“Ready, baby?” he asks, and I am jolted to realize I was in such deep thought that he’s already outside the car, ofering me his hand.
Gathering my purse, I let Chris help me out of the car and he pulls me to my feet and against him, his ingers splaying possessively on my back. “No in between,” he reminds me in a low, rough voice that tells me he feels what I do. He knows we’re opening a door we can’t close again.
My hand lattens on the hard wall of his chest, and I can feel the rapid heartbeat that tells me he’s as afected by this moment as I am. “No in between.” Our eyes lock and the warmth I’d felt when he took my hand is now heat simmering between us, wrapping us in anticipation. We are inally about to be alone.
“Pardon, monsieur, madam.”
Our spell is broken by the driver, who is exiting the door of the garage, and I assume he’s taken our bags inside.
“Oui, monsieur,” Chris says, the French rolling of his tongue. “Je vous remercie de votre aide.”
Thank you for the help, is my guess on that one, and when the two men shake hands, I’m certain I’m right. Maybe French won’t be so hard after all. After some sleep, I might actually be able to learn some.
With a departing remark, the driver climbs into his car. As the sedan backs away I can now see the other side of the garage, where three classic Mustangs, two Harleys, and a silver Porsche 911 are parked.
I shake my head at Chris. “Diferent place, same obsessions.”
“You’re my obsession,” Chris replies huskily, nuzzling my neck. “Addictive in every way, and that comes with rewards. You get one of the Harleys.”
I laugh. “Not a reward I’d choose, but okay.” I point to the one that looks the most expensive. “I’ll take that one.”
The doors to the garage shut and Chris twines his ingers with mine and walks backward, leading me toward the building, mischief lighting his eyes. “You can ride with me, baby.”
I roll my eyes. “You always have to be in control.”
“You like it when I’m in control.”
“I should deny that,” I reply without hesitation. I’m way beyond censoring my thoughts with Chris.
He pulls me into the small foyer of the garage and punches the elevator button before wrapping me in his arms. “Should I prove how much you like it when I’m in control?”
“If you think you can,” I taunt, melting just thinking about all the ways he might go about proving he’s right.
The doors to the elevator slide open. “Shall we go upstairs and see if I can?”
I laugh. “Oh, yes.”
He backs into the elevator and tugs me forward but I stop abruptly, determination in my sure footing. “I need to call the detective before we go up.”
Chris’s brow furrows. “Here?”
“I don’t want what happens once we get onto the elevator to be clouded by what we’ve left behind.”
Understanding and tenderness seep into his expression, and he steps out of the elevator. “Then we’ll call here.”
I fetch my phone from my purse and Chris leans against the wall, settling my back to his front. His hand rests on my stomach and I relax into him, the stupid nerves over this call I don’t understand are more manageable now.
After punching a button, I listen to the simple but urgent message from a Detective Grant and then hit recall.
“Ms. McMillan,” he says, clearly indicating he has caller ID
and the way he’s said my name reminds me of Mark to such a degree that I barely suppress a shiver.
“Detective Grant,” I reply crisply.
“I understand you’ve left the country.”
“I’m in Paris, yes,” I say with remarkable coolness, considering I’m unraveling inside. Was I not supposed to leave? They never said a word about me not leaving the country.
“What was the rush to escape?”
Defensiveness lares inside me. “Escape?” I counter, and I feel the lex of Chris’s ingers on my belly in response. “I’m not sure what that means, but I’m pretty sure almost being killed by a crazy woman justiies my need for a change of scenery.”
“You needed it quickly, it seems.”
Defensiveness begins to blossom into outright anger, tightening my words. “What is it you’re alluding to?”
“You managed to take over Rebecca’s job.”
“Someone had to.”
“Not everyone had her personal items and her deepest, most intimate thoughts.” He hesitates and it’s clearly for efect.
“You ended up with her job and her boss. Really, her entire life.”
My heart jackhammers and Chris molds me closer, silently telling me he is here, he is with me. He is all that keeps me from completely snapping. “I was almost killed last night,” I repeat.
“That’s a separate event from Rebecca’s death.”
“Ava confessed to killing Rebecca. She tried to kill me.
That’s pretty connected, if you ask me.”
“She now says she confessed to protect Mark.”
“Protect Mark?” I all but gasp and I turn to face Chris, my ingers digging into his arms. “She says Markkilled Rebecca?”
Chris’s expression is unreadable, but I feel the muscles lex beneath my grip, and his hands settle irmly on my waist. His eyes ind mine and hold, and I feel him beyond his touch. He is my rock, my strength.