“Funny, I don’t remember that being a rule…”

I give him the stink eye. “Lilith, Amy… Rules is rules. Simon can be the killer when someone touches his girl.”

Laughing, Lucifer says, “All too true. But do you seriously think he’ll ever find a wife?”

Shaking my head, I say, “No, but James sure is scared as fuck that I cursed him with the ‘you’re next’ comment.”

“You’re next?”

“Next to get wifed up.”

“Really? Whatever for?” Lucifer asks.

I shrug my shoulders. “Don’t know, but you know how them southern boys are about curses. He’s upset something fierce.”

“He’s Alexei’s father!” screams out Doctor Mirov.

“Well, well, well.” Lucifer stands up from our conversation and I move with him as we all circle around the crying man.

“Alexei holds his power because the man is hidden. If he was to die, there are splinters in the group who would break off.”

“Do tell doctor, do tell.” Simon smiles at the man.

The man before me resembles nothing like the one we brought into the warehouse.

He’s missing quite a few fingers and toes.

His tongue, just recently removed, rests on the floor.

Simon is a fucking sadistic motherfucker.

As soon as he discovered he wouldn’t be the one to deliver the death blow, he made damn sure he caused this man enough pain to soothe his bruised ego.

The doctor has one good eyeball left. His ears are missing, and his nose is half gone.

That’s not to say Simon only worked on his extremities and face.

No, his chest is a patchwork of missing skin, and even his intestines have been pulled slowly out of his body.

Fuck, this has been one long morning.

Walking up to the barely breathing man, I lean my head down and whisper in his ear, “This is for Beth.”

Moving to the front of him, I release the lower half of his body and slide it down until his pelvis is hanging off the chair.

Taking the scalpel from Simon’s hand, I quickly slice off the man’s tiny dick and balls.

Grabbing the bloody mess in my hands, I shove it into his mouth and watch as he slowly chokes to death.

When his body finally stops moving, I hand the scalpel back to Simon.

“Harrold will be here shortly,” Simon says. “He’ll remove the trash.”

Nodding my head, I follow Andrew out of the building. We watch as Simon and Lucifer leave the property and then wait for Harrold to show up.

“Long fucking night.”

“Yeah, but it’s been a productive one.”

18

Beth

Johnathan left me.

At first, when I slowly awoke realizing the spot beside me was cold, I thought perhaps he just got up to do something. But as the minutes ticked by and he didn’t return, I had to get up to investigate.

I’ve searched the house from top to bottom and he’s nowhere to be found. His car and motorcycle are both still in the garage.

It’s four in the morning and he’s gone out to do… something.

I check in on Charlie. He’s still tucked under his covers, clutching a fluffy brown teddy bear to his chest, and sleeping peacefully.

I could wake him. I could get us both dressed, use the house phone to call someone and we could get away.

Yet, I hesitate.

Would that be the best thing for Charlie? I can’t guarantee I’ll be able to keep him with me. I could strike out on my own, even call Sophia to help me, but eventually my father will find me.

Throwing his life back into turmoil and uncertainty just feels like cruelty at this point.

Johnathan may be a lot of things, a lot of bad things, but he honestly cares about Charlie. I know deep in my heart he’d do anything to protect the boy.

And what about me? Would leaving be the best for me? As much as it hurts me to think about it, I could sneak out now and leave Charlie behind.

There’s nothing at this moment to stop me from returning to my old life.

Nothing, that is, but me…

I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me.

The phone is right there, hanging on the kitchen wall and taunting me. It would be so easy to pick it up, so easy to dial a number, any number, and leave.

This is my chance; the chance I’ve been waiting for. I may never get another opportunity. But I just can’t bring myself to pick up the phone because a sick, twisted part of me wants to stay.

God, that feels so awful to admit, but it’s a desire I can’t seem to change. I don’t want to leave Johnathan.

God help me, I don’t.

And I don’t want to leave Charlie. I’m already crazy in love with the little guy.

We’re starting to build something here, something special.

In just the few days I’ve known them, we’ve already created a family.

And, fuck, what if there’s already a baby growing inside of me?

Johnathan has made no attempts to hide the fact that he’s trying to impregnate me. After our third round of sex last night, I fell asleep with his cock still buried inside me. I’m not on birth control and he sure as fuck hasn’t used any protection.

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