Like a Poison (Randall Family, #2) by Keira Levett by Keira Levett - Read Online

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Summary

Hatred can be addictive, and sometimes the good guy doesn't get the girl...

Never trust a demon. Sandra Randall knows it better than anyone.  Hunter is ruthless, cruel, and heartless—everything her boyfriend isn't—and she's never hated anyone more.

Yet hate can be a powerful emotion, even stronger than love. When Sandra is faced with the choice between the man she loves and the demon she hates, the choice isn't as easy as one might think.

Sometimes the line between hate and need blurs. 

Warning: This book contains sexual content and violence, and is intended for mature audiences only.

Published: Black Aconite Press on
ISBN: 9781502252036
List price: $3.49
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Like a Poison (Randall Family, #2) - Keira Levett

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NINETEEN

Like a Poison

(Randall Family #2)

by Keira Levett

Copyright © 2014 Keira Levett

Published by Black Aconite Press

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and events are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual events, places, or persons are purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.

CHAPTER ONE

Sandra inhaled deeply and knocked on the door. Her heart was thudding so hard it was echoing in her throat. A part of her couldn’t believe she was really doing this.

At last, after what felt like an eternity, the door opened.

What a surprise, said the tall man known to everyone as Hunter Lampard.

She knew better. It wasn’t Hunter, the man she loved once. Nor was it a man, strictly speaking.

I want to make a deal, she said, forcing calmness she didn’t feel into her voice. She met his blue eyes steadily. I seem to remember that you like deals.

A cruel smile twisted Hunter’s lips. She couldn’t believe this thing managed to fool everyone that it was Hunter: their mannerisms couldn’t be more different.

I like making deals with beautiful women, he said softly. Come on in, Sandra.

She entered. As the door closed behind her, she felt like she was about to sell her soul to the devil.

It wasn’t far from the truth.

He headed to the living room. After a moment, she followed, the click of her heels sounding too loud in the tight hush of the apartment.

Would you like a drink? he said, pouring himself a glass of wine.

No, Sandra said.

He sat on the couch, his big body taking half of it. He gestured to the opposite couch. Take a seat, Sandra.

She did.

They looked at each other in silence. He sipped his wine slowly, his cold blue eyes fixed on her with inscrutable expression.

Strange. Hunter’s eyes—the real Hunter’s eyes—had never been cold. They had been warm and open. This man’s—this being’s eyes—were nothing like that. Sometimes Sandra couldn’t even believe that this was Hunter’s body, so different they were. Granted, the last time she had seen the real Hunter was over nine years ago. He had been nineteen. This thing was in a body of a man in his prime. The body he’d stolen. The life he’d stolen.

Sandra curled her hands into fists. What is your name? She didn’t want to address him or even think of him as Hunter.

He smiled. Does it matter? Besides, I’ve grown quite fond of this name. It fits, don’t you think?

When she said nothing, he raised a dark eyebrow. So, what’s brought you here? I’m a busy man and don’t have time for pleasantries. Let’s cut to the chase.

Sandra remained quiet for a while, choosing her words carefully.

She wasn’t going to ask him. She would never ask anything from him.

I want you to cancel your cousin’s wedding to my brother. Her words came out cold, unfeeling, matter-of-fact—as she’d intended.

He leaned back against the couch. I see. You do realize that the wedding is two days away, right? His tone was mild, but his gaze was mocking.

Sandra glared at him, barely keeping her claws from coming out. Her wolf surged under her skin, wanting out, but she pushed it back. She must stay calm. She couldn’t kill him, no matter how much she wanted to do it. She could do nothing, even though it seemed unnatural to just sit here and talk calmly to the monster that had taken away the man she loved—the monster that effectively killed the man she loved. She didn’t know much about demons, but it was widely known that demons wrenched a person’s soul out of the body before replacing it with their own soul. There was nothing left of Hunter in that body.

But as much as she abhorred him, the demon was the only one who could help her brother get out of his predicament. Logan was in love with another woman but couldn’t break his engagement to Vanessa without starting a war between their packs—the war that their pack would inevitably lose, considering that they were on the verge of war with two other packs as well. They were vastly outnumbered.

I do realize that, she said aloud. That’s why I’m here.

Hunter—damn him, she hated that he was forcing her to think of him by that name—shook his head.

I’m afraid what you’re asking for is impossible. First of all, I’m not the alpha of the pack. My father is. A mocking glint appeared in his eyes again. He was referring to David Lampard, Hunter’s father, of course. Sandra wondered how no one in his pack noticed that he wasn’t Hunter. He’d been successfully fooling everyone for almost ten years.

Second of all, he continued, taking a sip of his wine again. Even if I were willing to attempt to persuade my father to cancel the wedding, he would never do it. He wants your brother’s money too much. So I’m afraid your dear brother will have to suck it up and marry my beautiful cousin.

Sandra gave him a flat look. Cut the bullshit. There’s very little you can’t make happen if you truly want it.

He cocked his head, studying her through hooded eyes. True. But what’s in it for me?

Sandra licked her lips and took a deep breath in. Crazy. Absolutely crazy. She couldn’t do it.

She had to.

Nine years ago, you made me an offer.

His lazy posture was gone in an instant, his shoulders tensing up and eyes fixing on her face intently. Go on, he said.

Sandra crossed her legs and gripped her knee. If you cancel Logan’s wedding and ensure that your pack would support the Randall pack, I’ll…I’ll do it.

He stared at her, his expression unreadable.

At last, he said, How do I know you’re telling the truth?

Sandra gave a short laugh. "What? You are doubting my honesty? Pot, kettle, black."

He didn’t smile. He didn’t laugh. He was completely still. Yes, I’m doubting your honesty. If I cancel your brother’s wedding, how do I know you’ll keep your end of the bargain? He held her gaze. Considering that the last time we spoke—

I tried to kill you, Sandra cut him off, leveling him with a look. She wouldn’t let him provoke her. And she most certainly wouldn’t blush like a schoolgirl.

Yes. He smiled. Among other things.

Sandra inhaled slowly and spoke only when she felt she was calm enough. Isn’t there a way for you to ensure that the deal is unbreakable? I thought there was a contract—or something. If people could break deals with your kind easily, Hunter would be here now. She was proud that she could say the words with her voice steady and emotionless.

There is a contract, in a manner of speaking—usually. But what I want from you has to be done out of your free will. I can’t bind you to do it. The woman must truly want it or she will die in horrible, agonizing pain.

Sandra struggled to keep her face expressionless. You are not serious.

I’m very serious.

I’m a Randall. We keep our word.

He looked decidedly unimpressed. I would trust your brother to keep his word, but I don’t trust you, sweetheart. If you are really willing to do that, we’ll have to marry—you do realize that, right?

Although Sandra had expected it, she still flinched.

He looked at the glass in his hand. That’s the only way I can keep an eye on you and the only way to ensure the alliance between our packs. Otherwise, my father would never agree. Besides, we can hardly have you pregnant and unmarried, can we?

Sandra swallowed the bile rising in her throat.

She couldn’t believe she was really agreeing to this. Why do you even want a child? He hadn’t told her the reason when he made the offer all those years ago. You don’t exactly strike me as the fatherly type.

He smiled a smile that didn’t touch his eyes. I’m not planning to sacrifice it if that’s what you’re afraid of. What I want the child for is none of your business.

It’s definitely my business if we’re talking about my hypothetical baby.

He raised his eyebrows slightly. Are we? Would you really want a child of a demon?

Sandra gripped her knee harder. Wouldn’t it be biologically Hunter’s child?

No, he said, his eyes narrowing. The child will be mine, not the former Hunter Lampard’s. This body, he gestured to it, isn’t even really his body anymore. I altered it genetically to make him what he wasn’t. He was weak and pathetic—

Shut up, Sandra bit out, breathing evenly and reminding herself she couldn’t kill him. She needed his help, as much as she hated it.

He smiled. Why? You know it’s true. Only a weak man would go to a demon and ask the demon to make him stronger. His lips twisted. He wanted to be a black wolf like you. He came to me because he felt inferior to you.

Bastard. He knew. He knew she felt guilty about what had happened to Hunter.

You enjoy it, don’t you? she said. You enjoy causing pain. You’re the kind to kick someone who’s down.

Very true.

You’re despicable.

Also true. He met her eyes, the mocking expression back. "So will you make me the