I drove into her.
She cried out. “Stop. Please, stop.”
Her voice was like precious diamonds, sharp and sparkly with tears.
I wanted her to cry. I wanted to lap up her every salty sadness and claim them as mine.
But something was wrong.
The sizzle between us twisted. The fire licking around us turned black with abhorrence.
That magic. That wonderful, wicked magic was going.
I thrust faster, trying to find it again. I couldn’t believe something this intense, this right could just disappear. I’d felt alive. I’d felt noticed. I’d felt as if she saw me. As if she could save me.
“Please,” I growled, rutting harder.
She moaned as I went too deep.
The tingle faded even faster, as if causing her pain only increased mine.
I drove harder.
I lost myself to madness.
“FUCK, I NEED...I NEED—” Kas grunted like a wild beast. “Goddammit, please.”
This couldn’t be happening.
This can’t be happening!
But it was.
He’s inside me.
He was inside me against my will. His cock driving so deep, so hard, my entire body throbbed with possession.
He rode me as if he was a maniac.
He touched me and fucked me full of delirium that could never be cured.
And for a breathless, atrocious moment, I wasn’t sure who I was anymore. All my belief that I was strong—gone. All my assurances that I was worthy—obliterated.
Every precious, powerful part of me had been snuffed out in a single almost laughable moment of truth.
He was so much bigger, so much stronger, so much more than me.
I’d tried to fight.
I’d tried to wake him.
And it hadn’t taken him any effort whatsoever to pin my flailing limbs, crawl on top of me, and mount with a single thrust.
He groaned as his hips rocked up, grinding into me.
That one primal motion shoved me back into all the lessons I’d been taught as a girl. I was valuable, I was fierce, I was deserving of protection, kindness, and most of all safety from monsters.
And this was not it.
This man, with his tarnished, broken heart was coated in demons. He was hurting me. Again. He was driving me out of my mind. With every touch.
This was different from sleeping with him on the cliff. Different from any sex I’d ever had. Different because this was not consensual. The power was entirely one-sided. The violence in his thrusts not full of heady desire but panic borne from nightmares.
His cock filled me, leaving no space inside. His body crushed me, leaving no air to breathe.
He was everywhere.
In my body, my mouth, my soul.
With every rut, he carved off another piece of me.
I clawed at his back and thrashed side to side. “Get off me!”
But it was too late.
He was on me, in me, devouring me.
Ever since he’d licked me by the river and woken me to his kiss, my body had stayed primed for him. I’d walked back with a secret. I’d been wet. I’d wanted him. I’d stayed wet because living in this house with him, where the walls dripped with mutual lust and the carpets hissed with blinding electricity, I was always ready for him.
Yet another thing against my will.
But I’d never imagined this.
I hated him.
Hated what he’d done and hated my body’s reaction.
I burned with the need to hurt him as much as he was hurting me.
Every thrust twisted me into something violent and full of rage.
I never thought he’d be so trapped in his nightmares that he couldn’t wake, couldn’t see, couldn’t understand just how much he was destroying me.
“Kas, stop!” I moaned as his hips pulled back, then shoved forward, faster and faster, fucking me like an animal on the library floor.
“Shit.” His voice wasn’t his. It was throaty and stony with black memories. “See how it feels?” He licked at my oozing tears, driving deeper and harder into me. “See how it breaks you?”
Sadness crashed over my rage, lashing barbed wire around my throat. In a split second, my emotions switched from violent anger to exhausting grief.
What is happening to me?
Why couldn’t I hold on to my fury toward this man? Why was it impossible to hate, all while he did so many things to justify it?
“It takes everything,” he groaned. “Every piece of you.”
I gasped in time to his aggressive thrusts, driving in, spearing deep, taking every inch of my misery to somehow patch up all of his.
He dropped his forehead to the carpet by my ear, crushing me with his body as he rutted into me like a savage. His voice caught, wavering with sadness, madness, and everything in-between. “You’re different. God, I want you—” He choked and looked up, something dark and dangerous covering his face. His jaw set cruelly. His long hair wild and tangled. “I want you, and I took you. See how fucking agonizing it is not to have a choice?”
And that was the problem. The crux of why I couldn’t hate.