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The Skull King (Skull 1) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:50:57

“Seems like a normal question.”

“But he’s never asked it before…”

“If this guy were suspicious of you, he’d be a lot more threatening about it.”

Maybe that was true, but it still scared me. “I’m not good at keeping secrets. I’m not good at covering my tracks. He will find out—if we keep doing this.”

“Then let him find out.” He tilted his head down so he could look into my face.

“He’ll definitely kill you.”

He grinned, as if this was all a joke. “I would love to see him try.”

“You don’t know who you’re dealing with.” Lucian could wire explosives around Balto’s building then demolish it while he slept. It kept his hands clean—and made a spectacle at the same time.

“And you don’t know who he’s dealing with. If I’m the only thing you’re worried about, then you can relax. There’s no man on this earth that I’m afraid of—especially some pussy who forces a woman to marry him to save her boyfriend. A real man can keep a woman on his own, not with forced servitude. This guy is a loser, and we both know it.”

I couldn’t deny that.

“And you couldn’t stay away from me if you tried. If you want me never to contact you again, that’s fine by me. But we both know you’ll only last a week before you start texting me in the middle of the night, flooding my inbox with dirty pictures.”

I wanted to slap him for his arrogance, but that was only because I knew he was right. I could try to forget about him, but my thoughts would wander to him until I eventually gave in. I could fight as long as possible, but it was a battle I would never win.

He stepped closer to me. “Last time you were here, I fucked you so good. But you still pulled me up against this car and had me fuck you like a whore in an alleyway. Whatever we have is too strong to ignore. We have lust, heat, and a passion that’s so volatile, it could burn this entire city to the ground. I’ve fucked a lot of women, but I’ve never had this kind of chemistry before. You look forward to our nights together because your husband is worthless. I look forward to it because you’re fucking gorgeous, sexy, and have a pussy that’s more addictive than crack. So, call this off whenever you want. I know you’re just going to come back to me…again and again.”

Lucian returned from his trip, and I wore the lingerie that he asked for.

He looked me up and down, stripped off his clothes, and then took me like he’d been celibate all week.

I did my best not to think of Balto as I waited for it to end.

The more I had sex with Lucian, the more I wanted to kill him.

The more agonizing it became.

And I still had a long life ahead of me.

I didn’t contact Balto, and he didn’t contact me. He was a stubborn man, and he would wait a lifetime to prove his point. He wouldn’t acknowledge my existence until I contacted him—and he would glow in his arrogance.

Going back to my mediocre life made me realize he was right.

I couldn’t live like this forever.

I needed Balto—like I needed air and water.

I joined Lucian for breakfast on Wednesday. He usually spent the morning with me before he headed to work, to wire new explosives or decide who would get his next prototype. He really was a brilliant man, and it was a shame he used it for evil. Sometimes I worried that was how he would kill me, tape me to explosives then blow me into pieces.

My brothers wouldn’t be able to bury me.

It would be so cold, so cruel.

He sat across from me and sipped his coffee while he read the newspaper. It was a warm day for the beginning of fall, so he left his jacket over the back of the chair and unbuttoned the front of his shirt.

That was when I noticed the silver chain hanging around his throat.

With a diamond in the shape of a skull at the center.

I stared at it for a long time, knowing it was familiar. I’d seen it somewhere, but I couldn’t figure out exactly where. It was a unique piece of jewelry, something I wouldn’t have spotted in a jewelry store or online.

Balto wore a ring with a similar diamond…unless it was the same diamond.

My heart started to race as I examined the flawless quality. The diamond was so large that it had to be worth a hundred times more than my wedding ring. Why did these two men have diamonds that were so similar?

Lucian looked up from the paper. “Everything alright, Beautiful?”

I tore my gaze away from his necklace, repulsed by the nickname. “I was admiring your necklace. I’ve never seen you wear anything like that before.”