Home > Dirty Promises (Dirty Angels #3)(15)

Dirty Promises (Dirty Angels #3)(15)
Author: Karina Halle

“I don’t believe you for a second.”

“Fine,” he said. His voice was calm, but I could tell from the way he spun his watch around his wrist, the way the muscles in his neck looked strained, that he was close to erupting. “Don’t believe me. All I ask of you, as my wife, is to stay out of my way.”

I couldn’t help but scoff. “That’s all you ask of me?”

“Do you see me asking anything else?” His glare, his words, were knife sharp.

My head shook slightly as I folded my arms and took a deep breath through my nose to try and steady everything that was about to blurt out. “How about turning a blind eye on all the women — the prostitutes, whores, whatever they are — that you’ve been fucking behind my back?”

To his credit he kept his mask on, but his eyes flinched slightly. He didn’t say anything.

“You think I didn’t know?” I said, coming up to him until I was inches away. His spicy scent filled my nose, something that would normally turn me on or bring me peace, but now it was bringing me nothing at all. All my rage was making me feel hollow, like it was carving me out from the middle. Still, I wouldn’t let it go. “You’re practically doing it in public, flaunting it, as if you want to prove that you can get away with it, as if you can get away with anything! You don’t care if it hurts me, or maybe it’s that you want to hurt me. Well, you’re doing it. It kills me, Javier. Kills me to know you’ve been unfaithful.”

I watched him closely, my breath heavy, wanting to see something in his eyes, in his soul.

But he only swallowed and said, “You don’t understand.”

“Fuck you!” I yelled, my hands going against his hard chest and shoving him back. “I understand! What the fuck is there to understand?”

“Calm down,” he said, putting his hands over my arms, but I swatted him away and pushed him back again. The fact that he was basically immovable made me angrier.

“At least admit it! Admit it!”

“Fine,” he said, his hand coming over my wrist and holding it hard, the pain almost hard to bear. “I admit it. Is that what you want to hear? Does that make you feel better?”

“No,” I practically spat at him.

“Does the fact that most of them don’t walk out of here alive, does that make you feel better?”

“It makes it worse.” I grimaced, shaking my head vigorously. “You’re using your sister’s death as an excuse to be an asshole, a monster.”

That got his attention. His pupils turned to tiny pinpricks in the amber. I regretted it, but there was too much anger and adrenaline rushing through me to back down now. I would not cower to him.

“What did you just say?” he said through clenched teeth.

Of course, now he was mad. He was upset. I practically had to throw rocks at him to get him to feel something.

I straightened up and looked him dead in the eye. “Sometimes I wish your sister died long before I met you, as at least then I could have had an idea of what kind of husband you were going to be.”

I didn’t see the hit coming. There was just a crack across my cheek, then stars, then black swirls at the edges of my sight. But I didn’t fall down. I think I was too stunned to. I just held my cheek, the skin throbbing, the bone screaming, and stared wide-eyed at Javier.

He had hit me. It was a slap across the face and I probably should have expected it, but he’d never hit me before. For all the painful, twisted things he’d done to me — that we’d done to each other — he’d never done this. It wasn’t his style to hit women, a slap or not.

I didn’t know what his style was anymore. But now, now I feared it.

I feared him.

He stared at me in a rage, nostrils flaring, his chest heaving, and he jabbed his finger at me while I stood there, holding my cheek, trying to breathe through the shock of it all.

“You do not disrespect my sister like that,” he growled, his voice rough and hard and frightening. “She is my family. She was my family. And that’s the one thing you obviously are not, because families do not disrespect each other.”

I had nothing to say to that. No protests. And the apology I had, because really, I meant Alana no disrespect, was caught in my chest, unable to come out. I just stared at him, wondering what this meant now that I was no longer family.

He watched me for a few moments, the two of us locked in our gazes, with so much anger that the air was electric between us. Then he winced as if pained, and turned away from me.

“Get out,” he said quietly. “Please.” He paused before screaming, “Go!”

I snapped to it and turned from him as quickly as I could, scuttling out of the room. I didn’t even look at Diego as I passed him and ran down the hall, hot tears burning behind my eyes.

I couldn’t stay inside, couldn’t stand to feel the walls constricting around me. I rushed out of the house and into the dying light. Through the kitchen window I could see Esteban laughing, his hand on Juanito’s shoulder, who was smiling. At the time I barely registered it, but I would go back to that image later and wonder why Juanito wasn’t in trouble.

I’d wonder about a lot of things.

But as it was, I could only think about myself at that moment and how I was nothing more than a wounded animal. My cheek throbbed but the pain inside was far worse. It was debilitating, hindering my actual movement. I practically staggered all the way to the pond.

   
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