Everyone has secrets. Some people simply bury theirs deeper. Kingston Hughes is one of those. Painful childhood memories plague him, sending him spinning out of control and running from any kind of commitment. He pretends not to feel the pain and loneliness while indulging in sexual encounters with nameless, faceless women.
With the twist of a doorknob, his carefully cultivated façade is shaken by the woman he’d forbidden himself to need.
The daughter of a recently slain mobster, Elina Vicente has secrets, too. They weigh her down, stealing her strength and her dreams. She’s developed an unhealthy crush on Kingston though he’s never looked at her as anything but his sister’s quiet friend. When she walks in on him in a compromising embrace, Elina seizes the chance to move Kingston from her dreams and into her arms.
For only the second time in her life, Elina takes something just for her, but try as she and Kingston might, they can’t prevent their pasts from intruding. Shadows of pain and bitterness rise with a vengeance and the lovers will have to decide whether to break free or remain bound…In Wicked Chains.
She burst into the bar as Sasha entered.
“Hey, E. Been waiting long?”
Elina brushed past her and out the open door with a choked sob. She’d lose Sasha, too, if her friend ever found out about Elina’s feelings for Kingston.
“Whoa. E, wait up.” Sasha’s heels clicked on the ground as she ran after Elina.
Elina slowed to a stop beside her car and hastily brushed at her damp eyes.
“Hey.” Sasha settled a hand on her shoulder. “Look at me.”
Resigned, Elina turned slowly. Sasha removed her sunglasses and frowned up at her. The concern in her eyes made Elina want to weep even more. She hiccupped.
“What’s wrong? Why are you crying?”
Movement at the club’s entrance caught Elina’s eye. Kingston stood framed in the entranceway, unbound braids around his shoulders, buckling his belt.
Sasha followed her gaze and frowned. “Did Kingston do something to you? Did he hurt you?”
“Get in the car.” Her friend opened her mouth. “Now.” Elina slid behind the wheel and started the vehicle, pulling away as Sasha hopped in and slammed the door.
“What the hell is going on?” Sasha buckled her seatbelt and threw her handbag in the backseat.
Elina bit her lip and sped out of the club’s parking lot. She eyed the rearview mirror. Kingston stood in the space she’d pulled out of, arms crossed, staring after them. Silence reigned as Sasha sat beside her patiently, glancing from Elina to the road ahead, and back.
“Lo siento,” Elina said finally. If Sasha no longer wanted to be her friend, she’d deal with it. She’d probably broken some kind of sacred law between best friends. Thou shall not lust after your best friend’s brother, no matter how much he stars in your nighttime fantasies.
Sasha sighed. “You’re scaring me. You know that, right? I’ve never seen you like this before.”
“I know and I’m sorry.” Elina gripped the steering wheel to hide her trembling fingers. “I-I didn’t mean for it to happen, it just did.”
“What did?” Sasha’s voice rose. “Fuck, E, you’re not making any sense.” She twisted in her seat to face Elina. “Stop speaking in riddles before I smack the shit out of you.”
Elina’s lips twitched. Sasha’s violent side always made her smile. “I saw something in Kingston’s office. He and a woman. They were…”
“They were what?” Suspicion laced Sasha’s words. “Tell me and I’ll kick his ass.”
“They were…she was on her knees.” Elina swallowed and forced out the words. “Naked. Pleasuring him with her mouth.” She wanted to say, taking what was mine.
Sasha’s mouth rounded, eyes widened. “Oh.” She faced forward and placed her head back on the headrest. “That’s what has you upset?”
“It should’ve been me,” Elina whispered. Sasha stiffened. She ignored her friend’s reaction and continued. “I’m the one who’s wanted him for months, pretending not to care. Pretending.”
Sasha remained silent, staring straight ahead.
Elina glanced at her. “I’m so sorry. I know I’ve broken your trust in me and I understand if you don’t…” Her voice broke. “If you no longer want to be my friend.”