12| Irritation and Intimidation

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In the past forty-eight hours I had only managed to make things ten times worse for myself. Life was already stressful enough as it was, and now I was working for a family of gangsters with no moral compass, handing out alcoholic drinks in a seedy bar to further the manic motivations of violent men, and the worse part of it all was that I had almost let the most criminal of them fuck me into oblivion against my bedroom door, and it was all because I was too horny to see any sense.

Over the past week I had learnt a lot of things about Cullfield's most notorious gangster. I knew he was an impulsive man who played the game of power and poison, using them both to scare me and then lure me to him in retaliation. I knew he was a murderer who maimed each and every one of his kills with a precision that had stories told after his work, and I knew that somehow the brutal world that he lived in seemed to soften around the edges whenever he set his eyes on me.

Even still, Freddie King was just a man and he took every chance to stare at my body like it was his to own, and when he had touched me that night—when I had begged him to touch me with a type of desperation I never realised I was even capable of, I had felt the exact way I had trembled under his touch and for once, it had nothing to do with how much I feared him.

Other men had touched me before, and even if I didn't know who he was—he had been the only one to light me on fire from the inside out.

His searing gaze had dragged across my body and scrutinized every one of my movements as he explored my skin, skimming his fingertips over the curves of my form, dragging them across the fabric of my flimsy shirt until they indented my skin. He touched me like I was a delicate piece of art, like an act of worship he wouldn't tire from. My heart had raced from the ache of his detailed attention, but how was it possible to enjoy the touch of a man whose hands had been soaked in blood—whose hands I had personally seen brutally murder two men with the blunt force of a hammer?

I had been burning with need for him even after I had tried to refuse his every advance, and then when I had finally given in, he had been the one to decide that I wasn't good enough for him to touch.

I should have been grateful for it really, grateful that the gangster had turned into a gentleman in the moment I needed it the most, but I couldn't help but wonder what would have happened if he hadn't stopped.

I couldn't help but wonder if he would have torn through my underwear with desperate force, if he would have dipped his fingers into the wetness that had pooled just for him—and if he would have pleasured me better than any other man had ever before.

I knew he was capable of it, why else would any other woman want the luxury of him warming their beds if he wasn't capable of giving them what they want. He was way too intimidating at first glance so he had to be good at fucking them otherwise no one would want him.

I didn't want him.

The words clawed against the bars of the cage I had put them in.

After what Freddie had done to me that night, I knew now that there was no use denying that I wanted him the way he wanted me. And when he had left me, when he had told me that he wanted more from me than he had ever wanted from any of his other conquests, I only came to the realisation that my refusal to have him had become useless.

It was stupid, so very stupid, but just like him I was human too and I had been romanticising the moment his hands had met my skin over and over again. The way he had asked for my permission, the way he had known exactly what I wanted and still waited for me to tell him. In the beginning, I had thought he had wanted to ruin me, but now he had shown me that his need to have me wasn't all rooted in the evil of his ways.

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