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Lethal Sin (Dangerous Games Book 1)

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Lethal Sin (Dangerous Games Book 1)

  Lethal Sin

  Jennifer Bene

  Text copyright © 2016 Jennifer Bene

  All Rights Reserved

  No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short excerpts in a review.

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

  Cover design by James,

  I started this story to thank all of my fans and friends for supporting me. All of the lovely people that make this work of writing feel like it means something. What came out was a pretty amazing story, and it’s one that has inspired me to write other books in the same world. So, before you even dive in, I want to tell you that I appreciate you. I am thankful that you read what I spend my evenings and weekends writing, and I promise you that there’s more to come in this world of Dangerous Games. With that, I’ll let you get to it. Hope you enjoy the ride!

  Chapter One

  Click, click, thump.

  Click. Thump.

  The sound of someone racking the slide of a gun filled the space as they finished reassembling the weapon, and then there was only silence.

  Camille shifted against the zip-ties holding her to the chair, and it was awkward because her back was bowed so painfully that she couldn’t even relax. They had also tethered her ankles to the outsides of the chair in an attempt to scare her, but, honestly, none of that bothered her. What was frustrating was that they had kept the damn cloth over her head, and it was hot, and stifling, and she just wanted some fresh air on her face – or as fresh as she was going to get in this warehouse near the dirty waterfront. Even through the fabric the stench of dead fish and filthy water was apparent.

  “Alright, last chance. Tell us where he is.”

  Right. Him.

  Camille laughed softly under the cloth, but it was cut short when the asshole that had been playing with his gun landed a punch to her ribs. The pain stole the air from her on a curse, and she brought it back in through clenched teeth, tightening her hands into fists.

  That had hurt.

  “I told you that was your last chance.” The hard press of the gun shoved her head to the left as he dug the muzzle into the side of her scalp. He was probably trying to set it against her temple like in the movies, but he was off by about three inches.

  “Then shoot me,” she muttered. His hand shook, she could feel the pressure of the metal against her skull wavering, and then he groaned and pulled the weapon away. As cool as she was trying to play it, her heart rate had tripled in the silence, and now it was practically tripping over itself as she heard him pace away from her across the concrete.

  Okay, Camille, maybe it wasn’t necessary to call his bluff that harshly. Rein in the bitch a bit.

  “Hey, boss. Yeah.” The man was speaking into his phone, and although his voice was faint she could still make out his words in the dead silence of the huge warehouse. “No, she hasn’t.”

  Camille smiled under the hood, taking advantage of his absence to stretch as much as she could, rolling her shoulders while she listened to the idiot try and explain to his boss how she hadn’t told him a thing. She should have known he was too low on the totem pole to actually do more than rough her up a bit.

  He had still got the drop on her though. Fucker.

  If she hadn’t been so stupid she wouldn’t be in this mess anyway. She’d let her guard down, tipsy from a few too many martinis at dinner, so she’d been looking for the business card she’d snagged with the hotel’s address instead of keeping her hand on the gun in her purse. The first electric snap of the stun gun against her side had brought her to her knees, the second had sent her flat, and she’d been barely conscious when he’d hit her a third time. Now she was tied to a chair listening to Mr. Lucky Shot get yelled at. At least that was entertaining.

  “I did – Boss, I did! No, she –” He let out a shout of frustration. “I’ll get her to tell me. No, I can do it. I don’t need -”

  The sudden silence and a low growl told her the call had ended. He stomped around for a few minutes, cursing and mumbling as he threw a henchman temper tantrum. Camille straightened up in the chair again as she heard him stomping towards her. The heavy sound of the hammer being cocked on the gun made her brain stand to attention.

  “Tell me where he is, bitch! TELL ME!” He roared at her, and she tensed because if he was shaking as badly as he sounded like he was, he might pull the trigger by accident – and she definitely did not want to get shot. Again. Once was enough in her lifetime.

  But it’s not like telling him would save her life, he’d probably still shoot her, and if he didn’t? The man they were looking for definitely would.

  Only he would make her beg for death first.

  Camille kept her jaw shut tight, digging her nails into her palms as the man’s harsh breaths filled the space around her. He could at least take the fucking hood off. All his loud breathing was just reminding her of how little air she had under the dark cloth.

  “You don’t have a lot more time. You can either tell us where he is now, or you’ll tell us later, but I promise – you’ll tell us one way or another.” The guy switched tactics, leaning in close until she felt the weight of his gun hand pressing on her thigh, the outline of the weapon digging into her skin through her tights. His other hand trailed up the form-fitting top she wore until he cupped her breast and squeezed.

  She’d been waiting for this tactic. If hitting her and threatening her life didn’t work, threatening her sexually was always next. This definitely wasn’t new in the circles she ran in. They just always made the same mistake – they assumed she was weak.

  His voice was a notch lower as he leaned close to her face, “Sure you don’t want to tell me?”

  Camille grinned and spoke softly, “No.” Then she brought her head forward hard and based on the crunch and the sudden scream, she was pretty sure she’d just broken his nose.

  “FUCK!” He roared, and she braced herself just before he backhanded her hard. The pain was a sudden burst in her cheek and her ears rang with the force of it, but she made herself sit back up.

  If only she could see the shocked expression on his face, the bloody nose. That would be a nice interlude to their interrogation. He’d had her in the chair for over an hour conscious, probably much longer than that before she woke up, and no matter how many threats, promises, or hits – she still hadn’t answered him.

  She was a professional, after all. No matter who she worked for.

  The gun was suddenly under her chin, forcing her head back as he dug the metal into the soft tissue. It would have been a lot scarier if she weren’t completely sure that he wasn’t allowed to shoot her. Under the current circumstances, she just laughed. “What’s wrong? Does your nose hurt?”

  “Fuck you!” He pressed the gun a little harder into her skin until she had to swallow. “Why are you even protecting him? My boss will pay you ten times whatever he’s offering you, just tell us where the fuck he is! He’s not worth your fucking life!”


  He wasn’t worth protecting, but despite all her rules… some people were worth protecting, and there wasn’t a day that had come and gone in the last year that she didn’t wish she could be as completely heartless as she pretended to be.

  Soft underbellies only got you gutted. It was better to have no weaknesses at all.

Dammit!” Mr. Not-So-Lucky tore the gun away from her and she dropped her head forward, rolling her neck to ease the strain he’d caused. He was cursing for a minute, mumbling to himself, and she sighed.

  “Listen, while you’re freaking out, could you just take this hood off? It’s fucking hot under here, and you can just as easily threaten me without it.”

  “Go to hell. You’re going to regret this shit. Boss called in one of his main guys to come get you and he doesn’t fuck around.”

  “So you’ve just been playing with me? Here I thought you were doing your best to be scary.”

  “SHUT UP!” He shouted at her, and then she heard him yank a metal chair over the concrete, the screech making her ears ache.

  “I thought you wanted me to talk?” Camille taunted him, no longer even remotely afraid of this lackey henchman who had just had the good fortune to catch her on an off night. Normally he would have ended up on the ground with a bullet in his head, and she’d be luxuriating in some suite downtown while the NYPD pretended to look for clues as to why another lowlife was dead in a gutter.

  “Say something else and I’ll shove something in your mouth to keep you quiet.”

  “Whatever.” Camille rolled her eyes behind the hood, tilting her head down to try and let a little fresh air in under the fabric, and then she heard him shuffling cards. The quick sound of them slapping against each other came again and again, and then she listened as he began laying them out on the table in quick succession.

  The fucker was going to play solitaire?


  She forced a deep breath and tried to adjust in the chair to ease the growing ache in her wrists and shoulders. For a moment she wished she’d worn something other than the heavy boots that came up to her knees, because they were making her too warm. They had worked for the outfit in the early Fall weather in New York, and she liked the flat bottoms because it meant if she needed to run she still could. Idiots that showed up to a fight in heels usually broke an ankle, or got shot.

  Normally, Camille would say she was not an idiot, but her current situation argued it.

  It wasn’t the first time she’d been tied up and threatened, and it probably wouldn’t be the last. She just had to wait until they made a mistake, let her up for some reason, and then she could go for Mr. Not-So-Lucky’s gun, or her own. The little Sig Sauer P238 in her purse didn’t look like much, but it would still put a bullet, or four, through the person she aimed it at. Time passed slowly as she listened to the snap of the cards as henchman guy laid them out while she fantasized about all the ways she could kill him. It had become background noise when the loud banging of a fist against a metal door broke her out of her thoughts.

  Henchman’s chair screeched against the floor as he pushed it back, and then his heavy footsteps marched across the concrete. When the door opened she could hear hushed male voices and so she straightened her back again. No benefit to looking weak in front of henchman number two.

  Their feet stopped just in front of her, and the hood was suddenly ripped over her head. Her vision blurred in the industrial lighting, but Camille took the opportunity to steal a few deep breaths as the cooler air rushed over her damp, hot skin.

  “This is the one giving you all the trouble?” A deep voice rumbled in front of her and she shook out her white blonde hair as she raised her eyes to them. Mr. Not-So-Lucky had a crimson swipe under his nose to clearly mark him. He was a big guy, broad chested with arms that screamed steroid use, and a close-cropped haircut that made his ugly mug stand out. Unfortunately, the guy to the left was taller, bigger, and his hard body under that designer suit looked like one earned from a lifetime of brutal work. Even worse, he had a playboy face. Handsome, Latin, with dark hair cut into that messy but put-together look she saw on rich boys all the time. That meant Mr. Not-So-Lucky hadn’t lied to her, this guy was high up on the food chain for their boss. Well compensated for the work he did, just like she was, and that meant he probably played on her level. Fuck.

  Her evaluation had taken no more than a few seconds, but she knew one thing for sure – she couldn’t show fear to either of them. With a grin she leaned back as best she could with her arms still bound to the chair. “Have I really been that much trouble? I thought I’d been a stellar guest.”

  “Shut up, bitch.” Mr. Not-So-Lucky glared at her, but the other man just chuckled. “Someone needs to teach you a fucking lesson.”

  Mr. Not-So-Lucky reared his hand back to slap her, but henchman number two caught his arm in the air, never pulling his dark eyes from her. “Your assistance is no longer needed. Leave.”

  The lackey’s shoulders slumped. “But I can help you out. Work her over with you, so -”

  “No. Leave.” Tall, dark, and handsome turned his eyes to Mr. Not-So-Lucky and the man raised his hands up, moving towards the table.

  “Fine, but tell the boss I was willing to help. He only called you in because -”

  “I’m sure you’ll get an A for effort, dickbag.” Camille smiled as Mr. Not-So-Lucky flipped her off before he bent to gather his playing cards and shove his gun in the back of his pants.

  He stood up to leave and pointed at her as he walked backwards towards the door. “Your smart mouth won’t last long with Mateo. Trust that.”

  The idiot left, slamming the metal door behind him and she turned her eyes up to the very tall man standing in front of her. She tilted her head, and let her lips curve up in a slow smile. “Mateo, huh?”

  “Knowing my name isn’t going to help you, doll face.” He leaned forward and braced his hands on the arms of the metal chair, completely filling her vision with his golden, tanned skin and the unfeeling darkness of his eyes. A cruel smile crossed his mouth before his voice rumbled again, “You have two options. Tell me what we want to know now, or I take you to my place and you tell me what we want to know after a lot of unpleasantness.”

  Camille rolled her eyes at his threat and prepared to head butt this idiot just like she’d done the last, but just as she tensed to bring her head forward his hand moved lightning quick and fisted her hair to crane her neck back painfully. Her eyes watered, and he leaned over her until he was dangerously close to her face.

  “I assure you… you do not want to fight me.”

  “I’m zip-tied to a chair. If you think this is a fair fight you’re as dumb as the first little henchman.” Camille leaned forward, increasing the strain on her hair as her lips came dangerously close to Mateo’s. “Why don’t you untie me and let’s see how this goes?”

  He held her gaze for a moment, not moving back an inch, and for an instant she imagined him kissing her – then the click of a knife opening next to her ear made her muscles jump. Mateo smiled slowly at her reaction and then he leaned back to trail the point of the knife from the hollow in her throat down between her breasts until it met the neckline of her shirt.

  Camille swallowed as he spared her clothes and glided the knifepoint down her body, snagging the tights on her thigh, and then she heard the snip as the zip-tie at her ankle was cut. Mateo wasn’t an idiot, unfortunately, and he dropped his knee onto her leg to keep her pinned to the chair. Leaning across her he snipped the other side and then he stood up completely, moving quick to be out of range of her boots while he stepped behind her.

  His breath landed on one side of her neck, a hot rush over her skin, and then the cool metal of the blade settled on the other side. “Really think you can take me?”

  “Only one way to find out,” Camille answered softly, doing her best not to make her throat move too much against the sharp bite of the knife.

  “Alright.” Mateo cut through the zip-ties at her wrists in a flash, and she pulled her arms in front of her, clenching her teeth against the urge to groan as feeling returned to her fingers and her shoulders argued. That was all the breathing space she got before the chair was literally yanked from under her. Camille caught her balance just in time to turn her fall into a roll instead of landing flat on her ass. She
popped up a few feet away, but Mateo was already stalking towards her, knife in hand.

  Shit. He was not playing fair.

  She took measured steps backward, her eyes flicking between him and the rest of the room. On the floor by the table she saw her small, black purse. Was Mr. Not-So-Lucky really dumb enough not to take her gun?

  When her eyes flicked back to Mateo he was dangerously close and so she faked to the left and his body twitched in that direction just enough for her to dash to the right, sliding under the table to grab her purse. He was almost on top of her by the time she shoved herself out the other side, forcing him to go around it. Flipping the snap on it she internally cheered as she grabbed the gun – henchman number one really was a fuck up.

  The cool grip settled into her hand like an old friend, and then Mateo was on her. She blocked his first attack with her forearms, the force of it making her teeth rattle. Bringing her knee up hard into his ribs she growled with the effort she put behind it, but he felt like hitting a solid wall.

  He barely grunted and brought the knife forward again, but she was able to knock his arm back again and threw the purse so it was out of her hands. He kicked out at her leg as she rolled inward, but he missed and she was able to bring her elbow back into his kidney. He grunted a little harder that time, but the solid muscle of his torso was doing more than just making him look good, it was protecting him.

  Camille flipped the safety off the gun, but was forced to side-step him completely as he tried to wrap an arm around her. Turning on her heel she aimed at his chest, but he knocked her arm out of the way and thrust with the knife. She returned the favor, bringing her arm down hard on his to ruin his attempt to gut her. In the second it took him to lift his arm again, she brought her leg up and kicked him hard in the solar plexus. The force of it knocked her back slightly and she went with it, back peddling to get some space between them.

  Dammit. He was strong, big, and knew what the fuck he was doing. Terrible combination for someone who was five-foot four and a hundred and twenty pounds. Mateo was the kind of guy she would have taken out from afar, or by surprise with a shot to the back of the head. She would never have attempted a one-on-one fight with him.

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