I lowered the gun because it felt unnecessary to keep my aim.
Balto slowly walked toward his brother. “Is that true?”
I clicked the safety on then set the gun on the table. It didn’t seem like I needed it anymore.
The man held Balto’s gaze, his nostrils flaring as he sighed. “Yes, but—”
Balto punched him so hard that he collapsed to the ground. Even with his large size, Balto moved with impressive speed. Like a snake that launched at its prey, the attack was so fast that I didn’t even see it.
He stayed on the ground for a few seconds, his eyes blinking as he recovered from the hit. “I came to introduce myself…but got sidetracked by her outfit. It was a dick thing to do, but also harmless.”
“Stand up so I can hit you again.”
“This wouldn’t have happened if you’d just introduced us like I asked.”
“And this shit is exactly why I didn’t introduce you. Now stand up like a man or be kicked like a dog. Which do you prefer?”
He rolled his eyes before he rose to his full height again.
Balto hit him again, sending him back to the floor.
I actually felt bad for his brother. That looked painful.
“We done yet?” his brother asked as he got to his feet.
“I told you not to come up here.”
“You left the woman alone for four days—”
“She’s my woman, and I can do whatever the fuck I want.” He grabbed him by the throat and squeezed his fingers around his windpipe. “My absence doesn’t give you the right to march in here and touch her like she’s yours. Asshole, she’s mine. If you were someone else, I would have already killed you. But if you do it again, I will kill you.” He released his grip.
The man rubbed his throat but refused to cough. “No touching. Got it.”
Balto finally turned around and looked at me. There was no longing in his eyes like he’d missed me. He seemed just as angry at me as he was with his brother. “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine.” I crossed my arms over my chest, hiding my tits from view. The shirt was thin and sheer, so I was practically on display.
“Are you satisfied with his punishment?”
“What does that mean?” I asked.
“Do you want me to keep hurting him?” Balto asked. “Because I will.”
The guy probably had a concussion, so I thought he’d been punished enough. “I’m satisfied.”
He turned back to his brother. “Cassini, this is Heath. My twin.”
Heath raised a hand in acknowledgment. “Wonderful to meet you.”
“Not so wonderful to meet you,” I said coldly.
“He’s in the building because he lives on the third floor,” Balto explained. “I let him live there until he got back on his feet. But now that he’s broken one of my only rules, he’ll be moving elsewhere.”
“Come on, I just wanted to check in on the girl,” Heath argued. “I didn’t come off very well, but my intentions were good. Don’t kick me out.”
“You can afford something else.” Balto left his brother’s side and examined the shards on the floor. Then he walked toward me.
“I know I can afford to move. But I like it here. Doesn’t it make sense for both of us to be in the same place? If we’re ever attacked, I’ve always got you and you’ve always got me.”
“It would have made sense before you pissed me off.” Balto’s eyes moved over my hands and arms to make sure I didn’t have any injuries. He grabbed the gun off the table then tossed it at his brother. “Now apologize to Cassini and get the fuck out.”
Heath slipped the gun into the back of his jeans then walked up to me. “Sorry, sweetheart—”
“Don’t call me that.”
He did his best to hide his smile. “Alright. Sorry about this all this. I’ll be on my best behavior from now on. You know, so Balto doesn’t rip out my throat.”
I stared at him in silence, not ready to accept his apology. “You should be on your best behavior so I don’t shoot you. Because I will.”
He couldn’t stop himself from smiling that time. His eyes glanced up to meet Balto’s. “I like her.” Heath walked to the elevator then disappeared.
When he was really gone, I turned to look at Balto, finally appreciating the fact that he was there. The second he walked through those doors, he made all my problems go away. He turned into a deranged pit bull and scared off my assailant.
“That won’t happen again.” He stuck his right hand into my hair and cradled the back of my head as he looked into my face. “But he is harmless, just to give you peace of mind.”
“He said he just got out of prison.”
“Because I put him there. He was doing petty crimes and pissing off the police. I put him there to straighten him out.”