Shielded Wrongs (Bellandi Crime Syndicate # 4) - Adelaide Forrest Page 0,1

of the nickname I hated so much. Inching into my space like I’d invited him, he braved a step forward until his body heat warmed me through my jacket.

“If you want to keep your balls, you’ll step back right fucking now.” My voice dropped to the tone that I didn’t use often, the one where even Patrick knew I meant business. Turning to look at him, I wasn’t willing to let him into the gym before we opened.

I’d never get rid of the persistent bastard who was determined to buzz around me like a gnat that I just couldn’t squish.

He moved away, rubbing a hand over the back of his head as if he hadn’t invaded my space without permission. Nobody came into my bubble without my consent.


“We cannot work through the problem. I came home from dancing with a friend and found another woman’s mouth on your dick, because you were in the mood to Netflix and chill when I was occupied. In my house! That is not a fixable problem. That is the kind of problem where you’re lucky I didn’t rip off your dick and shove it up your own ass.”

“Sade.” He dropped his voice to a whine and the urge to throat punch him overwhelmed me. What in the fuck had I seen in him? Aside from the sandy hair, bright smile, and muscles he’d worked to train at my gym, I didn’t have the first clue.

“I am not taking you back. I am not touching your dirty little dick ever again, so hop on over to the next ride, baby.” I reached up, patting his cheek harshly as I spun and opened the door, fully intending to slam it in his face.

“Maybe if you’d just settled down like I wanted and been around, I wouldn’t have had to look elsewhere for attention. Men have needs, Sade. If you want to be someone’s wife, then take care of them.”

“How did I not realize how disgusting you were? Do us both a favor, you vile toad, and find a new gym. Consider your membership revoked.” I flipped him off over my shoulder, stepping through the door. I locked it behind me as soon as I was inside, shutting him out in the cold so I could go about my business and get the gym ready to open.

Some women got flowers. Some got chocolates. I got a douchebag ex-boyfriend with a complex and a bottle of wine waiting for me at home after dinner with my parents.

Happy fucking Valentine’s Day.

Heaving out a deep breath in the office I hardly used, I dropped my purse into the drawer and locked it away safely. Through the open door, the sounds of Beth opening up at the front of the gym drifted in. Shoving down my frustration with Patrick, I forced a smile to my face as I rounded my desk and made my way out to greet her.

Nobody knew what a dick Patrick had turned out to be, and I wanted to keep it that way. I knew better than to date gym clients, but his sweet determination had won me over, eventually. The way he went about it was so entirely unlike the way I’d watched the Bellandi men claim their wives. I liked that it gave me a taste of being genuinely wanted without the pushy bullshit that I’d never tolerate for myself.

I couldn’t. Not when I hated being told what to do.

Even if having someone dare to take charge in bed once in a while appealed to me. “I’ll see you on the mats!” I called out to one of our regulars, Mike, as he made his way for the locker room. He flipped me off, continuing on his way without even glancing back at me.

“Don’t you have work to do or something?” he yelled, and I fought back my rising smile. I could always count on the moody ass to hate mornings as much as I did.

“Anything I should know?” Beth asked as I walked up to the front desk. She flipped her pixie cut blond hair away from her face, leaning tattooed forearms on the counter.

“Nope.” I popped the word with my mouth, ignoring the way she studied me. The damn woman saw way too much for her own good, even if we never talked about our personal lives in depth.

“Are you and Patrick back together?” she asked. I raised a brow at her, curling my lip into a grimace. “I’ll take that as a