Page 63 of Corrupt Kingdom

My mouth opens to him, allowing his tongue to dominate me.

He can take what he wants. I’m his at this moment. His hands grip my hips, crushing me even farther against him. The hard length of his erection presses against my stomach, telling me what I already know. He wants this as badly as I do. His hands find the bottom of my shirt and are beginning to lift it when I finally snap to my senses.

I jump back, gasping for breath and red-faced as I try desperately to control my panting. I’ve allowed things to go too far.

I want it, but that doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do. There are still so many unknowns where Cyrus is concerned. Including the list, I just found. What does it all mean?

What if I give myself to him, and he tires of me? What if he decides I can’t go home?

Self-loathing seeps into me, making me question my every move. Have I lost my fucking mind? Despite how gorgeous Cyrus is, he is a kidnapper and God only knows what else.

“Ivy, look at me,” he demands, and I shake my head. “Get out of your head. You wanted that just as much as I did.”

“That’s the thing, Cyrus. This isn’t on you. I did this!” I yell. “I kissed you back because I wanted to.” Pulling on my hair, I groan in frustration. “What kind of an idiot am I?”

“Stop, Sun. Look at me,” Cyrus commands, and this time, I listen. “This isn’t wrong. We’re two adults capable of making decisions for ourselves. Get out of your head and let go. Just feel,” he says, pulling me to him again. His grip tight, face unyielding. “I’m going to kiss you again, and you’re going to let me.”

But instead, I allow my fears to win, and I push back. I run out of his room, down the stairs, and into the library.

My breath comes out in heavy pants as I fling myself in the chair to calm down.

I expect him to follow me, but he doesn’t.

He let me go.

32

Ivy

It’s been hours since I evaded him, and he still hasn’t found me. Or maybe he isn’t even looking. A dizzy feeling hits me at that thought.

My hand reaches up to the shelf to grab a book to read. With him being here on the island with me, my time in the greenhouse hasn’t been as much as I’d like, but thankfully, there is a fully stocked library to pass the time. Especially now that Cyrus brought new books.

It gives me something to do.

From behind me, I hear him first. The sound of his shoes hitting the marble beneath us. I don’t want to look at him. I have tried my best to keep my distance. It’s as if he’s been summoned by my constant thoughts of him.

“Why are you avoiding me?” he says from behind me, and my back goes straight. “Why are you denying this?”

“Denying what?” I ask as I turn around to face him. He moves in closer, caging me in yet again.

“The last time we were here in this room, I left you unscathed. But this time . . .”

“This time?”

“I won’t because there is no denying us.”

Words escape me. Like the Sahara Desert, my mouth is dry, parched, and I can’t speak. Instead, I try to lull the rapid beat of my heart.

“The need we have for each other. I know you feel it. You felt it then, and you feel it now.”

He steps forward again, and I step back again. It’s like déjà vu, but a lifetime has passed.

I want to say I hate him, but that would be a lie.

Last time I was here, I said it, but even then, there was no conviction to my words, and now . . .

He’s not the man I thought he was.

I still don’t know why.

But after he ran into the water and almost died for me, I can’t deny that he believes he is protecting me. And there is no limit to what he will do.

I don’t know what I’m being protected from or why, but I believe him.

He takes a step forward again, and this time, my butt touches the desk.

We’ve been here before, but last time, I tried to deny that he was right. My need for him is palpable and all-consuming, but as he’s said before, he won.

“How can you pretend you don’t feel it?” He steps forward just one step, but it’s the last step before our bodies touch and his legs press against mine. “I can’t pretend any longer.” He reaches his hands out and touches my jaw. “I can’t pretend that I don’t want you. Because I do.”

“I just—”

He lifts his hand to my mouth, silencing me. “Why do you need to talk constantly?” He smirks. “This is what you need to know. You need to know what my lips feel like as I kiss you.” He leans forward, placing his mouth on mine.

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