“What the hell is your problem? Why didn’t you tell me you’d found her.” William rushes in as soon as I open the door, walking around the apartment like a mad man in search of his sister.
I stand there, waiting for him to stop moving before I speak. Once his eyes are on me, I let him know where he stands. “Brother, I understand your concern, but Ashley is mine to protect. She is safe now, washing up as we speak. Once she’s feeling more like herself, she’ll come out and talk to you.”
William storms toward me, shoving me in an attempted show of dominance. “She is my sister and it’s my duty to protect her. The least you could’ve done after defiling her was tell me where she was.”
“I can assure you I was no virgin, William. There was definitely no defiling.” Ashley’s voice breaks into our staring match as she comes up behind me. “Please step the hell away from my fiancé.”
Although there’s a threat in her words, her tone is as sweet as honey. Waving her hand in William’s awe-struck face, she begins to jump up and down. “That’s right. You heard me. Titus asked me to marry him!”
I can’t help but chuckle.
This woman is incredible. In two seconds flat, Ashley managed to diffuse a situation where her brother and I were at each other’s throats.
Now, William looks like he doesn’t know whether to congratulate us or punch me in the face.
“Um, congratulations?” William’s brows scrunch together as he looks between Ashley and me. “I take it you two talked everything out?”
Ashley rolls her eyes while shoving at her brother. “Yes, no thanks to you. But it’s okay. I forgive you. Especially since I know you’ll forgive Titus and me for not telling you about us sooner.”
This little minx bats her long lashes and it’s as if her big brother is under her spell.
Note to self, beware of the lashes.
William shakes his head, trying to gather his thoughts after registering all the information he’s received. “Okay. You two are engaged.” William turns to me, glaring. “Don’t think I’m forgiving you for not having asked for her hand first.”
I scoff as Ashley snorts. “Like you would have given Titus your blessing!”
“That’s beside the point. It’s tradition.”
“Since when have you known us to resemble anything close to traditional.” It’s my turn to snort.
William is definitely reaching.
“Anyway, we can celebrate the engagement later. Right now we have more pressing matters to handle. No thanks to you, I found out about Brad taking Ashley. So tell me, what you did with the prick who drugged her up and tried to kill her? Where’s the fucker now?”
“I’m surprised the team didn’t tell you, since they told you I had Ashley and that she’d been seen by the doctor already.”
William growls, “Those bastards didn’t want to even tell me that much. They said something about it being disloyal.”
I laugh, “At least our group of rent-a-cops are good for something.”
William rolls his eyes, “Okay, well, where is he?”
Squeezing Ashley to me, I let my hand fall to the curve of her back before raising it and smacking her ass. “Min skatt, would you mind bringing me my phone?”
Her body stiffens, no doubt surprised by the sudden public display of affection. Well, she said she wanted me to declare her publicly. That’s just what I’m doing.
Her eyes narrow but her lips tilt into a smirk. She very well knows what I’m doing, reading my actions like a book. “Yes,” She follows that with a silent mouthing of ‘Daddy’ and my knees practically buckle in place.
Oh, she’s definitely getting a spanking later.
As soon as she’s out of ear shot, I fill William in.
“I had the men take him to the warehouse. He’s being picked up by the Renzetti Famiglia and they’re putting him in a holding cell for me.”
William raises a brow, “What exactly are you planning on doing with him?”
“He’s my peace offering to you. To the team.” I run my hand through my hair, unsure if this gift will be enough, but it’s a start. “Since I didn’t tell you about my feelings for Ashley, or how we’ve been together, I figured maybe this could soften the blow. You guys could pick the punishment for the prick who drugged and kidnapped a WRATH princess.”
William’s lips curl into a sneer. “How very thoughtful of you.”
“So, what’ll it be? What fate will you lay down for Brad?”
“I’ll have to talk it over with the other men, but I have a feeling that the master of torture would be our pick.” William shakes his head, probably wishing that this weren’t the case.
“Who’s the master of torture?” Ashley hands me my phone as she looks between her brother and me.
Taking her face in my hands, I tell her the truth. “I am, little treasure.”
Her lips turn up, giving me a devilish smile. “That would make total sense.”
William groans behind her, “Ugh. Enough with the PDA you two. A man could only take so much.”
Taking Ashley’s lips with mine, I whisper into her mouth. “Seems like that makes you the mistress of torture.”
“You have no idea. Just you wait until I have you picking out centerpieces for our wedding.”
I throw my head back and laugh a full bellied laugh, “Oh, min skatt. You’re worth all of that torture and more.”
Pressing a kiss to her lips, I let myself sink.
Deep into her.
Deep into love.
Deep into grace.
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