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The Dictator (Banker #2)
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The only reason I’m still alive is because of the baby growing inside me.
My baby saved my life.
Now I’m a prisoner inside Cato’s fortress. He’s pissed at me, livid every time he looks at me. He refuses to sleep with me because now I’m the enemy.
But I miss him…and he misses me.
I only slept with Cato to save my father, but now he means something to me. I care about him, and I know he cares about me.
Can I earn his forgiveness? Can I earn his trust?
But even if I do, will he shoot me anyway?
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Men collected my things from the house and brought them to the three-story mansion in Tuscany. They took all my clothes and whatever essentials they thought were necessary.
I wasn’t given a choice in the matter.
My house would stand there uninhabited. Landon would eventually realize I was missing and Cato was still alive. He would probably assume I was dead until he heard the rumors that Cato was expecting a child.
He would be relieved I was alright.
Until nine months from now.
My bedroom had a private bathroom, a small living room, and a balcony that overlooked the front of Cato’s property. He owned acres of land and paid top dollar for a tall wall to surround his home, green ivy growing over the limestone. Anyone else would think they were in paradise.
I knew I was in a prison.
Cato hadn’t spoken to me in three days. He stayed in his bedroom or left the house to go to work. Realistically, he couldn’t avoid me forever, but if he had it his way, he probably would. He would just wait for me to deliver the baby nine months later without looking at me once.
I sat on the edge of the bed and pressed my hand over my stomach. It was as flat as ever with no noticeable changes. But my hand felt life growing inside, the son or daughter I never meant to make. My birth control was still active, but doctors said it was only ninety-nine percent effective.
Perhaps Cato was that one percent.
The most beautiful thing had happened to me, and the fact that I would never get to appreciate it broke my heart. My child needed a mother. More importantly, I needed a child. I would bond with them over the next nine months, get to know them so intimately. Once they left my body, I would be both sad and happy. But then that bliss would be taken away from me.
And I would be buried six feet under.
I would never be able to change Cato’s mind. With his brother looming over his shoulder and the world thinking he was a fool, he couldn’t take back his decision.
Feeling powerless was the worst part of all this.
My face looked better now that the swelling had gone down, but the area around my eye was still blue and my lip discolored. The pain was still there most of the time, but after a week, it should be gone.
My bedroom door opened, and Cato entered, dressed in a navy suit. He didn’t knock the way Giovanni did. Just like he did at my home, he welcomed himself inside without warning. In this instance, this was his home…so he really could do whatever he wanted. With one hand in his pocket, he walked toward me, his eyes examining the bruises on my face. “Let’s go.”
“Where are we going?”
He walked out without answering me.
I slipped on my shoes and headed down the stairs to join him. He spoke to Giovanni quietly as he waited, both hands in his pockets. He towered over his butler and filled out the suit better than a mannequin.
Once I came to Cato’s side, he walked out the front door to the car that was waiting for us.
A part of me was nervous he was going to shoot me in the driveway, but the car brought me peace of mind. I got into the back seat, and we left for Florence.
Cato looked out the window and didn’t say a word to me.
“Where are we going?” I repeated.
His hand gripped his left knee, his fancy watch reflecting the summer light. He was a large man who needed a large car like this. He could barely fit inside my bed. “These nine months will be a lot smoother if you don’t talk.” He didn’t even give me the respect of looking at me when he spoke.
“I’m going to die in nine months anyway. So I may as well do what I want.”
He turned to me, his gaze vicious.
Now that a gun wasn’t pointed in my face, my resilience had returned. I’d never been the kind of woman to take shit from anybody. As long as I was immune, I wouldn’t take shit from him either. “Now tell me where we are going.”
His jaw clenched harder. “Just because I won’t kill you today doesn’t mean I won’t bust that pretty lip and blacken that other eye.”
The insult washed over me with no effect. I’d never forget the relief I felt when Cato pulled Bates off me. His fist was cruel, and if he’d hit me one more time, he would have broken my nose or cheekbone. As it was, the pain had been excruciating. Cato could have done nothing, but he protected me instead. “We both know you won’t. Don’t pretend to be something you aren’t.”
He faced forward and shook his head slightly. “You don’t know me very well.”