9| Turmoil and Threats

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She attracted bad luck like needing air to breathe, it was no wonder why I had become so obsessed with her. With anyone else I wouldn't have given as many warnings as she had gotten, but now I had pointed my gun at her twice and both times I hadn't aimed true. It was like she was a magnetic force pulling me towards the centre of her universe, and now that I knew what it felt like to have her underneath me, I wouldn't be able to let her go.

She should have broken under the inevitability of my father's command, instead she had chosen to trust me—a gangster who had not only threatened to kill her, but also propositioned to take her to his bed. A gangster who she had seen brutally murder two men with the blunt force of a hammer. Anyone else would have been traumatised by the state they had seen me in, but not her. She hadn't flinched away from the blood on my hands when I had touched her, and she barely fought against me when I led her towards the bed. Now that she had every reason to be repulsed by me, it was almost like she had become more desperate to try and unearth the truth of who I was.

Even still, Lola Meyers didn't miss a day of work after everything that had happened, and when my father came back from Liverpool and saw I had not completed the task he had given me, I would pay for it all.

Vicky's hands were running over my chest as I found myself in her bed again. Her breath grazed the tops of my shoulders, the soft parts of her body pressed against mine as my muscles tightened against the way her nails were digging teasingly into my skin.

Vicky was over the moon that she had me to herself again, her need to have me mirrored in the way she was clinging onto me, but she didn't know that she wasn't the reason for my frustrations—sexual or otherwise.

She lifted herself onto her elbows, letting out a needy sigh. Her dark hair spilt over my chest and I stared down at it, wishing for it to be yellow instead.

"You seem occupied, what are you thinking about?" Vicky tried to pull me from my thoughts as she climbed on top of me, her legs caging my body as her hands dragged against my abdomen, playing with the sprinkling of hair at its base.

I sucked in a breath as her hips started to move against mine with purpose.

"I'm thinking about you," I said.

In truth, I was. And in truth, I was using her to think about someone else.

Maybe I could convince my father to tolerate Lola just as much as he tolerated Vicky, if I could do that then all my problems would be solved. Lola would be safe and I wouldn't need to struggle with the distance I needed to put between us. The truth was that the more I tried to deny everything she made me feel, the more my need to have her was building up like a storm inside of me.

Any day now it was going to explode and she was going to be standing in the fallout of it all, and even though I didn't care about what happened to her the first time we had met—now the thought of hurting her only made me angry.

Vicky smiled down at me as she shifted her weight, leaning into me as her lips brushed against mine. "Is there a reason you're saying such sweet things to me today?"

She didn't let me reply, claiming my lips instead. My response to her was quick and mechanical—there was nothing passionate about it, just a need to fill a void I didn't know how to plug, and a need to kiss someone who wasn't as willing.

My heart raced with the memory of the words I had turned over and over in my head.

After everything that had happened that night, I'd had a lot of time to think about her honest assessment of me. Lola had seen through all the darkness I was shrouded in and she had told me that the kiss we had shared was something she had thought about more often than she cared to admit. Lola was shy and far more innocent than any girl that I had ever pursued, and with my inexperience in dealing with a girl like her I had taken her shyness as reluctance, but maybe I had it all wrong in the first place—maybe she wanted me more than I understood.

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