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The Skull Crusher (Skull 2) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:52:07

Heath stepped inside. “What the hell happened?” He helped himself to a glass of scotch then took a seat on the couch.

“Lucian is an idiot. That’s what happened.” I grabbed the decanter and helped myself.

Heath had let his beard grow over the last few days, so his chin was completely covered. He seemed too tired for basic hygiene. Now we actually looked different because I always shaved. I preferred a clean look because it showed off the hard bones in my jaw. “He must be watching you like a hawk, then. The one time you go out, he strikes.”

“I don’t care if he’s watching me.” He’d been studying me for months, and that was the best attack he could muster. What a waste of time. He had a perfect opportunity, but he blew it with his stupidity. “I don’t understand how a man so brilliant can be so fucking stupid.”

“Maybe he thought you would be unarmed.” He swirled his glass as he looked into the contents.

“Which is even more stupid.” I was never unarmed. The only time a gun wasn’t within arm’s reach was when I was buried deep inside a woman. If he wanted to kill me, that was the best time to do it.

“Arrogance is the number one cause of downfalls. Every regime in history has crumpled because of that reason.”

“That may be the case. But Lucian doesn’t have enough qualities to be arrogant. There’s nothing to be arrogant about.” The man knew how to connect wires to a motherboard and he knew how to outsmart Cassini, but he would never know how to outsmart me.

“So what are you going to do?”

Heath raised an eyebrow. “Nothing?”

I nodded. “He’ll come to me eventually. He’ll realize the only way he’ll get Cassini back is by giving me what I want.”

“You really think he’ll give up the diamond to get her back?”

He’d sacrificed seventeen of his best men by trying to catch me off guard. After realizing Cassini was cheating on him, he should have tossed her aside and forgotten about her. But now he needed revenge—against both of us. “Unless he sells the diamond, it’s worthless. And if he tries to make a deal with someone, there’s a good chance I’ll hear about it. He’s a petty man who can’t stand hits to his pride, so he probably cares more about revenge than holding on to that diamond. Now he doesn’t just want vengeance against me, but Cassini. The only way that’s going to happen is if I give her to him.”

“And how will he get vengeance against you?”

“By hurting Cassini. I’m sure once he gets her back, he’ll plot something against me.”

“So this is never going to end until one of you is dead.” He pulled out a cigar from his pocket and lit it in my living room.

“Spoiler alert—it’s not going to be me.”

“So are you going to give her back, then?”

I stared into my glass, studying the sea of amber liquid. When I first started to drink, it burned my throat all the way down to my gut. Now it had no effect on me whatsoever. It was like drinking flavored water. “Not sure yet.”

He puffed on his cigar and let the smoke rise from his mouth. “I assumed your answer would be no.”

“Never assume anything when it comes to me.” I was a man devoid of emotion. My decisions were always based on logic, nothing else. That was what made me a good leader. Even the hardest decisions were easy to make because there was nothing that complicated the matter.

“What do you even want the diamond for? You have the other two.”

“Because all three belong to me.”

“But you’ll never sell them—”

“Because I don’t need to sell them. Cassini will never be more valuable. It doesn’t matter how beautiful she is. It doesn’t matter if I respect her or like her. This is business, and unfortunately, she’s the victim in that. But that’s how the real world works.”

He took another puff and let the smoke escape from the corner of his mouth. “I always knew you were cold, but damn…”

“It’s my job to be pragmatic.”

“But this has nothing to do with the Skull Kings. This is entirely personal—so you don’t need to be pragmatic.”

Maybe that was true, but it was still a betrayal to the man I was. I knew I would never have a serious woman in my life. It would be all work, drinking, and fucking. But then again, I’d never been with a single woman so long. I’d never been with a woman for more than a night. My regulars were all prostitutes, so they didn’t count.

“Can you really do that to her?” Heath asked incredulously. “You’ve been living with her for months now. You’re with her all the time. You killed seventeen men just to save her.”