Page 53 of Corrupt Kingdom

The very thought of it makes me want to kill someone.

She’s too good to see the evil that lives in her father. That or too naïve, but I’d like to think it’s the former.

I’m not just pissed off about that. I am disgusted with myself. What am I even thinking by suggesting a card game, knowing that this is the reason she’s here in the first place? It had just been an idea to pass the time and hopefully get to know her a little better.

There isn’t a game out there I don’t feel confident I would win against her.

But I wanted to use that to my advantage to get her to open up to me. I wanted the mood to be lightened. I wanted to see her let loose and have fun.

But like everything I touch, it quickly turned to shit.

I do want to tell her why she’s here. I want her to understand that I don’t want to hurt her. But for the first time in my life, I care that my truth will hurt her even worse.

It’s better for her to think I’m the bad guy. Someone she doesn’t know, yet already hates. Knowing that a man she’s loved her entire life threw her to the sharks will destroy her.

I’m under no false illusions that I’m a good guy, but I can’t do that to her.

I care.

I fucking care, and that’s a fucking travesty.

It makes me weak. It compromises my entire empire.

The more I know about this girl, the more reckless my decisions get. I’ve already lost an entire fucking day to save her. When have I ever cared enough about another human life to risk my own?

Years.

It’s been years.

I grab my hair at the roots and pull, wanting to scream, but not wanting to alarm her.

Fuck! I am completely fucked as long as I’m around her.

I need to get off this island and back to work. Back to my sanity. Then I’ll be able to think clearly. Focus. Get her out of my system. Or maybe I need to just take her and make her mine. Maybe that’s what it would take.

Where the fuck is she?

I haven’t seen or heard from her since she stormed out.

Not wanting to upset her more, I remain sitting in the room, contemplating all the things I have to do when the boat eventually comes to get me, when Ivy re-enters the room, pillow and blankets in hand.

“What’s that?” I ask, raking my eyes down her body.

She’s wearing that tight camisole again, the one that manages to push up her breasts.

Why in the fuck does she have to keep torturing me with it?

My mouth waters at the sight of her round breasts and ample cleavage. She’s a sight to behold in simple fucking nightclothes. Her linen pants hug her curves and ass in just the right way to have me hardening. At least she’s wearing the pants I brought her. I don’t think I could handle it if she was only wearing her boy shorts again.

As it is, it’s torture to witness her like this. Her hair is thrown into a messy bun, and I can hardly contain myself. No man can exert this much restraint and not be in serious pain.

“I’m sleeping down here,” she says, tersely.

“Why?”

“Do you always have to question me? Can’t you just take my answer and keep your mouth shut?”

Her smart mouth has me somehow harder. I lick my lips, running my eyes over her body without an ounce of care. She blushes under my stare.

Good. I hope she’s good and wet. I hope she dreams about my hands running over every one of her curves.

Feeling her.

Tasting her.

Fucking her.

“I-I want . . . want to be close to Cerberus,” she stutters, clearly unnerved. “I need to make sure he’s okay.”

I stand, stalking toward her with purpose. Her eyes widen at my approach.

“Ivy,” I whisper into her ear.

“Y-Yes,” she stammers.

“What are you wearing? I brought you a whole bag of clothes,” I rasp, drawing a sharp inhale from her. She doesn’t answer me, but her breathing becomes shallow and her chest heaves. I trail my hand up her arm, leaving goose bumps in my wake.

“What are you doing, Cyrus?” She’s breathless, and I fucking love it.

“Showing you how good I can make you feel. All you have to do is ask for it.”

She shudders and then takes a deep breath while stepping back out of my grasp.

“I don’t know what you’re up to, but I won’t let you do this. Until I have the answer I’m looking for, this will never happen.”

“You admit you want it?” I respond arrogantly, wanting to make it clear that she isn’t in control despite my raging hard-on. “You admit you want me to fuck you, Ivy?”

Her eyes harden. “Not on your life.”

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