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The Skull Ruler (Skull 3) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:54:55

The second brunette came to me and stood between my knees. Her hands glided over my shoulders, and her perfume surrounded me. She had a tiny waist, big tits that were obviously fake, and sexy legs that extended for days. “You look like you need a pick-me-up.”

Yes, I was miserable. That much was obvious.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t interested. I wanted to go back to meaningless sex, when it was just about getting off without actually feeling anything. But the idea of being with another woman hurt too much. I felt like I was betraying Cassini even though we were over. Jerking off was much easier because I couldn’t feel guilty—because I thought of her. “Not interested.” I finished my drink and left the cash on the counter. “But I’m sure my brother would love two women for the night. He can afford it.” I walked away from her touch and headed out the door, regretting my decision but also feeling relieved by it.

I’d never loved a woman before, and I’d never known how painful it could be. I regretted loving her, regretted falling so hard for her. The bed was so uncomfortable without her. It was the same mattress, but it felt like a bed of rocks. When I took her from Lucian, it was just a power play. I wanted to enjoy her and make my enemy suffer. But now I knew I’d loved her—even then.

I’d loved her for a long time.

I remembered the moment I fell in love with her. The moment was so vivid, it felt like it happened yesterday. I sat in the bar with a drink in my hand. My eyes fell on the most beautiful green eyes, vibrant and lively like the forest. Her tongue massaged the olives in her mouth, and she looked at me like she’d never seen a sexier man in her life. I knew she wasn’t a prostitute, although I couldn’t explain why. Somehow, I knew she was just a woman who wanted me, a woman I would have by the end of the night.

It was impossible for me to love her already in that moment, when we hadn’t spoken a word to each other. She had a wedding ring on her left hand, so she was unavailable. But when I retraced our time together, I always ended up at that moment.

When I fell in love with my woman.

I woke up with my face pressed against the kitchen table. A bottle of scotch was beside my hand, along with a tipped-over glass. I slowly sat up, feeling the muscles aching from sitting in a weird position for so long. My hands dragged down my face as my eyes slowly acclimated to the afternoon sunlight.

A headache burned behind my eyes.

I swiped the sleep from my eyes and stared at the half-empty bottle I’d devoured the night before. I found myself sleeping at the kitchen table most nights because I preferred it to the bed.

The bed where she used to sleep.

My floor was so quiet now that she was gone. All the junk food I never ate had been thrown away. Her toothbrush was left behind in my drawer, but I didn’t have the strength to discard it. Instead, I tortured myself when I looked at it every day.

Now my existence revolved completely around work, the only distraction powerful enough to stop me from thinking about Cassini. I opened the bottle and took a drink, remembering the dream I’d had last night.

The dream I’d had about her.

I always dreamed about her.

My phone rang in my pocket, and since it was one of my men guarding the compound, I answered. “What?”

“Sir, Cassini just entered the premises. She’s requested to enter the elevator and see you. Should I let her through?”

I stayed on the phone and stared straight ahead at nothing in particular. His words came in perfectly clear and I understood every single one, but I still couldn’t move. The woman I’d just been thinking about was on my property—wanting to see me.

Did she still want me?

Was that why she was here?

Did she miss me as much as I missed her?

What would happen if she came up here? What would she say? What would I say? When I’d made my decision the day she left, I knew it was final. I could never change my mind because there was no future. If I turned weak now, we would end up in bed together, and I’d wind up exactly where I didn’t want to be.

I had to be cold. I had to be cruel.

I had to get rid of her for good.

“Yes. Send her up.” I hung up the phone and left it on the table. My heart slammed against my ribs as I walked to the elevator, my body aching with pain. The adrenaline was the same as the kind I felt right before a fight. I was livid she was there, livid she was torturing me like this.