By: Michelle St. James

London Mob Book One


Jenna Carver let herself into the apartment with the key Farrell had given her last week. After eight months, she knew only a few things about Farrell Black. One of them was that he didn’t trust easily, didn’t open his heart to anyone. Which is why she’d been surprised when he’d given her the key.

But her surprise had quickly been replaced by fear. She’d made promises to herself, and they didn’t include getting distracted by someone like Farrell Black. Someone who was strong and gorgeous and even kind — to her at least — but who made his living working for some of the most ruthless men in London. The heady combination of lust and love that roared through her body when he touched her was irrelevant, as was the fact that she’d fallen deeply and hopelessly in love with him.

He’d been honest from the beginning, even if he hadn’t gone into detail. He didn’t believe in the rule of law. He was a criminal. He would always be a criminal. According to him, there would always be people who didn’t play by the rules.

And you didn’t stop rule breakers by making more rules.

That was better left to people like him. People who did the things no one else wanted to do. People who were willing to get their hands dirty.

But she’d seen the result of crime — both organized and otherwise — in the neighborhood where she’d grown up. Drug dealers and pimps and loan sharks didn’t make the world a better place, whatever Farrell wanted her to believe. Her own father had been a janitor most of his life, towing the line even when her mother seemed drunk for weeks at a time. He’d never resorted to crime, but it had been all around them, and Jenna had no intention of living that kind of life. She’d worked too hard. Come too far.

And now there was someone else to think about.

She crossed the expansive loft, taking in the industrial atmosphere for the last time. With concrete floors, exposed pipes, and a sometimes leaky roof, it wasn’t exactly comfortable. But Farrell insisted he liked the place, and somehow she’d grown to like it, too. Her eyes landed on the big bed in the middle of the room, the sheets still rumpled from their lovemaking the night before, a vibrator sitting on the nightstand. She couldn’t stop the images that flashed through her mind.

Farrell’s head between her legs while he lapped at her sex until she cried out in ecstasy.

The expression of ownership in his eyes when he drove into her.

The feel of his hands on her hips before he invaded her from behind.

The memories caused a flush of heat to rise to her cheeks. She’d never done with anyone the things she did with Farrell. Never said the things they said to each other in the heat of their passion.

She’d let him consume her. Own her. Occupy her.

But if she let him, he would destroy her. And their baby, too.

She set the key down on the dining room table and pulled the little white stick out of her pocket. It was stupid to carry it around when she already knew she was pregnant. But it still didn’t seem real, and she found herself staring at the pink plus sign, trying to remind herself what was important. Trying to banish the panic that swelled like a storm inside her at the thought of leaving him.

Telling him wasn’t an option. Men like Farrell didn’t have babies. And if they did, they didn’t make good fathers. She wanted more for their child than a father who could go to jail or be gunned down by a rival at any minute. She wanted a white picket fence and a man who would be home for dinner. A man who would keep them safe.

They were things she said to herself a hundred times in the week since she’d found out she was pregnant. She repeated them like a mantra, a way to remind herself that the way she felt about Farrell — the way he’d moved into her heart like it was an empty room that had been waiting just for him — didn’t matter in the face of this new responsibility. It didn’t make it hurt any less, but it did harden her resolve when she felt it waning.

Which was a lot.

She pulled out the letter she’d written the night before and set it on the table under the key. It didn’t say anything about the pregnancy. In fact, she’d erred on the side of coldness, just to make sure he wouldn’t come after her. That part hurt, because even though Farrell liked to act like nothing could touch him, she saw the shadow that dropped over his eyes when he talked about the past, felt the air around them thicken with pain whenever the subject of his family came up.

Most importantly, she saw the way he looked at her. Like she belonged to him. Like she always had. And that meant her letter and abandonment would hurt him. And she never, ever wanted to hurt the man who had held her so tenderly, made love to her so passionately, looked at her with such love.

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