Empress in Lingerie (Lingerie #5) ~ Page 2

Why didn"t I just take a different route home" I took another deep breath but remained still.

"Good girl."

I hated that phrase. I detested it every time a man used it. It was insulting, belittling, and sexist. I spoke against his hand. "Fuck. You."

"What did I just""

I stomped on his foot and tried to roll him forward the way my father taught me, but this guy was the size of an ox, and all I did was jerk him a little. I abandoned the attempt and tried to run for it.

"Stupid. Fucking. Girl." He snatched my ankle and pulled so I fell forward onto the concrete. He came at me with the knife again, this time to make good on his word. He moved on top of me, ready to plunge it into my throat so I couldn"t scream for help.

But then his eyes flashed over my face. There was an instant of emotion, a look of familiarity. It was the first time I could see his face"his fair skin, bright blue eyes, and his chiseled jawline. I imagined my attacker to be dirty, homeless, and gross.

Not gorgeous.

Not manly.

Not"handsome as hell.

He continued to grip the knife, but something stopped him from making good on his threat. I knew he was going to do it, saw the blood lust in his eyes. He wasn"t the kind of man to make empty threats.

Something changed his mind.

He shoved the knife into the sheath then lifted me over his shoulder.

That"s when I started to scream for help. I screamed at the top of my lungs, begging someone to hear me beyond the snow fall. Someone had to be home in one of the nearby apartments. Someone would report this to the police.

The man carried me down the alleyway toward a black van parked near the dumpster. "Scream all you want. By the time someone hears you and actually thinks to act on it, we"ll be long gone. And if by some miracle the police actually arrive, they"ll take one look at me and turn the other way." He set me on the ground, right on top of a pile of snow. With lightning speed, he pulled a gun out of his pocket and pointed it in my face.

I stopped screaming, abandoning my call for help. I had to think of something to do"and do it quickly.

The corner of his mouth rose in a smile, and his eyes squinted with interest. "Why did you stop screaming""

"Because I"m trying to figure out how to kill you."

The half-smile he wore quickly turned into a full grin. A small chuckle even escaped his lips. He pressed the barrel to my cheek, the cool metal freezing like the snow. "You"re cute." He got off me then holstered his gun, like he wasn"t the least bit afraid of me.

He shouldn"t underestimate me.

He even turned his back on me as he walked to the corpse he left behind. "Don"t run. It"ll be a lot worse in the end." He grabbed the man by the ankles and dragged him across the asphalt and snow. He purposely set the man right next to me.

I"d never stared at a dead person before. I shot that guy when I was escaping Knuckles, but I didn"t stop to examine him. This guy was mutilated, his skull crushed in until his face was hardly recognizable.

I felt vomit rise in my throat.

The man kneeled down so we were eye level. There was a shadow underneath his jaw because his bone structure was so chiseled. He had a sprinkle of hair there, thick enough to cover his skin but not thick enough to be a beard. His fair skin complemented the brightness of his eyes. With dirty blond hair, he looked like a man who belonged on a magazine cover rather than in an alleyway in Milan. He wore a black leather jacket, black jeans, and brown boots. No amount of clothing could hide what was underneath his attire. He was strong, muscular, and powerful. "You don"t want to end up like that, right""

I couldn"t look at the dead man again, terrorized by what I just saw. "You don"t either. So I suggest you let me go."

He chuckled, the light reaching his eyes. Even though the laugh was full of amusement, it seemed sarcastic. Regardless of what expression he wore, he was undeniably handsome. Why the hell was a guy like this murdering people" "I can"t remember the last time someone made me laugh."

"I don"t think there"s anything funny about your own death."

He smiled again then grabbed a body bag from the van.

I stared down the alleyway and thought of running. I was fast, but this man was faster. If I saw someone pass in the alleyway, I would sprint for it. Or maybe I could dig my phone out of my purse. It was still with me.


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