Page 39 of Room Seventeen

When I can breathe again, I take their blindfolds off and feel the love radiating from them. It’s as real as the bed beneath us and the blood in our veins. I touch each of them.

Silver, gold, and black eyes lift to find my gaze and I fall into their open arms. Clutched tight to their chests I bury my face in their strength and say one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to say.

“You’ve given me your trust. Now I need to prove you have mine. Let me start at the beginning.”

Thirteen

Laila

Ispend the next hour reliving the horror of my past as they sit in silence. Not once do they stop touching me. Feeding me their power so that I can purge my soul of the evil done to me.

My soul pours to the floor and I expose my inner demons in the hopes they don’t feel differently about me. My mother’s death, the reason I was in New Orleans to begin with, and why I went to Club Sin that first night I met them.

“I was perfectly fine finding solace in the arms of strangers that night. I had barely a sliver of hope to live for when I came back to your site. I was reckless. But I didn’t care.”

Murder shimmers in Con’s eyes. His chest heaves and he’s off the bed pacing from one side of the room to the other. His beast has come to the surface and the rage is barely contained. He crosses the room and pounds the drywall until it’s dust. Bastian is on the phone and Dante has me wrapped in his arms protectively.

He’s whispering something in Russian I can’t make out but I feel them deep inside me.

Bastian is talking too fast for me to understand what he’s fully saying, but I catch the tail end of his last sentence: “...ya khochu yego krovi.” I want his blood.

While they take in the new information, I’m done with it. I can finally breathe. The burden of the secret is lifted from my shoulders and now that I have finished, I no longer feel unworthy.

Dante orders us all room service and a big bottle of vodka. I can’t seem to find my appetite at the moment so I slip from his warmth begrudgingly and head toward the large bathroom. I need hot water, steam, and some silence. Just for a minute. Maybe two. One final purge.

Dante holds on to me silently asking me to stay but I slip away and cross to the arched doorway. I slide the doors open.

Whoa. I thought the room was nice. There’s the usual. A sink, a toilet, soaps, and bottles of shampoos. But I didn’t expect the view. I step onto the warmed tiles and pick my jaw up off my chest. Half of the large shower’s wall facing out to the city is frosted glass which gives the city lights a blurred appearance. It’s like viewing a Christmas tree through an unfocused lens. I slide the glass door open, crank the hot water to full blast and step inside.

Steam billows around me. I step in and let the heat seep into my nerve endings.

I settle my hands over my womb and turn down the water to a tolerable heat level for the life growing inside me. My life is more than just mine now and every decision I make includes this little one.

I turn to find three men shoulder to shoulder in the large doorway staring at me like someone is going to jump out of the drain or crash through the glass window and kidnap me.

Wordlessly they watch over me as I start with my hair and work my way down.

I rinse and go in for a second soaping. “He’s not here in this room, guys, you can let your guard down here. I’m safe.”

Dante is back to flipping his blade through his fingers like a pirate would do a coin which seems impossible given the blade’s size.

“You’re never leaving our sight again.” Con’s tone is final.

I throw a sudsy hand up. “Hold up. That could turn awkward.” I like my solo showers and nights I get a whole bed to myself a couple of times a week.

Dante sets his blade down, slides the door open, and joins me. His hands are on my shoulders and I’m turned around, the shampoo bottle plucked from my hands. “Get used to it. We’re married now. Blood in, remember.”

“I do. About that.”

“It’s final. You’re in the life now,zhena. Our lives. Consider that contract out there the first step toward making us your official bodyguards as well as your husband. We will make it binding once we get back to Seattle.”

Oh. I never thought of them that way. More like shields against reality the way I’ve been hiding out inside their lives instead of living my own.

My mind hits reverse. Wife?

Hearing Con’s claiming words gives me a sense of hope I’ve never felt before. I’m stuck on that word for a minute. That is until another thought occurs to me.

“Who would I marry? I can’t wear all three of your rings.”


Tags: Penelope Wylde Erotic
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