And that is why my heart hurts. I married Kai without really questioning his motives. I didn’t question why he would insist that it was the only way for him to keep me safe.
You’re an idiot, Myla, and your self-preservation is basically nonexistent, I reprimand myself, looking at the horizon. It’s so beautiful, almost as beautiful as the man I just ran out on. The life he has given me has all the makings of the perfect fairytale—a handsome knight saving the day, living in a beautiful castle, and falling in love.
“Fairytales don’t exist,” I whisper into the salty air then turn around and swim back to shore.
As I come out of the water, I see Kai sitting on one of the chairs that are closest to the beach. His eyes are covered with his sunglasses, but even through them, I can feel the burn of his gaze on my skin.
“We’re not done talking, Myla,” he growls, standing up and walking towards me.
I ignore him and walk into the house, not caring that the clothes I have on are the ones I just dove into the ocean wearing, dripping water everywhere.
“We need to talk.”
I round on him and know that, if he would just give me a little bit of time, I would be better adept at understanding how I’m feeling, but like always, when he wants to talk, we must talk, and now isn’t any different. All that does is serve to piss me off further.
“Stop.” I hold up my hand when he starts towards me.
He pulls his sunglasses off and his gaze drops to my hand then lifts to meet my eyes again.
“I never wanted this—any of this.” I wave my hand around. “I didn’t want my parents to die, I didn’t want my childhood to be blackened by someone I had trusted, and I didn’t ask to fall in love with a man I’m not even sure I really know. So if you could just give me five fucking minutes to deal with how I feel, I will get back to you!” I scream and start to storm off again, but this time, I’m stopped when I’m suddenly pinned to the wall by Kai, who is breathing heavily, his face inches from mine.
“What did you just say to me?” he growls.
I push against his chest, wanting to get away.
“What did you just say?!” he roars.
My body stills, and I lean away from him. “I said I didn’t want any of this,” I whisper, closing my eyes.
“No, Myla. You said you didn’t ask to fall in love.”
“I never said that.” I open my eyes and then close them when I realize he is right—I did say that.
Shit, that was not good. Not good at all.
“Do you think you’re the only one with shit on the line here? Do you think it’s easy for me to know that the woman I married—the woman I love—has a fucking target on her back? One that gets bigger every fucking day I spend with her? I make that shit worse. Knowing I could be the reason she’s hurt—or worse—but not having the fucking balls to stay away from her because I knew she was meant to be mine from the moment I met her when I was ten years old…” He pauses, taking a breath. “This isn’t fucking easy, Myla, but nothing good ever is.”
His hand comes to wrap around the back of my neck, and his face dips closer to mine. “I understand that you need me to be honest with you, but I know—I fucking know—there is shit you’re keeping from me as well. Shit that is big. So big that it forced you away from your family.”
I inhale, feeling my pulse spike.
“I have let you have that, been waiting for you to figure out when you would be ready to talk to me about it, not wanting to push you too hard.” He pauses again.
My insides feel like they are going to collapse in on me with the weight of his words.
“I should have told you about the shit your dad left you, but I didn’t really see the point in doing that. You will never touch the money that comes from that land, even if we’re not together. I won’t allow you to touch it because it’s fucking dirty. The men who want it are not good men, and I mean they are not good men in a way that they will kill you without even thinking twice about it. That is not what I want for you, and that sure as fuck is not what I want for any children we bring into this world.”
His hand lets me go and he takes a step back. “So you can be mad that we didn’t talk about it, but you need to get over it and trust me.” His jaw ticks and his hands fist before his voice softens to a tone I have never heard from him before. One that makes my insides feel like they have withered up and died. “This is what I was raised to do, and no one—not even you—will stop me from doing that.” He snarls the last words then storms off down the hall.
I stand there stunned for a moment as tears fall down my cheeks before walking to our room, where I start the shower, pull my wet clothes off, and get in. Then I slide to the floor, letting all of his words sink in. He loves me. He said that he loves me in a way that I know he really meant it, and I have no doubt that it is true.
I also believe him. He wouldn’t want me to deal with anything that came from the money from the casino, and if I were honest with myself, I wouldn’t want anything to do with that money either. My parents died, and before they did that, they’d sent me away, never wanting what was happening to them to touch me. I hate that I didn’t have them, but for me, the idea of growing up knowing that the things I had around me had been purchased with dirty money didn’t sit well with me.
I would never want that. And I understand why Kai has been working so hard to get his family out of the business they are in. I wrap my arms around my legs, put my forehead on my arms, and let the tears fall. I don’t know how long I sit on the shower floor, but when I sit up, my body is stiff and the tears have finally started to lessen. I get up and take my time washing myself, not wanting to face the consequences of my actions.
It’s so hard to trust anyone. And even though Kai has never given me a reason to doubt him, I have. I get out of the shower, go to the bedroom, and crawl under the covers without even drying off. I know I need to go find Kai and apologize for running out on him without giving him a chance to explain, and then I need to apologize for acting like a crazy women. Then I need to tell him that I love him and hope he forgives me.
More tears begin to fall as I think about the look in his eyes as he spoke his last words to me. I hate that I did that to him. I hate that I’m so screwed up that I didn’t even take a moment to think about what I have learned about Kai over the last few months. I just jumped to the conclusion that he was out to hurt me and road that train all the way to Crazyville. I press my face deeper into the pillow, just wanting to forget everything that has happened.