“Running around?” I demand. A frustrated sound escapes my lips. “I’m taking care of business, Chris. And whoever was asking about Ella was looking for her, not me.”

“There’s a connection to you now since you’ve been asking around about her. I’m not taking a chance. Wait for me.”


“Last night you told me to take control of my circumstances and stop wallowing in fear. Now you’re telling me to hide in the house. That’s a double-edged sword you don’t get to use. Talking to the embassy about Ella is action, not fear, and I don’t want to put this of.”

“You’re not going, Sara.”

Unbidden, old demons begin to stir inside me. “Yes. I am.”

He stares at me for several intense seconds. I stare back. He reaches across me and grabs his cell phone from the end table.

“What are you doing?” I demand, certain that whatever it is won’t please me.

“Canceling my meetings.”

My eyes go wide. “No!” I roll to my back and cover the phone with my hand. “You can’t do that. What you’re doing at the museum is too important.”

“Then wait for me.”

I open my mouth to argue, but a glimpse of some deep, dark emotion in his eyes seals my lips. I remember seeing this look when he’d confessed fear for my safety. Suddenly my past, where my mother and I were more property than people, feels inconsequential compared to how deeply death has touched Chris’s life.

Copying the familiar, sexy way he reaches behind my neck and pulls me to him, I slide my ingers under his hair and bring his mouth to mine, letting our lips linger until I feel him relax into me. Intimate seconds tick by where his very existence tingles through my body and nestles deep in my soul. When our mouths inally part, I stare into his gorgeous green eyes. I will never get tired of looking into those eyes. “Thank you for worrying about me. I’ll be okay. I promise. I won’t go anywhere else. Straight there and back.”

The hard lines of his handsome face soften, his mood doing one of the dramatic shifts I’ve come to expect from Chris.

“You’re never going to be good at taking orders, are you?”

I grin, and go where I once never would have dared. “I thought I did pretty well on the rug the other day.”

Surprise and hunger register in his stare, and he drops the phone on the nightstand. “Yes, you did,” he agrees huskily, settling his heavy, perfect weight on top of me and pressing my thighs open. His thick erection presses into the V of my body.

His arms settle by my head and wispy strands of blond hair brush his brow. The hunger in his eyes has turned outright ravenous. I am breathless. “Maybe,” he suggests silkily, “I should take you back to the rug right now.”

Liquid heat pools between my thighs and I wrap my arms around his neck. “And risk Chantal walking in on us this time?”

“If she wasn’t on her way”—his head dips, and I feel his warm breath against my cheek, my lips—“would you want to go back to the rug?”

The idea, mixed with the seductive way he presses a kiss behind my ear, sends a surge of desire pulsing through me. “Yes,” I admit, breathless. “I would want to go back to the rug.”

He goes still for a moment before he smiles against my cheek. “I wonder what it would take for me to make you agree to that this morning?” His hand sweeps the curve of my breast, trailing down to my waist, and then pressing to my belly and lower. A burning sweet spot between my thighs aches for his touch. The alarm goes of again and I want to scream with the injustice of the timing, with how close he was to that spot.

Chris reaches over and hits the snooze button. “We’re being timed.” He slips his ingers into the silky heat of my body, parting me, and pressing the pulsing thickness of his erection against me. Anticipation burns through me as he adds, “So I’d better not waste any time.” He thrusts hard into me and I gasp.

“Maybe this will make you do as I say.”

“Don’t count on it,” I taunt, but my deiance fades into a moan at the way he slides his c**k left to right, stroking nerve endings to life.

His cheek caresses mine, lips brushing the delicate skin of my neck, then my ear. “There’s a price for making me worry, Sara,”

“What price?” I manage in a whisper.

“There are all kinds of ways I could make you pay,” he assures me, tugging roughly at one of my ni**les. I bite back a moan and my sex clenches around him. His head dips and his teeth scrape the stif peak before he suckles it deeply. My ingers twine into the silky strands of his hair, urging him to continue, but he abandons my nipple to nuzzle my neck, denying me what I want. “The price you pay today is putting up with another man. Rey’s going with you to the embassy.”

Unbidden, Rebecca’s journal entries about the many ways Mark shared her with another man, and how much it hurt her, rips through my mind. The pain she must have felt. The pain I would feel if Chris tried to do this to me. I’d be torn into tiny pieces, never to be put back together again.

“Sara, I would never, under any circumstances, share you.

Not the way you’re thinking. Not with a damn soul.”

I blink and ind Chris staring down at me. “What?”

“I don’t know what set it of, but you’re thinking about the journals, and how Mark shared Rebecca with other people.”

I’m amazed he can read me so easily. It’s true. I’m haunted by Rebecca’s life and now her death.

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