“Yes, Simon?” I look up at his face expectantly.

When I note his angry expression though all I can think is fuck this. “I need a drink.”

Simon’s grip on my arm tightens and he pulls me a little closer. I sigh. Here we go again.

“I don’t want you speaking to James again, Meredith,” he says calmly, but I think that tic is in his eye is making a reappearance.

“What? Why?” I blink up at him.

“Because he’s a shameless playboy.”

I roll my eyes and yank my arm out of his grip. Dammit, my arm is probably going to be bruised tomorrow. “He’s a baby, Simon. He’s harmless.”

“That’s beside the point,” he scowls.

“What is the point again? That you’re needlessly jealous?”

Simon steps closer and bends down to speak quietly in my ear. “The point is that you’re mine, Meredith.” He pauses and I hear him take in a breath of my hair before he goes on. “And James is not worthy of your attention.”

Two different emotions war inside of me. Two emotions that seem to go hand and hand when dealing with Simon. Annoyance that once again he would try to treat me like a child and dictate who I can and cannot speak to. And arousal. With his body looming over mine, and his heat and scent hitting me, I close my eyes in an attempt to fight off my reaction to him.

My skin tingles and my damn nipples tighten.

I still don’t understand this… this weakness I have for him. Like Matthew, he’s a killer. A murderer. I watched him shove a knife in Cherry’s chest. Yet I can’t seem to dredge up the same hate for him that I have for Matthew.

It makes me a complete and utter hypocrite, but I can’t seem to change it.

“I’ll talk to who I want to, when I want to, Simon.” I open my eyes and politely tell him for the sake of not making a scene.

With how much I’ve already had to keep my tongue in check tonight, I deserve a medal or something.

Simon smiles and his eyes gleam as he leans back just enough to look at me. “Then whatever happens to him will be on your head.”

He can’t be serious. It has to be an empty threat…

“Don’t you dare use me as an excuse to off him,” I warn.

“Don’t give me a reason to, Meredith. I’ve already been more than gracious and shared you with the rest of the world for the past five years…” Simon’s leans close to speak in my ear again. “I’m done sharing.”

And this is where his obsession goes beyond mere inconvenience. It’s absolutely insane. If I had any sense, I’d run away from him, screaming. Yet, once again, the sheer depths of his crazy possession sends thrills through me.

The danger alone that he represents is a lure I can’t resist.

Dealing with Simon is like playing a game of Russian Roulette. I keep pulling the trigger, never knowing which pull is going to be my last.

Leaning into him, into the warmth and strong cage of his body, my lips find his ear. “So, if I want you to kill someone for me, all I have to do is talk to them?” I ask, hoping to show him the fallacy in his demand.

“No,” he answers firmly. “If you want me to kill someone for you, all you have to do is ask.”

I jerk back in surprise and my eyes search his face. He stares back at me with an intensity that shows he’s utterly serious.

I frown at him and he smiles. “Within reason, of course.”

“Of course,” I shake my head and take a step back.

He takes a step forward, putting himself right back into my personal space.

“You can’t expect me to talk to you and only you, Simon. I’ll go mad,” I point out.

The man is so… anal about taking care of me and seeing that all my physical needs are met, you’d think he’d take into consideration my mental health.

“I don’t expect you to speak only to me,” Simon says and my shoulders start to relax. “You may also speak to those I deem worthy of your sweet breath.”

God help me. I’m not sure how I’m going to make it through the rest of this game without strangling him.

“You’re purposely trying to piss me off,” I accuse him. And it’s working.

“Am I?” Simon asks as he reaches out and tucks a strand of hair that’s fallen out of my bun behind my ear. “Try me, angel, and see what happens.”

Never one to back down from a challenge, I start to turn away from him, meaning to make my way straight to James, when a little body suddenly slams into me.

“Aunt Meredith!” Evelyn cries out with true joy as her little arms wrap around me.

Once I get over my initial surprise, I smile down at her golden head and wrap my arms around her, giving her a tight squeeze back.

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