Page 24 of Corrupt Kingdom

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” I follow his gaze and see that he’s talking about my right-hand fist that is balled and ready to strike. If it were possible for my eyes to roll out of their sockets, they would.

“I meant why is this ‘house’”—I air quote—“on its own island?”

“Two bites.”

“I just took one . . .” Still, I place my fork in the food and then take another bite.

“It’s the reason I bought my estate.”

“I don’t get it.” This man is about to make me bash my head into the table with his half answers.

He sits back in his seat and cocks his head. The presence of a smirk lines his normally stone-cold face. “Is that your next question?”

Before I can stop it, a long, audible sigh escapes my mouth. “Jeez, fine. Yes.”

“The seclusion and proximity to my estate on the mainland is invaluable to me.”

I throw my hands up in the air at his once again vague answer. “You know what . . . I’ll just eat this. You can leave now.”

And with that, he laughs.




This time, I know he’s coming. He’s become predictable. Every three days like clockwork. By the time he gets here, all the food he’s left from the previous visit are scraps. It’s planned to a T.

Today, when he arrives, I greet him in the foyer.

“When are you going to let me go?” I ask. He ignores me, walking into the living room and checking the logs.

“You haven’t used the wood.”

“It hasn’t been that cold.”

Lies. It has been, but I refuse to admit that I don’t know how to start a fire. I wasn’t a Brownie growing up. Wasn’t a Girl Scout. I grew up in Manhattan with a trust fund, so the fact I have a green thumb is a modern miracle.

“Take this,” he says as he passes me a bag that I didn’t even realize he was holding.

“What is it?”

“Just take it. It’s more clothes. Although, there are also more supplies you might need in the cabinets.”

I don’t tell him I’ve been through everything. Or how I found the basic necessities I need to live. The fact he hasn’t brought shampoo and other toiletries until today leads me to believe he already knows this fact.

“Now that I have seen that you’re okay . . .” He starts to turn around, and it feels like a red-hot poker is being jabbed in my chest. I’m not ready to be alone again.

“No. You can’t leave yet,” I plead before catching myself. “I haven’t eaten.” I hate myself for the desperation.

“You made it clear last time that you didn’t want to play my game.” He sounds smug as shit as he says this. The worst part is, now, I need to grovel because I don’t want to be alone again. I won’t tell him that, though.

“I still have questions, and I won’t eat this if you don’t answer them.”

“Do you want me to stay?” he asks, lifting a suggestive brow. Nope. He saw right through me.

My head shakes back and forth. “Not like that.”

“Pity, Sun.”

That nickname again. “Sun?”

His lip tips up into a dangerous smirk. “Yes. It’s fitting.”

“For my sunny personality? I find that hard to believe.”

Something tells me he’s toying with me, messing with me somehow. I don’t like it one bit.

“If you knew why I called you Sun, you’d understand.”

Does this man ever speak in clear sentences, everything out of his mouth is like a damn riddle.

He starts back toward the front door.

“Please don’t . . . I can’t take much more time alone.”

He turns in my direction, scanning his eyes over me. It’s only then that I remember my precarious spot. Although I got dressed, the clothing was slim pickings. All I have are the clothes on my back and some soap I have been using to wash them. I did find the clothes in the bedroom, but I’ve used them only when I’m desperate. I was about to get dressed, but ran down so quickly, I forgot to throw on the rest of my clothes.

So here I am standing in the cold foyer in nothing but a flimsy camisole and barely there shorts. I was so excited I had forgotten. Shit.

I can feel his eyes dancing across my skin. It’s unnerving. And I fear that in my insolence, I have pushed the boundaries. He was going to leave, and now he’ll defile me.

I have dangled a piece of steak in front of a lion. If only I had a weapon to fight him off.

“I thought you said you wouldn’t touch me without my permission.”

“Does it look like I’m touching you, Sun?”

“No. But it looks like you want to.”

“Wanting and doing are two very different things. I might be a monster and make no mistake, I am, but I’m not that kind of monster.”

Tags: Ava Harrison Romance