“What?” I ask stupefied. I don’t think I heard him right. There’s no way he could do something like that.

“You and Marshall are officially divorced, and the judge, my judge, has granted you full custody.”

“But I don’t remember signing anything? Wouldn’t I have to go to court to do that?”

“What part of I took care of it all for you are you not comprehending?” he asks, caging me in with his arms like he’s afraid I’m going to bolt or something.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be married to Marshall. Even before he proved himself to be an irredeemable scumbag that would trade away his own children I was planning on divorcing him.

But I should get a say in this. It should be something I get to do myself. I’d like to sign that paperwork myself, with flourish.

“You had no right.” I frown up at him angrily. If he’s telling the truth, and I’m very afraid he has managed to do this, it’s yet another thing he’s taken away from me.

“I have every right,” Lucifer glares down at me.

“No…” I shake my head.

“Yes,” he snaps. “I have every right because you are mine. And I had to, in order for us to be legally married. I won’t let something pesky like the law get between us.”

“Don’t think for one second I want to marry you now! How could I after you did that?”

“It’s too late, Lily,” he grins as if he’s enjoying this or something.

I suck in a shrill gasp. He can’t be saying what I think he is saying. “What do you mean?”

“We’re already married.”

“When?!”

“As of today.”

“No,” I shake my head in denial. Am I still dreaming? “There are vows, and things to sign… and a priest for Christ sakes!”

“We’ll have a ceremony for our friends and family this spring. In fact, you should probably start planning it.”

“But…” I gape at him.

“No buts, Lily. On paper we’re legally married and no judge in this state will overturn it.”

“You can’t get away with this. There’s no way this is legal.”

“The method may not be legal but the final product is.”

I keep shaking my head and he keeps grinning. And then it just hits me, it completely sinks in. He did it, he really did it. Without my permission, without my consent, he divorced me from my husband and married me to him.

“I can’t believe you!” I scream and try to shove him away. “How dare you. You had no right.”

Face going cold, Lucifer grabs my hands, easily fighting me off as I try to slap him and pulls them up, pinning them above my head. “I have every right, Lily, because you are mine, and I take care of what’s mine. It’s time to accept it now, you belong to me. No more fucking games.”

“You’re horrible, you’re despicable,” I spit back.

He nods his head. “I am a not a good man. I will never deny it. Some of us are just destined to be bad men.”

I open my mouth and his finger presses against my lips to stop me. “But you can count on me to take care of you. You can count on me to always do what is best for you, even if you don’t see it that way. Even if you don’t understand how it’s in your best interest.”

Leaning into me, his eyes lock on mine, not letting me look away. “I protect what’s mine, and I will let nothing, not the law, not other men, not God his fucking self, come between me and my family. I will do everything in my power to protect you and our children. I will kill for you. I will die for you. And I will break the law for you as long as you are taken care of in the end. Do you understand?”

Staring into his eyes, I feel all the fight just go out of me and sag within his grip. Why keep fighting him? Why keep fighting this? He’s offering my everything I could ever want.

Protection, security. Passion.

Everything but a choice.

Pulling his finger away from my lips he asks, “Lily? Do you understand?”

Tears blur my eyes as I struggle to accept it.

All I have to do is let go. All I have to do is hand over the power.

To be weak.

To put all my trust in him.

I’m never getting out of this. There will never be an opportunity for me to make off with the children. There’s always someone around to stop us.

Do I even want to run anymore?

Maybe it’s time I just close my eyes and jump off the cliff.

Maybe it’s time to stop fighting this.

“Lily,” he growls, his fingers pinching me with his impatience.

Taking a deep breath, I continue to look him in the eyes as I exhale, “Yes.”

Sighing, he closes his eyes for a moment.

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