Title: The Black Fox
Collection: The Dirty Heroes Collection
Author: Brianna Hale
Genre: Dark Romance Novella
For fifteen years I was the Black Fox, the hero of Spain, the good-luck devil. I made my enemies dance to my tune and fall to my sword.
The day must come when every hero hangs up his cape, and for me, it was the day I outsmarted the curse. I would not die for love, because I didn’t love the woman I married. Valeria Hernandez didn’t love me.
Then I met her. Lolita. Fresh from boarding school, as beautiful as a rose’s thorn and poised to pierce my heart. Little Lo is as dangerous as sin and twice as forbidden. She hates me, but she loves her Black Fox. Her savior. Her devil in black.
How he loves to hear her call him daddy.
Author’s note: The Black Fox is a novella of 25,000 words. This book contains cheating.
Lolita backs up toward the door, her terrified eyes never leaving my face. I put out my hand and shove the door closed, crowding her against it. “Who were you with?”
Lolita swallows and stares up at me with huge eyes. She can sense it, too, this power crackling through me. It’s like a hit of adrenaline and a shot of whisky, making me invincible.
I slam my fist against the door, and she jumps. “Don’t lie to me.” The scent from her body is all warm summer night and fragrant flowers. I’d know, wouldn’t I, if she’s had some man pressed against her? I grasp her chin and turn her head in the light, examining her lips and throat. Her mouth isn’t swollen with kisses. There are no red bite-marks on her creamy neck. The tight band around my heart eases a little.
She yanks her chin from my hand and glares at me. “Get your hands off me.”
“In this house, you will obey my rules,” I seethe.
“Go to hell.”
So that’s how it’s going to be. That’s how she thinks it will be, anyway. I’m glad she’s misbehaved on her very first night. We can get things straight from the beginning. “Say you’re sorry for breaking the rules.”
Lolita forces a laugh. There’s defiance in her eyes, but fear, too. She isn’t sure how far I’m willing to take this.
All the way.
I reach down and slowly unbuckle my belt, the black leather sliding through the silver buckle. “Last chance, Lolita. Say, I’m sorry, daddy.”
Her voice is a horrified whisper. “You wouldn’t dare.”
There’s nothing I wouldn’t dare do right now. There’s a voice whispering in the back of my mind, showing me the way forward. I loop the belt around her neck and draw her to me. “Tell daddy you’re sorry, and I’ll let you off just this once.”
Her eyes flicker with panic, but she doesn’t say anything. I tighten the belt around her throat until she struggles to breathe. “I’ve got all night. You’ve got about a minute till you pass out.”
“I’m sorry,” she finally chokes out.
“I’m sorry, daddy.”
Her face creases with revulsion. I smile a slow, smoldering smile, anticipating how sweet it will sound from her pretty pink mouth.
“I’m sorry, daddy.”
Her lips are so close to mine that I could drop a kiss onto them. Her breasts are pressed against my chest. I can smell her innocence, just begging to be consumed.
A delicacy like Lolita is meant to be savored. Slowly, I loosen my hold on the belt, slide it free from her neck and step back. “Daddy forgives you, babygirl.”
Lolita takes great, heaving breaths. ‘I’ll tell Mamá what you just did. What you made me call you, you pervert.’
I chuckle, threading my belt back through my pants. “Go ahead. It’s not as if she’ll believe you, you filthy little liar.”
Lolita bursts into tears, yanks the door open, and runs from the room. I watch her disappear down the hall, still grinning.
Then the smile dies on my face.
I stagger and clutch the door frame as horror crashes over me. What the fuck was I just doing to my stepdaughter? The righteous anger that sustained me all evening and told me that terrorizing Lolita was the right thing to do has evaporated, and I’m left cold and empty. I hear a faint peal of malicious laughter, and whip around.
The castel is still around me. The chirping cicadas cut through the night air. I look down at my hands, the ones that so recently held my belt tight around Lolita’s throat, and see that they’re shaking.
Who am I? What am I becoming? I don’t recognize myself from the man I was this morning. The man I was before I met Lolita.
There’s nothing Brianna Hale likes more than a large, stern alpha male with a super-protective and caring streak, and when she’s not writing about them she can usually be found with a book, a cocktail, planning her next trip to a beautiful location or attending the theatre. She believes that pink and empowerment aren’t mutually exclusive, and everyday adventures are possible. Brianna lives in London.