by: Eve Vaughn
Dare O’Shaughnessy had the world in the palm of his hand. A man known and feared for his ruthlessness, his word was law. The last word he ever expected to hear was no. Until he met her.
Aya Smith despised the ruling class who looked down on hardworking people like her. Sick of being treated unfairly by laws that protect the wealthy and punish the poor, she takes a stand but soon realizes, she might have crossed the wrong man.
Created as a government program to assist in the repopulation of the country when an untested drug wipes out millions of women, The Run eventually evolves into something much more sinister. Now played for the amusement of the super rich, women down on their luck find themselves the prizes of sadistic masters.
Aya is forced to volunteer for The Run, and Dare, the most sadistic of all, places her in his crosshairs.She will belong to him, body and soul. But when he catches her will she succumb to his mastery, or will he find more trouble than he bargained for?
Aya took a deep breath as she made her way to the bar being careful not to look directly in the direction of the jerk supreme. As she poured his drink, she was tempted to spit in it. With each move she made, Aya could feel his heated gaze on her. She wasn’t naive about men like him. They acted like they owned everything they saw. He was toying with them and threatening their livelihood because he could.
She used as much time as she dared to fix his drink before walking toward him, still refusing to make eye contact. Aya forced herself not to slam the glass down in front of him. “Will that be all, sir?” she asked through gritted teeth while she kept her gaze planted on her feet.
“Look at me.”
Aya didn’t want to stare into eyes so deep a green they were almost hypnotizing. They were her favorite shade and she resented the hell out of him for that. Thoughts of her uncle forced her to comply. Slowly, she raised her head until she met his gaze full on. That cruel smirk curved his lips.
“If there’s nothing else, I need to see to the needs of the other customers.”
“I was under the impression from the proprietor that you don’t deal with customers. Which one of you is lying?”
She bit the inside of her lip to hold back an angry retort.
The bastard had the nerve to chuckle. “No need to answer. I can see he was just protecting what’s his. I can’t say I blame him. What are you to him?”
“I don’t think that’s any of your business.”
“Fair enough.” He picked up his drink and took a sip all while his gaze roamed the bar. After placing the glass down, the smirk returned. “How much do you think a place like this would cost if someone wanted to invest for the purposes of tearing it down and rebuilding?”
The blood pounded in her head and she dug her nails into her palms. “He’s my uncle.”
He nodded in seeming approval. “Have a seat, Aya.”
She didn’t like how he used her name as if he had the right but she complied. “Look Mr. O’Shaughnessy, I don’t know what you’re trying to do here, but we don’t want any trouble. We’re sorry if you haven’t found the service to your satisfaction but we just want to be left alone. Please.”
“You seem like an intelligent woman. I would have thought it was fairly obvious what I wanted.”
She folded her hands in her lap and clinched them tightly together to keep herself from trembling. This couldn’t be happening. There had to be a way she could get herself out of this. She opted to play dumb. “I have no clue what you’re talking about.”
He narrowed his eyes. “I think you do. In fact, I know you do. So, let’s not play games. You can make this really easy on yourself. You and your uncle will be taken care of for as long as I want you. And when I no longer do, you’ll be well compensated. You’ll be under my protection.”
She fought back the urge to attack him. The arrogant son of a bitch. “And what if I don’t make things easy on myself?”
“I don’t think you want to know. But the end result will be the same. I will have you.”
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Meet Dare O’Shaughnessy
Eve: Dare, thank you for allowing me to interview you today.
Dare: You’ve got ten minutes. Time is money.
Eve: Uh…okay. How about telling us a little about yourself?
Dare: I’m a man who’s used to getting what he wants and I’m not afraid to take it by any means necessary.
Eve: Wow. You sound kinda scary.
Dare: The only reason you need to be frightened of me if you’re standing in the way of what I want. Next question please.
Eve: So it’s my understanding that you own a game called The Run. What’s that all about?
Dare: The Run isn’t just a mere game. It’s a very profitable endeavor. It began as a government program after that pharmaceutical catastrophe. It—
Eve: What pharmaceutical catastrophe?
Dare: *glares* Didn’t you do your research before you sat down for this interview?
Eve: Well….sort of. I was kind of busy wasting away in Margaritaville.
Dare: *icy stare* You’ve now got six minutes. Let’s hurry up and get through this fiasco of an interview.
Eve: *mutters under breath* rude.
Dare: Excuse me?
Eve: Nothing. I said nice tie.
Dare: As I was saying, The Run was originally created to help with repopulation after the pharmaceutical disaster. Women were hunted by potential partners. After there was no longer a need for it, it was made defunct. My father bought the lands and revitalized the game with a twist for his friends. After he died, I took over and made it what it is today. Women are still hunted but for pleasure…at a very hefty entry fee.
Eve: *shivers* That sounds degrading.
Dare: Every single woman who enters The Run volunteers and they are paid handsomely for it.
Eve: I hear they’re naked.
Dare: *raised a brow* That part you researched?
Eve: Is it true?
Dare: *smirks* Yes. The Patrons seem to enjoy that part. Perhaps you’d like to volunteer. I think the Patrons would enjoy you.
Eve: No thanks. The only time I run is when I see the fresh out of the oven sign at The Krispy Krème. So…what makes you tick? What motivates you?
Dare: The need to be on top and to stay there. Failure is not an option.
Eve: Have you ever failed?
Dare: *icy stare*
Eve: Yeah…uh, I’ll take that as a no. Do you have any weaknesses?
Dare: Only one. Aya Smith.
Eve: That’s quite an admission from someone like you.
Dare: With Aya I find myself doing a lot of things out of character.
Eve: Like what?
Dare: None of your business.
Eve: Okay…well, how about some fun questions. Favorite color?
Dare: Brown, the color of Aya’s eyes.
Eve: Favorite pastime?
Dare: Making love to Aya.
Eve: Favorite meal?
Eve: Uh…Umm…I meant what do you like to eat?
Eve: Obsess much?
Dare: She is my obsession and that was your last question. I’m leaving.
Eve: Well, thank you for—”
Dare: *leaves Eve sitting by herself*
USA Today Bestselling Author Eve Vaughn has always enjoyed creating characters and stories from an early age. As a child she was always getting into mischief, so when she lost her television privileges (which was often), writing was her outlet. Her stories have gotten quite a bit spicier since then! When she’s not writing or spending time with her family, Eve is reading, baking, traveling or kicking butt in 80’s trivia. She loves hearing from her readers. She can be contacted through her website at: www.evevaughn.com.
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