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The Skull Crusher (Skull 2) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:52:01

His little speech started to wear me down.

“Maybe he won’t admit this to you. He won’t admit it to me either. But you mean something to him. He cares about you. Before he even knew about your connection to Lucian, we would go to the bars, and he wouldn’t pick up anyone. When we would be at the Underground, strippers and whores would throw themselves at him, and he would say no every time. Trust me, that’s not like him. He likes sex even more than I do.”

So Balto really didn’t want to tell me the truth the other night. He would rather keep his silence than admit he hadn’t been with anyone before he took me from Lucian. Why would he want to hide that?

“So, if you mean something to him, then you mean something to me.” He pointed his thumb into his chest. “And that means I want to look out for you. Maybe when he’s away, you’ll feel better knowing I’m downstairs. I know you disarmed me the other night, but I’m usually a better fighter than that.”

A smile melted across his face. “I’m a decent guy. I’m not gonna say I’m a good guy because I’m not. I’ve killed lots of people. I’ve stolen from people who didn’t deserve it. I like violence and bloodshed. And when I see a woman I like, I make very inappropriate comments. But you can rest assured, I mean you no harm.”

I could stay angry at him, but honestly, I didn’t want to be angry. He seemed genuine, and if Balto trusted him, he was probably trustworthy. There was nothing Balto hated more than when someone lied to him and made him look like a fool. His brother wasn’t an exception to that. “Alright…I’ll give you another chance.”

“Good. But don’t expect me to stop saying you’re hot. Because you are damn hot.”

I rolled my eyes. “Don’t let Balto hear you say that.”

“He doesn’t care. It’s the touching he cares about.”

“Should we hug it out?”

He shook his head. “Definitely not. Balto explicitly told me I couldn’t touch you. So clinking our beers together will have to do.” He held up his glass.

I tapped mine against it.

Then we both took a long drink.

Balto came out a second later. “No guns are drawn. That’s a good sign.”

“We had a good talk,” Heath explained. “I told her I was an asshole, but a good asshole. You know, the kind that might compliment your ass in a short dress, but not the kind that would actually keep you as a prisoner.”

“Was that a dig at me?” Balto returned to the seat beside me.

“Do you know anyone else who keeps a woman as a prisoner?”

“A lot, actually,” Balto replied.

“Well, yes, that was a dig at you.” Heath looked at me. “So I shouldn’t be the one you need to worry about. I don’t have to chain up a woman to get sex.”

I didn’t have to come to Balto’s aid, but I did anyway. “He doesn’t either.”

Balto slowly turned to me, his eyes showing his approval.

Heath turned his attention to the game. “If you guys are about to do something disgusting, you should head up to your place. Because I’ll probably watch and like it.”

After the game was over, we headed back to the top floor. It was getting late, and I wanted to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Balto always kept me up late, so I woke up around noon. But we’d had a long day of running around, so I was ready to hit the sheets.

I walked into the bedroom and opened his drawer to fish out a t-shirt. I grabbed a white one made of soft cotton. It smelled like his detergent with a hint of his cologne. I’d been wearing his clothes so much and sleeping in his bed that I constantly smelled like him—not that I minded.

“Am I still not getting sex tonight?” He leaned against the doorframe, his hands in his pockets and his piercing blue eyes glued to me. His jeans fit his narrow hips perfectly, and he had the broadest shoulders.

“Depends.” I pulled off my clothes and pulled his shirt over my naked body.

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I turned around and slowly made my way toward him, my panties the only article of clothing I had on underneath. “Your brother told me when we started seeing each other, you weren’t yourself. You’d go to the bars together, but you wouldn’t pick up anyone. Women would offer themselves to you at the Underground, but you never took the bait. He never saw you with anyone.”

Balto held my expression, wearing that classic poker face that was impossible to read. Even an expert psychologist wouldn’t be able to crack his hard shell. He had the coldest look of the hardest criminals in the country. He could give nothing away better than anyone. “My brother isn’t with me all the time.”