book cover of Bartered Submission

Bartered Submission

(The fifth book in the Billionaire's Wife series)
A Novella by

The word is out about Felicia and Anton's marriage, and Felicia's feelings are becoming complicated. Can she get close to the husband she doesn't even know when his entire life is a wall around his past--and his heart? Does she want to?

This 7,500 word short story is the fifth installment in The Billionaire's Wife series.


Anton stepped across the narrow space, closing the distance between us. Reaching out, he stroked a finger over my cheek, a light, gentle gesture that left me trembling, my lips parted, begging for something I couldn't put a name to.

Bending his head, Anton slanted his lips against mine and kissed me.

God, the man could kiss.

Our lips slid together, soft and sensual. He nibbled at me, as though sampling delicate fruit. Then his tongue slipped from between his lips and I was falling open to him, falling apart, begging him to come into me.

His arms went around me, his hands tangling in my hair as I rubbed my hands up his chest. I felt his heart hammering beneath my palm as he broke our kiss and moved his mouth to my ear. Hot breath whispered inside my head, full of wordless answers I could never decipher.

I was putty in his hands, my whole body listing into him, as though I were a sinking ship and he was the only thing keeping me afloat. If he kissed me again, I knew I would drown.

He didn't. Pulling away, he took my hand. "We should continue this conversation upstairs," he murmured.

Swallowing hard, I nodded. Upstairs. Yes.

He guided me back into the gallery and then up the narrow staircase. The creaking of the old floorboards beneath our feet crackled in the air between us.

We arrived in the master bedroom on the top floor. The room was dark, this late in the autumn, and the skylight above us was like a black hole. I imagined if it were to break we would be sucked out into space.

Anton switched on a bedside lamp, then took me by the hand and led me to the center of the floor, a few feet from the bed. The whole room was white and blonde, clean and fresh. Anton stood in front of me. His whole being screamed control, even in the way he relaxed his stance. The rock hard body underneath his suit hummed with tension. He had to control himself to relax, and, despite myself, my heart went out to him.

What had happened to make him so guarded? What made him so alone?

My fingers twitched. The gulf between us was so great, but if I could reach across it, if I could touch him where he stood trapped in his own iron grip...

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