Taken by a trillionaire.., p.20
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       Taken by a Trillionaire 1-3, p.20

         Part #1 of Taken by a Trillionaire series by Ruth Cardello
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  However, it had caused her to become very self-reliant at a young age, and incredibly independent.

  Still, she’d wanted so much better for Hayden, and she tried to rush home from work at the law office every day the minute the clock struck five, picking Hayden up from the babysitter so she and her daughter could have dinner together every single evening. They snuggled together to watch TV or played games on the nights Shea wasn’t working at the club. They spent the weekends at the park or exploring, trying to keep their adventures within her budget.

  Just the last few days of not having to worry about cooking, washing dishes, doing laundry, or cleaning had been like a mini vacation. Spending an entire few days with her daughter had been like a dream.

  Having Bryan cater to other, more intimate needs was like a beautiful fantasy.

  He stripped her clothing off slowly, as though he was uncovering some kind of treasure, while the enormous round tub was filling. He’d turned off the overhead lights and turned on the smaller, muted lights that were scattered throughout the room. They were simulated candles that flickered, leaving plenty of illumination, but the atmosphere was dream-like and relaxing. With the light steam that was filling the large, luxurious bathroom, Shea felt the whole experience was somehow even more surreal.

  Standing in front of Bryan completely nude, she flushed as his hungry eyes consumed her, his intense stare making her feel like a goddess.

  “You’re so beautiful, Shea.” His voice was deep and sensual. “What’s this?” He reached out and touched a few small stretch marks she’d had since birthing their child.

  Shea reflexively put her hand over her abdomen, moving his fingers away. “Stretch marks from my pregnancy. They never totally went away,” she told him defensively. The marks weren’t ugly, and they’d faded, but they were visible. She turned to step into the foaming water, the tub having nearly filled.

  “Don’t,” Bryan answered in a voice that was something between a growl and a groan. He turned her back around and dropped to his knees, kissing the two small lines that were still visible. “These…” He kissed each mark and slowly traced them with his tongue. “Are the sexiest things I’ve ever seen,” he finished, his voice muffled against her abdomen.

  Bracing her hands on his shoulders, her breath hitched from the feel of his hot tongue leaving a trail of fire wherever he licked. “They’re ugly,” she argued.

  “They are the marks of our baby; the living, breathing child that you gifted me with, Shea. They could never be anything but beautiful. Seeing them reminds me of how that child was created, and how much I want to make up for the fact that you went through her birth alone,” he insisted.

  The low, sexy rumble of his voice, in his panty-meltingly attractive accent, made her bite back a moan. He meant every word he was uttering. She could hear his passionate conviction in his tone. “I think you’re the only man on earth who finds stretch marks sexy,” she answered, amusement in her voice now. It was hard to be self-conscious when Bryan was worshipping her flawed belly.

  “I find yours sexy because they created our child,” he corrected. “You will never be ashamed of them.”

  Shea smiled, wondering if she was getting used to the fact that Bryan seemed to slip back into making everything sound like a royal decree. Maybe she actually was getting used to it because it was part of who he was. He wasn’t being necessarily bossy when he said things as a statement rather than a request — at least not all the time. He’d grown up issuing orders. He was His Highness, Prince Bryan Ivan Mario Demande of Rubare Collina. He’d told her his full name when they’d first arrived here and were looking at some of the portraits in the gallery. She had no idea why he’d been christened with his other names, but he bore the name of his uncle who had been killed before Bryan was even born.

  He got to his feet and took her hand to guide her up the two steps to the elevated tub. Switching off the water, he watched her as she slid down into the water, a moan of pleasure escaping her lips as the hot water made contact with her skin, relaxing her muscles as she slid into the depths of the tub. The bubbles slid over her shoulders, and Shea savored the warmth of the water.

  “Are you coming?” she asked Bryan curiously. He was still standing beside the tub fully dressed.

  “Not yet. But I’d like to,” he told her with a smirk as he began to slowly unbutton his shirt.

  Shea’s tongue darted out to lick her dry lower lip as her eyes locked onto his motions, unable to move her fixed gaze away from over six feet of masculine perfection as he bared his body. He shrugged his shirt from his shoulders and let it fall to the floor, revealing his ripped chest and abdomen. His biceps flexed with every movement, his entire body perfectly proportioned. Bryan was sculpted naturally from his physical work and lifting in the mine, which made him that much hotter. Her heartbeat accelerated as he popped the first button on his jeans, about to reveal what lay beneath that tantalizing happy trail of dark hair that disappeared inside the waistband.

  The jeans finally came off and her eyes widened as he pushed both the denim and his boxer briefs down his legs, his cock standing at full attention against his lower abdomen.

  “You’re perfect,” she whispered huskily.

  And he was. His skin was a golden brown all over, like he had a permanent, perfect tan, his muscular thighs holding his body erect in a casual stance. He wasn’t the least bit shy about revealing his body. Hell, he didn’t need to be. He radiated strength and masculinity naturally, consummately.

  He shrugged his broad shoulders as he put his hands on the side of the tub and swung his body into the water in one powerful move. “I’m only a man like any other.” Snaking his arms around her waist, he leaned his back against the opposite side of the tub and pulled her between his legs, her back resting against his chest.

  “You’re a prince,” she reminded him.

  “A prince is also just a man, one who may wield more power than others, but with all of the same weaknesses and flaws.” He reached for a large sponge on the shelf of the tub.

  Bryan had very few flaws, and she wanted to tell him so. He was the only man she’d ever known intimately, but she knew she’d gone straight to the best of men. “I didn’t have to kiss a lot of frogs to find my prince,” she said with a giggle, feeling relaxed and giddy.

  “I hate that fairy tale,” Bryan grumbled, moving the sponge slowly over her shoulders.

  “It’s one of your daughter’s favorites,” Shea chastised him teasingly.

  “I will teach her new ones. Tales that don’t have a prince thrown against the wall,” he decided adamantly.

  “Hayden likes the modernized version of the princess kissing the frog.”

  “I guess I can handle that one,” Bryan answered grudgingly. He moved the sponge over her breasts in a seductive caress. “Right now I’d much rather hear about her mother’s favorite fantasies.”

  Shea sighed as Bryan moved the sponge thoroughly over her body, down her back and then around to her belly. “I think I’m living one of them right now.”

  “I think I can do much better than this, sweetheart,” he rasped harshly into her ear, as though he was trying to rein in his control.

  He let go of the sponge and let it drift to the top of water, his palms sliding down the top of her thighs and back up over the sensitive inner flesh before cupping her sex.

  “Yes,” she whimpered, holding her breath, willing his fingers to move.

  “Yes, what? Yes…you want me to make you come?” he whispered in a low, masculine purr into her ear. “Tell me what you want, Shea, and I’ll give it to you.” One of his slick hands moved to her breast while the other teased the quivering flesh between her thighs.

  “Please,” she begged, squirming as his finger parted her folds and toyed with her clit. Her head fell back against his shoulder as his fingers pinched and soothed her hardened, sensitive nipples. “I just want you.”

  “You already have me,” he answered in a guttural voice, his acce
nt more pronounced. “Now tell me how you want me.”

  “I want you inside me. I want you to fuck me, Bryan.” Her core clenched with need, and all she wanted was to feel him fill her emptiness.

  He spun her around until she was straddling him, lifting her onto him so easily that it took her breath away. He grasped the cheeks of her ass and pulled her pussy flush with his raging erection. Leveling her over him, he pushed upward as he pulled her down over him until he was buried balls deep inside her. “Ride me, Shea,” he challenged her, his hazel eyes boring into her. Commandingly. Compellingly. Beseechingly.

  “I’m not sure how,” she panted.

  “Any way that feels good to you. Take what you want, what you need.”

  She moved because she needed to, awkwardly at first until she found a steady rhythm, grinding against him with every sublime entry of his cock. “Oh, yes,” she moaned as his mouth closed over one of her nipples and bit down gently, sending a shock of pleasure straight to her throbbing core.

  He grasped her ass harder and began to meet every downward stroke with a strangled groan, rocking in time with her. Reaching a hand between their bodies, he sought and found her clit, rolling it between two callused fingers, the rough stimulation driving her close to the edge.

  “Come for me, beautiful Shea,” he groaned, spearing a hand through her hair and yanking her mouth down to his.

  Her climax started as a ripple that suddenly became a tsunami. Bryan’s tongue speared through her lips just as the tidal wave crashed into her, swallowing her moan as the muscles of her sheath began to spasm.

  Pleasure flowed over her in waves, and she dug her short fingernails into his back as she fumbled for purchase, hanging onto him for dear life as her body threatened to splinter apart. He let out a tortured, strangled groan as her clenching inner muscles milked him of his orgasm and he spilt his warm release deep inside her.

  She collapsed on top of him, completely spent.

  It took several minutes before she could breathe normally, her racing heart slowing back down. Bryan gently washed her again and rinsed her hair. He jumped out of the tub and quickly dried himself before grabbing a warmed, fluffy towel and held it out to her. She stepped into it, and he gently lifted her out of the tub until her feet hit the floor.

  Shea’s body was limp with exhaustion and post-orgasmic bliss. She stood quietly as he carefully dried her body and brushed her damp hair.

  Finally, he carried her to his own bedroom and tucked her beneath the silken sheets, sliding in after her.

  If this was what it was like to let someone take care of her needs, she could totally be on board with it.

  He spooned her body, pulling her back against his front and wrapping his arms possessively around her waist.

  “You aren’t alone anymore, Shea. I’ll never leave you alone again,” he vowed forcefully beside her ear.

  “I wasn’t alone by choice. I just didn’t want anyone else but you,” she admitted in a sleepy voice.

  “I’m here,” he said simply, running a hand soothingly over her stomach.

  “Good. I missed you and yet I hardly knew you,” she confessed.

  “You will love me,” he insisted again.

  She wanted his love too, and she was very much afraid that his command might already be truth.

  She sighed and closed her eyes, sleeping better that night than she had for as long as she could remember.

  Chapter Nine

  For Shea, the next several days flew by way too fast, and were some of the happiest days of her life. True to his promise, Bryan introduced Hayden to her new pony, an adorable creature that her daughter decided to name Duke. Hayden took to riding her new friend fearlessly. Shea was hesitant when Bryan helped her mount what seemed like a gigantic Palomino that he assured her was a gentle gelding. He never left either one of them as he patiently went through the rudimentary rules of riding with the help of the stable master. Every morning they walked around the huge corral, and Shea became more and more comfortable on the horse’s back. Her fearless daughter wanted to ride off into the sunset, but her father firmly and finally told Hayden “no.” When it came to safety issues, Shea was starting to learn that her husband-to-be had no problem denying his daughter.

  They spent their afternoons exploring the grounds, and Shea soon fell in love with the rolling green hills and balmy weather. They picnicked on some days, others were spent on the beach, she and Hayden collecting seashells and searching for other treasures.

  The nights belonged to her and Bryan. He became a demanding and passionate lover after their first tender night together, wringing every bit of pleasure he could out of her body, and teaching her to ask for what she wanted.

  Every night as he held her as she was falling asleep, he said the exact same words.

  You will love me.

  Every night she wanted to reply the same way.

  I already do.

  But she didn’t, guarding her heart as much as she possibly could from Bryan, afraid that if she admitted how she felt, it would leave her raw and exposed. Everything she was experiencing was so new, so wonderful that she didn’t want to spoil it by blurting out her emotions too soon. What if he didn’t love her back? Her heart would be broken, and the relationship they were sharing right now could end.

  It was hard to bid their temporary vacation goodbye when the week ended and they returned to the main castle, but Shea tried to stay positive as they arrived in front of the family residence, where Xander, Reanna, Bryan’s father and Simon stood in front of the castle to greet them as the Rolls Royce pulled up to the steps.

  Media was everywhere, but they were held at a distance by the royal guard.

  “Dammit!” Bryan said irritably.

  “What’s the matter?” Shea asked him quietly. Hayden had wanted to ride in the front of the monstrous vehicle, and she was chattering away to Charles, their driver, as she looked out the windows with excitement.

  She and Bryan had ridden in the back, and he had his cell phone out reading a text, his other arm around her shoulders.

  “There’s a situation at the mine. Structural problems. My chief engineer had to evacuate until it can be corrected.” His voice was filled with irritation and concern.

  “Do you need to go? Do you want us to go with you? I’d like to see where you work.” She could see that he was anxious to deal with the problem. He’d told her that he was on the brink of uncovering undiscovered minerals, and she knew he was excited about the prospect.

  He trained his apprehensive gaze on her. “Not yet. It’s not safe until we’re married. I’ll go, but I’ll be back as soon as I figure out the main problem. My engineer isn’t being particularly forthcoming. I’m not quite sure what the problem is or how serious it might be. He’s not answering my text messages now.” His brows drew together as he punched the number to call his employee.

  She could tell by his frown that there was no answer. “Maybe he’s in a bad zone,” Shea suggested.

  Bryan hung up and grinned at her. “We have the cell phones Christopher designed for Dyholm. There’s no such thing as a bad zone. Any call connects.”

  Shea didn’t have one, but the phones coming out of Rubare Collina from Dyholm were the latest technology, and the biggest thing to hit the technology market in years. Bryan was right. They should connect anywhere.

  Seeing the worried look on his face, she told him gently. “Go ahead. Hayden and I will be perfectly safe here with Xander and Reanna. I’ll miss you.”

  “I’ll miss you, too,” he said regretfully, tipping her chin up to give her a lingering kiss that told Shea that he didn’t want to leave. “I’ll be back soon. I’ll just check out the problem and give instructions to my crew.”

  The door opened, the immaculately clad driver extending his hand to help her out of the vehicle. Shea could see that Hayden was already talking her Uncle Xander’s ear off, and her heart soared as she saw him lift her daughter into his arms as he roared with laughter at some
thing Hayden had told him.

  “Come back soon,” she told Bryan over her shoulder, letting the driver help her out of the car. She was dressed in a very neat and tidy skirt and blouse with a pair of low heels, appropriate dress for an informal meeting with the royal family, according to Lily.

  Shea was nervous as she exited the luxurious vehicle, the excited crowd beyond the barriers cheering her name. She fidgeted, wishing Bryan was going to stay, but the driver got back into the car and drove him away from her so he could go attend to his work emergency. She stiffened her spine. These were her people now, and this was her family.

  I can do this. This is going to be my life now. I’ll be Princess Shea, just like the crowd is cheering.

  She took Xander’s extended hand and curtsied formally as Lily had tutored her. Then she did the same to Reanna. Xander offered his wife his arm, and Shea dipped again and lowered her head in front of Bryan’s father before taking the arm he offered her to show her into the castle.

  All of the protocol and the precedence rules she’d been given a crash course on from Lily were rolling around in her head as she reached the top of the steps. Although the rules were seldom imposed anymore, and family did not normally bow and curtsey except for formal occasions, with so much of the public watching, she tried to follow the proper procedure.

  Princess Shea, Princess Shea, Princess Shea!

  An enthusiastic crowd was calling her name, and on impulse, she turned and lifted her hand at the people waving at her. The crowd roared as she waved just as enthusiastically back at them before entering the castle.

  “Bad protocol, I suppose,” Shea mumbled as she released Prince Francis’s arm and sagged with relief as the large door closed behind them.

  The former king smiled at her. “You’re American. You’re allowed mistakes. And the people are obviously excited that Bryan is marrying. They’ll be happy that you didn’t snub them. Bryan is much adored by the people of Rubare Collina. He works among them, dedicates himself to helping the less privileged in our country. He oversees the construction of residences for people who cannot afford to build their own homes.”