Authors: Sadie Grubor
"Want?" I raise a brow.
This should be interesting.
"There has to be some reason you are doing this. Some reason why you won't let this go. I have absolutely no idea what you could want from or with me, but I assume it’s something. So, what is it? What do you want so badly? What can I give you to convince you to go away and let me get back to my life?"
The fierce intensity swirling in her eyes mesmerizes me for a moment, halting my response. A predatory desire flares inside me, pushing me to back her against the wall and make her remember how hot she has gotten for me. Licking my lips, I calm the urges enough to finally answer.
"I. Want. You."
She shifts in discomfort, furrowing her brow. "What. Do. You. Want. From. Me?"
Rubbing her face, she takes a deep breath. "I don't have anything for you. Just sign the papers," she whines, pleadingly.
I walk toward her as she stands her ground.
Such a strong woman. God, does she know how much I want her?
The heat from her body penetrates me, the smell of sugar and buttercream making me wonder if she would taste like them.
"I will not be signing anything." I move my face toward hers, staring at her lips. Less than an inch from meeting her lips, I pause. "I want you. You are mine, Mrs. Knyght."
"I don't have anything for you to want." I step back from the tall, dark man, his scent, like open water and fresh air, wrapping around me. The smell is too familiar, jarring memories to rush through my mind. Bare chest, tongue, my fingers gripping at the soft, short hair on his head. I close my eyes and breathe deep, a sorry attempt to clear my mind.
My lids flutter open at the call of my name. The intensity on his face has melted to a wry smile, amusement gleaming in his eyes. He closes the small distance I managed to put between us.
"You are what I want. You and…"
He hesitates. I suck in a breath.
"You're my wife and I want you as my wife. My life is now yours and vice versa. We have a bond you need to accept." The small shrug of his shoulders pulls me from the seduction of his overwhelming presence.
"Accept it? A bond?" I snort. "You have to be joking. Sign the papers, Mr. Knyght, or I'll contact my lawyer and sue for divorce."
His face darkens, eyes narrow, and a muscle flicks angrily in his jaw. Nostrils flaring, he reminds me of a dragon. I wait for the flames to ignite.
"You can try suing for divorce, but I can guarantee it won't be a simple or fast process," he snaps.
I swallow, hard.
"You have to realize the money and resources I have at my disposal to fight you all the way. I can bury your legal actions with things you have no idea exist." He smirks.
"You insufferable asshole," I grind out through clenched teeth.
Irritated, I straighten my back and square my shoulders. "Why in God's name would you want to be married to someone who doesn't want to be with you? Someone you barely know? Someone who cannot stand you?"
"I know you well enough." He shrugs. "And I know you can stand me. You were quite welcoming and open with me in Vegas." He grabs my hand and kisses my wrist, ignoring my attempt to pull away. "We have plenty of time to learn more about each other. We have the rest of our lives, but we also have something else to discuss." Turning my hand, he kisses my knuckles.
"Stop it!" I exclaim, pulling at my hand. He finally releases me. "You are crazy."
I step away and around him, frustration and anger battling inside me.
"Olivia," he says, his voice gentling.
"Don't Olivia me," I growl.
"I'm not crazy," he sighs. "I've found you and I intend on keeping you, make no mistake."
"Found me?" I laugh humorlessly, the craziness of the situation catching up to me. "You ran into me, by chance, in Vegas. How long had you been
cruising the strip
for a bride?"
Guilt flashes in his eyes.
He's hiding something.
"Regardless, I'm not signing the papers. They will stay in the garbage. You are my wife, Mrs. Knyght. I am your husband, and it would be best if you resign yourself to the fact. We have other things to discuss."
"I will not," I sneer. "You are a
, not my husband."
Spinning around, I step quickly toward the stairs. I need to get away from him. It's too much.
A strong hand grabs my arm, turning me back around. Both hands grip my biceps and pull me toward his chest.
"Please don't push me, Olivia. You are my wife. Accept us and we can move on to other matters and arrangements."
"I can't," I say, my voice more fragile than intended.
"We're connected, Olivia. I will not accept you leaving me."
I tilt my head back to look up at him and his eyes bore into mine. There is a vulnerability in them I didn't see before, a deep pain and longing.
"A piece of paper and one night in bed doesn't connect us." While I still feel an unexplainable urge and pull toward him, I lash out against it.
"We are more connected than you realize, and there is nothing you can do about it. You can try to fight it, but I will not sit by and let you slip through my fingers." His lips press firmly against my forehead before releasing my arms.
The tingling sensation left on my skin from his mouth annoys me. I quickly rub at it to make it go away. He walks over and sits on my couch.
"I have multiple lawyers on hand, Olivia. I've told you this before." He gives the cushion next to him a small pat, inviting me to sit. "We have other things we need to discuss. One matter will most likely come as a—"
"What do I have to do for you to just sign the papers?" One large step brings me behind the chair across from him. My fingers grip the back of the chair, pressing firmly on the cushion.
"Nothing," he says, giving an exasperated groan. "Can we please move on now? We need to discuss you and…your son's location."
"Yes. I live and work in New York. How can our marriage successfully work if we are in different states?" His left brow raises slightly.
"You're right," I admit, brightly, as I take a seat in the chair I’d been standing behind. "Looks like you should just sign the papers." Settling back into the chair, I smile and bat my lashes.
"Nice try." He gives a wry smile. "You both will move to New York with me. We can pick out a home you prefer."
"Um, no, I won't," I choke.
"Yes, you will," he argues.
"I work here. My business is here. I'm not going anywhere." My hands tighten on the armrests at my sides.
"When you agreed to marry me, you made this decision. Our home can be a house or apartment, whichever you prefer. But it will be in New York." He leans back into the couch with his right arm stretching over the back and gives me a challenging look.
"I will not move to New York. Our marriage is a drunken mistake. My son and bakery come before
. I've worked damn hard to get where I am and wouldn't give it up for you."
He leans forward with the grace of a large feline, his elbows coming to his knees.
"You can open a New York bakery. Call it an expansion." He smirks.
"Listen to me. I am not moving. I am not your wife. I may have—"
"Keep this location, too. It's an opportunity to branch out and grow your clientele." He leans back once more. "I have plenty of money for capital."
"Let me finish," I snap. "As I was saying, I may have made this mistake, but Alex didn't! This is where his life is. I won't uproot him because you're too crazy to move on."
His eyes soften.
"We are a family now, so obviously he is my concern. I would never—"
a family," I spit. "Alex is
son. He is nothing to you." My anger propels me to my feet.
"He's my son, too," he says, his voice distant.
"No, he's not," I whisper-shout.
Damon huffs. "There are things you don't understand. He is more my son than you think."
Confusion washes over me.
What the hell is wrong with this man?
"Don't involve my son in your crazy." Fed up, I raise my arm and point to the door. "Get out! You'll hear from my lawyer," I shout. At the volume of my voice, I flinch internally, thinking of sleeping Alex.
"Momma!" Alex calls out. The shift of the mattress springs starts slow, until his rhythmic jumping is evident. "Momma!"
"Leave now, Damon," I growl. Walking closer to the hallway, I turn and point once more to the door.
Damon stands and begins walking, but hesitates before turning in the direction of the hallway and disappearing. My reflexes kick into gear and I sprint toward Alex's room. Damon stands before his door, his hand lingering on the flat wood.
"Stay out," I hiss, slipping my body between him and Alex’s door.
"Momma!" Alex shouts louder, more impatient.
"I think he's getting tired of waiting." With a smirk, he reaches around me and opens the door.
"Don't," I cry softly. But it's too late.
Damon steps closer, backing me into Alex's room.
"Momma," Alex cheers.
Twisting, I step to the crib and take him into the protection of my arms.
What is he going to do to us?
"So help me God, if you don't get away from him, I'll kill you." My body tenses and Alex struggles against my hold.
"Why in the world are you afraid of me?" Damon cocks his head to the side, his brows furrowing.
"Because you're insane," I reply, my voice wavering with emotion.
Alex stills in my arms, obviously affected by the tension in the room. I rub his back, trying to reassure him.
"I would never hurt either of you." The intense expression he wore earlier returns. "You two mean more to me than anything in the world."
"We don't want you." My voice cracks.
His face hardens for a moment and I turn so Alex is further away from him.
"I won't repeat myself again." He comes closer, until there is barely a foot of space between us. "I want you. Both of you."
He places his hand gently against my cheek, but I turn away from his touch. Hurt flashes in his eyes and he sighs. He places a hand on Alex's back.
"Don't touch him," I snap, stepping away until my back meets the wall.
"Momma." Alex leans his head on my shoulder.
Damon presses forward.
"I'll go, but this isn't finished." He turns and walks toward the bedroom door. "I'll be back for both of you, Olivia." He looks back at us, his gaze punctuating each syllable. "I'll return for my wife and son."
"He's not your son." I sniffle, tears stinging my eyes.
Pain flashes across Damon's face. With quick, determined steps, he approaches us again.
"Don't," I warn. He pauses for a moment, but doesn't stop. "Don't." There's a hidden threat in my voice as I grab the lamp from the table next to me and grip it tight. "Get out," I growl low in warning.
"I want you to look at your…
son, Olivia. Then I want you to look at me." He stands a small distance from us and my eyes lock to his.
"Look at him," he says, his voice soft, but alarming.
Swallowing, I look at my son. Alex smiles large and puts his hand on my cheek. A hot tear slips over the apple of my cheek. The suddenness of Damon's hand on my jaw, his thumb wiping away the tear, causes me to jump.
"Now, look at me."
I close my eyes tight, not wanting to play whatever this game is any further.
"Momma," Alex coos and taps my face. "Peeboo," he giggles, thinking my closed eyes are invitation for a game. More tears slip through my lashes.
"Look at me, Olivia." Damon's voice is soft, but stern. He turns my face with his hand, but I refuse to open my eyes.
"Look at me," he demands, softly.
"No." I shake my head. "I won't play into this sick game any further."
"Open your eyes, Olivia." The edge to his voice makes Alex whimper.
I open my eyes slowly and truly look at Damon Knyght for the first time. Gasping, I cover my mouth.
"Your eyes…" I choke on a sob.
I look at Alex, and then back to Damon — their eyes are almost identical. The gold-flecked eclipse around Damon's pupils is exact.