Breathless (Merciless 3) - Page 5

He just needs time. He has to understand. I can make him understand.

Visions of his face when I pointed the gun at him flash through my mind as I run.

Carter, seemingly over the desire to move slowly and let me run from him, picks up his pace as I get to the hall. I can hear his footsteps pound up the stairs, so I run as hard as I can, nearly slamming into the closed door of his office. Tears prick as the hurt and betrayal of what I’ve done set in.

I scrabble with the knob so clumsily in my own chaos that I think it’s locked, but it’s not.

It’s open and a wave of relief runs through me although it’s short-lived. Nothing is okay at this moment. Not a damn thing is all right.

I don’t waste any time; I don’t bother to close the office door either. Sprinting to the box, I rip the top open and practically fall into it, scraping my thighs and back. A scream is ripped from me, but it’s merely instinctual. I don’t care about the pain; I don’t care about anything other than shutting the lid and locking myself in.

I have to reach up to get the top of it lowered and when I do, I see Carter in the doorway. Fear paralyzes me when I see his face, contorted with a look of outrage and red from running. My skin is ice cold as I reach for the lid. My fingertips feel numb as I slam it down.

There’s a snap, I hear it, but I don’t know what it is. It comes with a tug at the back of my neck that’s accompanied by a sharp pinch I try to ignore as my fingers slip along the edge of the lid searching for the lock.

Shrouded in darkness, I struggle to find the lock, hearing Carter’s footsteps getting closer and closer, but my trembling fingers find it and the multiple clicks assure me I’m bolted in.

All I can hear is my staggered breathing for a moment and then another.

With a deafening roar of anger, the box lifts off the ground only an inch, if that. Through my tears still streaking down my hot face, I can see Carter lifting it with all his strength, but it’s meant to outlast such acts and so it does.

Crouched in the box and gripping on to myself, I hold my breath knowing he can’t do a damn thing about it.

It’s only then that I hear the rolling of the beads. It’s only then that I feel the pearls rolling around me. I shriek in terror at first, thinking that something is alive and in the dark place with me. But it’s only my necklace. The beads that have fallen off the broken chain.

Tears leak freely at the realization.

My chest hollows as I cover my mouth to keep from crying harder.

The box moves a little more and I close my eyes until he drops it, making my body sway and tumble in the small amount of space I have. A small yelp escapes me, but I focus on calming down. I’m on the verge of a panic attack or worse.

My eyes are closed tighter than they’ve ever been. Shock and horror still threaten to suffocate me as I struggle to inhale.

A few minutes pass and all I can hear is Carter’s chaotic breathing. For a moment someone comes in, I think Jase, speaking quietly and trying to tell Carter to calm down, but the door closes shut with a loud click and then there’s silence again.

Nothing but silence and the slamming of my own heartbeat and the rushing of blood in my ears.

It’s going to be okay, I try to reassure myself. He has to understand. Even the thought is fleeting in my mind. All Carter knows is that I chose them, my family and his enemies. I pointed a gun at him and cocked it.

Oh, my God. My head spins as the memory comes back to me.

I threatened the life of the only man I’ve ever loved.

When I finally open my eyes, Carter’s are fixed directly on mine. As if he can see me, even though I know it’s impossible. His dark eyes pierce through me, pinning me where I am and eliciting a new kind of fear.

His deep voice sends a jagged spike of despair through me as he says low beneath his breath, “You can’t stay in there forever.”

Chapter 3


I’ve never in my life felt like this before.

The clock ticks as time passes. I can count on one hand every time I’ve been betrayed, but it’s never felt like this because none of them were close to me. I’ve never let anyone in.

Not the guards I’ve depended on, not the boys I took in to help. I didn’t feel betrayed by them when they only stole from me or tried to bargain with someone else who wanted me dead.

Tags: Willow Winters Merciless Erotic
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