Bane (Sinners of Saint #5) by L.J. Shen
Roman ‘Bane’ Protsenko
Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.
Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.
Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.
Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.
Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.
Hot as hell, cold as ice.
I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.
She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.
She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.
More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.
Little does she know, I have the teeth for it.
*This book contains material that might be offensive for some or elicit a strong emotional response.
Excerpt Bane (Sinners of Saint #5) by L.J. Shen
My late father once told me that the most valuable things in life cost you nothing. That’s how you know that they are worth everything.
They were just words at the time, until they became more.
Until they became everything.
My stepbrother barged into my life on a surfboard, a body dipped in ink and a smile so devilish, panties flamed whenever he walked in a woman’s vicinity.
Our love was rich
But the thing about true love is, it prevails everything.
Every wrong turn.
Every broken heart.
And tiny, shattered pieces it leaves behind.
Love heals. It patches and mends.
And sometimes? Sometimes it even has the power to resurrect you.
Todos Santos, California
It was Emilia LeBlanc-Spencer who came to my rescue when my hairstylist went into labor three weeks earlier than expected, on the day of my wedding.
I hardly even batted an eyelash when the news (and water) broke about Lisa Stephens. It sounded like the kind of thing that would happen to me. Not that it mattered. The whole world could explode and I still wouldn’t care, because I was marrying the love of my life.
Roman ‘Bane’ Protsenko.
It was ironic that Gail—who had zero hair on her head (by choice)—was the one in panic mode because mine wasn’t going to be picture-perfect. She burst out the double doors of my bridal suite, darting to the ballroom at the Dos Santos Resort in Todos Santos, where so many of our friends and family have wedded before. I had an idea that Bane somehow bribed the owners to allow us to get a speedy wedding in record time, but when I asked, he replied with his signature caveman grunt and jerked me, making me slam into his erection. “Speaking of payoffs, pretty sure that ring is worth a few blowjobs and some anal. When do I cash the first check?”
After Gail announced the grand crisis to our cocktail-drinking guests, Emilia bolted from her seat, immediately volunteering to save the day. Now I was sitting between this stranger’s thighs, in my robe, as she carefully twisted my hair into a French do. Her movements were swift and skillful, like she was spinning gold, creating magic.
Our gazes met in the mirror every now and then. Her peacock eyes on my stormy oceans. She would smile and get back to pinning a lock of hair into place, and I would wonder—rather foolishly—how it must feel like to be her sister or kid.
Issues much, Jesse?
“Thanks for doing this,” I muttered, staring at my hands.
Emilia hitched a shoulder up. “It’s no trouble. Are you nervous?”
Was I nervous? Not really. Roman was the only person I truly trusted, blindly, wholly, and unconditionally. Marrying him was the natural thing to do. Plus, I was carrying his baby. I wanted her to do things the right away, seeing as we were dealt crappy, sloppy childhoods.
I did have one question I’d been dying to ask Emilia, as the wife of Baron Spencer, the most formidable man alive since Lucifer.
“Do you think I will ever tame him?”
The pot. The surfing. The cursing. The calloused way he went about everything he did. My future husband sure didn’t mind stepping on toes. Or breaking them.
Emilia looked up from my inky black hair, which was now pinned up into a romantic twist, and met my eyes in the mirror. She shook her head slowly, a private smile on her lips. “There’s something in the water in this town that makes our men crazy. But think about it. Would you ever want Bane to be tamed?”
I thought about my beloved. His wild, free-spirit and angry, passionate heart. “No.”
She patted my shoulder, leaning forward and kissing my cheek. “Do you need me to do your makeup or help you into your gown?”
“I got it,” Gail barked from the corner of the room, shooing Emilia away with her hand. I stifled a laugh.
“You look beautiful!” Emilia called out from the door, skipping back to the party.
“You bet your fucking ass she does.” A low mumble hit my ears, and I immediately recognized the man it belonged to. The man I was about to marry. He was standing at the door, wearing a tux and a mischievous grin I wanted to wipe off with a frantic kiss. Our eyes met in the mirror.
“It’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding,” I hissed out, as Gail slipped out of the room, squeezing herself between Roman and the doorframe and saying something about hormonal idiots who couldn’t control themselves for a few hours.
“But it’s good luck to get a blowie before an important event to take the edge off,” he pointed out.
“I’m not familiar with this tradition.” I stood up and turned around, watching as his eyes lit with delight. The way he stared at me, like I was the sun, bright and bold and everywhere, made heat creep up my neck and settle on my cheeks. I let the robe slide down from my shoulders, exposing my Vera Wang neck Halter wedding gown. He sucked in a small, short breath.
“Good enough to eat.”
“I bet.” I grinned.
He cocked his head to the side. “I mean now.”
“And the guests?” I lifted an eyebrow.
Roman ate the distance between us, jerked me into his body, and lowered me to the floor, like we were locked in a skillful tango. “Fuck the guests.”
We had to wait until Jesse was done with her first trimester before we went on our honeymoon. I’d been a saint, biding my time until we could fly out to Hawaii, even though I knew I was missing out on waves bigger and fatter than the recent paychecks that had started rolling in ever since I started surfing professionally again.
Everything clicked the moment Jesse and I sorted our relationship together, and for the first time, things started making some goddamn sense. I wondered what the hell I was doing purchasing bullshit hotels and trying to be a person I wasn’t. I wasn’t a tycoon. I was a dirty-ass surfer with a last name no one knew how to pronounce and true, undying love for two things: my wife and the beach. Everything else could go fuck itself, including money. Come to think about it—especially money.
Jesse had been suffering from nausea for the past couple months. Mamul’ had me making her dozens of ginger tea cups a day. She also promised that the vomiting would magically disappear once she hit the second trimester and would be replaced with odd cravings.
Mamul’ wasn’t wrong.
It was on the plane to Maui when I first came to realize just how particular Jesse’s cravings were.
“Do you think they have gingerbread here?” Snowflake turned around and examined my face in a seriousness that implied that I was hiding a few in my anus. She had the interrogation look down to a T. I scrubbed my cheek.
“Not really. But we can find you some when we land.”
“I want them now.”
“I want to fuck you now. We don’t always get what we want.”
Jesse pouted, running her eyes along my body. Not to be a dick, but there was a lot to admire. I was a professional surfer, and I had actually started getting frequent haircuts and shaves.
“I’ve always wanted to join the mile high club.” She took a lock of raven hair and brought it to her lips, chewing.
I reserved the right to process that shit for a few seconds before I responded. I loved my wife, but she was about as adventurous as a scented candle. That’s not to say she was boring in bed—she was game with every (fore)play I wanted to try. But she didn’t care for public sex. Me, I could pork her on the stage of Coachella and still pose for some selfies with fans at the same time.
So this was definitely a surprise.
“Are you sure about it? I’m only going to ask once, because I’m not feeling very gentleman-y when it comes to your pussy.”
Jesse stretched inside her black maxi dress, her belly poking out the way Edie’s did when we first found out that she had a bun in the oven. It was more of a hard lump in her lower abs than a real bump. “Never been so sure about anything in my life,” she replied.
I unbuckled my seat belt. “Well, that’s nice to hear, seeing as your engagement ring cost me two lungs and a kidney. Good thing I went balls.”
She giggled, but her eyes were anything but amused. They were hungry, and I was about to satisfy them, along with the rest of her body.
I cocked my head to the lavatory at the back of the plane, to which no one had a direct view of. “Three minutes. Finger yourself beforehand, ’cause foreplay is not on the fucking menu.” I dumped a complimentary blue blanket on her legs. I didn’t want it to look suspicious. Not because I cared, but because I didn’t want her to have a heart attack if we ever got caught. Just to be on the safe side, I slipped into the nook where the flight attendants sat, blabbing about sunscreens, and slipped each of them a few notes.
“Keep an eye on the door?” I asked the youngest, most eager one. Chick had enough makeup on her face to sculpt a full-sized kid. Her grin took over her entire face when she replied.
“Sure. Care for some company?”
“Let me ask my pregnant wife if she is into threesomes.” I smiled casually, fishing my phone out. I looked back up to her and said flatly, “Yeah. Not happening. Thanks for the solid, though.” I patted her arm before disappearing into the restroom.
One thing I didn’t take into consideration when jumping on the lavatory-sex train was that I was not a small guy. And the airplane restroom? Tiny. It took me a minute to try to calculate the angle. By the time there was a knock on the door, I was ready for her. I slid the door open and pulled my wife into my body, shutting her up with the kind of kiss that was dirtier than the toilet seat behind me.
“So this is your latest crave, Mrs. Protsenko?” I groaned into her mouth, “My cock?”
“I always crave it,” she admitted, her voice little, breathless pants.
“Did you fuck yourself with your fingers like I asked?”
“You know it.”
“Let’s see.” I dragged her by the elbow to stand in front of the closed toilet seat and placed her hands on the handholds, curling her fingers around them tightly. I flipped her black maxi dress up and pushed her panties down in one rapid movement from behind her. After that, I dipped three fingers inside her pussy, playing with her juices. She was fucking soaked. Maybe it was the adrenaline of porking in the air, but Jesse was past ready. Fully cooked and ready to go. I sucked on my wet fingers, then wiped whatever was left on her ass cheek, pressing a hand to her lower back and bending her over.
“Hold on tight.”
“I want you to maul me,” she yelped, and as soon as she said it, I knew she regretted it. I laughed, my six-pack shaking against her sweet, milky ass.
“Say that again.”
“Sorry.” She sighed. “I’m just… I’m really horny for some reason.”
Goddammit. I loved pregnancy. I hoped parenthood was just as fun, because at this rate, we were going to have six kids and surrogate a few others.
I released my hard cock, sliding it right into her pussy. I eased into her, rather than doing the usual slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am, just because she asked to be ruined. She loved it when I taunted her.
Especially with my dick.
“Bane,” she moaned. I asked Jesse to call me Roman long ago, but my nickname still slipped out of her mouth when we were fucking. I got it. She loved the person, but wanted to screw the persona. I went in and out, gentle and slow, feeling how slippery and wet she was. She needed to be torn apart, and I wasn’t giving it to her.
“We don’t have much time, so you probably won’t orgasm. I’ll make it up to you when we land.”
“I swear I will kill you if I don’t come,” she said curtly, no trace of lusty haze in her voice.
“If you really want an orgasm, you need to trust me.”
“When have I ever not trusted you? I trusted you even before you earned my trust.” Good point.
I picked up my pace, drilling in and out of her, watching her knuckles turn white as I drove into her again and again and a-motherfucking-gain, until my dick was so wet it slipped when I pulled out all the way through. That was my cue to redirect said dick into her other hole—the one she only gave me access to when she was slightly drunk or in a reckless mood—and eased into it slowly.
“Shhh.” I planted a soft kiss on her temple, reaching for her clit and playing with it. I dipped my fingers in and out of her pussy, filling her everywhere, feeling her pussy clenching around my fingers and the rest of her body quivering with that familiar shiver.
“I love you,” I whispered into her ear.
“I love you,” she said, just as she came all over my fingers. All I needed were a few more pumps into her incredible tight hole, and I was jizzing inside of her, filling her with my cum. I plastered my sweaty forehead to her back, kissing her head before straightening up and watching her. She had stars in her eyes, and I decided right then and there that I was going to make it my mission in life to put them there every day and watch them light up her whole face.
Because that’s how much Jesse meant to me.
“So,” she slid her panties back on, smoothing the maxi dress down on her legs, “can you ask them, anyway, about the gingerbread?”
I laughed and stamped one last kiss on my wife’s sweet lips. “I liked you better when the only thing you were obsessed about was my dick.”
Todos Santos, California.
I lay flat on my back on the surfboard, my eyes closed, lazy sunrays drifting through them. My pregnant belly was poking out, big and proud, through my red, cherry-patterned bikini. The top barely fit anymore, and let’s just say I was pretty sure baby Protsenko was not going to be unsatisfied with my milk supply. Instead of the hurtful Slut scar, the only things visible to the sky were my very big tummy and the tattoo I’d gotten to cover the scar.
The sun was just coming out, peeking from the white, high-sailing clouds, and I knew my husband was somewhere around, surfing naked.
Life was good. Beautiful. Fulfilling,
Life was inspiring.
The feeling of floating on a surfboard was calming, but mainly, I knew that the baby liked it a lot. I smiled when I thought about how I was going to meet our baby so soon, and how their room was already made in our new yacht. How they would always float through life—literally—and have this connection with the ocean and the sun. With nature at its best.
I felt something, or rather someone, nudging one side of my bikini bottoms to the side, rising from the ocean between my legs.
I sucked in a breath as Bane’s tongue found my pussy, swirling and teasing, biting on the flesh of my lips. My thighs bucked and I whimpered, biting my lower lip and moaning, “Someone could see us.”
I didn’t know why I bothered to mention that to him. I didn’t even care. The world could watch and I still wouldn’t. I knew Roman was fond of public sex, but what he didn’t realize was that I didn’t particularly mind it, either. Especially since swearing off him every time we weren’t at home was becoming increasingly difficult, ever since we fell pregnant.
“Come on my fucking face, Snowflake. That’s it. Melt on my tongue.” His voice was gruff and serious. He bit my inner thighs, not gently either, before shoving his tongue deep inside my pussy and fucking me with it, his nose moving in circles around my clit. The sensation was overwhelming. I thrust against his face and begged for more, the climax starting as it always did, at the base of my spine. Only instead of spreading up and down to the rest of my body, like it normally did, it stayed there. In my lower back, becoming sharper and more prominent.
“Aw,” I said.
“Yeah, baby. Aw.”
“No. I mean, ugh, it hurts.”
Bane finally tilted his head up, and I felt my surfboard dip as he took ahold of its tip, raising his upper body so he could steal a glance at my face.
“Not exactly the reaction I was shooting for. All good?”
The area under my belly button felt like someone kicked me, and I winced visibly again. “I think I’m having contractions.”
His cocky, indifferent face switched to serious in a heartbeat. “Now?”
“No, later.” I shot him an annoyed look. “I’m just pretending so you would know what it looks like when it happens to me later. Yes. Now.”
I could tell he didn’t appreciate the sass by the way he clenched his jaw when he took ahold of the edge of my surfboard and started swimming ashore, carrying me with him. I remained lying there, not unlike an injured whale, feeling a little stupid and a lot mean for lashing out at him for no reason.
“Sorry,” I said, craning my neck to get a better look at my husband, but that was a huge mistake. My stomach and lower back screamed with pain, ordering me to plaster my head back to the board.
Roman shook his head. “Let’s just get you to the hospital.”
“Are you mad?”
“About you being a little pissy because someone the size of a watermelon is about to come out of your vagina? Not at all.” Silence squeezed the air between us before he added, “But interrupting my breakfast—the most important meal of the day—that was uncalled for. I’ll settle the score with the little one when they come out.”
“You also said the word ‘vagina,’” I pointed out.
“Ech. It’s starting. Mark my words—three years from now, I’m going to be wearing Crocs.”
We still didn’t know the sex of our baby. I preferred it that way.
The room we’d put together was neutrally-designed, and was full of ocean and surfing references, in soft shades of baby blues, pinks, yellows, and greens. The pain intensified as Bane left my surfboard discarded on the sand and carried me in his arms honeymoon-style toward his red truck, barking over to Eastwood, who was sitting on the sand, probably texting Gail, “Put the surfboard at Edie’s. Call my mom and Hale. Jesse is in labor.”
I passed out a few minutes later in the vehicle.
Maybe passing out wasn’t the best way to describe it. I was still present. Everything hurt. I felt like I was going to die, but knew that I most probably wouldn’t. I was sitting in the back of the truck, yelling and squeezing Roman’s poor hand as he drove us to the hospital with one hand on the steering wheel. He grunted every now and again, but didn’t complain. I was pretty out of it by the time I got there and couldn’t even distinguish faces and conversations.
Three hours later, Tempest Jaxon Protsenko was born.
At six pounds, she was tiny, but oh so feisty. Roman was in the room to cut the umbilical cord and take her very first pictures. Tempest came out kicking and screaming, her fists balled in defiance. She looked every bit like her dad, with a thin Mohawk of chick-blonde hair and eyes green and wild like the jungle. The only thing she had that somehow resembled me was a tiny streak of dark hair.
A tiny streak I knew she’d later chew on, just like I did.
Tempest was cleaned, cooed at, and adored for the next ten minutes by the nurses, before one of them put her on my exposed chest. I sucked in a breath. She was so beautiful, so perfect, so mine.
Roman appeared by my side a second later, planting a kiss on top of my head, and offering his daughter a forefinger she was eager to curl her fist over.
“I will protect you and your mommy from all the bad guys,” he promised, his eyes shining with something more than mischief. I took a mental picture of this image, tucking it for rainy days. “And also from the good guys who want to date you. I will protect you from everything and anyone who will try to harm you. No matter the cost, no matter the pain.”
I looked up at him and knew that it was true.
The princess saved herself.
But it was her knight that kept her story alive.