Excerpts

Stolen Fate ebook cover

I put on my best dress, a simple yet alluring black and white polka-dot number. It accentuates my curves but not in an overly obvious way. My makeup is simple yet brings out my best feature: my amber eyes. They really pop, which is a great thing since I’ll need him to focus on them to realize my seriousness. I leave my hair down because it is the most enticing that way.

I saunter out the door, continuing to berate myself for my reservations. No one cared about me my whole life, so why should I care about some philandering rich man? I shouldn’t. I don’t. I keep repeating this to myself. It becomes my own little fucked-up chant.

It’s just past noon when I make my way through the front door of his office building. Yeah, he owns the whole building. He’s the CEO and owner of Warner Builders Inc., which is a high-end construction company. His firm holds the bids and contracts for some of the wealthiest homes in California. His estimated worth is somewhere around three hundred million and counting. He’s very young, all of twenty-eight years old, to have built such an impressive empire. But he did it with hard work and determination. He started out in construction himself, laying the groundwork early on, becoming familiar with the actual art of building a home. Then he worked his way up from there, branching off into his own company, with his own crew. He lucked out and caught the bid for a local developer. And the rest, as they say, is history.

I know he’ll be in today because I follow him enough to know his routines. When I approach what is most likely his secretary’s desk, I exhale a pent-up breath, stand up tall and make eye contact with the elderly woman.

“Can I help you?” she asks.

“Yes, I’m here to see Drayden Warner.” I hope she doesn’t detect my uneasiness, because I’m sure I’m going to pass out any minute if I don’t get this whole thing over with already.

“Do you have an appointment?”

“No, but if you tell him Essie Smith is here to see him, I’m sure I won’t need that appointment.”

She reaches for her phone and dials a number. “A Miss Essie Smith is here to see you.” There is a small pause as she listens to whatever he’s saying. “Okay. Fine.”

She gives me an annoyed look after she cradles the receiver. She continues on by, rolling her eyes at me before telling me to take a seat.

What the hell did I do to her?

Thankfully, he doesn’t keep me waiting long before he opens his massive office door, strolls out and positions himself right next to me. He’s wearing a suit similar to the ones I have seen him wear before. He looks so serious and professional, but I know better. I know what lies beneath his designer fabric. I know what he’s like out of his clothes. The smile he gifts me with is almost enough to shatter my reserve. In an instant, I’m back to questioning my entire reason for being here, for doing this.

“Essie. What a pleasant surprise,” he says through bated breath. He reaches down to take my hand and pulls me upwards so I’m now standing in front of him. I forgot how tall he is, looming over me in that domineering yet placating way. His warm, sweet breath whispers across my face as he leans in close to me. “I’ve been thinking about you, woman,” he whispers in my ear. Backing up to see my reaction to his words, he isn’t disappointed; my body tenses, and my breath catches deep in my throat. Looking up into his eyes, I’m rewarded with the sight of his desire laced deep within, reflected back out toward me. He places his hand on the small of my back and ushers me toward his office. “Come with me.”

How can he incite such a primal reaction with just his mere touch and a few insignificant words? Don’t lose focus, Essie.

The door latches behind me and jolts me from my wandering thoughts. He leads me toward a large couch while he winds his way around his colossal desk to take his seat.

He stares at me for a minute, allowing an enticing smile to spread wide, turning his lips up until his panty-dropping grin meets the corner of his eyes.

Wow! Focus, Essie. You are here for one reason and one reason only.

 “To what do I owe this pleasure, Essie? I mean, I never expected to see you again, yet here you are. How did you even know where to find me?” He’s still smiling that mega-watt smile. Little does he know it will change very shortly.

I have to physically stand up for what I’m about to disclose to him, not wanting to be in a defenseless position when he reacts. And he will surely react because of this.

Glancing over at him, I can see my presence is starting to confuse him, his body language switching from calm to tense.

“Well, Drayden, I have a little proposition for you. Would you like to hear it?” I approach his desk and lean in toward him, allowing him to get a nice view of my plump cleavage. He licks his full lips, looks exactly where I want him to and then moves up until he lands on my face. Then he makes contact with my eyes. Good boy.

“If it involves me thrusting in and out of that sweet, tight pussy of yours again, then yes.” His words send a shooting impulse right between my thighs, making me clench from deep within.

“Not quite,” I say. He looks curious now, knitting his brows in slight confusion. “My proposition is for you to give me two million dollars. And in return, I won’t go to the police and tell them you raped me.”

There. I said it. I did it. My words are out there in the air, lingering around, trying to permeate his brain. And I know the instant they hit their intended mark.

He rises so quickly from his chair he sends it flying back, hitting the wall before it stops. His whole face tenses up, his jaw ticks, nostrils flare, and his breaths are short and rapid. My eyes are roaming over his entire form, noticing his posture is rigid and he’s clenching and unclenching his fists over and over again.

“What the fuck are you talking about? I didn’t rape you. You wanted that. You asked me for that.” Thankfully, he doesn’t move from his frozen stance, so I’m able to put the clincher on it for him.

“The proof I have says otherwise.” I better get ready to move because he will surely come at me once he realizes the enormity of my declaration.

“What proof?” he asks, his question so low I almost don’t hear him at first.

“I have a recording of you raping me.” I have to get this over with and get the hell out of here before he blows the fuck up. But I hesitate too long. In quick movements, he stalks toward me, making me back up until I hit the couch. I flinch when he raises his hand but when there is no physical connection, I look up at him. He reaches next to me and grabs my purse, emptying the contents onto the floor. He’s obviously looking for the evidence.

“Where the fuck is it?” When I don’t respond, he grabs me, shaking me back and forth with such force I think my neck is going to snap. “Where is it, Essie?”

“I wasn’t stupid enough to bring it here with me, Drayden. I have it tucked away in a safe place, just in case.”

He releases me and paces back and forth in front of me, running his hands through his dark wavy hair. “Why? Why are you doing this to me?”

“Because you are a means to an end.” I stand up straighter, preparing for anything he may decide to do to me. “I want the money, in cash, by Friday at noon, or I will take the recording to the police.”

It’s now or never. If he is going to reject this or attack me, it’s going to happen now, so I stand there, waiting for anything. He ends up slowly walking back to his desk, wrapped in a trance-like state. When he sits back down, he never takes his eyes off me and I’m not sure what to expect next. That is until he slams his fist down on his desk, making me jump back. “You’ll get your fucking money. How will I reach you?”

“I’ll call you.” Does he honestly think I’m going to give him any personal information? Good try, though.

My fingers circle the door handle but I hesitate. I look back over my shoulder at the man who I’ve surprised with my presence, then destroyed with my words. He looks hurt, as if he can’t believe someone would do something like this to him. He never looks back up at me as I make my way out of his office. But as soon as the door closes, I hear a loud crash, then another, then another.

I should be happy my life is about to change for the better. No more wondering if I will survive in my current way of life another month. Hell, another day.

No, today I start to live for the first time. To live without my past dragging me under, threatening to snuff out my breath, my very essence.

 

Redemption e book cover

Against my better judgment, I agreed to follow Beverly to Mr. Maxwell’s house the following morning. For as much as I wanted to stand up for myself and find another position, experience was telling me it was near impossible.

We arrived at eight in the morning and I was praying he wasn’t home. I had no idea what line of work took up his time, but I was hoping he had an office to go to. Little did I know, all the hoping in the world wouldn’t make it true.

Beverly told me to dress comfortably, so I wore the only pair of sneakers I owned, paired with skinny jeans and an old concert T-shirt. She gave me a once-over and smiled when I tried to ask her if there was something wrong. I wasn’t sure what her look meant but I didn’t have time to dwell on it, mainly because my new boss chose that moment to come strolling into the massive sitting room, distracting me immediately.

He was an extremely handsome man; too bad his personality was apparently an acquired taste. He was wearing loose-fitted jeans and a plain black T-shirt, his look ultra-comfy. When I glanced down, I noticed he was barefoot. He was obviously not in any hurry to leave his house that morning.

He stopped short when he saw the both of us, his eyes becoming more and more fixated on me as the minutes passed by. I was fully dressed, but the way he stared at me made me feel naked in his presence. But I couldn’t look away from him, even if I’d tried.

“Beverly,” he said in warning. When she looked in his direction, she smirked, instantly putting him on guard.

“Good morning, Mr. Maxwell. How are you this fine morning?” Even I knew she was goading him. I wasn’t privy to their conversation after I’d left his office the previous night, but whatever she’d said convinced him to give me a chance. I could only hope he wasn’t going to take out his anger and frustration on me, constantly picking at everything I was trying to learn from Beverly.

He didn’t answer her; instead, he made his way back out the same way he came in, but not before scowling in my direction.

What the hell did I do to him?

It was as good a time as any to get some more information about my new employer. “What does Mr. Maxwell do for a living?” I asked as I continued to dust the shelves in front of me.

“He’s involved in a few different businesses.” She went right back to straightening up, as if her answer was going to satisfy me.

“Well, what type of businesses? And will he be here all day or does he have an office he goes to?” My thoughts were wandering back to the image which had just been in front of me. For as much as I didn’t want to even give that man a second thought, he was slowly starting to ingrain himself in my mind. There was no denying I was attracted to him, but I knew better than to be inappropriate. He possessed a hard-edged demeanor, like a warning for others to keep their distance. His extreme good looks were in contradiction to his true character; at least I knew that much.

“It’s best for you not to pry into his personal affairs, which includes his business interactions. Trust me when I tell you this, Lila. You’re only focus needs to be cleaning this house. Nothing more.” She said the last part with an underlying warning in her tone, which was enough to catch my attention.

“Am I in trouble here, working for him?” All of a sudden, I had an uneasy feeling.

I think she realized what she had said to me, because she took a step closer and placed her hand on my shoulder. “No, sweetheart. I’m sorry if I made you worry. You’re perfectly safe working here in this house. Just make sure to mind your business and the two of you will get along famously. Trust me.”

The weird thing was, I did.

Beverly was walking me through each and every part of her daily routine. I was becoming a little overwhelmed by all of her job duties, but I knew in time I would be fine. We were halfway through our day when we decided to take a quick break.

I made my way toward the kitchen, busy eyeing all of the paintings on the walls and not really paying attention to much else. That was, until I ran right into someone. I instantly backed up, my hand flying to my mouth in surprise.

My boss was standing right in front of me, dressed in nothing but a pair of low-slung track pants. His breathing was quick and uneven, as if he had just finished working out. He seemed truly surprised to see me but recovered quickly.

“You need to watch where you’re going, Lisa.” He was trying to be professional, but there was a certain gleam in his eye which was shouting he was being anything but.

“It’s Lila. Not Lisa. I’m not sure what’s so hard about remembering my name.” I said my last statement more on a whisper. He was very intimidating, and I didn’t want to upset him to the point of him firing me. I couldn’t afford for that to happen.

“Oh, yeah. Lila.” He said my name as if it was causing him some sort of discomfort. I didn’t have enough time to delve into it, however, because as soon as my name left his lips, he took a step closer and started fingering my T-shirt.

I was too surprised to even react.

“What is this you’re wearing?”

Disoriented from the scenario unfolding in front of me, I remained silent. Instead, my eyes focused on his sculpted, broad chest. I could see a light sheen of perspiration, indicating he had definitely been working out. I was so wrapped up in my own head, mesmerized by his body, his question took extra time to permeate my brain.

He gripped my shirt tighter and drew me in, so close I had to put my hands on his chest to steady myself. Then the weirdest thing happened. My mind was instantly filled with images of the two of us, and they certainly weren’t innocent. I pictured his head between my legs, licking and sucking every bit of pleasure from me. Then I pictured him on top of me, thrusting himself inside, making me scream out his name until I climaxed. Because all of those images bombarded me in mere seconds, it took me a minute to regain my bearings. When I did, I forced myself to remove my hands from him.

What the hell is happening to me?

“What?” I asked, truly forgetting his question from seconds before.

“I said, what are you wearing?”

“Oh. Beverly told me to wear comfortable clothing and this was all I had.” I had taken a few steps backward, needing to put some physical distance between us. It did nothing to squelch the feelings building inside me when I glanced up into his dark brown eyes. He was looking at me as if he was trying to memorize every part of my face; I found it disturbing yet oddly comforting at the same time.

“Well, it isn’t proper work attire for this job.”

He perused my body. Slowly. When he reached my eyes again, he said, “I’ll order something for you. You’ll have it by the end of the week.” Then he turned and walked away, disappearing around the nearest corner.

 

Addicted eBook cover (jpeg)

As soon as I pulled up in front of her building, I wasted no time shutting off the engine and hurrying from the car. I could tell she expected me to just drop her off and drive away, but there was no way in hell I wasn’t going to walk her inside and make sure she was okay. Especially after what she’d been through earlier.

I’d been to her place before but I’d never gotten the chance to inspect her surroundings and give it my stamp of approval. Glancing around quickly, I gauged the building was one of the nicer ones. But I still wasn’t convinced it was safe enough for her. What are you going to do? Invade her privacy? Hell yeah, I was. Whenever I was around that woman, all of my sensibility flew right out the window.

She opened her door before I made it over to her side, an action which irked me a little. But I tried not to show it, knowing I was overreacting.

“What are you doing?” she asked as I moved closer. “You don’t have to walk me up.”

“Yes, I do. After everything that happened tonight, I need to make sure you get inside safe and sound.” I wasn’t wavering on this. She could fight me as much as she wanted to.

“Fine,” was all she said. As we were walking up the sidewalk, I noticed one of the side lights which lined the walkway was out, making it pretty damn dark. I think she knew I was going to comment on it because she tensed up all of a sudden.

“You should really live somewhere well-lit. This isn’t safe.” I hadn’t noticed if she had an alarm system when I was there before but there better at least have a deadbolt.

“It’s usually lit up very well. That light must have just burnt out.”

“Uh-huh,” I grunted.

Once inside, we rode the elevator to the fourth floor. The time spent in silence was a gift since I was trying to calm the rising urge to whisk her away from there.

When we finally arrived, I stepped out after her, the look of disbelief on her face not stopping me. I followed her down the hall and waited patiently behind her as she put her key in the lock.

Once she pushed the door wide open, she turned around and stood there staring at me. “What are you doing? Aren’t you leaving now?”

“Absolutely not,” I answered as I slowly pushed past her, not waiting for an invitation to enter her residence. “I’m coming in to check and make sure everything is good.”

“That’s not necessary,” she said as she tried to pull me back toward her. “I’ll be fine.”

Once she realized there was no getting rid of me, she let me go, stepped further inside and closed the door behind us. Thankfully, she was smart enough to leave a light on, so as not to walk in blind. But as quickly as I saw the light, I noticed there was no alarm. My irritation rose, but I tried my best to tamp it back down. I had to approach this with some kind of finesse or I was going to put her off altogether. While I was going to make my demands, they were needed for her security. Even if she didn’t agree.

No sense in beating around the bush. “Where’s your alarm?” I asked, knowing full well she didn’t have one.

“Not everyone has a security system, Alek. We regular folk can’t afford stuff like that.” Her sarcastic tone told me everything. My wealth bothered her, or at the very least unnerved her.

Ignoring her comment, I turned and started making my way around her small apartment. “That’s just careless and asinine.”

“We have a secure deadbolt, which is all we need. Plus, this building is one of the safer ones in the neighborhood, so there is no need for extra security.”

Ignoring her lame excuses, I proceeded to check the kitchen first before heading down the hall to the bathroom, then each of the bedrooms. Hers was the last one I checked, moving quicker than I knew she could keep up with.

“Why are you checking through this whole place? What are you expecting to find?” she cried out as I disappeared into her closet.

I heard her blow out a frustrated breath and when I finally looked over at her, she was standing tall with her hands on her tiny waist. Her long, chestnut hair was flowing loosely, making her appear even more enticing then she normally was.

She really was quite the beauty, her stubbornness doing nothing to detract from that. In fact, it was making me want her even more. I loved the fact she was a feisty woman, although she was probably less apt to listen to me.

The next few seconds passed as the sexual tension grew between us. Gone was her irritation with me. Instead, she was blatantly checking me out, roaming her eyes up and down my body without shame. It was then I realized I was still standing in the middle of her private space. There were only a few feet separating us and her bed. Before my mind could wander to the many ways I wanted to take her, I moved a few steps in her direction, holding her gaze with every stride.

A sudden look overcame her, but I couldn’t quite make out what it was. Panic? Confusion? “Are you all right?” I asked, leaning in closer to check. Hooking a finger under her chin, I lifted her head so she could meet my eyes.

“I’m fine. A little dizziness. No big deal.” She looked as if she was going to pass out, her face suddenly very flustered, her breathing faster than was certainly normal. “Are you done with your inspection of my apartment now?”

Taking a step back to give her some room, I answered her question. Although, I was sure she didn’t like what came out of my mouth. “I guess so. Everything looks okay, but I’m sending someone by on Monday to install an alarm system.”

“What?” she exclaimed, her voice raising an octave. “I don’t want you to do that. We’re totally fine here; we’re safe.”

“I won’t take no for an answer, Sara. That’s final.” I knew I was coming across harsh, but I also knew she wasn’t going to listen to me if I tried to reason with her. “I don’t want to hear one more word about it.”

“Yeah? Well, I have four words for you, Alek. Get. The. Hell. Out!” she yelled, emphasizing each word.

Who would have thought behind her sweet persona lay a spitfire of a woman? Not me. To look at Sara, a person didn’t always get what they’d bargained for. Not in a bad way, though.

Something told me the more I unraveled, the more intrigued I’d become.

She tried to appear strong, and no doubt she was, but she was also vulnerable.

I saw it.

There’s a story hidden behind her eyes.

A dark story.

She tried to hide it with smiles and sass, but it was lurking, struggling to break free given the right, or wrong, circumstance.

I started toward her as if I was intent on changing her mind. “Why do you have to be so difficult? Why can’t you do as I ask, without giving me such a hard time?” Standing directly in front of her, my chest lightly grazing her breasts, my whole demeanor changed. She was messing with me, her heavenly scent captivating me and making me a bit dizzy. All I could think about was the way her lips tasted and how much I wanted to bury myself inside her. “You feel it, don’t you? This electricity between us?” I didn’t give her a chance to respond before I grabbed her face and pulled it upward toward mine.

“Yes, I feel it. So what?” She was trying to seem unaffected but was doing a shit job. I could see it written all over her beautiful face.

Without further delay, simply because she was driving me insane, I covered her mouth with my own. Her soft, warm lips were too inviting and when she gasped, opening her mouth to me, I almost lost it. There was an urgency to our kiss, like we both wanted to devour the other.

Her tongue stroked mine, teasing me as if she couldn’t get enough. Her warmth enveloped me, drawing me in closer, tempting my sanity with every lick and taste. Ours was a lovely dance, rapidly becoming something more if I didn’t stop it soon. But I didn’t want it to end, not yet.

“You taste so good, just like I remembered,” I whispered. She groaned, entangling her fingers in my hair, pulling me closer.

I placed my hands underneath her backside, raising her up my body. “Wrap your legs around my waist.” I bit her lower lip before plunging my tongue back inside her mouth. For once, she actually did as she was told, wrapping her thighs tightly around me, pushing her core against me.

“Alek,” she panted. “Oh…my…God.”

I knew I shouldn’t have lost control with her but I couldn’t help myself. She drew me in and I was powerless to stop it.

Pushing her against the nearest wall, I pressed my body closer to hers, if it was even possible at that point.

Breaking our kiss for the briefest of moments, I encouraged her to put a stop to it. “If you don’t tell me to stop, Sara, I fear I’m going to lose all control, throw you down and fuck you so hard, we’ll be tangled up in each other for days.” I was finding it hard to breathe as my lips cascaded over her throat, feeling her pulse against my lips.

When her response was silence, I broke. Pulling her sweater over her head, I quickly tossed it to the ground, making quick work of removing her bra. Once the clasp was undone, I all but ripped the material from her body, throwing it to the floor, as well. “I can’t stand having anything in the way,” I groaned as my mouth descended to take her breast, my fingers working on the other, pinching her nipple, working them both until they were pebbled from her excitement. We continued to torture each other, teasing and tasting as if we would never be sated.

As my tongue flicked over her sensitive skin, she cried out, “Don’t stop, Alek. Please…I want this.” She rotated her hips against me, causing such a friction I almost came in my pants. Fuck that would be embarrassing.

I didn’t know if it was her words or the fact my reason came rushing back to me, but I instantly broke our fevered connection and placed her on the ground. The look of hurt and confusion on her face almost had me attacking her again. But I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. I knew she desired me. I knew she wanted me to fuck her, but she was still a virgin and I wouldn’t take advantage of her, no matter how hot and heavy we’d just been.

When she reached for me, I backed away, trying my best to hold strong. “No, we can’t. I’m sorry, Sara.”

“Why?” One simple question, yet I couldn’t answer her.

I bent down and retrieved her clothes, handing them to her but avoiding her eyes. I knew the look which was going to be there if I dared to take notice. I couldn’t bear to see it so I acted like a coward, avoiding it altogether.

Hearing her inhale a ragged breath killed me. I knew all sorts of crazy thoughts were running through her head and I should have put them to rest, but even I didn’t know the right words to help soothe her wounded ego.

Once she was dressed, I grabbed her hand, as I liked to do, and pulled her from the room, walking briskly toward her front door.

“I have to go now, but I’ll call you tomorrow. Make sure you lock the door behind me when I leave.” Leaning in, I placed a quick kiss on her swollen lips. Before she could even respond, I was gone, the door closing slowly behind me.

 

Shattered eBook cover (jpeg)

Waiting outside her shop was killing me. I knew it was going to be difficult to convince her to speak to me, but I was certainly up for the challenge.

I didn’t have a choice.

It was time she heard me out, listened to my side of the story. I knew she probably thought I was some sort of deranged stalker, but it couldn’t be further from the truth.

I’d been enlisted to protect her, her safety always being my concern. Even present day.

I saw the instant she made her way outside, locking the door behind her, unaware I was watching her. But then again, she’d always been unaware. It was for her own good. I couldn’t even imagine how difficult she would have been had she known she’d had a shadow.

Opening the back door of the sedan, I stepped out and cautiously approached her. Her back was still turned toward me, allowing me a few precious seconds to muster up the strength needed to deal with everything.

With the final turn of the shop’s lock, she pivoted on her heel and came face to face with me, the look of shock on her face making me want to reach out and assure her.

I’d given her the space she needed, but it was time she gave me what I wanted. No, what I need.

I approached her cautiously, especially since the last time I was close she lashed out and smacked me across the face. While it hurt like a bitch, I knew I deserved every bit of her anger, both physical and emotional.

I knew she wanted to hurt me as much as I’d hurt her.

“Alek, stop right there. I don’t have anything to say to you, so don’t waste your breath,” she said, frustrated, knowing I wasn’t going to leave her alone so soon. “Go home, Alek…just go home.”

“You have to talk to me sometime, Sara. You have to let me explain. You’ll understand everything once you give me a chance.” I locked eyes on her, silently pleading with her to give in.

I was tired and worn down. Never in a million years did I ever think I’d let a woman affect me in such a way, weaving her essence into every cell in my body.

Ever trying to appear unaffected, I knew she saw me falter, if even for a little bit.

“I don’t have to do anything, Alek. I need more time.” She turned away and started walking toward her car. I wanted to yell at her, try and make her see she was being unreasonable, but I’d for sure lock up all her defenses. No, I had to handle it the only way I knew how.

Hurrying my steps, I made my way in front of her retreating body, blocking her route to escape.

“I don’t have any more time for this shit, Sara,” I proclaimed before I picked her up and flung her over my shoulder. Her scent instantly filled my nose, memories of being buried deep inside her too strong to push aside. I was instantly hard, a happening which was more of an annoyance than anything. Mainly because there wasn’t a damn thing I could do about it.

She fought me like I knew she would, but I wasn’t letting her walk away again. A few paces were all it took for me to arrive at the back door of the car. I’d chosen to bring my driver along. There was no way I was going to drive while she tried her best to escape from me, endangering us both.

“Put me down!” she screamed. I was sure we were quite the sight, but thankfully no one approached me, sheer determination written all over my face. Anyone could see if they’d looked close enough.

Her small fists pounded against my back, but I never flinched. My only goal was to get her alone and make her listen to me. I knew once she heard my explanation, we could start over, right where we left off.

At least I was hoping as much.

Opening the door, I gently shoved her into the backseat—if that was even possible, to gently shove. Or maybe I intently shoved her inside. No matter. She was in my car and my plan was working.

Knowing what she’d do, I’d been prepared for her every action. I had her on her back before she reached for the opposite door handle, slamming my own door and yelling to the driver to take off. He didn’t even bat an eyelash, pulling out into traffic as if this was an everyday occurrence for me.

Which it wasn’t. Thank God. Although, who the hell knew what the future held. I could fully envision having to throw Sara over my shoulder. For her insolence. For her safety. Hell, just for fun.

We were nose to nose, our lips almost touching. I’d wanted nothing more than to attack her mouth, but I wouldn’t take it there.

Yet.

When our breathing was the only sound in the car, she spoke and broke the silence. “You’re crushing me, Alek,” she mumbled, my weight obviously cutting off her air supply. I’d been so lost in her I hadn’t even realized I was still lying on top of her.

“If I let you up, are you going to behave?” I asked, knowing full well she wanted nothing more than to tell me to fuck off.

She never answered my question. Instead, she grit her teeth and said, “Get off me.”

“Fine,” I replied. I had nothing else to say.

The drive back to my house was uneventful, which was both good and bad. Good, because she wasn’t fighting me anymore, never even questioning where I was taking her. Bad, because she didn’t put up a fight. I’d hope I hadn’t lost her. Not yet.

 

Wanted eBook cover (jpeg)

A loud crash in my living room woke me from a sound sleep. I instantly shot up in bed, clutching the covers under my chin as if the material was going to protect me somehow.

I strained to hear something, anything, but it was quiet. A few seconds into my paranoia, I heard someone walking down the hallway, running their hands along the sides of the walls as they approached my bedroom door.

The handle jiggled before the door crashed open.

There in the hallway stood a tall figure and at first I was terrified, until I realized it was Alek. Reaching for the bedside lamp, I flicked it on, illuminating the room enough to see his looming form.

He didn’t move, just stood there staring at me. His hair was disheveled, as were the clothes he wore. The black tie around his neck was lopsided, his white dress shirt sloppily hanging over his suit pants. He looked a mess, yet still completely sexy.

It wasn’t until he was near the bed did I notice he was swaying, barely exerting enough energy to remain on his feet. When I glanced up into his face, my breath rested in my throat. The look in his eyes was daunting. Hopelessness had taken over, and I wasn’t quite sure why.

We were doing so well lately, all things considered, and I didn’t want anything to upset our delicate balance. Sure, he still had his demanding ways but I was used to dealing with him, so whatever tiffs arose were quickly resolved. All I wanted to do was move forward with our lives.

I’d planned to have a conversation with him over the next few days about moving back in with him. Officially and for good. He had been asking me more frequently as of late and I’d refuted him each time, not wanting to upset the progress we’d been able to make in our relationship. Many things had happened during the short time we’d known each other but thankfully, we’d been able to forge ahead.

My decision to live with him made sense. If I wanted our relationship to move forward, it would be the next logical step. Plus, I hated traveling back and forth between my place and his. I wanted one location we could both call home.

There was something else I’d been holding back, as well. Three words. I tried to tell him I loved him once before but he’d been sleeping. I wanted him to hear my words, to see the affection for him shining in my eyes as I spoke those words to him. I wasn’t holding back any longer, especially glancing at the look of despair etched into his face. I wanted to rid him of whatever was bothering him, and I knew my words would do it. Professing my love for him while he was drunk wasn’t ideal, but I didn’t want to shut myself off any longer. Although, if I’d thought about it, the first time he told me he loved me was not perfect, either. The important thing was we did love each other and those feelings should never be stifled, no matter what was happening around us.

Alek moved closer until his knees hit the bed, reaching down so he could touch my face. “I love you, Sara. I always will, no matter what.” The last few words were slurred, but I heard him clearly enough. He sounded conflicted about something, and it was obviously bothering him. Anguish and heartache were evident in his beautiful green eyes, even as he professed his love to me.

I reached out and tried to pull him next to me but he remained standing, which was a feat considering he looked like he’d drank himself into oblivion.

His next words rang out into the silence of the room, confusing me even more. “I need to protect you, but I can’t…not this close to you.”

My heart skipped a beat. “What are you talking about, Alek? Why are you being so weird right now?” He was starting to freak me out but instead of delving into whatever he meant with his words, I decided to ignore it, against my better judgement, and switch the subject. “Why don’t you let me help you undress, then we can go to bed,” I offered. Looking into his gorgeous face, I silently pleaded with him to comply.

Letting out a breathy sigh, he replied, “Okay.”

I moved to the edge of the bed and helped him remove his suit jacket. He kicked off his shoes and socks as I unbuttoned his shirt. My fingertips grazed his skin as I pushed the expensive fabric off his shoulders. He stood in front of me and waited for me to remove his pants. Slipping his belt through the loops, I yanked it free and tossed it to the floor. The clink of the buckle rang out across the room, the only other sounds coming from our anticipating breaths. My hand grazed over his erection as I slipped the pants down his muscular thighs. Before I could free him from his boxer briefs, he whipped them off so fast I was surprised he didn’t fall over in his haste to toss them aside.

Running my hands all over his chest, I parted my lips and leaned forward. I wanted to kiss and suck his sinewy skin, but before I made contact, he gripped my arms and pulled me into him, crashing his chest against mine.

“I want to make love to you, Sara. I want to cherish and remember this.”

Again I chose to ignore his statement, instead moving my face close to his. “I don’t think you’re in any state to do such a thing right now.” Truth be told, I was shocked he was able to become hard. I’d never seen Alek intoxicated before, but I had assumed men couldn’t perform if they had too much to drink. Alexa had complained about it before with previous sexual conquests. But I should have known Alek would defy the typical circumstance.

“I’m as hard as a rock. All I need is your sweet pussy to take me home.” His mouth claimed me, nipping and tasting as if he hadn’t kissed me in weeks. He turned and flopped on his back, laughing as he took me with him. My fingers weaved through his thick hair, holding him in place as I returned his relentless passion. Breaking the kiss briefly to inch up the bed, he pulled me along with him, moving me so I was straddling his lap. I had nothing but a flimsy pair of panties covering me, a tiny camisole shielding my chest from his eyes. His hands moved from my waist, up my body and searched for my breasts. When he’d made contact, he pinched my nipples, teasing and tormenting me until they pebbled under his touch.

“Do you want me to take this off?” I asked as I bit my lip in expectation.

“Uh-huh,” he mumbled. His eyes were glassy but he was fully in the moment, never taking his gaze from my face. His tongue snuck out to wet his lower lip. The sight spurred me further, lowering myself so I could taste him. While he smelled like liquor, my need for him pushed me forward until our tongues danced together, dueling and vying for dominance over the other.

He was winning.

Coming up for air, I quickly pulled the cami over my head and tossed it to the side. Before I could remove my last piece of clothing, he moved his hands back to my hips and ripped the material from my body with one swift motion.

“Oops. So sorry,” he garbled. His grin gave him away, trying to be playful and in control all at the same time.

“I’m not.” I tried to make a joke, but there was nothing funny about the need pulsating between us. I wanted him to bury his beautiful self so deep inside me, it would be impossible for one of us to move without the other.

Before I could plead for him to take me, he raised me up and placed me so I was hovering over the tip of his cock. “Aren’t you forgetting something?” I asked, a look of confusion playing on his face.

It took him some time but it finally registered he needed to put on a condom. My need to connect with him wouldn’t deter us from being safe.

“Oh, yeah.” I half-expected him to roll his eyes or make a comment, trying to convince me otherwise, but he didn’t.

As soon as the protection was rolled all the way on, he entered me in one quick thrust, causing both of us to cry out. I thought in his current state he was going to take me hard and fast, but instead he stayed true to his word.

He made love to me.

Slow and sensual.

“Come here, baby.” He pulled me close to his mouth so he could savor me. “I love you so much.” His lips were gentle against my own, his teeth coming out to play every so often, nipping my swollen lip. He was driving me crazy; so much so I tried to increase the pace but he would slow down even more.

I found my perfect opportunity to express exactly how I felt about the man who was deliciously driving me crazy. Placing my hands on his chest, I slowed our movements until I made him stop. The look on my face caused him to tip his head to the side in confusion.

“I love you, Alek. I’m so sorry I haven’t told you before now. I tried to tell you once, but you had fallen asleep. Then…the next day…” I couldn’t finish my sentence. I didn’t want anything from the past to taint the tender moment happening between us right then.

He remained silent, staring at me as if I was a stranger. He looked perplexed, as if he was battling a war inside his head. “Alek? Are you all right?” Maybe it’s the alcohol jumbling his brain.

A few of the longest seconds passed before he answered me. “You love me?” he asked, a sexy smile tipping up the corners of his gorgeous lips.

“Of course I do. I’ve loved you for some time.”

“Not as long as I’ve loved you.” He groaned before pulling me in for another heart-stopping kiss.

My body rocked on top of his, the gentle friction against my clit driving me insane. There was definitely something to taking it slow. His hands reached further down my body and gripped my ass, driving himself in deeper, pulling me even closer. He rained kisses along my jaw, moving to nip his favorite spot below my ear before making his way back to consume my mouth.

My breathing changed, my heart ramming against my chest as my fingers dug into the thick of his hair. The sweetest pressure built inside me and I chased the feeling like I’d never done before. He knew I was on the precipice of exploding soon, so in one fluid movement he flipped me on my back, thrusting into me with a need he’d been holding back until right then. Gone was the sweet and slow, but I wasn’t complaining. I loved when Alek couldn’t contain his passion for me, taking me hard and fast until he pushed me toward the edge of bliss.

“Alek,” I panted. “I’m so close. Are you almost there? I want you…to come…with me. Please.” I buried my face in his neck, letting his essence invade my nose, intoxicating me with his masculine scent.

“Yes…but I don’t want this to end. Ever. I love being inside you. I can’t function without it.” His hips plunged forward, increasing his pace as he chased his orgasm. “Tell me you love me again. I need to hear you tell me,” he demanded as he punished my body with his need.

“I love you, baby. I love you so much.” Our mouths crashed together, our breath mingling, muffling our cries as we both fell over the cliff.

I would never get enough of his exquisite touch. He knew exactly what to do to make my body come alive. And the way he was able to affect my emotions was incredible, the good and the bad. In reality, he was the answer to every prayer I’d ever had, and I knew my heart would never be mine again.

It belonged only to him.

Forever.

After we came back down from our high, he moved so he was cradling me from behind, his fingers caressing the soft skin of my belly.

We fell asleep wrapped in each other’s arms.

The next morning, I woke up to an empty bed and an uneasy feeling wrapped around my heart. He said some pretty strange things the night before, and I prayed his words were solely a result of the alcohol he’d consumed.

Don’t become paranoid now, Sara. Not after everything you’ve been through together.

The next couple of days Alek seemed distant, evasive even. When I asked him if there was anything wrong, he would placate my concern by telling me he was stressing about a building issue with a new hotel.

I believed him.

 

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