Page 59 of Corrupt Kingdom

She needs to come to me.

It has to be her choice.

And most of all, I have to get off this island.

Being here with her is like a kid in a toy store who’s been told he can’t buy anything.

Case in point, right now.

We are sitting on a blanket in the middle of paradise, and I’m torturing myself by watching as she takes a bite of a ripe strawberry and the juice trickles down her chin. She swipes the juice, smiling at me while she does it.

Temptress.

It’s like she is doing it on purpose to torture me.

This is what I get for being an asshole.

Karma is a bitch.

I have to shield my dick from view now.

It’s hard . . . so fucking hard. I need to do something, anything to get my mind off her lips.

“Do you like the island so far?” I ask, feeling like an asshole for asking. It’s a

dumb-ass question, considering how she got here. It isn’t a goddamn vacation. She’s forced to be here, and I really want to avoid anything that will bring us back to that topic.

But I’m apparently a raging idiot around her.

Everything I say makes me feel like a blundering high school boy who has his first crush, it’s an unnatural feeling for me. In the real world, I’m confident to the point of arrogance. I am cold and ruthless. But that’s what I have to be.

Considering someone else’s feelings and trying to hold regular conversations are not expected of me, and it shows in every normal conversation I attempt to have with her.

I’m becoming frustrated at how hard this is, and I’m not just talking about my dick.

I haven’t felt this way since junior high. It’s pathetic. Getting off the island and getting back is necessary. Killing someone could help too.

“Are you okay?” Her angelic voice brings my eyes back to hers. Her brow is furrowed, and her eyes are full of concern.

“I’m fine,” I lie. “I was just thinking about everything I have to do when I get back.” Not a lie. “The boat will be here in a bit, and I need to get some work done.”

Her shoulders deflate. “I forgot you were leaving today,” she says, sounding disappointed. “Will you be back soon?” Her voice pitches, rises with what I have to assume is hope, and it makes me happy. Another unfamiliar emotion that only she has been able to bring out in me.

“I’m hoping to come back the following day. You’re running out of supplies, so I need to bring back groceries,” I say, wondering if there is anything else she might need. “Is there anything else that I can get for you back in town?”

She bites her lip. “Anything?”

“Whatever will make your time here better?”

She thinks on that for a moment before offering some ideas. “I don’t suppose I could have my phone?”

“Next idea,” I respond, quirking my lip.

She nods her head. “It’s fine,” she draws out. “Maybe a puzzle?”

“A puzzle?” I ask, confused.

“Yeah. You know. Those things with different pieces that you fit together, and it makes an image.” She smirks.

“I know what a puzzle is, Ivy, but you want one?”

She shrugs. “Well, yeah. What else is there to do here?”

I wave my hand around. “You have an ocean and the beach in your front yard. It’s an island with more places to explore.”

“Yes. But when it rains, it would be nice to have some things to do indoors, and since you’ll be gone, I won’t have anyone to play chess with.”

“All right. A puzzle it is. Anything else?”

“And a couple of books. Your library is kind of dated,” she adds. “Something with mystery and romance.”

“Mystery and romance,” I repeat, chuckling.

“A girl’s got her vices.” She flashes her beautiful smile at me.

I’m fucked. I’d buy her all the damn puzzles and books she wanted, if only she’d never stop smiling.

“Let’s swim,” Ivy suggests. “Let’s see how cold it is.”

Watching her strip down to her bra and panties is a brand of torture I’m not accustomed to. I’ve been with many women—beautiful, exotic, sexually skilled women who I have enjoyed several nights with—but they never lasted long. I lost interest fast. They were either too eager, too clingy, or just too caught up in my lifestyle. Regardless of all their attributes, not one of them holds me as fascinated as Ivy does.

The black piece of lace hugs every one of her curves, and she looks magnificent. Her golden blond hair shines under the sun’s bright rays, and my mouth is dry.

I want her.

I need her.

God, the things I’d do to her.

“Swim with me.” She gestures me toward her with one dainty finger.

I oblige. After pulling off my thermal, I remove my jeans, then stalk into the water after her. She squeals, running farther in.

Fuck, it’s cold.

Really fucking cold.

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