She blinked up at him, dazed. Caressing the inside of her wrist with a languorous finger, he looked down at her with cold, dark eyes.
“You hate me enough to kidnap my son,” he observed coolly. “But then you kiss me like that.”
He dropped her wrist and stepped away from her. As if she disgusted him. Rejecting her. Again.
Her whole body went white-hot with humiliation as she realized that his gentle kiss had been more savage than any forceful assault. Nikos was too strong for brute force. All he had to do was give her the chance to betray herself. One loving, lying kiss from him, and all her feeble defenses had burned to the ground.
She took a deep breath, trying to regain her balance. “You surprised me, that’s all. It was just a kiss. It meant nothing.”
“It meant nothing to me. But to you…” He looked down at her with a sardonic light in his dark eyes. “I own you, Anna. You’re mine in every way. It’s time you understood that.”
She tightened her hands into fists, fighting for calmness, for some vestige of dignity. “You don’t own me. You can’t own someone.”
He stepped back from her. His face was a dark silhouette against the sunlight flooding the high library windows. She could see the cruel twist to his sensual lips as he stared her down.
“You’re mine. And I will make you suffer for betraying me.”
He meant it, too. She could see that. And she knew how he’d make her suffer. Not by hurting her body—no. But by breaking her will. By breaking her heart. By making her desire him, by giving her pleasure in bed such as she’d never imagined until it ultimately destroyed her soul.
He would poison her with love.
A sob rose to her lips that she couldn’t control.
“Enjoy your time with our son,” he said. He stepped back through the tall library doors, closing them behind him as he departed with a low, grim parting shot. “Because for the rest of your days and nights you are mine.”
As Nikos strode down the hall toward the east wing of the house he smiled grimly, remembering the way Anna had melted into his arms. The bewildered look in her eyes after he pulled away. She was putty in his hands. Like the old song promised, that single kiss had told him everything he needed to know.
She still wanted him.
She still cared for him.
That was her weakness.
Now that he knew, making her suffer would be easier than he’d ever imagined. He’d already begun, by telling her the truth about her worthless excuse for a father. She didn’t want his protection? Fine. He was done protecting her.
He would see her twist and pant helplessly, like a butterfly pinned to a display. He would see the pain in her eyes every day while he mercilessly pounded her heart into dust. Maybe then, someday, she would understand what she’d done to him by stealing his child.
His son was all that mattered now. He was the one who needed Nikos’s protection…and love.
“I waited for you in the nursery,” he heard Lindsey say from down the hall. “When you didn’t come, I gave him to the nanny.”
He turned to see Lindsey leaning against the wall in a sultry pose. “I was delayed,” he replied in a clipped voice.
“That’s okay.” She skimmed a hand over a tanned thigh barely covered by her short skirt, curving her red lips into a smile. “Finding you alone is even better.”
God, no. Another of Lindsey’s clumsy attempts at seduction? He was in no mood.
“I gave you the rest of the morning off,” he said shortly. “The negotiations for the Singapore bid can wait.”