My life was full of my sister’s laughter and miles of green trees.
Then the black car came.
Strangers in sharp suits dragged my father back to a past he kept hidden. Worse, they made him choose one of us—his own children—to go and live with his enemies. It’s a way to keep him working for them… and from running again.
I’m a hostage.
The food is fancy, the carpets are lush, but this bed isn’t mine. I don’t belong here and my head and heart know it. I’m painfully alone.
And then I’m not.
The first time I meet Dominic Bradley, he saves me from a maid with a pair of scissors. This sweet boy is nothing like the rest of his family. He becomes the only sunlight in these smothering halls. The one person holding me together.
When he leaves for six years, it shreds my soul.
It’s nothing compared to when he comes back.
Gone is my sweet boy. In his place is a hardened soldier ready to obey his father. He’s gained new demons; and I’ve lost my only friend. Dominic acts like he’s forgotten our past. But I can’t. It’s impossible to forget the moment I fell in love.
I know where we began.
I’m not sure where we’ll end.
His attention goes to what I’m doing. “Turn around,” he growls again.
My muscles obey his instruction. I adjust on the toilet seat, showing him my back. I’m waiting for him to speak. He doesn’t, his pointed silence making my ears ring. I strain to hear him because I’m desperate for a hint at his plan.
I see his shadow grow on the wall in front of me. His shoulders shift; I catch his arms rising. Is he going to strangle me? Would he go that far? It’s awful that I don’t know what to expect from him anymore.
His fingers slide through my hair. They start at the cap of my skull, inching down with an immense patience reserved for glaciers moving through the sea. I’m hyper-aware because of my fear. His nails scrape the base of my head, sinking in, a gentleness that’s out of place in this tense room. “You let it grow so long,” he whispers.
Warm breath caresses the curve of my ear. I shudder, but not from disgust. I want to lavish in hatred for Dominic. But my body has other ideas.
I’ve never been touched so intimately. He’s doing nothing but brushing my hair with his fingers, and it’s more enticing than if we’d kissed. Than if we’d fucked. I know this, even though I’ve never done either.
Metal squeaks; the cabinet over the sink. His arms are long enough that he can reach it without budging from my side. I start to turn my head, to check what he’s doing, but his fingers bind into my hair and force me still. “What are you going to do?” I ask, my voice frail.
His presence behind me is an inferno. “I’m going to get the truth from you.”