Page 6 of The Good Bad Man

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“What did he do to you?” Kane stares down at me as if I’m some sort of puzzle he wants to figure out. He looks both curious and annoyed.

“Does it matter?” He clenches his jaw. My teeth sink into my bottom lip, trying to keep myself from wanting to smile. I can’t help but love the fact that I frustrate him. I’m sure a man of his stature is not used to it.

“You enjoy trying to bait me for a reaction. I told you it’s not going to work with me.” I release my lip, licking it, tasting the chocolate from the cake still. His eyes drop to my mouth.

“Are you so sure about that, Kane?”

“At the moment I’m not sure about anything.” He turns, going back to his desk. I lean back on the sofa. Kane plays on his phone. Well, I’m sure it’s not playing. He’s a powerful man, which means he has important business to take care of. I think I might drift off for a moment, but a knock at the door has my eyes popping back open.

“In,” Kane says.

Ned steps into the office. He’d been the one to bring the tray of food. Instead of food, now he has bags.

“This is what I could get quickly, but Antonio recommended a woman that can bring clothing for the girl.”

“Who’s Antonio?” I don’t know why I ask the question, but I suddenly feel very relaxed. It has to be the pills Kane gave me. Ned doesn’t answer me. He keeps his attention on Kane.

“He’s my tailor,” Kane says. “Take the bag up to my room. You’ll need a shower before you change clothes.” He directs his words at me. Ned nods and turns to leave.

“A shower?” The bottom of my dress does have blood on it.

“You can’t get your bandage wet.”

“Then no shower.” I sigh, not wanting to move at the moment. My stomach is full, and those pills are really kicking in.

“You’ll shower,” he orders.

“You’ll shower,” I sing-song, mimicking his words. He doesn’t respond for a long moment, and I can’t help but glance his way.

“What did he do to you?” he asks again. I yawn.

“He was an asshole. I’m sure you can relate.” A giggle bubbles up from inside me. His lips twitch.

“I might be an asshole, but I’m not your father, little bird.”

“I want you to be an asshole,” I huff. “No, not really.” I take it back quickly. I don’t want him to be my father. “Today I went into the cage because someone flirted with me when I was taking in an order. Or so my father said. The man was nice, but I don’t think he was flirting with me.”

“Unless he’s gay, he was flirting with you.” What does that mean? Does he think I’m attractive enough that any man would flirt with me? “Did your father think it’s sinful for men to want you?”

“He pretended it was. Really I think he fears someone will take me and then he’d be all alone. The older I got, the worse he got.” Kane’s hand resting on his desk fists.

“Did he—”

“No.” I cut him off, knowing where he’s going. “He just enjoyed his control.” Kane’s hand relaxes to lie flat on his desk. “Does that make me more valuable? If I’m a virgin? Or are you going to sell my organs? What does an organ go for these days? There are seventy-eight organs in the body, but I think only twelve would be the money makers. Would the sale of those be worth more than a virgin?”

“Organs aren’t cheap.”

“I wouldn’t think so. What have you sold them for before?” Kane leans back in his chair. I think he might be amused by my line of questions.

“I see the drugs are kicking in.”

“Will that ruin the organs?” A bark of laughter erupts from him.

“No, your organs are safe at the moment. As long as I keep guns and sharp objects from you.”

“Most accidents in the home happen in the bathroom, and you did say it was time for a shower so…”

“Where do you get all your facts, little bird?”

“Books.” I make the motion of pretending to flip the pages of a book. I read anything that was around when I could get my hands on it. My father is a hoarder. The man really couldn’t let anything go.

“I promise you. The bathroom isn’t the deadliest room here.”

“Is it the basement?” I whisper. “It’s the basement, isn’t it? You have your torture chamber down there?”

“Maybe two pills were one too many.” He stands from his desk, coming over to me. “I’m going to lift you. Do not fight me or you’ll rip your stitches.”

“Are you taking me to the basement?”

“No.” Ever so gently, the devil himself lifts me into his arms. I don’t fight him. Not this time.