Sweet Depravity (Ruthless Obsession #2) - Zoe Blake

Chapter 1


I had every intention of murdering whoever was on the other side of that door.

Coldblooded, heartless murder, and I would get away with it too because anyone who pounded on someone’s door at seven o’clock in the morning deserved to get murdered in the worst way possible.

After flicking open the pathetic excuse for a lock, I snatched at the brass chain secured across the door, further loosening the already wobbly screws. Putting the chain across each night really was a useless endeavor. Basically only good for a false sense of security. An asthmatic eighty-year-old man could cough on this ancient door and it would fall open. Such was the life of a penniless graduate student living in a first-floor apartment in a slightly dodgy neighborhood.

With a huff, I threw the door open. “Who the hell do you think you—?”

My mouth fell open.

In a rather ironic twist, there wasn’t a doubt in my mind. The man standing on my threshold had come to murder me instead of the other way around.

There really was no other reasonable conclusion. The fact that I had done nothing, at least to my knowledge, to warrant someone wanting to murder me was immaterial. I couldn’t imagine this man being anything other than a murderer or at the very least a violent criminal.

This was all incredibly confusing considering he was also the most devastatingly handsome man I’d ever laid eyes on.

He was insanely tall. I mean, really? Was it absolutely necessary to be that much over six feet tall? All those extra inches did was make a girl feel small and vulnerable, and make her wonder what it would feel like if he crowded her against a wall and did that super sexy lean in move.

The darkly inked tattoos on his hands and neck were in stark contrast to the obviously expensive tailored suit he was wearing. His jet-black hair was wet and slicked back as if he had just showered. I could pick up the hints of musk and jasmine from his aftershave.

Scariest of all were his eyes; they were dark blue and hooded, almost like the demon eyes from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His head was slightly down as he stared at me, giving him an even more sinister appearance.

My hands shook as I tightened the belt on my leopard print silk robe with the pink trim. Those same demon eyes flashed down to my waist, then slowly rose to my chest, then back to my face to pierce me with a glare. Thankfully, I’d been so tired last night I fell asleep in my bra and panties instead of naked as I usually did. It wasn’t much but at least they were some protection beyond just my flimsy robe.

He twisted his jaw as he gestured to me with his left hand, which seemed weighed down by a heavy silver signet ring. “Is this how you answer the door? Dressed like a woman begging to be fucked?”

It took a moment for my mind to register what he said because of the heavy Russian accent. My eyes widened the moment it did. With an outraged cry, I tried to slam the door in his face. His flattened palm prevented it. I had no choice but to take a step back as he entered the apartment and closed the door. He reached behind him and twisted the lock just above the doorknob. It slid into place with an ominous click.

The air seized in my lungs. Since they’d painted half the windows shut and the other half were rusted shut, there really was no other way out of the apartment. I could scream but I doubted even my next-door neighbor, old Mrs. York, would hear me. The only good thing about the dilapidated brick building my apartment was in was its crazy-thick walls. Well, usually it was a good thing for when you wanted to play your music loud or have a party. When you were being threatened by a possible homicidal criminal, not so much.

My phone!

My phone was in my purse on the sofa.

Keeping my gaze trained on him, I took a few steps back. The sofa was in my peripheral vision. I needed to get to the other end to my Loungefly-embossed skulls and Hello Kitty black and pink purse. The man surveyed my apartment with a mixture of disgust and shock on his face. As he turned his attention to the locks on the door behind him, I made my move. I lunged over the