“I know, and I wouldn’t do that.” She thought about the pain, remembered the feel of losing her child.

She had no interest when it came to helping the man who hadn’t cared he was hurting an innocent child.

Whatever O’Klaren did, he had to suffer.

You want him dead. Stop trying to pretend you’re better in any way. You’d like to know the man responsible for taking her away is six feet under.

“Good.”

“You know, I don’t really know a whole lot about you.”

Preacher laughed. “Is this where you want to know every little detail and analyze me?”

“No, not every single detail.” She was a little humiliated because the truth was, yes, she did.

“You’re a really bad liar.”

“So sue me. I want to know more about you. It’s not a crime.” She put her hand on his chest. “I want to know what makes you tick. You know, how you think and feel.”

“You do realize I’ve kicked women out thinking they can get under my skin.”

At the mention of other women, it twisted her stomach, but she wouldn’t be pushed around. She could handle this. “I thought I was already under your skin.”

“I’ve known you a long time, Robin. Tell me what it is you want to know, and I’ll answer.”

She stared at his chest, then at his lips, before looking into his eyes. “It’s stupid.”

“I’ve not got all day.”

“Fine. Fine. I was wondering … well … I’m curious … are you with other women?”

He stared at her. “You want to know if I’m cheating on you?”

“Yes.” She climbed off his lap. “But you know what, it doesn’t matter. None of this matters, because I need to get going.”

She didn’t get far.

Preacher wrapped his arms around her, holding her close. “You’re not going anywhere. I want you to be able to come to me. All of this is new to me, okay? I’m not eighteen, and I don’t know what it is you want from me.”

“I don’t know either. The closest I’ve ever had to a boyfriend is Bishop, and you know how that turned out. I…” She stopped talking because her own feelings were threatening to consume her, and she couldn’t stand it. The thought of him being with anyone else, it hurt. No, it more than hurt. It cut her really deep, and she wasn’t used to feeling this way. “I don’t want you to be with anyone else. I can’t stand the thought of other women knowing what you’re like in bed.”

“You know I wasn’t a virgin before you came along.”

“I’m not stupid, I know that. Is it wrong to maybe, just have each other?” she asked. “I don’t want to think of you with other women.”

“Then don’t, because it’s not happening. If that’s what you want to know, say it.”

“I don’t want you seeing other women?”

“Then I won’t, just like I don’t want you seeing other men. Until we can discuss shit with Bishop, he’s allowed to kiss your cheek, but you will stop all other contact with him. No touching. No making out. Nothing. You’re mine, and you do know what that means, don’t you?”

“Yes.”

“Good.” He pulled her close, kissing her hard. “What else do you want to know?”

“I don’t know. What about your parents? Your family.”

“There’s nothing you need to know from them. They’re not important at all.”

“But they’re part of you,” she said. “I don’t know anything about you.”

“None of it matters. It’s all in the past, but I don’t have time to talk about it now. I’ve got stuff I need to do.” He pressed his lips against hers. “Do you think you could give me a little more time?”

“Sure. Yes. Sure.” Don’t become a nag, Robin. “I better be heading back. Will you be home for dinner?”

“Yes, I’ll make dinner and don’t worry about anything else. I’ve got everything under control.”

Chapter Twenty

One week later

Everything was in place, and Preacher stared at the door of O’Klaren’s house. The woman O’Klaren had killed had been taken care of, and so had her kids. Preacher always made sure his own got what they needed.

With regards to O’Klaren, he’d needed the right time, the right motivation. It would have been easy for him to run in, kill O’Klaren without even thinking, but it wouldn’t have been smart.

Preacher’s patience with everything was at an all-time low.

First, he had to gather intel on O’Klaren’s whereabouts. Taking out a cop, especially one specifically assigned to bring him down, wasn’t easy. In fact, it was downright fucking hard, and he had to get everything all in the right place. It would have been so much easier if he hadn’t wanted to handle this on his own.

If he’d hired someone to take the hit, he’d have been able to hide and cover up all the evidence leading back to him.

With O’Klaren, it was personal. There was no getting away from the fact he wanted to kill the son of a bitch.

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