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The Skull Crusher (Skull 2) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:51:59

“Baby, I’ll never say yes.”

The hope left my heart.

“But I admire them for trying. I admire them for sacrificing everything for you. I sincerely hope I never have to kill them.”

“Kill them and I’ll kill you.” The words flew out of my mouth by their own will. I wouldn’t take them back because I meant them so passionately. I knew that I had feelings for this man, that I was in his bed because I wanted to be, not had to be. I even respected him. But if I ever had to choose, there was no question who I would choose.

The corner of his mouth rose in a smile. “Just when I thought I was satisfied, you say something like that…and I want you all over again.”

“I mean it. I’m not bluffing.”

“I know…and that’s why it’s so sexy.”

I always woke up before Cassini, so I changed my clothes and headed to the gym on the first floor.

Heath was there. With headphones over his ears while he did bicep curls with a heavy bar, sweat was marked across his brow and his neck. His lips were pressed tightly together as he pumped out his reps.

Just looking at him pissed me off.

Heath racked his bar when he noticed me. “Still pissed—”

I slammed my fist into his face.

He stumbled back slightly then wiped the blood that dripped from his nose. “I’ll take that as a yes…”

“I told you my place was off-limits, and you didn’t listen to me.”

“You left her alone for four days—”

“Doesn’t fucking matter. If she needed something, she could call me. She doesn’t need some asshole barging in there pretending to be me.”

“I wasn’t pretending to be you. I was just having a bit of fun…but she didn’t fall for it.”

Because the woman really knew me. She knew how I looked at her, how I spoke to her, and how I treated her. It was an indirect line of loyalty that she showed me. My brother and I looked identical so she had to be attracted to him, but she didn’t hesitate to smash a glass lamp over his head and pull a gun on him. It was clear exactly where her commitment was. “Because she knows who she’s sleeping with.”

“Come on, you know I wouldn’t have done anything if she actually thought I was you.”

“Because I would have killed you.”

“No,” he corrected. “Because that woman actually means something to you.”

“Yet, you don’t hesitate to stare at her legs and imagine them wrapped around your head.”

Heath shrugged. “She’s a beautiful woman. What do you want me to say? I’m a man, and you can’t expect me not to think like a man.”

“But I can expect you to behave like a brother. I warned you if you had a mishap, I’d throw you back in that hellhole.”

“That was work-related, not personally related.”

He wiped away the last few drops of blood before he crossed his arms over his chest. “I apologized. Can we move on?”

I knew my brother wouldn’t have crossed the line more than he did. His behavior wasn’t acceptable, but it wasn’t unforgivable. Cassini looked so sexy in that thin top and boxers that I could hardly blame him. “Don’t do that again.”

“And don’t go up there again.”

He nodded. “Fine. But what if I need to talk to her?”

“Why would you need to talk to her?”

“I don’t know, because we’re neighbors? Because she’s my brother’s girlfriend? Because—”

“She’s not my girlfriend.” I kept my voice simple, but my tone deepened. I hated that phrase, that label. It was a term teenagers used. I was no teenager. I was a fucking man. I was a Skull King. The only phrase that actually meant something to me was wife—and I would never have a wife. A woman was either nothing or something. There was no in-between.

“A woman I’m fucking.”

Heath rolled his eyes. “Whatever you say. You’ve never fucked a single woman for two months.”

“But I’ve never been with the wife of my enemy.”

He shook his head. “You were fucking her long before that. You can pretend that’s the reason, but we both know that’s bullshit. She knows it’s bullshit too.”

“She said that?” If that woman suspected she actually meant something to me, I had a serious problem on my hands. She didn’t press me on my bedroom activities before I’d realized she was married to Lucian. She must have suspected I hadn’t been with anyone else, but I just didn’t want to admit it. She was wasting her time because I would never confess to that.

“No, but that’s a smart woman. She knocked the gun out of my hand, slammed that lamp on my head, and then pointed the barrel right at my face. I brushed it off at the time, but it was fucking impressive. She thinks quick on her feet. And she’s got one hell of a mouth on her. I was only around her for a few minutes, but I understand your obsession.”