Maria’s family were traitors. They planned to take over the mafia, kill the boss, and attempt to rule—all out of greed and a thirst for power. Maria discovered their plan and went straight to The Boss. She now has two choices, get married to any capo that would have her, or die.
She doesn’t want to die, but no one would ever want her. All of her life she’d been told she wasn’t good enough. She knows it is pointless, but she has to try.
Draven Esposito is a dangerous man. Many say he was born in hell and is the devil himself. He saw Maria many months ago. A young woman who tried to become nothing more than a piece of furniture. He cannot let her die. So he marries the young woman. Maria is now his.
There are secrets he cannot tell. Maria knows to be married to Draven will not be easy. The man is scary, but the most shocking thing of all, she doesn’t feel afraid when she's with him. He has never harmed her, but he has warned her, she cannot get pregnant. If she does, he will not be part of that baby’s life.
What will happen when Maria figures out his secret? Will she be able to show him that he can trust her, or will he finally kill her?
His bedroom was large and she tried not to look at the bed, as that was terrifying. She knew what was going to come next and she didn’t know if she was ready for that. When The Boss had given her the ultimatum, she had known sex would play a part, but the truth was, she expected death. Who would want a fat, ugly woman as a wife? That was what she’d been told she was.
She didn’t know what Draven’s game was, but it scared her. The not knowing was the worst.
After Calvin had showed her where the bathroom was, he’d left. Wrapping her arms around herself, she made her way into the bathroom and stared at her reflection.
There were no words of encouragement. He didn’t ask for her story. She didn’t know if she should be relieved or terrified because of that.
Maria forced herself to look at her reflection. She didn’t know what to make of what she saw. There was a bruise that covered the left side of her face. The slap had stung, but the punch had been worse. They had also landed a blow to her stomach, but after that, the guy had been stopped. She wasn’t supposed to be hurt. The Boss had apologized to her.
She had also seen the soldier killed in front of her. He’d not followed orders, and The Boss hadn’t been interested in anyone who couldn’t do as he was told.
Someone had died because they hurt her.
She lifted her fingers and touched her cheek. The Boss had warned her that people would want to hurt her. That even if she survived tonight, there would be those who’d try to harm her. Maria knew she wouldn’t make a lot of friends. Her family tried to kill The Boss and take over.
Removing Draven’s jacket, she placed it into the laundry basket and then removed her bra and panties. She turned away from her reflection and stepped into the shower. She turned it on and let out a gasp as the cold water washed over her body, shocking her.
Clenching her hands into fists, she counted to ten, and then twenty, in the hope of bringing some heat. She didn’t have to wait long for the shower to warm up. Once it was nice and hot, she stepped beneath the spray, tilted her head back, and tried not to moan at how good the shower felt. It had been a couple of days since she last had a nice, hot shower. This felt like a luxury to her. So lovely. So warm.
She looked for some soap. There were no female products, so she had no choice but to use the ones Draven had. She used his body wash first and she couldn’t quite detect the scent, but it was better than stinking. After washing her body, she used his shampoo and conditioner. Even if she died tonight, she would be clean.
Maria didn’t know how much patience Draven had. She didn’t know what he expected of her tonight, and rather than linger too long in the shower, she turned it off and climbed out. She wrapped a towel around her body, and another around her hair. It felt good to be clean.
She was in the process of drying her hair when she walked back into the bedroom to find Draven sitting on the edge of the bed.
“Are you a virgin?” he asked.
He lifted his gaze and stood. The man was tall, over six feet, and she was five foot five, and had no choice but to tilt her head back. A lot of people were taller than her. She was used to having to look up.
“Are you lying to me?” he asked.
“I don’t lie.”
“All women are liars.”
It was on the tip of her tongue to completely refute this, but she didn’t know who he hung out with. Besides, her own mother and sister were known liars. They had no problem with lying to get what they wanted. They were no longer alive. She had heard them beg for their lives, while she’d been taken away. Their screams for mercy had gone unheard, and as she was pushed into a car, she heard the gunshots. The death of her family. Maria had no guilt in doing what she’d done.
Draven got to his feet. “And if you lie to me about anything, you will die, Maria.”
“I’m not lying.” She’d never been with a man. She hadn’t even kissed a man until tonight.
Maria stayed perfectly still.
Draven didn’t move.
She didn’t want to make him angry, but something told her that if she cowered or whimpered, it wouldn’t do her any good. This man was the Devil. She wasn’t asking him for a dance, but she certainly wasn’t going to run away scared.
“Get on the bed,” he said.
She watched him go into the bathroom.
Staring at that large bed was terrifying. Did he want her naked? Covered with a towel?
Maria finished drying her hair, and then opted for the towel to stay on. She had a feeling he wouldn’t want to see her naked.
Once on the bed, she looked up, only to find her reflection staring back at her. The man had a mirror on the ceiling. Why would he have a mirror on the ceiling? Unless … did he want to see? Did he want her to see?
No, he had the mirror on the ceiling long before he saw her. This was not about her. He had the mirror for himself. For sexual purposes.
Maria tried to avoid looking at her own reflection, but it was hard. She had no choice but to look. Her blonde hair was fanned out across the pillow, the towel covered most of her body. Her legs were on show.
She heard the shower running. Other than the shower, there was no sound. Draven didn’t hum, didn’t sing, nor grunt. Just silence.
Why did he ask if she was a virgin? Even though she’d been considered ugly and fat and disgusting, she was still a daughter of a capo, and being a virgin was part of her value.
“It’s your only value, but no man will want to sleep with you.” Those were the words her mother said.
Her mother had never been the maternal type. She loved money, beauty, and power. According to her mother, she’d been a fat, ugly baby. They hadn’t wanted to throw a party to celebrate her birth, because she brought nothing but shame to the family.
Maria was used to hearing it all. The insults had often hurt, but growing up with them, she’d developed a thick skin, and now they no longer mattered to her. They were just words.
Looking at her reflection, she didn’t see a beautiful woman. No, a beautiful woman was her sister. She saw something ugly. Her blonde hair wasn’t light enough. Her blue eyes were dull and lifeless. Her red lips were oddly shaped and not right. Then of course, her body. She could go on for days about how bad her body was, reiterating everything her mother and sister would say.
Closing her eyes, she couldn’t help but tense up as she heard the shower turn off. Draven was finished. He’d be coming for her very soon.