Control Freak Read online Brianna Hale

Categories Genre: Alpha Male, Angst, BDSM, Erotic, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 61
Estimated words: 57270 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 286(@200wpm)___ 229(@250wpm)___ 191(@300wpm)

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Control Freak

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Brianna Hale

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Total control. I need it in every aspect of my life. Some would say that makes me an asshole. A freak. But as long as everything’s exactly how I want it, I’m completely flexible.
I’m kidding.
Okay, I’m not kidding.
Lacey needs someone in her life who’s bigger and scarier than her demons, and she wants that man to be me. Her boss. The Viking in a suit.I hope she understands what she’s getting into. This daddy isn’t going to pat her on the head and tell her she’s a good girl for nothing. Especially not when she’s spinning out of control.
Author's note: this book includes depictions of eating disorder recovery.
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Brianna Hale Books

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.





Chapter One



The words are keyed in eight-inch spiky letters down the length of my BMW. My top-of-the-line, very new BMW. I push my sunglasses on top of my head and look up at the parking garage ceiling, counting the nearby security cameras. Five. That should be enough. Not that I don’t already know who did it.

As I turn onto Tottenham Court Road in my graffitied car, my fury smolders. I’m neck-deep in organizing the Laxos exhibition and my assistant did nothing but argue with me at every turn. Why couldn’t he just obey?

There’s a parking space directly outside the glass-fronted Mayfair gallery and I pull into it, contemplating the art and people inside with little pleasure. As museum director of the Albright Collection, showing up and shaking hands with people I don’t like is my least favorite part of the job. I glance at my watch. Chris Petrou and his ghastly modern art can have no more than fifteen minutes of my time.

Inside, I pick up a catalog and read the descriptions, ignoring the waiters with champagne and the art world people who attempt to snag my attention. I weave through the crowd to the artist himself, who throws his arms into the air when he sees me.

“Stian! You made it.”

I shake his hand, murmuring a greeting. We’re not friends, but it’s thanks to him that the Laxos Archaeological Museum loaned me most of the artifacts for the exhibition, so I have to make nice. The Greek government can be touchy about loaning artifacts to Britain since the Brits stole half the surviving marble statues from the Parthenon. That was two hundred years ago, but governments have long memories. It also didn’t help that the British never gave them back. Being Swedish, I enjoy the convoluted explanations from some of my colleagues about why this is actually fine.

A few feet from us on a podium is a jar containing the artist’s urine and a prayer card bearing the image of the Madonna. I search for something complimentary to say about Petrou’s exhibition that I actually mean. “The catalog descriptions are very good.”

Petrou eyes the flyer I’m brandishing and then bursts out laughing, no doubt putting my words down to dry Scandinavian wit.

“That was Lacey, my daughter. She organized everything. Did an amazing job, all things considered.”

My silence isn’t an invitation to expand on this, but he takes it that way.

“She’s had some health issues. Done some silly things. But she’s a good girl, of course.” Petrou says this offhandedly, as if good girls are ten a penny and just waiting to fall into your lap.

If only.

“I’m sure she is,” I murmur, more out of politeness than anything else, my eyes wandering onto a painting of a man with his hands on his hips and contemplating his flaccid penis.

Petrou gestures airily with his glass of champagne. “She gave her mother and me a lot of worries. Eating badly at university. But she’s going to therapy now. In fact, she’s here somewhere…” he adds, glancing around.

If I had a daughter, I wouldn’t speak so blithely of her health issues. Eating disorders aren’t merely eating badly, but I hold my tongue. As Petrou looks about for his daughter, the crowd parts and he catches sight of my car through the glass windows of the galley.

“Stian. Isn’t that your car?”

I don’t turn and look. I know it’s my car. “Yes.”

“But what—

“Just someone letting off steam.”

He turns back to me, scandalized and delighted at the same time. “Who?”

I imagine telling Petrou to mind his own fucking business. “I fired my assistant this morning.”


Because he’s a lazy little know-it-all who couldn’t take a single direction without arguing with me, and I haven’t got the time nor the patience to explain my every decision to an entitled little shit. “Clash of personalities.”

Petrou attempts to look sympathetic. “Right in the middle of organizing the exhibition, as well. You must be panicking. I couldn’t have managed any of this without Lacey.” He pauses, and I can see the dots connecting in the air around him. His daughter, whom he clearly believes is a problem child, needs a job, and I need an assistant.

As he’s opening his mouth, I speak over him. “Excuse me. I want to see your work and then I have to report the damage to the police. Good night.”

I do a lap of the space as fast as I can without seeming rudely inattentive. The exhibition continues upstairs. I spend two seconds looking at half a dozen sculptures, and then I decide I can leave.

As I walk to the stairs I notice a young woman heading the same way, digging into her handbag as she walks and completely oblivious to the staircase in front of her. She’s tall and slim and wearing high heels with a knee-length dress. Her legs are lovely, but they’re not what’s distracting me. It’s the fact that she’s walking blindly toward a steep drop.