A plate smashed in the kitchen, ratcheting my heartbeat as every muscle prepared to wrench my knife free and kill. Kill them before they could kill me.
Perhaps I had no right to tell our story aloud. Maybe he thought I’d failed by being so honest. But I wanted Q to know that everything I lived through—every hardship was necessary—because it made me deserving. It taught me Q was worth every sacrifice. It made me strong enough to keep him.The future was ours. Evolving together. Twisting our souls into one. Knitting our lives into inseparable tapestries. I could never love another like him. Fate designed us from the same darkness, the same fabric of wrongness.
Q cleared his throat. The celebrant didn’t move, waiting for the thick silence to disperse.Say something! I couldn’t read him. He’d shut down, trembling with colossal energy, glowing with everything he trapped inside. Tess— Finally a crack, a small doorway into his feelings. Je suis—My stomach lodged in the tight boning of my corset. I’d never seen a man so proud, so strong and fierce, be so shattered and humbled.
Q’s ferocious eyes ensnared me.Tess, je ne serai jamais capable d'exprimer à quel point je tiens à toi. Je n’aurais jamais les mots pour exprimer combien Je t'aime. Tess, I’ll never be able to express how much I care for you. I’ll never know the words to say how much I love you.
He looked away, gathering his thoughts. His back rippled with a deep breath. Je ne savais pas que j'étais seul. Je ne savais pas que j’étouffais ma douleur et mon besoin d’affection sous le travail. Je hais mon héritage, d’où je viens et je ne me suis jamais senti digne du bonheur. Mais ensuite, toi, esclave Cinquante-huit ans, est entrée dans mon monde. Tu m’as fait tout remettre en question. I never knew I was lonely. I never knew I smothered my pain and the need for connection beneath my work. I hate my heritage—where I’ve come from—and never felt worthy of happiness. But then you, Slave Fifty-eight, entered my world. You made me question everything.
Je voulais te briser. T’adorer. Te faire crier. Je voulais tant de choses mais par-dessus tout, je voulais ce que j'ai vu dans tes yeux brillants pour moi, que tu me fasses confiance. Je voulais ton âme. I wanted to break you. Adore you. Make you scream. I wanted so many things but beneath it all, I wanted what I saw in your eyes glowing for me, trusting me. I wanted your soul.I grabbed the collar of the guy’s shirt and with a quick slice, slit it in two with my blade.
Please. I’ll give you anything. You name it. You want to save women? Fine, I’ll give you all the names and contacts of the men we sold to over the year.I didn’t rise to the bait. I knew Franco’s men would’ve already raided the offices and found every last shred of information in this godforsaken place.
Everything I needed for future rescue missions was already mine.I listened detachedly to his rambling begging as I shrugged off my bloodstained blazer and undid my cufflinks.