Dangerous:Made & Broken (A British Bad Boy Romance)(10)

By: Nora Ash

But when I finally snapped out of it again, in the middle of my own wedding reception, fear wasn’t the emotion that rushed through my body and washed away the last tendrils of stupor.

No, it was a refreshing wave of anger.

I wasn’t a bloody doll—and I damn well wasn’t a trinket to be exchanged for power and influence!

“Why don’t you two go up to the suite, eh? Everyone’s had the chance to see the happy couple now, so you may as well spend some time getting acquainted in private.”

I snapped my head in the direction of the speaker in time to see the groomsman from before waggle his ginger eyebrows at me. Behind him, Blaine stood, a glass of amber liquor in one hand and the other shoved down one pocket. Even in a tux he managed to look devil-may-care.

“Sure, may as well get started on securing the proud Steel-Clery lineage. Or should I say Steel-Holler lineage, eh, wifey?”

I got up from my seat with a glare in Blaine’s direction. “You should say whatever you damn well please, because there’s not going to be any lineage-making here, I can tell you that much.”

He whistled and took a swig from his glass. “Your daddy’s gonna be ever so disappointed.”

I repressed a shudder at the reminder of my father and brushed past the two men, intent on getting out of there before I got any more reminders. The one good thing to come out of this disaster of a day was that I would never have to see him or the rest of my family ever again. The worst had already happened, and they’d have no more use for me now that they’d traded me in for better connections.

I blinked as a thought hit me while I waited in the elevator for Blaine to exchange a few words with his groomsman before he joined me, glass still in hand.

In an odd sense, I was free now. I would never again have to look over my shoulder out of fear that my family would find me. They already had, and now there was nothing more they could do to me. They had taken the life I had fought so hard for from me, but in doing so, they had given up their power over me as well. I didn’t know much about Blaine, but I did know that his family was the most powerful crime syndicate in London—or else I wouldn’t have been forced to marry him. Which meant that not even my father, the most brutal and ruthless man in Belfast, would have the power to ever touch me.

For better or worse, I was a Steel now.

And my family could never hurt me again.

Blaine made a sound of protest when I grabbed the glass out of his hand and downed the remaining liquor in one swig. Whiskey. It burned my throat, but I relished the fire. When it hit my—empty—stomach, a pleasant wave of euphoria mixed with my already present anger into a weirdly exhilarating combination of… of power. For the first time in a very long time, I felt strong.

No one was ever going to push me around or make me cower. Yes, the worst had happened, but I was still standing, still alive. And I was free.

“So you lie to your patients about your name. What kind of a quack are you, anyway?”

Well, sort of free. I gave Blaine an irritated look. “My name’s Mira Holler, and it will always be Mira Holler.”

“Well, it’ll be Mira Steel from today,” he said, shrugging as the elevator doors slid open and revealed the penthouse floor of the hotel we were at. I hadn’t had the presence of mind to notice its name on our way here.

Blaine led the way to the only set of doors on the floor, found the key card in his tux pocket, and let us in.

I trailed after him, having nowhere else to go, and paused at the look of the suite once the door closed behind me. Everything was glass, gold, and white, with fresh flowers adorning all surfaces. Along the far wall, massive windows displayed a striking view of London and the Thames, the curtain of night interrupted by the multitude of lights from the city.

Blaine didn’t give the luxurious surroundings so much as a second look. He went straight for the mini bar and filled two glasses with liquor and ice. He held one out to me while taking a long draw from his own glass.

I walked over to him and snatched the offered glass out of his hand. The burn of whiskey on my tongue was oddly comforting, and I drank deeply. Too deeply, for someone my size who up until today drank maybe once in a blue moon, but I didn’t care much at that point. Getting hideously drunk seemed like a perfectly reasonable response to everything that’d happened.

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