This woman used to be my slave.
But now she means more to me.
More than she should.
I’ve done unforgivable things to her, treated her like livestock I bought at the market. I made her tend to my needs without question.
To make up for it, I should let her go.
But even now I can’t.
Instead, I want her to marry me.
Whether she wants to or not.Books in Series:Lingerie Series by Penelope SkyBooks by Author:Penelope Sky Books
Now that Mia was firm in her decision to murder me, I had to chain her up.
I wasn"t happy about it.
Neither was she.
Just like when she first came into my captivity, I cuffed her ankles to the bed so she could only reach the bathroom when she needed it. Her bedroom was stripped bare, so only the essentials remained behind. Without access to anything, there was nothing she could use to plot against me.
But now she would have to live her last few days this way.
Like a prisoner.
She sat on the bed and stared at me with hatred. Like I was the biggest asshole on the planet, she despised me. But that hatred was nothing compared to her disappointment. There was a point in time when she"d actually liked me, enjoyed fucking me. There was affection between us, delicate kisses between two lovers. She even said I was a good man. But now, all of that was gone.
She hated me again.
"Let me know if you need anything." I pocketed the key and walked out of the room.
"Fuck off, Carter."
I kept my back to her but paused on the threshold. Insults never bothered me, but hers did.
She had a son.
I shut the door and locked it behind me before I walked into my office.
She had a son.
I couldn"t believe it.
An eight-year-old boy was out there somewhere, without a mother or a father. He would never know how strong his mother was, how hard she fought to get back to him. Instead of giving in to the temptation of suicide, she continued to persevere in the hope she would be free someday.
She was brave.
Far braver than I was.
Most people would have given in to the temptation and prayed their child would understand. But her spirit gave her the strength to keep moving forward, to accept Egor"s punishments in the hope she might escape someday. That was probably the reason why Egor chose her to begin with"she wouldn"t take her life like all the others.
Could I really give her back"
Did I want to be that man"
If I didn"t have a family to protect, I would consider it. If I could keep this war for myself, I might take the plunge. I cared about this woman and not just because I was attracted to her. It was because I respected her. She reminded me of my sister, of the strong Barsetti women who didn"t put up with bullshit.
I felt like shit.
Worse than shit.
I already didn"t want to do this, but I didn"t want to do it even more, knowing she had a little boy.
What if this were my mother" I couldn"t picture my life without my mother, the woman who stayed home with me every single day and raised me. I was a grown man who didn"t need anything anymore, but I would always need her. I would do anything for her. Mia was an exceptional woman who had already lost the last three years. Why should she lose more time" And we both knew Egor would kill her eventually.
Her son would lose her for good.
Could I stand by and let that travesty happen"
Did I want to"
I sat in the leather chair behind my desk and stared across the room at the bookshelf. I used this room for paperwork, but it was unnecessary. I had so many luxuries I didn"t even need, like this huge house. Mia didn"t even have her freedom.
I went over it in my head again and again. Even if I wanted to save Mia, it wasn"t possible. Egor paid me a hundred and fifty million to get her out of the Underground. Regardless of how rich he was, that was a lot of dough for a single person. That meant she was extremely valuable to him.
The idea of just letting her go without a fight seemed unlikely.
Even if I wired the money back to him, he still wouldn"t be happy about it.
I needed to ask the Barsetti clan for advice, but I couldn"t ask Conway. His wife was about to go into labor at any moment. I didn"t want to ruin this special time with him with my problem. I didn"t want to bother my father either, not when it would stress him out. That meant there was only one person I could turn to.
I called Vanessa.
She answered right away, despite the late hour. "Carter"" She panicked into the phone. "Everything okay"" I hardly ever called her, and if I did, it wasn"t this late at night.
"Yeah, everything is fine. I"m sorry to call you so late. I was actually wondering if I could talk to Griffin"" I didn"t have his number, and I didn"t want to bother Conway by asking for it.
"Oh"sure." The phone became muffled as she made the handoff.
Griffin answered the phone in his deep voice. "Carter. How can I help you""