We round the building without ever going inside, and head to the limo parked off by to the side of the drive. He yanks open the door. “Get in.”

“What about Katie and Mike?”


“Get in, Sara.”

My throat thickens with emotion and I consider refusing, but the world is spinning around me, and not entirely because of the wine. I slide into the car and over to the far window. I watch Eric scramble upright from an apparent nap and straighten.

“Is everything okay, sir?” he asks as Chris climbs into the vehicle.

“We’re ready to return to the hotel,” is Chris’s only answer. He slams the door beside him and this time he does not move to sit beside me.

We are worlds apart.

***

The ride back is short and tense, but it is long enough for the anger to build to a near-explosive level inside me. I have let Chris turn my life upside down in a matter of a week. It’s insane. It’s everything I said I would never let a man do again.

When the car stops I open my side and get out. Eric quickly does the same. “Thank you, Eric, for the tour.” I turn on my heel and let him shut the door I’ve exited.

Chris is waiting on me as I round the trunk, a predatory gleam in his gaze, hot and filled with desire. It pisses me off. I am not prey. I am not a token to be used and played with. I tug the shawl around me and cross my arms, giving him no chance to take my hand, and head inside the hotel.

He falls into step beside me, softly announcing the obvious. “People are watching us. They can tell you’re pissed.”

“How very observant of them.” I keep walking toward the elevator and I know I’m swaying. I’m flipping drunk and that just ticks me off more. It means I trusted Chris to take care of me. I don’t need to be taken care of. I don’t want to be taken care of.

We step into the elevator and he leans on the far wall, watching me. I turn and stare right back at him. His eyes slide over me, a hot caress, and damn it, I hate how much I crave his touch. I hate this power he has over me.

He says nothing. I say nothing. The air crackles with sexual tension but I cling to anger. You can’t handle it. I’m so tired of men telling me what I can and can’t handle.

The doors open and I head for the hallway, and I sway. Chris’s hand slides to my waist and heat darts through my body. “Don’t,” I hiss without looking at him. “Just don’t help me and don’t touch me.”

His hand falls away and I start walking. The hall is long and it feels like an eternity before Chris swipes the keycard to the door.

All the anger I’ve bottled for the past half-hour explodes from me when I enter the room. I kick off my shoes for stability and toss my purse, which I don’t even remember holding, to the ground.

I whirl on Chris before the door even shuts behind him and unleash on him. “You’re making me crazy, Chris. No picket fences, no talking about the past, yet you ask about my past and then you take me to meet your godparents, who you know will tell me about your past. I had no expectations from you besides you whisking into my life and thoroughly f**king me before going back to Paris. I was okay with that. It’d been five years. I needed sex, not this…this making me crazy thing you’re doing.”

Before I can blink, I’m against him, his hand sliding into my hair, pulling my face to his, his other hand caressing my breast, my nipple. “You want to be f**ked? Is that what you want from me, Sara?”

“Yes,” I whisper but I know it’s not enough anymore, not with Chris. “I want…” A wave of nausea blasts through me and my hand presses against his chest. “Oh God.” I push away from him and he lets me, as I desperately seek the bathroom, and have no idea where it is. Chris guides me beyond the bed and I remotely register entering a smaller room and a light being flipped on but all I see is the toilet.

I drop to my knees in front of it without a second to spare and what follows isn’t pretty. Chris approaches and I wave him off. “Go away,” I choke out. “I don’t want you to see me like this.”

“Forget it.” He goes down on a knee beside me. “I got you like this, I’m going to take care of you while you’re going through it.” He hands me a towel which I clutch eagerly and I can’t argue anymore. I fall into eternal heaves, and he is holding my hair, stroking my back, until I collapse on some shiny white surface I think is the side of the tub.

Chris eases me off of the tub, cradling me against his body. “We need to get you out of this dress. It’s a mess.” He tugs it upward. I am a limp noodle and barely raise my arms to help him pull it over my head.

I am na**d on the bathroom floor, and Chris slides his arms under my thighs and behind my back as he picks me up. Clarity begins to come back to me. I put my trust in Chris to take care of me and he is but I am sick all over again thinking of the irony of what has happened.

He pulls back the sheets and settles me in the bed, pulling the covers up, before kneeling in front of me. “Let me get you some water.”

I grab his hand before he can leave. “Chris…me getting drunk on wine after what you told me--”

“You did nothing wrong tonight. I did.”

“No,” I argue, certain, for reasons I’m not clear-headed enough to analyze, that him taking the blame is a problem. “Chris.” I don’t know what else to say. I’m too sick and to weak. “I…we…”

“Rest, Sara. I’ll be right here if you need me.”

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