Flinging it this time toward the trees isn’t a good idea because when Cerberus runs back up to me and licks my face, I lose my heart to him. It also very well might have resulted in me losing my sweater because when I look down, I notice that a now muddy Cerberus is licking and jumping on me. “Great. Boy. Time for a bath . . .” This should be fun.
It’s a few days later when I decide to come back to the island. I’ve been busy. Things are going well with both Tobias and Alaric.
Alaric has made a sizeable deposit, which has taken up a large portion of my time. Fifty million will do that. His business is apparently doing good.
Which is fine by me. What the future holds with its competitors is not my problem; eventually, a war will come. My business is strictly holding the money. I have too much other shit to think about, say, for example, my prisoner.
She thinks I call her that because of the obvious reasons. If she only knew what it meant, she’d probably throw a pot at my head.
Speaking of pots, she better not be in the greenhouse when I arrive.
From where I enter the room, I find her leaning over the bathtub.
But it’s who she is washing that has my movement stopping, and my eyes going wide. There, in the tub, is Cerberus.
My guard dog.
He’s sopping wet, and she is scrubbing behind his ears.
There is no way this is happening. The dog is licking her face now, and her head is thrown back as she laughs.
He’s transfixed by her, and I understand why.
Fuck, I’m transfixed by her, and she’s not even rubbing me.
She’s a goddess come down to Earth, thrust into my hell, and making me feel things I shouldn’t.
Staring at her is like looking at the sun. Ironic, really.
As if she can hear my thoughts, she looks up at me.
Her large blue eyes widen in surprise.
She doesn’t understand the precarious situation she’s in. I’m a monster. She is the prey, and if she knows what’s good for her, she will run.
Cerberus wags his tail back and forth when he sees me. Who is this dog? What has she done to him? Only Ivy.
Cerberus chooses that moment to jump out of the bath and shake before Ivy can grab a towel. Water sprays everywhere, and Ivy is drenched.
Her nipples pebble beneath that damn tank she always wears.
“Why don’t you ever wear clothes?” I say gruffly.
“I gave you some.”
“I’m not wearing your shit.”
“Is that so, Sun?” I say, stepping out from the doorway and into the bathroom. She steps back, but she has nowhere to go because behind her is the bathroom counter.
Her hands reach out until they are hovering close to my chest. I step forward, toward her, and her skin collides with my shirt.
“Get out of my way,” she says, more like pleads.
I look down at her, and a smirk lines my face.
“Do you really want me to?”
From my vantage point, I can see the way her chest heaves at my words. “I-I.” she stutters.
She shakes her head, righting herself.
“Are you done staring?” She asks.
“Well, I’m done letting you.”
She lowers her body and escapes under the space in my arms where I had bracketed her in.
One thing is clear, though, from this interaction. Ivy isn’t immune to me. She feels the pull, and she wants it too. She just won’t admit it to herself.
I love a good challenge.
I’m pathetic. I know I’m pathetic. But knowing this doesn’t stop me from now being so eager to see this man that I’m sitting outside waiting for him. As soon as I heard the boat approaching, I headed down here, and now, like the idiot I am, I wait.
“You’re more trouble than you’re worth,” a new voice says, and I turn my head in the direction where it’s coming from. A man I’ve never seen is standing there, glaring at me. He looks at me as if he wants to kill me. The way you would look at your worst enemy just before you slashed their neck, but that makes no sense. I don’t know him.
My back goes ramrod straight, and my fists ball at my waist. This man might be scary, but I won’t back down.
“What did you say?” I ask the stranger, my eyes meeting his, but what I see there makes me shudder despite my false bravado. Dark eyes full of hatred. It really looks like he wants me dead.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he answers, and my anger rises to his blatant lie.
“If you’re going to talk smack, you should own it.” Snarky is probably not my best course of action with this man, but snarky is my best form of defense at the moment. My only defense, if I’m honest.