Submission Is Not Enough(9)

By: Lexi Blake

If he fucked up they would all pay. They would pay in pain that only seemed never ending.

“Theo, come back to me. Come home, baby.”

Every word sent another spike through his skull. Come home? He was home. He’d never had another home. The blood was starting to pound through him. He needed that money. Mother made it clear. When her orders weren’t followed he lost more. He lost days. Nights. He started over again.

He lost those brief moments when he thought he remembered other brothers.

“Theo? Theo, are you with us?”

The voice was deeper, but familiar. The redhead was speaking with a masculine voice, but it didn’t matter. Just her face made his head hurt. What the fuck was her name? Pain. Her name was pain and trying wouldn’t help anyone.

“Hey, princess? You not getting enough sleep?”

“He’s fine. Leave him alone.”

Why was he always stuck between two worlds? Between the one where he knew his place and found some form of peace and this one, where odd voices called to him.

There was only one way. Mother had told him what to do. Stop the voices. Give in. Stay in his place. Peace was there.

He lifted the gun and fired directly into the beautiful redhead’s face.

Theo came awake with a shudder.

God, when would it end? When would he stop killing the woman he was supposed to love?

“Well, Princess Theo? You want me to grab you a blankie? I think they have some in the nursery.”

He forced himself to sit up properly. The room was dark and the slightest bit cold. He was sitting in a chair and surrounded by people who were around some kind of table.

McKay-Taggart. He was at McKay-Taggart and he was in the conference room and he was Theo Taggart.

A hand covered his, soft skin making his body come alive. “Are you all right, babe?”

He had the sudden instinct to turn his hand over, offering up his palm so he could tangle their fingers together. So he could hold on to her like a lifeline. Erin. Pretty Erin, who apparently lived in his house and…god, she’d had his child and he couldn’t remember her past the fact that he often murdered her in his dreams so the pain would stop.

He moved his hand away, turning back to the man who was his oldest brother. Ian.

Sometimes he wished they all wore nametags.

“Sorry. I’m fine. I drifted off.” He sat up and looked around the table. It was something he’d done every single day for the last six weeks. Since he’d been rescued from Mother…Hope McDonald’s experiments, he’d had to retrain his brain in a number of ways and one was to constantly remind himself of where he was and who was around him.

Adam Miles. Computer junkie. He was sitting in front of his laptop, running the visual portion of this meeting.

Nick Markovic. He was Russian, though he was based in London. He’d come to the company after he left Russia’s foreign intelligence and that was also known as SVR. So many initials to remember when it came to the agencies around the globe. Nick looked like he always wanted to murder someone, and that someone might be Theo. He got the feeling the Russian didn’t like him.

Liam O’Donnell. Irishman. Everyone here seemed to look up to the man.

Charlotte Taggart. She could be hard to look at. It was the red hair. It was close to hers. Charlotte was married to Ian and she was pregnant with their baby. Their third, he thought. He wasn’t good around kids.

Case Taggart. Brother. Twin. He used to look a lot like Case. He was easy to remember most of the time. He lived in Case’s apartment. Not his own home. He hadn’t even walked into it. He hadn’t met his own son. He wasn’t ready. Not even close.

He didn’t look her way. He tried not to because when he looked at her he remembered how he often made the choice to kill her.

Erin. Thinking the name didn’t hurt so much anymore. Erin Argent.

“Is he doing that thing again?” Ian stood at the head of the table. The most sarcastic of his brothers. All around asshole and never-ending pain in Theo’s butt. Ian wouldn’t back off. Even Case left him alone most of the time. Not Ian. Ian poked and prodded and made him want to explode.

“You know what Kai said.” Charlotte shot Ian a look that could freeze fire. Ian called his wife Charlie, but it seemed like everyone else used her full name.

Ian’s eyes narrowed. “Kai’s taking too long, but we can discuss that later.” He turned his gaze back to Theo. “You manage to get through everyone? Know all our names?”

“Leave him alone, Ian, or we’re going to have a long talk you won’t like.” Erin didn’t seem to be intimidated by big brother.

He wanted to get on with the meeting so he could go back to Case’s place and play video games with Robert. He felt better around Robert, easier. They didn’t have to talk about what happened. They could simply be. “I’m good, boss. We were talking about Hutch. What have we found?”