Home > Dominated (The Enforcers #2)(18)

Dominated (The Enforcers #2)(18)
Maya Banks

“What I should have done, and what I will do going forward, is make it known that you’re my queen. My woman. The most important person in my life. It will be made clear how I will retaliate if someone so much as touches a hair on your head. Security will be tightened around you, but you know and are comfortable with the men who will be guarding you.”

All the color leached from her face, making her eyes seem enormous. She opened her mouth but no response came forth, and for a long moment she simply sat there staring agape at him. Then finally she shook her head as if trying to dispel the confusion and cobwebs surrounding her.

“We aren’t together, Drake,” she said hesitantly.

“The hell we aren’t,” he said savagely. “I drove you away, Angel. I got back to my apartment as fast as I could without arousing suspicion because I planned to explain everything that night and then beg your forgiveness. When I found you gone, I went crazy. I’ve spent the last five days turning this city upside down looking for you. And now I’ve found you. If you think I’m going to let you walk away from me without one hell of a fight, you’re out of your mind. You belong with and to me, just as I belong to you. What happened that night will never happen again. It shouldn’t have happened to begin with, but at the time it was the only thing I thought would keep you safe.”

“What are you asking for exactly, Drake?” she asked skeptically.

“Whatever you’re willing to give,” he bit out. “In time, everything. But for now I’ll take whatever you’re willing to give me, as long as you give me the chance to make this up to you and to prove how important to me you are.”

“So you want us to go back to the way things were before? Pretend like that night never happened?”

He flinched. “Of course I don’t expect it to be that easy. I have a lot to make up for. You gave me your trust and now I have to earn it back. You gifted me with your submission and I have to make you feel safe and cherished enough to submit once again. But I want you with me, Angel. At all times. Once you are public knowledge, I’ll never allow you to go anywhere alone.”

Evangeline closed her eyes for a long moment, her fingers twisted together in a bloodless knot on her lap. Her despair and indecision was a tangible presence in the room.

“I don’t know what I should do,” she finally said, exhaustion creeping into her speech and her posture.

“What do you want, Angel?” he asked softly. “Forget about should. What do you want?”

She turned her head and her tear-filled gaze met his.

“I want things back the way they were before,” she said with trembling lips.

“They can be,” he said truthfully.

She made a grimace. “You make it sound so easy.”

“Isn’t it? I made a terrible mistake, my angel. One I won’t forget for a very long time. One that I’ll regret for the rest of my life. But I won’t make that mistake again. No longer will I attempt to hide your presence in my life or your importance to me. Just give me the chance to show you how it can be. Don’t give up on us yet.”

He was coming precariously close to pleading. And he’d choke before ever begging for anything. But at the moment, if getting on his knees and making himself utterly vulnerable in front of her would convince her to give him another chance, he’d do it without any hesitation.

What was pride if he lost the one thing that mattered most to him?

A tear slithered down her cheek and she huffed in a shuddering breath as she tried valiantly not to break down into sobs. He gathered her in his arms and held her tightly, rocking back and forth as he pressed kisses to her damp hair.

“Give me—us—another chance, Angel,” he whispered. “I’ll make it up to you, I swear.”

Slowly she lifted her head, pushing back until she was able to look him in the eye. Fear shone brightly in her gaze, and her forehead was furrowed with worry.

“But if you didn’t want anyone to know about me before . . .” She shook her head as if trying to clear her confusion. “What’s changed?” she whispered. “If I could be used against you before, won’t it be even more probable now? I don’t want to be used to destroy you, Drake.”

He inhaled sharply and it wasn’t until her face began to fade in front of him that he realized he’d been holding his breath. He let it out in a long exhale and gathered her in his arms once more, unable to stand even the slight distance she’d put between them.

“Let’s just say that a message will be delivered loud and clear,” Drake said grimly. “That if anyone so much as looks at you wrong, they’re dead. I have enemies. I told you that. But I am feared greatly. I don’t have a reputation for mercy. My men will make it known that only someone with a death wish would try to get to me through you. But at the same time, security will be tightened around you and someone will escort you at all times when you aren’t with me.”

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