Monster A Dark Arranged Marriage Romance - Vanessa Waltz Page 0,1
with ceramic shards. Pieces of furniture lay on their sides. Michael cradled his fingers, cursing. They stuck out at odd angles. Christian peeled himself upright. Alessio massaged his eye. Only Vinn was unscathed.
His accusatory stare drilled into me.
“What did you fucking expect?” I wheeled on Michael, who had the grace to look ashamed. “You deserve it, you bastard. I saved your wife’s life. Now you’re throwing me in vans?”
“He’s right. This was a stupid idea, Vinn.”
I smacked Vinn’s touch from my shoulder. “Why am I here?”
“You’ve crossed the line too many times.” Vinn glowered like a storm cloud. “I’ve given you chance after chance. I told you what’d happen if you defied me. I warned you.”
“I ignored you.”
“Honestly, Anthony. There are easier ways to kill yourself.” Vinn sank onto the coffee table, staring into his folded hands. “But in case this isn’t the desperate act of a broken man…I’ll let you off. Once. No more second chances. But your conflict with the MCs is over.”
“Can’t do it.”
Vinn’s jaw slackened. “When will you be satisfied?”
“When they’re all dead, and my dad comes back to life.”
“You never used to be so hateful.”
I wiped the blood on my slacks. “I’m not hateful. I’m focused.”
“On what?” he shouted, the loudness ringing my ears. “Killing everyone who’s ever pissed you off?”
“I’d have shot you in the ass already.”
He gripped my collar and hit me, displaying a lack of self-control I’d rarely seen in Vinn. The impact smarted, but my pulse barely picked up the pace. If he thought he could scare me with pain…he was more likely to kill me.
Vinn leaned forward, glowering. “I’m going to level with you, Anthony. I think you’ve completely lost it. You’ve always been destructive, but this is crazy. You’re taking us all down. I can’t have it.”
“Just do it, you fucking pussy.”
Vinn stood, raking his hair. “Not today. You’re lucky…You are so lucky I caught you before you did lasting damage. I got you a lifeline.”
“I don’t need your goddamned help.”
“Refuse me, and you won’t leave this house alive.”
He was bluffing.
My stomach tensed. “You’ll lose everything.”
“Not necessarily. I can make a good case to your mom when she inherits your estate. She’ll hand it over. I’ll tell her it’s what you would’ve wanted.”
I bristled. “What do you want?”
“You to stop fighting,” he barked. “Stop antagonizing the people we’re trying to make peace with. Marry a nice girl, and calm the fuck down.”
“You and my mother would get along.”
“I’m not kidding. I negotiated a deal with Legion. You’re off their backs, forever.” Vinn’s mouth twisted wryly. “In exchange, you’re marrying one of them.”
I froze, all decisions in limbo.
“You’re marrying a biker girl.”
A vision of me at the altar with a girl in leather knocked the air from my lungs. I managed to laugh through stiff lips.
“Anthony, it’s done.”
This was an absurd prank.
Gradually, the feeling returned to my limbs. I grinned at Alessio and Michael, who glowered at me. All of them wore identical grim expressions.
They were serious.
Holy shit, this was real.
“Are you fucking insane?” I gaped at them, one by one. “What made you think I’d ever agree to this? I’d rather eat a bullet than marry into that garbage family!”
“That can be arranged.” Vinn crossed his arms. “Don’t push me.”
Heat scalded my face.
There was a difference between fucking around and taking a wife. I had no interest in building a life with anyone, least of all a woman from that world.
“I’m not getting married.”
“You will not let me down.” Vinn stabbed my rib cage with a finger. “This is exactly what you need.”
“Now you sound like my father.” My shout tore my throat. “Am I the only one with working brain cells? You know damned well I am not husband material. Tell them, Alessio.”
My former college buddy fixed me with a potent stare. His dark eyes bored into me.
“I agree with Vinn,” he said, lounging on the fireplace. “You’re ready. You just had to put down the drugs, and you’ve done that. You’ll be fine.”
My amusement at them playing matchmaker died.
Everybody thought they knew what I needed.
They had no idea.
“Are you speaking for your-fucking-self?” I burst, fed up with their bullshit. “I’m not marrying anyone.”
“You’ll do it, or I’ll have you killed.” Vinn stood in one fluid motion, sighing. “We’re staying here for a while. Lawyers are coming by tomorrow to draft the prenup. Oh, and Anthony? I expect you to start a family. As in, right after you’re married.”
This had to be a bizarre dream. I’d cracked on