Liam leans in close to me, his arm brushing mine and sending a jolt of awareness through me. “My design inspiration came from the two years I spent in Egypt, working with a team of experts that studied the Great Pyramid.”

Impossibly, my skeletons have jumped out of the closet and attacked me and him in the process, and he’s not even questioning what must have seemed to be my bizarre actions.


Confused, I turn to look at him. “You aren’t going to ask why I just…did what I did?”

“No. I’m not going to ask.”

“Why?” Why would he not ask if he didn’t know why I freaked out?

“You’ll tell me when you’re ready.”

“I’m not going to be ready before this plane lands.”

“That’s fine.” He lifts a chin at the sketchpad. “You still haven’t said what you think of my vision.”

He’s confusing me. Okay, everything is confusing me, but his question is an escape from explaining myself and I take it. “The design is what you said you wanted it to be. It’s magnificent.”

“You aren’t even looking at it.”

“No. I’m looking at you. The man who created it.” The man who wanted me to see what he wouldn’t show anyone else.

“And what do you see looking at me, Amy?”

“What you let me see.”

He looks intrigued by that answer, maybe even pleased. “Ask me what I see when I look at you.”

More than I want him to. “No. I don’t want to know what you see.” I turn away from him, sinking low in my seat and pulling the blanket to my chin, and I am clear on only one thing.

I don’t like who I’ve become.

***

“Wake up, Amy.” I blink at the feel of a hand on my shoulder and turn quickly to find

Liam leaning over me, his mouth impossibly close to mine.

“I was asleep again?”

“Like a rock.”

“Please tell me I didn’t scream.”

“No. Nothing like that. We’re about to—” The wheels hit the runway with a hard bump and I am shocked to realize that I’ve not only slept a second time, but so deeply that I had no idea we were even hearing the landing announcements. It’s like my mind had just shut down.

“I didn’t want the landing to scare you,” Liam explains, settling back in his seat.

“Thank you. It would have.” I sit up, adjusting my skirt and folding the blanket.

“What’s your plan from here?”

“Plan?”

“Do you have a ride to wherever you’re going?”

“A friend is picking me up,” I croak out, and the lie is like wet cotton in my throat. He wants this…this whatever we started to continue and so do I, but I can’t know his real motivation any more than I can risk his safety by being seen with him.

“Male or female?”

I blink, snapping back to the present. “What? Male or female?”

“Your friend picking you up. Male or female?”

I know the safe answer is “male”. I know that if his motivation for the question is simple male interest, it will discourage him, and still I hear myself say, “Female.”

His eyes darken, heat, and I think he’s pleased with my answer. “I’ll help you with your bags.”

“No, I—”

“I’m helping you with your bags, Amy.”

There is command in his voice, and I am instantly, unbelievably aroused, and pleased at his insistence, when I should be running for the hills. I will run for the hills when the doors open.

“Thank you,” I murmur and turn away from him, afraid he will read my intentions to flee.

Quickly, I make sure my folder and bag are intact, sliding the leather strap over my shoulder, and I am ready for action.

The plane parks at the gate, and Liam stretches his long, perfect body to retrieve my bag from the overhead compartment. Once he hands it to me, I lift the handle and tell myself to make my escape, but for a moment I am frozen in regret over leaving him. Too soon, he jerks his bag free, and I am out of time. A man moves between myself and Liam and I take the opportunity to dart for the exit. I don’t look back. I want to look back.

A few minutes later, I am outside in a cab line that stretches a good fifteen cab lengths long, with no actual cars in sight. Thanks to several conventions and some Hollywood event, it appears I have plenty of time to savor my regret over leaving Liam behind. And I do. I savor it like I would water in a desert.

I’m busying contemplating how good he might have tasted when a black Town Car stops directly beside me. The door opens and to my shock Liam steps out and grabs my bag. “Come with me,” he orders, and he doesn’t give me time to argue.

I haven’t moved yet and he’s already at the trunk where the driver lifts my bag to deposit it inside. I consider leaving it behind and running. I should leave it and run. I charge toward him and meet him at the back door.

My chin lifts and he is taller than I realized, and his sleek goatee is impossibly sexy, nearly distracting me from my anger. “You can’t just take my bag and demand I come with you.”

“And yet that’s exactly what I did. Get in the car, Amy.”

I bristle at the command. “I don’t know you.”

His piercing blue eyes darken. “I have every intention of remedying that.”

A thrill shoots through me at the obvious promise that he will be my lover, and there is no denying that I am seduced by this man, drawn to his confidence and dark good looks. To the gentle lion I believe will take control of everything around him, including me. The man who will demand much of me, and perhaps take more than I should give. And yet, beyond all reason, I want to experience those things. I want to experience him. It almost feels…necessary.

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