I narrow my eyes at that one. “I don’t know; why don’t you ask my dead husband?”

Instead of taking that rebuke like he should, it just adds fuel to his crazytrain. “And you were married. I mean, Rodney was dog shit and didn’t deserve you, I understand that, but you swore to me you’d never cheated.”

“I haven’t. That remains true. I’ve never cheated on anyone in my whole entire life.”

He withdraws his hand, cocking his head to the side. “And yet Salvatore.”

“I’ve never hated someone so much without ever having spent more than two minutes in their company,” I say, shaking my head. “You should kill him, too. Him and the old man, just clean house.”

“You want to know what’s funny?” he asks, though his face makes it very clear this isn’t going to be funny. “I always considered Salvatore an ally. He may be Castellanos stock, but he didn’t want to fight over territories either. Nice and fucking simple—never had a problem with the guy. I ever see him again, I’m going to rip his fucking face off.”

He’s still angry, and I’m not terribly excited when his hands drop to my shorts, unbuttoning and unzipping them. My body wasn’t prepared for the angry fuck last night, and I’m still a bit sore today.

“Mateo,” I begin hesitantly, catching his hand. I’m just about to tell him that, too. I don’t want him to feel bad, but he’s too big and he doesn’t even use condoms to help him slide in. It’s not going to be a fun time.

But he grabs my wrists and pins them above me on the bed, his eyes meeting mine with an unspoken challenge. Deceptively calm, he says, “Yes, Meg?”

He’s not going to stop. I realize it before my mouth opens to object, so I close it. Emptiness drops through my stomach, but I pull it together. “Nothing.”

His pants are down now, and he moves between my legs, butting against me. “Nothing?”

I shake my head, trying to relax my body. It’s not going to help the soreness much, but tensing is going to make this decidedly less pleasant.

He pushes inside me dry and it’s even less comfortable than I anticipated. I grip his shoulder, wanting him to slow down, but he plows ahead.

“You sure, Meg? You can ask me to stop.”

I shake my head, adjusting my hips.

“Tell me to stop, Meg,” he says, burying his face in my neck and leaving a trail of suckling kisses.

“I will not,” I reply, tilting my neck to give him better access.

“Why?” he finally asks, looking at my face as he eases out and then pounds back into me.

“Because you won’t,” I say, narrowing my eyes at him. “You just want to hurt me. You’re going to have enough to regret when this is all over, I’m not going to help you pile on.”

He laughs at that. It’s a bitter laugh, and he punctuates it with a particularly aggressive thrust. “Who’s gonna make me regret it?”

“The truth will.”

“That’s funny, coming from you.”

I glare at him then. “Right. Because you’ve certainly never lied to me.”

As if to accentuate the unspoken lie, he buries himself inside me. I turn my face away from him, watching the wall as he fucks me without care. I’ll let him use my body, but the rest of me wants no part of this.

He finishes inside of me, but he doesn’t linger afterward. Once he cleans up and rights his pants, he looks at me, still curled up on the bed.

“I’m going to let you stay in here, but nothing changes. You have a soft bed to sleep in, but make no mistake, I’m just giving you a more comfortable cell. No phone, no contact with the outside world. I’ll let you read a story with the girls before bed. You’ll sleep with me. I’m not going to kill you because I’d fucking miss you too much, but I’m going to make your life hell.”

“That was almost sweet,” I toss back.

Straightening his tie, he replies, “Shouldn’t have taken the necklace.”

“Still don’t regret it,” I inform him.

“No?” he asks, affecting mild surprise. “I’ll have to try harder.”

Smiling slightly, because I’m an actual nutjob, I guess, I tell him, “Do your worst.”

“Don’t tempt me,” he states, with a look of real warning. “You can’t handle my worst, Meg.”

“Okay,” I say, regarding him a little more seriously. “Let me rephrase. Do your worst to me—just keep it between us.”

He cocks his head to the side, as if not quite understanding. It makes me think we have two completely different ideas of what his ‘worst’ entails.

“Don’t bring Mia into this,” I specify.

I can’t quite read the look that quickly moves across his face, but there’s definitely a guarded feeling to it. “Not fun to think about, is it?” he asks. “Now imagine finding text messages between us where I tell her how much I’d love to fuck her, if only I wasn’t trapped in your excruciating company.”

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