21| Brothers and Blame

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She looked so beautiful when she wanted me, her eyes wide with the pleasure I'd rewarded her with, her cheeks flushed with the hopes for more, her need for me attached to every gasping breath, every hungry heartbeat, and every desperate sound that unearthed its way from the sweetest corners of her mouth. She had moaned out my name like it was a prayer, like it was the only thing worthy of falling from her lips—and in that moment, I knew I no longer held the control I thought I did.

I'd killed people, tortured them, cut them up into tiny little pieces—and still, through every evil act I had committed during my lifetime, the thing I hated the most was having to walk away from her.

The reluctant action shuddered violently through my bloodstream as I pressed my back against the other side of the door, trying and failing to get the damning vision of her out of my bloody head. I wanted so badly to turn back, to pull the door that separated us from its hinges, to pick her off the floor and to pump more than just my fingers inside of her this time, but I knew better than to give into my impulses so easily.

Leaving her like that was the kindest thing I could have done for her considering how much further I could have taken things, but she was more precious than anything I'd ever held in my hands, and even between the cracks of my blackened heart—I knew she deserved to be savoured, and I knew that one night would not be enough to have her in all the ways that I wanted, in a filthy backroom that had seen more blood and violence than anything else.

She was much more than any other woman I had ever fucked, and in knowing that, she deserved to be treated as such.

Usually in the aftermath of the things I did, I had gotten used to the feelings of numbness. It was part of the process of being who I was, but with her, she had lit a fire inside of me that refused to be extinguished. The flame of desire failed to surrender itself the more I got my fill of her, instead it grew—and it grew, and it grew, and the worst part of it all was that I knew that nothing I did would ever put a stop to it.

Even as I'd watched James play with her, my dick had hardened with each simpering sound she had let out, her ass pushing against me like she was searching for me in the shadows, doing what she thought would please me even though the act of it was immoral on its own. It turned me on when she obeyed me in the defiant little way that she did, pretending to do things out of spite when all she wanted to do was give into every filthy position I wanted to put her in without seeming so eager about it in the first place.

Even now the orgasm I'd given her was still sticky against my fingertips, the warmth of her body engrained to my fucking bones—and yet, with the way she had looked at me, and the way she had made her demands of me, wanting more but not knowing how to ask for it, I had chosen to leave her alone in the mess we had both created.

I didn't know what it would take from me to make her see that I was serious about having her—but even if she did eventually accept it, where were we supposed to go from there, and what would happen if she wasn't able to keep up with me?

I scoffed at my own presumptuous thoughts, women like her didn't stick around men like me for long—she would get caught in the crossfire at some point and I needed to prepare myself for it.

The pub was alive with its usual energy tonight as I took in the chaos in front of me, of men drinking and shouting and arguing—of men who would eye her up when she returned to her place behind the bar, the consequences of my touch hidden behind her clothes. If I was a more foolish man, I would have made everyone get the hell out of here before she walked back into this room, and then I would have bent her over the bar and fucked her until she was screaming my name all over again.

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