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The Skull Ruler (Skull 3) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:55:02

I stared at him for several seconds before I stepped aside so he could come inside.

He followed me and shut the door behind me. “I’m surprised you let me in.”

“Didn’t want to scream at each other on the doorstep. I’ve got neighbors.” I crossed my arms over my chest and faced him, slightly insecure about the nightdress I wore. It was long and gray, giving my belly a break from wearing pants and jeans. My hair was pulled over one shoulder, and I’d already washed off my makeup and brushed my teeth for bed.

But he stared at me like I was the most alluring thing in the world.

“Still mad at me?” he asked, his masculine voice deep and seductive.

The corner of his mouth slightly rose in a smile. “I’m not going to go away. I’ve decided you’re mine, and I will chase off every man who thinks he has a chance with you. Because you’re my woman, and hopefully, you’ll eventually call me your man.”

I still did think he was my man, even when he wasn’t. I was relieved he hadn’t been with anyone else since we broke up. It would have devastated me if he had. I guess I could understand why he threw such a temper tantrum when he saw me with Alessandro. If I were in that situation, I would have been classy and walked away. But I certainly would have wanted to throw a tantrum the way he did.

“I left the Skull Kings.”

It took me a second to process what he said. That was the last sacrifice he would ever make, and there was no way he’d actually made it. He’d dumped me because he didn’t want his life to change. But now he was telling me he’d turned his back on the most important thing to him. “What? When?”

“Last week. Heath is the new king now.”

I was still in shock. “I don’t understand. You told me—”

Just when he couldn’t shock me anymore, he did. My mouth stayed open with my last sentence, and it slowly closed as my eyes burned into his. Those three little words had been so difficult for him to convey, but now he said them with such purpose. I could see the determination in his eyes, the lack of uncertainty.

“I fell in love with you far sooner than you ever did with me. Even when you were still with Lucian, I knew how I felt about you. I wanted to save you when I wasn’t a rescuer. I wanted to make all your problems go away when I shouldn’t have cared. Then I stole you, not because I wanted to hurt Lucian, but because I wanted you all to myself. So, you can be angry at me for not saying it earlier, but I certainly felt it far sooner than you ever did. The night we met, my life changed forever, and I think in that exact moment I fell pathetically in love with you. My dick never stays in my pants, but the second I had you, I didn’t want anyone else. There are so many beautiful women out there, but once you stepped into my life, I stopped noticing anyone else but you. Love is a concept I struggle to understand, but when a man becomes faithful to a woman, that’s love. That’s not lust, obsession, or a fuck-buddy situation. That’s just love, baby.”

Those were the words I’d wanted to hear, but they were far sweeter than I’d ever expected.

“Everyone saw it long before you did. My brother accused me of it. He was right. Even Case told me I loved you…and he was right. I don’t sacrifice my life for just anybody. I’m way too selfish. But I would lay down my life for yours in a heartbeat.” He breathed hard as he stared at me. “I’m sorry I fucked this up. I’m sorry I left for three months. But trust me, I was fucking miserable without you. I’m here now, and I’m not taking no for an answer. I’ve already left everything behind, so I’m all yours—and I made those sacrifices because I wanted to. Being the Skull King didn’t mean as much after I lost you. It meant nothing at all, actually. I realized you’re my world, and I don’t give a damn if that baby isn’t mine, I will raise it with you like it is. There’s nothing more I can say now. I’ve given you everything you wanted. All that’s left is to get on my knees and beg. I will, if that’s what it takes.” He slowly lowered himself to one knee in front of me, shifting his gaze up so he could keep our eyes locked together. He stared at me as he waited to hear the words he needed to hear.