He reaches for me, clearly seeing that I’m going to need help—
The crack of a gunshot shatters the air, and I scream. I expect to feel pain, to stumble forward, to glance down and see blood...
But I’m not the one who’s been shot.
Edwardo drops his chin and lifts one shaking hand to touch the circle of red blooming on his chest.
I stare, horrified, as he tilts backward, as though in slow motion, and falls from the boat. He half hits the dinghy and bounces like a ragdoll, and then strikes the water.
“Edwardo!” I scream.
He has a split second to raise his arm to me before he vanishes beneath the surface. I let out a sob. This is my fault. If I hadn’t persuaded him to take me in the dinghy, he would be alive right now.
A strange kind of silence falls over the boat. I know Don is behind me, that he’s holding a gun—most likely pointed at my back—and that he’s more than willing to kill. I briefly debate throwing myself overboard. If my hands weren’t cuffed behind my back, I’d be in the water already. Would I rather take my chances with the water than risk a bullet in my back? But, deep down, I know Don will only shoot me if he absolutely has to. At least until he’s done what he wants with me and has had enough.
Slowly, I turn around.
He’s just as I’ve pictured, standing in a wide-legged stance, his gun—which I assume is police-issued—aimed directly at me. His square jaw is clenched, his eyes sparking with fury.
“Well, that was fucking stupid, wasn’t it, Honor?”
I don’t even dare speak.
He stalks over to me and grabs my arm and drags me inside the cabin. He reaches into his pocket and takes out the keys to the cuffs. For one crazy moment, I think he’s going to set me free. He undoes one of the cuffs but keeps a viselike grip on my arm, preventing me from lashing out at him. Then he hooks the chain of the cuff over one of the bars attached to the wall of the boat—something put there for support during rough seas. He clips the cuff back around my wrist, so I’m now attached to the boat, but he doesn’t move back and continues to lean right into me.
His large body engulfs my personal space, and the heat of his breath gusts across the top of my head. I press myself into the metal bar behind me, trying to create room.
Any chance of escape has vanished.
“What the fuck do you want with me?”
“To make sure you keep your mouth shut.”
“I already have, haven’t I? I’ve not said a word to anyone.” Apart from Rafferty and the others, but it’s not as though I’ve told them everything.
“And how long is that likely to last? You’ll spill it all eventually.”
There’s no point in trying to plead ignorance. We both know I saw him that day.
His hand brushes my breast, and I freeze.
He notices and chuckles. “I always knew you had a thing for me, back when your mother was still alive. You were forever prancing around half naked, showing your ass off to me. I used to feel so sorry for your poor mom.”
The way he’s twisted that scenario in his head sends fresh anger and frustration through me.
“What the fuck are you talking about? I never did that.”
“Always leaving the bathroom door unlocked, and open a crack, tempting me to take a peek. God, that young, firm flesh, all damp and pink out of the shower. I’ve got to say that I got myself off on that a good few times.”
“I never left the door open! You just used to barge in, knowing I was right out of the shower.”
“You know, I would have killed you already, but frankly, I’m being selfish. I’ve waited so long to get a taste of your sweet little pussy that I want to take my time with you. How old are you now?”
He takes a guess. “Twenty? Twenty-one? Hmm. Might be too old for most of their liking, but I’m sure some of them will enjoy a sweet bit of virgin pussy.”
I have no idea who he’s talking about, but I laugh out loud. “I’m not a virgin. You think I’ve been saving myself? Well, I haven’t. I’ve been fucking anyone who looks my way. I’ve had more men inside me than a bar at happy hour.”