The Falling: A Dark Mafia Romance (Finding Forever, #3) - Jessie Jones

Chapter 1

The large, British billionaire carried a sleeping Gillian into his personal master suite. Reaching the king-sized bed, John motioned for Stewart to pull back the covers before he gently laid her down in the center. Bending over her, he caressed one porcelain cheek before placing a kiss on her lips. John then pulled the cover up over her body before he cracked his thick neck and rolled his tired shoulders. Taking another look at the woman lying in his bed, John felt the tears sting the back of his eyes. Gillian could have died today. The thought made his stomach clench and twist in pain and the bile rise in his throat. John had completely underestimated Pandora and Galen and put Gillian in danger. Due to this careless mistake and lack of judgement on his part, Gillian had suffered, and John could not forgive himself. How could she ever look at him the same again?

"This poor creature," Stewart said softly, wiping a fallen tear from his own cheek as he stared at the sleeping American. The bruising that was already forming around her neck and face was horrendous to look at. When he raised his eyes to look at John, the breath caught in his throat. The Brit was fighting back his own tears, and in all the years Stewart had known him, he had never seen John so emotional. Approaching John, Stewart put a hand on his employer's shoulder. "John, I'm so sorry. Is there anything I can do for you? Anything you need?"

Shrugging his shoulders and pulling away from Stewart, John quickly wiped at his eyes and cleared his own throat. "Whiskey, Stewart. All I need is a bottle of whiskey."

"John, I don't think whiskey will help."

"I'm not paying you to think, Stewart," John replied hatefully, his brown eyes blackening as he turned toward the smaller man. "Just get the fucking bottle and leave. Send Pat in the moment he gets here. No one else is allowed in."

Straightening his back indignantly, Stewart did as John directed. When he came back, John was sitting on the edge of the bed removing his boots. Placing the bottle on the nightstand, the butler softly said. "Sometimes you have to let others help you, John. You don't always have to carry the weight of the burden on your own."

John responded to the butler's words by opening the bottle of whiskey and taking a long drink. Hearing Stewart leave the room, he made his way around the bed while taking another swig of the warm, brown liquor. He set the bottle down long enough to pull up a chair and plop his tired frame down. The Brit desperately wanted to lie beside Gillian and wrap her up in his arms, but he didn't want to disturb her. His own personal physician had given Gillian medicine to keep her sedated so she could rest and begin to heal. John not only had Bennet examine her on the plane, but Dr. Dutch Williams had reexamined his kitten the moment they'd touched down in London. Both doctors had concluded that Gillian had physical trauma to her neck and face, but that there was no sign of anything sexual. They had also reassured John that there were no broken bones and that Gillian, after a few days of rest, would be fine. John's guard, Luther, had stayed behind in Paris to clean up the Galen mess.

Throwing the bottle back again to take another drink, John's eyes rested on Gillian's angelic, beautiful face. The tears sprang to his eyes once again as he noticed the bruising around her slender neck. He silently thanked his creator for keeping Gillian alive. Why had he agreed to let her go to the meeting without him? John had made sure she had guards with her but not his most experienced. He wouldn't make that mistake again. Now that kitten was back in his home and under his control, John would see to it personally that Gillian was always safe and protected, whether she liked it or not.

Hearing a soft gasp escape her lips, John saw her brow knitting together in pain and fear. Crawling into the bed, he reclined his massive, muscular frame beside hers as he again kissed her lips. Stroking one porcelain cheek lightly, John said, "Shh kitten. You're safe, sweetheart. I'll never let anything happen to you again." He felt a knot form in his throat and a tear roll down his cheek when he heard his name escape