Page 85 of Corrupt Kingdom

Never did I think this type of distraction was in the cards for me.

Z is actually right. I have an objective, and playing around with a girl, no matter how beautiful and alive she makes me feel, is a bad idea.

I open my computer, checking the figures in a few offshore accounts. Then I fire off an email to Trent, letting him know his sister is okay and checking in on the millions of dollars I have him investing for me and my clients. Holding their money isn’t enough. Increasing and cleaning is why they come.

An hour passes before I can no longer pretend my mind isn’t elsewhere. I wonder what she’s doing.

Is she still pissed at me? Or has she calmed enough for me to explain? If she knew the truth, how would she feel?

Why am I acting like a little bitch? Because she means something to me, and I don’t want to hurt her.

The truth is, she means so much more than I will ever admit, and the thought scares the fuck out of me.

A gun to my head doesn’t scare me this bad.

I stand from my desk because there’s no reason to pretend I’ll get shit done. Stalking out of the office, I go in search for Z. When I find him, he’s pacing the drawing room, looking out to the ocean.

“Tell Maxwell to bring the boat around.” Z’s body stiffens at my voice before turning around and facing me.

“You’re going back?”

I cock my head at him, daring him to say something else. His jaw is tight. He doesn’t agree with my decision to keep her. By the tic under his eye, I know he wants to tell me that.

He’s not happy.

We have always seen eye to eye on what to do about business and other shit, really. He thinks she’s a distraction.

Well, he’s right. She is.

But I don’t fucking care.

He nods his head and then shakes it in disbelief before he stalks off to get the boat. Now alone, I look toward the island. I’m going to have to let her go, but I need to see if Trent has settled shit with Boris yet for his father.

Pulling out my cell, I make the call.

“Cyrus,” he answers.

“Do you have the money?” I ask. There’s no reason to pretend we like each other. No reason to keep up the false pretenses.

“I do.”

I don’t want to know how he came up with that money right now, but I’m sure it’s not something too far off from what I deal with.

Trent’s resourceful.

He probably has a Ponzi scheme going. As long as it’s not with the money he’s taking care of for me, I don’t give a fuck.

I will gut him if it is, but he knows better than that.

“Have your father call Boris and set up the drop. Once it’s done, I’ll release your sister. But if I ever see him in my house. If I ever hear—”

“I know.”

“I won’t hesitate to kill him, and then after, I will kill you for allowing it to happen.”

“I know.”

With that out of the way, I hang up. There is no question in my mind that if this man puts Ivy in danger—I don’t care if she loves him—I will torture him slowly. Very fucking slowly.

I might not be The Butcher, but I’m just as fucking lethal. Killing and torturing when I need to.

The sound of shoes in the hall has me pulling my gaze away from the window and back to Z.


“Yep,” he responds, his voice tight with anger.

Z has a massive fucking stick up his ass, but I don’t give two shits. If he has a problem with me, he can keep that shit to himself. I don’t pay him for his opinions.

I pay him to have my back.

Having my back means shutting the fuck up, getting my goddamn boat, and taking me to my girl.

My girl.


When the fuck did I start referring to Ivy Aldridge as that?

The faster that fuck Trent pays off Boris, the faster I can send her back and stop this insanity.

Once on the boat, it doesn’t take long with the wind.

I’m not sure how long I’ll stay this time, but since the meet is happening soon, I make a new plan.

“Stay by the dock.” Maxwell nods, and Z turns to face me. “Trent is making the exchange, so I see no reason why she can’t come back to the house with me tonight.”

There is that tic again.

“Do you have something you want to say?” I level him with my stare.

“No, boss.”

Once we pull up to the dock, I head up to the house.

I’m about to open the door when I notice a faint red mark.

Is that blood?

My stomach drops, and I wonder if after I left, she hurt herself on her walk. Throwing open the door, I don’t expect her to come running into my arms, but I do expect to find her on the main floor.