Return to a world of opulence and seduction with the second serial installment of CASTAWAY, the continuation of the New York Times bestselling miniseries ANYTHING HE WANTS!
When enigmatic billionaire Jeremiah Hamilton first seduced Lucy Delacourt, he swept her out of her ordinary life and into the extravagant world of the rich and powerful. There she experienced the highest highs, dangerous lows, and unimaginable passion...until it all came crashing down.
Now Lucy and Jeremiah are finally reunited, but her homecoming isn't at all what she expected. Jeremiah is determined to protect her no matter what the cost while Lucy struggles to come to grips with the decisions she made in his absence. Will she be the woman who finally tears two brothers apart forever? And can Lucy bear to live with the consequences of her actions?
About the Author
SARA FAWKES is the New York Times bestselling author of Anything He Wants, Castaway, and the upcoming New Adult novel, Breathe Into Me. She lives in California, where she writes full time.
SARA FAWKES is the USA Today bestselling author of Anything He Wants, which was originally self-published as an e-serial novel and sold hundreds of thousands of copies. She lives in California, where she writes full time.
Read an Excerpt
Anything He Wants
By Sara Fawkes
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2013 Sara Fawkes
All rights reserved.
"I just had the most amusing thought. Do you want to hear it?"
Jeremiah glared at the smiling Lucas, but the gunrunner didn't seem fazed in the slightest. The grin on his face was stretched almost garishly wide, teeth shining white in the dim light, as he stared at his larger brother. "The last time we were in this exact same predicament, our positions were reversed. Didn't you have the gun pointed at me, little brother?"
"Oh yes, I remember! You said I had to give you a good reason why not to kill me." Lucas cleared his throat dramatically, the gun not wavering a bit. "So, dear brother, it's your turn. Why shouldn't I kill you?"
"For me," I blurted out, trying to move around to the front. Jeremiah however shifted to keep himself between myself and the gun, effectively blocking my path. His response annoyed me, but I persisted. "Lucas, please."
Jeremiah glanced back at me, and missed the brief disappointment that flashed across his scarred brother's face. It disappeared almost immediately, hidden by that manic smile as if it never existed. "She said 'please'," he murmured conspiratorially, and for a moment I thought for sure he would tell Jeremiah about what had happened in that room only hours before.
"However, unlike my brother," Lucas continued, lifting the gun to his shoulder, "I won't actually shoot family."
Jeremiah stepped forward the moment the gun moved toward the ceiling. I couldn't even call what he did grappling; like magic, he tore the gun from Lucas' hand, slammed the man against the opposite wall and turned the gun on him.
"My men however," Lucas continued quickly, grunting at the effort of speaking with a compressed rib cage, "have a rocket propelled grenade aimed at your ship and if I don't call them off in ten seconds they shoot." He held up a radio in one hand. "Nine."
"Call them off."
"Ah." Lucas glanced at the gun shoved in his face. "No. Threats like this tend to turn me into a rebel. Sorry."
"Why yes, that's my name, and you know I don't bluff. Six."
I stepped forward and grabbed Jeremiah's elbow. "I'm fine, Jeremiah," I said, a little desperate. "Let him go."
The big man looked at me, eyes blazing, then back at his brother who held up a hand showing four fingers. Cursing, he released Lucas, lowering the gun, and immediately the gunrunner lifted the radio to his lips. "Give me another thirty seconds, and stay on them if they move."
Lucas lowered the radio. "Call your men off my ship, Jeremiah."
The two were standing nose to nose in a battle of wills. Jeremiah's hands worked at his side, clenching and unclenching like he fantasized of wringing his brother's neck. Lucas seemed unfazed by the posturing, but a thick muscle in his cheek gave away his own tension. Seconds passed, and I was ready to start wringing some necks myself when Jeremiah lifted a hand to his ear. "Pull out." He paused. "I'm staying here. Pull back to the boat."
I sighed loudly in relief, but neither man broke their stares. Figures appeared through the doorway, and I recognized Kolya and several others. They leveled their guns at Jeremiah as Lucas spoke into the radio again. "Let the ship go."
There was a significant pause, then another, "Yes sir."
"Strip him of his weapons and gear," Lucas said, "then take him downstairs. Don't take any shots at him, he holds grudges and doesn't play fair when he gets payback."
One of the men tried to grab Jeremiah's arm but the black-clad commando slipped easily from his grasp. He didn't protest however as they removed the assault rifle and sidearm, then looked at me. "Are you really okay?"
A lump formed in my throat at his simple question and the myriad complexities that came with it. "Yes," I whispered, a queasy churning starting in my gut. Then, without any warning, Jeremiah swept me into his arms and pulled my lips to his.
The kiss was as strong and solid as I remembered. For a moment, I lost myself in his strength, forgetting my surroundings and the stress of the last few days. The second the kiss ended however, it all came crashing back, a jumbled disaster that made my heart sick.
Jeremiah pressed his forehead to mine. "I'll get you home," he murmured, big hands cupping my face. Stepping away, he moved out toward the gangplank without another word, the two men with guns following closely behind.
"Make sure everyone is accounted for," Lucas told Kolya, who nodded and disappeared through the door.
I sat down on the bed, covering my mouth with one hand. I felt like I was going to be sick. Horror dawned as I was brought face to face with the potential consequences of my decisions, and I drew in several shaky breaths before I could look at Lucas. He said nothing, merely staring down at me in uncharacteristic silence. His mouth was set in a flat line, then without a word he left the room. The door clicked shut behind him, leaving me alone with my misery.
What have I done? Not even three days before, I'd said words that came from the heart. Now, I was left to wonder what exactly those same words meant to me any more.
Falling back onto the bed, I pressed fingers into my temples to ward off the headache forming behind my eyes. What did I feel? Right at that moment, I wanted to feel nothing, but my heart wouldn't allow that. Every emotion under the sun swirled inside me like a churning cauldron. There was no making sense of anything, let alone making decisions.
I wasn't sure how long I sat there, wretchedly contemplating my future, before Lucas returned. A duffle was slung over one shoulder, and I watched as he stuffed clothing from the drawers inside without once looking at me. The lump in my throat grew bigger, and I had to swallow several times before I could speak. "Where are you going?"
"I'll be bunking up top with Matthews and Frank. You can have this room to yourself."
He said nothing for a moment, pushing clothes into the small sack. "My selfishness ruined the life of one innocent girl already." His normally expressive face was carefully blank. "I won't repeat that mistake again."
I watched him move around the room, picking up things he would need. One guilty subject weighed heavily on my mind, and finally as he threw the bag over his shoulder, I couldn't hold myself back anymore. "Does Jeremiah know about ..." I started, but Lucas interrupted as though he'd been expecting my question.
"He thinks you are my prisoner, and you are. Anything else that's happened is up to you to tell." Lucas' voice was bereft of any emotion but at least when he finally turned around there was no condemnation. His mouth twisted ruefully. "You're free to leave the room, my men have strict orders not to touch you."
I flinched at his choice in words. You're free to leave. Jeremiah had said the same thing to me when I'd said I loved him. The memory stirred up more confusion in my heart as Lucas opened the door. "Don't go."
The words were barely above a whisper but Lucas paused, then turned back toward me. I couldn't meet his eyes, my vision blurring with sudden tears, but he set down the bag and knelt at my feet. A hand tucked a lone strand behind my ear, and I leaned into the touch. "Lucy," he said, waiting until I raised my eyes to his. "Tell me why I shouldn't leave."
"Because ..." I stopped, unable to form a response. My mouth worked as I desperately tried to come up with a reason that made sense. Considering how unreasonable the last few days had been however, nothing convincing came to mind.
After a moment of silence, he nodded slowly. "I thought so." Standing back to his feet, I watched as he picked up the duffel and slipped quietly out the door, the latch clicking shut behind him.
I felt as though my heart was breaking, and couldn't understand why. Jumping to my feet, I paced along the room, nervous energy making me go stir crazy. I'd been locked up inside for too long; time had no meaning anymore. I had a vague feeling that, outside the metal walls, night had fallen, but right now I was wide awake and needed answers.
Something cracked under my foot and, looking down, I saw the framed picture beneath my foot. Picking it up, I saw with some dismay that I'd broken off an edge of the frame itself, but the glass had miraculously held up to the recent beatings. The two boys stared at me, so young and full of life and love. Their eyes lacked the anger and mistrust of the men I'd seen earlier, and I wondered if those days were forever gone from their lives.
Setting the frame carefully atop the dresser, I slipped on my shoes and opened the door. Jeremiah and Lucas would have to work out their differences on their own time. I had too many questions that I needed answered, and knew only one person who could do that for me.
Jeremiah's prison wasn't really a cell so much as a dank room at the bottom of the ship. The rumble of the engines was much louder here, the walls and floor vibrating from the proximity. Two of Lucas' men stood outside, but when they saw me, one of them casually unlocked the door. "Might want to knock first," one of them rumbled, and I noticed even in the low light that he had a dark bruise forming around one eye.
Taking a deep breath, I knocked softly against the wood door, then opened the door carefully. Poking my head around the frame, I found Jeremiah's hulking form sitting on a bunk. The large man stood to his feet as I came into the room, and I shut the door behind me to give us some privacy.
"Hi," I murmured, taking another moment to gather my thoughts by looking around the room. The room was small, with two sets of recessed bunk beds at one end and an open toilet at the other. A solitary light on the ceiling illuminated the room, showing me that Jeremiah had removed most of his gear and only wore the black shirt and pants now. Leftover war paint showed as streaks to his arms and face, but I could feel his gaze on my skin. It still took me a minute to get up the courage to look him in the eye.
"What happened?" he asked.
I knew immediately what he was asking, and it was as good a place to start as any. "After you left, I got into a limo outside the house that I thought you'd left for me. I had no idea it was Lucas behind the wheel. He drove me to another car, then offered to let me come with him."
"What did you say?"
"I asked him to take me back." My mouth twisted down at the memory. "So he kidnapped me for real, sending his driver in to drag me out kicking and screaming."
Jeremiah grunted, and when he shifted I became aware of his proximity. As much as I wanted desperately to touch him, there might as well have been a wall between us. He was less than four feet away from me, but neither one of us would take that first step. Finally, Jeremiah spoke. "When I heard they'd found one of my drivers tied up in the bunkhouse, I knew something had happened. Then I was told you weren't in the house, and Jared was found unconscious. I couldn't ..."
Jeremiah cut himself off, and I saw a myriad of emotions race across his face. The stoic mask was gone, and he seemed to struggle with his next words. "By the time we started tracking the car, it had already stopped moving, and when we got there everyone inside was gone. You were gone."
My chest tightened at the unexpected emotion I heard in his voice. "So what did you do?" I whispered, scarcely able to breathe.
He stared down at me, green eyes bright in the dim light. "Moved heaven and earth."
I gasped, throat tight, and covered my mouth to hold in the choked sob. The wretched space between us disappeared; Jeremiah took the step we'd both been avoiding and pulled me into his arms, and I broke down. He trembled against me, thick fingers digging into my skin. Everything that had been weighing on my mind exploded out, and I cried against his chest.
He held me, stroking my back as my emotions leaked out. "I'm sorry I couldn't protect you," he murmured, squeezing me tight. We stayed that way for a long time, content to be touching one another. Eventually my sobs lessened and, drained of emotion, I clung to his solid mass.
He laid a kiss to the top of my head, both hands running down my back possessively. "That son of a bitch Lucas. You're mine."
The words were out before I could stop them. "Your what?"
I don't know what I expected to hear from my spontaneous query. So much of my uncertainty and doubt funneled into that single statement, but Jeremiah paused. Disentangling myself from around the big man, I looked up into his face. "I'm your what?" I asked again, detachment growing in my heart.
The question seemed to confuse the other man, who frowned down at me. His reaction touched a nerve, and resentment built quickly. "When we last spoke," I said, keeping my voice low and embracing the anger, "I said some words to you which you rejected. So please tell me what I am to you."
"Don't." I stepped away, allowing the anger to flow. Rage was so much easier to deal with than pain; it allowed me to say the things I needed to get out. "You say I'm yours, but I'm not allowed to love you. So what am I? A responsibility? A liability?"
His chin came up. "I swore to protect you."
I gaped at him. Surely he understood what I was asking. "I don't care about my safety," I snapped, "that's not important right now ..."
"It is to me."
"Why?" My last word was a shout, and Jeremiah straightened up. I waved my hands around my head, unable to contain my energy. Giving an exasperated groan, I turned away, rubbing a hand over my face. When I looked back, that stoic mask was back over his face, and I suddenly wanted to cry again. "Why do you think you can claim me, yet reject my love?" I murmured brokenly. "What gives you that right?"
He didn't answer for a long moment, and I almost turned to leave when he finally spoke. "Love isn't a happy ideal in my family." The mask threatened to crumble for a moment before clamping back in place. "I don't wish for the ... complications love might bring."
My shock at his attempt to justify his actions faded quickly. "That may be so," I conceded, "but my parents were happily married for twenty-four years before they died. My grandparents, fifty-two. The words meant something to me." I sighed. "I never asked for you to reciprocate, I only wanted to tell you how I feel."
But Jeremiah just shook his head. "That word is a mere platitude. If the affection is there, why does it need to be named?"
Platitude. That word again. Oh, how I hated that word. My hands balled into fists, insides quaking at the sudden rage it induced. "You won't even try to see my side, will you?" If it didn't fit in with the way he believed, it was wrong. Was this the real Jeremiah? Had I been so blind this entire time?
"Fine," I snapped, not bothering to wait for his answer. "No love then. Let's see what that feels like." Without bothering to think about what I was doing, I grabbed his head and hauled his face down to me.
The kiss was a disaster from the start, but I didn't care. I'd surprised him, that was obvious, but Jeremiah recovered quickly. He pulled back and I followed, determined to teach him a lesson, if I only knew what lesson that was.
"Lucy," he growled, hands clamping around the tops of my arms. I abandoned kissing his mouth and moved down to his neck and he froze, not pushing me away. The acrid taste of sweat and salt water filled my senses, and for a moment I forgot myself. I skimmed my teeth along his skin and felt him shudder against me. My hands moved under the shirt, tracing the familiar pattern of muscles there. I heard the sharp intake of breath when I pressed myself close, nipping lightly at one nipple through the thin material of the shirt.
Pulling my hands off his body, I wrenched free of his grip and sank to my knees. I could see instantly that he was turned on by the play; his pants bulged beneath my fingers as I worked the clasps. He tried to grab my arms to pull me upright as I worked the clasps to his pants and I pushed at his hips. While he grabbed the bunk for support I unhooked his pants and reached inside.
"No love, you say," I muttered, ignoring him. "All we had was sex and a little danger. Why stop now?"
Hands gripped my arms and hauled me up to my feet. Jeremiah's face filled my vision. "It wasn't just sex," he exclaimed, shaking me. "I was ..."
My hand smacked across his face, stopping whatever he was about to say. The blow startled him; Jeremiah blinked down at me a few times before releasing my arms. "Do you feel better now?" he said, lips compressing into a thin line.
My slap had been from a bad angle, with barely any force behind it. The callous disregard in his tone fired me up again. "No," I answered, and balling up my fist I threw my arm into a hook, landing right in his jaw.
Pain bloomed almost immediately and I gasped. I saw Jeremiah stagger sideways at the blow but whatever triumph I might have felt was eclipsed by the agony in my hand. Moaning, I looked it over, tenderly probing the swollen flesh.
Excerpted from Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes. Copyright © 2013 Sara Fawkes. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
again, love the series.