“You humiliated me.”
He nods. “You put the lives of my men and your father’s at risk.”
I look out the window in silence. I don’t want to talk about this anymore. What’s done is done, and my body still aches in remembrance.
He doesn’t say anything else for long moments, sipping the drink in his hand. I continue looking out the tinted window.
He finally breaks the silence. “What do you know of me?”
I shrug. “Not much.”
“Nothing at all?”
I swivel my head to look at him, anger taking over once more. “My brother said you were a fat, manky son of a bitch.” It gives me some pleasure to repeat it.
“Fat, manky son of a bitch,” he repeats, his eyes darkening. He holds my gaze thoughtfully, then places his glass down.
He begins to unbutton his shirt. I watch as the buttons give way, the fabric revealing a crisp white t-shirt underneath. When he unbuttons the last button by his waist, he tugs the bottom of the shirt up, and takes it off. I let my gaze roam over him, while he sits in front of me in nothing but trousers and a t-shirt. I swallow.
He’s sturdy and muscular, and… definitely not fat.
Definitely not manky.
The scent of his cologne fills the small interior of the car as he grabs the bottom of his t-shirt in his fist and yanks it up, over his head, and whips it to the side.
“Do I look fat to you?”
I swallow hard. “No.” He’s nothing but muscles and chiseled planes, his chest sprinkled with dark hair. Something unbidden stirs low in my belly, and my throat feels tight.
His eyes narrow. “Manky?”
I shake my head, unable to speak. He’s raw alpha male, in every sense of the word, the type of man women lose their knickers over. Too bad he’s a twat.
“I suppose time will tell if I’m a son of a bitch.”
“Suppose,” I manage to croak out.
He holds my gaze for another minute, as the car bumps and rolls before he crooks a finger at me.
“Come here, Aileen.”
He likes this particular command, apparently.
He pats his knee. “Here.”
My heart hammers, instinctive remembrance of having been punished once already at his hands. I know I’ve pushed this far enough. I don’t dare disobey him. Not after what he’s done, what I know he’s capable of doing again.
“I can’t… I can’t stand in this car, I’ll—”
The command reignites my anger. He’s used to being obeyed and has demonstrated what he’ll do if I don’t obey him.
Not bothering to disguise my hatred, I make my way over to him. When I reach him, he wraps a hand around my waist and yanks me onto his lap. I wince. I’m still sore from the punishment he inflicted.
His large hand travels to my arse, and he gives me a squeeze straight through the miles of fabric.
I hiss in protest, but he doesn’t stop.
His voice is low and dangerous when he speaks, commanding, though I can tell he is at least trying not to frighten me this time. “Do you know what has to happen tonight?”
I close my eyes as if that’ll somehow stop me from facing what has to happen, what we must do.
“Yes,” I say with resignation. I do know. Tonight, we consummate our marriage. If we don’t, our vows are considered null and void, and we’re right back where we started from. I might not want to be married to this jerk, but going back to my childhood home is not an option. I’d run away and become a penniless beggar before I’d allow that. And I know I’m fighting this, but I’m not stupid either. If I don’t stay with him and make our marriage valid, our Clans will war.
He loops his arm around me casually, holding me to him. “Say it.”
“You have to… we need to…” why is it so hard to say aloud? Why is he even making me?
He squeezes my arse again.
“Sex!” I gasp. “We need to consummate our union.”
His lips thin and he gives me a tight, angry nod. “Right. No matter what. Whether you want me to or not. Whether you hate me or not. Whether you agree, spread your legs and let me fuck you…” he pauses before he finishes. “Or not.”
I’m no fool. I hear the implication. “So you’ll rape me, then?”
“I’d like to avoid that particular option.”
He doesn’t deny it. Cold fear spikes through me. I shiver and look away, but his large, strong fingers grasp my chin and drag my eyes to his.
“I’m guessing that makes two of us, then. So think carefully about how you want this night to go.”