Mark this chick as mine.

“Russians took out a bank we own. I need you down on the scene. We need to figure out what the fuck happened,” Simon snaps in my ear.

“When?” I ask as I contemplate whether or not Meghan will kick me if I slap that ass.

I want to do so many fun things to it. I wasn’t joking when I said I’d fuck it if she ever tries to run again. Fuck, I want to fuck it regardless of her trying to run.

“At five-seventeen this morning. Killed an onsite guard we had in the building,” he mutters over the sound of keys tapping on a keyboard.

“Is that the only casualty?” I ask.

“Yes. Are you fucking leaving yet?” he snaps at me.

“Soon, I need to get some gear. Who’s my onsite contact?” I ask as I turn away from Meghan.

She grumbles loudly, her head buried under a pillow.

“Detective Sommers will be leading the investigation. Unfortunately, someone called in the bombing before we could call in our version of what happened,” he says.

“Fuck, so the news outlets will be trying to climb over each other to get the story?” I grumble.

“Yes, so leave your wife at home. We don’t need her face plastered all over the news. I’ve called what contacts I have in the media and I’m trying to get this downplayed as much as possible. But it’s the fucking media.”

“Fuck, I’m not exactly fond of the idea of leaving her here alone,” I say as I walk over to the dresser.

I grab a pair of jeans and a t-shirt out of it.

Meghan moves and I’m pretty sure she’s listening in.

“I don’t give a shit, get the fuck over to there. I’ll text you the location now,” Simon snaps before he disconnects the phone.

“Fucking douchebag,” I growl as I slap the phone down on the dresser.

“What’s going on?” Meghan asks, fully awake now.

“Someone bombed a bank we own,” I growl as I yank the t-shirt over my head.

I’m not fucking happy with Simon right now, not when he tells me to leave Meghan home alone. But I can’t fucking argue the logic. While she needs to be attached to my hip, this isn’t the time for her face to be shown. Too many unknown variables.

Sitting up straight, her eyebrows lift almost up to her hairline. “Did you say someone bombed a bank?”

“Yeah,” I say while pulling my pants up.

“You forgot your underwear,” she points out quietly.

Looking down, I push my junk into the jeans and carefully zip up. “Nah, I don’t like wearing ‘em.”

Shaking her head, she forces her attention away from my cock. “Someone blew up a bank… because you bombed their restaurant?”

“Looks like it. The risk of retaliation was always going to be high no matter what we did. That restaurant was a money laundering front for them,” I say as I sit down to pull on socks and my boots.

“Oh god,” she mumbles.

Reaching over, I grab her ankle and pull her to my side.

“Stop!” she pushes at me.

“No,” I say quietly.

“But… but all this violence…” she croaks as she looks up at me.

“Would have been happening with or without you. Your father insulated you from the world he operated in. Lots of things were happening you never got to see.”

“But…” she whispers, shaking her head.

“Right or wrong, it happened, Meghan. Whether you knew it or not, shit was going down,” I say and wrap an arm around her shoulder.

“I just don’t…” she starts but stops. “How much of what’s happening now is my fault?”

“Don’t even try to follow that path, Meghan. Just don’t. Fucked up shit’s always going on and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. This shit’s been going on long before you came along. Long before I was around,” I say, and try to stop the anger inside me that wants to reach out and murder anyone who makes her hurt like she does.

“Is this all there ever will be? Pain and death?” she asks. “Blood and innocents dying?”

“No,” I say with a growl. “I aim to make sure these fuckers are all six feet under.”

“But that just means more killing.”

“It does, but I was brought out for a purpose. I’m the dog let off the leash. It’s Lucifer’s way of showing the world that playtime is over.”

Hugging her tight to my side for a moment, I almost start shaking with the inner turmoil of leaving her here without me.

“I gotta go check out what’s happened, and I need you to stay here and keep out of trouble for a few hours,” I say.

Looking up at me with a frown, she asks, “Why are you leaving me alone? I didn’t think that was something you were comfortable doing…”

“I have to trust you sometime, Meghan. Trust that you know doing what I tell you is in your best interest. They want you back. Alexei is pissed that I took what he thinks is his property.”