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Dinner time has come and gone, and having skipped lunch, I’m hungry as hell. Usually, Viktor would come to get me, but not today.

Walking to the door, I open it and peek into the hallway. I don’t hear any movement around the house. I walk to the top of the stairs and don’t see Viktor in the living room.

Taking the stairs down, I don’t find him anywhere, and it has my eyebrow lifting.

I would've come down sooner if I’d known he wasn’t here.

I walk to the kitchen and see a single white rose and a note on the island. Opening the note, I read it.

I’ll be back soon with dinner and a surprise. Watch some TV or read a book while you wait.

I set the piece of paper down and stare at the rose.

I should throw it away.

Even though the flower is already dying, I can’t bring myself to throw it in the trash. Instead, I take out a glass and pour some water into it before sticking the rose inside.

“I’m thirsty too,” I whisper.

Opening the fridge, I glance over the selection of drinks and help myself to a bottle of orange juice. I look around the open-plan living space, then walk toward the stairs and head up to the first floor.

While I sip on the juice, I peek into the other rooms until I find a study. My eyebrows lift when I see all the monitors on the one wall.

I snoop around but don’t find anything interesting. I make my way to the bedroom, at the opposite end of the hallway to where mine is, and nudge the door open.

Where my bedroom is decorated in white, this one is all black.

I’m not surprised. Of course, the devil prefers his personal space dark.

I hear a door opening downstairs and quickly shut Viktor’s bedroom door. Running to the top of the stairs, I’m just in time, so Viktor doesn’t see that I came from the wrong direction.

He sets a large pizza box down on the island and smiles at me. “I see you got my note.”

I nod as I walk closer, the aroma of the food quickly filling the air.

He flips the lid back, then says, “The half with pineapple is yours.” He shivers as he pulls two plates from the cupboard. “I don’t know how you eat fruit on your pizza.”

“It’s yummy.” I pick up a slice and take a huge bite.

It surprises me how much Viktor knows about me. First the dress, then the books, and now my favorite food.

I watch him while we load our plates, and when Viktor walks to the patio, I hesitate. I glance at the stool by the island, and I’m just about to take a seat when he says, “It won’t kill you to sit out here with me.”

“That’s what you think,” I mutter. Still, I walk out of the house and take a seat at the table.

While I finish a slice, I stare at the fountain that’s illuminated with spotlights.

I’m halfway with my second slice when Viktor asks, “If you could have anything, what would it be?”

Without hesitation, I answer, “My freedom.”

He lets out a chuckle. “Besides that.”

I throw a scowl his way and take another bite of my pizza.

There’s only one thing I want, but because we moved so much, I couldn’t have one.

“Come on, Little Rose,” Viktor urges playfully. “Tell me.”

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