I stared into his face and noticed the brightness in his eyes. After a long night doing whatever he did, he didn’t appear the least bit tired. It seemed like it was early in the morning and he just woke up from a great night of sleep. “You don’t seem tired.”
“Well, that’s not possible.”
“I have too much shit to do to be tired.” He stepped away from the couch and entered the kitchen. A cabinet opened and shut, and he poured himself a glass of liquor. He came back to the couch and took a seat beside me.
“What kind of shit are you talking about?”
He stared at the empty fireplace and took a drink.
“Are you never going to tell me about your evenings?”
“I don’t see why it matters to you.”
“Lucian always told me his plans.”
“I’m not Lucian.” His tone was ice-cold. “And I don’t see why you would want me to be.”
“I don’t…” Balto claimed to be a cruel man, but he’d never raised a hand to me, and he hadn’t forced me to do anything I wasn’t comfortable with. He said Lucian wasn’t a man at all, that he was a pathetic pussy. But Lucian had been far crueler to me. “You treat me much better than he did.”
“How so?” He kept drinking even though he’d probably spent his entire night with a scotch in his hand. “You’re my prisoner now. You have no rights, no freedoms. You might not be my wife, but I own you.”
Hearing him wrap me in chains disturbed me all the way to my core. I was in this position because of Evan, and now it seemed like I would always be a prisoner. Lucian may have married me, but Evan was the one who had locked the cuffs around my wrists. “You can keep me as your prisoner and take away my freedom—but you’ll never own me.”
He turned his gaze on me, his blue eyes terrifying.
“A woman can only be owned by a man when she wants to be owned.”
He set the glass on the table then continued to watch me. “How do I treat you better?”
“For one, you don’t knock me around.”
His eyes narrowed slightly, like that statement made him angry. “He hurt you?”
He faced forward again. “Just because I haven’t laid a hand on you doesn’t mean I won’t. Just don’t give me a reason to, and we won’t have a problem.”
Maybe he was telling the truth. Maybe he wasn’t. I didn’t know this man well enough to figure it out. “You haven’t forced me to do anything I don’t want to do…”
“If you don’t cooperate, I will.” He turned back to me. “I will tie your wrists to my headboard and take you however I wish. Maybe I don’t own your soul, but I own your body. I will use it however I want.”
“And you expect me to just lie there?”
“You did with Lucian.”
My eyes lit up in flames. “That was because I had to. With you, I don’t owe you anything. I never promised anything to you.”
“Submit. Or I will hand you back to Lucian.”
My heart gave out in fear because that was the last thing I wanted. But I also knew he took me for a reason. He wanted to punish Lucian for his betrayal, and I was the key to that. “I don’t believe you.”
He stared me down with that incredible poker face, threatening me with just a look. “It won’t come to that anyway. When I want to take you to bed, you’ll comply. A kiss here…a touch there…will be enough to make your knees fall open.”
Flashbacks of our intense nights together came back to me, causing a shiver to run down my spine in longing. He was the best sex I’d ever had, and I’d missed him the second he was gone. Our circumstances changed when he took me, but my attraction never did. But I refused to want someone who’d enslaved me to torture his enemy. “As a free woman, I’d be in your bed every night. But as a prisoner, I don’t find you the least bit attractive.”
The corner of his mouth rose in a smile like he didn’t believe me at all. “Then why are you sitting on the couch waiting for me to come home?”
“I’m not waiting for you—”[email protected]@@@[email protected]@@@@=======
“There’s a TV in your room. There’s a living area in your room. There’s a spa-size tub with a TV on the wall. There’s no reason to lie on this couch in the middle of the night unless you’re waiting for the sound of the door.”
I shut my mouth because he had me backed into a corner. The second he’d spotted me in the living room, he must have made that assumption, and now he was using it against me.