McLeod Security, 2
Copyright © 2018
“Boss, you might wanna check this out.” Gabriel Henshaw’s earpiece crackled, and frowning, he looked up at the monitors, which made up one side of his office. A quick scan of them didn’t show anything unusual. Business as usual in his various establishments. He smirked at Ange’s grinding down on her latest conquest. The fucker was too far gone to notice she’d just relieved him of his wallet.
Bad, bad girl.
Angela, though no one ever called her that, was getting on a bit—at almost forty her days as a stripper were numbered—but she was a professional and Gabe could respect that. His amusement grew, when he saw her take out several notes out of the police commissioner’s wallet before she stuffed the thing back in his pocket. That right there was why he hadn’t sacked her yet, even though some of his staff had expressed worrying concerns about her lately. He’d have to run a fresh background check on her soon to be on the safe side, but for now she’d stay. As far as he knew, she never took advantage, just helped herself, and the men were never the wiser.
Besides, Gabe enjoyed taking her tight little cunt for a ride himself. Ange knew the score, never clung, unlike some of the younger bimbos who crossed his path and thought they could keep him. Or worse still, reform him. Gabe chuckled to himself. He hadn’t met a bit of pussy yet, which would have convinced him to settle down, and he’d lost count how many he’d known intimately over the last forty-nine years of his leaving his mark in London’s shady underbelly.
No one messed with Gabe and lived to tell the tale, let alone someone who owed him money like … what the fuck was Andrini doing now?
Gabe’s sip of whisky went down the wrong way when he switched views to his casino. Not only was Andrini at the roulette table, he appeared to be causing a ruckus of some sort, and he’d brought his daughter.
It had been years since he’d last seen Lissandra Andrini in person, and his gut twisted in unwanted emotion. The pictures in the folder he had on her didn’t do her justice. The girl was stunning. Her long black hair was piled on top of her head in some form of complicated updo, designed to look messy. Several long strands were left loose. They framed her heart-shaped face and whispered across the top of her breasts. And what a rack she had. A man could lose himself in that bounty. Surrounded by Gabe’s men, she looked far too young and innocent to be anywhere near his establishment, let alone in a dress that hugged every one of her amazing curves. What the hell was Andrini thinking bringing her here dressed like that?
Fuck me. The little girl he used to bounce on his knees—back in the days when Gabe cared about such things—long before her father had tried to sell him out to the fucking competition—was all grown up.
“I’ll be right down.”
Laughter came through his earpiece, and, irritated beyond measure, Gabe slammed his office door shut behind him, nodded at Luca, who stood to attention when he saw Gabe, and stabbed the button for the service elevator.
“What the fuck is Andrini doing here?” More laughter came through his earpiece, and Gabe scowled at the doors. Why could this thing not go any faster?
“Boss, you wouldn’t believe me, if I told you. He’s gonna pay his debts, he says…”
The odd intonation in his second in command’s voice made the fine hair on Gabe’s neck stand up. Andrini was broke. Even the house he lived in with his daughter was mortgaged to the hilt. Gabe knew because he held the deeds and had been waiting for the right moment to pounce. That only left one asset the bastard could sell… Revenge was best served cold, but this left a foul taste in Gabe’s mouth.
Not for the first time he cursed the promise made to Lissandra’s mother, before she died from the bullet meant for Andrini.
“Look after my little girl, please, Gabe. Kill him if you have to but spare her. She’s an innocent in all this.”
Ghosts of a past when he actually had a beating heart in his chest. Was capable of emotions and listened to his conscience.
The doors finally slid open, and Gabe entered through the kitchens.
“Keep him there. Where’s the girl now?” he tapped his ear to ask the question.
After a moment of static, he got his answer.
“See you figured out his method of payment then. Stowed her by the kitchens for you, boss. What do you want me to do with him?”
“Let him gamble, for now. He brought me what I wanted.”
A low whistle came through, before Gabe clicked off the communicator and slowed his steps as he rounded the corner. This side room was used by the kitchen staff for their breaks, but it was empty now, apart from one lone figure.
Revenge was in his grasp in the form of one luscious bundle of curves. Her light, flowery scent wrapped itself around him, and Lissandra gasped when he stepped up right behind her.
“What are you doing here, girl?”
She spun around at the sound of his voice, hands held up in a defensive move. Her eyes widened, and her breathing sped up, when she appeared to recognize him. Sure enough, her next words confirmed his assessment.
“You’re Gabe.” She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Of course, you are, but I don’t understand.”
Gabe smirked, and she took a step back and another when he slowly advanced on her. Her back hit the wall, and a whimper escaped her when he put his hands either side of her shoulders and caged her in. Even with her killer heels on, she barely reached his chin. So small, and curvy, and downright delicious. Fear poured off her in waves, and so help him, that turned him on, even as a small, long forgotten and buried deep part of his conscience brought out his protective streak.
“Please, I don’t know what’s going on. I just want to go home, please.”
Blue eyes, the color of the deepest ocean, pleaded with him, as she looked up at him. She was the picture of youthful innocence, but Gabe knew better than to fall for the oldest trick in the book. She was Andrini’s daughter, and until he knew for certain what game the fucking asshole was playing he would keep his guard up around this sweet young thing.
“There’ll be no going home, little girl. Your father owes me a lot of money, and until I get it, you will be staying with me.”
Those baby blues of hers pulled together in a deep frown, and she shook her head.
“You’re insane. I’m not staying with anyone, let alone you. I demand you let me go this instant.” She pushed against him, and Gabe laughed. While she was surprisingly strong for someone so little, she was no match for him. He grasped her wrists, and lifting her arms, held them high above her head, while he pinned her to the wall with his body. Fuck him, this close to her, her soft curves fit against him in all the right places, as though she was made just for him. A ridiculous notion, but he hardened anyway. He knew the minute it dawned on her, because heat rose in her cheeks, and she stopped struggling.
Indulging himself, Gabe bent his head and inhaled deeply next to her ear. Her pulse jumped. He grinned and growled in her ear.
“Nice try, little girl, but you don’t get a say in this, at all. You’re mine now.” A shocked gasp reached his ears, and she resumed her struggles. When it didn’t get anywhere, she hissed at him through clenched teeth.
“I’ll never be yours, you … you bastard.”
Gabe threw his head back and laughed. Her knee came up in an attempt to emasculate him, but Gabe blocked that easily enough by shifting out of the way. Transferring her delicate wrists into just one of his hands, he ran his free one down her arm slowly.
“Now, now, little girl, that wasn’t very nice. Here we are just having a pleasant conversation and you try and do that.”
Lissandra glared up at him, her full, kissable lips pressed into a thin line of disapproval. “Let me go, damn you. You have no right to manhandle me like this. I’ll scream for help.”
“Go ahead. Be my guest. Do you honestly think it would get you anywhere? This is my casino, sweet thing.” She groaned but opened her mouth as though she was indeed about to launch into a screaming fit. “Know this, little girl, you start screeching, and I’ll put you over my knee.” He smiled grimly at her sharp intake of breath. “I’ll also find something to occupy your mouth and it won’t be a gag.”
He flexed his hips to prove his point, and another one of those cock-hardening moans came from his captive.
“You wouldn’t dare.” That breathy denial served to make him harder, and he smirked down on her.
“Try me, little girl.”
Her mouth opened and closed, but no sound emerged other than her rapid breaths, and satisfied he’d made his point, Gabe released her and stepped away. She immediately wrapped her arms around herself and shook her head.
“Good girl, see, we’ll get along just fine.”
“You can’t do this. Papa won’t let you.” You had to admire the girl’s spunk, as she dropped her arms and jutted her chin up and out in defiance.
“Your dear Papa won’t get a choice, but by all means let’s ask him.” Gabe tapped his communicator. “Bring in Andrini, will you?”
“Sure thing, boss.”
Hope flared in her expressive eyes, and he almost felt sorry for her, until Andrini’s slurred voice grated on his nerves.
“Tell your buffoons to get your hands off me, Henshaw.”
Gabe turned slowly and let his gaze wander over his nemesis. The man looked a mess. Years of drinking and gambling had taken its toll, and from the looks of it he was half cut again. Sure enough, Lissandra’s sigh confirmed it.
“Really, Papa, you promised.”
Andrini shook off the hold Gabe’s men still had on him and ignored his daughter.
“What do you want from me, Henshaw? You got your payment.”
Lissandra’s sharp intake of breath spoke volumes, as did her strangled exclamation.
“Papa, no, you didn’t.”
Again, the man ignored his only child, stuffed his hands into his trouser pockets, and pushed his chest out in a vain attempt to make himself appear bigger than he was. Gabe swallowed down his disgust at the fucking weasel. Andrini reeked of stale cigars, alcohol, and desperation.
“Tell me one good reason why I should accept this payment.” He glanced toward Lissandra, and a twinge of unease settled in his gut. She’d gone so pale, she looked as though she might faint, and her perfectly manicured hands would leave gouges in her soft skin, so hard was her grip on her forearms. “I can take any pussy I want. What makes this one so special? You do know how much you owe me, right? I could destroy your miserable little existence in a second.”
He deliberately turned his back on the girl, but he heard her shocked gasp loud and clear. No doubt she now thought him a monster.
“She’s my daughter.” Andrini’s voice rose to a falsetto screech that hurt Gabe’s ears. The man’s double chin wobbled, and sweat broke out on his upper lip.
“So?” Gabe asked. He turned and made a big show of studying the terrified girl. At least he had his answer. She wasn’t in league with her father on this. She was too still, too utterly shocked, for this to be an act, and her father was a cock-sucking asshole to put her through this. “That makes her tainted goods as far as I’m concerned.”
Lissandra opened her mouth as though to protest, but one shake of his head stopped her. She dropped her head instead, and that twitch of unease turned into a lump of stone at the bottom of his stomach.
“How dare you? She’s a virgin and fertile. I had her doctor confirm it. She would fetch a grand price in Ollivanti’s auctions. She’s … fuck.”
Gabe planted his fist in the vile asshole’s face and stopped the man’s tirade. The sound of the fucker’s nose breaking under his knuckles, blood spurting everywhere, followed by the coward’s howl of pain masked the girl’s whispered exclamation.
“Papa.” One word, which held a word of pain and betrayal and made Gabe want to wrap his hands around her so-called father’s meaty neck and strangle him with his bare hands.
“Quit that sniveling, Andrini. Boys, take her back to the house. She doesn’t need to hear any more.”
Like the well-oiled team his men were, they sprang into action and surrounded Lissandra, but she resisted.
“No, I want to stay. What auctions? What the hell did you do, Papa? Why? I told you I’ll find a job. We can get out of this, we—”
“Don’t be so fucking naïve.” Andrini’s snarl interrupted her, as he spat blood on the floor in front of her. “You’re so like your useless mother. She couldn’t have given me a son, could she? Someone to be proud of, to carry on the business. No, she gave me you. Utterly fucking worthless, but at least you’re good for this. Count yourself lucky I’m giving you to him.” He spat more blood and fixed his bloodshot eyes on Gabe.
“You need an heir to carry on your business. She’ll give you one. I figured you didn’t want to impregnate one of your whores, and this makes us even.” He sneered and puffed out his chest again. “I took her mother off you, so now you get the daughter. Fair is fair and all that, right.”
Gabe had heard enough. One well-placed uppercut snapped the fucker’s head back, and another one to the gut made him hunch over and fall to his knees.
“Get her the fuck out of here now.”
His men swung into action, and Gabe vented his frustration on the asshole by beating the shit out of him. By the time he was done the fucker was a bleeding, unmoving mess on his floor, and Gabe flexed his bruised knuckles.
“Go and dump him in an alley somewhere, boys.” Without waiting to see if his instructions were followed, he turned and stalked back up to his office. Every instinct in him screamed at him to go after Lissandra, but if he went near her now, he would be utterly incapable of being gentle, and the girl had been through enough for one day. He wasn’t a complete asshole, and he wouldn’t force himself on her. Gabe had never forced a woman in his life, and he wasn’t about to start now.
Besides, none of this made sense. That fucker Andrini was up to something. He could have easily sold her off to Ollivanti. The crime lord’s territory bordered on Gabe’s with the Thames separating their businesses. The mere thought of Lissandra in the cruel hands of that bastard made Gabe see red again, as he pushed open the door to his office, and shed his dirty clothes on the way to the adjacent bathroom. He held his hands under the cold tap and stared at his reflection as the water washed away the foul stench of his enemy.
Fuck it, he needed to kill, or fuck.
He turned off the water, stalked over to his desk, and picked up the phone.
“Find Ange and bring her up here, will you. I don’t fucking care if her shift is over.”
He slammed the phone down and adjusted his still-hard dick away from his zipper. Ange would take care of that, and once he could think straight, he’d come up with a plan.
One thing was certain. Lissandra was his responsibility now. Scowling, he picked up the phone again and hit the speed dial to his housekeeper.
Mavis had worked for him for as long as he could remember and was loyal to a fault.
“Yes, Gabe, what’s the problem?”
“No problem, more of a situation. The boys are dropping off Andrini’s daughter.” He smiled grimly at the sharp intake of breath down the line. “Make her feel welcome, will you? She’ll need clothes and all that feminine crap. Can you sort that, please?”
“Right, she’s staying then? How long?”
“For the foreseeable future.”