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Dollars (Dollar #2)
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“I should never have asked for a night with you. This would never have happened if I’d had more willpower.”
A thief met a possession and did what he did best.
Pimlico was stolen and sold all before her twenty-first birthday.
Elder broke countless rules when he took the girl who wasn’t his.
He wants to know her.
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THERE COMES A point in life where determination supersedes circumstance. Where willpower wins over what should be done.
I’d lived in that point for two years.
I fought my battles silently. I lived in a war zone without a word. I didn’t do it consciously; I did it because I had no other choice.
My idiotic will to survive kept me living, even when I wanted to die. It kept me hoping, even when none existed. And every day granted punishment, especially when the dragon-tattooed stranger entered my prison.
He made it worse.
So, so much worse.
But then he came back.
He stole me.
Just in time.
ARRIVING AT THE dock relaxed me a little.
Not that I was tense.
Killing didn’t faze me. Stealing a bleeding, dying woman didn’t increase my heart rate. I’d done worse, seen worse, lived through worse.
It was just another day in my world.
However, during the last few kilometres through downtown Crete, Pimlico had passed out again—either from pain or shock or loss of blood.
Most likely all three.
I didn’t intend for my hard work to be for nothing. I wanted her. I wanted to keep her—for the time being—regardless of what it would do to me and the hourly struggle I would endure.
The second I’d set eyes on her, this was the path I’d chosen. It was inevitable for a man like me.
Her strength, her bruises…everything about her screamed for it to end, yet she still clung to hope. That blind faith, tolerance for forgiveness, and stupid belief she could win latched onto the obsessions inside me and made me care.
I didn’t want to fucking care. About anyone anymore. It hurt too damn much. But Pimlico…she’d been given a shitty life and somehow still glowed with expectation that somehow, someway, she’d be free.
I’d stolen her with the intention of keeping her, not freeing her.
Her blood and silence forced me to answer that misplaced hope in her gaze but only to prove I could keep her alive and deliver a better kind of life, even while still belonging to someone.
She belongs to me now.
And that complicated my existence a shit ton.
Stalking up the large gangway, I left the dealing of the car to Selix (it had its own berth in the hold below) and strode aboard the luxury yacht valued in excess of two-hundred million dollars. The expensive gleam and untouchable power of such a vessel didn’t hold my attention nearly as much as the wraith in my arms.
Her blood soaked through my blazer, dousing me in crimson-wet violence, even as the rigging glittered with fresh white ropes and the timber balustrades gleamed with nautical speed.
Pimlico roused, blinking at the turquoise sea and the sudden flurry of white dressed staff as they flew around deck to cast off. Before, I’d liked their uniforms and how smart they made my home. Now, I hated all things fucking white. Lies and sins and abuse all hid in the achromatic palate. Alrik and his colour preference had ensured I’d change the dress code as soon as possible.
Pimlico flopped unconscious again, the bleeding from her mouth never ceasing.
Taking her to a mainland hospital was not an option. All the doctors in Crete were butchers. I didn’t live on the land for a reason. I hated conceited assholes and brain-dead morons who believed their opinion mattered to those around them.
Instead, I’d claimed the sea as my home.
I’d lived on her waves and swam in her belly every day for the past four years. Even when I was on earth, my feet still swayed to the current of the ocean. Being back on the gentle roll stole my escalating worry over what I’d sentenced myself to and allowed me to breathe fully for the first time since I’d disembarked five days ago.
Five days was far too fucking long.
I needed to be far away from here. I needed empty horizons and lonely expanses.
Ignoring the staff who glanced my way then did a double take at the girl leaving ruby droplets in my wake, I entered the first-floor deck and pressed the silver button for the elevator.
It yawned wide as if waiting for such a task and closed silently, descending the moment I touched button nine.
The mirrors on all four walls bounced my reflection back, showing a man who’d stepped over his boundaries of survivable circumstances. Already, the clawing inside me began. The repetitive thoughts of what I would expect from her in return for this. I’d fucked up my own life to save hers.
She owes me more than she can ever repay.
As the lift slowed and the doors opened, Michaels met me.
“Selix called ahead, told me to prep surgery. Give me the scoop.” He glanced at the stolen slave in my embrace. He didn’t flinch at the blood or look at me with accusation. Mainly because he knew me. He knew I inflicted violence to those who deserved it but did my best to prevent those who didn’t.