The Player (The Game Maker #3)(10)

By: Kresley Cole

“Tu hablas español?” she asked, seeming overjoyed.

Everyone in my family spoke at least two languages. Each tongue opened up new mark pools. I answered, “Sólo lo suficiente para ser peligroso.” Just enough to be dangerous.

Dmitri crossed to stand beside me, introducing his brothers. Aleks, the oldest, had amber eyes like Dmitri’s, while Maksim’s were piercing blue.

“We are very pleased to meet you, Victoria,” Maksim said. He put his arm around Lucía, holding her close, as if they were about to burst from happiness.

Dmitri and I had had one kiss!

Aleks had gravitated to Natalie’s side, taking her hand in his big one. “Yes, Victoria. A genuine pleasure.”

I eked out a smile. “Likewise.” Though I didn’t sense any acute tension between Aleks and his youngest brother, body language told me Dmitri was closer to Maksim.

Lucía asked me, “Where did you get that dazzling dress?”

“I made it.”

Jessica circled me, assessing. “Get the fuck out. I know clothes. That’s serious clothes.”


Dmitri moved closer, draping an arm over my shoulders. “She is beautiful and talented.”

Natalie and Lucía shared an awww look.

Was this some kind of punking? Where was the camera? Why was I tempted to relax back against Dmitri and enjoy the ride?

My gaze darted to Pete, standing across the room. He looked as dumbstruck as I felt.

I told the group, “Peter’s my cousin.” Hint-hint: I’m related to “the help.” I lifted my flute for a sip.

Jessica said, “I see the resemblance. I plan to fuck him too. So now it all makes sense.”

I coughed champagne, then laughed at the absurdity of all this; they thought I was laughing at Jessica, and everyone relaxed. So, okay, this is happening.

Dmitri said, “Let’s hear from the toastmaster, then.”

Maksim nodded. “Have a seat.”

As the others returned to the sectional, Lucía said, “We can scoot closer.”

Dmitri said, “No need.” He took the remaining plush chair, then pulled me down to sit across his lap, all casual possessiveness.

Near the bar, Pete texted the family faster than I’d ever seen him type.

Maybe I wasn’t jinxed! Hell, if Nigel hadn’t bailed, I wouldn’t have been at this party.

A man like Dmitri Sevastyan wouldn’t be signaling a server for another glass of champagne for me.

I hated to drink on a con, but for fuck’s sake . . . I traded out my empty flute. “Thank you.”

Dmitri took one himself. We met gazes. His spellbinding eyes seemed to hold a thousand secrets.

And could I be a bigger idiot? I knew better than to moon over a mark. I knew all the lines—

“I want you to be comfortable and enjoy yourself,” he told me.

Huh. A line I’d never heard.

He adjusted me closer to his chest until I could feel the steady drum of his heart. He inhaled the scent of my hair, and his heartbeat sped up.

At my ear, he murmured, “Our first kiss made me burn. I’m eager for our second.”

I melted from his voice, as if the sound had been hot-wired to my pussy.

“You should not make me wait too much longer, moy ángel.”

Did that mean my angel? When I shivered, his cock stirred beneath my ass, but he controlled himself.

I whispered, “You assume you get a second?”

“If I have to move heaven and earth . . .”

Guh. Heart thud. My con had a glaring weakness; how the hell could anyone deny him?

With an enviable social ease, Maksim began a speech about accomplishments and marriage, happiness and love. He’d entranced everyone else—were Lucía’s eyes glinting?—but Dmitri overloaded my senses until I hardly registered a word.

Get cold, Vice. Work. The. Con.

After a couple of toasts, Maksim raised his glass to Dmitri and to . . . me. “A toast to new friends. May they always feel our family’s welcome.”

I raised my glass and drank, nearly coughing when I spied the bald Vasili in the background. He crossed his beefy arms, his gaze locked on me.

It’s his job to be an asshole, I assured myself. Nature of the beast.

Everyone clapped for the charismatic Maksim, and the music resumed. Servers made their way through the crowd with platters and more drinks. One delivered a tequila bottle service with shot glasses and accompaniments, setting it on the coffee table.

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