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Black Listed

By:Shelly Bell

Black Listed - Shelly Bell
Chapter One

HE SUCKED IN a breath, the tightening in his chest becoming more pronounced as he watched her glide across the dance floor with a glass of champagne in her hand. She’d changed since the last time he’d seen her. Gone were her halo of white blonde tresses that spilled down her back and those round silver irises that looked at him with what he’d believed was love. Like a chameleon, she’d adapted to her environment, her chestnut hair cut into a sleek bob and an air of sophistication clinging to her designer-clad body.

With a smile on her face, she had everyone at this wedding fooled, but he knew the truth. She was a cold-blooded whore, a con artist who had stolen millions from unsuspecting men and women. At the drop of a hat, she could become someone else, fade into the crowds until she turned invisible, only to return moments later as someone new. And no one would ever guess the truth. She’d mastered the art of disguise, her ability to convince someone of her love and devotion worthy of an Academy Award. Just when she had you wrapped completely around her finger, she’d disappear without a trace, taking your money and your heart with her.

But she’d grown careless when she’d allowed herself to be photographed, the picture on the front page of every major newspaper. She’d been in the background, barely discernable to most. But not to him. Never him. He’d know his chameleon anywhere.

She had no idea he was watching her.

Stalking her.

Hunting her.

His chameleon had forgotten to use the reptilian sense that warned her of impending danger. If she had, she wouldn’t be here at the wedding of one of her closest friends, but instead would have left her cozy life as a publicist and disappeared into the mist once again, shedding her old skin for a newer one. She didn’t deserve to live like a powerful lion when she was more befitting as a lion’s dinner. She might believe she was a predator, but she was now the prey.

His prey.

He slipped his hand into the pocket of his pants, moaning at the feel of her cool silk camisole caressing his flesh. Her scent had disappeared from the fabric years ago, but when he closed his eyes, he recalled it with vivid clarity. She smelled like summer and freedom and money and her, all mixed together and packaged into one beautiful girl. When she left, she took it all away, leaving behind an empty shell of a man longing for someone he both loved and despised. Summer had become an endless winter, freedom turned into a virtual prison cell from which he couldn’t escape, the money dried up like an empty well, and the memories of her grew hazy without his daily reminder.

Sweat dripped down the back of his neck, and black spots flickered in his vision. He shook his head as if clearing the cobwebs from his mind. Didn’t she understand he needed her? After everything he’d done for her, she owed him. It was time for her to repay her debts.

Time and fate had kept them apart for far too long. But now that he’d found her, he was never letting her go again.

She loved to play her games.

He smiled.

A game was what they’d play.

Chapter Two

WEDDINGS USED TO make her break out in hives.

All afternoon, Lisa Smith felt as though eyes were tracking her every move as she set up the wedding reception. Resisting the urge to flee, she laced her fingers together and took a deep breath. She was being paranoid.

No one was watching her, but old habits died hard.

She schooled her worried face into one of pleasantness. Today it was all about the bride and groom. With guests including federal agents, police officers, and private security agents, the backyard of the sex club, Benediction, was probably the safest place to be at the moment.

It wasn’t the idea of marriage that bothered her. It wasn’t the dressy clothes or the tiered cake or the hundreds of dollars spent on gifts that the bride and groom would never use. It wasn’t the officiant’s references to commitment and God.

No, it was the damn photographers, and the way they didn’t respect the boundaries of the guests. No matter how hard she tried to avoid having her photo taken, the photographer always managed to get at least one of her. She had to weigh the consequences of having photographic evidence against drawing too much attention to herself when she avoided the camera. Luckily, it hadn’t happened too often.

But as the wedding coordinator of her friend’s special day, Lisa couldn’t avoid it. Already married, Danielle and her Master, Cole DeMarco, had repeated their vows for their friends and family in the backyard of their mansion, which also housed the sex club, Benediction. While the vanilla guests would remain outside, members of Benediction or those interested in kink could go inside to partake of the club’s offerings.