Anything He Wants: Castaway (#1)

Anything He Wants: Castaway (#1)

by Sara Fawkes

NOOK Book(eBook)

$0.99

Available on Compatible NOOK Devices and the free NOOK Apps.
WANT A NOOK?  Explore Now

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781466857902
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 11/18/2013
Series: Anything He Wants
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 68
Sales rank: 76,648
File size: 266 KB

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: Castaway (#1)


By Sara Fawkes

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2013 Sara Fawkes
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4668-5790-2


CHAPTER 1

Sweat lined the brow of the small man sitting across from me. The thin comb-over lay plastered to his forehead despite the cool air flowing through a nearby air vent. He hugged a briefcase close in his lap, not looking at any of the men who stood around the table. His eyes kept glancing toward the exit, as if all he wanted to do was bolt and make a run from the tension slowly escalating within the dark room.

I totally understood the sentiment.

"We haven't got all day," muttered a dark-haired Scotsman leaning against the far wall, but he was silenced by the morose glare of the blond man beside him.

Hands clapped down on my shoulders and I flinched. "Right then," came a cheery voice from behind me as my hands curled into fists beneath the table. "Now that we're all here, let's get on with the show. Who wants to start?"

Nobody shared his enthusiasm. Across from me, the thin man flinched at each word, looking like he wanted to melt into the floor and disappear. I swallowed nervously as silence again permeated the room. Finally one large man leaning against a nearby wall pulled himself upright. Everyone else in the room rose slightly in attention, unconsciously deferring to his leadership. "Loki," he rumbled, the thick Russian accent lending weight to his words, "now is not the time for your games."

"If not now, Vasili, then when?"

I noticed several others in the room grit their teeth at the jovial reply. Vasili grunted, then looked across the table from me. "Doctor Marchand," the large Russian murmured, "make your request."

The thin man started, glancing blankly up at the Russian. The hands on my shoulders squeezed enough to get my attention. "Your turn."

My turn? I half-turned toward the man behind me. "To do what?" I tensed as several sets of eyes in the room turned toward me.

"Translation, my dear. Dr. Marchand here is French."

I gave the arms dealer behind me a sharp look. If this had been any other situation, I might also have given Lucas Hamilton a piece of my mind. I'd been born in Canada and spoke fluent French, but I didn't like being forced into things. The dark-haired man behind me smiled placidly, quirking one eyebrow. His momentary glance about the room took in the other men before returning back to me – as if I needed a reminder.

I didn't even know where I was or why I was there; this was the first time anyone had addressed me since we'd entered the room. I'd been given a seat while the others glared at one another, clearly trying to see who had the biggest ... well. I faced the Frenchman, pursing my lips. "They say to make your request," I translated in a dull voice. The pain of my fingernails biting into my palm was the only thing keeping me calm.

Marchand turned wide eyes at me, then licked his lips. His mouth worked for a moment, as if working up the courage, then he murmured, "I need help ... smuggling medicines."

"They'll want more than that, Doctor," I replied, trying to ignore the eyes on me. Those slim hands never left my shoulder, but for now their owner was as much the enemy as everyone else in the room. "Where is the medicine going?"

Defiance sparked in the man's eyes for a brief moment, then died as he looked around the room. "To Africa. My hospital needs these supplies."

I frowned. He sounded like an honest enough man, so why was he here? Probably the same reason I'm here, I thought, swallowing a bitter pill. Because I have no choice. "He wants to smuggle some medicine to Africa."

"What medicines?"

"AIDS medication," I replied after a brief pause, translating the reluctant answer from the Frenchman.

"Africa might be difficult," Lucas murmured, and I translated. "Greasing all the right palms there can be an expensive proposition."

"If you can get them to the Caribbean, he can take care of the rest." My stomach roiled as I listened to myself speak, and I forced myself to breathe slowly. The urge to hyperventilate and panic was powerful. I glanced up to see some of the men eyeing me, and I turned my attention back to the table.

The blond man against the far wall whistled. "That's expensive stuff," he said, his voice a rough Australian accent. "Worth a lot on the black market too."

When I translated this, the Frenchman became incensed. "He insists it's for his village and surrounding areas," I explained as the doctor continued to gesticulate wildly. "He isn't going to sell any of it for profit."

"Too bad." The Australian's laugh was an ugly sound. "He'd get top dollar for it, especially down in Africa."

Doctor Marchand seemed to understand the gist of the conversation because his face turned red in self-righteous anger, but he stayed quiet. He sent an accusing gaze to me, as if I was the one who gave them the idea, and I glared back. I wanted to tell him that I was as much, if not more so, the victim here, but I doubted he'd believe me. I didn't ask for this job, I thought silently, trying to shrug off the hands on my shoulders. Blame the slick-tongued snake behind me for that privilege.

The big Russian in charge turned to the man behind me. "You can do this, Loki?"

"Indeed." Lucas moved to my side but his one hand stayed on my shoulder. I looked up to see his scarred face study everyone else in the room. "However," he added, quirking an eyebrow, "I don't think that's the whole offer. Am I correct, gentlemen?"

"Right you are, mate." The blond Australian stepped forward. "We'd like to add a bit of our own cargo to the lot, since you'd already be heading that way anyway."

The doctor glanced up at the Australian, then turned to me. "What are they saying?" he asked in French. I held up a finger, silently asking him to wait, as the conversation continued around me.

"And what would you be transporting?" Loki asked.

"The usual." Niall grinned. "May as well kill two birds with one stone with this little jaunt."

Lucas eyed the blond man. "You realized this is only to the Caribbean, right?"

"Yup. I just need to get this lot out of the country; distribution should be easier after that."

Loki nodded, as if that explained everything. "I'll need a full inventory."

The Australian man snapped his fingers, and a sheet of paper was passed across the table. Doctor Marchand followed the exchange, dark brows furrowed. Loki read the list and whistled. "Impressive. Valuable too."

"What is it?" the doctor hissed, leaning forward toward me. "What are they talking about?"

I stared at the doctor, unsure how to respond. Surely he knew what manner of folk he'd fallen in with. "How did you meet these men?"

"When I wasn't able to get enough medicine through approved channels, I approached one of my benefactors for help. He set up the meeting but I have not met the men in this room before today." The thin man slapped one hand on the table, inadvertently drawing attention to himself. "What is it they say?"

"Weapons," I replied, sick to my stomach. "Guns more than likely. They'll be added to your shipment."

"Non!" Marchand banged both fists on the table and stood suddenly. "Tell them this is unacceptable," he insisted, gesticulating wildly, the briefcase waving about like a bludgeon. "This was to be a medical operation; I cannot allow them to ..."

Around the room, guns appeared in several hands. The Frenchman stuttered to a halt, his eyes going wide. My heart clenched in shared terror as the men in the room trained their weapons on the doctor. "No, wait," I exclaimed, rising to my feet, only to be pushed back into my seat by the hand gripping my shoulder. "Please, I misinterpreted something." Turning to Marchand, I said, "Please, think about your patients. If you die now, they'll never have help."

"If I allow this to happen," the doctor replied, voice high and fearful, his gaze moving between each of the men holding guns on him, "then I will be to blame for those who come into my clinic because of these weapons."

His words were like a suckerpunch to the gut. "Mr. Marchand," I begged, "please sit. This will happen now whether you want it or not, and all we can do is make the best of it."

The doctor's eyes swung between the men and my face, then with his hands still up on either side of his head he slowly lowered himself back into the seat. The defeat on his face was heartbreaking; he hugged the briefcase to his chest and, from the glare he gave me, I knew I was now firmly lumped in with the "bad guys" category.

I felt like one, too.

"What did he say?" the Australian asked, watching me intently.

"He, um, didn't know about the addition to the shipment."

The other man snorted. "Of course he didn't, love, or he'd never have agreed to throw his money in the pot. As long as he doesn't do that again."

"He won't, I promise." I glanced at the doctor. The thin man's glare nailed me to my seat, and I prayed he would keep quiet.

The Scotsman stepped forward at some silent order, wrenching the briefcase out of the French doctor's arms and setting it on the table. He unlocked and opened it, and my breath stuttered as I beheld more money than I'd ever seen in one place before. "This should cover the up-front costs," the Australian continued. "I am, however, open to certain ... negotiations."

There was a smug note in the man's voice, and when I looked up I saw him watching me, a lascivious look on his face. His eyes darted down to my chest, his grin widening, then he barked a laugh when I adjusted the shirt higher. "Your little translator amuses me," he said, glancing briefly at Lucas. "Give her to me for twenty-four hours, and you can have ten percent of the profits."

My heart froze, ice shards tearing through my body. I dug my fingers into my thighs until one of the nails broke. The pain jolted me upright, and the hand on my shoulder tightened.

"Ten percent? That's a generous offer."

I twisted my head to see if Lucas meant what he said, but the arms dealer didn't look at me. His gaze was set on the Australian, who was in turn watching me. The blond man leaned close, his hazel eyes searching mine. This close, I could see even in the low light that fighting and age had destroyed the finer edges of his face. His nose was crooked, the white lines of scars stood out on his chin and forehead, and one ear sported a thick layer of cartilage I'd seen on boxers. Even then, he might have been considered ruggedly handsome if not for the decidedly evil twinkle in his eye, ruining an already damaged visage. I immediately dropped my eyes, and heard him grunt in approval. "She wears fear well."

Behind me, Lucas shifted, clucking his tongue. "And here I thought you were a married man."

"My wife knows her place, and knows better than to question what I want. Whether I take some on the side is no business of hers."

"Ah. Then you wouldn't mind a trade then?"

The blond man blinked, the smirk slipping from his face. Abandoning me, he peered up at Lucas. Jealousy flickered across the Australian's face. "What are you saying?" he growled.

"Your wife for my little translator." When the other man's face mottled in rage, Lucas smiled. "What, are you afraid what your wife might think about a real man?"

"You son of a ..." The Australian grabbed at the gun on his hip, then the giant Russian man was there.

"Enough," he stated, muscles in his arms bulging as he crossed them over a wide chest. Vasili leaned down until he was face to face with the blond man. "Niall," he murmured, addressing the Australian. "Do we have a deal?"

Niall glared at Lucas, then down at me. The hand on my shoulder clenched ever so slightly, the only sign of Lucas' strain over the argument. Niall subsided. "We have a deal," he said bitterly. Not speaking another word, he signaled to his men. The Scotsman pulled the French doctor upright, dragging the man out of the room with everyone else.

I sagged in my chair, rolling my head backwards in relief. I didn't even realize I was leaning into Lucas' hip until he moved, lifting the hand off my shoulder. Until he pulled away, I hadn't realized how much his presence stabilized me. Swallowing hard, I gripped my knees, grateful when he moved away but ironically missing his strength.

"That wasn't so bad now, was it?"

Vasili ignored him, studying me for a moment. The Russian's stony gaze wasn't as scary as the lascivious look the Australian had given me, but was unnerving nonetheless. "Where is Anya?" he asked finally, thick accent rolling the letters of the other woman's name.

Emotional memories of a beautiful blonde woman dying on the ground resurfaced, and I bowed my head. Beside me, Lucas' smile faltered, then finally fell from his lips. "I required a new translator."

Vasili paused, then nodded. "Too bad," the big man murmured, expression never changing, "I liked her." He waved toward the door. "You may leave. I will contact you when ready."

Lucas pulled my chair back and I stood, skittering away when I felt his hand on the small of my back. His response was to pull me tight beside him as deep, thumping music washed over us. We reached the end of the stairs. As one man in a bouncer shirt pulled the rope gate open for us, we exited out into the chaos of music and flesh.

Before today, I'd never been inside a strip club. Two platforms connected both sides of the room, with naked women climbing tall poles at each end. Additional poles rose around the room, but most of the action here was done off the stages. Topless ladies entertained the various men seated in plush couches dotting the room. We moved slowly around the back of the club, Lucas keeping me in front of him, and I watched as two women led older businessmen behind curtains to our right. Neither woman was smiling, but that didn't seem to bother the men, whose gazes were very much not focused on the strippers' faces.

The women were all beautiful, but none of them seemed happy to be there. They ignored my presence completely, and I stayed tense and nervous until we got outside.

Lucas' big driver met us near the door with the car. After so long in a dark place, the bright sunlight momentarily blinded me. I shielded my eyes with one hand as Lucas led me forward toward the car. I climbed inside the limo first and crawled to the far end, while Lucas sat in his normal seat near the door. I studiously ignored the man, staring out the window.

"You did well in there," he said after a moment.

"Not like I had a choice," I replied bitterly, watching as we left this area of the city. I didn't even know where we were; buildings rose up all around me, blocking out any landmarks that could tell me my location. In the short time I'd lived in New York City and its surrounding areas, I hadn't given myself time to explore, so the street signs meant little to me.

"There is always a choice," Lucas replied, his voice even. "Sometimes, there just isn't a good one."

I turned to look at my erstwhile captor, but he was staring out a window at the passing city, not at me. Lucas was somber, an expression I hadn't seen on the man's face before. There was always a sneer, a snide remark or some sarcastic comment, but never this kind of quiet introspection. The change threw me for a loop and reminded me of another man who looked so similar.

My heart clenched at the thought of Jeremiah, and I stared down at my hands. I wonder if he's searching for me. Not even four hours before, I'd been snuggled in bed with the man I loved, and my life couldn't have been more perfect.

Now I was here.

"Why did you kidnap me?" I asked suddenly, searching for something to drive away the aching loneliness.

A ghost of a smile danced across Lucas' lips. "Would you believe it's because I enjoy your company?" he asked. I snorted. He shrugged one shoulder. "I thought not."

"If you needed an interpreter, you could have asked." Preferably someone else, I added silently, crossing my arms.

He looked at me. "What would you have said if I had asked?"

"No."

A true smile graced Lucas' lips. Even from across the car the familiarity of those blue-green eyes on the somber face struck me. He looks so much like his brother.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Anything He Wants: Castaway (#1) 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.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Anything He Wants: Castaway (#6) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The books just got better and better as they went
TTCG More than 1 year ago
love the series
PromisesCL More than 1 year ago
Anything He Wants was a pleasant surprise. It kept my attention till the very end. I could not put it down. I need it to be in one whole book though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is great, however the books are only 67 pages long for $2.99!!!!!
mervieann More than 1 year ago
Must read the 1st book "Anything he wants" to enjoy the second.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this series but it is another installment book:::2,99 for 67 pages: 4 installments: you do the math::::really wish authors would stop doing this!!!!!!!! The series is really good: As was the first part of the series which you can now get in a box set but installment books just piss me off and I tend not to by any more books from that author no matter how good they are:::If you run into these installment books please leave a review for the rest of us so we kniw before we by::::I would of given this whole series 5 stars if it wasn't a installment book:::::Orphya
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
N b ubybby bn