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“I don’t think there’s much to say. You already know most of it. I killed Mitch because he needed to die.”

“Why do you think that fell on your shoulders?” I fought against myself to keep my voice even. What she did was stupid and she’d gotten caught. She had no idea what she was walking into.

She had no idea how to kill and remain detached.

Did I?

“I wanted to protect you.”

“I can take care of myself and I take care of us.”

“Had I told you where Mitch was, you wouldn’t have thought it out. You would have gone and killed him and gotten caught. You have too many strikes.”

“And did you think it out? Because you did get caught and murder is murder.” My voice was no longer level and rose with each word. She shook against me. “You could get twenty-five to life for that piece of shit!”

Her body stiffened more against me if it were even possible. “It’s done,” she stated coldly.

I used my arm to crush her against me, enjoying the harsh gasp that escaped her lips. A part of me relished the thought of hurting her even just a little. It’s how she affected me. She made me want to hurt her and protect her all at once.

“How did you find out where he was?”

“My grandmother is at the same rehabilitation center John kept Mitch.”

She flinched when I swore. “How did you find out?”

Her eyes shifted and she didn’t answer for some time. “I saw h—his name when I went to visit my grandmother. It was in a folder at the nurse’s station.”

I felt my own eyes narrow on the wildly beating pulse at her throat. “And you just happened to see it?”

“Yes.” She wouldn’t meet my eyes.

“Why didn’t you tell me you were going to visit her?”

“Because you would have made a big deal about me going alone and while you were away.”

“You fucking think?”

“What do you want me to say?”

“I want you to tell the fucking truth!”

“Keiran, let it go.”

Chapter Six


The air between us that had been charged with heat had just frozen over with four little words. “What did you just say?”

“You’re yelling and it’s getting us nowhere. Besides, I’m hungry.” His grip had slackened so I used the opportunity to get away. I was lying just as I lied to him all those months ago, and he knew it. But if he found out Q was there and he was the one to kill Mitch, he would kill him.

I tripped over my feet to get to the kitchen and only a hand on the banister stopped my fall. I knew he had followed me. I could feel the heat of his stare on my back.

“Lake. I’m trying—I’m really trying not to hurt you.” His voice sounded strained. I spun around to face him. He stood in the doorway, gripping the sides. His impressive chest moved as he took a deep breath.

“Are you going through the checklist?”


“Is the person in front of you worth your anger?”

His eyebrows drew in, turning his visage harsh. “I don’t know.”

“Is it worth your freedom?”

“I don’t know.”

“Is it worth losing me?”


“Then can I eat now?”

He stared for long moments, and I held my breath waiting for his response. When he finally nodded, I moved to turn away. “But I have one more question first.”

My heart skipped and my throat ached. I should have known it wouldn’t be so easy. “Yes?”

“Do you have any idea what being mine means?” His voice was full of possession. He still thought he could own me.

Control me.

If I rolled my eyes, Keiran might kill me. He was just that mad but holding my irritation and my own anger at bay was proving a challenge.

“It’s been five years. I’m aware.” I kept my tone as bland as possible instead of lashing out like I wanted.

“Wanna bet? Cause I say you don’t anymore.”

“Well, then, enlighten me, Keiran.”

“Being mine means you don’t think, you don’t plan, and you damn fucking sure don’t make a move without my permission.”

“Excuse me?”

He stalked forward, invading my space. “Piss me off, Lake. I fucking dare you.”

“Step back.” I issued my own warning. “I’m not taking this shit from you again.”

His eyes flickered with what might have been regret, but it was gone in a blink. “I won’t hurt you, baby.” He paused to run his finger down my cheek. It slipped from my face roughly, indicating the force of his next words. “But I will punish you.”

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