He took his seat again. Picking up the book, he held it in his hand. “I guess I’ll have to prove to you that I mean you no harm. Once I’ve done that and you’ve given me the kiss I want, I’ll let you read it.”
With that, he didn’t say another word. He walked to the door, left the room, and flicked the lock into place.
“What are you doing? Let me out.” She slammed her hands against the door, and he smiled. Not a chance.
He’d seen the hungry look in the other men’s eyes when they caught sight of her. Being the strongest, the king, he got what he wanted, not his men.
Whistling to himself, he made his way back down to the main room. At the foot of the stairs sat Luanna, the woman that had been with Ashley.
She stood up the moment she caught sight of him. She was a pretty thing but nothing compared to Ashley.
“Why have you taken her?” Luanna asked.
“I’m going to keep her safe.”
“I heard this place was a safe haven for women. That you protected us and yet, you take her and don’t care about her own needs. I want her returned. We’ll leave here and be out of your hair.”
“That’s not going to happen. You can leave by all means but not her.”
“How dare you? You’re not her father. You’re nothing to her. She’s not yours. She’s her own person, not an animal.”
“You want to take her out of this place. You think that’s wise? You know what it’s like to have your choice taken from you. To be raped. You want that same kind of life for her?”
“What are you doing to her now? You want her, and rather than give her time, you’re going to rape her.”
“I don’t rape women.”
“Then let me see her.”
“You’re a horrible man. Horrible, horrible man.”
She stood in his way, and he found himself growing ever more bored with this conversation. “You done?”
“I don’t know how anyone would want to follow such a vile person. Give me back Ashley.”
She charged toward him. He gripped her around the throat and pinned her against the wall. She started fighting him, but he simply squeezed, shocking her into silence.
“Listen to me closely. This is a safe haven for women. No one is to force themselves on you. The men and women here freely explore each other. I have never forced myself onto a woman, and I never will. Ashley is mine. She’s a fertile, which makes her life more valuable than yours. You think she’ll be safe with my men here? Not all of them will be able to control themselves knowing there’s a woman with a fertile future. I will never harm her. I will never force her. I’m the best chance she has in this world, and I will take her.”
“Do you even hear yourself?” she asked.
He’d released her neck long enough for her to speak.
“I hear myself loud and clear. This world is a fucked-up mess, and I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got, and believe me, take a look around you—it’s not a lot. This is what we call home. Now stay, or fucking leave, but don’t ever call me a rapist again.” He threw her aside and walked back toward the library.
She clearly didn’t understand how valuable Ashley was in the grand scheme of things. This was his world. His rules.
As he closed the library doors, the scent of musty old books filled the air, comforting him.
Ever since the virus had been released in the air, he’d only been surviving, moving from place to place until he found this mansion. Along the way he picked up a few strays, and they’d formed a sort of pack.
He took a seat in the worn leather armchair and stared out across the entire land of books. There were so many, and that was one of the reasons he loved this place. Of course, the security was tight.
The person who’d been here before had died. Their body had been in the hallway, and it looked like they were reaching out, trying to escape the death that wanted to claim them. He’d dug a grave and laid the body to rest far from the house before claiming the place. Washing every square inch of the building, he’d made it theirs.
Now there was a woman in his room.
A woman he wanted.
The sight of her alone had his dick hard. He couldn’t recall a time he’d reacted this way to a woman.
Getting to his feet, he found the romance section and wondered if that would appeal to her sweet side. Picking up two romance books, he made his way back through the house, going toward his bedroom.
He entered his room and paused as he found her on the floor, curled up in a ball. She looked absolutely exhausted, and he saw the wet lines down her face from where she’d been crying.