Chapter 40 (Duke's POV)

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I stared at Winter's face as she cried in Talon's arms. I look at Talon who seemed shocked to see me here. So the boy didn't expect me to find her. He didn't even bothered to cover his tracks properly after tell me he had found this place.

"I'm not letting you win, Talon. You might have found her first and told her things about me or you that could or could not be true but at the moment you should know that the day I let you have Winter is the day I kill you." I spoked glaring at the shocked Talon who was still holding Winter in his arms.

"Why are you here?" Winter asked which made me confused.

"I'm here for you Winter. I should have found you fast. To be the truth have been blinded these last few days thinking about the big picture instead of following my gut and finding you. I've let distractions cloud my mind but I won't be stopped now." I said with the firmest voice I could find.

I stared at her as she stared back at me with an emotionless face. Her eyes still shine but her hair wasn't the beautiful silver now. It was grey and her clothes looked old and dirty. She had been living like these for a few week now while I had been living in a hot bed.

"Leave." She whispered.

I stared at her confused by her request. She wanted me to leave her? Why?

"What?" I asked looking at her.

"Leave. Duke." She said with a firm voice.

I gritted my teeth at her attempt of making me go away. I'm not leaving her alone and definitely not with Talon. I won't lose to him. I won't lose the one I love to him. I would rather die than lose another loved one.

"No." I said staring into her blue eyes.

"Talon please leave us." She said quickly.

I watched as Talon open to say something but she gave him a certain look that made him quiet. He stared at Winter for a bit before looking at me then walking out of the room. I bet he didn't want to leave her with me.

"Duke, please don't do this. Please just leave me alone." Winter whispered softly not looking at me anymore.

"Winter." I said sitting down on the bed next to her.

"Why don't you leave when I say you should leave?" She asked me.

"Cause I am a man and when I don't listen to the ones I love it's either because I'm stubborn or I think what you are telling me is wrong. I think you telling me to leave when you want me to stay is not the right decision. Don't push me out." I said pulling her loose hair back so I could see the side of her face.

"I could kill you." She mumbled to herself.

"But you won't." I replied.

"You won't know that." She argued.

"Neither would you." I said taking her hand in mine.

"My father.... He will kill you." She said looking at her shoes.

"You would not know that. If he wanted to kill me, I would be dead by now wouldn't I?" I said smiling at her but she doesn't smile back at me.

"I don't understand." She mumbled to herself.

"Don't understand what?" I said looking across the room at the grey wall.

We both sat on this dirty old bed in this concrete room with no windows but a small hole that lets sunlight in. We sat next to each other as her hand was in mine. We sat there looking at the wall and just thinking but yet we were enjoying each other's company. That was basically my relationship with Winter so far. We know things and when we think it's right, we follow it.

"I don't understand you sometimes. No matter how many times I try to push you away, you come back to me with even more eagerness. You weren't suppose to get close to me. I thought you would not stay away from me, if I pushed you harder or disappeared from your sight. I thought you would forget me." Winter said staring at the hole in the wall.

"It's impossible to forget you." I said as I felt her gaze on me.

"Even if I wanted to, you stayed there in my mind. Infecting it with whatever toxic you have in you. Poisoning my mind like I was your prey." I chuckled as I felt her punch me in the shoulder.

"You make it should like I purposely tempted you into liking me. You make me sound like an old cougar." She mumbled under her breath.

I throw my head back laughing as she tries to look unhappy with me. She pushed me when I couldn't stop laughing. I wipe away the tears in my eyes and faced Winter. She looks away as I wrap her into my arms.

"I could never forget you, Winter. You have become too precious for me to forget about. I won't lose you again. Not to Talon, your brother or your father. I love you." I whispered into her ear.

"I love you too, Duke." She whispered back hugging me tighter.

"It's nice to see that you are so touchy feely with my daughter." I heard a voice enter the room.

I turn around to see a man who was dressing in complete blackness. His hair was gray with specks of white hair that shine under the sunlight. His face had wrinkles and dark circles as if he never slept.

"Father." Winter said next to me.


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