Hook (The Duplicity Duet #1) - Elisabeth Grace

Introduction

I crumple to the floor as the reality that I've lost everything drags me down into an abyss. The lies and half-truths splinter my fragile heart into jagged pieces of glass, ripping me apart from the inside out. The eyes of the man I thought loved me bore into me from above, and the realization hits—he is the one responsible.

He did this.

My heart is a kiln that hardens my despair and transforms it into a rage so monstrous it cannot be contained. I’ve been forged in fire and born anew.

He would pay.

They all would.

I'd burn this whole cesspool of a city to the ground until I'd exacted revenge on all of them.

Every. Single. Fucking. One.

- Emily

Chapter One

The first time I slept with a man for money I didn’t come.

I was okay with it because, hey, it was my first time and I was nervous. But years later, I’ve grown tired of only experiencing the big ‘O’ through my own battery-operated devices. Being a high-end call girl, surely a perk of the job should be a climax every once in a while, right?

I squeezed my eyes shut, willing an orgasm to overtake me.

“Ah, that’s it, Brandi. Just like that,” Julian said as I ground my ass back into him.

His hands gripped my waist as he pounded in and out of me while I stroked my clit in hopes that—just this once—I’d find relief from something other than my vibrator.

“You almost there, baby?” he asked and then groaned.

“Almost,” I panted. My time was running out. I attempted to clear my mind and forget my surroundings, hoping that would help. He plunged in and out, the mechanics of it all in place but the intended result so far away. A slight tingling was all I felt though, and I resigned myself once again to fake the orgasm.

“Ahh”—I began moaning—”oh, right there. That’s it. Oh my God. Oh my God!” I fisted the sheets for extra effect. “Oh, Julian, I’m gonna come. I’m coming for you!” With that final proclamation, I threw my head back, causing my dark hair to cascade down my back.

It might’ve been a little theatrical, but it got the job done.

He thrust into me a couple more times. You know the ones I’m talking about—those jerky, off-rhythm movements that almost always mean a guy is about to finish. And finish he did, with a few grunts and whispered words about how I was the best fuck in Vegas.

Damn straight. You didn’t get paid what I did a night because you were a limp lay.

I dropped down onto my stomach. Julian rolled onto his side and stroked lazy fingers across my naked back. Only a few minutes passed before he said, “I gotta run.” His hand stopped stroking and he pressed a kiss to my shoulder.

I turned my head on the pillow to watch him crawl out bed, remove the condom and toss it in the trash before reaching for his clothes folded neatly on a nearby chaise.

We’d left the hotel curtains open, and though it was dark out, the chaotic, sparkling lights of Vegas provided enough ambient light for him to go about his business. My gaze wandered to the night sky in search of stars, but like always, there were none to be seen here. Growing up in Utah, there were always an abundance of stars. Then again, Vegas seemed to suck the light out of everyone, so I supposed it was fitting. Just another reason why I hated this wretched town.

The mattress sunk as Julian sat on the edge of the bed, drawing my thoughts back to the present.

“I wish I could stay longer.” He leaned down and tucked my hair behind one ear.

“I’m sure I’ll be seeing you soon.” I sat up, not bothering to cover myself, comfortable in my nakedness. “I had a good time tonight.”

His hand brushed the side of my breast before settling on my waist. “You know I always have a good time with you, Brandi.”

I curved my lips into a smile, one designed for seduction, and leaned in, pressing a chaste kiss to his lips.

His hand at my waist gripped me tighter. “Got some business to take care of out of state. I’ll make arrangements to see you when I’m back in town.”

“Be careful,” I said. He nodded and slipped back out of bed quietly to make his way out the door. Julian was in a dangerous line of work—to put it mildly. I didn’t know specifics, but I knew enough not to