By: Alexa Riley

His eyes snap back to me. I take a step back, clenching my hands at my sides and trying to get the shaking to stop. “Who would want your father?” He shakes his head. “She picked him. She was to be mine, but then she got pregnant!” he shouts. His eyes drift off as if he’s recalling the past. I know now why neither my uncle or father wanted to talk about my mother. The real reason my uncle moved away. They’d fought over a woman. My mother.

“Did you kill her?” I ask. That’s not a question I thought I’d ask when I tried to get information on her, but here we are. I’m tangled in a mess that isn't even my own. Now he looks at me like I’m the crazy one.

“She took off after you were born. Died a few years later in a car accident.” Oddly, I believe him. The sadness on his face shows. Maybe he did love her in some crazy way. I do think love can make you do crazy things. I’ve learned that myself in the last twenty-four hours. “She could never stay in one place long,” he says absently.

“Or stay with one man long,” Sasha snaps from where she is now sitting on the floor. She just wanted to take another dig at my mother, a woman I’d never known or would ever know. She left me too.

“Doesn't matter. That’s done with. Now I have her.” His eyes drift back to me. The anger and sadness slip so easy from his face. He stands up a little straighter as he walks towards me.

“Please don’t.” I put my hands up. “I’m not her.” I try and reason with him.

“No. You’re better. Not only more beautiful, but that soft innocence that floats around you. It’s intoxicating. Can’t you see it? Everyone is always wanting you. It’s why I tried to keep you locked away from the rest of the world. You got out for only a moment and even unbreakable hard-ass Judge Prescott was willing to risk everything to have you.” He comes to a stop right in front of me. “Did he take your innocence?” he grits out. “Never seen the man even look at a woman, but I bet he got himself buried deep in you as fast as he could.”

Harry reaches for me, and I dodge him. I know it will only make this worse, but I try anyway. He lets out a small chuckle, enjoying my attempt at keeping him away from me. He’s a predator toying with its prey.

“I bet your father was never around either. Working all the time. Yeah, he was working, but he worked those long hours so he too wouldn't try sneaking into your room at night. I fought that temptation for over a year. I have no idea how he did it all that time.”

I stand there shocked, trying to process what he said. I must have heard him wrong. I start shaking my head no, but he keeps on smiling like he hit the nail on the head. I go to tell him he’s wrong, but the sound of the giant metal door being pushed open has us both turning. Before I know what’s happening, Smith has Harry pinned to the concrete floor and is punching him over and over again. The sound of cracking bone rings in my ears. I glance over to see men pour through the metal doors all in SWAT gear. It takes four of them to pull Smith off of Harry. I stand there, my hands over my mouth.

Smith fights the men and attempts to get at him. Harry rolls over, blood covering his face and making a whimpering sound. Sasha runs towards him, but another SWAT officer grabs her and stops her in her tracks. She fights him for a moment, then her whole body goes lax when she knows she’s not breaking his hold. She gives up as silent sobs take over her body.

“Judge, get your girl,” I hear one of the men say. His words make Smith stop trying to get to Harry. His eyes lock on me and as fast as he was on Harry, he’s even faster on me. The shaking that had taken over my body stops instantly when he wraps me in his arms.

“Never letting you out of my fucking sight again,” he vows into my hair. I bury my face in his neck, breathing him in. I never want to be out of his sight again either. I was so scared I’d never see him again.

“Look at me, kitten,” he demands. “I need to see you.” He holds me even tighter. I lean back and look into his eyes.

“I love you,” he tells me. “I was so fucking scared I’d never get to say that to—”

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