Where is Kiro?
He’s the lost Dragusha brother, heir to a vast mafia empire—brilliant, violent, and utterly savage…and he’s been missing for years.
I'm supposed to be doing simple undercover research at the Fancher Institute for the Mentally Ill & Dangerous, but I can’t keep my mind off Patient 34. He’s startlingly young and gorgeous, but it’s not just that. He’s strapped way too tightly to that bed. And there’s no name or criminal history on his chart. What are these people hiding? My reporter’s instincts are screaming.
Here's the other thing: the staffers here believe he’s so sedated that there’s not a thought in his head, but I catch him watching me when nobody’s looking. Our connection sizzles when I enter the room. When our eyes meet, I know he understands me in a way nobody else ever has.
I’m supposed to follow my editor’s orders—I have secrets, too—but everything about Patient 34 is suspicious. How can I not investigate?
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“They’re ready for 34,” says Donny, creepy king of the orderlies.
“Come on,” nurse Zara says.
“Patient 34,” Zara says. “Come on.”
He doesn’t get a name? I grab the cart and push it down the hall to where three orderlies are assembled with stun guns out.
“We go three on standby for hellbeast,” Donny says, looking at me a little too hard. In addition to neon running shoes, Donny has several empty ear piercings and a strategy of showing you who’s boss by looking really hard at your tits. His eyes are small and frontally placed. Predator eyes.
He opens the door and the three of us file in.
I turn to the patient.
And the breath goes out of me.
Patient 34 has a violent halo of dark curls and a short, unruly beard. Sooty lashes line his amber eyes. His energy is…intense, wild, like he was created in some brilliant hellfire. I feel him like I’ve never felt anybody. He’s gorgeous in a furious way. A stunning, suck-you-in-and-spit-you-out way.
The highest restraint is a four-point restraint, but Patient 34 is in more like eight points, arms to waist, waist to bed, wrists to bed, ankles to bed, neck to bed.
He stares at a fixed point on the ceiling like the other B-52-medicated patients, but he feels utterly different, utterly alive. This guy is not blank.
I look up to find nurse Zara watching me sternly, like she caught me doing something wrong. Did I stare at Patient 34 too long?
I get ready to take his vitals, though I have half a mind to look around for a camera crew, like this is one of those elaborate joke shows where they play tricks and see what people do. He’s just…not at all like the others.
According to 34’s chart, he’s on B-52 plus a few muscle relaxants and something extra I don’t recognize. Enough medication for an elephant. I wrap the BP cuff around his shockingly muscular arm. Shocking, because this is the kind of guy who’ll be unhitched from that bed exactly twice a day. When and how is he working out? And what did he do to get himself this level of restraint?
The history section of his chart is blank. There’s no age, though I’d put him at twenty or twenty-one. I can’t even find his goals program chart. “Where’s his goals?”
Donny laughs from the corner. “He doesn’t get goals. He will never have his meds reduced, he will never have his restraints reduced, and the only way 34’s getting out of this room is feet first.” If I have anything to do with it is the unspoken part of it.
Donny returns his attention to his iPhone.
This guy—so heavily sedated and restrained with a man like Donny hating on him. How does he endure it? I lay a hand on his arm and feel the warmth of him through my latex glove.
“Escape artist,” Zara mumbles, not looking up from her phone. The people working on the wing aren’t supposed to have their phones, but they all do. They know how to avoid the cameras when they’re on them.
“What’s his escape technique?” I ask. “Does he turn into The Incredible Hulk?”
Neither of them responds. Well, I thought it was funny.
I slip the cuff around 34’s arm, rest my gloved hand on his forearm, and start pumping it
I look at his face again.
And the world stops.
Because 34 is there—really there. He’s watching me with intelligence, lips quirked like he thought my Hulk comment was funny.
My heart pounds madly. “Hey, I’m going to take your BP, and we’ll draw a little blood, okay?”
“He doesn’t know what you’re saying,” Zara says from the corner, like I’m this huge idiot. “He’s not going to answer. Read his chart.”
I read the fucking chart, I think at her. Why don’t you look at his fucking face? But when I look back down, 34’s eyes are blank again, and the shadow of a smile is gone. Was I hallucinating? “It seemed like he was there for a second.”
“He hasn’t had a coherent thought in his head for months,” Donny says. “And he never will again.”
Asshole, I think.
My mouth just hangs open.
“You’re my mate. I care for you,” he says, like that’s an explanation.
“Don’t you see how ridiculous this is?”
“You’re my mate. I care for you. You don’t like it now, but you will.”
“I very much doubt that.”
He brings me closer. “Do you? Do you really doubt that?”
“Really,” I say, belly melting. Fucking caveman, I tell myself. Not into cavemen.
Softly, gently, he takes hold of my hair. He pulls down, as if he wants my throat fully exposed to him. I shiver a little as he presses rough lips to my tender neck. The entire surface of my body flames up with nerve endings.
I tell myself it’s the crisp outdoor air. The exercise. The fact I forgot about the kitten.
He slides his lips over my pulse point and up, then whispers low and rumbly into my ear, “Here’s what’s going to happen. I’m going to catch a nice fat fish for us down there.”
“With my hands.”
“What are you? A bear? You can’t catch a fish with your hands.”
“I can, Ann. Then I’ll make a fire.”
“By rubbing sticks together?” I ask inanely. Because the rumble of his voice is doing something to my mind.
He lets my hair go. “I’ll use the lighter.” His tone is a dirty promise. “But if we didn’t have that, I’d rub sticks together. I’m home now. This place is mine. Everything here is mine.”
“Then I’ll cook it. It’ll be delicious and juicy, and you’ll eat it.”
“O-kay,” I say sarcastically. But he has that look. I’m paranoid, suddenly, that my body is getting aroused and leaving my mind behind. And that he’s smelling it.
“I'm going to feed you.” My heart pounds as he slides his hands over my arms, looking down at me, beautiful and wild with those kissable lips. “Then I’m going to bend you over and fuck you.”
My belly drops through my shoes. “Um, excuse me?”
“You heard what I said. It’ll be best if you make yourself ready for me.”
“What? That’s what you think will happen here?”
The savage way he looks at me is a shot through my belly. “It’s what I know will happen.”
“And I’m going to make myself ready for you. That’s how you think this will work.”
His voice lowers. “You’re aroused already. I feel it on your skin. See it in your eyes. And your scent…”
Shivers come over me. “You’re dreaming.”
He puts a hand to the center of my chest and backs me up to the tree. He takes my hand and guides it toward my crotch. I pull, trying to reroute us, but he’s too strong. He grabs two of my fingers and moves them for me. I hiss out a breath as everything between my legs comes alive.
A few strokes, and I could totally get off.
“Don’t resist me.”
“I get the idea. Make myself ready. I don’t need your demo.”
He keeps on, guiding my fingers between my legs.
I gasp. “Higher.” He moves my fingers higher, and hits a spot that gets my mind melting.
“Shit,” I breathe, closing my eyes.
“Open your eyes. Open them.”
I keep my eyes closed. There’s not much he can do about it, being that he doesn’t have a third arm and hand.
He growls and bites my cheek. My eyes fly open. “Better.” He continues on, getting me off. Slowly, surely, I’m about to come.
“Feel it,” he says. “This is how you’ll make yourself ready for me.”
“For somebody who’s so sensitive about being as a savage,” I gasp, “you’re acting like one.”
“I think you like it.” He presses me more firmly to the tree. Bark gouges into my back as the pleasure rises between my legs. “This is how I want you. Ready for me to take you when and where I choose.”
I’m moving my hand on my own now, angling into all the best parts, because fuck it feels good. My breath heats up.
His breath tickles my ear. “This is how I want you getting ready for me, for when I bend you over.”
I’m angling to hit a certain spot, panting, mad with the buildup of pleasure. This is not me, turned on by a caveman like this. Mind and body taken over by a possessive brute.
His breath is velvet on my cheek. “There’s nowhere you can hide from me. No part of you can hide from me.”
He brings his lips close to my hair. His voice is deep and rumbly. “Open,” he commands.
I open my mouth and he feeds me another morsel. He watches me chew, arranging my hair around my shoulder. Because he wants to watch me eat the food he made for me. Because I belong to him.
The next piece is done. We eat it. Or more, he feeds it to me and himself. Eventually I feel full. “no more,” I say when he tries to feed me another.
He continues to eat. “Are you making yourself ready for me under there?”
“Excuse me? No.”
“Why not?” He sounds annoyed. “I told you I would fuck you, didn’t I?”
“That’s not how it works.”
“You know nothing of how it works.” He puts down the fish and presses a finger to my lips. I turn my head.
He grabs my hair and forces my head to turn back to him. “Suck it,” he says. “Make it clean.”
“I’m not your finger cleaning crew,” I say.
He touches my bottom lip with his pointer finger, holding me tightly. My belly feels animated with energy. Fuck—this is not turning me on. It can’t be.
He traces a finger around my lips. “Open.”
I stare into his amber gaze. His dark curls are caked with mud. It’s a fabulous look on him. OF course, everything’s a fabulous look on Kiro. He waits patiently, fingers at my lips. He’s willing to wait. He knows he’s in charge here.
I keep my lips zipped, heart pounding. It’s not that I don’t want to let his fingers invade me. It’s not that I don’t want him.
I want him too much. He’s too much—he’s too much man, too sexy. I’m too grateful. He’s too much in charge here. The balance of power is way too skewed.
He brings his face to my cheek. I stiffen. Will he bite me again? He can do anything he wants to me out here.
But instead, he presses his lips to my cheek. He kisses me softly. I didn’t even think he knew how to do that—to kiss not in a bruising, wild man way.
His voice feathers my ear with heat. “I know when you’re aroused. I hear it in the tone of your voice. I see it in the way your gaze changes, as if you see everything and nothing. The taste of your skin. And your scent…”
I let out a shuddery breath.
He presses his fingers along my lips, asking for entry. “Take me, Nurse Ann.”
It’s the need in his voice that gets me. The need tells me he’s a little out of control, too. I open.
He pushes his fingers in. “There,” he says. “Suck.”
I comply. His finger tastes mostly of…some spice. Thyme, I think. Maybe it grows wild. Maybe that’s what he used on the fish. To make it taste good--for me. He’d eat it raw, of course. And not in that sushi way.
“You’re not sucking it. Do better.”
I suck. I feel controlled, invaded. Wildly turned on.
“Take two.” He shoves in two, sliding them in and out, in and out, invading my mouth, exploring it, breath speeding. Then he puts in three. It’s a dress rehearsal to sucking his cock—we both know it. “Suck, Ann.”
I imagine him holding me down and shoving his thick, dusky cock into my mouth, taking his pleasure. And I would get a hand free and squeeze him at the root and make it feel really good. Has anybody ever sucked him really nicely and made him feel good like that?Panting, he pulls out his fingers and slides them down my neck, leaving a cool, wet trail.
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Annika Martin is a NYT bestselling author who enjoys writing dirty stories about dangerous criminals! She loves helping animals and kicking snow clumps off the bottom of cars around the streets of Minneapolis, and in her spare time she writes as the RITA award-winning author Carolyn Crane.