Page 55 of Corrupt Kingdom

Ivy isn’t someone I would want to have leverage on me. She might be my prisoner, but I’ve gotten to know her, if her escape attempt proves anything it’s that she is resourceful.

I wouldn’t put it past me, that she’ll figure out a way to spin this in her favor.

Not that I think she’ll try to escape, but she’ll probably try to milk a phone call to her mother from me.

That’s something I can’t do.

From the research I have done on her, and the fact that I know her father, her mother can’t be called. Her father is a liability, and there is no way I would trust Ivy’s location with anyone in that family. Even Trent doesn’t know she’s on my island. I can’t have anyone breach my trust and tell Boris I have her.

It’s been two days since the accident, and I’m still not sleeping in my bed. Ivy doesn’t think I can handle the steps yet without tearing my stitches. She’s being ridiculous. I’ve been hurt plenty to know what I can handle.

Taking a bullet to the chest, being stabbed in the back, literally, has me knowing my limits.

A small gash in my leg isn’t one of them. However, it’s not awful having someone as fucking gorgeous as Ivy, waiting on me hand and foot.

As if she can hear my thoughts, she stirs beside me. The close proximity has me hyper-aware of what she sleeps in. Basically nothing.

This girl will be the death of me.

“You okay,” she mumbles, her voice still drowsy with sleep.

“Yep,” I mutter back, distracted with the sight in front of me, and she must notice because she follows my gaze, and then her cheeks go bright red.

She pulls her tank up before she speaks again. “Um, how’s your leg?”

“Better.”

“Pain.”

“Nope.” Fuck yeah, but I’m not admitting that. “How’s the weather?” Yeah, I just became that guy, the one who asks about the weather.

“Still storming, I think.” She stands and heads over to the window to get a better view. “It’s awful out. I guess you’re stuck here another day. Let me get you some breakfast.”

“I can walk, Sun.”

“It’s probably better that you don’t.”

“Now who’s being ridiculous.” I stand from my makeshift bed. Hurts like a bitch, but I bite back the pain.

“You sure, you look a little green.”

“I’m fucking sure,” I grit out.

She lifts her shoulders. “Fine, have it your way.”

Once I’m standing, Ivy takes it upon herself to wrap her arm around me, as if she could hold my weight. I’m about to tell her I don’t need help, but something stops me.

When we’re in the kitchen, I take a seat, and she stares at me.

“I feel like all we do is eat.” She laughs.

“We have spent most of our time in here. I would say we can eat somewhere else, or do something else, but—”

“You think I’m too hurt. Trust me when I say this, Sun. This is nothing. I have been hurt far worse.”

Her eyes go wide like saucers, but then she rights herself. “Well, if you don’t want to eat yet, why are we here?”

“’Cause you led me here,” I joke, and her own lips tip up when I do.

“What do you want to do then?”

“No food and no spades.” Now she laughs.

“Yeah, neither of those works, how about I make us some coffee and you think of something else.”

My eyebrow raises and she rolls her eyes. “Not that either.”

“Our options are rather limited then . . .” I trail off with a grin.

“There has to be something else you do. Come on, what do you do for fun?” When I don’t answer her question, she proceeds. “Seriously? Is there anything you do besides being”—she points at me—“you?”

“I play chess.”

“Now that makes complete sense.”

“How so?”

“Cold and calculated. Perfect chess player.” She beams.

“Do you play?” My eyebrow lifts. This could prove interesting.

“No. I don’t know how to.”

“Then I’ll teach you. Meet me in my office, bring the coffee.” I stand, the movement still hurts, but I’m becoming used to the pulling pain.

When I’m in my office, I walk over to my chessboard.

Ivy is following closely behind, because apparently, I walk slow enough that she was able to use the Keurig for two cups in the time it took me to walk.

Fuck. I hate being weak.

“This is beautiful,” she exclaims, walking into the room, two mugs in hand and Cerberus in tow.

I look at the board where we’ll be playing. It should be, seeing as each piece is cast from gold.

“Where did you get this?” Her finger reaches out and touches the top of the queen.

“It was made for me.”

I motion for her to sit at the table. She does, and my dog lays down by her feet.

“Seeing as you don’t play, today is your lucky day, because you have a very good teacher.”

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