“I’m thinking I should call your bluff.”
“That would be stupid. Leave and don’t come back. Whether I put you away or kill you, I will not let you hurt me again.”
“Why the change of heart?”
It was the picture of a dam breaking as large tears rolled down her face and her hand began to tremble. “Because,” she sobbed. “Because I’m done surviving you. That girl is gone,” she screamed.
“So who is standing in front of me?”
“The girl who will fight you even if it takes her last breath.”
“Then why are you crying, baby?” I took another step toward her, but she didn’t seem to notice.
“Don’t… don’t call me that, Keiran. Please don’t call me that. You’re just trying to mind fuck me.”
She wasn’t completely wrong, but she wasn’t entirely right either.
“You’ll always be mine, Lake.” I took another step. “You can use a gun…” Another step. “You can use a knife…” Just a little closer. “You can fucking kill me, but you’ll always be mine.”
By the end of my little speech, my chest was pressed against the gun, and I felt her fear. I lifted my hand slowly and flipped the safety off. Her small gasp of breath blew across my neck, and I felt my dick stiffen.
“So shoot me.”
Her arm whipped out faster than I’ve ever seen her move. The butt of the gun slapped brutally across my lip, and I could instantly recognize the metallic taste of blood.
She hit me.
She fucking hit me.
The expression on her face told me she was just as surprised as I was, but she recovered quickly and tipped her righteous chin at me in a challenge.
“You’re going to regret that.”
“Somehow I doubt that. What I can’t seem to figure out is why you’re still here.”
“You fucking hit me.” I thumbed at the moist spot on my lip and peered down to see a bright speck of red coating the tip of my thumb.
“Are you going to cry about it?”
“Monroe,” I started but stopped and took a few deep breaths. I was having a hard time controlling whatever the hell was pushing against the surface for a taste of her. Whatever I was feeling, she must have seen when her expression became fearful, and she took a step back. “Have I ever hit you?”
I snatched her by her shirt and brought her chest to mesh with mine.
“Then you don’t hit me.”
I felt my teeth grind against each other and practically felt the grit in my voice as I spoke to her. I could tell myself I was mad because she hit me. That maybe I was even mad because she shed my blood. But no, I knew why I was really upset. Doesn’t she know who I am and what I am capable of doing? What if I had been someone else? Someone wouldn’t hesitate to hurt her.
She held the gun in her hands, and she mistakenly believed it made her strong when it only made her much more vulnerable. She wasn’t ready to use the gun, and I didn’t mean on a physical level. Mentally, she was still too protected by her innocence. Someone more depraved than me would have killed her with her own gun by now.
“It’s just a little bloodshed,” she mocked. Her body betrayed her as I felt her quake and listened to the uneven rhythm of her breathing.
“Are you nervous?” I fought the smile tugging at the corner of my lip.
“In your dreams.”
“You have no idea what I dream about.”
“Dead little girls and the other people you murdered?”
Her back had hit the wall with a violent crash, and I was on her before I could waste time to regret my next move.
I was going to own this girl.
I braced the back of my arms against the wall and leaned down, bringing our faces close together. It was the closest I was willing to allow myself. I didn’t dare touch her again. Not now. My demon was raging a war against my will power and was calling me to hurt her, to give her the bite of pain she reserved to like only during sex.
The gun in her hand hung almost limp as if she’d forgotten that it was even there but the fight was still in her eyes.
Everyone, including me, was still waiting around for her to change, but instead of wanting to build her up, I wanted to tear her down, to bare the deepest part of her soul, and to taint it.
“You have no idea of the things I’ve done. What I told you was filler, nothing more. My secrets are far more sinister than you can handle, Monroe. I can drag you into that world. I can make you a person who never has to worry about fear again.”
“There’s always more.”
“Just get away from me,” she bit out.
I grinned down at her but didn’t budge. If she thinks I would leave without my goodbye kiss, she has another thing coming.
“If you’re going to kill me for putting you away, then do it. All this nauseating foreplay is boring me.”
“Nauseating, huh? Boring?”
Before she could respond, I stole her lips with mine in a hard kiss as I shared my leftover blood with her and did my best to bruise her.
“You have no fucking clue what you do to me, do you?” I asked when I finally allowed her air to breathe. Her lips were stained in crimson red, and there were little bite marks from where I had bit her. Nice. I couldn’t explain the unspoken need to mark her, but it felt right.