Taken by the Pirate Billionaire

By: Shelli Stevens

Chapter One

God what a night.

Renee Hawkins squinted into the darkness and tried to ignore the heavy gusts of wind that rocked her compact car. It was one of those nights where the weather was so awful it was better just to stay home than venture out.

Unfortunately, staying at home with a pint of ice cream and a romantic comedy movie marathon wasn’t going to happen.

No, tonight she had other plans, and this weather was just an unnerving backdrop for what she was about to do. Crash a party thrown by a pirate and steal a priceless brooch right out from under his nose. No big deal.

“And you’re a freaking drama queen,” she muttered aloud, flexing her fingers around the steering wheel. “He’s no more a pirate than you are.”

Okay, maybe Devon Murray wasn’t technically a pirate, but it was rumored that he was descended from one, and was no less intimidating. He was a former hacker, turned creator of the popular social media platform Overshare. Since it was currently taking the world by storm, it meant Mr. Murray was now a billionaire—and a super kinky billionaire at that, if she believed the rumors.

No one really knew, and if they did, they wouldn’t confirm it. All she knew of Devon Murray was what the rest of the world knew—just certain tidbits that had been come from media stories, and news and magazine articles. And even though there was an abundance of them, they barely scratched the surface of the notorious, mysterious man who evoked so much curiosity.

He was rarely photographed, so she pretty much had no idea what he looked like. For the most part Eric Ross, the co-founder of Overshare, was the public face. Devon was a man who obviously valued his privacy and kept his identity pretty well hidden. Any time a picture would be required for interviews or social media, there was simply a black rose as a symbol.

Which made it fitting that the silk black rose on her passenger seat was also the ticket into the party tonight.

Her best friend Lucy, who’d tipped her off to his party this evening, was going to meet her there. Lucy had snagged a legit invite when she’d begun dating the co-founder of Overshare. The two had met when he’d come in to be interviewed for the radio show she was a DJ on.

So Lucy’s invite to the party was real, it was only Renee’s who wasn’t. Her friend was taking a risk for her tonight. A big one. She had the impression that neither Eric nor Devon was the kind of man you screwed with.

Renee jumped as her cell phone came to life, her nerves were so shot. Activating her blue tooth, she answered.

“Hey,” Lucy murmured. “It’s me. Are you almost there?”

“Yes. Maybe five minutes out.”

“Good. Did you dress sexy?”

“I think so. I’m wearing this corset type thing that makes my boobs look ginormous. My skirt’s way too short. And my makeup—fuck, I look like I should be walking the streets, Luce.”

“You sound perfect. Tonight you can’t be your normal safe, quirky, and just-off-the-farm looking Renee. Tonight you need to be a walking sex bomb. Sensual. Confident.” Lucy paused. “And open-minded, if you’re going to be convincing. Are you sure you’re going to be okay?”

“I’ll be fine.” And maybe if she told herself that enough, she’d start to believe it. Delusion was a beautiful thing.

Her hands tightened to a death grip on the steering wheel as sweat trickled between her breasts.

“Channel your inner call girl. Just don’t let yourself think about it too much, and just, you know, enjoy yourself.”

“Okay if you don’t stop talking to me about this? I’m going to lose my nerve, turn my car around and drive home.”

“You can’t afford to,” Lucy reminded her. “You have to take this chance.”

“I know.”

If she didn’t take this chance, it meant her grandparents could lose their home. She couldn’t let that happen, not after they’d raised her when her druggie parents had left her on their doorstep as a baby and disappeared onto the streets. It was only recently that Renee had discovered her grandparents had taken a second mortgage to pay for her college, and were unable to pay it back.

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