Chapter One ~ Sophia

Sophia was never one to beg. The sensation was foreign to her, reserved for those who'd lost control and reached their breaking point. But this was all Colin's fault, her dear, reckless brother. He'd gone a step too far this time, curiosity leading him to the forbidden, dark corners of the world. He was her everything—the only one in the world who understood her pain, who had been there through the darkness, the loneliness, the despair. And now, she had to save him from the clutches of Gabriel Ferrara, even if it cost her everything, even if it shattered her soul.

"My brother is young, and he has his whole future ahead of him." Her eyes, luminous and determined, locked onto Gabriel's inscrutable gaze. "It was a stupid mistake. He's never been wise to the ways of the world, never known how to tread lightly." Her breath caught as her eyes begged, something her voice couldn't quite convey. "What can I say or do to convince you that he won't cause you any trouble? What can I offer that will satisfy your desire for retribution?"

Gabriel, ever the enigma, regarded her with those piercing eyes, dark and full of secrets, eyes that seemed to delve into her very soul. He leaned back, his tall, imposing frame settled into the leather chair, his face unreadable.

"Ms. Thompson," he began, his voice like silk, calm and measured but laden with a threat that made her blood run cold. "I believe you misunderstand the nature of your brother's transgression. It wasn't just a 'stupid mistake.'" The words dripped like venom, his eyes never leaving hers. "It was a betrayal, a breach of trust, a slap in the face to everything I've built."

Sophia's heart pounded in her chest, terror and determination warring within her. She couldn't lose Colin. She wouldn't. She'd do whatever it took, no matter how dangerous, how terrifying, how damning.

"I'll do anything," she found herself whispering, the words escaping her lips before she could stop them, a confession of desperation, a plea from her soul.

Gabriel's eyes narrowed—a spark of something, curiosity or perhaps interest, flickering in their depths. "Anything, Ms. Thompson?"

Her breath caught, her mind reeling with the implications of that single word. Anything.

"Yes," she replied, her voice trembling but resolute. "Anything."

Oppressive silence filled the room, the heavy curtains barring any intrusion from the bustling city beyond. The tick-tock of an antique clock on the mantelpiece was the only sound, marking the seconds that stretched into an eternity.

Finally, Gabriel rose from his chair, his movements fluid and graceful, predatory in their elegance. He moved closer to Sophia, the scent of his cologne, masculine and slightly spicy, filling her senses.

"I must admit, Ms. Thompson, your offer intrigues me." His voice was softer now, almost a caress, and Sophia felt a shiver run down her spine. "Your brother's skills are valuable, and his transgressions grave. But there's something in your eyes, a fire, a determination that I find... commendable."

Sophia's heart pounded in her chest, her body reacting to his proximity, his words, his very presence in a way she couldn't control. This was dangerous territory, a game she had no knowledge of, played with stakes she couldn't comprehend.

"What do you want from me?" she asked, her voice barely above a whisper, her eyes wide and vulnerable.

Gabriel's hand reached out, a single finger tracing the line of her jaw, sending electric shocks through her system. His touch was surprisingly gentle, at odds with the hard set of his jaw and the coldness in his eyes.

"A month," he said, his voice low and intimate. "One month as my guest. My companion. You will attend to my needs, be at my side when required, and follow my rules without question."

Sophia's breath caught in her throat, the meaning of his words sinking in, the reality of the bargain he was proposing crashing down around her. A month as his mistress. A month of servitude, submission, and surrendering her body and perhaps her soul to this enigmatic, dangerous man.

It was a terrible proposition, a deal with the devil himself. But the alternative was losing Colin, leaving him to face the wrath of the mafia—the cold, unforgiving judgment of Gabriel Ferrara.

"I'll do it," she said, her voice breaking, tears of frustration and fear welling in her eyes. "I'll do it for Colin."

Gabriel's expression softened just a fraction, his eyes holding hers with an intensity that was almost painful. He leaned closer, his lips brushing against her ear, his warm breath sending shivers down her body.

"Welcome to my world, Sophia," he whispered, his voice filled with promise and peril. "I hope you're ready for what awaits you."


Where do you think the story is going next? Drop me a line in the comments and I will respond :) Note: this is a sneak peek at one of the current weekly erotic shorts that's available to Fearless Heart members. You can learn more about it here!