I study his steely eyes. I think about how he watched Bastian fuck me. How he tossed him the lubricant. I think about how he came in my mouth. And I think about how I want it again. It’s that sickness in me. All people see is the pretty outside, but inside, I’m rotten. Rotting. Maybe that’s why they’re looking at me so strangely now. Perhaps they’re seeing the real me. They’d be the first.
Tears blur my vision. I shake my head and pick up my wineglass to swallow it all down. “I’m just hungry,” I say and continue to devour every bite on my plate. When I’m done, I set down my knife and fork and sit back in my chair to find both brothers watching me closely. I wipe my mouth and wonder what the hell they find so fucking interesting. I remember Bastian’s question again. Remember how when I’d said I was tired he’d made the comment that killing will do that to you. I’m a killer. I should feel guilt or remorse or something. Anything.
The kitchen door swings open, and two women emerge to clear our dishes.
“Give us a minute,” Amadeo tells them, and they retreat.
“We need to go,” I say.
“We have time,” Amadeo says as they both stand. “There’s something we need to talk about. Let’s go into the study.”
I look from him to Bastian and back. “What’s happened?”
“Come,” he says, Bastian moving to the exit as Amadeo pulls my chair out.
“What is it? Tell me.”
“Just say it!”
He sighs and shakes his head. “Lucien is filing for guardianship of Emma.”
It takes me a minute. “What?”
“Lucien wants to be appointed your sister’s legal guardian.”
I push my hands into my hair, my head feeling heavy, the food I just scarfed down sitting like a brick in my stomach. I shake my head and look up at them.
“We have her. He can’t get to her.”
“We kidnapped her.”
“But I’m… how can he do that? Why? He doesn’t care about her. Certainly doesn’t love her.”
“It’s about leverage,” Amadeo says.
“It’s not about love. Love doesn’t matter,” Bastian adds.
I get to my feet, irritated, and go to him. I shove him. “Of course it matters. Love may not matter to someone like you, but it does matter!”
With a snort, he takes my wrists, and I breathe him in. “Someone like me?”
“Yes. Someone like you.”
“You’re fucked up, Dandelion, you know that?”
“Yeah, I do, Bastian. And guess what? You’re just as fucked up. Doyouknowthat?”
He grins and nods casually. Too casually.
“Is this all a game to both of you?” I ask, turning to face Amadeo when Bastian releases my wrists.
“No game. We have an idea.”
I shake my head and step toward the exit of the room. “I want to see my brother.”
Amadeo takes my arm and turns me around. He draws me close and searches my face, eyes landing on my mouth and making me remember our last kiss. Making me remember how he gets when we kiss.