But maybe, just maybe, if she’s truly sympathetic, she can help me out of this mess. Maybe, if I work her right, appeal to her woman to woman, she can help me get away.
I take another gulp of the spiked coffee and then ask, “How much do you know?”
Lily glances nervously at the door before admitting quietly, “I’ve only heard a little here and there. I know you were to marry that Russian, Alexei.”
When she speaks Alexei’s name a look of utter disgust passes over her face.
And my heart begins to swell with foolish hope.
“I didn’t want to marry him,” I feel the need to point out. “I was forced into it.”
She nods her head, the look of disgust fading away, but her eyes are full of questions.
I decide the best course of action is to start from the beginning. I don’t need to bullshit her or even exaggerate the circumstances. The truth is horrible enough to make my case.
“They drugged me. When I came to, I found myself in a back room of the church, wearing this wedding dress…”
Lily’s eyes grow wide, and they only grow wider and wider as I give her every detail, not leaving anything out. I want her to have every, gritty, gory detail. I want her to know what they did to me.
As I tell my story, I notice her glancing wistfully at the bottle of whiskey, as if just hearing what happened to me makes her need a drink. But for whatever reason she never reaches for the bottle.
When I finally reach Lucifer’s phone call, her face flushes with a blush.
Ignoring the blush, I wrap things up quickly and end the story by spreading my hands and saying, “And now I’m here.”
Lily nods her head slowly and glances at the bottle again. I reach out and nudge it toward her, but she shakes her head.
When I arch my brow, she explains, “I’m pregnant.”
Of course she is, I think as Lucifer’s call replays in my head. I bet that’s all these men do. Lock their women up and fill their bellies with babies.
Her blush darkens as I force a tight smile, grab my mug, and tell her, “Congratulations.”
I finish off the rest of my spiked coffee and almost ask for a refill, as nasty as it is.
An uncomfortable silence falls over the kitchen as we both process the story I told.
Then we both speak at once.
Lily says, “Meghan, I’m glad you’re—”
As I say, “Lily, I know it’s—”
We both cut ourselves off and laugh with embarrassment.
“Go on,” Lily encourages me.
I hesitate, wishing I could hear what she was going to say first. It’d be nice to have an idea of what she’s thinking right now. If she’s even moved by my situation.
Taking a deep breath, I gather what emotional fortitude I have left, and say, “Lily, I know it’s a lot to ask, but I need your help.”
Lily’s face immediately shuts down, becoming guarded, like a switch was just flipped.
Damn. I was afraid of that.
“What do you need?” she asks, glancing at the door again.
No doubt she’s worried someone might overhear this conversation.
The little hope I had deflates behind my ribs.
I should have known better than to take this risk. She’s Lucifer’s wife, and if she’s anything like the Irish women, above all else, she’s loyal to him.
I have to ask, though. I have to. I already let one opportunity slip through my fingers when I gave Gabriel’s phone back to him without a fight, and who knows how many more chances I’ll get.
“Help me get away,” I whisper. “Please.”
Lily’s expression softens as her eyes meet my eyes, and for a moment I almost believe all hope is not lost.
Perhaps she’s different…
Then she sighs and says gently, “Meghan, you said yourself Alexei is determined to have you. And knowing what I know, what everyone knows about him, if I help you get away, do you really think he won’t hunt you down? That he won’t spare any resource or expense to find you and right this slight against him?”
My shoulders slump in defeat and disappointment.
“He might not,” I weakly counter. “He might consider me a lost cause…”
But even I don’t believe that. Even if Alexei no longer wants me as his bride, I know he and my father will hunt me down for the principle of it. They’ve been more than slighted, they’ve been downright humiliated. And in our life, in our circles, your reputation, your honor, your standing in the fucking social pecking order, is just as valuable, if not as valuable, as all the money and connections you possess.
Insults are as deadly as weapons.
“He will,” Lily says firmly with assurance. “He’s going to come for you, and we’re the only family who has ever stood up to him and survived it. We’re the only family that’s punished him and made him pay for his transgressions.”