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The Skull Crusher (Skull 2) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:52:02

The auction hosted by the Skull Kings kept our contacts fresh. It usually opened new lines of business with powerful players. They were there to buy a woman, but they also might commission us for another line of work.

I drank from my glass and watched the frightened women line up on the stage, all naked and in chains.

Call me old-fashioned, but a real man shouldn’t have to force a woman to get laid. He could land pussy on his own, or he had a wallet fat enough to pay for it. Buying a slave to rape and torture was reprehensible.

It would be easy to call me hypocritical, but I certainly didn’t force Cassini to do anything. It seemed like she wanted me more than I wanted her sometimes, even though that was hard to believe.

Vox came from my right, heading toward me with that scowl he always wore. That was the expression he constantly held, but it seemed more pronounced when he looked at me. He approached my throne and addressed me with his silence.

“Yes?” I asked, annoyed that I had to interact with this asshole at all. Sometimes I considered killing him because I knew what kind of ambitions he had, but that would be unfair. I would be killing him just to get him out of the way, and that wasn’t justice, especially when he was a good soldier and excellent torturer.

“Our clients are complaining.”

“About?” The stage was lined with beautiful women, and their glasses were full. What the hell was there to complain about?

He stood at the foot of my throne, his eyes blacker than the sky on a moonless night. “They say we don’t have young women anymore.”

“These women are young.” They were all in their twenties. And younger wasn’t necessarily better, in my opinion.

“Not young enough. We’re going to lose our best clients if we—”

“The answer is no. They can deal with it or go elsewhere.”

His arms stayed by his sides, but his annoyance was obvious in the tightness of his limbs. There was noticeable distance between us, but the proximity was enough to be hostile. “If the Skull Kings fail to do the cruel things we’re known for, people will lose respect—”

“We do plenty of cruel things. But we don’t do that.” Criminals prided themselves on the horrors they committed. But at a certain point, some crimes were too horrific to be proud of. Selling underage women was repulsive. That didn’t make us more admirable. It made us more pathetic. “That’s final. Ask me again and see what happens.” I held his gaze with my drink in my hand, prepared to crush his skull with the tumbler if I had to.

Vox stared me down with equal intensity, wanting to challenge me but being too smart to actually do it. He gave a slight nod then stepped away, backing down because I was a king you didn’t want to cross.

I watched him walk away then turned my attention to the stage as the auction began.

Heath and I sat at the curb in the truck outside the apartment building. It was seven in the morning, the time of day when everyone left for work.

He ran his fingers through his hair as he released a loud yawn. “What the hell are we doing, Balto? You’ve got a beautiful woman waiting for you, so why are we parked at a random curb?”

“There’s someone I want to see.” I looked out my side window and stared at the apartment building. On the second floor lived a family I was particularly interested in. My eyes stayed on the lobby door, and I waited for something to happen.

“I’ll show you in a second.”

Heath pulled up the sleeve of his jacket and looked at his watch. “I should be sleeping or fucking right now.”

“You can do that when we’re done.”

Heath slumped in the seat and closed his eyes. “I never should have gotten into this truck with you.”

“I never should have let you live with me.”

“Come on, I’m a pleasant neighbor.”

“Pleasant isn’t the right word.” My truck was ordinary, so it never attracted attention. If I drove everywhere in a million-euro car, people would notice me right away. And not only would they notice me, but they would remember me.

After minutes of silence, Heath spoke. “You and Vox got bad blood.”

“Something like that…”

“He wants the throne.” He wants the chair that overlooks the rest of the men. He wants the power to give the orders. He wants the authority to sell young women into slavery.

“Then why hasn’t he challenged you?”

My elbow rested on the inside of the door as my fingers relaxed against my lips. My eyes kept waiting for the man to appear, the man I wanted to strangle until he turned black and blue. The only reason murder wasn’t on the menu was because Cassini didn’t want that. If it were entirely up to me, this would have a very different outcome. “One, he couldn’t defeat me. And two, I have more support. The men don’t want a replacement in leadership. Vox would just alienate himself and turn everyone against him.”