I felt her small hand touch my arm, distracting me from my prey. I didn’t often let people touch me, but in that moment, her touch was a balm to my soul. I turned and looked at her, her radiant eyes filled with sadness and begged me silently at first and then with words. My Olivia.
“Silas, please don’t hurt him.” Her soft, sad voice alleviated my anger. The fact that she wanted me to show him mercy was beyond me. The way he’d treated her, how unkind he was to her. How he allowed the men he ran with to look at her with unclouded lust in their eyes. He didn’t deserve her loyalty or her kindness. He should have been taking care of her and instead he treated her like a servant.
I turned my attention back to Paul. “Stay the fuck away from Olivia and we won’t have any problems. You come near her again and I will tear you apart limb from limb. She now belongs to me,” I snarled. We’d never see him again if I could help it.
“Take her. Just take her and go,” Paul said, his voice shaking. I grabbed Olivia by the hand and dragged her out of there, wanting to put as much distance as possible between her and her sleaze ball excuse for a stepfather.
Kyle was waiting outside. Kyle was always there with me, aside from being my partner, he was a loyal friend, a brilliant but lethally dangerous man, and a constant in my life.
“Anything you need taken care of?” Kyle asked as he opened the door for Olivia and me.
“No, that coward didn’t put up much of a fight. Let’s take her home.”
“Silas, you really think that’s smart? We don’t fuckin’ know if we can trust her. What if she goes to the police? I know you’re used to dealing with people as currency, but this is taking it to the extreme. We stay on the right side of the law you and me—remember?”
I knew Kyle was right. I hadn’t lost my mind, but I had to keep her safe. I wanted her in a place where she’d be taken care of no matter what happened to me. I’d see to it that none of those bastards would ever touch her.
“I can vouch for her,” I snarled. I felt irritated, frustrated, and violently angry. I wanted to rip Paul apart, make him hurt for all the pain he’d caused her. I clenched my fists, my teeth were grinding into themselves. Fuck this… I got out of the car and went back inside. I wanted to make him pay for what he’d done. Losing Olivia was getting off too easy when she meant nothing to him.
Paul was standing there, giving orders on the phone as if he were more than a scared cockroach. I walked right up to him, grabbed his head, and slammed it on the steel table he used to cut his coke. The blood from the wound ran down his face like a river. I picked him up and punched him in the face repeatedly. I knew in that moment I was going to kill him. I wanted him dead, not for all the crooked things he’d done or all the money he’d stolen from me. I wanted him dead for all the shit he put Olivia through. You don’t do that to a kid, especially one who’s been orphaned and entrusted to you. I wanted him dead because he dared to think another man could touch her. I wanted him dead because he didn’t have the fucking balls to fight for her. I wanted him dead because he didn’t understand that Olivia was mine. And I would have killed him, made him feel the pain she’d endured at his hands, had it not been for two words uttered from an angelic voice.
I did what she said.
If not for her intervention, Paul’s last hurrah would have ended the day I took her.
When I followed Silas back into the warehouse, I wasn’t expecting to see what I did. Paul’s face was drenched in blood, he was barely conscious, and Silas was still beating him with uncontrolled rage. I’d never seen the man act like this. He was scary, terrifying even, in his psychotic rage. My heart started to race and my hands began to shake. I should have been petrified, I should have run for my life. Silas didn’t appear to be a man who took pleasure in senseless violence, or one who thrived on inflicting pain. Silas used fear. From his massive form to the vicious scars across his body and face—that was enough. He himself was the weapon—one look at him and everyone thought he was mad. I always thought his scars were enough to make me fear him until that moment when I witnessed first-hand what he was capable of. His anger was so consuming that I could sense it before I even walked into the room. Silas was capable of real rage that was completely terrifying. The brutality I saw Silas exhibit was so ferocious, so unthinkable, that I should have done anything other than step closer. I had no reason to believe that he wouldn’t direct that anger at me, but somehow I knew that even in his rage, he would never hurt me. There was always a hint of tenderness in his voice and subtle softness in his touch when it came to me.