Breaking love broken lov.., p.9
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       Breaking Love (Broken Love #4), p.9

           B. B. Reid
 
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  Keiran took my silence as indecision and continued. “Listen, if you need me to stick around, I will. I’ll send Lake back to California. She’s got her finals, but I can stay.”

  “I’m not sure I deserve that.” Keiran not only offered to risk his life for me, but he hated being away from Lake. Everyone had worried about the possibility of the two of them working out while holding their breath, waiting for Keiran to hurt her, but it seems we were all wrong. If anything, Keiran had become overly dependent on Lake. She was his anchor. The sole connection to his human side.

  “You’re my brother. You’ll always be my brother. No one can change that,” he whispered. His voice cut through the night as commanding as if he had shouted the words. I watched him disappear inside the house and laughed when I realized he’d just threatened me.

  * * *

  This was by far the longest night of my life I had decided when we arrived at a hotel. I could have gone to my parents’ house, but they were a complication I wasn’t ready to deal with. By now, they would have heard of the shooting that took place along with the rest of Nevada. I swore when I realized her parents were likely notified of her disappearance by now.

  “What’s going on?” Willow jumped awake at the sound of my harsh curses.

  “You need to call your parents and tell them you’re okay. Tomorrow morning, we’ll go the police station and give a statement.”

  I left the truck before she could respond, but I caught her groan just before the door closed. An additional security team had joined us and sat waiting behind the first truck. Fisher followed me into the lobby while the other team guarded Angel. I paid for the rooms and handed Fisher two keys for his men.

  “I want you all on rotation tonight.”

  “Roger.”

  I stepped back into the night to retrieve a certain errant redhead who I found mumbling to herself in the backseat.

  “What are you so upset about?”

  “You.”

  I laughed in her face and pulled her from the vehicle. “Get used to being upset, Angel. I think it’s about time you return my feelings. Besides… I have a lot of things up my sleeve that are guaranteed to make you criminally insane.”

  “I can walk without your hands on me.”

  “I prefer it this way.” Thankfully, the late hour left the lobby deserted except for the receptionist who never bothered to look up from her magazine. Willow silently struggled against my hand as we made our way to the elevator.

  I chose a suite less obvious than the top floor just in case we were followed to the hotel. This way we would be harder to locate within the hotel.

  We made it to our room, and I took pleasure in watching her back stiffen at the sight of the single, king-sized bed in the center of the room. “What is this?” she questioned.

  “It’s a bed where we’ll sleep. Together.”

  “I’m not sleeping with you.”

  “Fine. Sleep on the couch or the floor. The choice is yours, but I will be sleeping in that bed, and you will not sleep anywhere else but in this room.”

  Her face said she wanted to argue, but she thought better of it and stomped off to the bathroom. I figured she’d be in the bathroom for a while so I shed my suit jacket and unbuttoned my shirt for comfort. I sat on the edge of the bed, and I had no sooner leaned back and the door swung open as she stomped out.

  Without moving from my relaxed position, I cut my eyes at her as a warning, but she didn’t seem to notice because her gaze was fixed on my bare chest peeking through my shirt.

  “Yes?”

  “I can’t call my parents without a phone. Where is my stuff?”

  “It’s secure,” I answered simply. I pulled my cell phone from my suit pocket and handed it to her. Keep it straightforward and brief. I’m tired.”

  “You know it’s unnecessary for you to control every facet of my life or to even think that you can.”

  “You and I both know I can do whatever I want when it comes to you.”

  “What gave you that asinine idea?”

  “You did.”

  “Me?” she scoffed.

  “Would you like a reminder of exactly how?”

  “I’d rather call my mother now and spare her a heart attack.” I shrugged, and just to irritate her, I winked and resumed my relaxed position while she called her parents.

  As soon as I heard her speak into the phone, I closed my eyes, though my attention remained on the phone call.

  “Hello, Mom? Yes, it’s me.” I listened to her explain to her mother what had happened, but instead of a retelling, it sounded like a fabricated story made up of half-truths and lies that filled in the blanks. The brief conversation solidified my gut feeling that Willow knew exactly what was going on.

  By the time she had ended the call, I was sitting upright and was pissed off. She met my glare and looked away. “What?” she asked.

  “You want to continue to tell me that you have no idea why you were taken from my apartment?”

  “I told you—”

  “FUCK what you told me, Angel.” She jumped at the unexpected boom in my voice. “I want the truth.”

  “The truth is you’re wasting your time. I’m not your concern. I haven’t seen you in four years. We don’t just pick up after that just because we were once… um…” The flush on her skin told me she remembered exactly what we once were.

  “What about your friends? You just let them go without a reason or a courtesy letter. I didn’t think under all the fluff and wildness was a cold-hearted bitch.” She flinched, and I almost felt sorry. Almost.

  “How is she?”

  “Who?”

  She rolled her eyes. “Lake.”

  “Happy.”

  “With him?” I didn’t miss the disbelief in her eyes and the sound of disgust.

  “By him, you mean Keiran? Yes, they are still happy together. In fact, they live together.” I studied her face and could practically see the emotions shifting in her eyes. “You seem disappointed.”

  “I am. She’s weak.”

  “As opposed to you?”

  “For starters, I’m not with someone who abused me for ten years.”

  “But you did fuck his best friend.” Another flinch, but I refused to let up. “It’s not about that, though, is it? You were fine with Keiran until she chose him over you.” The flash of fire in her eyes gave me my answer even when she remained silent. “Grow up. Accept it.”

  “I have.” The shrug of her shoulders and the indifference she displayed did little to put me at ease.

  “What are you up to, Willow?”

  She released a deep breath and locked her gaze with mine. “I told you. That break-in could have easily had everything to do with you as it could with me.”

  “But it didn’t have anything to do with me, did it? Those men came there for you. Who were they?”

  “I don’t know.”

  “You’re lying.”

  “So now you can read minds?”

  “I can read yours.”

  She pursed her lips. “Then what am I thinking now?”

  “That if you don’t stop testing me, your night will be far from ending soon.” The threat seemed to work. Her shoulders stiffened before relaxing in submission.

  “I’m tired, Dash.”

  “Tell me what I want to know and you can sleep.”

  “I fucking told you—”

  My hand reached out and clamped her lips shut. “Watch your mouth.” I let her lips go and met her stare, feeling smug. She didn’t like the way I handled her, but she couldn’t ignore the way her body responded, either. It was always lust that betrayed us and made us weak when we so desperately needed to use our heads.

  “Why do you keep doing that?”

  “Because it keeps me from spanking your ass.”

  She scoffed. “I’m not a child.”

  “No, you’re not.” I grazed my eyes over her body long enough to make her squirm. I stopped eye-fucking her long enough to no
tice her dirty feet and yesterday’s clothing. “Shit.”

  I stalked over to her, plucked my phone from her fingers, and dialed Fisher. He answered on the first ring. “I need you to send someone to get women’s clothing and toiletries.” I ran down her sizes and hung up.

  “How do you know my size?”

  “I know everything about you.”

  “Not everything,” she whispered. Her tone was soft, but her eyes were defiant. She should know better than to challenge me by now. I took her chin in my hand and lifted her face so she couldn’t hide.

  “Take your clothes off and let me see how well I remember you.”

  There it was. The lust and longing were there. The four years behind us had done little to demolish or lessen the way she responded to me. When she finally realizes she’ll never stop wanting it, I’m going to make her beg for it.

  My cock came to life with the idea and because the feeling was one I remembered and didn’t want to let go, I decided to voice it.

  “I might even make you beg for me to remember you.”

  “You’ve got it wrong. I’ll never beg.”

  “Angel, you already are. Each time your skin heats, your breath hitches, and your pussy drips in my presence, you’re begging for me to take you.”

  I waited for a response, but none came. She was too busy staring at my now hard cock that I didn’t bother to conceal. I used the opportunity to run my fingers through her wild copper hair that drove me insane. The texture and feel of her wild mane slipping through my fingers was exactly how I remembered it.

  With my hand in her hair and her face level with my cock, it was the perfect opportunity for me to feel her mouth on me again after four long years of being without.

  All I would need to have that feeling again was a gentle tug.

  The movement was so quick, I almost missed it, but when it happened again, I knew my eyes weren’t deceiving me. Her tongue darted out a third time to lick her lips as she stared at my cock stretching the material of my pants.

  “Are you thirsty?” I found myself asking.

  “Huh? Oh… what?” Her face scrunched up in confusion, causing the freckles on her face to dance.

  “You keep licking your lips.”

  “And?”

  “While staring at my dick.” I laughed when she attempted to push me away, but her hands only gripped my abs. She came to her senses quicker than I liked and snatched away.

  I shrugged and finished removing my shirt without moving from my position in front of her. When she realized my intent, her mouth opened and closed as she searched for something to say.

  My pants were next, and with a flick of the button, she found her voice. “Can’t you keep them on?”

  “I sleep naked. You remember.” It wasn’t a question. I held her gaze as I shed my pants. She remembered. “Look, none of us are getting out, anyway. I want a shower, but I can’t trust you not to run away.”

  “Aren’t your guard dogs keeping watch?”

  “I can’t keep them outside the door without attracting attention.” I could already see the wheels turning in her head. “But they are close,” I warned. “You would never make it out of the hotel.”

  “Why didn’t we just go back to your place?”

  “Do you miss it already?” I grinned.

  “When did you become such a smart ass?”

  My smile fell and the piercing in my chest returned. “Around the time you left me to become a cold-hearted bitch.”

  Silently, with only my glare to pin her to her seat, I communicated everything I wouldn’t say out loud. She needed to know that her absence affected me. I wasn’t interested in her reasons, knowing that none of them would ever be good enough to make me understand.

  The coded knock on the door was the only thing to break our connection. I ripped my gaze away, which set her free and stalked over to the door in only my boxers. Fisher delivered a status report along with two bags filled with women necessities and a bag for me, as well.

  When the door closed behind my head of security, I returned to her and dropped the two bags next to her and then dug through the bag meant for me. She silently grabbed the bags and disappeared into the bathroom. I laughed when I heard the lock turn.

  Minutes later, I heard the shower. My erection returned at the realization that she was naked on the other side of the door. With just a thought, she managed to make me feel like a horny seventeen-year-old again.

  * * *

  SUMMER BEFORE SENIOR YEAR

  “That had to be the most boring two hours of my life.” We had just completed a seminar on adapting to college life for the upcoming freshman. I set my lunch of a double burger and fries on the table. I then sat beside her, watching as she picked over her salad. After a few minutes suffering the cold shoulder, I asked, “Are you ignoring me?”

  “More like pretending you aren’t here,” she snapped.

  I leaned over and placed my lips above her ear. “Ouch.” The tomato she was toying with rolled off her plate and off the table. “If you don’t want the salad, why eat it?”

  “Of course, you would say that. Your muscles have muscles.” She let out some high-pitched unnatural sound. I placed my hand on her back soothingly and she made the same sound again, this time longer and higher. “Are you choking?”

  “I’m fine. Please stop.”

  “Stop what?” My hand ran gently down her spine, feeling her tremble from my touch.

  “Assaulting me.”

  “I thought you were choking.”

  “Well, I’m not.”

  I decided to give her a break and dropped my hand from her back. “So you like my body, huh?”

  She choked on the water she’d just sipped, and I used the opportunity to touch her again. I rubbed her back and watched her fight to gain control of herself again. “Are you choking now?”

  “Why are you here?”

  “I’m eating lunch.” I popped a fry and smiled. She returned it with a scowl.

  “Why does it have to be this table?”

  “I like the view.”

  “There are plenty of other views. In fact, there are views at other tables.”

  “Are you always so insecure?”

  “Excuse me?”

  “You’re distrusting of my attention because you don’t really believe I would be interested.”

  “That is the most self-centered bullshit I’ve ever heard. Have you ever considered that I’m not distrusting of your attention but annoyed?”

  “I may annoy you, but you still want me.”

  She shook her head and stared at me with a curious expression. “It’s a wonder you aren’t bursting, Dash Chambers.”

  “Go out with me tonight.”

  “What?”

  “Go out. With me. Tonight.”

  “I heard you. I just don’t understand you. Why would I go out with you?”

  “Do you have anything else better to do?”

  I could see on her face that she didn’t. It’d been a week since our first encounter, and I knew for a fact that all she’d done was attend classes and seminars. This was the first time I’d even seen her eating in public.

  “I’m not going out with you.”

  “I’m not asking you to run away with me and elope.” Smooth, man. Real smooth. Her smart mouth made it hard to remember that I was supposed to be charming. Then again, I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy our interactions.

  I was also treading on foreign territory. She was different from the girls I was used to. None of them would have hesitated to fuck me the first day. This was my first time giving chase and the part of me I didn’t realize existed liked it a little too much.

  “Then you shouldn’t have a problem understanding the word ‘no.’” She stood to her feet with her uneaten salad. “Find someone else.”

  I watched her walk away, turning heads as she moved. Her wild hair attracted enough attention, but the highlighter green, Girl Scout vest, and white skirt made of
what looked like bird feathers, and her purple combat boots ensured everyone took notice. I wanted to break the fingers that pointed at her outrageous getup. I knew she noticed, but she held her head high as she crossed the yard and bypassed the lunch tables. Her curves were on display, and I admitted they pleased me more than I thought they would. I hadn’t been able to get them out of my mind in the week since I made her blush, and I would give anything to be able to explore them.

  I had the entire summer to make her fall for me and mistakenly thought getting her would be easy. I couldn’t even get her to like me.

  My phone vibrated in my jeans with a call from Keenan.

  “Dude, how’s it coming?”

  “This chick is a block of ice,” I grumbled.

  “With all that red hair?” he asked, voicing my thoughts. “I thought redheads were the biggest freaks.”

  “Where did you get that from?”

  “I don’t know. Porn, maybe.”

  “She’s not like other chicks, period.”

  “Gasp!” he yelled dramatically. “It sounds like you like her.”

  “I’ve talked to her twice, and she’s skinned me alive both times.”

  “Not the Almighty Dash, Charmer of Maidens and Reigning Champ for Melting Panties. “ He cackled into the phone. “So, you met your match.”

  “She’s not my match. She’s insecure as hell.”

  “So then do what you do best and make her feel secure. You’re women’s worst enemy, but you make them think you’re their best friend.”

  “I thought girls liked me because of my tight abs and pretty face.”

  “That, too.”

  “I don’t know, man. I don’t feel right about this.”

  “Bullshit. You’re just off your game. What did you say to her?”

  I ran it down and by the end, Keenan was laughing out of control. “Dude. What is up with you? What happened to your tenderness? I’ve seen you talk to vipers better than you talked to her.”

  “My tenderness?”

  “It’s easy. You just got to squeeze her. Don’t tease her to get her to make love. Just try it. Try a little tenderness.” The next moment he busted into a shitty rendition of Otis Redding’s, Try A Little Tenderness.

 
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