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The Skull Ruler (Skull 3) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:54:56

He wanted nothing to do with me.

And he wouldn’t want anything to do with our baby either.

“How’d it go?” Case rose from the couch in the living room and came toward me. When he saw the sadness in my eyes, his mouth dropped into a frown.

“I expected more from him.”

“Why? He’s the Skull King. He only cares about money and power.” No wonder why he never told me he loved me. Maybe he never really loved me at all.

“So, you told him you were pregnant, and he said he didn’t care?”

If I told Case the truth, he would make me march back down there. After the way Balto had treated me, I didn’t even want him in my life anymore. I didn’t want him to be the father of my child. It wouldn’t be fair to either of us. I only wanted him here if he wanted to be here. Otherwise, he would just resent us. We were better off on our own. He would sacrifice everything to be a father, but his heart would be full of hatred. “Basically.”

He crossed his arms over his chest and shook his head slightly. “I expected more out of him.”

“He made it clear what he wanted from the beginning. I’m not surprised at all.”

“I could talk to him—”

“Don’t.” I flashed him an angry look. “Don’t mention it to him at all. We don’t need his pity.”

Case considered my request before he finally gave a nod. “I’m not looking forward to seeing him. He’ll be by to collect his taxes in a few weeks.”

“And I’ll make sure I’m not there when he does.” When I’d set eyes on that beautiful man, I was pulled into the past. I wanted to get in his bed naked and feel his body on top of mine. I wanted him to kiss my stomach and vow to protect both of us forever.

Instead, he kicked me out. I was trash that he didn’t want. It didn’t seem like he missed me at all. There wasn’t even a hint of his old affection. He used me, enjoyed me, but now he wanted to move on.

He’d probably been sleeping around this whole time.

I meant nothing to him.

If he got over me so fast, why couldn’t I get over him as quickly?

Now I would think of him every time I looked at our baby. The baby would have Balto’s features, and it would be impossible to deny.

I’d loved a man who didn’t deserve me, a man who betrayed me. And then I’d loved another man I could have sworn was the one. But he turned out to be an even bigger asshole.

Why did I have the worst taste in men? “I’m going to take a bath.”

“Alright. I’ll have dinner ready in a few hours.”

I had no appetite, but I knew I had to eat. I stepped away.

Case grabbed my arm and pulled me close. He cradled me into his chest and rubbed my back, his chin resting on my head. “He doesn’t want to be there for you, but I do. You’ll never be alone in this. Dirk and I will be the best uncles a kid could ask for.”

I closed my eyes and felt the tears form under my lids. “I know…”

“I love you, sorella.”

I could barely get the words out. “I love you too…”

Two months had come and gone, and now I was moving in to my own apartment. I’d saved a lot of money over the years because Case and Dirk continued to pay me my share of the profits from the pasta business.

As a result, I could afford to buy a nice two-bedroom apartment in Florence. It was at the top of the building and in a nice area, just a short walk to the pasta factory where I would work every day.

Dirk carried my boxes into the apartment while Case put together the crib. I didn’t know if I was having a boy or a girl, so I hadn’t painted the walls just yet. All I had were the essentials like diapers, bottles, and onesies.

Case completed the crib then tested the integrity by giving a tug on the railing. “It’s finished.”

“It looks great.” I stood over the crib with my hand on my stomach, imagining my baby lying there in a few months. The baby probably wouldn’t use the crib right away. I was certain I would be one of those moms who liked to have the baby right beside me every single night.

Case gripped the edge with both hands and sighed under his breath.

I knew what was coming next.

“I don’t like this.” He turned to me, his green eyes full of disappointment. “I don’t like you being here by yourself, let alone with a baby. Stay with me. The house has plenty of space.”