Yeah, I was paying attention when you were explaining why you married me.

Staring him hard in the eyes, my pulses races as I add, “I refuse to be an object you use and discard once you’re done with it. I rather die than live like that.”

And I fucking mean it. I wasn’t going to do it for Alexei, I would have slit his throat from ear to ear as soon as I was given a chance. And I sure as hell won’t do it for this asshole.

“What the fuck are you saying?” he asks, his face hardening until it’s stone cold.

I fix my grip on the handle of the knife, my palm and fingers starting to sweat from holding it like this.

It’s so damn humid in here from the shower, the smell of his soap, his skin, is going to my head.

“Either we do this for real…like we’re a team…”

“Or?” he asks, his eyes locked on my eyes.

I push the knife into him to make my point.

“I see,” he says, his jaw clenching.

Staring into his eyes, I try to figure out what the hell he’s thinking. He looks angry as fuck, but also contemplative.

Seconds pass, our breaths mingling, my body flushing with heat, and my skin dampening.

As much as I don’t want to acknowledge it, I can’t help but be aware of how close his body is to mine. Nor can I forget that he’s completely naked.

The image of him dripping wet will forever be burned into the back of my eyes.

He’s truly impressive, built like a fucking god… or a devil. A devil that draws me in with his eyes.

“There’s one little problem with your request though, little girl,” he finally says, cutting through the oppressive silence.

Clenching my teeth at the little girl remark, I resist the urge to push the knife into him harder. “And that is?”

A slow grin spreads across his lips as I rise to the bait. “This marriage has been real to me from the beginning.”

How is that a problem? I wonder in confusion.

Before I know what’s happening, he’s pushing the knife away way too fucking easily and pressing his body against me.

Pinning me to the wall, his mouth crashes against my mouth in a bruising kiss.

Instantly, every little nerve in my body screams to life. Crying out for something only he can give.

I’m so shocked at first, so caught off guard, I just freeze.

Then the reality of what’s happening sinks its teeth in.

No. No. No. No…

This isn’t what I wanted. This isn’t why I came in here, or what I was trying to achieve.

I try to twist my head away, but he growls and his kiss only becomes harder. More insistent.

The more I try to fight him, the tighter his fingers squeeze around my throat, cutting off my air.

How the fuck did me wanting to ask for a secret annulment turn into this? I think as I try to ignore his tongue pushing past my lips.

Maybe because I never actually got around to the asking for the annulment part.

Dammit.

When I walked in here, I didn’t count on him making me so damn flustered I’d fuck up the little speech I came up with in my head.

Reaching out with my free hand, I start shoving at him.

Finally releasing his grip on my throat, he grabs up the hand shoving at him and pins it to the wall above my head.

Shit. I don’t know what to do. I still have the knife, but I truly don’t want to hurt him like that.

I don’t really want to kill the only man who’s ever tried to protect me.

He begins to push his way between my thighs, using his hips to lift my ass up. And as soon as I feel something hard pressing into my sex, my body reacts as if I was just struck by lightning.

Unwanted jolts of sensation radiate from my core, zipping up my spine, and tingling through my limbs.

My fingers tighten around the knife as it almost slips from my grip.

I try to twist away, try to turn my head again now that his fingers are no longer locked around my throat.

Grabbing my face with his other hand, his fingers press into my cheeks, opening my mouth wider for his invasion.

His tongue sweeps in, claiming and conquering me without reservation.

Do something, my mind cries out as my body begins to give in, my resolve melting into his kiss just like I did back in the church.

I know from experience I can only resist his pull for so long.

I literally only have seconds left.

There’s just something about him, something dark and dangerous, that sings to me, drawing me in like a moth to the flame.

I want to play with his fire. I want to combust in his arms, shedding the old Meghan, and be reborn as something new…

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