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The Skull Ruler (Skull 3) Penelope Sky 2022/8/5 16:55:04

“I do not,” I argued.

Balto chuckled. “I’d rather her complain about me.”

“There’s nothing to complain about on that front,” I said quickly.

Balto looked at me with a slight smile in his eyes. He turned back to my brothers. “Would you like to see the house with us?”

Case and Dirk exchanged a look, having a silent conversation between them. Case turned back to Balto. “Take a look at it first. If you like it, we’d love to see it.”

“Alright.” Balto turned back to me. “Ready to go, baby?”

“Yep.” I hugged my brothers goodbye and walked out with Balto’s arm around my waist.

He opened the door to this truck and helped me inside before he got behind the steering wheel. Then he headed into the countryside where the house was located. With one hand on the wheel and the other on my thigh, he spoke. “You’re okay with leaving?”

“I’d rather focus on the baby right now. It’s not like they can’t handle the business without me. They’ve been doing it a long time.”

“I’m sure they’re gonna miss you, though.”

“Maybe. But they’ll still see me all the time.”

His hand squeezed my thigh.

“They said they wanted to keep paying me, but I refused. They did that the entire time I was with Lucian, and it felt wrong. I’m not doing the work, so I shouldn’t get paid. I had to talk them into it, but they finally went for it.”

“Good. You shouldn’t be taking their money anyway.”

“Well, it’s not really their money. It’s a family business.”

He kept his eyes on the road. “I meant you shouldn’t be taking anyone’s money but mine.”

“I don’t know about that either…”

“We’re a family. What’s mine is yours.”

Maybe when we got married that would be the case, but for right now, I felt like that was premature. I ended the conversation because I didn’t want to ask him about the future. He’d given me what I wanted, and even if he never wanted to get married, that was okay with me. “Can I ask you something?”

“Anything.” It was a beautiful spring day, so warm that it already felt like summer. He wore sunglasses that shielded his eyes from view, adding to his already mysterious persona.

“Do you think it’s a boy because you want a boy? Would you not want a girl?”

“I think it’s a boy because I think it’s a boy. But I don’t necessarily prefer a boy. Whether we have a son or a daughter, I’ll raise them exactly the same.”

“Exactly the same?” I asked incredulously.

“You bet your ass, I will. Any daughter I have will fight like a man. She’ll talk shit like a man. And she won’t put up with bullshit like a man. That way, when the boys come sniffing around, she’ll know who’s worthy of her time and who isn’t.”

Since that was such a good answer, I accepted it. “But she needs to dress like a lady. If I have a little girl, I want her to wear dresses with bows and flowers in her hair.”

“If we have a daughter, she’ll definitely be beautiful—because she’ll look like you. That’s why I have to teach her to be hard like her father. I want a girl who can take care of herself, who will only pick a man because she wants him, not because she needs him.”

He pulled his hand away when he turned off the road and drove through the open gate onto the property.

I loved it the second I saw the cobblestone walls and landscaping. We drove up a short path until we came to a circular drive and the front of the house. The property itself had to be several acres, and it felt like a private world with the trees and landscaping covering the wall as it wrapped around the property.

He killed the engine.

“I love it. Can we get it?”

He turned to me with a smile on his face. “You haven’t even seen the inside of it.”

“I highly doubt that’s going to change anything. If it’s this beautiful on the outside, it’s got to be just as beautiful on the inside. And if there’s something I don’t like, it won’t be that difficult to change. What about the cost? Is it something you could afford…?” I didn’t know how to bring it up. I obviously couldn’t afford a place like this, so hopefully he could.

He chuckled like I’d made a joke. “Baby, I can afford to buy anything your heart desires. We can have a house here and in every country in the world if you want.”

“Well…I don’t think I need all of that.”

He eyed the house before he turned back to me. “This house is yours if you want it. Anything is yours if you want it. Just tell me what you want, and I’ll make it happen. Anything at all.”