Charlotte

Easton gets out of the car, leaving me on my own in this hot as fuck car as my mind reels from what just happened. From what I let him do. Why? Why did I let him overtake me like that?

The moment he started touching me, I should’ve stopped him. But my mouth refused to speak the words, and my body froze in place as he started to caress me. It felt as though I was under a spell, and I couldn’t resist.

The temptation was too great. He knows what buttons to push to make me squirm, and he loves it. He loves the control he can exert over my body, and it makes me so damn angry. I can’t tell whether I’m more upset at him for doing what he did or more upset at myself for letting him, for giving in to the moment … for coming under his command.

I can still feel his fingers all over my thighs, my breasts … my pussy. It’s still thumping underneath my dress. Fuck.

When he opens the door, it takes me a few seconds to catch my breath, and from the wretched smile on his face, I know he finds it amusing. I should step out of my shoes and smack him in the head with one. Except for the moment I step outside, all thoughts of punishing him for what he just did go out the window.

I suddenly feel cold to the bone, and that’s not because of the wind blowing underneath my dress.

We’re right in front of a giant building that’s part hotel, part restaurant.

One of my father’s restaurants. Right here in the Netherlands.

Chapter 22

Charlotte

“What the …?” I murmur, but my voice is stolen halfway through.

Banners with bold text about some grand re-opening along with my brother’s name are slapped onto every decoration adorning the building.

My throat turns dry as a bone.

Easton’s hand wraps around my shoulders, pulling me close to him and forcing me to walk when he does. “C’mon. Let’s go inside. I’m dying to show you.”

Show me … my father’s renewed and renovated restaurant, now under my brother’s wing. And to show me off to them as a submissive, controllable, happy wife.

What. A. Lie.

All this time, I thought he was taking me out to dinner or to some fancy museum. But he had this planned all along. I feel cheated, used … betrayed. As though he dangled a carrot in front of me and then ate it too, all while gazing at me.

He’s cruel and unforgiving, and walking next to him up the stairs to the five-star restaurant feels like a joke. The idea of stomping on his feet and running off briefly flutters into my mind, but then I spot two guards walking behind us, who apparently drove along with us all the way to this place, and I change my mind.

We walk inside, into what’s now on of my brother’s hotel-restaurants, and I don’t even recognize the place. A chic black and white design with lots of contrast—opposite of the warm colors my father often preferred—replace the old, overdone red and gold interior.

But I guess this is the price he had to pay to keep everything running. Not only did he need to sacrifice me for the money but he also had to change his entire business into something that didn’t remotely feel like anything he’d create. Suits him well for trying to trade me. I hope the whole endeavor sinks into the ground.

Just as I hope Easton falls into a pile of shit on the way out of this restaurant should we ever leave this place. I’m pissed and at a loss for words as we stroll into the restaurant like all the other regular couples sipping drinks at the bar and chatting with each other. As if this is the normal thing to do for a rich, upper-class husband and wife. A husband who bought his wife from the very man he’s now walking up to with a big smile on his face.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Davis,” Easton says with a certain sneer.

When my father turns around to face us, I’m mortified. In an instant, our eyes connect, and the contentment evaporates from his face, making place for a grim scowl. Then he looks at Easton.

“Easton,” he mumbles.

Easton holds out his hand, and my father takes it, only to be roughed up visibly. It’s as though the two compete for who has the toughest handshake, and neither of them wants to give in.

“Didn’t know you’d be coming too,” my father says when they settle on a truce.

Easton cracks a vicious smile. “Of course. Wouldn’t want to miss the grand re-opening of my latest investment here in the Netherlands … with my latest prize.” He pulls me toward him for a forced hug, squeezing my ass while my father watches.

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