Julianna broke eye contact with me and turned to the guy who had sidled up to her, trying to speak to her. My blood simmered. Now he was touching her, playing with the ends of her hair close to her breasts. Too fucking close to her breasts. He grabbed her wrist, yanking her closer to him. Instant fury like a torrent of fire rose in me. Nobody fucking touched her. Nobody hurt her. She was mine.
“Get your fucking hands off her,” I yelled, rage booming though my voice, startling the club-goers around me, not that I gave a shit. I shoved the people in my way aside. I would kill the fucking son of a bitch who dared lay a hand on her.
Julianna twisted her arm, rolling it aside so that the asshole was forced to let go. She stabbed her heel into his toe causing him to hop before he tilted off balance. She shoved him down over the bar, pinning him by twisting his arm around his back. He let out a yelp.
I skidded to a halt beside them, my anger turning to red-hot lust. I had never seen a woman handle herself like that before. I could do nothing but stare open-mouthed and mute at this powerful, gorgeous creature, respect building in my gut.
“Don’t you dare touch me again, asshole,” she said to him, her voice hard and fierce. The sound of her cursing made my dick harden.
Julianna looked up to me as the guy she had in an armlock made whining noises against the bar. She gave me a smile like nothing was the matter. Unbelievable.
“Oh. Hi,” she said, almost shyly. “Again.”
I gave her my best charming grin. “I was just coming over to save you…”
She raised an eyebrow. That tiny movement was a challenge. “Why?” she said sweetly. She applied the slightest pressure to the unfortunate guy’s wrist and he let out a low pained cry. She jutted her chin out and a defiance flared in her feline eyes. “Because I’m a girl and all I need is a big strong man to come save me?”
“No, because you’re a human being. I don’t like it when I see other human beings being treated without respect. Not when I can do something about it.”
She shifted, seemingly surprised by my honest comment, embarrassed even. “Well…I don’t need saving.”
“I can see that.” I indicated her unfortunate victim. I spotted a bouncer heading towards us. I held my hand up to signal to him that I had it under control. He nodded and kept his distance. The bouncer was a low-level street thug who’d been trying to climb my family’s ranks for years. Part of the reason why I could score the VIP treatment here at the last minute.
Julianna spotted this exchange. “Do you own this place or something?” she asked.
I shrugged. “I know some of the guys who work here.” Here and pretty much every hot spot of Verona. I didn’t want to explain to her how I knew them. Tonight, I wasn’t Roman Tyrell. Tonight, I was just a guy and she was a girl…
“Can you let go of me now?” the man whose face was squashed up against the bar interrupted in a whining tone.
I shot Julianna a grin and leaned in close to him. “Tell the lady, you’re sorry and maybe she’ll let you go.”
The man’s eyes widened when he saw me, recognition flaring in his eyes. “Y-y-you.”
That’s right, stupid fucker. You just pissed off a Tyrell. “Tell her you’re sorry,” I repeated.
“I’m sorry,” he cried out.
I stared up at Julianna and was struck again by how stunning she was. She raised an eyebrow at me as if she knew what I was thinking. I gave her one of my trademark half-smirks. “Are you satisfied with his apology, milady?”
“Only if you don’t try and touch up a girl without her permission again,” she said to him.
The idiot was silent.
I leaned in closer and growled. “When the lady speaks to you, you answer her.”
He let out a whine. “Okay, okay. I’ll never do it again.”
Julianna applied some more pressure to the guy’s arm and he let out a louder cry. She was staring at me, a half angry, half lustful look in her dark eyes. “Tell Roman,” she said, her voice coming out low and heated, “that I don’t need him to fight my battles for me.”
“What?” the guy cried.
“Tell Julianna,” I said, matching her stare, “that she should learn that it’s okay for a man to help her. It doesn’t make her weak.”
“Tell Roman, that he’s an arrogant ass who has no idea what it’s like to be a woman in a man’s world.”
“Tell Julianna, that I can’t tell if she wants to fight me or fuck me tonight.”
Julianna’s red lips pulled up into a smirk. “Why can’t it be both?”
Jesus, fuck. I felt my cock surge with blood and I swallowed back a groan. I wasn’t finished. “Tell Julianna that she’s the most stunning creature I have ever seen.”
“What the fuck?” the guy stuttered against the bar.
“Ever?” Julianna asked, an amused eyebrow raised.
“Ever.” And I fucking meant it. She was captivating. Intoxicating. A lioness among sheep. This wasn’t a woman who’d fall at my feet and gaze adoringly up at me. She’d demand to stand beside me. She’d demand to be pleased. She’d deserve to be pleased.
I had to have her. Here. Now. Anywhere. I’d take her here on the fucking bar if she’d let me.
I nodded down at the single annoying thing standing between her and me; the asshole she’d thoroughly put in his place. “Maybe you should let him go. Before you break something. We both know it’s really me you want to get your hands on.”
Julianna snatched her hands off him. He stumbled back off the bar, rubbing his shoulder and his wrist.
“Get out of here,” she told him, her eyes still pinned on me.
“You two are fucked up,” he muttered before he hurried into the crowd.
We both eased closer as if out of instinct, our eyes eating each other up. My cock was hard as a stone, painful against my jeans, and I didn’t give a shit who noticed.
“You’re very sure of yourself,” she said.
“Doesn’t mean I’m not right.” I took the final step towards her, filling up the space between us. In heels, she came up to my eye-line. I could smell her perfume of pears and musk, an intoxicating combination. Sweet yet fierce. Like she was.
“Do you think we made our point?” she asked. “To him, I mean.
“I think you put the fear of God into him.”
“Are you kidding? I just disarmed him. He was pissing his pants when he saw your face up close.”
“Well,” I folded my arms, knowing that it showed off my biceps. Look at me, like a fucking peacock preening myself in front of her. “I am pretty scary.”
She smirked and copied my stance, folding her arms over her chest, making her breasts push in and up. Jesus, I could fall into those fucking breasts.
Eyes up, Roman. She’s a fucking lady. It took all my willpower not to follow those curves down farther. I tore my eyes away and looked up. Even under the dim light, I could see her cheeks were flushed.
“Maybe you’re scary to some people,” she said, her voice low and teasing.
I grinned. The lioness wasn’t scared of me. Interesting. I leaned in closer like I was about to tell her a secret. “Maybe, I should scare you.”
She stepped right up to me and lifted her chin as if to make a point. “If you want me to run away in fear, you’re going to have to do a better job than that.”
I lowered my face so close we were breathing in the same air. She had peppermint on her breath, and I noticed the gold flecks in her amber-colored eyes before they dilated into large black holes I was falling into. Everything about her was drawing me in, closer, closer. “Maybe, I want to watch you run.”
“Maybe, I want you to chase me.”
Love Sprung From Hate: Dark Romeo 1
Out 15 June
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