Q backed up, murmuring, Your skin is beautiful whipped, Tess, blooming pink and red. I think a few more colours are needed. Perhaps a deep maroon.
Putain de bâtards, Q seethed, pulling a gun from his lower back, stalking toward where Brute lay whimpering on the floor. You f**king touch a girl of mine and think you could survive?Brute reached for him, eyes imploring mercy. We only took what we used to get from your family. Nothing more. Blood and spittle flew from his mangled mouth.
Q closed his eyes, body shuddering. When he glared at Brute, so many things raged in his face, I ached. Consider this payment for the past and present. He squeezed the trigger and Brute existed no more. The back of his head exploded with red mist and I scrambled away, huddling on the mattress.Q turned to me with terrifying calmness. Ah, esclave. He inched closer, tucking the gun away. This wasn’t supposed to happen.In that moment, in my fragile and broken state, my feelings for Q changed. He morphed from monster to saviour. He did what Brax hadn’t done in Mexico: he found me, killed for me. He rescued me from horror and protected me from the bastards who hurt.
He was my master and I belonged to him.Murmuring in French, Q carried me through the house.
He found a blanket and bundled me up, speaking tenderly, as if I’d bolt at any moment. His touch feather-soft when he scooped me in his arms, but eyes glinted with fierce anger. His anger petrified, but I allowed myself to be gathered, cared for—kept safe.
In his arms, I found comfort I craved. His heavy heartbeats soothed more than words and I nuzzled into his neck, drowning myself in citrus and sandalwood. Q came for me. Q wanted me.I took a step toward him, toward that smile. I could…I could forgive him, couldn’t I? It would be easy. Everything with Clancy was easier. My feet moved on their own, knowing exactly where I needed to go. Where I was supposed to go.
But Liam didn’t let me, and Chubs wasn’t about to, either. I felt the latter’s hands grab my backpack. The moment Liam stepped back in front of me, Clancy disappeared from sight, and I couldn’t remember why it had felt so important to go to him, to let him walk me back to camp.Stop it! Liam yelled. Whatever you’re doing to her, stop it!
He’s not— Mike began, looking between Liam and Olivia. I saw her just beyond Liam’s shoulders, her face a grim mask. Behind them, the other kids from Liam’s watch detail were abuzz, unsure of where to look.I’m not doing anything, Clancy said, his voice taking on an edge of ice. You’re the one that’s jealous of the relationship she and I have.