Choosing Theo: Chapter 33


The whole room had gone silent. Everyone watched Theo now, their eyes wide. Some glanced down at his clutched hands; others were exchanging hushed whispers.

Xoris struggled to stand, his normally smoothed back hair disheveled. “You’ll pay for that!”

Theo grabbed Jade by the arm and pulled her along as he made his way to the exit. He knew he held her too tightly, was probably hurting her, but he needed to get her out of here.

“Theo! Stop!” Asivva yelled from behind him.

Jade let out a sharp cry of pain when he increased his pace, all but dragging her with him.

Outraged yells started up behind him, but he couldn’t distinguish them. His ears were ringing, and his only purpose was to remove his female from that male’s presence.

Xoris had touched her! Clutched her to him! What had pushed him over the edge was her smiling, laughing face.

He loaded her into an available cruiser, set the controls to transport them at the fastest speed and then sat back, trying to regain some composure.

“Theo?” Jade whispered. She reached out to touch him. “Are you okay?”

He gnashed his teeth. “Do not touch me!”

She jumped back, and the scent of her fear washed over him. “What’s wrong?” she asked shakily.

“Wrong?” he bellowed. “Wrong?”

She shrank back further into her seat. Away from him.

“You were smiling and laughing with Xoris! You let him touch you!”

Understanding lit her features. “Theo, no—”

“You did it within plain view of me! Don’t lie!”

Her mouth snapped shut, but he saw her temper flare.

“You’re mine, Jade! You won’t talk to another male again.”

“Excuse me?” she said in a deadly calm tone. “You cannot tell me who I can and cannot talk to.”

He lunged forward and fell to his knees in front of her, boxing her in with his arms. Pinching her chin and forcing her gaze to remain on his, he said, “Oh, yes I can. You’ll be staying with me, Jade, and I’ll make sure you never so much as set your eyes on another male ever again. I’ll lock you away if I have to.”

She tried to break free, but he held her firmly. “That is absolutely not going to happen! Let go of me, Theo!” Her hands began clawing at his. When he didn’t budge, she shot them out to scratch at his face.

He caught her hands and secured them in one of his own.

She glared at him. “This isn’t you.”

His head felt like it was in a fog. Was she right?

Theo tried to shake his mind clear, but fury and lust roiled within him. He crushed her mouth to his in a punishing kiss. Instead of returning his kiss, she squirmed under him and bit him.

He drew back, licking away the trickle of blood oozing from his injured lip.

“No,” she said sternly.

He leaned toward her and nuzzled her neck more gently this time. “I need to feel you, Jade,” he rasped desperately.

Her breathing became labored, and he knew he was having an effect on her. “No,” she repeated. “Not until you pull yourself out of this.”

The vehicle came to a stop. Jade tugged at her hands in his grip. “I’m going to go up to my room now. Alone,” she said slowly. “And you’re going to go for a run or something and work off this mood.”

He needed her right now. Needed to hear her feminine voice moan his name. He kissed a spot on her neck he knew was particularly sensitive.

He growled against her skin when he scented her arousal. Still, she tugged at her hands.

Breathlessly she said, “Theo, I said no.”

Pulling back, he looked into her resolute eyes. She’d told him he could touch her unless she said no. She was saying no now. If he pushed her, took her against her will, even when she was aroused, would she ever forgive him? He sensed she wouldn’t.

He released her hands and she scooted by him, leaving him alone.

Gripping his head in his hands, he willed himself to calm. Why did he feel like this? The rage was overwhelming.

Jade’s mind was clearer than his at the moment. He decided to take her advice. He stripped down to his underclothes and began to run barefoot through the forest. Pumping his arms and legs as fast as he could.

He had no idea how far he’d run before his legs gave out under him.

***

What the hell had gotten into him? After leaving Theo, Jade retreated to her room, making sure not to run in case he lost control.

She’d never seen him like that before, and it scared her. He’d been livid. Overcome with rage. For a moment, she’d thought he was going to ignore her objections and take her right there in front of the house. She shivered. Jade knew he’d barely stopped himself from doing just that.

She could understand him being angry. Hell, she’d been pissed just talking to a woman who’d slept with him in the past, but his reaction was extreme.

Cebo sat alert at her feet. He could sense something was wrong. The hound hadn’t settled since she’d come through the door.

He couldn’t have meant the things he’d said. He wouldn’t actually lock her away. Would he? Her heart broke, because she knew if he tried to do that, she’d have to leave him.

Something had happened to him tonight, but it was an isolated incident. She argued to herself that his reaction was made worse by his bad mood leading up to The Gathering and the inappropriate behavior of that asshole, Xoris.

She crossed to the window, peering out into the black night, searching for him. He’d set off running about an hour ago, and she had no idea when he would be back.

Jade was sure that when he finally did come back, his mind would be clear and he’d beg her forgiveness. But could she forgive that outburst? Logically, she knew his anger tonight was an extreme red flag, and she felt pathetic for wanting to stay with him anyway. The truth was she loved him.

She heard the front door open and close. Glancing to the bedroom door, Jade waited for Theo to enter with his head hung low.

Her body tensed when Cebo began to growl savagely. She took a few steps away. The door swung open, and standing before her with a cruel smile was Nedas, the burly guard who’d watched her those first few days.

Cebo snarled viciously at Nedas and lunged. Jade’s scream caught in her throat as Nedas grabbed Cebo by the scruff and threw him hard against the wall.

She looked on in horror at Cebo’s limp body. Nedas cackled and then lunged for her. She dodged him, shrieking and bolting for the door. Within seconds, his hand was over her mouth and his arm was wrapped around her arms and waist like a metal band. He lifted her and began carrying her out of the house.

She kicked and jerked in his arms, but he barely reacted, hefting her body easily.

Jade screamed into his hand and he squeezed her ribs hard, stealing the breath from her lungs. When she saw a dark floating vehicle just ahead, she began thrashing. If he got her in there and took her away, Theo would never find her.

Nedas shoved her roughly into the cab of the vehicle, and she let out a blood-curdling shriek just as the door closed.

He backhanded her across the face. “Shut up! The walls are soundproof, and I don’t want to hear your screaming the whole way.”

Her vision went black for a moment and she almost passed out. She struggled to sit upright in her seat. “Why are you doing this?”

Nedas sat back and watched her try and fail to remain vertical. “I’m under orders.”

“From who? To do what?” The side of her face throbbed and she clutched it tightly.

“You’ll find out soon enough.”

Managing to peer at him with both eyes, she pleaded, “Just let me go. You don’t have to do this.”

He smiled deviously at her. “Are you going to ask me to let you go nicely this time?”

She could almost feel his slimy gaze roam over her. She scowled at him.

“That’s what I thought.” He chuckled. “It wouldn’t change my mind even if you did. The boss says he’ll give me a turn with you when he’s finished anyway.”

Jade spat, “You’re disgusting.”

Nedas’ smile faded and, in a tone, dripping with venom, he said, “If I were you, I’d be a little nicer to me. How you treat me now is directly related to how I’m going to treat you later.” His grin returned. “You think I’m bad? I’m nothing compared to Xoris.”

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