Ten years ago, Harper ran so the men she cared about could live. There’s no chance of her ever going back to Stonewall—or of seeing Draven and her men again. They are gone, moved on, and she must do the same.
But they’ve not forgotten her betrayal. When Axel finds her, he’s determined to bring her back. When she left, she’d been their queen, the one to bind them together. Now, she is going to be torn apart, broken, and possibly killed.
One look in Draven’s eyes and she knows her future is no longer certain. She was born in Stonewall and will die there, at his hands. Before he strikes the killing blow, will she be able to convince him she didn’t want to leave?
Draven’s determined to rid his mind of this woman. She betrayed him, and the only way to deal with a traitor is to make an example of them. He will break her and make her regret every single minute she ran from him.
No one runs from him.
He owns her, and now it’s time for her to pay, once and for all.
He saw how awkward she looked. Unsure. Nervous.
“Look, I can see that you’re pissed.”
“You think I’m pissed.”
“What happened ten years ago, I can explain.”
“You want to explain to me why you betrayed me. Betrayed all of us?”
“I didn’t betray you.”
He stared at her. The urge to hit her was strong, but he wasn’t going to. If he started hitting her right now, he wouldn’t stop.
He had big plans for her.
“I don’t want to deal with you tonight.”
Putting his whiskey down on the counter, he grabbed her arm and pulled her along the corridor. He passed men who didn’t even look at him.
He forced their loyalty, tested them relentlessly. They all knew not to interfere with his dealings. People who came onto his property were always handled by him.
Draven only employed people who were loyal to him. Those that were loyal, were always handsomely rewarded, and those that weren’t, suffered. He made sure every man and woman were given the option. Those that failed didn’t live to see another day.
He headed out into the garden, down the steep path, and across the small field.
“Draven, what are you doing? Please, stop. You’re scaring me.”
He didn’t let go even as he heard the fear in her voice.
Ten years ago, he’d have pulled her into his arms, protected her, stopped her from feeling fear or pain, or anything. All fucking four of them would have been there for her. She’d belonged to all of them, but she had to go and throw it in his face, in all of their faces.
Now, he relished her fear, wanted it.
He wanted her to experience everything he’d felt in the past ten years, but also, what he’d had to deal with after she left.
“Will you stop and just talk to me?”
Talking was over.
He got to the building. This was where they kept the disobedient women that were brought here. A couple of days out here in the winter, and well, some women died because of it, men too.
Oh, yes, rather than fight the inevitable, he’d expanded into men but taken kids off the menu. He had some morals still at least.
Harper fought him, trying to pry his fingers from around her wrist. Draven held her tightly and pulled her down into the cells.
Opening one up, he threw her inside and locked the door. Harper cried out as she landed on the hard ground. He held the bars of her cell tightly, staring down at her. She looked so small, so fragile, breakable.
Draven intended to break her. He was going to hurt her. This was just the beginning.
She got up, and the sound of a rat scurrying echoed in the small space. She turned her head, and he saw the tears fall down her cheeks. She looked pretty when she cried.
“What happened to you?” she asked.
He smiled. “What happened to me?”
“You heard me.”
“Nothing happened to me, Harper. I grew up. I saw that there was no point in fighting this. Fighting who I am.”
She stepped toward the cage, and he saw she limped.
“Who you are?”
He smiled at her.
“You’ve become the exact monster your father wanted.”
“You want to talk about my father?”
“Where is he? Is he laughing right now? Joyous in knowing he got what he wanted.”
Draven smiled again. “My father is dead.”
“Oh,” Harper said.
“Yes, I killed him.”
She swallowed and looked away.
“What’s the matter, Harper? Can’t handle it?”
“You killed your own father and yet you’ve let mine live?” she asked.
“Oh, yes, you see, my father betrayed me. He didn’t like that not only did I take this place, and expand, I moved him from the top. When I decided to help him, to make all of this mine, my end game wasn’t the same as his. I’m a fucking king, and there’s no way I’d work to put someone else in my place. I don’t follow. I lead.”