Amused, I ask, “Which are you?”

“All three when I have to be—and for you, baby, I’ll do it all.”

My hand closes over his tattoo, thick muscle lexing beneath my palm, his expression turning alluringly sexual. My body tingles to life with my ability to afect him with a simple touch. “I’ll take the dragon.” I don’t try to hide how much I want him. “Just the dragon.”

His eyes gloss slightly, his lashes lowering, but not before I see a lash of the same emotion from a few minutes before.

I cup his face, urging him to look at me.

“Monsieur Chris,” a man says from beside our table.

Chris and I both turn to inspect our visitor. Recognition lashes on Chris’s face and he pushes to his feet to shake the hand of a short, dark-haired man who looks to be in his ifties, and introduces him to me as an employee of one of the many galleries in Paris. I listen as the two talk and laugh, and I understand nothing they say, but I can see how much the man likes Chris. Everyone likes Chris, and so few know the haunted man beneath the surface. But I do. Or do I? He doesn’t seem to think I do. With all I’ve seen, all we’ve been through, what could possibly still be bad enough for him to dread sharing it with me?

Our visitor departs as our food arrives, before I can let my mind run too wild with possibilities that can only do more harm than good. My worries slide away as plates illed with delicious Mexican food are set in front of us. Chris rubs his palms together and pats my leg. “You’re going to love it.”

I smile at his contagious enthusiasm and do exactly as he suggests. I dig into my cheese enchiladas while Chris watches for a reaction, and their spicy, yummy lavor explodes in my mouth. “Mmm,” I manage as I swallow. “It’s terriic.” I scoop up some of the sauce and swallow. “Really terriic.”

Chris scoops up a forkful of his chicken enchilada and holds it to my mouth. “Try mine.”

I accept the bite and he slowly removes the fork from my mouth, watching me, his eyes brimming with hunger—and not for food. “Good?” he asks, and his voice has a soft, velvety quality.

“Yes.” My voice is raspy, and not from the spicy heat of the food. “Very good.” But not as good as him.

He eases closer and brushes his mouth over mine. “It tastes better on your lips than mine.”

I blush as he leans back again. I never understand how he still makes me blush, but he does.

He’s smiling at my reaction, his expression pure male satisfaction. “Now do you believe you can eat well in Paris?”

I’m pretty sure everything will taste better with Chris around. “I do believe you’ve convinced me.”

Our eyes collide and our laughter fades. The air thickens and something I can’t name sparks between us, tingling through my body. “I wouldn’t steer you wrong, Sara,” he says, and there is a rasp in his voice where there had been velvet before. He’s not talking about food anymore, and the sincerity in the depths of his stare touches me deeply.

“I know,” I whisper. And I do know. I really, really do. This man has all of me, or . . . no. That’s not true, and it hurts to admit this, even to myself. He has almost all of me. It’s hard not to hold back a small bit, when I know I don’t have all of him.


The attorney calls Chris during our ride home from the restaurant and, as promised, Chris has me talk to him directly. Despite having little new to tell me, Stephen does make me feel better, assuring me the police eforts are just due diligence and I have nothing to worry about. And no, I don’t have to leave Paris.

I actually relax and Chris and I plan our exploration of the city together. We debate which exhibits we want to visit irst, and I decide I’m a very lucky girl. I am going to view famous art with a famous artist as my guide. It’s a dream come true.

“My only commitment is a boys’ sleepover camp for disabled kids Friday night, at the Louvre,” Chris says as we turn onto Foche Avenue near our house.

“No meetings?”

“No meetings,” he conirms. “Which means I’m free to take you to some of the museums and introduce you to some important people in the industry.”

“Who I won’t be able to talk to.”

“There’s plenty of people who speak English.” His phone rings for the third time since we’ve been talking, and he glances at the screen before declining the call. His attention turns back to me, a subtle tension in him that hadn’t been there moments before. “This whole city feeds of tourism, especially from Americans. There are more people who speak English than you might think here.”

“I still want to break down the language barrier,” I say, though I’m wondering about the two unanswered calls. Whoever it is, he doesn’t want to talk to them in front of me. I think it’s Amber. She knows he’s pissed, and my womanly instinct says she won’t let what happened earlier at her shop pass without contacting him.

We pull up to the gate of the house, and Chris rolls down his window to key in the entry code. A moment later we’re pulling into the garage attached to the house.

His house. I’m never going to fully feel like I’m at home until these secrets stop dividing us.

Inside, I make my escape to a hot bubble bath, intending to pull my jumbled thoughts into some kind of order. I’m not going to let myself think about Chris returning his calls to . . . whom-ever, since I’m liable to let my imagination run wild.

Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Inside Out Romance