Blood Ties (Dinero de Sangre #2) - Lana Sky

Chapter One

Mr. Jaguar is here.

Those four words have the effect of a seismic shift—though the destruction seems limited to Domino’s once calm mood. Abruptly, he shrugs me off, lunging to his feet, and, within the blink of an eye, he’s my cold captor once more.

“Where is he?” he demands of Ines.

She gestures helplessly toward the hall, just as the sound of distant footsteps advances in our direction—several sets to be exact. My breath catches as the first pair echoes off the walls, heavy and solid. Male? The second is softer, trailing behind.

Neither visitor, however, seems to have been invited here with Domino’s permission.

Nervous energy flutters between him and Ines—but I don’t know if I should be alarmed or relieved. Finally, I’ll come face to face with this Boogey Man I’ve been supposedly sold to. A part of me should take some sick glee in seeing Domino so visibly rattled, at least.

But I don’t.

“Ada-Maria.” Domino cuts his eyes to me, but they’re unreadable in the semi-darkness. Only his voice conveys a hint of emotion. “Cover yourself,” he growls.

I grapple for a handful of the sheets, but I’ve barely shrouded my breasts when the footsteps grow louder. Each thud resonates like a morbid drumroll as a man finally appears in the doorway.

Fear pinches my spine, and I sit straighter. He’s huge. I have to crane my neck to take him in fully and, if he is Jaguar, I’m disappointed. I expected someone who suits the callous, violent description I’ve gotten of him so far—someone physically ugly to match their brutal reputation.

Instead, he’s as much of a twisted contradiction as my current captor is—beauty and brawn in one intimidating package.

In fact, he and Domino share so many similarities, I assume the latter lied to me when he denied they’re brothers. They must be. Both sport dark hair, though this man has his cut short. Instead of a haunting green, his piercing eyes are a deep shade of brown that feeds on the shadows in the room.

Animal comparisons pop into my head. Domino is a tiger, quiet and reclusive, preferring to rely on stealth, but fully capable of making his stand with a fearsome roar when he has to.

This newcomer is a lion—or, perhaps more literally, a jaguar. Bold, his smile alone is dazzling, his gaze piercing, lingering over my chest. “Morning, little brother,” he says. His booming voice betrays the hint of an accent. Mexican?

I can’t decipher it by the time Domino replies. “Jaguar. You’re five days early.”

“What are you saying?” Jaguar raises an eyebrow. “Family can’t just drop by to say hello?”

“You’re here unannounced,” Domino replies, lacking the same enthusiasm. “I’m sure you brought backup. Ines, why don’t you go make sure they’re comfortable while we have a chat?”

The woman scurries off, and Jaguar watches her go, his gaze indecipherable.

“You know,” he says, returning his attention to Domino. “I thought I’d announce my little visit, but then I had a better idea. Why not come see what little Dom-Dom is hiding with my own two eyes? And now that I’ve gotten an eyeful of her myself, I’m impressed—” He winks, unconcerned by the way Domino moves to stand in front of me, further obscuring his view. “No wonder you didn’t want to share her.”

“I was to have a week,” Domino snaps. I hate him, and yet his unease drives my own dread, sending my pulse racing as I grip the sheets tighter to myself.

Perhaps he hasn’t been exaggerating about what he’s hinted of Jaguar?

That he’s no savior.

As the thought crosses my mind, the man enters the room fully. If I doubted his identity, he wears a short-sleeved black shirt that exposes his muscular arms—along with the full sleeve tattoo of a familiar feline predator crouching beneath carefully shaded leaves on his left bicep.

The rest of his outfit is simple. His plain dark wash jeans are marred with various spots of grease and grime that remind me of the mechanics my father hired to service the luxury vehicles he kept on his estate. His hands bolster the image, gnarled with scarred knuckles and fingernails sporting hints of dirt beneath them.

I carefully inspect every inch of him that I can, but the longer I put off one glaring realization, the more obvious it becomes. I hate myself for noticing, though why should I? I have no loyalty to the man beside me.

And if I were vain enough to care, Jaguar is just as handsome. His face is remarkably expressive, displaying every observation to cross his