Dark Erotic Romantic Suspense

Novel Length




Coming September 20th, 2016




Available Now!










All my life, I’ve only wanted one thing: someone to love me and someone who will let me love them in return. This seems like a simple request, but I was born to parents who wished I had died of childhood leukemia, instead of my younger sister, and who have ignored me no matter how much I’ve tried to please them. I’m starved for affection, addicted to the feeling when someone cares about me, which has led to a love life filled with either boys I’ve scared off, or men all too eager to take advantage of me. I thought I would never find a man who could feed my craving for constant attention—and then I met Leo. He fills the void inside of me, haunts my dreams, and does things to me in bed that are so good, they’re probably illegal. I can only pray I don’t scare him off once he figures out just how needy I really am.


There are very few people in this world I’ve ever been able to form an emotional attachment to, but the moment I saw Hannah, I knew she was mine. We were bound together by fate, our paths crossing first as children, then as adults, each time marking me. She doesn’t know it but I’ve been watching her for a year now, studying her, stacking the deck so when I do make my move, there’s no way she’ll ever escape me. But my world is a harsh, cruel place, and the cartel I work for demands absolute loyalty and trust…a loyalty Hannah has yet to earn in the dangerous eyes of my employers. There is only one way to ensure Hannah’s absolute devotion, and I hope that she doesn’t hate me forever when she finds out that not only have I brainwashed her into loving me, but that I don’t feel an ounce of guilt about doing it. She’s mine, only mine, and I’m keeping her forever.

Warning: This story features a rough and demanding Dom who’s completely devoted to bringing his baby girl pleasure through such unconventional means as spanking, mild BDSM, D/S, roleplaying, and various other forms of wicked kinkery.



Chapter 1

Leo – Age 28


The darkness within my cold heart held no pity for the once beautiful woman trapped in the dog cage bolted to the floor, dirty and beaten. If anything, I wish we’d had longer to torture her, longer to keep her in the same pain her young son, Jason, had experienced at the hands of his kidnappers. Kidnappers his mother had hired to hold him for ransom.

I’ve always known Nina was a no-good ruthless bitch, but Fernando, one of my best friends and the son of the Cordova cartel leader, loved and married the bitch when she’d turned up pregnant, so I’d tolerated her. But now the sight of her disgusted me so much, I spat on her cringing form, fury sending a throbbing rush of strength into my clenched hands, urging me to dole out a richly deserved punishment.

“You wanna know how we found him, your beloved son?” I snarled. “Beaten, filthy, tied up with wire that had cut his wrists so deep it was embedded in his flesh, missing three of his fingers and one of his ears—dead, having choked to death on his own vomit because they gagged him too tight. So fucking tight the corners of his mouth were ripped open. All for fucking money.”

I wanted to kick the cage again, to have another hour to draw more pain from her body, but Nina’s mother-in-law, Judith Cordova, was about to arrive, and she was going to demand her pound of flesh from the treacherous cunt whimpering in her own filth.

The hermetically sealed door behind me hissed open and I tried to calm my breathing as I went over to one of the industrial sinks in the corner of the interrogation chamber and began to wash Nina’s blood from my skin. Normally I protected myself against any contamination from other people’s bodily fluids; I dealt with too many nasty fucks who’d stick their dicks in any pussy offered to them. But I wanted to feel Nina suffer, to feel her tremble and writhe from the pain I was inflicting while trying to purge from my head the memory of Fernando’s screams as he held his son’s battered body.
Tears and heavy emotions were something that seldom bothered me, but I understood the loss of family enough that it awakened my rarely felt compassion. So while Fernando had been unable to personally deal with his betraying wife, I had stepped in for him, trying to ease his burden in any way I could by making sure she paid.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t come close to slaking my blood lust, but I had to step aside as hushed voices spoke quietly behind me, the sound of Nina’s moans and sobs almost drowning them out, but one woman’s strained voice I recognized.

Judith was here to collect the debt Nina owed Fernando’s family.

Dressed from head to toe in a stylish black pantsuit and decked out in tasteful diamonds, for once Judith looked like shit. Her normally carefully styled, short silver hair that framed her wrinkled but classically beautiful face was in disarray, the deep lines around her mouth betraying her grief. But her eyes, her dark eyes—much like my own—glittered with pure insanity. Not many people were aware of it, but Judith could sometimes lose her grip on reality and do some crazy shit in her rage. I had a feeling I was about to witness the demon that lived inside the wife of the head of the cartel I worked for come to life.

Behind her, two of her nephews came in, along with her son Ramón. Her other son, Diego, was no doubt with Fernando and their father, Jose. Diego and Fernando were twins, so they tended to rely on each other in times of crisis, and Jose was there to help keep Fernando from trying to take his life—again. A shudder ripped up my spine as I remembered the sound of my friend screaming in complete and total agony until his voice broke.

Judith strode to the middle of the large concrete room in the basement of one of the popular and trendy restaurants she owned, the drain in the floor stained with drying blood. The door hissed opened again and more high-ranking members of the Cordova cartel moved in, until there were around twenty of us circling the room, pressed shoulder to shoulder, all focused on the cage situated beneath the bright floodlight overhead.

My stomach clenched as I realized Judith was about to make an example of her daughter-in-law, one none of us would ever likely forget.

A heavy metal cross let out a teeth-clenching screech as it was dragged across the floor, both men pushing the weighty piece softly grunting beneath its bulk.

In short order, Nina was bound, nude and covered in bruises and cuts, to the X shape, almost incoherent pleas for mercy falling from her lips, saying that she didn’t mean for it to happen, that the men she’d given Jason to had double-crossed her. Pleas for compassion mixed with her now panting breaths, her one good eye madly roving the room, looking for a hero, for someone to save her. She’d find no forgiveness here.

We’d all loved Jason, Jose and Judith’s first and only grandchild. While Nina had been a mostly absent mother, Fernando had lived and breathed for his kid. Jason’s birthdays were already legendary at the age of five and I’d been assigned to his bodyguard detail at various times over the years, enough that the kid always greeted me with a hug and a smile.

A deep pang of sorrow reverberated through me, my chest aching like someone had beat it with a sledgehammer, breaking ribs and sending deadly shards of razor-sharp bone straight to my heart. I could remember the earthy smell of his little boy hair warmed by the sun, the sweet ring of his laughter. Such a bright light, gone forever.

The tips of Judith’s shiny red heels clicked across the floor as she slowly walked up to Nina, the rest of the room having disappeared for her as her focus narrowed on the evil bitch. Back in the day, before Judith married Jose and semi-retired to focus on being a good mother, Judith had been the Cordova cartel’s torture master, and she made inflicting pain an art form that she greatly enjoyed practicing. Not that she got off on it in any sexual way, but breaking down an enemy, dishing out well-deserved punishment, satisfied her in a way I understood all too well. It fed the beast without breaking whatever particular moral code we subscribed to.

But this—this was personal.

Cocking her head to the side, Judith studied her daughter-in-law’s once supermodel-perfect face. “You have committed the worst crime a mother possibly can, something so heinous it sickens me down to my soul. My grandson, mi dulce bebe. He died alone and in agony because of you.”

A rare tear traveled down Judith’s ashen face while Nina continued her hysterical pleading, saying she was innocent, lying out her ass even though she knew we had video proof of her talking about how she let the kidnappers into her house and poisoned her bodyguards.

I shook my head, seeking out the rage that lived inside of me as I stared at Nina, allowing my own crazy to surface and chill these emotions seething within me. The muscles along my back and hands twitched as I barely restrained the need to join Judith. She’d mentored me during information-gathering sessions with our enemies many times, I was her apprentice of sorts, but this moment was entirely hers.

The breathing in the room picked up as Ramón moved to stand next to his mother, the hatred and disgust on his face making Nina sob anew.
Two of the Cordova cousins moved behind the metal X and together they held Nina’s head in place, their grips digging no doubt painfully into her bruised cheeks.

Ramón handed his mother a knife then pulled a device out of his pocket that I was familiar with.

A mouth spreader.

In short order, Nina’s mouth was held wide open, her shrill screams making it hard to hear what Judith was saying, but I could easily read her thin lips.
“I’m taking your lying tongue, with which you told your baby you loved him.” She swiftly did as she’d said, then closed her eyes and inhaled slowly as one of her bodyguards helped her put on gloves and a white hazmat suit that would soon be red, her cold voice almost clinical in its detachment above Nina’s garbled shrieks. “I’m taking your breasts, a symbol of the motherhood you shit all over. Your fingers will be next, so you can feel what Jason went through when they took his. After that, I’ll slice out your womb, then your eyes—and last of all, I’ll cut your vile heart from your chest. Don’t look forward to death to rescue you from the pain. If I were you, I’d try to hold on to life for as long as I could, because a special place in hell is surely waiting for you. Espero que te pudras en el infierno.”

And so it went, for a long, long time, until Nina finally died in agony.

The entire room was hushed yet still ringing with Nina’s screams, and so very still as Judith turned to us, using a wet wipe Ramón had supplied her with while the cleanup crew got busy.

Judith’s dead gaze locked on mine, and I noticed a fine spray of red droplets in her hair, glittering like rubies. “Leo, come with me, please.”

A faint tremble threaded her voice and most people would dismiss it as being from shock, but I knew it was just the adrenaline leaving her body, the hard-addictive rush of a prolonged torture session coursing through her bloodstream.

I followed her, grabbing my shirt and jacket from a hook near the doorway and shrugging both on. Normally I would have paused to make sure I didn’t have anything incriminating on me, but it was well past two a.m. and the restaurant above us was empty and dark. It was only below ground that the Cordova cartel continued to thrive. This basement area of the building the restaurant was situated in was normally used as a warehouse for moving illegal goods, but tonight it was unusually quiet, a sense of mourning hanging thick in the air, like the humid fog in New Orleans.

We reached her office at the end of one of the hallways, the normally pristine place littered with broken glass and wood. It took me a moment to realize that Judith had probably smashed all the pictures of her daughter-in-law and only grandson in a rage, the images too painful to handle. I know after my mother died, it took me years to even glance at a photo of her, the sense of loss still too great.

“Out,” she snapped at whoever had followed us in.

The door shut behind me, but I didn’t take my eyes off her as I carefully walked over the smooth oak floors to the long, tan leather couch that stretched out against the wall near her desk. This was my preferred place, out of the way if she was dealing with business and comfortable enough to rest if I had to wait.

After my mother’s death, Judith had understood my need for revenge and had assigned her son Ramón’s crew to help me find my vengeance. It was her contacts that had found out which rival cartel murdered my mother, and her top bodyguards had helped us plan out my revenge.

Of course, we got the extra help because Ramón was her son and this was his first big job, but she also did it because even then she’d recognized something twisted in me that she felt a kinship with.

When she slumped back onto the couch next to me, I knew what her silent request was. Leaning in, I pulled her to my side and hugged her to me, internally sighing as I felt how delicate she was becoming. At fifty-four, Judith had led a hard life as the wife of a cartel boss, and the loss of her beloved grandson seemed to have struck her a physical blow. Her entire body shook as she sobbed, and I held her, letting her get her grief out. I understood what an honor it was to be there for her like this, to provide her with the comfort she needed. She couldn’t show this pain to her sons and husband, not when they needed her strength.

After a few minutes, she quieted, taking yet another wad of tissue that I handed to her. She hated being messy and quickly wiped her face. Her breath came out in a ragged sigh then she visibly wilted.

“I can’t do this again, Leo. I can’t bury another baby, can’t watch my son beg me to let him bleed out after he cut his wrists, to let him die and join Jason.”
Unable to think of any way to sooth her, I took her hand in my own and gave it a squeeze. “I understand.”

“No, you don’t.” She pulled her hand away then stood, beginning to pace, her heels crunching against the floor when they hit a piece of broken glass. “There has to be some way to protect my boys from women like that bitch. Some way to make sure the girls they love will never betray them, will remain loyal and be good mothers to their children.”

Not sure where she was going with this, or if she was just venting, I watched her as she ran her hands through her hair, attempting to fix it. “And how are you going to make that happen? Interrogate them? Blackmail them? None of that will work, and both your sons and their women will end up resenting you. Even if you could order them around like robots, your sons won’t love Stepford Wives. They’re probably even more paranoid than you now about trusting the wrong women, and will be constantly on alert for any odd reactions. Plus, you can’t force love.”

Her shoulders slumped. “No, you can’t. But will you think on it for me, Leo? You never know what that unpredictable, brilliant mind of yours can come up with.”

For once I had a clear insight into her feelings—and I knew she needed something to cling to, something to hope for. “I promise you, Judith, I will.”
“That’s all I can ask.” She sighed then moved over to her desk, her gait slightly hitched and her head bowed. “I need to be alone for a while. Can you take Ramón to get something to eat? I don’t think he’s done anything but drink coffee and whisky since this whole sordid affair started.”

“Of course, anything you need, Judith.”

“Thank you, Leo.”

Dismissed, I numbly made my way through the underground labyrinth until I found Ramón talking with some of his father’s men. No doubt there would be some power restructuring within the cartel; Fernando was the heir apparent, but he was in no shape to do anything but breathe right now. There were rumors that he would be leaving the area for a while after his son’s funeral, and I couldn’t blame him. Too many ghosts haunted his house, and everywhere he looked, he would be reminded of what had happened, what he used to have.

With a deep sigh to announce my presence, I put a hand on Ramón’s tightly muscled shoulder and squeezed. “Your mom ordered me to drag your ass out to eat, though I have no idea what in the fuck is open at this time of night.”

Instead of fighting me, Ramón shook his head. “I know a place, not too far from here, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to eat anything.”

“How’s their coffee? New day’s starting and it looks like you and I are shit out of luck about getting any sleep.”

The men around us laughed softly, our lives so saturated in violence even the atrocities we’d witnessed started to roll off our backs faster than it would for normal people. We were killers, all of us, born and bred, so what happened with Judith and Nina was par for the course. It was the boy’s death that haunted us and kept us from our beds. No one wanted to lay their heads down and close their eyes, only to see Jason’s mangled form burned onto their lids.

Ramón slapped my back, hard, no doubt reading my grim expression. “Come on. I need to get the fuck out of here.”

After I finished cleaning up, we walked through the service exit and into the deep of night, that ultra-dark and quiet time right before dawn, with a blend of exhaustion and the hope of a new day twisting in the air. The world felt old, used up and dull as I waited for the first hints of dawn to break the horizon and paint the sky crimson and the mountains in shades of lavender. Even though it was warm, the evening still held a blessedly cool tinge that felt good on my skin, refreshing me as we approached a brightly lit diner done in a retro theme.

I’d passed it many times, admired the old fashioned and elaborate neon sign out front, but had never gone in. Now as we pushed the door open, the smells of good, greasy food mixed with coffee and a hint of sweetness filled my nose, rinsing away the residual smell of blood from my mouth and mind. I took a deep breath, not really paying attention as we were led to a booth toward the back of the restaurant. The place was fairly busy and it took us a minute of shuffling to get to our seats.

Thankfully, the circular booth we were seated in was situated so both Ramón and I had a view of the door. Neither of us liked having our backs to the room and I didn’t feel like flipping him to see who sat where. The booth was high enough that it gave us a sense of privacy and I let the chatter of humanity wash over me.

I felt restless, edgy, as I contemplated Judith’s words. Some people may think just because I’m able to view a human being as nothing more than meat, it meant I didn’t or couldn’t have the desire for a loving family of my own someday. I wanted to find a nice girl, somehow con her into marrying me, and spend the rest of my life making her and my children happy. I’d always taken it for granted that I would find a good woman worthy of my devotion and we’d grow old together.

Now, after Nina’s betrayal, I wondered how I would ever be able to trust another woman again.

“Morning, gentlemen, my name’s Hannah and I’ll be serving you today.” A young female’s incredibly sweet voice rolled over my skin, stroking me from the inside out. “Can I start you out with some coffee?”

I turned to see who the enchanting voice belonged to, and was struck dumb by the leggy beauty smiling at Ramón as he placed an order for coffee, then added some pancakes and sausage to it.

Her long, long black hair was held back from her face in a high ponytail that still fell midway down her back, and she had the most delicate features I’ve ever seen on a woman. Big golden-brown doe eyes full of warmth and light, high cheekbones that curved down into a narrow, pointed chin, and lips so full they looked like they belonged on a porn star. Add to that a slender body with curves in all the right places, and even though she was dressed in a pair of loose brown pants and wearing a god-awful yellow apron over her white shirt, she struck me dumb with lust.

“Leo,” Ramón growled.

Realizing I was making her uncomfortable, and that the smile was fading from her lips, I gave her the grin women always fell for. “Coffee, black.”
She blinked and I had the strangest sense of déjà vu as our eyes met. “You got it. I’ll be right back with your coffee.”

As she quickly strode off, stopping to check with her other tables on the way, I watched her.

“What’s your deal?” Ramón asked in a low voice. “You know her?”

I squinted, trying to place her. I was usually very good at remembering people, and I swore she was familiar, I just didn’t know how. It wasn’t her looks—I’d have remembered those—but her voice and eyes that struck me. “I think I do, but I’m not sure.”

“Well, if you happen to remember she has a bounty on her head, don’t kill her until after I’ve eaten.” He grimaced as he scanned the room. “What did my mom want to talk to you about?”

I didn’t bother lying to him or trying to hide it. “Your mom needed a moment to deal with everything.”

Ramón’s long dark hair fell over his forehead and into his eyes as he looked down at the table top. “Thank you for being there for her. You know she thinks of you like a son.”

Something deep inside of me eased the slightest bit. “She’s a good woman.”

He laughed and rubbed his face, his hands rasping over the dark bristles of his unshaved face. “Fuck…she’s batshit crazy, but I love her to death. What else did she talk about? Something’s on her mind. I don’t know what but I recognize the conniving look on her face. She has a new resolve around her that scares me. Bad things can happen when my mother decides to do something.”

“She’s trying to figure out a way to make sure whatever woman you chose for your wife is loyal to you.”

A flash of pain went through Ramón’s hazel-brown eyes before he smiled. “Lemme know how that works out for her.”

“That’s what I said, but she’s got me thinking.”

“You wanna know what I’m thinking?” he growled in a low voice. “I’m thinking that normally I’d be fucking away my pain with one of the cute pieces of ass smiling at us from across the room. But as soon as I even consider having one of them suck my dick, I get this sick feeling inside of me like someone’s kicked me in the gut, so you don’t have to worry about me looking for a wife anytime soon. Fuck, I’ll be lucky if I can even jerk off anymore. Maybe you can brainwash me into forgetting that any woman I fall in love with could stab me in the back at any second.”

A burst of laughter came from across the room, and I followed the slim line of our waitress’s back as she practically danced through the growing crowd, her infectious smile and good nature making even the most surly patron grin back.

Tapping my finger on the cool tabletop, I pursed my lips as I thought. “Or maybe I could brainwash them into being loyal.”

“Yeah, right.”

“I’m serious.”

Ramón leaned forward, the creases around his mouth deepening with his frown. “Even if you did, where am I going to find a good girl who’s into my particular brand of kink? Not every woman is into the kind of dominance and submission we enjoy.”

“This is true.”

“I mean, how many women giggled the first time you told them to call you ‘Daddy’.”

For a moment, everything felt normal between us, our usual banter putting me at ease. “Not a single fucking one. Hard to laugh with a cock down your throat.”

“I’ll take your word for it.”

I gave him a dry look, which he ignored while taking his phone out of his pocket. A second later he cursed, then stood and moved out of the booth. I went to do the same, but he waved me back. “Sit, eat my pancakes. I have to go deal with some family shit.”

“What happened?”

Looking incredibly weary, he rubbed his face. “Nothing to concern yourself over. Dad’s worried about me and wants me back home.”

“If you need anything—”

He clasped my shoulder, his voice hoarse as he said, “You were there for me, for mi familia today, in every way we needed, and I’ll never forget it.”

After he left, I found my mind drifting again, the combination of exhaustion, too much caffeine, and lack of food dulling my wits. 

Our waitress spoke from nearby, and I realized she was talking to the people in the booth behind me. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but the soft cadence of her honeyed tone lulled me, soothed me, and melted through my bones like caramel. She was comforting whoever was in the booth, and as they talked with the waitress about their loved one in the hospital across the street, something clicked—and I remembered where I knew her from.

Hannah. The girl in the waiting room that I’d spoken with the night my mother died. It came back to me slowly, the braces, her awkward gait, the infinite sadness in her wounded gaze. I’d thought about her now and again over the years, wondering how she was doing, if her parents ever pulled their heads out of their asses.

When Hannah came back with the plate of pancakes, she glanced around before looking back at me. “Did your friend leave?”

“Yes, but I’ll take his food.”

It took everything I had just to get those words out, and as I stared at her, I marveled at the beauty she’d grown into. Her big eyes, now sparkling with life, had a slight tilt at the corners, and that mouth…Jesus it looked so soft, perfect for pushing my cock between. She’d put some kind of pale pink gloss on her lips and it reminded me of the way a woman’s pussy looked when she was aroused, puffy and slicked with her desire.

My gaze must have revealed more than I’d intended, because she got flustered as she smiled at me. “Can I get you anything else?”

“No, thank you.”

She smiled again, her gaze already on another table, where they were trying to get her attention. As I watched her, slowly eating my food I didn’t taste, I wondered how her life had been since that fateful night and what she was doing now. I wondered if she was happy, if she had a man who thought the sun rose and set on her brilliant smile, even though her ring finger was bare.

The more I watched, the more curious I became, and by the time she dropped off my check, I was already making plans to find out more about Hannah with the soft, sweet voice and generous heart.




Copyright Ann Mayburn. All rights reserved. No part of these publications may be reproduce, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of the author.