We drove to the prison, but X would need to wait outside. He stepped out of the car with me and kissed me. "Be strong. Remember, he's only a man."
I nodded, thankful for the touch of his lips on mine. It was crazy how I now felt closer to this man than anyone else in the world, even my own sister. I'd told him things I'd never admitted to another person, and I thought he'd done the same to me. We were connected, somehow, like two statues carved from the same piece of stone.
Nerves bubbled in my stomach as I walked through, joining the numerous other family members of inmates also arriving to visit. I was worried the paperwork would be spotted as being faked or pushed through. But I was given the same checks as everyone else, making sure I wasn't smuggling any contrabands into the prison, and the paperwork was looked over, and I was allowed inside.
The prisoners sat at individual tables, and I scoured the room until my gaze landed on the man I was there to see.
His eyes, almost black, like mine, narrowed as he caught sight of me. We locked eyes for a moment and my cheeks flared with heat, before ice blasted through my veins. I looked away first, panic making my heart beat so fast it felt like hummingbird wings in my chest. I hated this man, hated him with every inch of my being, yet being in his presence made me nervous. Still, I felt the need for his approval, the desire for his love, though I tried to hide it beneath my cool exterior. I forced myself to take a breath and get a grip. I refused to let him see how he affected me.
I crossed the room and slid into the seat opposite him. While others in the visitors' room were hugging and sharing kisses, there might as well have been a gla.s.s wall between us.
"So you're still alive," he said, a cruel smile hiding beneath the surface of his lips. "I had wondered when I hadn't heard anything from X. How did you survive him? Is he dead, or have you f.u.c.ked him into submission?"
My cheeks heated again.
The smile spread. "f.u.c.ked him, then. Stupid man. I thought he was better than someone who thought with his c.o.c.k. I'm not surprised, though. You always were a little s.l.u.t. I could see it as soon as you turned thirteen, always flirting with my men like a tart. Good thing they knew it was part of the code not to get involved with another member's daughter. Shame your mother forgot about that part."
I stiffened at the mention of my mom, but forced myself to speak.
"I'm not here about me, Pops. Nicole is in trouble. She needs your help."
I'd taken him by surprise, and he leaned back in his chair and folded his hands across his stomach. "Trouble? What kind of trouble?"
At least if he hadn't heard about it already, it meant Tony hadn't yet managed to contact my father in order to use Nickie. I hoped that meant
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