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His Tinkerbelle: A Possessive Dark Romance
His Tinkerbelle: A Possessive Dark Romance
His Tinkerbelle: A Possessive Dark Romance
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His Tinkerbelle: A Possessive Dark Romance

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She’s got a beautiful life. I’ll gladly burn it down to save her.

She’s been a thorn in my side for as long as I can remember—Belle Barrie. With a smile that shows a sweet disposition. And a body that invites total depravity. Belle thought she knew my world. Thought she could play with the big dogs. When her boss decides to play me, she’s caught in the crossfire. Now we’re talking about a full-fledged gang war. The kind that mows down innocent bystanders. Her life as the bargaining chip. Everyone knows I’m ruthless. I’m a cold-hearted killer. My rise through the family is followed by a trail of bodies. Yeah, some are women. The ones who thought they could trust me. They paid for that mistake with their lives. Now, there’s just one more debt to pay in blood. I need to be the monster I am. Not the man I want to be for her. If I win, I’ll have everything I ever dreamed of. But if I do that, Belle will die. And I’ll lose the only woman I’ve ever loved.

Welcome to Mayhem Ever After series!

This is the second in a series of dark, possessive, alpha male romances featuring brooding heroes and the sassy women that love them. No cheating. No cliffhangers. HEA guaranteed!

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New York Times Bestselling Author...

Paige’s “Mayhem Ever After” dark romance series includes alphahole heroes, feisty heroines, and plenty of dangerous action, both in and out of bed. Peter is a killer who’s risen through the ranks because of his ruthlessness. But when Belle’s life is at stake, his possessiveness overrides his ambition, and he will do anything he can to protect her.

Erscheinungsdatum6. Dez. 2022
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Vivi Paige

Vivi Paige is the sekrit pen name of a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author who decided she wanted to play on the dark side of happily ever after… Join her in a sinister world of murder, mayhem, and marriage.

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    His Tinkerbelle - Vivi Paige

    Chapter One

    Ever wonder why some folks are so determined to grow up in a hurry? I know I do. The whole twelve-going-on-thirty sitch? Not my scene. I loved being a kid. Exploring decrepit houses, swiping candy from the general store even though we had money, throwing water balloons at the cops off of a fire escape and then leaping from rooftop to rooftop while laughing so hard we didn’t always get away clean.

    Good times. The only age I was interested in was that magical number—twenty-one—when I could legally go to all the places they only allow adults. Other than that—meh. If I could take a potion or travel to some far-off fairytale land where I didn’t have to reach thirty, that would be great.

    But I don’t live in Neverland. I live in the real world, though I will admit my life is somewhat unconventional.

    My name’s Peter Mayne, and this is my story. Well, okay, it’s not really just my story. There’s a girl—but I’m getting ahead of myself.

    That day stands out in my memory, clear as crystal, even though the skies were anything but. The Big Apple had been drenched for days by heavy rain that came down in sheets as heavy as lead. Ominous gray clouds bubbled from horizon to horizon but wouldn’t let go of their payload. Which was too bad because once the rain stopped the urine smell crept out again. Anyone who has been to the city knows what I’m talking about. Despite what others say, I never got used to the stench.

    Anyway, me and the Boyz were strolling down the sidewalk, looking for trouble. Not that we were looking to cause trouble—not this time. We were, in fact, looking to prevent problems.

    I was in the lead, hands thrust into the pockets of my designer green and gray hoodie. A pair of black track pants with a green stripe down the leg adorned my lower half, the legs draping over the tops of my six-hundred-dollar running shoes.

    Normally, I wouldn’t be caught dead in this get-up outside of a gym. But me and the Boyz were on a mission—one that might require sullying our hands a little. I was not about to get someone else’s blood on my Gucci shoes. No way.

    The Boyz fanned out behind me as we strode along the avenue just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the docks. Far from the most gentrified of neighborhoods, that was part of its charm. Working class folks made their living there, most of them going to bed bone tired every night. Good folks. Decent folks.

    But they’d been terrorized in recent weeks. A quite frankly horrific viral challenge had been making the rounds—again—that involved finding a homeless person, dousing them with a little lighter fluid, and setting them on fire.

    It was bad enough they were hurting folks who already struggled, but last week the perps went nuts and saturated a poor sap with so much lighter fluid he went up like a Roman candle.

    Mayne Brothers LLC is ostensibly a law firm, but that’s just the surface. Another business lurks beneath the gilded lies, the real business—what you might call a legally dubious business.

    Understandably, I’ve got connections on account of I’m one of the Mayne brothers—called the Mayhem Brothers by our enemies and the society pages—and I put them to good use.

    Turns out the perps all belonged to the same frat house at NY State—Zeta Eta Pi. A little bird told me they’d be out hunting today, now that the rain had let up a little.

    My feet are getting tired, Pete, Nibs said. He shook his head, but his extra-styled pompadour didn’t move an inch. You know my ma is gonna kill me if I aggravate my corns again.

    I glanced over at the Jersey native, dressed in a blue tracksuit with the zipper undone and a wife beater shirt underneath. A forest of curly black hairs thrust out of his V-neck, something I chose not to focus on.

    Maybe you need new shoes, Nibs? suggested Curly, my bald childhood playmate with the body of an ogre and—unfortunately—the brains to match.

    My shoes are fine, Curl. Look at my bling. Lights sparkled off of the rhinestones in Nibs’ footwear. Come on, Pete, this is the third time we’ve strolled through this neighborhood. They ain’t coming.

    They’ll be here. I grinned from ear to ear. I can feel it in the air. Something big is going down today. I just know it.

    Well, I’m with Nibs. I say one more trip around the block and then we call it a day.

    I turned back to face Toots, the lanky, handsome black dude I’d been causing trouble with since nursery school. Toots eschewed our athletic fashion choices, instead opting to wear what I thought of as his stage suit—an understated blue and green pinstripe blazer over a black turtleneck with matching pants. A gold necklace around his throat caught the light when the sun peeked out from the clouds for about a nanosecond.

    All right, Toots. Fine. One more trip and…

    I froze as we passed by an alleyway and I heard the rattle of a rubbish bin being toppled over. Not twenty feet down the narrow alley I spotted six young men, most of them wearing those cringey letterman jackets with the little embroidery on the lapel. What was this, 1956?

    Hey, man, we asked you a question. Why don’t you get off your lazy, shit-crusted ass and get a job? You’re bringing down the property values.

    I pegged the speaker, a six-and-a-half-foot Aryan giant, as their likely ringleader. He had his hand around the tattered collar of a transient man, whose wide-eyed stare was filled with fear.

    I don’t want any trouble, the man said in a raspy voice, his pock-marked face trembling with terror. I’ll move on, and I swear I won’t be back. I swear.

    Too late for that. The Aryan turned to one of his fellows. Pete, get the gas.

    Whoa, did you hear that? Nibs said in his usual loud ass voice. All seven pairs of eyes in the alley turned toward us. That guy’s got the same name as you, Pete.

    We can’t have two guys named Pete in the same alley. I walked right up to the offending party—a slim but muscular guy in glasses—and kneed him in the breadbasket. I nailed the diaphragm good, doubling him over into a heap.

    The frat boys didn’t even know what hit them. Me and the Boyz cleaned house but quick. Curly wound up with a busted lip, but other than that our victory came at little cost.

    Aryan Giant’s friends took off in a hurry, but I grabbed hold of his jacket collar and tossed him to the ground before he could follow suit.

    Hey there, buddy, I said cheerfully. So, you’re the guy who’s been setting folks on fire. Put a vet in the hospital last week. He needs skin grafts.

    Who are you? He tried to look tough on the ground with a line of blood trickling down his chin and surrounded by us. You ain’t a cop.

    That’s right. I’m not, I nodded. If I was a cop, I’d arrest you.

    I picked up the white bottle of lighter fluid and unsnapped the top with a flourish. Aryan tried to get up and make a run for it, but Curly’s fist in his jaw sent him right back to the dirty pavement.

    The transient guy fled right around then. I had intended to give him a couple hundred bucks, but he was gone like the wind. Can’t say I blamed him, ’cause it got really ugly there for a few moments.

    Long story short, I didn’t burn the creep, but I did make it clear that if I ever saw him or his punk friends on my turf again, they’d all wind up in the burn ward.

    You see, you’re about a block away from Bloomsbury Street. These streets are mine. You understand?

    He nodded, blinking away stinging lighter fluid from his bloodshot eyes, and we left him there.

    That went well, Toots grinned.

    I’m bleeding, Curly grumbled.

    I’m thirsty, Nibs added. "Let’s go to Lost and get wasted."

    Yeah, sure, I agreed, though I didn’t feel all that enthused about heading to Club Lost. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a swank place with colored, lighted tiles in the floor, lots of vanilla smoke machines, and a laser light show that rivals some concert venues. The main reason I was headed to the club was on account of the fact that I worked there.

    Ostensibly, I was in charge of the club’s operations, both the legit first and second floors—which housed a nightclub and VIP lounge, respectively—and the third floor, where high stakes, legally dubious art auctions took place. Sometimes we auctioned other stuff, but that’s not my story to tell. It’s my brother’s. (You’ll be meeting him sooner than you might think.)

    Anyway, my uncle Lucian decided I needed, as he put it, seasoning in the family business. It was a polite way of saying that my partying had gotten out of control, and I was making the family—and more importantly, the firm—look bad.

    I guess he figured I’d settle down some once I had the responsibility of running the club. Turns out, he was right, but for the wrong reasons. There I go getting ahead of myself again.

    Can’t skip to the end of a story without understanding how I got there, you know?

    Club Lost is at 14 Bloomsbury Street, across the street from a long, gray-planked dock that’s been in service since back before the New York skyline was graced with the Statue of Liberty. Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other nightclub roughly catty-cornered from Lost, the Jolly Roger.

    I know. I know. You thought of a smoky den filled with grizzled sailors with pierced body parts and missing teeth. Truth is, that’s exactly the type of place the original Jolly Roger was before the Hook family bought it up ages ago. Out of nostalgia, they’ve kept the name.

    Their club’s bigger, but ours is more prosperous, both upstairs and down. My family built Lost a few years back as a sort of challenge to Crenshaw Hook, current patriarch of their clan and one of the dirtiest businessmen in New York. The state, not just the city, if you catch my drift.

    I breezed through the foyer of Lost, nodding to the bouncer and his squad. I didn’t even unzip my hoodie before Slight came up spouting off about a bunch of figures.

    Slight Tim White is skinny as a rail, hence the nickname, but his head is a different proportion. He sort of looks like a balloon on a string if you’re given to poetic imagery.

    Peter, where have you been? We were supposed to go over the liquor inventory hours ago, and you still haven’t signed off on those invoices.

    Sorry, Slight, had some business.

    Me and the Boyz laughed among ourselves.

    Slight endured it with good grace except for the big vein throbbing in his temple. I see. Well, we must go over this now.

    I sighed and gestured toward the office in the back. Lead on, Slight. I’m all yours. I turned back to the Boyz. Go ahead and wet your whistles, boys, but don’t let Curly touch the top shelf stuff. You know he’s got no self-control.

    Aww, come on, Curly whined right before the office door banged shut behind me and Slight.

    I did my best. I really did. I sat there for three solid hours and talked about invoices, inventories, state health inspections, fire safety codes and all that bullshit. And I handled business well, or so I thought. Slight seemed impressed.

    But then I couldn’t stand it any longer. I grew bored and stared out the window. A line was forming outside of the Jolly Roger. Since when is their line longer than ours? Do they have dollar drafts or something?

    Peter? Peter, are you listening? Slight sighed. I know it’s not as exciting as one of your fencing or martial arts matches, but this is important stuff for a businessman to know.

    You’re right. I grinned. And one thing a businessman should have is knowledge of how his competitors operate. I’m going on a little scouting mission. Me and the Boyz, that is.

    He tried to talk me out of it, but no dice. The Jolly Roger was having a big party.

    And I was going to crash it.

    Chapter Two

    Arms laden with accounting ledgers, I bumped the door to the Jolly Roger’s fourth-floor auction room with my butt. Unfortunately, it swung open about five inches before it stopped cold.

    Annoyed, I shoved harder.

    Is there something blocking this door? I wondered as I threw all five feet, one inch of myself against the dark-stained wood.

    My efforts were rewarded when the door suddenly swung wide, accompanied by a yelp and punctuated by a heavy crash. I took in the scene inside, unable to comprehend what unfolded before me.

    For one thing, someone had spread plastic tarps all over the light green velvet carpet. For another, a twelve-foot ladder lay on its side, the metal hasps holding it in the open position now on the verge of collapse. And finally, Smee—my maintenance man—dangled from a newly installed metal bar near the skylight.

    What in the hell is going on here? I blurted, dropping my ledgers and putting my hands on my hips. Smee, quit screwing around and get down here.

    Help! Someone knocked over my ladder.

    Oh. Realization dawned as I looked around the room again, noticing more details, such as the dark green fabric draped over several folding chairs. Apparently Smee was up to some renovation. I winced. Sorry.

    I picked up the ladder, grunting with the effort. It’s not like the sleek green body-hugging mini dress I wore was intended for manual labor. At least with Smee dangling from the ceiling I didn’t have to worry about him peeking up my skirt.

    It’s right below you. I held the ladder steady. Reach out with your left foot—no, your other left. That’s it.

    The white-haired, white-bearded plump man scampered down the ladder, his cheeks red and puffing with the effort. He paused at the bottom and mopped his sweaty brow with a cloth. Smee was in his sixties, and was one of the few people in my employ whom I could see eye-to-eye with because he was an inch shorter than me.

    Why are you installing shit on the ceiling right now? I demanded. Don’t you know we’re having an auction in about twenty minutes? The first guests could be here at any moment.

    I—it was Wendy, Smee whimpered as he dropped the name of the general manager. She told me to put a shroud over the skylight.

    For God’s sake, why? I stared up at the skylight nearly fifteen feet overhead and found no flaw in its construction or aesthetics. Yeah, it looked out on a drab and dull gray sky, but that was hardly something we could control.

    Sheik Vaziri is worried about satellite surveillance. Wendy told me to do this, Miss Belle. I tried to tell her there wasn’t time, but she insisted.

    I groaned and rolled my eyes. Sheik Vaziri is paranoid or throwing his weight around. No matter. Go ahead and finish up.

    But what about the guests? Smee asked plaintively.

    I’ll distract them. I winked.

    I gathered the ledgers and then placed them on the auctioneer podium where I would be needing them later. Damn pain in the ass, carrying the heavy things around, but Crenshaw didn’t like using digital devices, even if they weren’t hooked up to the internet. He believes having a physical ledger is safer somehow, and I’m hard pressed to disagree, or even offer an argument.

    It’s hardly the most outrageous thing he demands of me.

    My dad used to have this gig, cooking the books for Crenshaw Hook and maintaining the day-to-day operations of the Jolly Roger—both its above board and off-the-books business.

    I wanted to join the New York City Ballet and had trained for ten years to do just that. But then my dad grew ill and asked me to pitch in while he recovered. So, little by little, I danced less and worked more until the day my father passed on and I officially inherited his job. After that, I made too much money—and was in way too deep with dangerous people—to even consider pursuing my dreams.

    Besides, it’s nice to have skin on my toes and eat a cookie once in a while.

    I wasn’t bitter about my station in life. In point of fact, I enjoyed it. I was good at my job, had the loyalty and respect of my employees, and as for those dangerous people I mentioned earlier… they all adored me.

    Even Crenshaw Hook, a notorious sour puss, smiled whenever he stopped by, which was quite frequently.

    The Jolly Roger had been here on Bloomsbury Street for over a hundred years, though its current iteration was rebuilt a decade ago and still

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