I sputter, at a loss. “Neither here or there? What the fuck is that supposed to mean? It’s fine for you to be covered in blood, but it’s not fine for me?”

Slowly, Simon’s gaze lifts back to mine, glittering with menace. “That’s right. That’s exactly it, princess.”

I shake my head. He’s crazier than I ever imagined. He’s fucking loony. Completely and utterly mad.

The light switches to green.

Simon turns his attention back to the road. “You have until the next red light to comply.”

“Or what?” I can’t stop myself from snapping even though I know it’s stupid to taunt a crazy man.

“Or I do it for you.”

“You wouldn’t dare,” I hiss.

There I go, being stupid again.

He doesn’t even have to say it; I can feel the words hanging in the air between us.

Try me.

Oh, I will. If he thinks I’m just going to let him remove my shirt, he’s got another thing coming.

I’ve put up with a lot tonight and I’ve reached my breaking point. Tonight was supposed to be my night to finally get away, to free myself of Matthew and Simon’s clutches, but some asshole just had to go and bomb the strip club and ruin it.

Each light we pass under remains green, and I thank the universe for small miracles. That is, until we finally reach another red.

Before Simon brings the car to a complete stop, I’m throwing my hair over my shoulder, pulling off my seatbelt and pushing the door open. If I had a weapon, I’d fucking stab him. Unfortunately, I’m completely defenseless.

The only thing I can do is try to make a run for it again.

Suddenly, the car lurches forward, the tires squealing as Simon hits the gas and I almost go tumbling out the door.

“Go ahead,” Simon taunts as the car picks up speed. “Make a jump for it, Meredith.”

Clutching the door for dear life, it’s everything I can do to keep from falling out and kissing asphalt.

As the road rolls by, my life is literally flashing before my eyes.

“You’re fucking crazy! Stop!” I scream, reaching out and clawing at the dashboard. My fingers slip and slide across it, failing to find purchase.

A hand grabs me by the back of the neck and yanks me back. The door slams shut and I instantly let go of it.

“Fuck!” I scream and start shaking.

He almost killed me. The bastard almost killed me.

“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!” I can’t stop screaming.

That’s the second time in three months that some asshole tried to kill me.

The car swerves to the right and I nearly go face-first into the windshield as we come to an abrupt stop.

Simon’s thrusts out his arm, saving me from eating glass at last moment.

Whipping back against the seat, I blink back tears, trying to process almost fucking dying again. Before I can get myself together, Simon leans over me and tears the glovebox open.

My arms are yanked forward and then there’s a loud click that snaps me out of my stupor.

I look down just in time to see Simon snapping a pair of handcuffs around my right wrist.

“What the fuck are you doing?” I ask, way too close to crying for comfort.

I try to yank my arms away, but he’s not playing. With a grunt, he pulls me so hard he almost pops my arms out of my sockets.

“Ensuring you don’t put your life in danger again,” he grits out.

The second handcuff snaps around my left wrist.

“Me? Put my life in danger?” I repeat shrilly and incredulously. “You’re the one who fucking accelerated! You tried to kill me!”

“Stop being so melodramatic,” he sighs as he grabs the seatbelt and yanks it across me. “You only had a fifty percent chance of dying at the rate of speed we were traveling.”

“Fifty percent?! Fifty percent?! Are you fucking kidding me?”

“Even less with me prepared to yank you back.”

I look down at the seatbelt and then back up at him. I don’t understand him at all. I don’t understand any of this.

One moment he’s trying to kill me, the next he’s protecting me. It doesn’t make any damn sense!

Simon’s eyes meet mine and I swear from the expression on his face he’s about ready to crack.

Ha, crack, as if he’s sane to begin with.

I take a deep breath, then another deep breath.

His gaze flicks down, locking on my breasts. His lip curls with distaste. It’s all the warning I get before he reaches for me and grabs my shirt.

“No! Don’t!” I plead, but he ignores me. His fingers pull and yank at the fabric, splitting it open.

I’m not ashamed of my body, not in the least, but to have him ripping my shirt off of me against my will is pretty damn humiliating.

With no way of stopping him, I close my eyes and wonder how my life came to this moment.

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