have I done to deserve this?”

“You know what you did.” When he says it, his voice sounds hollow. Bryan tries to look away, but I step into his line of sight and remain there, constantly stepping closer to him, until I’m in his face.

“No, I don’t. The book can’t be it and I can’t believe that you’d act like this in response. It’s not like you!”

He shakes his head. “You don’t know me, Hallie. Not anymore.”

“You’re wrong. I do know you and even though years have passed, you’re still the same guy under all this—” I gesture at him, “—whatever this is. Bryan, I’m your friend, even after this. No sane person would forgive you, but I will if you tell me what the hell is going on.”

Bryan watches me as I speak and when I’m done, the tension in his shoulders lessens as his lips part. For a moment, I think he’s going to tell me, that there’s something else going on, but I can’t imagine what would make him act like this. His green eyes go cold and he backs away. “I have told you. This is the consequence of your actions. Deal with it. You’re mine until I’m done with you. I can use you however I see fit for as long as I like, and you will oblige me. If you default on your end of the bargain, I’ll ruin you. I’ll expose anything and everything, every secret, every skeleton.”

His words are sharp, and fly out of his mouth like swords, but it makes my heart sink. Yeah, it’s totally the wrong reaction for someone in my position, but I heard it. That slight quiver of his voice, the way the words caught in his throat like he didn’t want to say them. I should be furious, but pity takes hold instead. I sit down on the floor in my gown, and pull off my shoes.

Bryan’s face scrunches up as he presses his fingers to his temples. “What are you doing?”

“Yeah, I’m not leaving.”

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