I press my hand to my face and turn away from him, walking to the end of the hallway to stare at the apartment that is not mine, but is all I have. What have I done by bringing Liam here?
He’s determined to help me now and I can’t tell him who I am, but he has money to uncover whatever he wants to uncover. Lots of money. If my handler doesn’t have my bases well covered, Liam will find out who I am. It could get him and me both killed.
“Perfect,” I hear Liam say, and I can tell he’s moved closer. “And just to be clear,” he continues, “I have the suite indefinitely, if you could make sure that’s on record.”
Indefinitely. The idea that I might be across the street from this man, and I can simply ignore him, is pure insanity. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that you don’t just ignore Liam Stone if he doesn’t want to be ignored.
I turn back around to find him closer than I thought, with only a few steps separating us at the most, and I look away, knowing I’m not quite as collected as I need to be. In the process, my gaze lands on his flat, na**d stomach. My mouth goes instantly dry and not just because of his lack of clothing, which would be enough in itself, but it seems I’ve found Liam’s hinted-at tattoo. The number 3.14 is etched in his skin over the Pi mathematical symbol, which frames his belly button. Beneath the symbol are rows of numbers I know represent infinite value, all aligned as an inverted triangle, and trailing downward to alluringly disappear into his pants.
“What options do we have for food at this hour?” Liam asks the hotel operator, or whomever he is talking to, and the sound of his voice snaps my gaze upward. His eyes meet mine, and now his amusement is laced with male satisfaction. He leans on the edge of the wooden dining room table and holds the phone away from his mouth. “Is pizza okay and if so, what kind?”
Pizza, not Pi, Amy. Keep your gaze up and stop thinking about where those infinite numbers stop. “Cheese. I like cheese.” I dart past him and head to the kitchen, needing space, needing to think.
Once I’m behind the wall of the tiny, rectangular cracker box of a room, I wish I could take a jog. Running has been my salvation over the years, a way I found to block out the things that mess with my head. Instead, I just try to do anything I can to stay busy. I open cabinets to see if I have any supplies. The answer is no. No supplies, nothing to organize or clean. No place but Liam to put my mind and he’s no longer an escape. He’s just trouble.
Pressing my hands to the counter, I let my head fall between my shoulders. I have nothing but the clothes I have on my back—or actually, that now lay on the hallway floor—and there is a billionaire standing a few feet away. The irony is hard to miss.
Liam’s voice lifts, growing closer again, and it is deep and confident, from a man who owns his world when I do not own mine. I think maybe he owns it more than I do right now, and that is a sign I need that run and some time alone. I am weak tonight, but I will claw my way back to strength again. I will. I have no choice.
I listen as he orders two large pizzas, one cheese and one pepperoni, and remembers my diet Sprite from the plane, which I am far too pleased about. The man is impossibly, frighteningly, involved in my world in all of one day. My crappy college boyfriend I’d gambled on, thinking he was my age, and far removed from my past and therefore safe, sure hadn’t known much about me. I’d thought that was good, another thing that made him safe, until I found my roommate’s legs around his neck.
“Food and supplies should be here in about fifteen minutes.”
I turn to find Liam standing under the archway of the kitchen entry, his dark hair rumpled, his broad and gloriously bare chest reminding me that I’m wearing his shirt. And while he is strikingly male, that is not what steals my breath in this moment. It’s the mix of tenderness and heat I find in his eyes.
“You didn’t have to do that,” I whisper.
“We both need to eat.”
“That’s not what I mean, though I appreciate the food. You didn’t have to order the hotel to bring me things. That costs money, and—”
He advances on me and I swallow the rest of my sentence. I start to back away but he is already in front of me, his hands on my waist. I suck in a breath, and just that fast, I’m on the counter, skirt up, knees apart, and the fingers of one of his hands tunnel into my hair. His mouth slants over mine, his tongue licking into my mouth, and he doesn’t taste tender. Not one little bit.
He tastes like the raw, honest passion he’s promised this night will hold. And he tastes like me. It is a sultry, arousing thought. I sink deeper into the kiss, and this time, I am the one tangling my fingers into his dark hair.
He reaches for my hand, covering it with his, tearing his mouth from mine. “I told you I do not do anything because I have to. And I don’t. But to be inside you right now, baby, I have to. I need to. And, yes—right here in the kitchen.” He pulls his shirt over my head and I don’t know where he tosses it. I am already wrapping my arms around him, pressing my na**d br**sts to his chest. He strokes a hand down my hair, brushing his lips over mine. “This isn’t going to be proper, but I’ll make it up to you, I promise. If I don’t find my way inside you now I won’t let you eat when the food arrives.”
“The only thing you’ll have to make up to me is if someone comes to the door before this happens.”
“They’ll wait if they have to,” he promises. “Put your hands on the counter behind your back.”