Maybe I didn’t despise him so much, after all. “Lucian told me to lose weight.”
He cut his fork into his fish but didn’t take a bite. He lifted his gaze to look at me, the sweat slowly evaporating from his fair skin. “He’s the one who needs to hit the gym, not you. The guy is a scrawny bastard who makes bombs because he can’t throw a punch.” He placed the food in his mouth.
Maria had only made me certain meals, stuff that was low in carbs and low in fat, under Lucian’s orders. It was ironic because he ate whatever he wanted without considering his health. That was one of the reasons living with Balto was preferable—because I could eat whatever I wanted.
Balto finished everything on his plate then stared at me.
I kept eating my cereal, ignoring his intense expression.
“Why didn’t you come to my room last night?”
Bumps formed along my skin, and my hair stood on end slightly. The thought had crossed my mind, but I was too proud to follow through on it. “Did I say I was going to?”
“No. But you wanted to.”
“I don’t remember saying that.”
“I remember you having a hissy fit when you thought I slept with someone else. So why didn’t you crawl on my lap and claim me as your own?” He rested his elbows on the table and stared at me, reading my face for an answer.
“Because I didn’t want to.”
He smiled slightly, like he saw right through my bullshit. “Right…”
“Whatever you say, baby. All I have to do is look for your panties from yesterday in the hamper, and that’ll tell me everything I need to know.”
I stopped the alarm from sinking into my features so he wouldn’t see my fluster—that was the last thing I needed.
“Don’t worry. I won’t do it. It’s not like I need to…”
“Fuck you.” I rolled my eyes and looked at my cereal again. “You may think your arrogance is charming, but it’s just repulsive.”
“How about we look at your current panties and see if that’s true?”
I grabbed my bowl and prepared to throw the milk and cereal bits in his face.
With lightning speed, he grabbed my wrists and took the bowl without spilling a drop. He set it beside him at his end of the table. “I don’t mind back talk, but I’m not letting you throw milk on me in my own fucking home. Looks like you lost your breakfast.”
I threw the spoon at him.
He caught it with his perfect reflexes and tossed it into the bowl. “I understand why you’re trying to fight it, but just let it go. We both know what’s going to happen. And keep in mind that it’s in your best interest to be valuable to me. As long as you’re important, I’ll keep you around. Be the woman in my bed, be my fantasy, and you’ll be the most protected woman in the world. Get on my good side, and you’ll have the freedom you used to have. You can do whatever the hell you want, whenever you want. But if I lose interest, I’ll have no use for you. So I’ll either dump you on the street or kill you just to torture Lucian. You don’t want that, right?”
“Did you just threaten me?”
“No. I told you what would happen if you become useless. It’s a prediction, not a threat.”
“You’d kill an innocent woman?” I asked incredulously.
“I’m keeping you as a prisoner, aren’t I? There’s no line I won’t cross, baby. I suggest you don’t test me.”
He called me baby but then threatened to kill me. He tried to convince me to be submissive in exchange for a better life. This guy was one arrogant son of a bitch. “You said if I didn’t cooperate, you would force me. So why don’t you just force me?”
“Do you want me to force you?” His voice deepened with intrigue. The average person blinked several times a minute, but this man hardly blinked at all. At any time, he was still like a statue, an enigma. Like a sponge, he absorbed everything around him, but he dried up so quickly, you couldn’t squeeze anything back out. “I don’t need to force you because I know you want it. I want what we had, exactly as it was. So I will wait until your aching pussy drives you so crazy, you can’t resist any longer.”
“You flatter yourself.”
“How about I stick two fingers inside you and really flatter myself?”
This man truly had no boundaries.
“You told me that you wished your life could be different. That you could be your own woman and sleep with whomever you wanted. I’ve given you that life. You can have anything you want, and you can sleep with the only man you want. You can be the most protected woman in the world and have the power to do whatever you want. All you have to do is stop fighting me and embrace it.”