The Villain

Page 94


Driving back to my house, I realized that I’d taken two full days off work—more than I had since I’d finished college. I went up to my study and retrieved the contract. The one in which I’d handed over my soul to Persephone.

I was going to leave it for her in the mail. Emmabelle’s mail. Persephone had moved back to her sister’s house yesterday, after visiting my office.

I’d tried to implement rules, terms, and conditions for my wife to have my soul. Never taking into consideration the fact that the goddamn L-word did not ask for permission to be felt.

It didn’t matter what I wanted to give Persephone.

Because my love for her was a given.

And it was time she knew it.

“This came in the mail for you.” Belle tossed a thick envelope onto the kitchenette table as she made her way to the shower, stretching her arms.

It was seven in the morning. I was freshly showered, dressed, and ready for work. I hadn’t been able to sleep last night, or the night before it.

Ever since I’d left Cillian, I could barely function, but I knew I had to let him go.

For him.

For me.

“Don’t forget, we promised to visit Sailor at five. Let me know if you want me to pick you up from work.” Belle proceeded into the bathroom after a long night of work. Goes without saying, I left the Telsa back at the apartment Kill had given me.

Grabbing the envelope, I frowned.

I flipped it back and forth before tearing the thing open.

My soul-purchasing contract was there, duly signed, notarized, and apostilled.

My heart hammered against my rib cage. I unfolded the contract with shaky fingers. When a note slipped out of it, I recognized my husband’s long, bold strokes.


My soul is yours.

No terms attached.

Let me know if you have any conditions for keeping it.

I will meet them all.



Tears welled up in my eyes.

Kill didn’t believe in souls. He was giving me something that was of no value to him. As much as I wanted to believe it, I knew I shouldn’t. Every time I chose optimism over realism in our relationship, I got burned.

Supply and demand.

It wasn’t that I didn’t believe he had a soul. I didn’t question the existence of what he’d offered me. But as I ripped the contract to shreds, disposing it in the garbage can, I began to follow the footprints of Cillian’s mind.

He knew Sailor had given birth to Rooney.

Figured the sword was close to his neck, that it was only a matter of time until Hunter produced male heirs.

Wanted me back in his house.

Back, period.

To use.

To get his rocks off.

To impregnate and discard.

I wasn’t falling into his cobweb. He saved me. I saved him. As far as I was concerned, we’d settled the score.

It was time we both moved on.

I turned around, grabbed my bag, and hurried out the door to the bike I’d parked outside the building.

Nothing of his was mine anymore.

The next day, I received a text message from my husband first thing in the morning.

I had to rub my eyes twice to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. He never texted me. At least, he never initiated the texts. I proceeded with caution, wondering what he’d sent me.

It was a picture of a cloud floating in a clear sky.

Cillian: Your aunt paid me a visit. She told me I was a cunt. I did not disagree.

Cillian: Have dinner with me.

I snorted out a laugh.

He was bad, but he was trying, and the fact he did made my heart thaw, no matter how badly I knew I needed to quit him.

Belle stretched beside me in bed, letting out a soft snore.

“Is it Kill?”

“Yeah.” I pressed the phone to my chest, feeling protective of him even after everything that happened.

“Don’t answer.” She shook her head. “He needs to sweat a little. See that you have a backbone.”

I deleted the message before the urge to answer it won and went about my day.

Six weeks had passed.

Six weeks, thirteen pictures from Cillian of Auntie Tilda in the sky, and a request to meet.

Now with the lawsuit out of the picture, Kill had time to put his heir plan into high gear.

I never answered any of his messages.

It wasn’t about punishing my husband; it was about making sure I had my own back. I refused to be owned, even if, initially, I had been bought.

Six weeks after Rooney Fitzpatrick came into this world, I filled out my divorce papers.

I sat at the family lawyer’s office that smelled and bled of the eighties, feeling her eyes on me the entire time as I signed all the paperwork.

“You sure you wanna do this?” she asked for the thousandth time, letting out a smoker’s cough. She reminded me of Joey from Friends agent, Estelle. “I mean, you won’t hear any complaints from me. I’m getting my fee, but the Fitzpatricks aren’t a bad family to marry into, child.”

“I’m sure.” I signed the last page, pushing it across the desk in her direction. “Can you send it to him, please?”

She shook her head.

“Sorry. Your spouse must be served in person. And it has to be by a sheriff, who will then give you proof via return of service.”

A sheriff.

The list of people I knew who would pay good money to watch Cillian being served divorce papers by law enforcement was longer than War and Peace. But I didn’t want to cause Kill any more trouble or humiliation.

“Is it really necessary?”

Just this morning, Cillian left me another message with a cloud.

Cillian: Spoke to your aunt (if you tell anyone I conversed with a cloud, I will flat out deny it). She said I should take you on a honeymoon. I bought tickets.

He seemed undeterred. At the same time, I appreciated him giving me my space. He never once showed up on my doorstep or bulldozed into my life like he used to.

“Yes,” said the lawyer, bobbing her head like a dashboard dog. “Maybe you should talk to him if you’re so unsure. If you’re going to divorce a man, at least give him the courtesy of expecting it.”

I stood, collecting the papers.

“I’ll let him know.”

I had to.

I wasn’t going to stay in a loveless marriage.

Even if it was to the love of my life.

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