Miami, mistletoe & murde.., p.12
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       Miami, Mistletoe & Murder, p.12

         Part #4 of Red Stone Security series by Katie Reus
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Page 12


  She paused for only a moment before a shot of adrenaline punched through her. Dropping her phone, she screamed and slung her giant bag at him. It hit him in the face, but the effect wasn’t what she’d hoped. He batted it away as if it was nothing, sending it crashing to the ground. As she tried to run away, she wished she hadn’t worn heeled boots.

  “Don’t make me hurt you,” the man snarled.

  A terrified laugh escaped her, though nothing was remotely funny. She made it a few feet before he tackled her to the ground. He was about the same height as her, but stocky and broad. And really heavy. As his weight settled on her, she fought to breathe, but he just pressed down harder. “My money’s in my purse,” she wheezed out, praying that was all he wanted. Fear lanced through her, jagged and potent. The only tiny ray of hope inside her was the fact that Travis was close.

  “I’m not going to hurt you. I just want your boyfriend. ” That angry voice was right next to her ear.

  His words didn’t make sense and she didn’t stop struggling. Her face scraped against the concrete and he jammed a knee into her back. As a thousand horrible images ran through her mind of what could happen to her, the weight against her was suddenly gone.

  Rolling over, she prepared to lash out but stopped when she saw Travis there. He’d ripped the guy off her and slammed his fist against the guy’s jaw. Noel heard a crack that sounded sickeningly like a bone breaking. The man hit the hard concrete, then lay there, unmoving.

  When Travis drew his arm back to hit him again, Noel pushed up to a sitting position. “Travis!” The rage on his face was like nothing she’d ever seen. His dark eyes were almost those of a stranger as he lunged for the fallen attacker.

  Pausing mid-strike, he looked at her. He blinked and it was as if a haze cleared from his vision. “Are you okay?” he asked in a low voice.

  She nodded, though uncontrollable shivers wracked her. Physically she’d be fine but she felt as if she might burst into tears at any moment. It was like the world had gone crazy in the past week.

  He slightly shook his head, then surprising her, started patting the unconscious guy down. She didn’t understand what he was doing, but when Travis pulled a gun from her attacker’s pants, Noel started shaking even worse. Somehow she forced herself to her feet. She took a few steps back as Travis continued searching the guy.

  After a thorough search, he looked at her, then eyed her fallen purse. Without asking, he dug through it until he pulled out a long, silky scarf. She was about to ask what he was doing when he turned the now groaning stranger onto his stomach. Travis made quick work of the scarf, securing the man’s wrists so tightly behind him that the surrounding skin turned red.

  Once he was done, he pulled out his phone. Keeping an eye on the fallen man, Travis covered the distance between him and Noel as he dialed a number. He wrapped his arm around her and pulled her snugly to his strong chest. As she buried her face against him, inhaling his familiar scent, she realized he was talking to the police. Not once did he let go of her. Despite the situation and the fact that she was still trembling, his grip made her feel safe and protected. When the call finally ended, he slipped his phone in his pocket and buried his face in her hair.

  “I could have lost you,” he murmured, his voice broken.

  Unable to respond, she wrapped her arms around him more tightly and savored his strength. When she heard movement on the ground, she jumped. Travis kicked the gun even farther away and dragged her back a few feet.

  The attacker on the ground groaned and tried to speak but the sounds he made were garbled. Yeah, she was pretty sure Travis had broken his jaw. Maybe it was wrong, but she didn’t care.

  Clearing her throat, she found the ability to speak. “Thank you for saving me. ”

  Travis cupped her face and kissed her forehead, then her nose. “You don’t ever have to thank me for that. I…love you, Noel. I’d planned to tell you on Christmas, but fuck it, I love you. If anything had happened to you, I’d…” For the first time since she’d met him, he looked positively nervous. Completely unsure of himself.

  That stunned her. How could he not know she felt the same? The words hung in the air as a siren screamed in the distance. The timing was insane and she was still trembling from the insanity of what had just happened, but… “I love you too. ” She cupped his face and lightly brushed her lips over his. She couldn’t help but grin at the relief on his face. Though it surprised her he’d actually been nervous about her response. No matter what happened, she wanted him to know that and she definitely planned to show him exactly how much in a few hours. She loved him so much she felt as if her heart would burst.

  Chapter 10

  “I still can’t believe that guy was Dwight’s brother. What the hell was he thinking?” Noel dabbed ointment on Travis’s hand. The paramedics had tried to look at him hours ago, but he’d refused. His knuckles were bruised and he’d broken the skin, but he didn’t really need her to do anything. Still, she wanted to feel like she was doing something and he was letting her take care of him without making her feel stupid.

  Travis just shrugged in that nonchalant manner she was starting to get used to. “Revenge, plain and simple. ”

  “It’s such a waste, especially when his brother was in the wrong. ” She kept trying to wrap her mind around what had happened, but couldn’t.

  Travis kissed the tip of her nose, seemingly over the events of the evening, but she wasn’t there yet. After he’d knocked the guy out and called law enforcement, the cops had been quick to respond. Then she and Travis had spent another couple hours outside her shop while the cops took a report and official statements. Eventually Reggie had confessed that he’d been after Travis because he’d killed his brother. He’d admitted all this while under supervision at the hospital. Thankfully the police had also checked on Alisa and Juanita—though Noel had called them herself to let them know what was going on.

  “Don’t try to compare your logic with that of someone who’s clearly unstable. I’m just glad he’s not going to be a problem for us anymore. ” Travis’s hands slid down her arms, then her sides, until he settled on her hips. He leaned against her kitchen counter with his legs spread as he pulled her close. He’d changed out of his suit and into jeans and a sweater once they’d gotten back to her place. She loved that he was so comfortable with her and that he’d made a place for his clothes in her closet. He seemed to have no problem inserting himself directly in her life. Right where she wanted him.

  Settling in between his open thighs, she wrapped her hands around the back of his neck, linking her fingers together. “I know, it’s just hard to comprehend. The guy was basically stalking you. ” He’d admitted to the cops that he’d broken into Travis’s truck to get his home address. When he hadn’t been able to get Travis alone, he’d decided to go after Noel and use her to draw him out. She shuddered at the knowledge that some psycho had been watching them. Could’ve hurt either her or Travis.

  “And now he’s going to jail for a long time. ” Travis looked at her reassuringly.

  He was right. She knew that. Apparently her attacker had been out on parole. He’d gone to jail for armed robbery but had pled to lesser charges so the guys he’d been working with would do more time. Now it didn’t matter. There was no deal for him to make, and according to the police, the guy would be doing some serious time. That made her feel better, but the events of the past couple days were piling on. She’d planned to make another visit to the hospital tonight, but that wasn’t happening. Visiting hours were up and she wasn’t in the right frame of mind even if they could have gone.

  She just wanted to curl up into Travis’s embrace and soak up his warmth. They stood there, wrapped up in each other’s arms for a while until finally she pulled back. “So…tomorrow’s Christmas Eve. ”

  His lips quirked up in a half-grin. “Yeah, it is. ”

  “What are your plans?”
  Travis just shrugged, that little grin still in place.

  She pushed out a sigh. “My brothers and father will definitely harass you, but I’d love it if you’d come over to my father’s place. We have a big thing every year and—”

  “I’m in. ”

  “You sure?” The men in her family could be intimidating. Of course, Travis had more than proved he could hold his own against anyone.

  He actually rolled his eyes at her. “Going in to work today was unexpected, but I’ve still got some time off after Christmas Eve and Christmas. I’m not planning on being apart from you any time soon. In fact, try and get rid of me. ”

  Warmth spread through her at his words. “So when do you go back to work?”

  “Next Monday. Got a two-month contract lined up—and it’s local. ” He did that half-grin thing again, making her knees weak.

  If he didn’t go back to work until then that mean she had five more days of uninterrupted time with him. She understood that his job would take him away from time to time so she planned to savor the next two months and soak up every bit of her time with Travis. Grinning, she leaned into him for a brief kiss, that quickly turned scorching. As their tongues and mouths clashed, she felt the insistent pressure of his erection against her lower belly.

  That answered that question. She was more than game.

  His tongue stroked the seam of her lips, teasing and invading, making her even wetter. Yeah, tonight was definitely the night. Her inner walls clenched, needing to feel all of Travis. The fooling around they’d done was the sweetest buildup for what was to come and she was completely primed for him. Just knowing how talented he was with his tongue and fingers…she could only imagine how his cock would feel.

  She ran her fingers up his broad chest, over his shoulders, then back down. Across his washboard stomach… She shivered as her fingers played over his body.

  Travis was the most gorgeous man she’d ever met, but this moment was about so much more than just the physical. She was so far gone for him it wasn’t even funny. When he’d told her he loved her, the words had slammed into her soul deep.
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