He ignores me, stepping away from our bed and heading toward the door. “Well, I need to be sure.”

“Did you smother Beth like this?” I blurt.

He freezes, then slowly turns back to look at me like I’ve lost my fucking mind.

Which, to be fair, is a logical conclusion to draw from what I just said to him.

“No,” he says, ice practically dripping from his words as he holds up his hands, then clenches them into fists. “I strangled her.”

Remembering those same hands locked around my throat in the dungeon beneath the house, I swallow, out of verbal missiles to fire at him.

I probably should be a little more careful with my homicidal fiancé who seems to be currently obsessed with someone who isn’t me.

I’m still a little afraid of what happens if Mia ever decides she wants to be number one. Or that she doesn’t want to share at all. Right now she hates him, right now she wants him away from her, and that only makes him chase her harder. But what happens when he catches her? What happens when she likes him again? What happens if she doesn’t want him leaving her bed anymore than I want him leaving mine?

It’s not like I can ask him any of that, but he leaves me in our room alone before I even have a chance to consider it.

And I do not get a goodnight kiss.

Chapter Nineteen


Since I have school tomorrow, I open up my laptop and go online to check my syllabus and see what I’ve missed. It hasn’t been on my mind this week, so I’ve done literally none of the reading. I’m going to show up to class completely unprepared and hope no one calls on me. I can’t even pull the “my boyfriend died” card, because since he was murdered by a damn mob boss, there’s no record of that even being a thing that actually happened.

Now that my mind has inevitably gone there, I’m depressed again. I tool around with the syllabus for a few more minutes, flipping through The Awakening, but I do not find the motivation to read even a single page.

Finally I just fall back on the bed and stare up at the ceiling, trying not to get lost in my thoughts and feelings. I don’t want to think about Vince because it breaks my heart, but it also feels like a betrayal not to think about him. Probably as much a betrayal as lying in this bed, where I let his murderer give me an orgasm just last night.

I’ve never hated myself more for wanting Mateo. And I’ve judged myself pretty hard for that, so that’s really saying something.

I pop upright as I hear my door open. I scowl when I see Mateo walk in. Meg was supposed to keep him off my ass tonight.

He doesn’t have his suit jacket on, but he’s still wearing the dress shirt and slacks, his dark hair perfectly tousled. He still looks incredibly sexy—for a murderer. I glare at him, resting a hand on my laptop so he’ll get the impression I’m busy.

“What are you doing?” he asks.

“Getting stuff ready for school tomorrow. You said I have to go back,” I remind him, a bit sullenly.

He doesn’t waste his time responding to my petulance. “Why did you ask Meg to keep me away tonight?”

Sighing, I state boldly, “Because you murdered my boyfriend and I don’t want to fuck you anymore.”

“That’s not true,” he says mildly, approaching my bed, flicking a glance at my laptop, then the book. “What are you reading?”

“Still The Awakening. I’m not reading it, I’m avoiding it. I’m only halfway through and I hate everything about it.”

“Don’t finish it,” he advises, plucking it off the bed and literally tossing it across the room and onto the floor. “I’ll save you the trouble. She kills herself to get away from her responsibilities and the crushing emptiness that is life.”

I roll my eyes. “Was she a Morelli?”

“That’s cold,” he states.

“You’ve been fucking me without a condom since we started sharing and Meg specifically asked you not to,” I reply, meeting his gaze. Might as well get into that, since it’s the only reason I wanted to see him tonight.

Nodding, he takes a seat on the edge of my bed. “I was going to start soon, if you weren’t pregnant already.”

“And if you already got me pregnant?” I ask, despite the notion making my stomach sink. “What then?”

He doesn’t immediately answer, then he does, and it’s awful. “There was already a chance Vince got you pregnant the night you told me about. If there was a chance you were pregnant, I needed there to also be a chance it was mine.” This makes my heart stop anyway, but he continues, “I also know you want a baby, and I figured if you got pregnant straight out of the gate like this, when there was still a chance it wasn’t mine, we could pass it off as…”

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