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       Obligation, p.11

         Part #2 of Underground Kings series by Aurora Rose Reynolds
 
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  I haven’t talked to Kai since the day he arrived home, and at this point, I’m not sure who has been avoiding whom.

  “Guess you don’t want to know that badly,” he mumbles.

  I feel my pulse start to pick up when I remember how I met Pika for the first time.

  “Is he okay?” I whisper. Pika has become a friend, and the idea of him being hurt doesn’t sit well with me at all.

  “He’s fine,” I hear growled, making me jump, turn my head, and look over the back of the couch at Kai.

  I feel my stomach drop. I’ve seen Kai angry before, but I have never had that anger directed at me. I shrink down into the couch but can’t break eye contact.

  “Aye, go. Myla will be with me for the rest of the day. I’ll call you if you’re needed,” he says, and his eyes never leave mine as his energy pulses against my skin.

  “Sure,” Aye says.

  I want to tell him not to leave me, but I can’t do anything but stare into the cold eyes that are boring into mine.

  As soon as Aye’s gone, Kai runs his hand over his hair then looks at me and shakes his head. Then he looks at me again and growls deep in his throat, “We’re going out.”

  “Um…” I mutter under my breath as I watch his chest expand with a deep inhale.

  “Be ready in ten minutes.”

  “I…” I shake my head. There is no way I will be able to get ready in ten minutes. I’m still wearing my pajamas. It takes me longer than that just to shower.

  “Ten minutes,” he repeats then turns around and leaves the room.

  I look at the doorway, shake my head, get off the couch, and head to my room. I doubt I can get ready so quickly, but I sure as hell am going to try. Kai has never scared me before, not even a little bit. Even when I’d watched him kill someone, he had never appeared as angry as he did a few moments ago.

  Kai

  I leave the living room and prowl straight to my office, slamming the door behind me. I try to breathe, but it doesn’t cut through the madness that has been building and expanding since our fight, and then seeing her in the kitchen in the middle of the night, with her arms wrapped around another man while he kissed her, even if it was not an intimate kiss, was too much for me to handle.

  Every day has been an internal battle of self-control, and the constant weight in my gut and fucking irritant under my skin has not been helping. When I married Myla, I had no idea this was going to happen to me. I didn’t understand what I was feeling when I looked into her eyes when we said our vows to one another. I might not have expected these feelings when I married her, but I have them now, so there is no fucking way I’m going to sit on the sidelines and let someone—who I have known since I was a kid—come in and steal away the woman who belongs to me, a woman I know, if I admitted it to myself, I am falling in love with.

  A woman who I know was feeling the same thing I am right now before I left.

  I take another breath, and then another. Pika is lucky he is still alive. After what I had seen, I wanted to fucking slaughter him, but I knew that, if I walked into the kitchen and did that, it would only make her believe she was right about me.

  It wasn’t like me to sit and wait, but I had to do it. But that didn’t mean I had to let Pika stick around. I sent him away two days ago. He was back on the mainland, helping my other men keep track of Thad and Paulie Jr. When I confronted him about his relationship with Myla, he told me that he had feelings for her. I decked him and he didn’t back down. He even told me that I was a moron for having left her without telling her anything. Then he told me that it didn’t matter how he was feeling about her because she couldn’t see past me, and he didn’t suspect she ever would.

  His words gave me a margin of hope of winning Myla back, but I’m not a stupid man. I know that it is going to take work. I know I’m going to have to take it slow. But slow with her feels impossible.

  Fuck. The moment I brought her into my home, I had her in my bed, even if I wasn’t sleeping in there with her. I just knew that I wanted her in my space, wanted to know she was in a bed I would share with her eventually. Sleeping with her those few nights her parents were in town also changed things. I have slept with my share of women, but I never felt a connection to any of them. Even just holding Myla eased something within me, brought peace I thought was long gone to my soul.

  She was my peace in a world I knew was fucked up beyond most people’s understanding.

  I look at the door and let out one last breath. I probably just scared the shit out of her. She is probably running for the hills, but Pika’s name leaving her mouth, the soft tone in her voice from worry over him, had set me off. Even if I know she doesn’t see him as anything more than a friend, I know he doesn’t feel the same.

  I also know that Pika is a player. He has a girl in every town he visits, and often two if he is in the mood for that kind of play. Women throw themselves at him, and having Myla around him right now is not a risk I am willing to take.

  I move to the door, opening it then moving down the hall to the room Myla has been staying in before knocking once.

  “Yes?” her quiet voice asks through the door.

  “Can I come in?”

  She doesn’t reply for a moment, but when she does, it’s soft and unsure. I push the door open and see that she’s sitting on the side of the bed with a pair of sandals in her hand.

  “I’m just about ready,” she mutters, ducking her head to look at her feet as she slips the sandals on one at a time.

  “I wanted to tell you that you can have more time if you need it.”

  “I’m ready now. I hurried,” she whispers, and my gut clenches when I hear the fear in her voice.

  I live off power.

  I have my whole life.

  In my business, fear is power.

  You can control most people by using fear.

  With Myla, I do not want that. I do not want to think she is with me out of fear of repercussion.

  “Take your time,” I tell her.

  Her head lifts, her gaze meets mine, and she looks confused. “I thought you said we were going somewhere.”

  “We are, but it can wait. Take your time.”

  “I’m ready now.” She stands.

  My eyes travel over her the plain, black dress, which is loose with thin straps that show off the fact that she isn’t wearing a bra. Then it billows out down to her feet.

  “I didn’t know what I should wear,” she mumbles, looking uncomfortable.

  I shake my head then tell her what I should have told her a million times before. “You look beautiful.”

  Her head lifts and her gaze meets mine. “I…” She pauses, and her eyebrows pull together. “What?” she questions, looking completely confused and cute as fuck.

  “You look beautiful.”

  “Okay.” She looks at me again then straightens her shoulders almost like she’s preparing for war. “Are we going?” She tosses a hand out towards the door.

  “We are.” I smile, take her hand, and hold it tighter when she tries to pull away.

  I lead her out of the house to my Jeep, helping her in before jogging around and getting in behind the wheel. I have absolutely no plans set for today, so I’m going to have to make some shit up.

  Myla

  I look at Kai out of the corner of my eye and feel my eyebrows pull tighter together in confusion. I have no idea what he’s up to, but I know it’s something.

  “Where are we going?” I ask after a few minutes of silence.

  “Dinner.” His hands tighten on the steering wheel, and I wonder if this is some kind of business dinner.

  Then, butterflies erupt in my stomach once again. Chances are, if we are having dinner, I will have to play the role of his wife, and as much as it pisses me off, I’m secretly excited about it.

  We only drive for about ten minutes, and when we reach our destination, I’m even more confused. I look out the front window and double-blink. It’s not a restaurant he would usua
lly have a dinner meeting at. It’s not even really a restaurant. It’s a small trailer with a few tables set up outside of it. The sign out front says Tides in large lettering, the small sign under it claims that restaurant has the best fish tacos in Hawaii.

  “I thought we were having dinner.”

  “We are.” He shuts the Jeep off, opens his door, and hops out, and I watch him jog around to my side. When he opens my door, I turn to get out, but he mumbles a quiet, “Just a moment.” He slips his jacket off and then his tie and cuff links before unbuttoning the top two buttons of his shirt and rolling up his sleeves. Once his appearance is more casual, he takes ahold of my waist and helps me out of the Jeep. Then he turns with me in his arms and shuts the door before taking my hand again and leading me towards the trailer.

  “Aloha, brother.”

  “Aloha, friend,” Kai returns to the large guy whose head is sticking out of the small window.

  “Who do we have here?” he asks, looking me over.

  “My wife, Myla. Myla, this guy here is Derek. He and his wife are the owners of Tides.”

  “Wife?” the guy says, seeming shocked.

  “Nice to meet you.” I smile through the anxiety I’m feeling.

  “I didn’t know you got married. Babe, did you know Kai got married?” he shouts, and a petite woman comes to the window and smiles at Kai and me.

  “I had no idea. It’s about time.” She smiles bigger while wrapping her small hand around her husband’s large bicep.

  “Got that right. Been waiting years for you to settle down,” Derek says.

  His wife comes to stand in front of him. “Do you want the usual?” she asks, leaning slightly out the window, looking down at us.

  “Do you like fish?” Kai asks softly.

  I look up at him and feel the weight of Derek and his wife watching us. “I do,” I reply just as softly.

  “Make the order double, Derek, and do you have any fresh pineapple juice? Myla loves it,” Kai adds, wrapping his arm around my shoulders.

  I unconsciously lean against his side and then try to lean away when I realize what I’m doing, but his hold tightens, preventing me from moving.

  “That I do. Take a seat, and we’ll bring you your order when it’s up.” He waves us off.

  Kai turns us around, leading me over to one of the picnic tables that are set up. I sit and look around, avoiding looking at Kai. Once again, my emotions are in turmoil, and it is all his fault—or at least I’m going to blame him for it.

  “What are you thinking, makamae?” His hand takes mine.

  Part of me wants to pull away, but the other part of me, the part that is tethered to him, wants to grab him and never let go.

  “I’m so confused.” I shake my head then turn to look at him. “I really hate that you make me feel like I’m two completely different people.”

  “What do you mean?”

  I let out an irritated huff before answering him. “There is this side of me that really dislikes you and the things you do. Then there’s this other side of me that doesn’t care about the part that dislikes you. She just likes you, all of you.” I let out a breath then glare when I see his smile. “You should know I think the part of me that likes you is an idiot.”

  He presses his lips together then lets his head fall back, and roaring laughter comes out of his mouth. I have seen him laugh before, and like all of those times, my stomach flutters.

  “It’s not funny.” I roll my eyes.

  “Yes, it’s funny.” He continues laughing.

  A smile forms on my lips from watching him. His eyes drop to my mouth and his expression goes soft.

  “All the parts of me like you, lakamae,” he tells me with such sincerity that the warm feeling begins to seep back into my belly.

  “What does makamae mean?”

  His hand comes up and he cups my cheek, his thumb running over my bottom lip. I don’t expect him to answer me, but unlike all the other times, his face comes closer to mine so close that I can feel his lips brush mine as he whispers, “Precious.”

  Holy shit! I jerk my head back in shock and search his face.

  “Grub’s up!” is yelled, breaking the moment, and I face forward just as Derek sets a plate in front of me and another in front of Kai.

  “Thanks,” I tell Derek while my insides churn.

  Kai calls me precious? I look over at him, and his gaze is still on me.

  “Let us know if you need anything else,” Derek mutters, and I’m sure he can feel the strange energy that is floating around between Kai and me.

  “Will do,” Kai assures him, his stare never leaving mine.

  As soon as Derek is out of earshot, Kai speaks again. This time, his voice is soft in a way that wraps around and inside me.

  “I know this is difficult for you, Myla. I know I’ve done wrong, but I want you to understand something. I’m a man who was raised to do what needs to be done, never taking into consideration anyone else. I know the results of that have hurt you, but as I’ve told you from the beginning, I will tell you again. I will do whatever I have to in order to protect you. So, at the end of the day, even if you’re pissed at me, that works, ‘cause that means you’re still breathing.”

  He looks over my shoulder then back at me again, letting out a long breath before continuing, “I will not give up on there being an us because I know we are worth fighting for. So you can be pissed and hold your ground, but I’m going to do the same, and while I’m doing it, I hope you will give us another chance.”

  “You’re really good at this apology stuff…when you’re not being a jerk,” I mutter.

  He smiles then takes my hand, placing a kiss over the ring I still haven’t taken off. It’s almost like he’s telling me that he sees it and knows that, as upset as I am, I still haven’t given up on us either. I look at his hand and notice that the ring I gave him is still sitting on his finger.

  “One day at a time, Kai. That’s all I can offer you,” I whisper.

  “I’ll take it, makamae.” He places another kiss on my hand then nods down at my plate. “Eat. They really are the best fish tacos in Hawaii,” he divulges to me.

  He isn’t wrong—though I’m not sure if it is the tacos or the feeling of warmth I have back that makes them taste so good.

  *

  I watch the sunrise and take in the beauty of the moment. From the sound of the ocean to the smell that’s surrounding us, I can’t quite figure out what it is, but I know that it’s perfect. I lean back against Kai, and his arms wrap tighter around me, his thighs tightening against my sides. Since our dinner of delicious fish tacos two weeks ago, we have been working on us, and this us is way better than the previousone. I have let down my guard slightly, and I’m just enjoying the day-by-day time we spend together.

  It isn’t so much that I have forgiven him for leaving me the way he did, but I’m trying to be understanding of the man he is, and like he told me, he is a man who is not used to answering to anyone. He is a man used to doing what needs to be done—damn the consequences. I can’t say I completely agree with this way of thinking, but I’ve been trying, and I can tell he is also trying to care when it comes to me and what I need from him.

  “This is my favorite time of day,” he whispers, placing a gentle kiss on the side of my neck.

  I have also learned something else about Kai; he is seriously romantic, even if he isn’t trying to be. Just this morning, when he woke me up, he handed me a sweater and led me out to the beach so I could experience my first Hawaiian sunrise. He often does small things that let me know he is thinking of me.

  “It’s so quiet,” I tell him, rolling slightly to my side, letting my face rest on his bare chest while wrapping my arms around him.

  “That’s why it’s my favorite. I have a moment to think. No phone, no one telling me that I’m needed—just me and nature.” He kisses the top of my head. “And now, you.”

  Okay, that was sweet…really sweet. See what I mean when I sai
d he is seriously romantic?

  I tilt my head and place a kiss to his skin, wordlessly letting him know how much that means to me. We sit here for a long while, watching as the sun rises into the sky. I’m not sure what he’s thinking about, but I know I’m silently hoping that we have hundreds more moments just like this one.

  Chapter 10

  Consummation

  I walk into Kai’s office when I hear him calling me. I have no idea what could have set him off now, but judging by the bellowing of my name, I’m assuming it’s not a good thing.

  “What’s going on?” I ask as soon as I walk over the threshold.

  “What the fuck is this?” he roars, shoving a stack of papers at me.

  I take them from him and instantly feel guilty. I haven’t had a chance to talk to Tammy about the divorce. I’ve been so caught up with Kai and us spending time together, getting to know each other, that it didn’t cross my mind. Not even once.

  “Divorce papers,” I whisper when I read the first page.

  “I see that, Myla. Why the fuck did I just get served with divorce papers?”

  Oh, shit.

  “I wanted a divorce?” I whisper then look up in time to see him plowing towards me.

  I naturally back up until I feel the wall behind me. His face comes within inches from mine, and my pulse picks up.

  “I told you I’m not going anywhere,” he growls, caging me in.

  “I know.” I close my eyes and turn my head to the side.

  “I told you that we are going to work this out,” he snarls, and I feel his hand on my side. “I told you we will never be over.” His hand comes up and he cups my breast through the material of my top as his teeth nip into my earlobe.

  “Kai,” I breathe, and then I’m turned around and moving backwards. My ass hits his desk, and he leans over me slightly as he pushes all the papers and items off the top of his desk and onto the floor. “Kai,” I repeat nervously as his hands go to my shorts.

  He quickly unbuttons them, sliding them down over my hips along with my panties. He takes the papers I didn’t realize I was still holding out of my hand, setting them on the desk. Then he lifts me to sit on top of them, spreads my legs wide, lowers his head, and buries his face between my wide-open thighs.

 
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