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The Skull King (Skull 1) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:51:00

My brothers would be livid if they knew. I always told them Lucian treated me well, which was mostly the truth. If I remained obedient, he usually didn’t strike me. But being treated like a dog was just as bad as being struck.

Then I thought of Balto. I still knew very little about the man, but I knew he never would have struck me.

And I knew he would kill Lucian if he found out what just happened.

In my black tuxedo, I stood in the lobby of the opera house. The floor was littered with aristocrats and socialites, elites of high society. Some of them had famous faces, people who made their fortune in plain sight. But anyone was who was truly rich made their money illegally.

It was the only way it could be done.

I slipped farther into the shadows as I waited for the right moment. Lucian would step inside shortly, escorted by his men and his wife. He had a secluded balcony at the top, which would make a perfect place for such a clandestine meeting. It was private, but it was also public.

Because I wasn’t afraid to provoke my enemies out in the open.

Heath spoke over the intercom into my ear. “Balto, Lucian just arrived.”

“Good.” Lucian was too dense to figure out my plan. He would see Heath first and have his men tail him. Then I would strike when he least expected it just as Heath disappeared. Lucian would never conclude I had a twin. More likely, he would remember I was out of his league—and he shouldn’t have fucked with me.

“You aren’t going to believe this…” Heath chuckled into the intercom like this was some kind of game.

“What?” I leaned against the pillar and stared at the bar. Men and women collected their drinks before they made their way to their seats in the theatre.

“Hmm…I’ll let you see for yourself.”

“Anytime someone builds something up, it’s always a letdown.”

He chuckled again. “I don’t think that will be the truth in this case.”

I didn’t pry for more information because I would see Lucian with my own eyes soon enough. I glanced at my watch then stepped out from behind the large pillar. My eyes moved to the door as more guests arrived.

Lucian stepped in, flanked by four men who barely hid their weapons in their jackets. On his arm was a woman, but no ordinary woman. Like a living statue that was so perfect it seemed unreal, was the woman who’d occupied all of my nights for the last month.

Her arm rested in the crook of his, and she carried herself like a queen. Perfectly straight back and smothered in diamonds, she looked like the richest woman in the building. Her teal dress fit her curves perfectly, and she exposed the cleavage of her gorgeous tits as well as her right leg. The slit went so high, it revealed the very top part of her thigh.

Heath spoke into the intercom. “Told ya.”

I’d never imagined the woman I was fucking was married to that piece of shit.

It only infuriated me more.

She called him a powerful man. I called him a fucking pussy.

I knew her well enough to see how miserable she was. She smiled when others smiled at her, and when people engaged her in conversation, she always seemed polite. But inside, she was dying a horrible death.

She hated him more than I did.

Motionless, I stood there and watched the torture. My body leaned against the pillar as I felt the rage build in my gut. Every night when this woman left me, she returned to him—a man who didn’t deserve her.

Heath made his move. He came from the opposite direction and stopped directly in front of Lucian, his hands in the pockets of his tuxedo.

I should have looked at Lucian, but all I cared about was Cassini.

She stared at my brother with visible stiffness, her entire body tightening as her expression hardened. Her eyes were wide open, and her chest rose and fell rapidly as the panic settled in her veins. She probably thought I was there for her—not Lucian.

Heath nodded to Lucian. “Lucian.” Then he turned to Cassini—and winked.

The second my eyes noticed Balto, I stopped breathing.

Over six three and all muscle, he was threatening even in silence. He looked at Lucian as if he weren’t the least bit scared of him. On the contrary, it seemed like he enjoyed catching my husband off guard.

He gave a gentle nod before he turned around to enter the theatre. “Lucian.”

When he winked at me, I was even more surprised.

Seemed out of character.

It was obvious Lucian was affected by the interaction because he didn’t move. Frozen in place like a scared little girl, he didn’t know how to overcome his shock. He must have known Balto because he didn’t question me about the wink. When he finally recovered, he turned to his men. “Keep your eyes on him at all times.”