Page 68 of Corrupt Kingdom

Cyrus is quietly cooking. Cerberus is eating from his automatic feeder on the floor. It’s oddly quiet right now. A part of me expected small talk to be made, but apparently not.

It seems that even after sex, he’s back to being his grumpy self, but I think that’s just who he is. Grumpy. Gruff. Isolated.

I know he doesn’t leave his main estate unless he has to. I wonder why?

I wonder what happened to make him this way.

A few minutes later, he places the plate in front of me, and I look down to see eggs and toast.

Simple. Like him. Lifting the fork, I take a bite. It’s surprisingly good.

“Are you going to eat?” I ask.

He shakes his head.

“Do you not eat?” I know he does since he ate when he was hurt, and when we had dinner together before I tried to escape but maybe that was just to appease me.

There is so much I don’t know about this man.

Other than the obvious.

“What’s going on, Sun?” He inhales deeply, placing a mug of coffee down in front of him.

His features have darkened. It’s as if a cloud has formed around him. Hovering close.

A storm is brewing. Not just in the room, but outside. The sound of thunder makes me shake.

“It’s going to rain,” I say, looking out the window.

“It will be over soon.”

I turn back to Cyrus, but he’s not looking outside. He’s watching me.

It’s strange to have someone watch me so intently. I’m not used to it. As much as I like the attention from Cyrus, I also feel like a zoo animal on display. Maybe if there were no secrets between us, I wouldn’t feel this way. Or maybe I would feel worse. Once I know the truth, it will hang over us, casting a shadow of darkness and doubt. I shudder inwardly at that thought. I don’t want this to end or change.

“I want to know things, but I’m not ready yet.”

He nods.

“But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to get to know you. I might not ask the whys yet, but before I do, before everything changes, I just want to know you.”

He stands, charging me, lifting me up from my breakfast.

His mouth attacking mine.

“All you need to know is this.” He devours my mouth. “This.” Kiss. “Is all I’m willing to tell you now.” He kisses me again. His tongue attacks mine. Then I hear the dishes hitting the floor, and I’m lifted onto the table.

And before I can object, my legs are parted open, and he descends.

35

Cyrus

Just as predicted, another storm rolls by. This time, bringing fierce rain. It’s officially spring, and we have crappy rainy weather to prove it.

I have business to attend to and going back to the mainland isn’t something I want to do now. The weather is a perfect excuse to stay. I haven’t had my fill of Ivy, and until I do, I hope the weather doesn’t turn.

Picking up my phone, I make my way into the office and call Z.

“Boss,” he answers.

“I will not be needing the boat today.”

“You won’t . . .?” He trails off. The way he draws out the word makes an implication of why.

“No.” I know he wants to ask, but he won’t. Although he is the closest thing I have to a friend, we don’t talk about women.

Actually, that’s not true. We just haven’t talked about one for a long time.

“Anything I should know, boss?”

“No,” I say sterner than I mean. We are not females, and we will not be gossiping.

“What about the meeting with Mathis?”

Mathis is one of my clients. He runs all sorts of illegal businesses here and in Europe. According to the United States government, he owns nightclubs, hence the large sums of cash that I clean for him and hold in my bank. The truth is, he is a club owner, but his money comes from all sorts of shit he has his hands on. Including distributing a hefty portion of Tobias’s cocaine.

“He wants to meet next week.”

“Do I have any other meetings this week?” I ask.

“Not that I’m aware of. Oh, wait, Alaric. Maybe Tobias as well. I’ll have to check and get back with you,” he says.

“Very well. What about the game, who’s playing?”

“So far, it’s the usual suspects . . . a few trustees.”

I start to pace the length of my office. “Trent?” He better not be, not after everything I’ve done.

I hardly think he would appreciate knowing I’ve fucked his sister while I’m supposed to be protecting her.

“Nope. He hasn’t been back since you spoke with him.”

“Good.”

I’m happy he hasn’t pressed the issue. I’m still not happy I have to deal with it, but as long as he’s not making it worse, Ivy will be okay. Safe and sound in my bed.

Once I have my fill, I’ll decide what to do with her. Trent is gathering the money to pay Boris. Once that’s done, she can go back to her life.

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