“I told myself I’d never be like him but I can’t help but compare some of our similarities.”

“Oz, you are nothing like that man! How can you even think that?”

“How can you not?” he returns, his words sounding sad.

I cup his face. “You’d never hurt me. Ever. Think about it, Oz. Everything you have ever done when it came to us is for me.”

“Is it? Or is it for me?” He takes my hands and places them on his chest, letting them rest there. “I stalked you when I knew I wanted you, did everything to make sure I could have you. I mapped out your whole life to lead to me, so that you would need me. I’ve even been trying to get you pregnant. Each time I took you that thought flooded my mind. That if we had a baby you could never leave me. We’d have something that linked us together forever. The worst part is knowing that I’ll never let you go. Can’t you see how selfish I’ve been?”

I smile at that because he’s put himself in the corner. “Oz, am I like your father?” He tries to cut me off but I keep going. “Because I would never let you go either, and if anyone ever threatened you or tried to take you from me I’d kill them, too.”

His eyes search mine. The longing to believe that what I’m saying is true is written all over his face. Has he done crazy things to get me? Yes. I could see myself doing those things, too. He’s watched me for years, and I can see why he’s gone a little crazy. I haven’t known him long either, and I’m starting to have those thoughts already.

“I love when you take me bare.” I drop my voice and try my own seduction. I have the same need to tie us together as he does.

I watch all the fear and worry drain from his face and body, realizing how much I care about him. His actions tonight don’t make him like his father. He kisses me softly. “I think I should make love to you for the rest of the night.” His hands roam my body. “I don’t know if this dress is going to make it home.” He growls the last part as my back hits the limo floor.

Chapter Thirty-Six


* * *

I hear the soft tones of my alarm, and I reach over to quietly turn it off.

Mallory is on her stomach, her hand tucked under her pillow. Her lips are slightly parted as she sleeps, and I ache to lie there and look at her. I could watch her every second of every day and only fall deeper in love with her.

I tuck the blanket around her and slip out of the bed silently. I pull on a pair of jogging pants and a T-shirt and make my way out of the bedroom and into the kitchen.

When I get there, I call down to the front desk and make sure the arrangements are in place. Then I get to work on making my woman breakfast in bed.

We stayed up late last night, and my cock twitches with the memory of getting her home and ripping that scrap of a dress off her body. Her curves were driving me insane all night. I took her until she passed out, and then I watched her sleep. I’d made some calls after that, and put things into motion. I couldn’t wait any longer. I’d waited years, and I was done.

Seeing my father last night put a damper on things, but coming home with Mallory made all of that fall away. I’ve been getting away from wanting my revenge for some time, focusing only on Mallory. Each moment with her seems to lessen the anger that had built inside me over the years. She makes me want something else. Something not filled with hate.

I was young when I began on the journey to make him pay, but as I’ve gotten older, I want to let it go. Why hold on to something so hateful? I’d rather spend my energy loving Mallory and making a life with her. Everyone is asking me to let it go, and Mallory showed me last night that I’m nothing like him. That I’ve done what I set out to do. My mother is happy and I am the man I want to be.

The only thing that worries me now is Paige. She doesn’t seem ready to let her vendetta go, and I can’t say I blame her. She’s got her own story with him, and I’m not sure she’s going to move on anytime soon. Alexander was a different kind of man with her, and I don’t think there’s anyone out there who would deny her revenge. I still don’t even know all the details of what she went through with him. It’s one way Paige and I are alike. We’re both good at keeping secrets.

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