Finally, Lucifer looks up from Cherry, noticing me. Cherry casts a little glance over her shoulder and then straightens away from him.

More words are exchanged between them. James shifts uncomfortably. I know I’m putting him in a bad position. With a nod and a smirk on her lips, Cherry saunters away from Lucifer, wiggling her ass as she heads for the back.

Looking towards me, Lucifer motions for me to approach him.

“Come on,” James says more firmly. “You don’t want to make a scene. You know it won’t end well if you do.”

I cast one last, hopeless glance around the club. He’s right. I don’t have any friends here. What choice do I have?

I concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other. It helps a little that the stage lights up and the music starts pumping. Reaching Lucifer’s table, I try to walk back to my chair but he grabs me by the hand and yanks me down to his lap.

“Everything all right?” he asks.

I turn my eyes to the stage, avoiding the question.

“Lilith,” Lucifer growls and grabs me by the chin. He turns my face back, forcing me to look at him.

His eyes search my face. “What’s wrong? Did something happen?”

What’s wrong? Is he serious? There’s so much wrong with this, all of this, I can’t even begin to explain it.

Willing my bottom lip not to tremble, I say softly, carefully, “I want to go home.”

“We can’t leave yet. We’ve got at least a couple more hours before Marco and his men are done in the back.”

I shake my head and then take a deep, steadying breath. “I want to go to my home. I can’t do this. Please.”

“What the fuck happened?” he asks more forcefully, his grip tightening.

My eyes blur with tears but I blink them away. I will not cry, dammit. “Nothing happened. I just want to go.”

He shakes his head but his grip loosens. “We’ve already had this discussion, Lilith.”

“Why?” I ask, almost choking on my desperation.

“Why, what?” he repeats, reaching around me to pick up his glass.

I hate this, and I hate him. Can’t he see that? Being kept in his house, disconnected from everything in that safe little bubble he created, made it so much easier to accept. But being out here, in the real world, makes me aware again of how sick it is.

“Why do you want to keep me? You have an entire club full of women that want you.”

And I’m sure that there are many more out there that want him.

He takes a deep drink from his glass, his eyes assessing me above the rim before he asks, “Don’t you want me, Lily?”

“No,” is my knee-jerk response.

He tips his head back and laughs. “Liar.”

Setting my jaw, I turn my face away to look at the stage again. Needing a break from this madness.

“Lily,” he purrs and his fingers are gentle this time as they turn my head back to him. “I want you. I don’t want them.”

“Why?” I ask, feeling a rogue tear slip down my cheek.

“Because you’re beautiful.”

I snort softly at that and his grip tightens. “Because you’re fucking sexy.”

“This entire room is full of beautiful, half-naked women that are sexier than me,” I argue weakly.

He leans close to me, his lips a hair away from kissing me. “Because you’re mine. You were made for me.”

I open my mouth to argue with him and he presses his advantage. His lips crush against my lips as his hand grips me, keeping me from escaping the kiss.

By the time he pulls away, I’m struggling to catch my breath. His grip around my jaw loosens and his thumb strokes along my bottom lip.

“You drive me fucking crazy,” he growls. “Can’t you feel what you’re doing to me?”

My brain is so fuzzy from the kiss it takes me a moment to remember what I wanted to say. Beneath me, I can feel him growing hard and poking me uncomfortably. Regardless of how angry with him I am, I can feel my body responding.

My core tightening.

“Any woman here would probably be thrilled to be yours,” I argue and try to pull away. “Why keep me? Why force me? Just go have your way with Cherry.”

Lucifer scowls at me and shakes his head. “I should have known bringing you here would bring out your insecurities.”

“My what?” I sputter at him as he leans back and lifts his glass to his lips. Tipping his head back, he drains the rest of his drink.

“I’m not insecure,” I go on. “I could care less. I just want you to let me go…”

Glass empty, Lucifer lowers it and his eyes flash with mischief as he grins at me. I hate that grin. If I was braver I’d smack it off his face.

“It’s alright, kitten. I know what you need.”

Leaning forward, he rests his empty glass on the table and then grabs me by the hips, lifting me. Planting me on my feet, he grabs my hand, stopping me before I can walk away. Rising from the chair behind me, he straightens to his full height.

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