Page 27 of Corrupt Kingdom

“You did.” His nostrils flare, and I take a step up to him. I expect him to step back, to flinch, but I’m actually impressed. It seems Trent has grown a pair of balls.

He doesn’t even look like the same Trent I’ve met in the past. Instead of being funny like when he used to play poker or disheveled like the last time I saw him at his place before I took Ivy, he stands up straight today, his face determined to say his piece. “‘I’m here to talk business.”

“And this couldn’t have waited?”

“Well, it could have, but I know you don’t leave your estate, and I wanted to talk to you about the money I invested for you. I figured you wouldn’t want to talk over the phone.”

“And you would be right.” I nod to my men who flank him, and I allow him to pass. Together, we walk back into the parlor, but instead of going to a table, I lead him to the bar.

“What are you drinking?” I ask as I call Maggie over. She knows what I drink. In no time, she will be getting me my signature glass of Louis. When she approaches, I gesture for Trent to order from her.

“Don Julio 1942 extra chilled.”

Maggie smiles before heading off to get us drinks.

It doesn’t take long, and as Trent lifts his drink to his mouth a few minutes later, we move to stand far enough away from the tables so no one can hear.

“Now that you have my attention, and a drink, tell me why the fuck you came to my house even though I was clear that you and your father were no longer welcome.”

“I thought you would be interested to know that the fund is up forty percent. It is now worth one hundred and forty million.”

My hand lowers, but that is the only sign I allow to show he’s shocked me. When I commanded this job of him, I didn’t expect him to be that successful.

“Now, that is good to know.” I lift my glass and take another swig.

“Thought so.”

As hard as it is for me to admit, this kid might actually know what he’s doing.

“Trent, how would you like to do another job for me?”

“I thought this was a one-time deal.”

“It doesn’t have to be. I know you came to my game to get clients, but how would you like to get the bigger dogs? Take him, for example.” I point my finger to the far table. “He could bring another hundred million to the fund if you play your cards right.”

“Doesn’t he run the Italian mafia? What do you have to do with the mafia?”

“The Italian mafia wouldn’t exist without me. I am the mafia. All the money passes through me.”

“I’m not sure I want to get into bed with you.”

“Interesting. Working together in the future could be mutually beneficial.”

“True, but first I want to know when you are going to take care of Boris.”

I step into him, tall and powerful. “Don’t question me.”

“What does that mean?” He doesn’t back down. Instead, the muscles in his neck flex.

“Keeping her hidden is the best option right now.”

There is no hiding how he clenches his teeth. He hates this. Hell, he should. I hate it too.

“You better not touch her,” he grits out.

“What I do with Ivy is none of your business.”

“There is no you and Ivy, because if there was, you would be no better than Boris. Maybe you aren’t different. But you won’t be screwing my sister. Not if I have anything to say about it.”

His words hit me in the stomach.

As much as I want her, I can’t have her.

Because despite what Trent says, he doesn’t know how accurate his words are. If I touch her, I’m no better than Boris.

* * *

It’s been a few days since I’ve been to the island. After the morning I’ve just had, the last thing I want to do is check on my little prisoner.

She is a perfectly wrapped gift box that I’m dying to tear into. Unfortunately for me, she’s not mine to open. Since I won’t take her, I try to stay away from her.

But she needs food, and I need to make sure she hasn’t gotten herself in any sort of trouble. There is a good chance she’s locked herself in the room, which is fine by me. The need to reach out and touch her pisses me the fuck off.

Why couldn’t she not evoke emotions in me?

No one does.

Why her?

It’s bad enough that I’m going on about this, but it would be much easier if I didn’t want to sink into her every time I see her.

I shake my head. It’s fine. I have control.

Plus, I doubt I’ll even bump into her. The past few times I have come by, I haven’t seen her.