Locked In (Locked in Love) (Volume One): An Alpha Billionaire Romance (4 page)





I’m going to lose it.


I’m going to lose it any second because Elise is screaming my name. Her fingernails are practically scoring the desk as I pump into her.


This woman. She’s so tight, her body pliant beneath me. My balls are tightening, and her gasps and mewls are egging me on. Have you ever heard a woman mewl from the pounding you’re giving her? It’s the sexiest sound on earth.


I hadn’t planned on it going this far. When I’d come to her apartment and office, I’d thought I’d throw her a quick screw, a job, and leave.


Her anger, though. It hooked me just as much as the dirty Chucks she wears. Elise is a grounded wire, waiting for someone to step on her. She wants it, because she thinks she can shock them.


She can’t shock me.


Well, that isn’t entirely true. When I said I was going to claim her ass, I’d expected her to fight me for it. Especially when she eyed the size of my package. But Elise rolled over and actually challenged me to take her there.


It was made more unbelievable when I prepped her. Her body’s reactions made it obvious it was her first time. But she didn’t complain, or whine. No. She’d said… what was it?
“Are we fucking? Or are you all talk?”


Yes, I was a little shocked.


And as her tight ass grips my cock while I slam away, I’m feeling something new. Something I’m afraid to feel.




I want to push her more. See how far I can shove against her boundaries. She carries herself like someone who doesn’t take shit. What would she do if I--


My hands release from her hips. I thrust hard, pinning her to the desk, but don’t withdraw. Instead, I start grinding my cock in her, relishing the sweet heat and her longing whimpers.


Her skin is soft under my fingers. I trace her ribs before reaching under and grabbing her tits, squeezing them hard. Elise cries out and struggles a little and I have to take a deep breath to keep from blowing my load.


Releasing her breasts, I slide one hand down the front of her, caressing her belly. The other slides up, up, until I wrap my fingers around her throat. Beneath me, she tenses, but she doesn’t say


A hiss escapes my lips. Moving back from the desk, I pull her with me. Just enough room to slip the hand that was on her stomach down between her legs.


As soon as my fingers graze her swollen clit, Elise jumps a little and I feel it in my cock. In return, the fingers on her neck squeeze --just a bit-- and she writhes in my grip.


This is how I start the dance. A slow grind or a quick, hard thrust. She squeals. My fingers circle her clit, not quite touching it, until she’s heaving with need under me. Then the hand on her neck tightens. Just slightly.


Elise’s breathy moans have become wheezes. Her body is rocking against mine and I know she’s close. That’s okay, I am, too.


The smell of our sex is all around us. The soft feathers of the hair that’s come loose from her ponytail tickle my cheek. There is something static in the air, an electric charge.


I don’t want to hold back anymore.


I fuck her again, slamming in and out with no warning. I clamp the hand on her throat all the way, cutting off her air. This gives me a head rush, knowing what I’m doing to her. My fingers hold her life
right there
, her pulse beating erratically beneath the pads of my fingertips.


I pinch her clit and that’s all it takes. She’s coming apart, spasming, mouth gaping to scream out but she can’t because I’ve got her by the throat.


I come, hard. It’s blinding, this orgasm, sweeping through me, my balls tight as I spill into the condom in her. Elise is quaking now, her ass clenching, milking me for all I’m worth, and it is bloody fucking heaven.


My hand releases her throat first before I slip out of her body. Instantly, I regret it, because she was so warm, so firm and yet pliant.


Elise catches herself on the desk, her cheek pressing to the top of it as she gasps for breath.


While she collects herself, I roll off the condom and toss it in the trash. I’m dressed before she lifts her head again.


“You’re psycho,” she rasps. “Who chokes a girl they’re fucking?”


It isn’t the first time I’ve been called that. Poor Elise… that was only the start. Danger and sex go together. You can have sex with anyone. But it takes a special someone to mix in that dose of risk--


“I don’t know. Who comes that hard while being choked?” And she had. I’m almost hard again thinking of how violent her orgasm was.


She doesn’t retort. Instead, Elise shrugs and shifts to sit on the edge of her desk. She’s still naked, taking in my now-dressed figure. If it was anyone else, I’d be in the position of power, my clothed to their unclothed.


Elise doesn’t give me that impression, and it galls me as much as it intrigues me. No one, especially not this little Private Eye, gets the one up on me.


My life depends on it.


“Well now, Locke,” she says while having the audacity to look at her fingernails. “What’s your second proposal?”


“Come work for me.”


Her nose wrinkles. “You… want to hire me.” She sounds dubious and it makes me want to laugh and get irritated at once. I like a little playtime, and she’s certainly been the best diversion I’ve had in ages. But Elise’s opinion of me seems surprisingly doubtful, and that ticks me off.


It shouldn’t, of course. I have clients far worse than her. But they have the money and the aristocracy to back their elitist snubbery. Elise is a fucking
private investigator
who lives in a shit part of town.


“Yes,” I continue, keeping my cool. “I’ve got an event coming up and I’d like to--”


“You already hired police for it.” She says this deadpan, her eyes narrowing.


How did she know that


“Just a guess,” she offers, chuckling, “And your face confirmed it.”


Did it, now? I have a phenomenal poker face. Alarms are sounding in my head. Code fucking
. If this girl can read me that easily, I need to leave her office now. The games I play are of the highest stakes and I can’t afford to lose.


Leave now, Locke. Tell her it was fun, tell her you changed your mind, whatever it takes, but leave.


“I did hire the police. I also want to hire you.”


“For an event you’re hosting.” She never loses the tone of disbelief.


“Yes. It’s a jewel auction, and a chance to showcase my newest safes and security systems--”


She holds up a hand. “Whoa. You want
and some podunk police officers to guard your jewel auction-- and the demonstration of your newest, best safes and security systems?”


The frown is on my face before I can control it and it is another warning. Elise is making me feel… well, she’s making me feel. Period. I don’t do emotions, not with business transactions. Or pleasure.


Elise is turning into both, and the fact that she can get under my skin so easily doesn’t bode well.


Problem is, I never know when to quit. Some part of me, under the bluster and the irritation? It’s excited.


Elise is sexy. She’s fun.


And she’s fucking smart.


I might not need her kind of smart in my life, it was dangerous. But I longed for a challenge and holy hell, she was the biggest one yet.


“Yes. As I explained to your Captain--”


“Ex. Ex-Captain.”


I sigh. I’m not used to being interrupted. Men like me, with money and the balls to wield it, don’t get interrupted. “Elise, I’ll tell you about the damned job if you’d keep your mouth shut.”


She smirks and I ball my fist. “As I was saying,” I grind out. “I’d love to have you come work my auction. I’ve spread my own employees out too thin, and at this kind of event--”


“You’re so full of shit.” She hops off the desk and saunters to her small kitchenette, naked ass swaying in a way that makes me want to bite it as much as I want to spank it.


“Excuse me?”


“You don’t need me and you don’t need a bunch of cops. If you did, then your security systems aren’t worth jack. No… either you just enjoy manipulating people, or you want a big presence to impress God-knows-who. But hiring us plebs for ‘protection?’
.” She looks purposefully over her shoulder to ensure I catch her eye roll.


She is one hundred percent right.


But money worked for the Chief, so--


“I’ll pay you twenty grand for your time.”


She pauses. Because she’s naked, I see her spine stiffen. Glancing around the apartment, I know twenty grand will go far for her.


I start reaching in my pocket to text my driver.


“No.” She says, voice shaking.


It’s my turn to pause. “No? You’re going to turn down twenty thousand dollars for what is, in your opinion, a bullshit job?”


She whirls and stares at me. “Yes,” she hisses. “I’m not stupid and I do not like to be used in anyone’s plots and schemes. My gut is telling me that’s what’s going on, so
. I won’t take the job.”


I can tell her pulse is racing by the heave of her chest. Her pale skin is blotched in crimson. Whatever I’ve done, I’ve struck a nerve. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why it’s left
with a pit in my stomach! So she said no. I don’t hear it often, but it is probably for the best.


“I think you should leave,” she sighs. “Thanks for the sex.”


I’m being dismissed, too?


Pulling my card case out, I hand her my card. “In case you change your mind.”


“I won’t.”


This time I look pointedly around her place, making sure my gaze lingers on the leaking sink, the cracks in the plaster where the foundation is going, the dusty windowpanes-- all of it. I take my time. “Sure, you won’t” I sneer before waltzing out.


It was a dick move. But goddamn her-- I’m not used to being turned away or turned down and I don’t like how it feels.


My driver is waiting for me. Now I’ll wait for Elise’s call. In the meantime, I have preparations to make.


The event, after all, has to be as flawless as the gems that will be sold.





My skin is crawling and my mind is reeling as Locke leaves.


He’s unbelievable. What an asshole!


A tear comes to my eye and I dash it away quickly. Who the hell was he to make me feel like shit about my place? I paid my bills. I basically own my own company-- Martin Investigations -- and I’m damned good at what I do, too.


Too good, really, which was part of why I left the force. My mind starts to wander to thoughts of home before, to my parents and brother.


Shaking my head, I head for the shower. To clean him and the memories from the past off. Both were gone and over now.


The water is slow to heat, the building’s water heater ancient and crap. When it finally does and I push for shower, it spurts out and-- is that brown? Oh, gross. Definitely brown. The smell of sewage wafts in and thank God I hadn’t stepped in before.


So no showering and a call to maintenance.




Throwing on some jeans and a t-shirt, I go to put my desk back together. It had been super hot when Locke had brushed all my things to the ground. Just like in the movies. Now it was an inconvenience.


Just like him


As I place things back on the top, I pick up a picture and glance at it.


My debutante ball.


Ugh, I know, right? Sixteen year old me is standing at the bottom of the stairs of some ridiculous old plantation-style home in North Carolina. Fluffy white dress, perfect hair, and the subtle, snarky smile that only a teenager can perfect.


That had been a different time.

Maybe that’s why Locke’s observations of my current living situation stung so much. Because I had come from much, much better.


My dad had own a successful art gallery in Raleigh. My mother was an artist, a local and international favorite. Some of her contemporary pieces were installed in the NC Museum of Art. I preferred visiting those to remember her by instead of her gravestone.


I’d grown up wealthy. Not billionaire wealthy, like Mr. Jameson Locke, but I knew a little about comfort.


Then my dad got locked up in the Federal prison, my brother disappeared, my mother died, and the money disappeared.


And I became a police officer-turned-detective.


Turned Private Investigator.


Which meant, at the moment, broke.


The job I’d been on when my esteemed former colleagues picked me up was my least favorite P.I. job: Cheating Spouse.


Only, unfortunately my employer decided she had enough proof without the evidence she’d sent me to collect. I’d been minding my own business, or at least, I’d been minding her spouse’s business with my camera at the ready when she’d come in and fired off some words at him.


Then she’d fired her gun, too.


By the time I’d figured out what was happening, it was too late for me to stop her. When I’d hit the front door, trying to reach her, it was too late to stop her from turning the gun on herself.


I’d hung around, prepared to offer my statement as a witness, when my friends from the precinct decided to slap me in cuffs instead. Because
I had something to do with a murder-suicide.


They didn’t really think I did it, they were just pissed at the whole event. I get that, I do. Murder-suicides are a lot of paperwork and not a lot of good press.


I’m just pissed because dead people don’t pay invoices, and I was counting on that money for my rent.


Sighing, I leaned back in my chair. My ass still stung from Locke’s invasion, but it wasn’t unpleasant. The sting and the sex, that is. My nose wrinkled when I thought of him.


He was everything I hated. Arrogant, smarmy, with enough money that he’d only get a slap on the wrist no matter what he did.


He was also sexy as hell and the best sex of my life. I shifted in my chair and caught a lingering whiff of his sandalwood cologne, now dusting my hair and skin, and immediately I felt a low throb in my pussy.


Damn it. Grabbing his card, I stared hard at the expensive embossed paper and highly professional header.


Jameson Locke, CEO

Locked Securities


His phone number beckoned.


One call. One job. Enough money to keep me afloat until another job came in. Enough money for milk and fresh fruit to pad my ramen diet.


Jesus, I hate this. This last case, though, was supposed to be a big one. Something to have under my belt to help reassure people looking to hire me. I’m pretty sure that explaining that my last client is dead isn’t going to win me a lot of work.


Someone like Jameson Locke would, though. The money and the name. He was playing with me, and with the force. I might not work for the RPD anymore, and I said nasty things about them. But I had been one of them. It was allowed. This pompous asshole wasn’t.


I could let him hire me, but no one said I had to play by all of his rules. Maybe while I was there I could scope the scenes for
potential clients. North Carolina’s elite (and more!) would be at this event most likely. They tended to be paranoid assholes with deep pockets.


Basically my ideal clients.


Okay. My mind's made up. I stop fingering the card and pick up the phone to call.


If you do this, you can’t sleep with him again. Absolutely, one hundred percent off-limits!


Everyone knows business and pleasure don’t mix. Especially for a Private Investigator.


I wasn’t worried. Locke had been a fucking fantastic lay. My ass still ached, a tender reminder of how he’d taken me to new and dark places. But that personality?


Please. I could stay away from him, easy. Take his money and go. Like I said-- not worried.


My fingers dial before I can talk myself out of it. The phone barely rings before someone picks up.


“So you
interested in the job.” His low, husky voice pours into my ear and my thighs clamp together. Uh-oh.”


“I’m interested in the real job. The one you’re not talking about.”


He chuckles and a shiver runs down my spine. “It’s just basic security.”


“So you keep saying. But if that were the truth, you’d have no business hiring me. I’m an investigator, not muscle. You’re playing a game. I’m just throwing in my chips, Locke. Let’s play. But you’ll need to pay me up front.” My heart is skipping now, the adrenaline flooding my system.


Here’s the thing about men like Locke. They
the effect they have on people. On women. He knows he turns me on. I know he does, though I’m a bit concerned at how little it takes now. He likes power, too. The worst thing I can do is submit. Show him my belly like a dog.


So I snark back. I’m picking a fight with a guy bigger than me. He’s got the looks, he’s got the resources, and he’s got enough money to cover his ass if the first two things don’t get him what he wants.


I’ve got sarcasm, an eye for details, and the sheer, stubborn willpower to push his buttons in return. He’ll want to play, sure, but he’ll get bored. He’ll stop wanting to play, and I’ll be sitting pretty with a padded bank account.


There’s a long pause on the other end. Too long. My palms start sweating and I’m worrying that I’ve read him wrong, come on too strong, and I’m about to lose the chance at twenty grand because of my big mouth--


“You’re on. But I play for high stakes, Elise. You should be careful.”


A thrill courses through me. He’s admitted it; something bigger
going on. It’s probably harmless, but still… Jameson Locke just threatened me.


The rush of pushing him and succeeding is heady. Which means I ignore all good sense and say, “No offense, Locke, but you’ve got a lot more to lose than me. I’m damned good at my job. You’re the one who needs to be careful.”


He laughs again, this time casually. If I’ve fazed him at all, the moment is gone. He’s back to being a royal dick again. “The auction is tomorrow night. I’ll need you at my home by noon.”


I fumbled for a pen and a scrap piece of paper. “Fine. What’s your address?”


He lets out a cartoonish sigh. “You’re a P.I. And, to quote you, ‘damned good’ at your job. Figure it out.”


There’s a dial tone in my ear before I can fire a reply.


Oh, I’m steaming. It’s juvenile, is what it is.


Twenty thousand dollars, Elise




My laptop is still in my bedroom. Strolling from my office into it, I plop on my twin bed and crack open my laptop. It’s the most expensive thing I own, second to my camera.


There’s a lot of things you can skimp on in my line of work. Dress clothes? Who needs them. Fancy phones? Eh. Although I’ll admit my smart phone has been coming in handy, so this may change. But a computer and camera? Those are your foundations. Splurge on them. Take care of them. Because they are your bread and butter.


Most of my work is done on the internet now. Social media, emails-- this is where the gold is. Where people have been. Who they’re with. All right there on the screen. Anyone can find it, but I don’t mind that people want to pay me for something extra.


Extra is photographs. Hard evidence you can hold in your hand, even if more often than not it’s the shit you never wanted to believe is true. But I go to great lengths to get those photos, which means high-tech lenses and film.


It’ll be worth it after this job. I’ll sneak my card to some folks and soon I’ll be rolling in gigs.


A simple search brings up Jameson’s picture. Ugh. He’s got an image search worse than a celebrity’s. In each picture he’s ridiculously handsome. His jaw was made for the camera lense, seeming to jut at just the right angle.


There are many photos of him at event much like the one he’s hosting. All over the world, the wealthy and the royal partying and spending exorbitant amounts of money for trinkets and art that I didn’t understand. Several photos didn’t show him alone-- he had a different girl on his arm in many.


I clicked the image search shut. It wasn’t that I was
over seeing him with other women. Tall, thin, model-like women. They could have him. That was why.


A little more digging pulled up his company and its subsidiaries. She found addresses in North Carolina, New York, Hong Kong, Berlin… but these were factories and research facilities. Training grounds for his employees.


The last one made her frown. His security details were top of the line. Many of them ex-military, they were renowned for their top-of-the-line skills in protection.


Something the RPD is not


It was a good police force. But it was just that-- a public force, stretched thin, with too little resources and a variety of tasks on their plates. Robberies, fraud, and freaking jaywalking to murders and drug running.


What did Locke want them for, really?


None of the addresses I find are residential. His auction event would definitely be at his home. Next I search for property he owns, his banks, and any real estate interest related to his name. This is a little more fruitful.


There are several within an hour of where I live. I can only assume he lives close enough to Raleigh to make the Police Force here his best option for whatever it is Locke has up his sleeve.

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