Pretty Perfect Toy - Angel Payne




I am going to hell.

A choir sings in Latin. People speak in reverent tones. Sun streams through angels and saints on stained glass windows, dappling rainbows across pious stone effigies—

And all I can think about is undressing the golden perfection of a man next to me.

And that would only be the start.

I want to touch him. Caress every muscled, chiseled inch of him. Wrap my naked body around his. Guide his erect, straining body deep inside mine…

Not. Now.

But why not now?

Cassian. I ache…

Nearly six weeks have passed since the moment that changed life for him and me. Forty-one days, to be exact—since the night he confronted a group of hoodlums attacking me in a dark corner of Bryant Park, not knowing one of them was carrying a gun—that the thug then fired three times.

Even here, in the streaming sun of mid-July, I relive that horrific midnight as if it has just happened. The minutes, seeming like hours, of gripping his pale hand, locking my terrified gaze into his glassy one, screaming across the park for help until I was hoarse…then screaming some more…

“Please! Come quickly! His name is Cassian Court. Yes, that Cassian Court. You must help him! You must—”


My head snaps up. He is not pale any longer, thank the Creator—a little patch on his elegant nose actually peels from the sunburn he incurred during our sailing trip on New York Harbor over the weekend—and his eyes are glittering instead of glassy, as deep a forest green of the T-shirt hugging his flawless torso. Regrettably, that is mostly hidden now, layered beneath a tan sports coat paired with matching slacks atop his muscled legs…

With a backside to match.

Get your mind off his backside.

Stop thinking of how those perfect mounds would feel, clenched and naked against your palms, as his thighs slide between yours…


“Hmmm?” I hope he does not expect more. Likely, he does not. These moments come upon me often. It is a bizarre mix of the awe I felt when we first met, and reverent thanks for his simple aliveness—meaning I am now an idiot barely capable of logic or speech.

The sensation is…


And troubling.

I am rarely described by anyone, myself included, as the fanciful one in the room. And while Cassian Court is often labeled as New York’s crown prince, I spent much of my adult life just steps away from real royalty. True, the halls of Palais Arcadia, on the Mediterranean island I called home until two months ago, would not qualify as a wing of some New York buildings—but they were perfect training wheels for the world I am now a part of. Many times, even in the center of, as Cassian’s—


As I gaze at his chiseled face, the query burns deeper than ever. What am I to him? Girlfriend? Companion? The ideal decoration for his arm…for now? Or…something else? Something he does not want to see nor even has to, thanks to the giant whale still flopping in the middle of the room between us. A whale possessed by a ghost named Lily Rianna Court.

His wife.

Until four years ago.

It is the sole detail I can get out of anyone about her—including the man’s own mother. Yes, I have tried. And tried. Struggled to give him time and room to come to me—the considerations I did not give him the night I first learned about Lily. Instead I stormed off, making him chase me across a park—

The park he left on a stretcher. With three bullets in his body.

“Knock knock.” Cassian’s playful tone wrestles me from the flashback. He taps a finger to my forehead. “Anyone home?”

I gaze at his retreating hand. Despite my dark reminiscence, fresh need curls low in my belly. Finger porn, Cassian Court style, is not a temptation for which I have girded this afternoon. “Désonnum,” I mutter, jerking my stare to meet his instead—

As if that helps.

His eyes have turned smoky—and an alluring kind of reproving. When I use native Arcadian, it hits him like an aphrodisiac. I have not simply “guessed” at this fact. He made sure I knew it shortly after the shooting, when he was still prone in a hospital bed and unable to do anything about it. Since then, we have certainly been able to do a few things about it—just not all the “things” we did before that terrible night.

Things he always had such perfect names for.

I want to fuck the color from your eyes, Mishella.

Take me deeper, favori.

Of course you can come a fourth time for