Because You're Mine
“Why! Why’d he do it?” The girl’s gaze landed on the dead man in the middle of Winter Haven floor. She gasped in horror.
Dimurah was staring at him, fists clench and jaw jutting.
His unflinching gaze was levelled on her as he enunciated the words. “Because you’re mine. Everyone knows it. And no one interferes in my business or they die.”
The crowd hushed. No one moved to intercede. And it’d be a long time until someone does again.
“I’ll never be yours!” She screamed. But her eyes were fearful.
He laughed uproariously. Tossing back his head in a show of boldness as he nearly reached the door with her before him. “He brought me a blade. What did he expect?” He looked around the room. Nodding arrogantly. “What’s my policy, men?”
They began to chant. “Have a man come at me with a dagger and I shall have a dagger. Have him attack me with a sword and I shall pierce him with a sword. Have him shackle me and I’ll crush his throat with those shackles.
I’m an exceptional killer. I’ll kill my enemy with whatever gifts he brings me…”
Savage’s eyes flashed gold in approval at their perfect recitation.
See? His head fell forward to give Dimurah a meaningful glare. Everyone knows.
At that moment Murah’s other three bodyguards thundered into the floating alehouse. Making the crowd laugh at their tardiness.
Savage stared only at her as someone opened the door. He maneuvered her out into the sweet night air.
He pushed her out of Winter Haven and kicked the door shut behind him. Still gripping her wrists as he guided her through the mud. Aiming for his tent.
“I hate you!” She seethed. Rain trailing her pale face. She ripped a wrist free and swatted at his face.
He slapped it away. Looking bored to tears. Still clenching her other wrist in a vise grip. “I stayed away for months because you asked me to. I won’t be doing that again.”
She gasped in outrage.
“So, let me be very clear.” He enunciated in a low tone. “On how this little dominion of yours works, Barter Queen. If you’ve a man with some semblance of honor or willingness to stand up in this fortress, he could send those careful walls you’ve built here crumbling.” He waggled his fingers in a trickling motion to emphasize the fall of her kingdom.
“I’m not going anywhere with you!” She shot out. “I somehow occasionally forget you’re nothing but a killer, but don’t mistake that for license!”
“I don’t need your license.” Dark blue eyes narrowed on her. “A man with honor like that, will eventually think he’s duty bound by some misguided inner code, to report to the king exactly what goes on here. Taxes that aren’t being paid. A place where killers and wanted men gather. Where whores are tossed on their back, and coin tumbles freely without consent of any king.”
“I wish you were as fool as they think you!” She tossed her head back toward the rickety wooden structure swaying on the water.
“So, do they.”
“I could forgive you if you were.”
“Forgive me or not.” He shrugged. “I am what I am.”
“Where are you taking me?” She spat. Suddenly looking around her in panic.
“You know very well where I’m taking you.”
“I won’t go with you.” She wrenched her wrist from his grip, and he let her.
His eyes blazed over her every jerking movement as she slid in the mud. When she gained her footing, he still stood immovable, before her. Watching her like a predator with an eye on prey. “Yet.”
“At all! Ever again.”
He chuckled coldly. “Weak words from a woman with no will against me.”
“You’re not funny. Nothing about you is funny!” She charged.
“I don’t intend to be.”
“You never are!” She retorted. Taking a sliding step back from him.
Rain pelted them. Saturating her scarlet curls.
“You’re breathtakingly fierce in your fine rage.” He cupped her chin. Running a thumb along her bottom lip reverently. “But be careful you don’t take it too far. In-front of those men,” He gestured behind them with his other hand. “I’m as like to cut you as to kiss you.” His hand stroked down her neck to finger the fine scratch there. Marked by the one dried line of blood running from it.
“That man didn’t deserve to die.” She whimpered.
“Perhaps he didn’t. But he did just the same.” He murmured dispassionately. More focused on his hand sliding over her collar and down to part her cloak. Blue eyes trailing its progress.
“I told you why!” His head snapped up. “You let him be here. In our inner sanctum. He wasn’t vetted. And was a threat. A threat I ended. Like I do all of them. For you. For this place…”
She spit in the mud, showing her fury.
He groaned in his throat. Taking in the sight of her fiery blue eyes tossing daggers at him. The white line around her full mouth, her heaving chest, all gave away her fight against her body’s reaction.
“I’m not going to fight with you about a man neither of us knew or cared about.” He stepped closer. His arms wrapping her lower back to jerk her against him as the rain poured faster. His mouth took hers with the same ferocity he did all things.