Dahlia glared at Ranger Sitwell. “Don’t call me baby. I’m not your baby, honey, doll, sweetheart, darling, or babe. I don’t belong to you.”
“Oh, sweetheart, do you have a tendency to lead some people on? ’Cause you’ve been giving me all sorts of signals for weeks.” Allen gave her a sympathetic smile. “Why didn’t you just tell me? I wouldn’t have laughed at you.”
She gaped at him. This guy is out of his mind.
“I’m not interested in you, Ranger Sitwell—”
“It’s Allen! How many times do I have to tell you?” His lips pulled back in a threatening grimace as he roared the words at her.
She pulled back against the wall of the shed, but she couldn’t move away from him if he chose to hit her. With her wrists secured by zip ties behind her back and her ankles bound in duct tape, she wasn’t likely to go anywhere.
Which was his plan.
“Oh, honey, it’ll be okay.” His expression softened along with his voice as he reached out the brush some of her hair off her face. She leaned away and his eyes narrowed, but he sighed and shook his head. “You poor thing. I’m sure you’re hungry and tired, but we’ll soon be somewhere safe and secluded where we can relax together. And you can remember you love me.”
She wanted to scream at him that she didn’t love him. Had never loved him. Hadn’t given him any signs of interest or attraction. But she bit her tongue. He already suffered from delusions and who knew what he’d do if he thought he had competition from the man she truly loved.
Even if he doesn’t love me back.
The truth hit hard and tears threatened to fall. Connor had made it clear he couldn’t love her because she was human and he was…other. She hadn’t figured out what kind of other he was, but she understood it had to do with the magic surrounding him whenever he came to visit. She’d sensed it and welcomed it. But he’d told her flat-out she wasn’t right for him.
Pain dug into her gut and she gasped, curling up in a tight ball.
“Don’t cry, Dahlia. Soon you’ll see it’ll be all right.” Sitwell smiled at her.
“I–I need to make a phone call.” She allowed the tears to flow in hopes it would unnerve him enough to give her what she wanted.
“No! No phone calls. You’re mine.” His chin came up and he bared his teeth at her.
“Please. I need to tell my grandmother I’m all right. She’ll worry and it won’t be good for her health.”
He narrowed his eyes, trying to figure out her angle, but she kept the pleading look in her face as the tears flowed. Come on, you creep. Let me talk to my grandmother.
“All right, one call. But I’ll dial and hold the phone.”
She nodded and rattled off the number, hoping it would be enough. Hopefully, her grandmother would tell Connor and the Cloudburst Hot Shots would be able to mount a rescue. Please, Connor. Help me this one last time.
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