Sera Dwari is a brilliant chemist and a deadly assassin who will stop at nothing to expand her family’s empire.
With her criminal father’s guidance, they’re slated to dominate the drug industry with her creation: Devil’s Breath. There’s just one, handsome, smooth-talking problem. Cassius Batista. Sera is tasked to kill the billionaire unknowingly funding their venture. She plans the job, anticipating every outcome. The one thing she didn’t see coming was…love. But betraying her father isn’t an option.
Cassius Batista is not naïve. When his brother introduces him to the alluring Sera he knows something is off. She is everything a man could want in a woman. But Cassius didn’t reach the top of the food chain by playing the fool. Sera is hiding something and he is determined to break through her icy facade.
The line between truth and fiction blurs for them both as the stakes reach lethal levels. Their courtship is a dangerous game. It can only end one way—someone has to die. Sera must choose between two men. The one who raised her and the one she’s fallen for.
Family may be forever, but is love worth risking it all?
The moment Cassius saw her, he knew she was going to be his demise. Sera Dwari. His brother, Christian, referred to her as the ice queen. The viper. The—
“You have no chance in hell,” Christian yelled in his ear. He had to yell. The music in the club was so loud that the table they sat at vibrated. “Look, little bro, you begged me to tell you what I know about her. And I did. She’s a fucking snob. Stop obsessing over a chick you haven’t even spoken to.”
“What are you talking about?” Cassius knew exactly what Christian was talking about. Sera walked past their table five minutes ago and nodded…merely nodded…at Cassius, and he was captivated. He’d never met her before. They’d never said a word to each other. Up until a few minutes ago, Cassius didn’t know she existed. But ever since she crossed his path, he couldn’t keep his eyes off her.
In truth, he zoned in on the stunning woman and her equally stunning friend the moment they entered 1 Oak—the most exclusive hotspot in New York City, or so Cassius was told. What did he know? Sure, he’d been to his fair share of luxurious establishments. But he usually avoided the party scene. He wouldn’t even be out that evening if his brother, and his brother’s accomplice, Damion, hadn’t dragged him there. Cassius wasn’t a nightclub kind of guy. He was more of a mountain climbing, dirt bike racing, bungee jumping, skydiving, open-adventure-adrenaline-rush kind of man. A scene where people drank overpriced liquor and tried to entice one another didn’t appeal to him.
He couldn’t deny the club was exquisite. The small bars in his hometown of Gillette, Wyoming, paled in comparison. Cream leather couches surrounded private tables—one of them occupied by Cassius, Christian, and Damion. Atop their table were expensive libations: four-hundred-dollar bottles of vodka and equally pricey bottles of tequila. Dim lights hung from the ceiling, swirling like diamond-encrusted snakes. Crimson foliage overflowed from giant vases and wrapped around the columns framing the dance floor. On the stage was a famous R&B singer. And Cassius could’ve sworn he saw a few celebrities walking around. Definitely, not Gillette.
Even with all the extravagance surrounding him, Cassius wasn’t a fan of New York City. He was only there to help his degenerate brother with a business endeavor. “Help” meant funding Christian. Because the man was forever broke, and Cassius had billions to spare. Literally, billions.
“I told you coming out tonight was a good idea,” Christian said. “But, if you’re looking for some action, there are plenty of other whores that’ll love to ride you until the sun comes up. Sera isn’t one of them. She’s out of your league. That’s saying a lot since you’re handsome and rich.”
“Yeah, she’s a bitch,” Damion chimed in. He nodded toward the woman standing next to Sera. “Her best friend is stuck-up too.”
“I don’t want to hear that disrespectful shit. Cut it out, or I’m leaving.” Cassius sipped his vodka and club soda, swallowing his aggravation. Christian and Damion were the poster boys of misogyny. Two thirty-two-year-old assholes who acted like privileged frat boys. Cassius fought with Christian numerous times about his behavior, but there was no getting through to his brother. If Cassius didn’t need to be around Christian, he would’ve left New York days ago.
“Hey, man, calm down. We’re messing with you.” Damion’s blue eyes glazed over. A mixture of too much alcohol and cocaine.
“I forgot, you’re a fucking feminist.” Christian sneered. “Quit being such a prude. You’re thirty, loosen up.” He patted Cassius’s shoulder. His diamond-encrusted watch shimmered like sunbeams.
The man loved to flaunt wealth he didn’t have. Whatever money he made was spent on extravagant items. Yet, he barely had enough funds left over to fill up his Mercedes. How are we from the same family? Their parents raised them better than that. But there was a reason why Christian had been disowned.
Cassius rubbed his forehead as if he could wipe away his growing headache. “I’m asking you to tone it down, that’s all.”
“Can’t you drop the Wyoming-bred, old-fashioned manners for once?” Christian swiped the condensation on his glass with a napkin. “Chivalry is dead here. City girls love to take co—”
Cassius raised his hand, palm forward, silencing his brother. He opened his mouth, an argument forming on his tongue. It was shut down by some commotion on the edge of the dance floor. What the hell?
A man twice Sera’s size grabbed her hips. With a quickness Cassius had never seen before, Sera—donning six-inch stilettos and a tight dress—landed a low sweep kick to the back of his legs. The impact brought the man crashing to his knees. Slamming her palm into his chest, he collapsed on the ground. She held him down by placing her spiked heel against the hollow of his throat. Then…she smiled. It made the hairs on Cassius’s arms stand up.
Sera’s eyes were calm as a lake on a windless day. That smile, though. It was a feral nightmare. Like a wolf grating at her manacles, on the verge of breaking her confines. It was a glimmer of unhinged desire. A flicker of blood behind ravenous teeth. Her foot pressed down on the man’s neck. Cassius thought she’d sink her heel deeper and sever his jugular. The music kept playing, and people continued to dance. Most were oblivious to what was happening around them. But Cassius watched Sera with unbridled intensity.
After a couple of agonizing seconds, she released him. Sera’s smile dropped, and her face turned to marble. Like an exquisitely callous sculpture. Leaving the man on the ground, she walked away. Her friend—who had watched the entire scene with remarkable indifference—waved the bouncers over to take care of the mess Sera left behind.
Lang Johnson worked in IT for ten years, where she spent her lunch breaks crafting stories on scraps of paper and stuffing them in her desk drawer.
When her secret stash was close to overflowing, Lang took a leap of faith and quit her job to pursue a career in writing. As a lover of true crime and romance books, Lang embarked on a journey to write her first romantic suspense novel, Devil’s Breath.
When Lang isn’t typing away, she enjoys globetrotting with her husband, cuddling her three fur-babies, diving, snowboarding, back-country camping, and dreaming up characters to fill the pages of her next novel.
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