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The highly anticipated conclusion of Alex and Rafe’s saga is here!
We did it. We said the vows, dressed for the occasion, dared to believe in Happily Ever After.
Alex Mason. It has a nice ring to it, the promise of forever. Until I awake the morning after to an empty bed and my worst nightmare waiting to strike.
Rafe is gone, but his twisted desires leave me with the chance for survival. He rebuilt this cabin for us, down to the prison in the wine cellar. Locking myself inside is my only defense against the madman determined to take me away from him forever.
But time is running out. I have a secret growing inside me, and I’ll do whatever it takes to protect it.
NOTE TO READERS: Descent is a dark romance with kidnapping and other disturbing themes. Intended for mature readers. Not for the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.
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1. The Irony of Time
Agitated footfalls hit the cement floor, each thud a thunderous assault on my sanity, going back, forth, back, forth, back, forth…
Like a feral animal trapped in a cage.
I almost snorted at the irony, since I was the one sitting behind bars. Huddling on the cot inside the prison, my back against the concrete wall and knees drawn to my chest, I hid my nudity from Zach the best I could while still keeping his pacing form in my periphery.
Even inside these bars, I wasn’t about to turn my back on him.
He seemed to be debating with himself, muttering every so often, shaking his head. His madness was a toxin in the air, a poison that clung to my skin, growing more lethal the longer he was incapable of getting his hands on me.
I tightened my arms around my knees and prayed to God Zach wouldn’t notice how badly I was shaking. Even locking myself inside this cell, out of his reach, hadn’t staunched the tremors of terror. Because I was safe only as long as he couldn’t get that door open, and I wasn’t foolish enough to think he wouldn’t break in here eventually.
He’d already tried busting the lock panel with a hammer. But Rafe had built this prison to keep me inside, and he wasn’t the kind of man to half-ass shit. I had no chance of escape. Lucky for me, that also meant it would be harder for Zach to breach the door.
“You think you’re so goddamn smart, don’t you, Lex?” He came to a stop on the other side of the bars.
“Smart enough to keep you away from me.” I shot him a seething glance through the dark curls obscuring my face.
With a grunt, he began pacing again, hands fisted at his sides, menace shadowing the angles of his face. If you only studied the surface, you’d see a dangerously handsome guy, his strong jaw and sensuous mouth enough to draw the female eye. But beyond the gorgeous face lay the ugliness festering behind those chilly hazel eyes.
Beautiful, manic eyes.
He flexed his fists, arm muscles rippling, and the fiery dragon tattoo winding down his right bicep drew my focus. I’d always despised that ink, saw it as a reminder of all the times those arms restrained me while he used my body as a fuck hole.
That’s all I was to him.
A thing he could control, contour, constrain to suit his needs.
I was all those things to Rafe as well, but underneath his twisted darkness lay a heart bigger than the hearts of most people.
A heart as fragile as his body was strong.
As light as his soul was dark.
A heart that beat solely for me.
He would come back for me. Rafe Mason would move Heaven and Earth to return to the island, because that’s the type of man he was—a man who would do anything to protect those he loved.
And he loved me.
But he also loved his son, and for that, I loved him even more. Because that’s the way a father should behave—willing to put their child above anything and anyone.
“You’re just delaying the inevitable.” Zach came to an abrupt stop again. “Where’s the fucking key, Lex?”
“Where’s Rafe?” I countered.
“He’s not your concern anymore.”
“He’s my husband. Pretending he doesn’t exist doesn’t make it so.”
Zach’s hazel eyes zeroed in on my wedding ring. “Your marriage is just a worthless piece of paper.”
“Not to me. Tell me where he is.”
Another step brought him that much closer to the bars separating us. “You wanna know where he is? Fine. I’ll tell you. Shelton has him. The fucker is his problem now.”
Shelton…as in the guy who’d tried to pit Rafe and Zach against each other in a fight to the death. Vomit rose as the realization sank in, twisting in my gut like a knife, and I swallowed hard. “What does Shelton want with him?”
“Not my business, Lex.” He crossed his arms. “All I know is I get you. Now, where’s the fucking key?”
I shrugged. It wasn’t the first time he’d pressed me for it, and it wouldn’t be the last.
“You think I won’t get that door open, but I will.” Lip curling in a sneer, he wrapped his fingers around the bars. “So what’s your game plan in the meantime? What happens when you get hungry, huh? Did you stop to think about that?”
Of course I’d thought about it. I hadn’t eaten since last night, and the morning sickness…God, how badly I wanted to retch into the toilet in the corner of this cell, but so far I’d managed to tamp down the urge.
Under no circumstances could Zach learn of my pregnancy.
I got to my feet and went to the sink next to the toilet. Gathering my hair back from my face, I dipped toward the faucet for a drink before giving him a pointed look. “I can survive without food.”