The Billionaire's Heart

By: Julie Farrell

Chapter One




Fear pounded hard in Samira’s chest as she clambered to her feet on the soft sand of the secluded Los Angeles beach. Yesterday at college she’d had a run-in with the approaching gang of jocks, and now they’d got her alone. She didn’t want trouble, and she certainly didn’t want to risk getting kicked out of UCLA. That would mean deportation back to Iran – the thought of which filled her stomach with a heavy dread…

She stood tall and braced herself, watching the guys swagger towards her, dressed in their swimming trunks and showing off their waif-like bodies like badges of honour. This stupid little gang of frat-boys hardly possessed a toned muscle among them, but there were too many of them for Samira to tackle single-handedly.

She shivered. Although the sun was shining in her eyes, it was slightly too cold to be wearing a bikini today, but Samira was determined to wear hers every day while she could. She glanced down at the vintage polka-dot design, feeling proud of how her curvy body filled the stretchy material like an Arabic version of Marilyn Monroe. There were no ‘morality police’ harassing Californians – no one threatening to arrest non-scarf-wearing women for indecency. Samira prayed that she would never encounter those hypocritical bigots again for as long as she lived. But she knew she’d have to return to Iran one day. This fact hung over her head like the executioner’s axe that had murdered her parents…

The jocks halted several feet away, sizing her up like cowardly hyenas on a lame gazelle. One of them broke off and stepped right in front of her, almost nose-to-nose. Samira took a step backwards on the sand. This guy was called Danny and he’d made the mistake yesterday of coming-on to Samira in the college corridor. His words had been sleazy and his intention had been clear – to intimidate Samira for a cheap laugh in front of his buddies. But she wasn’t the timid little thing he’d hoped, and she’d brushed him off with a few choice words of her own, humiliating him instead. And now he was here for revenge.

“Hey, it’s our pretty little math geek,” Danny said, swiping his scruffy blond hair out of his eyes. “You wanna repeat what you said to me yesterday, sugar? Or are you ready to apologise? I know one way you can say sorry – right guys?”

His friends laughed, egging him on.

Samira inhaled deeply, trying to stop her knees from shaking. “Go back to your volleyball game. I don’t want to hurt you.”

Danny sniggered raucously. He turned to his audience. “Hey, guys, she said she doesn’t wanna hurt me!”

“Or any of you,” Samira called over.

Danny turned back to face her. “Hey, baby, why don’t you try?”

Samira clenched her fists. She knew her Iranian accent was heavy, but her English was perfect. “Tell me, Danny, did your mother inform you that you are attractive to women? Because you know she lied, right?”

Danny faltered. “Suck my cock, bitch.”

“Oo, what intellect. What other great gems you got for me, huh?”

He grabbed his junk and bounced it in his hand. “Right here, baby.”

Samira threw her hand to her curvy hip. “Listen, donkey-fucker, once again you’ve mistaken me for someone who enjoys sex with animals. But if you ever found yourself in bed with me, you wouldn’t know what the hell to do. I’ve met little boys like you before, and the only action you’ll be getting today is when you go fuck your buddies in the seedy little backroom you crawled out from.”

Danny gazed at her aghast. “What’s wrong, honey, you frigid, or something?”

“No, I enjoy sex very much thank you. With real men. But the idea of you coming anywhere near me makes me sick.”

“How about I show you what a real man I am, then?” Danny reached out and grabbed Samira’s wrist, making his friends cheer. She yanked her arm from his painful grip – employing a move she’d learnt during her illegal self-defence classes back in Iran, then she bent to pick up her bag – intending to leave. But as Danny signalled to the other guys for help, she realised she was in danger – there was no way she could tackle all eight of them by herself. She instinctively balled her fist and pulled back her arm – aiming to slug a punch on Danny’s smarmy face. If they were planning to take her down, she was going down fighting.

She dropped her bag back to the sand and braced herself to be attacked, but the sound of another guy approaching made her look around. “Hey, assholes – leave her alone!”

Danny glanced up and his friends halted like statues. The world took on a soft focus as a tall dark stranger stepped over to join them. He was gorgeous, with his six-foot muscular body, brown curls, and kind face. He looked older than these silly boys by quite a few years, and he was ruggedly handsome. He was dressed in blue jeans and a casual shirt, but Samira imagined he’d look hot in anything from a sharp suit to oil-smeared coveralls.

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