“Keiran, you have to leave. My aunt is asleep upstairs and if you think I will let you anywhere near her after what you tried to do…”
“Do you really believe if I actually wanted to kill your aunt that she wouldn’t be dead?” He forced his way past me without waiting for an answer and shut the door.
“What do you think you’re doing?” I whispered loudly, trying not to wake my aunt. He ignored me and snuck upstairs, leaving me with no choice but to follow after him. My heart was pounding a hard staccato as I prayed my aunt wouldn’t wake. I was more nervous about her catching me with Keiran than the danger to her safety. A part of me honestly believed when he said he was no longer interested in using my aunt to hurt me, though I would never admit it out loud. I needed to hold on to that part of him as a safety net. If I became too comfortable… if I gave into him again… if I trusted him, I would lose much more than he threatened.
When we reached my room, I hurried past him and grabbed my phone from the bed where I had tossed it after reading his text. The screen lit up under my command, and I immediately began dialing Detective Daniels. I had his number committed to memory, though I’d hoped I would never have to use it.
Just as the phone began to ring, a deep laugh erupted from Keiran’s chest before he snatched the phone and pocketed without taking his eyes from me.
“Who were you calling?” he questioned. Amusement teased his lips. “No. Let me guess… Detective Daniels?”
“No one ever accused you of being stupid.”
“If you’re going to try to scare me, you’re going to have to do better than that.”
“Well, I tried to kill you, but it seems only one of us can kill innocent people.” I immediately regretted my words when he flinched and look of pain crossed his features.
“Why?” he looked at me curiously. “You meant it, didn’t you? Besides… I’m not innocent.”
No, you never were.
“Regardless, it’s not as easy for me to kill someone as it is for you.”
“I never said it was easy.”
“But you’re willing to do it,” I countered.
He shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal. “If it means never losing control, then yes… I am willing to do it. I’m even willing to kill you.”
I sucked in a breath and narrowed my eyes. “Then why don’t I believe you?”
“Because sometimes, I really do wish I could kill you,” he whispered.
Sometimes, I wish you could love me.
Somehow, it was an unspoken rule that my breakdown in the hallway a month ago when I had admitted I had fallen in love with him wasn’t to be mentioned. It didn’t matter in the end because admitting I loved him didn’t make him stay, and it didn’t keep him from killing Trevor and Anya.
“Why do you think death is always the answer?”
“Because it’s the only answer you can’t change—no matter how much you wish you could.” His voice trailed off at the last, and when his gaze became clouded, I wondered if he was thinking about Lily and if he regretted killing her.
“Has she said anything yet?” His gaze was now trained on me, and I stared back in confusion.
“Your aunt. I saw the paper today. Everyone did.”
“Is that why you’re here?”
“Did she tell you to stay away from me?” he asked, ignoring my question.
“And if she had? What would you do?”
A half smile curled his lips as he said, “I would be tempted to steal you away.”
“First blackmail and now kidnapping. If you keep this up, you could become boy scout of the year.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“No, Keiran. My aunt has no idea that the same boy who showed up on our doorstep for Monday morning pancakes—”
“It was Wednesday morning pancakes.”
“Fine. Whatever. Wednesday. Why does that matter?”
“Because the next day I tasted you for the first time, Monroe.” His eyes darkened and drew me into the memory of his lips between my thighs, owning me. “And I’ll never forget how good it was.”
My mouth dried, and I found it difficult to speak, but somehow, I managed. “Good. I suggest you hold on to the memory because it will never happen again.”
“Don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep. It will just make your fall from grace much more difficult than it has to be.”
We were treading into dangerous territory, and I needed to change the subject. Fast. “You had my aunt followed for six weeks…”
He shot me a knowing look before asking, “And?”
“Did you know she wasn’t on her book tour the entire time?”
“Yes,” he answered without hesitation.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” He raised an eyebrow, and I realized my mistake. It was hard to remember sometimes that just a few weeks ago, he had blackmailed me for sex by threatening to kill my aunt. Giving me information on her whereabouts was the last thing he would have cared to do.
“I was curious,” he answered anyway.
“You were curious?”
“I wanted to know why the aunt of someone who was willing to endure so much for her would lie to her, so I continued to have her followed.”