His for RevengeBy: Caitlin Crews
The marriage game…
Walking down the aisle toward striking but cold CEO Chase Whitaker was never meant to be Zara Elliot’s fate. But to safeguard the family business, she’ll have to play along…
Chase is only interested in one thing—his own dark game of revenge against Zara’s father. The one thing he hadn’t counted on? Zara’s charm and natural beauty unsettling his rock-hard defenses.
But their wedding night proves to be a game changer, and they both realize they’re in over their heads. Losing is never an option for Chase…but winning suddenly takes on a very different meaning!
He didn’t know what he meant to do with this woman, he didn’t know how to make her his revenge when he couldn’t seem to make her do anything, but he couldn’t take this any longer. He couldn’t stand it.
“I’m not empty inside,” Chase blurted out, gravel and steel in his voice, and she jerked in her seat as if he’d smacked her. He hated himself as if he really had.
But he was already crossing the room. He was already right there, looming above her, so obviously brutal and dangerous, and yet she still gazed up at him in a kind of wonder. Like she saw all the things in him he’d stopped wishing were there a long, long time ago.
Like she was as much a fool as he was.
“It’s much worse than empty in here,” he gritted out. “It’s a murderous dark, vicious and wrong, and there’s no changing it. You should have run away from me when I gave you the chance, Zara. You should have understood that it was a gift. And I don’t know that I’ll hand you another one.”
ZARA ELLIOTT WAS halfway down the aisle of the white-steepled First Congregational Church she’d always thought was a touch too smug for its own good—taking up a whole block on the town green in the center of the sweetly manicured, white clapboard village that her family had lived in since the days of the first Connecticut Colony way back in the 1630s—before the sheer insanity of what she was doing really hit her.
She felt her knees wobble alarmingly beneath her, somewhere underneath all that billowing white fabric that was draped around her and made her look like a lumbering wedding cake, and she almost stopped right there. In front of the hundreds of witnesses her father had decided it was necessary to invite to this circus show.
“Don’t you dare stop now,” her father hissed at her, the genial smile he used in public never dimming in the slightest as his wiry body tensed beside her. “I’ll drag you up this aisle if I have to, Zara, but I won’t be pleased.”
This constituted about as much paternal love and support as she could expect from Amos Elliott, who collected money and power the way other fathers collected stamps, and Zara had never been any good at standing up to him anyway.
That had always been her sister Ariella’s department.
Which was how this was happening in the first place, Zara reminded herself as she dutifully kept moving. Then she had to order herself not to think about her older sister, because the dress might be a preposterous monstrosity of filmy white material, but it was also much—much—too tight. Ariella was at least three inches taller than Zara and had the breasts of a preteen boy, all the better to swan about in bikinis and gravity-defying garments as she pleased. And if Zara let herself get furious, as she would if she thought about any of this too hard, she would pop right out of this secondhand dress that didn’t fit her at all, right here in the middle of the church her ancestors had helped build centuries ago.
It would serve her father right, she thought grimly, but it wouldn’t be worth the price she’d have to pay. And anyway, she was doing this for her late grandmother, who had earnestly believed that Zara should give her father another chance and had made Zara promise to her on her deathbed last summer that Zara would—but had left Zara her cottage on Long Island Sound just in case that chance didn’t go well.
She concentrated on the infamous Chase Whitaker—her groom—instead, as he stood there at the front of the church with his back to her approach. He looked as if he was drawing out the romantic suspense when Zara knew he was much more likely to be concealing his own fury at this wedding he’d made perfectly clear he didn’t want. This wedding that her conniving father had pushed him into in the months since Chase’s own larger-than-life father had died unexpectedly, leaving Amos a distinct weakness in the power structure of Whitaker Industries that he, as chairman of its board of directors, could exploit.