Baby of His Revenge

By: Jennie Lucas

But as she scouted out the nearest fur cleaner, she was suddenly jostled by a large group of tourists stampeding by, blindly following their guide’s flag up ahead. Stumbling forward, Laney tripped off the curb and fell forward into the street. Turning with a gasp, as if in slow motion, she saw a red sports car barreling down on her!

There was a loud squeal of tires, and Laney felt a surge of regret that she was going to die, at twenty-five, far from home and everyone she loved, holding her boss’s dirty fur coat, run over by a car. She just wished she could tell her grandmother and her father one last time that she loved them...

She closed her eyes and held her breath as she felt the impact. The car knocked her over the hood and she flew, then fell hard on something soft.

The air was knocked out of her lungs, and she wheezed for breath as everything went dark.

“Damn you, what were you thinking!”

It was a man’s voice. It didn’t sound like the voice of God, either, so she couldn’t be dead. Laney’s eyes fluttered open.

A man was standing over her, looking down. His face and body were hidden in shadow, but he was tall, broad-shouldered. And, it seemed, angry.

A crowd gathered around them as the man knelt beside her.

“Why did you run out in the street like that?” The man was dark-haired, dark-eyed, handsome. “I could have killed you!”

Laney suddenly recognized him. Coughing, she sat up abruptly. A wave of dizziness went through her, and she put her hand on her head, feeling sick.

“Be careful, damn you!”

“Kassius—Black,” she croaked.

“Do I know you?” he said tersely.

Why would he? She was nobody. “No...”

“Are you injured?”

“No,” she whispered, then realized to her shock that it was true. Looking down, she saw the fur had blocked her impact against the street like a soft pillow. Incredulously, she touched the nose of the wildly sleek and expensive sports car pressing into her shoulder. He must have stopped on a dime.

“You’re in shock.” Without asking permission, he ran his hands over her. He was no doubt searching for broken bones, but having him touch her—stroking her arms, her legs, her shoulders—caused heat to flood through Laney. Her cheeks burned, and she pushed him away.

“I’m fine.”

He looked at her skeptically.

She look a shuddering breath and tried to smile. “Really.”

Of all the billionaires in Monaco—and there were tons—she’d just inconvenienced the one her boss wanted, this mysterious and dangerous man. If the comtesse found out Laney had caused him problems, on top of everything else...

Laney tried to stand up.

“Wait,” he barked. “Take a breath. This is serious.”

“Why?” She glanced back at the glossy fender of the car. “Did I hurt your Lamborghini?”

“Funny.” His voice was dry. He was looking at her narrowly. “What were you thinking, jumping in front of me?”

“I tripped.”

“You should have been more careful.”

“Thanks.” Rubbing her elbow, she winced. On the two occasions she’d seen the man before, while he was having lunch meetings with the comtesse, Laney had vaguely thought Kassius Black must be an American raised in Europe, or possibly a European raised in America. But there was a strange inflection in his voice that didn’t suit either theory. In fact, it was an accent she recognized well. But it obviously wasn’t possible. She rubbed her forehead. She must have hit it harder than she thought. “I’ll try to take your advice in the future.”

Rising to his feet, he looked around at the crowd that had formed a semicircle around them in the street. “Is there a doctor?” No one moved, even when he repeated the request in rapid succession in three other languages. He pulled his phone from his pocket. “I’m calling an ambulance.”

“Um...” She bit her lip. “That’s nice and all, but I’m afraid I don’t have time for that.”

He looked incredulous. “You don’t have time for an ambulance?”

She gave herself a quick look for gushing blood or maybe a broken leg she hadn’t noticed. But the worst that seemed to have happened was that she’d had the wind knocked out of her and had gotten a little lump on her forehead. She touched it. “I’m on an urgent errand for my boss.”

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