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The Skull Crusher (Skull 2) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:51:48

He relaxed against the back of the chair and stared at me, his mood souring once more. “Where did you get this money?”

I crossed my arms over my chest. “None of your business. That’s where.”

His eyes narrowed. “Answer the question.”

“What does it matter? It’s not like I’m asking you for money.”

“It matters.” His voice lowered. “I don’t want you using that asshole’s money. You use my money.”

“I didn’t have a chance to grab anything before I left, so no, I’m not using his money.” I wouldn’t use Lucian’s money even if I had it. I’d rather throw it in the river.

“Then where did you get this money?”

“From working,” I said like a smartass.

“And where have you worked?”

“You know, I don’t appreciate being interrogated.”

“And I don’t appreciate asking the same question twice. If you were a man, you would be dead right now. So answer the question before I really get angry.” Half of his plate was still full, but he didn’t take another bite. His fingers rested around the coffee mug as he stared me down.

“My family owns a business. My cut gets deposited into my account every month.”

“Your family knows about Lucian, but they never tried to save you?” he asked, his eyebrow raised.

“It was my decision to accept Lucian’s offer. They’ve never been happy about it, but they’ve let it go.”

He shook his head slightly.

“And I wouldn’t want my brothers to risk their necks for me. It’s not their problem.”

“That’s not true. When it comes to family, one person’s problem is everyone’s problem.”

I continued to stand there with my arms across my chest, annoyed that I found this man sexy in the morning light. His shirtless body was ripped with the kind of muscles Lucian couldn’t even dream of. Balto was on the leaner side, but since he was predominantly muscle, he weighed as much as an ox. “Anyway, can I borrow a car to pick up a few things?”

The corner of his mouth rose in a smile.

“How stupid do you think I am?”

I should have known it wouldn’t be that easy.

“You can wear my boxers and t-shirts for now.”

“And if I want to leave the house?”

“I’ll have one of my men pick you up a few things. Just write down your sizes.”

“What if I want to pick out my own things?”

He stared at me coldly, as if he didn’t hear what I said.

He didn’t blink. “I’ll pick out your things. I have great taste.”

“So…all you’re going to buy me is lingerie?”

His eyes turned slightly playful. “Most of it, yes.”

“Well, I’m not going to wear it.”

“So, you prefer to be naked all the time?”

“Then you’ll wear what I buy you.” He rose to his feet and grabbed his plate. “You want some breakfast?”

“Depends. Do I have to eat that?” I glanced at the remaining egg whites and tomatoes on his plate.

“Eat whatever you want.” He carried the plate into the kitchen.

I followed behind him and helped myself to a cup of coffee. When I opened the fridge, I was disappointed to see nothing but chicken, fish, and vegetables. There was no pancake batter, bacon, or stuff to make a sandwich. Was this really a man’s fridge? “Please tell me the fridge doesn’t always look like this.”

He washed the plate then placed it in the dishwasher. “Yes.”

I shut the door because I’d rather not eat than eat egg whites. “Not even a box of cereal?”

“I haven’t had cereal since I was eight.”

It didn’t surprise me that he had that perfect body, but he made such a sacrifice to maintain it. I couldn’t give up burritos and cheese if my life depended on it. Maybe it would cut down my lifespan, but I didn’t care. I’d rather die young and happy than old and skinny. “Then I’m gonna need the car to go to the store—because this isn’t going to work.”

“Make a list. I’ll pick up whatever you want next time I’m out.”

“You don’t have someone to do that for you?” He had fifty men outside. Not one of them could pick up some groceries?

“I don’t let anyone into my building.”

He was more paranoid than Lucian. Lucian had staff all over the property, from maids to gardeners. I carried my coffee to the dining table and sat down, still wearing my black dress that cost Lucian thousands of euros.

Balto came back into the dining room and stared down at me. Like a statue looming over its admirers, he intimidated me with his height and size. “Take off that dress.”

“I will when you get me some clothes.”

His hand moved to the table next to mine, a silent threat. “I don’t want anything that man bought you in my house. Change your clothes and throw away that dress. Do it now, or I’ll do it myself.”

Lucian spent most of his time ignoring me, and when he wasn’t ignoring me, he didn’t boss me around quite this much. Balto was a million times more threatening, getting under my skin without actually touching me. I wasn’t sure if he would actually hit me the way Lucian had, but I didn’t want to take the gamble. I rose to my feet and left the steaming mug of coffee behind. The only defiance I could offer was not looking at him as I headed down the hallway to where his bedroom was located.