Home > Exodus(8)

Author: Kate Stewart

“You have a disgusting mouth.”

“You’re a prick and a bastard, and my mouth and manners belong to civilized humans, not entitled sociopaths with zero compassion.”

He towers above me now, his scent invading. He’s got both Sean and Dominic beat by a few inches. His build is monstrous, menacing, like he went straight from infant to man, no in-between.

“You’re a little girl with a filthy mouth. And if I’m not worthy of a conversation, then why are you still arguing with me?”

“Good point. Go fuck yourself,” I step away from him just as his hand shoots out and snags my wrist in a vise grip. I struggle against it, but his eyes aren’t on me, they’ve zeroed in on the raven’s wing dangling from my neck.

“What is this?”

I can’t help my smile. “I think you know full well what this is.”

“Who gave this to you?”

“None of your business. Let me go.”

He jerks me closer and I drop my flashlight, clawing at the hand binding me to him just as his other reaches up to where my necklace rests. When I see his intent, I go feral. My free palm connects with his face, burning hot as I rear back to slap him harder. “Don’t you fucking dare!”

I’m no match for the brute when he jerks me flush to him, shaking me like a rag doll, jarring me, before tossing me onto the grass and straddling me.

“GET OFF ME!” I screech at the top of my lungs, fighting him, dragging my nails along his button-down, unable to find purchase in his skin. He overpowers me easily as if he’s fighting a gnat while he pins my wrists to the cool grass.

Hovering above, his eyes grow molten with fury. “Tell me right fucking now who gave this to you.”

I spit at him and congratulate myself when it nails him on the jaw. He effortlessly gathers my wrists with one hand, pressing them into the ground before wiping the saliva off, on the shoulder of his shirt. It’s then I see the flash of teeth and realize the bastard is…smiling in a way that makes me nauseous.

“I’ve ended lives for less.”

“You don’t scare me. You’re nothing but a huge body and an empty head.”

His dark chuckle sends a shiver down my spine. “You don’t even know you’re wet yet,” his heated whisper sets off new warning bells. “Maybe I should have waited until you discovered it yourself, until you slipped off your panties and agonized over it.”

“Fuck you.”

He leans in, the scent of spiced citrus and leather filling my nose. “Have you been lonely, Cecelia?”

“Get off me,” I struggle against him, using every bit of my strength to no avail.

“Playtime is over. Who gave you the necklace?”

“If I knew, I wouldn’t tell you.”

Shit. Shit. Shit.

“You don’t know.” His full lips stretch with an infuriating smirk. “This is epic. You don’t know which.”

He leans in, his voice filled with another damning promise. “I’ll make sure you never know.” He grips the necklace as I fight with everything left in me.

“Don’t, don’t! Please, don’t!” I beg, ripping at his hand when the metal clasp digs into the back of my neck just before it gives way and snaps. Enraged, I scream out at the loss. Fury filled tears burn my eyes as he rips me in half with one single act. “Why? Why? That was mine. He loves me!”

“Who…who loves you, Cecelia?”

“It’s for me, for my protection! It’s my promise!”

“Who do you need protection from?”


But I don’t dare say it. It doesn’t matter if I give him the power to terrorize me or not; he’s not a man to ask permission.

“These are your laws! You’re not allowed to fuck with that. He chose me!”

“You’re pathetic,” he releases me and stands with the broken necklace and peers down at me. “You think a trinket can protect you? It means nothing.”

“It means something to me!”

“You’re a little girl with a crush.”

“I’m a twenty-year-old woman, you ignorant bastard.” I stand to face off with him despite the shake in my legs, “And I belong to him.”

“Because he says so? You have no say. You’re warped. And no, sweetheart, you don’t. He’s my brother.”

“Your brother, my ass. He’s just a boy you built a fort with before you reached puberty. You’re what…breaching thirty? And still running around slaying imaginary dragons while playing Lord of the Manor.”

“Believe what you want, but you’ve seen what we’re capable of.”

“Petty theft and throwing parties? That’s no big feat.” I’m lying through my teeth, but I don’t want him to know just how much I do know. “And I know who I belong to.”

He bends so we’re eye level. “You sure?”

“I love him.”

“Name him.”

“It doesn’t matter—”

“Yeah, yeah, you love them both, I’ve heard this speech, save your breath.”

“You’re going to pay for hurting me like this.”

“You think so, huh?” He looks around. “And who exactly is coming to save you?” I feel that truth’s edge slice deep. He’s right. Neither is here to save me from this mad bastard. But they taught me well to protect myself.

As if he’s reading my thoughts, he drops his voice, his threat clear. “I assure you I’ve gotten away with a lot worse.” The curl of his French accent—combined with his open hostility—somehow makes his threat more dangerous. But I don’t back away, I’ve let my hate fester for months, and I’m all too ready to unleash.

“Why are you so angry, sir? Did I interrupt you killing and torturing small animals? It’s Friday night and you have nothing better to do than stalk little girls with crushes? Who’s pathetic?”

I gather my strength, straightening my posture, my anger boiling over. “You’re nothing but a scared little boy turned control freak because he didn’t get enough attention as a child.”

One second, I’m standing, in the next, I’m off my feet and flat on my back. My heart stops beating as the breath is knocked out of me just as my mouth is brutalized by something resembling a kiss. He weights every inch of me as he attacks my lips, separating them with the thrust of his tongue. Frozen, eyes wide, his licks invade, and I sputter and choke. Fully in control, he keeps my kiss before stealing them all, erasing the last kiss Sean gave, and the one before it, erasing Dominic’s torturous tongue play. And I fight, I fight clinging onto those kisses with everything inside me as they drift through my flailing fingers, and out of my grasp. The loss and hate fuel me as I try to turn my head and deny him, which he makes impossible.

With every stab of his tongue, he plunders, gathering me wholly, and with the next lick, takes me as captive. All at once, I’m thrust into a raging fire. The heat expending my walls until they collapse, smoke clouding me as I lay powerless beneath him engulfed by blue flames.

It’s carnal oblivion I sink into as I lose the fight to regain my breath. His torturous licks are unforgiving as he feeds mercilessly on my mouth. A whimper escapes my lips as it consumes me, a raging inferno until finally it’s snuffed out.

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