Resist Me If You Can (A Temptation Series Book)
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Stubborn, and secretive, Ashton Pierce has all the qualities that should prompt Hayley Barclay to run a mile away from him but she doesn't. Maybe the bad boy aura he exudes is too much for her to resist! Orphaned at thirteen, Ashton would have gone astray had Daniel Van Every, his best friend’s father, not adopted him and brought him home. Ever since, a close relationship develops between him and the Van Every children, Alexander, and Alyssa. As Alyssa's close friend, Hayley meets Ashton almost every day. Can she resist his charm? However, with his dark past and mafia connections, Ashton refuses to acknowledge Hayley who is a multi-billionairess, and the sole heiress to her family’s fortune. Hayley doesn't give up and pursues him relentlessly. What will he do when his past catches up with him? How will he stay away from Hayley knowing his life is in grave danger? What happens when the dark secrets of his past don’t affect her? This is a part of the Temptation Series but can be read as a standalone book.
Chapter 1 Prologue - A Hotter And Bolder Hayley!
Thank you for selecting my story.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of my imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Copyright © Rituparna Darolia.
All rights reserved. No part of this novel may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author.
This is a part of the Temptation Series. All the books in this series can be read as standalone books. This series deals with a series of passionate love stories of the Donnelly brothers and their friends, with spin-offs, all having captivating plotlines to keep you interested till the end.
Ashton Pierce entered the heavily guarded mansion gates in East New York, Brooklyn, for the first time in his twenty years of life. The huge fort-like property had armed guards who stared at him as if he was a criminal.
“Are you Big Steve, I mean Pierce’s boy?” asked a muscular tattooed man with a deep gash across his face. Ashton knew his father, Steven Pierce, was known as Big Steve in the mafia circuit when he used to work for Salvatore Gambino, the most wanted mafia don in the world. After borrowing huge amounts of money from them, his dad gambled it all away. He left Gambino’s work and tried his best to escape Don until he sent his men to abduct him one night. Ashton was thirteen, and he became an orphan overnight. He had searched for his dad desperately for the last seven years with no success. It was impossible for a young boy to locate Salvatore Gambino’s hideout.
“Yes. Don has summoned me today to his office,” said Ashton, looking at the man and his comrades warily, a little scared by now. His dad had been held captive here for the last few years, paying off the debt he had taken. Being a minor, Ashton hadn’t been allowed to see him. His best friend, Alexander’s dad, Daniel Van Every, adopted him and brought him up as his own. He was indebted to the Van Every family for everything they had done for him. He hadn’t been able to tell them the real scenario. To them, Ashton was an orphan whose parents had died.
“Come this way. Don is waiting for you,” said the man, leading him inside the house. Ashton’s eyes searched for his dad everywhere, but all he could see were employees of Salvatore Gambino, who stared at him curiously.
“Can I meet my father, please?” begged Ashton, but the man led him towards a closed door with four armed guards standing outside. The entire house had an eerie, dismal look that made him uncomfortable.
“Only if Don allows. Go right in.” He left, and a guard pushed open the door.
“Ashton Pierce here to see you, Don.”
“Send him in,” growled a raspy voice, sending a chill down Ashton’s spine. He wondered what Don wanted to discuss with him. Was his dad alright? Did Gambino kill his dad? Scared and pale, he went inside to face Don. His eyes fell upon a huge burly man with long hair tied up in a man bun, pacing the floor wearing an expensive designer suit. He whirled around to face Ashton, who stood before him with eyes cast downward.
“Good to see that you’re all grown up, boy! I hope you’re aware of your responsibilities. Your father still owes me 30 million dollars after repaying me just a million in the last seven years. Now you have to repay me the debt,” growled Don, coming closer to him. Ashton gaped at him in disbelief. He knew his father owed Gambino money, but he never imagined it would be such a huge amount!
“I don’t have any money, sir. If you give me some time, I’ll earn it and pay you,” he pleaded. He wanted to know more about his father. Was he alive? Was he still in Gambino’s custody?
“I will finish you if you don’t. Do whatever you can to pay me. Borrow from your foster dad if the need arises, but I want my money back. Is that understood?” he growled, grabbing hold of his shoulders. Ashton panicked, yet tried to keep up a brave front. He had the responsibility of saving his dad and himself from Don’s clutches.
“Yes, sir. I’ll work hard and pay your debt.” The Don punched the table near him with fury.
“I won’t wait for over two years for my money. I’ll call Van Every and extract the money from him.”
“He will involve the cops instead, sir. I’ll repay you in four years. Please give me time,” he begged.
“Two years or there’s only one way out. You can die!” said the Don, gritting his teeth maliciously, pulling out a loaded gun from the waistband of his trousers and placing it against his forehead. Ashton trembled with fear.
“If I die, you’ll lose your money forever. Please give me four years. I’ll pay off everything to you, I promise.” Gambino stared hard at the young man and put his gun away.
“You better pay up or I’ll pull a bullet between your f*cking eyes! Understood? Get out now.”
“Yes, but I want to meet my dad once. Please sir,” begged Ashton.
“I want my money first. Costello, throw him out.” Ashton’s eyes widened at seeing a guard rush in. Within minutes, he picked Ashton up and carried him out of the room. Despite his six feet of height and muscular build, Ashton struggled against his hold. The giant guard dumped him outside the mansion gates, as if he weighed nothing.
“Please tell me if my dad is alive!” yelled Ashton, but the man just went inside and banged the door shut in his face. He got up from the ground, dusted himself, and trudged back towards the gate. It was clear that no one here would give him any news of his dad. Tears of helplessness pricked at his eyes. Where would he get thirty million dollars? He was studying a hotel management program at a good university nearby, where he had earned a scholarship. With Alexander away in Switzerland for his studies, it was a hard life for Ashton. He worked at his foster dad’s finance company, VE Global Finance after college hours and saved money to pay off his father’s debt.
Four Years Later
“Hey, Ashton! I’m back for good. Let’s meet up!” said his best friend, Alexander, having completed his studies and returned home to NYC.
“Great, bro. I’m in the office right now. I’ll see you in the evening,” said Ashton. He had moved out of the Van Every house and rented a studio apartment near the office. For the last four years, he had saved most of his salary and paid off a little of the debt, but Salvatore Gambino didn’t allow him to meet his dad. Ashton still did not know if he was alive!
“In the evening, I’m going to meet dad’s friend for an internship. Why don’t you come over to my homecoming party tomorrow?” said Alexander.
“Where? At your parents’ place?” asked Ashton, his heart skipping a beat with excitement. Would she also be there? He sighed, thinking of Hayley Barclay, the only girl in the entire world who liked him!
“Yes. Lisa and her friends are coming over too.” Ashton couldn’t get any work done after that exciting news. Lisa alias Alyssa was Alexander’s sister, and having lived with them, he knew all of her friends. Being six years older than Alyssa and her friends, he and Alexander always accompanied them everywhere to keep them out of trouble. Alexander was very protective of his sister and Ashton always supported his best friend, all because he could see Hayley when with them.
His thoughts went to Hayley Barclay, who was desperate, persuasive, stubborn, and totally spoiled. Being the only daughter and heir to her family’s multi-billion dollars worth hotel empire, she was used to getting what she wanted. The only exception was Ashton.
Ashton smiled, thinking of her adorable ways of getting his attention, but that was four years ago. Ever since Alexander had left, he had moved out of the Van Every home and therefore hadn’t met Hayley at all. He closed his eyes, imagining Hayley. She was always pretty with her chocolate brown shoulder-length hair, hazel eyes, and tempting dimples on both cheeks. Had she changed at all? He couldn’t wait to find out!
The next day, he caught up with his friend in the morning and later went to Alexander’s parents’ house, where a gala party was going on in full swing. Alexander’s parents, Daniel and Jodie Van Every, had invited all of their billionaire friends. Ashton was used to it, having lived five years with them. They all greeted him and he mingled freely with everyone. His easy-going, charming nature endeared him to everyone, especially more to the female population, who drooled at his jaw-dropping good looks. His eyes searched for the one he had come here for. Where was she? Alexander greeted him with a warm bro hug.
“I need a drink, dude!” said Alexander.
“So do I. Let’s head to the bar. It’s a little less crowded right now,” said Ashton. They sat on the barstools and sipped some Vodka Martini.
“I don’t see Lisa around. Didn’t she accompany you?” asked Ashton, looking around for her and her friends.
“Yes, she might have gone to her room with her friends. Should be here any moment. Oh, there she is.” Ashton turned to look and his jaws dropped to the floor at seeing Hayley walk in through the door with her friends. Everything blurred around Ashton and he simply gazed at her with disbelief. He had never expected her to transform into a bombshell! She wasn’t the gawky thirteen-year-old anymore, but her body had grown curvier and she now looked irresistible. How would he keep away from her now?
She looked at him and held his gaze as she approached him. Dazed, Ashton just watched her come to a stop right in front of him, her eyes holding his awestruck gaze without batting an eyelid. There was a boldness, a confidence in her he had never seen before. His breath got stuck in his throat as he waited for her to say something!
Chapter 2 Asking Him Out
“Hi, Ashton! It’s good I met you here. Can you get a tuxedo for yourself by tomorrow?” asked Hayley, enjoying the jaw-dropped look on his face. Served him right! For years he had been an arrogant as*hole, proud of his panty-dropping good looks. Being six years older, he hardly acknowledged her presence since the day she saw him first, eight years ago! What had changed now? Maybe she did!
“Why?” Came his lazy drawl while his eyes glinted with amusement. Alexander rolled his eyes and ordered another drink to stay out of their way.
“For our first dance. Why else?” retorted Hayley, and Ashton did a double take, choking on his spit.
“What?” he somehow sputtered, trying to get a grip on himself.
“To accompany me to my prom night at seven tomorrow. We will dance with each other for the first time. What did you think?” Alexander chuckled while Ashton gave her a blank stare. She tossed her shoulder-length, silky hair away from her face and walked away, leaving him gap
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