Home > Flawless Desire (Flawless #1)

Flawless Desire (Flawless #1)
Author: Roxy Sloane

 

PROLOGUE

 

 

Desire is a powerful thing.

People say that it’s ambition, or love, or rage that makes the world turn. That sends armies to wage war, and brings empires crashing into dust. But desire… Desire is a force greater than anything.

The craving deep inside that demands satisfaction—no matter what the cost. It doesn’t matter if you’re begging for surrender or aching for control. Dreaming of the hot slide of friction, lips parted in a desperate gasp of pleasure.

Desire will make a fool of you.

You feel it now, don’t you? Your heart beating faster, that shiver of lust curling down your spine. Your nipples tighten into stiff peaks, aching, as that tell-tale rush of heat spirals lower, slick between your thighs.

What will it take to satisfy you now?

A soft touch? A firm grip?

A hard, unyielding fuck?

Facedown in the bedsheets, sobbing with need. A fist in your hair, unfamiliar weight bearing down. You never thought you’d go this far, but still, desire will urge you on. Past reason. Beyond pride.

And it will never let you go.

Because desire is never truly satisfied. Even as you lay claim to everything you’ve wanted; even as the thick waves of pleasure ebb away, you feel it. Calling again.

Wanting more.

It’s how my family built its luxury jewelry empire. Under my control, Sterling Cross has made desire into an art form. Turned craving into a billion-dollar brand that spans the globe.

The glitter of jewels, tempting in the darkness. The cold press of platinum on hot, flushed skin.

I thought I was above the fray. I knew how to keep my needs in check: nameless women in dark rooms, pretty little things on my arm, as much an ornament as the exquisite jewels caressing their skin. Never getting close. Never once threatening my control. Always unravelling under my expert touch, until they begged for more.

I was the master of desire.

Until her.

 

 

1

 

 

JULIET

 

 

Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel like today, everything could change?

Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but the moment I open my eyes on Friday morning, something feels different. The grey New York skies are gleaming a bright blue outside the windows, my alarm is playing my favorite song, and my roommate hasn’t made it home from her latest walk of shame, so there’s plenty of hot water still left in the shower. By the time I’ve dressed in my smartest pencil skirt and blouse, aka, the Interview outfit, and headed on the subway downtown, I’m just about ready to believe that fate—or the subway—is on my side this time.

And after the year I’ve had, I could use the break.

But today, I’m determined to change my luck. I even make it to Tribeca with twenty minutes to spare, so I duck into the nearest Starbucks for a pre-interview caffeine jolt. Taking my place in the line, I try to give myself a pep talk for the battle ahead. An assistant position at a luxury jewelry company like Sterling Cross isn’t like answering the phones at the local dry cleaner, so I’m going to need to polish up my experience as bright as the diamonds they sell. Sure, I’ve been stringing along basic admin jobs for the past few years, but that just means I’m good at multitasking. I’m scrappy. Resourceful.

Or dead broke and at the very end of my rope.

My phone buzzes with a call, and I wince when I see the number. Meadow View Residential Home doesn’t have a view of a meadow, but it’s the nicest facility I could afford.

I let it go to voicemail, then brace myself to listen to the latest ‘concerned’ message from the billing department.

“Miss Nichols? We’ve been trying to reach you. If you can call me back as soon as possible, we need to discuss your late payments that are past due.”

Payments. As in, more than one. My mom’s Alzheimer’s is advancing fast, and she needs round-the-clock care. Expensive care. The proceeds from selling our house lasted a couple of years, but now, I know the latest bills are piling up—and the facility won’t be patient for long.

Which is why I need this job… Not because an executive assistant salary can even come close to covering the cost. No, once I’m in the door, there’s a whole different payday on the table.

One that could solve all my problems.

Just thinking about the shady mess I’ve gotten into gives me butterflies in my stomach and shaking hands. Hmm… Maybe I should get decaf this time.

The line is inching forwards at the coffee shop when my cellphone buzzes again. It’s Kelsey, my roommate, who must have finally made it back from her late-night hookup.

“I’m freaking out,” I tell her.

“They’re going to love you, Juliet. Obviously.”

“If I don’t say anything stupid out of sheer exhaustion,” I sigh. “I hardly slept last night.”

“Oooh, that’s right. You had a date! How were things with whats-his-name?” Kelsey perks right up. But I just give a hollow laugh.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“That bad?”

“Worse.” I wince at the memory. “He still lives with his parents.”

“Well, that’s not so ba—"

“—And he doesn’t seem to want to leave.” I continue. “All he did was talk about the gaming magazine he writes for. There’s only so much Call of Duty-talk I can take. And, worst of all…. He’s a bad kisser.”

“How bad?”

“Bad.” The line starts moving again so I turn, knocking into the person behind me. I turn to apologize.

And all my senses go haywire.

Because standing there, just inches away, is a wicked fantasy in a custom suit. Over six-feet-tall, with strong, angular features and sensual lips. He’s got slate blue eyes, and the kind of hair you want to run your fingers through, tousled and dark.

Or maybe that’s just me.

I blush, I can’t help it. “Sorry,” I murmur quickly, but the guy hasn’t even noticed I bumped him: He’s scrolling through his phone, with Airpods stuffed in his perfect ears.

He’s totally oblivious to my existence.

Story of my life.

“Juliet?” Kelsey’s voice breaks through my lustful haze. “You were telling me about your bad make out. Maybe it wasn’t a dealbreaker?” she asks, ever the optimist. “You could train him, if he’s hot enough. And rich enough. Is he?”

I have to laugh. This is why Kelsey has a date every Saturday night, and I… Don’t. “You can’t teach a guy to kiss, not so you feel it right to your toes.” I tell her. “You know when a guy reaches for you and time just stops? And everything disappears, and it’s like you and him are the only two people on earth?” I sigh wistfully. “You can tell everything by the way a guy kisses. Especially how he is in bed.”

And let’s just say, if last night was anything to go by, I would be in for three minutes of sloppy, beer-flavored action if I gave this guy another try. Call me a romantic, but I can’t help feeling there should be more to life—and make outs—than that.

I finally reach the counter to order. “Got to go!” I tell Kelsey. “Wish me luck!”

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