The Devil's Daughter - Book cover

The Devil's Daughter

Ophelia Bell

Age Rating


I never imagined myself as a pawn in a dangerous game between two crime lords. But that was before I discovered I’m secretly one of their daughters, and suddenly I’m not just a girl, but an asset in need of protecting.

At least two of my new guard dogs are Ben and Baz, a pair of twins I grew up with—and wow, have they grown. Not only do they handle security for Drake Stavros—the sexy, haunted billionaire whose tower I’m forced to occupy for the duration of this cartel blood feud–but they’ve gotten hotter too, brooding sentinels covered in muscles and tattoos.

Drake is supposed to be using his near-limitless resources to keep me safe, with the twins there to make sure he follows through. But I’m beginning to realize the danger I’m in isn’t limited to the world outside as desires darker than my criminal bloodlines awaken within me, threatening to undo us all.

Author’s Note: “The Devil’s Daughter” is a reverse-harem romance.

View more

48 Chapters

1: Chapter 1


If someone told me five years ago that before the age of twenty-one I’d be living in a San Diego penthouse with a billionaire, and that I’d have a pair of bodyguards following me around every second of the day, I wouldn’t have believed them.

But it’s true. For a week now, this has been my life. My two bodyguards, who were once childhood friends, live with me twenty-four-seven. They go where I go, watching my every move. Because what I didn’t realize until a week ago was how very valuable I am, at least to the man who is dead-set on carrying out a vendetta against my father.

Today I’ve actually been let out of my expensive cage for the afternoon, and I’m more than excited by the limited freedom this gives me. But it’s also the first time they’ve been let out to do their jobs, so they’re taking it just a little too seriously.

“Hold up, pajarito,” Ben says, inserting his muscular bulk between me and the entrance to the animal shelter. He opens the door and pokes his head in, scoping out the interior. When he cranes his neck, the dark whorl of a tattoo is visible peeking above the neck of his black Henley. Then he pushes all the way in, propping the door open for me to follow. He gives me a smirk and I roll my eyes.

“Seriously? It’s not like a rogue puppy trafficker is going to jump out and snatch me. I’m not nearly cute enough.”

I slip past, secretly pleased by how over-the-top his behavior has been since starting this gig. He gawks in mock offense. Behind me, his twin brother Baz chuckles. The pair look like dangerous mercenaries in matching black cargo pants and black shirts. They’re not carrying guns, but they have huge knives in sheaths attached to their belts. It’s a pretty sexy look, if you ask me.

“Just let him have this moment, Ellie. We’re not used to guarding someone so cute. Or who we like being around as much as you.”

I turn and give Baz a demure smile. “Aww, you do think I’m cute. Well, for the record, I think you’re cute too.” I pat his cheek in a condescending way, even though I’m more than a little thrilled by his words. I just get an eyeroll as he moves inside, and Ben lets the door close behind him.

“Was Papá Flores that bad?” I ask, and immediately regret it. Ben snorts derisively. Baz frowns. I sigh. “Sorry. Too soon, I guess.”

My life has gotten so strange lately. It’s just easier not to over-examine the extent to which things have changed. Besides, today is all about ~puppies~.

I move farther into the lobby of the local Humane Society, marveling at how clean and bright it is. The facility looks almost brand new, with a spacious waiting room and a front desk manned by an attentive young woman about my age, who smiles brightly at me when I turn to look at her.

My twin shadows remain behind me to either side, their distorted reflections dark shapes in the security mirror above the reception desk. I’ve seen them backing up Arturo Flores on a few occasions, and that’s just what they do. They stand sentry, constantly scanning the environment for threats. Only now they’re my sentries, and it gives me a pleasant shiver knowing they’re attuned to my every move.

“Hi,” I say. “I’m just here meeting my brother and his girlfriend.”

The clerk, whose name tag reads “Damaris,” is momentarily distracted by the wall of muscle at my back. “What? Oh, wait. Are you friends with Toni Valentine?” She perks up.

“Yep! She’s picking out a puppy today and invited me to help. Who can say no to puppies?” I grin and bounce on my toes.

She laughs, her cheeks turning pink. “Toni Valentine is so cool. I subscribe to her online channel. One of these days, I’ll save up to get a tattoo from her. It was such a treat to see when she made an appointment.”

A gruff expletive from behind startles me, and the next thing I know, Ben’s at my side, leaning over the counter. “She used her real name? Can I see your appointment schedule?”

Damaris leans back, startled by the huge man suddenly leaning into her workspace. He grabs the top of her monitor and swivels it on its arm. Baz joins us on my other side, peering at the screen.

“She should be using an alias,” he says. “Sam should know better.”

“Guys, it’s just the Humane Society.”

“Doesn’t matter. She goes out anywhere but her shop, she needs to take precautions. Is she here yet?” Ben snaps at Damaris. She blinks and shakes her head, rolling back a little farther in her chair.

“Y-You’re early.”

“Ben! Chill the fuck out!” I snap, smacking him on the shoulder. “I’m sorry,” I say to Damaris. “I thought they were better trained.”

“I-It’s okay,” she says, eyes wide. “I think she’s here now, though.” She lifts a hand and points toward the door. Both twins turn and move in one smooth motion. They have the double glass doors open before Sam can even reach for the handle. Both my brother and Toni freeze in place in the middle of the vestibule.

“No alias?” Ben says. “What the fuck, Toni?”

Toni heaves a groan and Sam narrows his eyes. “It’s the fucking Humane Society.”

“That’s what I said!” I push between both twins and wrap my brother in a big hug. “Missed you, Sammy. Just ignore them, they’re being overprotective.”

He hugs back in that way that makes everything right with the world, and it’s hard to let him go. After hearing he and Toni were kidnapped a week and a half ago by the very cartel boss who Baz and Ben are guarding me against, it’s been hard not to appreciate every second we have together.

Obviously they both made it home okay, but in the wake of that trip, both my newly discovered half-sister and I have been forced to endure increased security measures to make sure we can’t be used as leverage against our father again. Our other sister, Celeste, lives with our father in Los Angeles, at a huge estate with the most advanced security in existence. But when Toni and I refused to move, Arturo was forced to make accommodations for us.

I reluctantly release my brother and turn to Toni. “Hi, sis!” I chirp in an almost too perky tone. Her scowl at her brothers breaks into a smile when she looks at me and spreads her arms.

“Elle,” she croons huskily as she enfolds me in her embrace. “God, I never knew how much I’d love having a sister, but after growing up with those two, I have to say it’s a nice change. If you ever need to commiserate about my lunkhead brothers, call me.”

“Amen to that. And thank you, I may just take you up on it.” I pull back with a grin. “So…puppies?”

“Hell yes! Let’s do this!” When Ben starts to talk, she holds up a hand, palm out as she walks past. “If it’s not about puppies, I don’t want to hear it.”

The next hour is an exercise in resistance against all the unbelievable cuteness we’re faced with. There’s a litter of Rottweiler pups that were recently rescued from a hoarding situation. They’re clumsy little goofballs with floppy ears too big for their heads, and lolling tongues made for sloppy, wet kisses. It’s all I can do not to beg to take one home myself. But I don’t exactly have a home of my own to bring one to at the moment, and I have no idea what Drake’s position is on pets in the penthouse.

“Ugh, I want one,” I lament. “Which one are you taking?”

“This little girl, I think,” Toni says, looking deep into the eyes of one of the puppies she’s been playing with. “I’m going to name her Malu.”

“Oh, pretty. What does it mean?”

“It’s a type of tattoo Samoan women get,” Sam says.

“Speaking of which, when do I get to anoint my new sister?” Toni asks, reaching out to squeeze my hand. “I gave Celeste her first tattoo. I’d love to do yours. No pressure, of course.”

I laugh. “I wouldn’t know what to get. I haven’t exactly had a lot of life experiences so far.”

“That’s not true, and you know it,” Sam says. “You found out just a few weeks ago that the man you thought was your father isn’t…” He raises a finger. “…and that Arturo Flores is.” He raises a second.

“Well, I traded up, if you ask me.”

“True enough,” he agrees. “Dad always kept you at a distance. We all noticed it.”

“Probably because he knew I wasn’t his.”

The man I grew up believing was my dad barely paid attention to me; Julian Santos seemed to care more about berating and punishing my older brothers for their shortcomings. There I was, a model of perfect grades and manners, the kind of girl a father should have loved, yet I got barely more than dismissive acknowledgment. Or he’d use my successes as yet another excuse to belittle Sam, the brother closest in age to me. It’s terrible of me to suggest, but I’d have been satisfied with criticism, if that was all he had to offer—anything to show he gave a shit about his youngest child.

“Was it that bad?” Toni asks, brows furrowed.

“It was worse,” I say. “From my perspective, anyway. He didn’t touch me, but he didn’t care if I saw him beat my brothers. We never saw him actually hit Mom, but we heard their fights and saw the aftermath, so we knew he did. God, I am so glad he’s dead.”

“Well, that counts as experience. It’s not nothing,” Toni says. “And the bio-dad revelation is something we both share.”

Sam still holds up his hand, counting my supposed life experiences. “And now, thanks to that bio-dad, you’re under guard for your own protection from someone even scarier than he is—which is saying a lot.” With four fingers raised, he now lifts his thumb. “And didn’t you just tell me last week that you learned he’d probably asked Drake to take care of you months ago?”

Toni’s eyes widen and the twins perk up. Baz takes a few steps out of the shadows where he and Ben have been standing guard, though for what, I couldn’t imagine.

“What the fuck, Elle? Is this true?” Baz asks.

I shrug and my cheeks heat. I was kind of snooping around when I discovered the detail. “I might have hacked the Typhon servers looking for dirt on Drake and Arturo. I didn’t trust that their association was strictly business. And I was right—I found out that Typhon was holding a precious work of art for Arturo called the Santo Niña. That in and of itself isn’t odd; Arturo is a high-profile antiquities dealer, among his other business ventures…”

I don’t elaborate that they’re black market antiquities, mostly, but I think Ben and Baz already know this, and I’m pretty sure Toni and Sam guess as much.

“Typhon is evidently Arturo’s preferred shipping company,” I continued. “Except there wasn’t actually an object in any of the Typhon warehouses that matches that name.”

“So, what was it?” Toni asks, hanging on my every word.

“It wasn’t until I accidentally saw the record side by side with my employee ID that I realized the catalog numbers matched. I’m ~Santo Niña~. But why in the world would Arturo ask Drake Stavros to take care of me? There has to be a deeper connection between them. I want to find out what it is.”

“You amaze me sometimes, Ellie,” Baz says. “But be careful. Drake probably wouldn’t be too keen on you digging around in his business.”

“Even if that business is me?” He doesn’t answer, and I sigh. “I just needed to understand why I was so special. Why I got that internship and why I saw Arturo hanging around the Typhon tower lobby the same day I started. They looked like friends. It was all too big a coincidence, but so far, I haven’t figured out why Drake would go to such lengths. Giving me a job is one thing, but taking me under his wing like this? I mean, all three of us ~live~ with him now. ~He’s~ the one paying you two.”

“It’s a hell of a lot better than living with Arturo,” Ben mutters. Sam snorts in agreement, which for some reason earns him a dark look from both twins. Despite being joined at the hip with their sister, Sam still hasn’t quite earned much good will from Ben and Baz, but they’ll come around.

“You guys have to get over it,” Toni says. “Mom’s beside herself. I thought I was being a shit for not calling her much over the past three years, but at least I answered the phone once in a while when she called me. Trust me, the longer you put it off, the worse it’ll be when you finally do talk to her.”

“I can’t believe you’re okay with knowing this,” Ben says. “She and Papá Flores had an affair. While he was married!”

“Um, hello? Product of said affair sitting right here,” Toni says, pointing at herself. “So what if he did? They had an open marriage. Everyone was consenting, and when Mami got pregnant, he found her a good husband since he couldn’t marry her himself. Dad was a wonderful man. Even though their marriage was arranged, I know they were in love. They made you two and raised us together. We couldn’t really ask for a better family life, and you know it.”

Both twins glance at me then, and my neck prickles with awareness of their attention. I know they’re probably thinking about the shitty family life I had, but maybe there’s more to the look than that.

Toni lifts an eyebrow, her gaze shifting between me and the twins. I grab a puppy and bury my nose in its fur to try to hide any incriminating evidence of my embarrassment.

The twins’ attention shifts to a small group of people arriving in the lobby, and they move back to the doors leading into our little courtyard.

“Is something going on I should know about?” Toni whispers when they’re out of earshot.

“Oh, it’s nothing. They’ve just been acting weird around me ever since they found out you and I are half-sisters. Like I’m their sister, but I’m not.”

She snickers. “No, you definitely aren’t.”

“That’s the problem,” Sam says under his breath. He narrows his eyes at the twins, who are back on guard duty, watching us from the shadows.

“Why is it a problem?” Toni asks. “If you and I can be together, what’s wrong with the idea of Elle and one of the twins?”

“Yeah, Sam—what’s wrong with that idea?” I ask, more annoyed that he’d be an ass about it than for any other reason.

He huffs and sits up, starts to speak, then stops and looks between me and Toni. We’re both glaring daggers at him. Finally he raises his hands. “You know what? Never mind. I’m not getting involved. All I know is that they’ve been ogling you since high school. I’ve been in one fight in my life that wasn’t in a sparring ring, and it was with the two of them—over ~you~, Elle. That’s how I got this scar.” He points to the jagged little line that cuts through one eyebrow.

I grit my teeth. “You know I can fight my own battles, Sam. And I highly doubt you had any reason to get into it with them at the time, anyway. Just some overblown sense of stupid honor. They were my friends. I told you that then, and it still stands. ~Friends.~ That’s it.”

Toni’s sly grin makes me look at her again. “What?” I demand.

“Honey, you might need to tell them that.” She tilts her head toward the shadows and I glance at Baz, who quickly turns his head, but not before I catch him staring directly at me. “And yourself,” Toni adds under her breath, bumping my shoulder with hers.

“So, how’s it going living together?” I say, changing the subject. “Maybe next week my jailors will let me come for a visit. All I’ve seen are photos of your house. So jealous.”

Toni chuckles and reaches out to squeeze Sam’s thigh. “Better than I could’ve imagined, to be honest. We’d love to have you over soon.”

“Little Malu’s going to love it,” I say. The puppies are being rambunctious again, and two of them topple Sam over and start licking him while Toni and I compare notes about our new living situations, as well as commiserate over the increased security measures.

Toni owns her own house near the university, a cute little mission-style bungalow with just enough open space in the back to keep a dog happy. I wonder if she knows the extent to which her brothers have gone with the surveillance and security system they installed to keep an eye on her. I consider confiding in her that I discovered the video feed proving they put cameras in every room, but I opt against it. If she knows, I’ll sound like an idiot. If she doesn’t, she might make her brothers turn off the cameras, and then I’d lose the one tenuous connection I have to the outside world from within that tower.

It’s only been a few days since I stumbled across that feed. I was hunting for dirt on my boss—and my father’s connection to him—when I found it. Cameras are everywhere in the penthouse, even more there than in Toni’s house. It’s as if we’re on some sort of messed-up reality show, but no one asked me to sign a release. Or Drake just cares that much about security.

Drake Stavros is an enigma, and Arturo must have something on him to get him to agree to facilitate my protection the way he has. Granting me the internship was only the tip of the iceberg; he also agreed to let me ~move into~ his penthouse at the top of the building he owns downtown. I’ve asked why, but he just deflects and changes the subject to work, which I suppose I should be happy with.

In exchange for agreeing to uproot my life and move from my dormitory to the penthouse, I insisted that he also mentor me in his business. There must be something big between him and Arturo though, and I have to know what it is.

Frankly, I’m not sure who I want to know more about the most—Drake or my father. Why am I worth the trouble? Why am I so special that they have cameras in my bedroom?

My gut reaction upon discovering this fact was to confront the twins about it, to demand they take the cameras out. But some small part of me resisted. Perhaps it was a subconscious need to combat the boredom in some fashion, but the idea of being watched holds a certain allure I never expected I’d feel. Admittedly, it would be different if it weren’t them; I trust the twins, and have always objectively known how attractive they are. I’d be lying if I said I don’t find Drake attractive too. He’s about the same age as Marco and works out just as hard as the twins, though where he finds the time to do that is beyond me, since he’s ~always~ working.

So after I got over my initial outrage about the surveillance, I started to wonder whether they find me attractive too. So far it’s been no more than a few casual tests now that I know where the cameras are. There’s one aimed at my bed that I finally found hidden just beneath the thermostat on my wall. There’s another in the bathroom, attached to the overhead light fixture. But until the last couple days I haven’t done more than carry out completely benign activities in front of them. Nothing overt, at any rate, aside from pooping with the lights off.

Knowing they’re there—that someone might be observing every time I undress, every time I bathe—has added an unmistakably exciting facet to the idea of being under lock and key. Not only that, but there are three sets of eyes who might be watching. It’s made me ten times more conscious, more aware of Ben and Baz when we’re together.

Now, for example, even though I’m immersed in a pile of dark fur and snuggles, a heavy, hot tension deep within reminds me that the twins are nearby, watching.

It’s wrong of me not to tell my sister that they are probably watching her too. But when I went back to check the feed from Sam and Toni’s house, I realized the views of their space are nowhere near as invasive. There’s a camera in the entryway, and one in every room except the bathrooms. The camera in their bedroom isn’t even aimed at the bed, but at the French doors that lead out into their back yard. They’re monitoring her windows and doors only, it seems, unlike my room, where the cameras are all about who’s inside and not who might conceivably enter without an invitation.

I’m even more curious about Drake as a result. Does he watch? Does he even care that I’m there, or am I just part of doing business? Someone he can mold as his protégé the way Arturo has molded Celeste?

I haven’t noticed any shift in their behavior since I made a more conscious effort to undress near my bed, or to take longer showers and avoid drying off behind the steam-coated doors.

Yet they aren’t looking at me differently today, despite Toni pointing out that they are paying more attention to me than usual. So either they aren’t actually watching, or what they see isn’t all that interesting.

It’s killing me not to know which it is, so I’ve decided this afternoon I’m going to try something different. I’m ~going~ to get a reaction, one way or another.

Next chapter
Rated 4.4 of 5 on the App Store
82.5K Ratings
Galatea logo

Unlimited books, immersive experiences.

Galatea FacebookGalatea InstagramGalatea TikTok