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My ex bought me at an auction and forced me to marry him.
He said it was for my protection.
All I can think is he had it all planned.
Because what Gianni Marino wants, he gets—everything, except for me.
I won't forget how his broken promises left me scarred.
So this time, I'm determined not to give in to the temptation, no matter what he vows.
I only wish my skin wouldn't sizzle under his touch, or my heart wouldn’t pound out of my chest from his irresistible grin.
Most of all, I long to believe in him…in us, again.
Each time our enemy tries to hurt me, Gianni saves me, making his promises more believable.
If only I could trust him.
Hammers pound into my skull. My throat feels raw, almost as if it has cracks in it from a lack of water. I attempt to open my eyes, but my head spins.
I squeeze my lids, trying to make it stop.
Where am I?
Slowly, the last thing I remember flashes through my mind in pieces.
Uberto was screaming at me about Gianni. I insisted nothing was going on between us, but Uberto wouldn't believe me. I couldn't blame him. Gianni wouldn't stay away, and he not only warned me to break up with Uberto but threatened him, too.
Gianni's face pops into my thoughts. My pulse increases, and I curse myself for the millionth time. No matter how much I try to convince myself I'm no longer attracted to him, I fail. Time has only made him sexier, which I never thought would be possible. He's taken excellent care of himself, maintaining a ripped physique any male on Earth would envy. It complements the gray streaks in his hair and tiny lines around his eyes that only serve to enhance his dominant aura.
Stop thinking of him. Focus!
I lick my lips, wondering why my mouth is so dry and my head hurts so badly. I reprimand myself again and concentrate on my foggy memories, but all I remember is Uberto and how scared he made me. I'd never seen him so angry. I tried to leave, but he wouldn't let me. And then I remember him forcing me to the kitchen and jabbing something sharp into my leg. After that, everything turned black.
Rage fills me as I realize he must have drugged me. Then hurt replaces the rage, followed by horror. I squeeze my eyes tighter, holding in tears. Was Gianni right all this time? Is it possible he wasn't just jealous and trying to ruin my love life?
That would be a first.
Several moments pass before I can push my emotions away. I need to figure out where I am and get out of here. Slowly, I open my eyes. Gray darkness surrounds me. As my vision adjusts, sounds hit my ears. I shudder as other women, all naked and lying on the concrete floor, become visible. I look down at my unclothed body, and a new fear shoots through me.
A shrill sound pierces through the air. The faint outline of three men appears as they step through a metal door. I sit up and hug my knees, trying to cover and protect myself.
One of the men stomps toward me. I recoil, looking at the ground, praying he isn't coming for me, shaking from the sudden cold air and fear. But then I see his shoes—shiny, designer Italian loafers. I smell the musk of his cologne, and I know who it is.
How could I not have seen he was evil?
Why did I not listen to Gianni's warnings?
What is he going to do to me?
He crouches in front of me and grabs my chin, yanking it so I'm facing him. My lips tremble, and tears escape my orbs, sliding quickly down my cheeks. He digs his fingers into my skin. His stale breath reminds me of someone who's been drinking for hours. The red in his eyes confirms my theory. His voice is an angry calm. "You were doing so well, Cara."
I stare at him, unsure what he means.
He leans closer. I attempt to retreat, but he holds me firm. His lips hit my ear, and I tremble harder as he states, "Since you're a whore, you get to live the rest of your days as one."
Words get stuck in my throat. I don't know all the details of what he means. Something tells me I don't want to find out.
He lodges his fingers deeper into my chin. I wince, and he grunts. "You should have thought twice before betraying me with a Marino." He releases me and stands.
I grab his leg. "Uberto! Please! I never—"
"Shut up!" he screams then tugs his leg back and leaves.
"Uberto!" I call after him, but my voice is weak from whatever drug he gave me.
Another man comes over and yanks me off the ground. My mind says to fight, but my body still lacks the strength. He leads me to a wall where other women are huddled together. Before I can figure out what is happening, cold water forcefully gushes over me.
I shriek, along with the other women.
Everything becomes a blur. I'm ordered to shampoo and condition my hair, wash my body, and dry off. The men lead us to a changing room where another group of women is waiting.
These women aren't naked. I beg them to help me, but they avoid making eye contact. One of them blow dries and styles my hair. She puts more makeup on me than I'm used to wearing. One of the men orders me to put on a pair of stilettos. He fastens a collar with a leash around my neck and shoves me out of the room.
I go through the same door Uberto went through. The man forces me up the stairs and down a long hallway. The sound of men talking and laughing fills my ears. Cigar smoke wafts in my nostrils. We stop in front of a curtain. He fists my hair and tugs it so harshly, pain flares through my neck.
"Ow!" I blurt out.
He points a gun at my head and snarls, "Go on stage. When you're ordered to turn, you obey. Whatever you're told to do, you do. Understand?"
My pulse races so fast I get dizzy. I don't reply.
"Answer me," he barks.
I jump. "Y-yes."
He separates the curtain and pushes me forward.
The lights are bright. I stop, blinking to focus my vision.
He growls, "Move to the X!"
I take a few steps and stand on the taped X. When I look up, I'm horrified. The room is full of men sitting around, drinking alcohol, and smoking. Some of the men have naked women on their laps. Scared expressions stare back at me. The same type of collar I have on wraps around their necks.
I cover my breasts and lower body, but there's no hiding. A man in an expensive-looking suit stands several feet from me. He holds a microphone and orders, "Raise your arms to the side."
He steps closer and reiterates the same thing, only this time, there's a warning in his voice. "Raise your arms to the side."
His demeanor scares me, so I do what he says. Tears fall fast and drip on the floor.
"Cara Serrano. Forty-one. Educated in New York. Spent quite a while in Europe. Speaks several languages," he rattles off.
My heart beats harder against my chest cavity. My knees wobble, but my situation only gets worse.
"Starting bid, $100,000," he proclaims then demands, "Spin."
Unsure what to do, still foggy from whatever Uberto drugged me with, and not wanting to get killed, I turn around.
Men start shouting out numbers. I squeeze my eyes shut, wanting all of this to be over, wishing I had listened to Gianni and stayed away from Uberto when I had the chance.
The announcer slaps my ass, and I jump. He orders, "Bend over and grab your ankles."
Humiliated, I obey.
More numbers get shouted into the air until someone yells, "Ten million."
The room turns silent. Blood pounds so hard against my ears, I wonder if they can all hear it.
"Going once. Going twice. Sold."
The room erupts in applause. A dark-haired man with a scar across his cheek comes on stage, grabs me by the shoulder, and steers me through the curtain. I'm still weak from the drugs, but I try to push away from him.
"Stop fighting me, or you'll make it worse for yourself," he warns.
"Please," I plead, but he doesn't even acknowledge it.
He takes off his suit coat, puts it around me, then opens a door.
Cold air rushes inside, slapping my nearly naked self. Everything is dark, minus the outline of an SUV. I try to fight again, but the man pushes me toward it then opens the back door. Before I can process anything, another man inside tugs me in and over his lap.
I scream, but it falls on deaf ears. The slamming of doors ricochets through the air before the car starts moving. I try to sit up, but whoever has me over his lap won't release me.
Then I hear his voice and freeze. The fight in me changes into a new one.
I'm no longer fighting for my life.
This is a fight for my heart.
- Length: 9 hrs and 29 mins
- Narrated by: Aaron Shedlock & Stella Hunter
I stop her, circle my arm around her waist, and pull her into my body. I fist her hair so she can't avoid me. She gasps. I ignore my growing erection and bark, "You just got drugged, kidnapped, and put up for auction. What do you think any of those men in there would have done to you?"
She closes her eyes. Tears leak out of them and roll off her chin.
I soften my voice. "There's no other choice. Marry me, or you won't last a day before you're back in their possession."
She stays frozen, except for a sharp exhale through her nose.
I put my lips on hers, wrapping the leash connected to her collar around my fist, holding it outward so she can see it. She glares at me as I state, "I'm going outside. There's a dress in the closet for you. You have ten minutes. After that, you'll get married with the blanket around you and this. Take your pick, Cara."
More daggers fly at me from her glaring eyes. She whispers, "You don't own me."
I shouldn't say it. It's only going to make things worse between us. But I'm not a man who likes showing any weakness. If I can exert my power, I do. The sinister smile forming on my lips feels like an adrenaline high. With the hand holding the leash, I curl my finger under her chin. "Is that what you think?"
"Fuck you, Gianni."
There's no more control left in me. I grin wider and reply, "Looking forward to it."
"You're such a pig," she spouts.
My dick grows harder. Anytime Cara's pissed off at me, calling me names, it does something to me. I kiss her, forcing her lips apart with my tongue, not letting up until she kisses me back and her knees go weak.
"I hate you," she whispers again.
"That's your choice. And wash the makeup off your face. You're too beautiful for all that shit. Ten minutes. You choose how you want to marry me." I release her and walk out of the room with my stomach flipping. Everything I said was true about the Abruzzos coming after her. What I left out is that her predicament makes it so I'm finally getting everything I've ever wanted.
Now, she'll never be able to run from me.
My warped self is doing the happy dance, even though I know it's one of the most fucked-up things I've ever done.
And I can't even count the number of low things I've done in my life to get what I want.
Yet, not a bone in my body is upset. She belongs to me. She always has. It's time she realizes what I've known for years.
She may not like it, but the tiny conscience I have left doesn't nag me enough to stop me from moving forward.
The sooner Cara realizes the future, the better.
There will be no going back.
Find out what happens next in Immoral
Read Immoral if you love:
- Dark Mafia Romance
- Forced Marriage
- Enemies to Lovers
- First Love
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ "I really enjoyed this romance in the story. It's probably one of my favorites that this author has written. I just love the whole marriage of convenience and we definitely see how much it is needed in this one."-Reviewer
I loved thought that it brought back the O’Malley and Ivanov families! That’s my favorite part about Maggie’s books is that it always goes full circle and we get a glimpse of where characters we previously met and currently at in their lives!-Reviewer