After a heartbreaking loss, Katherine is hoping to start over in the vibrant city of London. But fate has a different plan. Her path unexpectedly crosses with the notorious Mafia Boss Xavier, who becomes obsessed with her. Caught in a web of power and control, Katherine finds herself in an aggressive, toxic relationship she never wanted. Will she ever find the strength to escape from Xavier’s iron grasp, and if so, how?
Age Rating: 18+ (Content Warning: Abuse, Sexual Abuse, BDSM)
Erotic Content Warning
My mother's grave was made out of beautiful black marble.
Just like she would have wanted it, it reflected her.
I knelt down in front of the dark stone and set my neatly made bouquet of flowers in a vase to the right. Then I placed my hand over her name, which was etched on the face of the tombstone.
“I miss you,” I said hoarsely, my voice barely above a whisper.
Hurt and cold washed over me when I only thought that I wouldn’t see her ever again.
I had never thought that I would lose my mother so early in my life. My mother had been my role model, the person I had looked up to when I got older. And now she was gone.
My father and I were so heartbroken. She had been the light in our family, and now the light had gone out. A month after the funeral, my father still had it worse.
He was used to coming home and seeing her. That was the highlight of his day for the last 20 years. And now, all that awaited him was an empty, cold house. And tomorrow I was leaving him too.
I blinked back tears as I got slowly to my feet. The weather was growing cold here in New York.
Taking a deep breath to calm my nerves, I took in the smell of the earthy scent of the wet dirt. There was a hint of freshly cut grass.
I looked around the cemetery. A few people lingered around different graves, mourning like me. My phone buzzed, reminding me of the time. I needed to go before the heavy rain hit.
I looked at my mother's grave again and said my goodbyes.
“Bye, Mother. I will always love you. Even now, when I won’t be able to visit you so much.”
As I wiped tears from my face, I felt a presence behind me, and I tensed up.
And then a warm hand grazed my shoulder.
“Don’t worry, my darling. I’ll always be with you.”
I was awakened by a particularly harsh jerk of the plane.
I jolted away, causing the old woman in the middle seat next to me to jump and spill her coffee.
It took me a moment to remember where I was.
Then I saw the map on the screen in front of me, which showed a little plane halfway across the Atlantic Ocean.
That’s right. I was on my flight from New York to London. A new place, city, and job awaited me.
This was a great opportunity. Interior design was a tough business, so I had to take any offer that came my way, even if it was halfway across the world.
I rubbed my eyes and stretched, my sore body protesting the hours it was spending stuffed into a tiny, Basic Economy seat.
The woman next to me was still giving me the stink eye as she mopped up her coffee. Trying to ignore her, I slipped in my earbuds and clicked the little “Live TV” button on my inflight screen.
It was some British news channel. The anchor had a very posh accent, but that wasn’t what drew my attention. No, it was the picture displayed next to the anchor.
The picture was of a man. One of the most handsome men I’d ever seen. He was built like a Greek god, and his jawline looked like it could cut through diamond.
But what really drew me in, even through this crappy airplane screen, were his eyes. They were fearsome and seemed to exude power. It looked like he could melt steel with just a passing glance.
I shivered in spite of myself as I gazed at him. And then, I turned my attention to what the news anchor was saying about him.
“Xavier Lexington, the most powerful CEO in Britain, was once again linked to the London mafia this week, but spokespeople for Mr. Lexington refused to give comment.
“This is not the first time that questions about Mr. Lexington’s enterprise have been raised. His enemies have been known to disappear, and it’s said that not even the King could stand up to him.”
I pulled out my earbuds, looking in surprise at the image of Xavier Lexington. This adonis of a man was also a mafia boss? What the hell was I getting myself into, moving to this place?
What felt like an eternity later, my plane touched down at Heathrow, and I collected my bags before hailing a taxi.
London was definitely different from New York. The way people waited to cross the street when the light was on was so different to Americans when they just go, no matter if there is a car on the road or not. And the accent, it was drawing me in. I loved the British accent.
As we drove deeper into the city, I began looking from building to building, wondering which one was my apartment. One of the perks of moving to London was that the company I’d be working at was giving me an apartment.
From the pictures they had sent me, the building seemed to be new and modern, with at least ten floors. Each floor housed just one apartment, and it was huge. I couldn’t wait to see it.
My previous apartment wasn’t small, but it wasn’t this grand either.
A loud car honk and a few curse words brought me out of my thoughts. The next second, the cab took a sharp turn. I braced my hands on the seat as the driver slowed down.
“I apologize. A car just took a turn and nearly hit us in the way”. I murmured a small, It’s okay in return.
The cab finally reached the building and helped me with my luggage.
Eighteen pounds later and a have a nice day from the driver, I was finally going into the lobby of my new home.
The first look at this place kept me speechless. The lobby was big, with modern designs. The floors were made of black marble, and big rows of windows allowed natural light to come in.
The doorman soon came to greet me, drawing me out of my thoughts. He had a well-kept beard and was dressed in a dark navy uniform. But what mesmerized me were his deep ocean-blue eyes. It was all I could see.
“Good evening. Miss Carlone, I presume?”
“Yes, I’m Katherine Carlone. How are you?”
The doorman, who wore a name tag that read ‘Williams’,smiled. “I’m very well, thank you.
All your things have been brought up to your apartment, and your assistant, Arabella Brown, has set everything up. Let me take your bags, and I’ll show you to your new apartment.”
“Of course.” I followed the nice doorman to the elevator, which took us up.
A gasp escaped my mouth as he opened the doors of my new apartment. The doorman smiled, setting my bags on the floor before giving me my key and security codes.
“I will leave you to yourself now. Have a lovely evening.” And then he was gone, leaving me gaping.
I was still rooted to the spot, gazing at the beautiful apartment. I snapped myself out of the daze and went to have a look around the place.
I stepped from the front door into an open space—a combined living and dining room.
I peeked into an elegant kitchen—which I would love to cook in—before making my way to the master bedroom. It had a large en suite bathroom and the biggest closet you could ever imagine. This place really was my dream come true.
There was a second bedroom with an en suite as well.
The apartment overlooked the River Thames, and the view from the living room was spectacular.
All the boxes I’d sent had been unpacked, and all my stuff had been neatly arranged, giving the place a modern but homey vibe.
Opening the fridge, I saw that it had been stocked with all kinds of goodies to eat. The cupboards were well stocked too. I certainly had to thank my new assistant when I met her. Everything was already taken care of, and arriving in London on a Friday meant I had the whole weekend to settle in.
When I woke up on Monday morning, I knew I was screwed.
I didn’t wake to the sound of my alarm, and I realized with horror that I hadn’t plugged it in yet.
Staring down at my phone, I cursed. My first day of work started in half an hour, and the office was 25 minutes away.
I scrambled out of bed and hurried to pull on clothes before putting on a quick coat of makeup. Luckily, I’d laid out my outfit the night before, and it was very chic. I was wearing a tight black skirt that came just to my knees and a Bordeaux blouse with the top two buttons undone.
Red lipstick, black Louis Vuitton heels, and a matching bag complemented the outfit. I didn’t have time to do my hair, but luckily, it naturally fell in long, voluminous curls.
Ten minutes later, I darted outside and down the street.
Shit, shit, shit. I couldn’t be late on my first day.
I picked up the pace, willing my legs to move faster or the clock to move slower. What would they think of me if I showed up late on the first day?
I broke into a jog when, all of a sudden, a man stepped out of a restaurant right in front of me. I didn’t have time to step around him, so I ended up bumping into him.
“Oh, I am so sorry,” I quickly apologized before moving to step around the man.
But before I could, I felt him grab my elbow.
“Wait, who do you think you are? Bumping into me and then just running away.” He had an angry and annoyed tone in his voice.
I snatched my arm away from his grip and turned around to face him, ready to give him a piece of my mind.
But the moment my eyes met his face, I felt my stomach turn over.
It was him. The man they’d been warning about on the news. Xavier Lexington.
And he was glaring at me like I was his next victim.