“You will never do this again.” My voice is low and hard as I grip her shoulders and pull back to meet her startled gaze, the fear inside me swamped by fierce determination. “You will not run from me, Sara. Ever. There’s nobody out there who can help you, no place you can hide from me. And if you try this futile stunt again, you’ll regret it—I give you my word on that. You think you know what I’m capable of, but you haven’t even scratched the surface. You have no idea of the lengths I’ll go to, ptichka, no clue what I’m willing to do to have you. You’re mine, and you’re staying mine—now and for as long as we’re both alive.”
I can feel her muscles tensing as I speak, and I know I’m scaring her. It’s not what I want, but I have to keep her from these escape attempts.
I have to keep her safe.
“Peter, please…” Her soft hazel eyes fill with tears as her palms come up to press against my chest. “Don’t do this. This isn’t love. Even you must realize that. I’m sorry for everything you’ve lost, for what George did to your family. And I know—” She swallows, holding my gaze. “I know there’s something between us, something that shouldn’t be there… something that doesn’t make any sense. You feel it, and I feel it too. But that doesn’t make this right. You can’t stalk someone into loving you, can’t intimidate her into caring. For as long as you’re keeping me here, I’m your captive, no matter what you make me say… no matter what you coerce me into. Whether I run or not, I’m not yours—and I never will be. Not like this.”
Every word she speaks is like a knife puncturing my liver. “How then?” My words come out harsh and desperate, violent in their intensity. “Tell me, Sara. How can I have you? What other way can we be together?”
Her gaze mirrors my torment. “We can’t,” she chokes out, her delicate nails scraping over my skin as her hands curl into fists against my chest. “This isn’t meant to be, Peter. We’re not meant to be. Not with the past we share—not with who and what we are.”
“No.” My rejection is visceral, instinctive. “No, you’re wrong.”
Realizing I’m gripping her shoulders with biting force, I release her and step back, then turn away to turn off the water, using the small task to regain some control. Now that I’m no longer freezing, my body is starting to respond to her nakedness, my hunger for her sharp and dark, aggravated by the volatile brew of anger and frustrated longing. If I don’t calm down, I will take her, and I will hurt her.
I will fuck her until she breaks and admits she belongs to me.
She’s crying when I turn back to face her, the tears mixing with the wetness on her cheeks. “Peter, please…” She reaches over to grip my hand, her slender fingers wrapping around my palm imploringly. “Please, just let me go. This isn’t what you want, not really. I can’t be your family. I can’t be their replacement. Can’t you see that? It’s just not meant to be. What you want is not—”
“You are what I want.” Tugging my hand out of her hold, I fist it in her hair and wrap my other arm around her waist, molding her against me. She sucks in a sharp breath, her peaked nipples brushing against my chest, and my cock throbs, hard and ready against her silky stomach as I say thickly, “You, Sara, are everything I want. I don’t give a fuck about the past, or what is or isn’t meant to be. We make our own fate—we choose our own destiny—and I chose you. I don’t care if the rest of the world thinks it’s wrong, if I have to fight an army to hold on to you. I found you, I took you, and I’m keeping you—and I’m never going to set you free.”