As Amyand I speed toward the airport, I start to wonder if I’m legitimately losing my mind.
My heart is pumping in my ears, and I can’t stop smiling.
You’re actually enjoying this…
Something about Titus chasing after me makes me feel…good. For some reason, he still wants me, and although it’s probably to gloat or get me to give him info on how the company operates, I like to think it’s because he actually wants me.
Well, he can’t have me. Not now. Not anymore. Maybe once he could have called me his, but those days are over. It’s time for single Chanel now, and there’s no way he’s going to get me back.
Amy almost crashes as she glances at the GPS on her phone. Then she takes a quick left, which I follow. My tire slips as we go over some dirt and I wonder for a second if I’m about to go out in a blaze of stupid glory, escaping from Titus on scooters, then crashing because I have absolutely no idea how to drive one.
I see the airport come into view and follow Amy to the gate. For some silly reason I glance behind us to see if Titus is there, maybe chasing in his car or on a motorcycle or something, but he’s not. And to be honest, I’m a little disappointed.
I pull up beside Amy and park. “Wow, that was exciting!”
“And crazy,” she laughs. “I feel like a female James Bond or something!”
“Right? Or the next Ocean’s movie! So where’s the plane?”
“It’s right here.”
No. It’s simply not possible. I just left him in the dust back at the resort. He couldn’t possibly be here.
No. I’m hearing things. The voice behind me is not Titus’. There’s absolutely no way I’m going to turn around and see him standing there with a smug look on his gorgeous face.
But when I see Amy’s expression, I know.
Slowly, feeling every muscle in my body move, I turn – and there he is. Leaning against a Mercedes Maybach, smiling as always, looking at me like a hunter who just sprung a trap on his prey.
“Hey, MLW.” Jesus, he knows exactly which button to push. “Have you been avoiding me?”
I snap and leap off my scooter. It crashes to the ground with a terrible sounding crunch. Whatever. They can bill me.
The next second, I’m right up in Titus’ smug face, waving a finger like a schoolteacher.
“Of course I’ve been avoiding you, you lying, betraying, devious son of a bitch! What did you expect?”
Titus shrugs. “A little gratitude, maybe?”
Aghast, I look back at Amy with my jaw practically on the floor. Yeah, she can’t believe it either. Titus chuckles, and I turn my gaze back to him, wishing I could fire torpedoes out of my eyes.
“What’s your end game here, Titus? To completely erode what’s left of my soul? To rub my face in the rubble of what was once my company? You won, okay!? Flying across the world to remind me of your victory is something a psycho would do!”
“Victory?” Titus replies as though I am the crazy one. He looks over my shoulder at Amy and frowns like she’s somehow going to take his side. “You think that’s what’s happening here, Chanel?”
A sharp pain flares right between my eyes, and I wish I had the bag of frozen peas with me.
“Titus,” I growl, feeling the top of my head getting ready to explode. “I’ve never killed anyone before…but if you don’t leave right now, that might change.”
Before I can react, Titus swoops in and locks his arms around me. He squeezes just tight enough to force the breath from my lungs, then snatches my hair and tugs, forcing my eyes to his.
“You couldn’t kill me, my little wh0re.” He grins. “But it’s so cute that you think you could.”
“Hey, get off her!” Amy races up to Titus’ side and begins pummeling his neck and shoulders with her fists. Titus turns calmly, taking her blows on his back, still smiling down at me.
“Tell her it’s okay,” he whispers. His voice is hypnotic, and even though he absolutely should not have any control of me anymore, he somehow still does, and I feel myself say the words.
“It’s okay, Amy…”
I don’t know why I say it, but I do. Despite how wrong I know it is, it feels right to be back in his arms. This is where I’m meant to be. It’s just a shame he had to go and ruin what could have been an amazing relationship by being such a scumbag.
But I guess we can’t choose who we fall in love with, can we? And I have a feeling I’m going to be in love with Titus for the rest of my life, no matter how painful that might be.
His scent awakens the deepest of feelings inside me. I shift my legs uncomfortably as my arousal grows. I try and look away from him, but he holds me tightly, his hand gripping my hair, keeping me right where he wants me.
Amy relaxes and stops her assault. She steps back, but not too far. She’s got my back, and I love that about her. I never realized just how good of a friend she was until all this happened.
“You…stole my company,” I whimper as I feel myself starting to cry. Titus gives me an odd look again, and I feel stupid. Dumb. Beneath him.
“Stole it?” he asks. “Chanel, no. I saved it for you.”
A half-laugh-half-cry spills out of my l!ps. I twist my head, desperately trying to break free of his grasp, but it’s not possible. “Saved it?” I mutter. “That’s what you call a hostile takeover?”
He may be forcing me to face him, but that doesn’t mean I have to keep my eyes on him. I look away, out across the tarmac to the plane that I could be on right now, taking me home and away from him.
I feel defeated – like a deflated balloon that rose so high, higher than the other balloons, then popped and fell back down to earth. And the man I want desperately is the man I shouldn’t want. Shouldn’t have. But I just can’t get rid of him.
“I bought up the public shares of your company to save it, Chanel,” Titus says. “Remember Chuck and Bradley? Those two as*sh0les were planning to take you over and oust you. I blocked them, paid way over market value for the shares, and secured the future of your company.”
No…no, I don’t believe him.
Titus’ strong hand relaxes in my hair. He gently strokes the back of my neck with his fingers.
I’m crying now, desperate to believe him, but this could just be another trick. The worst one of all. And I don’t know if I can.
But when I look up at him, I see no malice in his eyes. He’s not even smiling anymore; he’s just looking down at me like he loves me. And I want to believe him. More than anything, I want to believe him.
“Don’t play with me…” I manage to whisper. “I can’t take it, Titus.”
Titus relaxes his arm and begins to caress my back. “I own the majority stake, but you’re still the boss. I’d give it to you, but I know you wouldn’t take it, so once you make enough money to buy the shares back from me, it’s yours.”
I want to believe.
With all my heart, I want to believe him.
“That’s why you came here?” I ask, my voice desperate and weak. “To…tell me this?”
Titus eyes me with a look that makes my entire body tingle. I can feel myself starting to melt, turning to wet clay in his hands. This man has such power over me. And I love him. And if what he’s saying is true…I’ll never, ever leave him.
“Yes.” He nods, stroking my cheek with his hand. “And to tell you that I love you.”