Page 16 of Claimed As His

She shook her head. “It’s not your fault,” she whispered this time. “But I don’t want to be here anymore. And I don’t want to ever see your family again. At least not until they can accept this.” Maybe someone would say she was being dramatic or intense over the situation, but Lucy didn’t have to surround herself with this negativity. She didn’t have to be verbally abused by people who didn’t know her, judged for the way she looked or what she did or did not have. She didn’t need any of that in her life. She’d grown up with enough judgmental assholes in the foster system, in her workplace, hell, just in life in general. She refused to be someone they trashed on.

He leaned in and kissed her softly, and she closed her eyes and just absorbed the feeling.

“I don’t want them in my life, not if they can’t accept you and treat you with the respect you deserve,” he murmured against her mouth. When he pulled back she knew she probably had a shocked expression on her face.

“Let’s get out of here. I don’t need them. We don’t need this shit.” He took her hand and started leading her out of the room, but she pulled back until he stopped.

“What do you mean you don’t need them in your life?” His statement genuinely confused Lucy. This was his family. He’d walk away, just like that? “I can’t have you stop having them in your life just because they’re assholes to me.”

He chuckled deeply and shook his head slowly, still staring into her eyes. Taking a step closer, he put his hands on her waist, his fingers lightly digging into her flash. “You are my life now. And if they can’t accept and understand that, then fuck them.” He said that with so much conviction so much passion, she knew he spoke the truth. “You changed me for the better, and in this short time I know that I never want to go back to the man I once was. I never want to be that person again.” He leaned in and kissed her again, murmuring against her lips, “Now let’s go home.”

Home.

What was this man doing to her? He was turning her upside down, inside out. He was making all her reservations vanish.

He was making her fall in love with him.

Maybe his family would come around one day, but until then they had each other. They had a lot to learn about one another, but they had all the time in the world.

13

Ian hadn’t seen his family for several weeks but that didn’t meant he’d not heard from them. When it came to his work, he didn’t have much of a choice about ignoring them. They moved within the same circles and of course he had business associates who were close with his family.

He recognized a rat when he saw one.

Staring outside of his office window, he overlooked the city below. Just thinking of the words his parents had thrown at her made him sick to his stomach.

All of this had been about him and what he’d wanted.

The mail order bride had been purely for himself to rub it in their face, show them that he could do whatever the hell he wanted.

Even though his parents were not part of their lives, that didn’t for a second change the tension between him and Lucy. He felt it. Each night when he held her in his arms, he sensed a pain inside her.

She wouldn’t always look him in the eye and he hated his parents for that. While they’d been away together, he’d felt the difference. He’d felt how close she’d grown toward him. The woman he’d married wasn’t the same woman that had been on the honeymoon with him, nor was she the same woman now.

His parents had created that fucking divide and he didn’t know what to do to close it.

Rubbing the back of his head, he turned from the window, finding no solace in the busy chaotic streets below him.

Sitting at his desk, he stared at the endless reports and contracts that meant nothing to him.

Slamming his hands down on the table, he stood up.

There was no way he could focus on work. He’d left Lucy back at home. She didn’t have to work anymore, and he knew it had pissed her off even though she didn’t say anything to him. She’d gritted her teeth and her cheeks had gone a bright shade of red.

He loved seeing her blush, but only when it was because of his dirty talk.

Ian didn’t like her being angry at him.

Grabbing his briefcase, he pulled away from the desk.

There was no point staying in his office when he couldn’t think. Work held no interest for him. The woman waiting for him at home meant more to him than work.


Tags: Jenika Snow, Sam Crescent Romance
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