I lock myself in my apartment still trembling inside. After a moment spent taking a breath, I toss my keys on the kitchen table and put my purse beside them and then find my favorite wine. I start to reach for a glass and decide I don’t need it; the bottle will do.
I plop down on my couch and turn on the television in search of something to take my mind off his hate filled green eyes and the way they mocked me. I rest my head on the back of the couch as I swipe away another tear.
He makes me so angry. And the only reason he’s getting to me this much is because I didn’t bury my feelings deep enough. A mistake I’ll be working on tomorrow. But for now, I’ll let the wine drown him out.
I take my first sip as I hear a knock on my door. Probably Briella. Dang Zander and his big mouth. He didn’t want me to be alone because I was so upset. I’m sure he called her.
I unlock the door and almost scream. Not Briella. “What are you doing here, Hawk? And how do you know where I live?”
He sends me a small smile, but it lacks warmth. “Can I come in? We really do need to talk.”
I step aside so he can enter my apartment. Once inside, I walk back to my living room and take my seat back on the couch. He follows me, casually glancing around before sitting on the other end.
I mute the TV. “Let’s hear it. What other insults and stones are you planning to throw at me?”
He stares directly into my eyes. I can’t stand how he makes my heart race even as I want to hate him.
“I know you don’t trust me. And I haven’t forgotten the fact you hate me. You’re not my favorite person either,” he begins.
I roll my eyes. “Is there a point to this?”
His jaw tightens. “Yes. My point is, you’re going to end up in trouble if you get involved with the Leones in any way. They’ve got it out for me and you’re going to get caught in the crossfire.”
“Why? What did you do? Break a promise to them too?” I ask sharply.
He stands and rakes a hand through his dark hair. “The details aren’t what matter. What matters is they’re trying to hurt me, and they’ll use you to do it.”
I stand and lift my chin to meet his gaze. “Then you’re in the clear. There’s no reason coming for me would hurt you. There’s no love lost between the two of us, remember?”
He surprises me by reaching out and tracing my jaw with his finger. His face seems to soften as he relaxes his knit brows, but his eyes blaze. “I remember everything about you, dolcezza. And that means you’re mine to love or to hate. They know too much about my past, and it includes what you used to mean to me.”
I don’t back down. He started this. He thinks I broke my promise to him. I didn’t. And he’s about to learn the truth the hard way. This will probably make him hate me more, but I can’t find it in me to care how it affects him, or even me right now. He took everything else from me, why shouldn’t he take the only other thing I have left to give?
“Come on then. I’ll fulfill one of my promises to you,” I say confidently.
His eyes widen a fraction, almost as if he already knows what I’ll say next. “What are you talking about?”
“I promised you I’d always be yours, and you just said I’m yours to love or hate, yet you’ve never had me.” I pull my shirt over my head and drop it on the floor. “Take me, Hawk. Go ahead and take what’s yours.”