Home > Heartless (Starcrossed Lovers Trilogy #1)

Heartless (Starcrossed Lovers Trilogy #1)
Author: Jade West







I’d always been a monster for seeking out the forbidden, but even I was pushing my insanity to the limit that night.

Disguised by nothing more than a black leather mask covering half my face, I mingled my way through the guests. I was right at the heart of it – pompous bullshit, bloated pretences, false kisses, and fake smiles. Everything I’d have expected from the Constantines.

“Champagne, sir?”

I shook my head and fixed the little waitress in my evil stare. “Mineral water.”

“Yes, sir. Thank you, sir.”

She scuttled away, rattling her tray of glasses as she went.

Tinsley Constantine’s coming-of-age masked ball was bursting at the seams. Hundreds of stupid fools chattering in stupid foolish costumes, and I was twisting amongst them like a vine with invisible thorns.

I could almost smell them – the Constantines. They were crawling through the place, billowing through the masses with their idiot blonde bullshit. Vivian, Keaton, and Tinsley herself were prancing around as though they were on a film set, but not nearly so much as Caroline. The mother of the whole damn posse was dressed up like some kind of ice queen in a ridiculous diamanté mask, smirking at everyone she passed like she was royalty. The very sight of her made me retch.

But, despite all her efforts with the crowd, it wasn’t Caroline Constantine who was sucking my attention like a black hole. It was the woman in gold. The woman owning the room without even trying.

She was wearing a Venetian mask that covered so much of her face I could barely make out her features, but that didn’t matter. I didn’t need to see her face. The visible parts of her were enough to drive me wild.

I’d been watching her swirling from guest to guest, swigging back the fizz and guffawing at each one like they were the most hilarious person she’d ever met. Her laugh was a school girl giggle with a tinge of sexy in the lower notes, enough to grate my teeth. Yet still, I couldn’t stop looking at her.

The gold silk of her ballgown was a perfect fit on a perfect body. Sloping curves in a delicious hourglass – a gorgeous pedestal of glamour to highlight the elegance of her slender neck. Oh, how I’d love to crush that neck in my hands as I fucked her rough enough to hurt.

Her blonde curls were held up in twists that glittered with diamonds. Her fingers were perfectly manicured and glittering to match, sparkling under the chandelier lights every time she reached out a hand for some moron to kiss it.

Lust and disgust were a heady combination, twisting in my gut – and throbbing in my cock along with it.

She had to be a Constantine. She reeked of it.

I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to kiss or kill the bitch, but one thing was for certain.

I wanted to take her body.




I wanted to see her hurt. I wanted to hear her cry. I wanted to feel her body fight me as she begged me to stop, even though her pussy was screaming for more.

“Terence Kingsley? I wasn’t expecting to see you here!”

I turned to face the voice at my side and pasted on my finest fake smile.

It was Baron Rawlings, his bloated red face still recognizable under his opera mask. Jesus Christ, even the British aristocracy had flown in for this shit show.

I gripped his sweaty hand and gave it a shake. “Good evening, Baron. A pleasure to see you.”

My false accent was very well practised and delightfully British.

“I loved your latest article,” he told me. “About the Windleys and their investment changes. Excellent research.”

I smirked, more to myself than to him. “Why, thank you. I’m very pleased the National Telegraph opted to print it.”

His nod and back slap told me I was doing a rather good job indeed of being Terence Kingsley. Which was just as well, considering I’d be dead in a blink if anyone knew Lucian Morelli was in the Constantine compound.

I’d personally overseen the guy’s demise the previous fall. It was a bonus that the idiot of a journalist had a whole host of articles waiting for print. Steady releases served to keep people believing he was still alive. What an efficient little moron he’d turned out to be.

Terence Kingsley was quite a talented wordsmith. Such a shame for him that he’d decided to write a story exposing my crimes for the National Telegraph. So long, asshole.

It was another useful bonus that he could have been my twin at a squint, especially at a masked ball like this one. Bravo, Terence. Bravo.

The waitress delivered my mineral water and scurried away again with another thank you, sir, thank you.

I listened to Baron Rawlings’s boring small talk as long as I could stomach it. He blatantly tried to coerce me into writing an article on him and his bullshit heritage. Even Terence Kingsley himself would have rolled his eyes at that one.

When Lord Eddington came cruising up with a “Rawlings!” I used the moment to make my exit, and there she was again, waiting to transfix me, the woman in gold.

She brushed by me on her way to the next little cluster of guests, close enough that I could smell her. Orchids and plum. Rich. Posh. Fake.

I could see the woman was trashed. Cocaine as well as champagne, no doubt. I could virtually taste it in the air around her as I heard the hurried clack of her heels against the polished floor. But there was more. Something . . . darker . . .


I could see them inside her, burning deep. A chasm in her façade that people were failing to see.

A silly little slip of a girl in red came dashing towards her.

“Elaine! My God, Elaine! You look A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!”

And that’s when it floored me. Seriously fucking floored me.

The woman in gold was Elaine fucking Constantine. The embarrassment of the whole Constantine family.

I knew of her, the party animal freak with desperate eyes. Always on the raucous outskirts of Bishop’s Landing, hitting the clubs in NYC and getting pictured in every damn tabloid that would post her antics. I should’ve known it a mile off, Venetian mask or not.

I glanced around the room, and it was so fucking obvious who I’d been staring at. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. Caroline was scowling in her direction, gritting her teeth as Elaine let out another husky laugh. If the woman in gold wasn’t the Constantine matriarch’s daughter, she would already be dead.

If I wasn’t Terence Kingsley, I would too.

I guess that made us two fucked up peas in one fucked up pod.

It only made my cock throb harder.

I brushed up behind her, and she twisted her head to me; that’s when I first fixed her in my stare. Cruel. Bold. Dangerous.

The bitch in red was laughing about some bullshit on the Bishop’s Landing social circle, but that didn’t matter. In that moment, eye to eye, Elaine Constantine couldn’t give a shit about the Bishop’s Landing gossip.

She swallowed hard as our stares fixed and held, and I didn’t need to see the rest of her face. I saw enough in her gaze to know she was a doe in headlights. Her eyes were pools of blue, broken and needy, captured by the chill of mine, dark as charred coal.

I didn’t smile and stepped away as though she was nothing but a fly in my ointment. It only made her eyes more desperate as they followed me through the crowd.

I could feel it. Her curiosity.

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