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Big Mushy Bear

RIVER

Krystyn was right about this place—it was a getaway that no one would get any idea of finding me. Or maybe I had no reason to complain because of the big bear frowning next to me, the same man that I almost ruined years ago, but I wasn’t sure with his silence if it was a yes or he was still debating whether to help me or turned around, drove the car back to the airport, and say goodbye. 

The million-dollar acreage home was luxurious, contemplating with lush greenery surrounding us. No wonder Krew preferred this place over his penthouse in New York. 

I stayed quiet as we walked into the humongous entryway. The white grand piano at the corner and the living room at the far end. I followed him as he climbed up the brown striped carpeted c-shaped staircase that added to the interior while I was admiring his firm ass. As he walked like his majesty the King, head held up, with effortless confidence, he hadn’t said anything aside from showing me one of the rooms where I would probably going to spend days in or worse, it would last weeks. 

Krew was dead serious when he mentioned his privacy. From what I heard, he hated the spotlight, and he seemed recluse in contrast to their brother, Kai who loved attention and power.

The Selik wasn’t born rich. Koby Selik was a self-made billionaire when his children were still young. When he died, Kai took his place as the CEO, and Krew chose to work behind the desk as one of the members of the board. 

Right now, I had to be grateful to him for giving me a roof as my temporary haven. 

Then I realized that there was really something wrong with me. I couldn’t help but admired his dark chocolate eyes that darkened into almost obsidian black when he stared at me, his dark hair that I knew was soft, his perfectly straight nose, full red lips, and he had shoulders broader than years ago. 

I was lost in the thought of how perfect he was until he called me to get my attention, or more likely, growled my name, but still, I found it sexier on his tongue. God, I needed to get rid of this obtuse obsession over him.

“River,” he called me again. His voice crawled shivers up my spine, his gaze razored sharp as he pinned it to me. The more he did that, the more my heartbeat picked up, and I couldn’t break my dark thought out of it.

I swallowed. “Yeah?”

“Do you need anything else?”

You. My skin tingled. He definitely caught me gawking at him. So what? I was single. It wasn’t that he still wanted me, or he was into me. He was drunk when he kissed me, and we almost had sex in that break room. I really had wished he was into me though, but in our latest encounter, he already made a point that he resented me. What was I expecting? Humility from Krew Selik? Okay, that was a little bit tad dramatic, but I should behave now that my last relationship had ended up bringing me here.

I felt degraded—abased when he sent his lawyer with a cheque and NDA. And I was stupid at that time. It hurt me with the idea that he thought everyone had a price tag. So I went to the Selik Tower and tore the NDA and cheque in front of the receptionist when he did not want to see me. At that time, he and his brother had an interview with the business magazine. Kai was always in the headline in any news channel even on the trashy gossip sites and social media. And I nearly ruined my life in the end. Of course, who would give a damn about a nobody over the Selik?

My humiliation did not end there. My face was flaming when a strange look crossed his face. He growled something that he only could hear and understand. He was probably disgusted. 

“I need something to change from this.” I looked down at my crumpled dress I wore at Journey’s engagement party.

“I think my sister has something she left in the other room. I hope you don’t mind wearing used clothes.”

“That would be great. Thank you.” For the first time since he picked me up from the airport, I managed to smile.

“You must be hungry. Meet me down in fifteen when you changed to something comfortable.” His gaze drilled into mine before he retreated as if I just burned him.

This wasn’t the time to be smitten by a grumpy big bear. I wished I could call Krystyn and tell her to pick me up that I changed my mind, but I left everything behind, even my phone. She advised me not to call anyone until she and Krew arranged something out for me. For the first time in my life, I had no plan other than to keep myself safe.

Once I changed into jeans and a shirt, I made my way downstairs. I found Krew on a phone call outside the house. He must be talking to his sister, then he lowered his voice and turned around as soon as he noticed my presence. The flame in his eyes was evident, and so was the huge restraint on his face. By the look of it, it didn’t sound good—he about to curse the hell out of me, or far worse, threw me into the middle of the woods and left me there.

I had no idea what was happening right now. I wanted to know what was in his head as he pinned me with a laser glare with his jaw getting harder each second ticked by.

“Was that Krys?”

“Have you been eavesdropping?” he snapped.

“No.” I gulped. “I was thinking of calling your sister and tell her that I’m okay.”

“Done.”

“Thank you.”

He strolled his gaze at me, making me self-conscious. I wasn’t wearing anything pretty. I didn’t have any traces of makeup on my face, and I felt I was naked and vulnerable through his stare in blistering silence for a few moments. 

“Let’s go. I’m already late,” finally, he talked, or rather ordered a sharp command as I released a shuddering breath.

“Where are we going?” I followed his quick pace. My eyes widened to see a bike parked in front of the gate. “Is that yours?”

“Haven’t ridden a bike before, princess?” I could feel him rolling his eyes. “Why did I even ask?” he muttered through gritted teeth. 

Because bike terrified me, dumbass. “That’s not nice. I’m homeless right now, you know. I don’t have anything. I could be with the human trafficker at this moment on the way to Mexico if Krys did not help me.” Great! I just told him how terrified and desperate I was. I bit my lip to stop trembling, but it was too late, and I just wiped my tears in front of him. “I think I just stay in the room for today.” If you can’t treat me right or pretend to be kind, I’d rather be left alone.

 

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