I don’t argue, eager for anything that makes me feel grounded, certain this man will take me on a wild ride before this night is over if I let him. And I can’t let him. I squeeze my eyes shut, telling myself I will not do anything but get out of this car. I will make small talk and ease the sexual tension and get back where I need to be to do what I have to do.
“There’s a great Italian place next to the hotel, if you like Italian?”
My lashes lift at his question and settles on the logo on the dashboard. “I’m a pasta addict.” I’m about to add “mostly Ramen noodles,” but my gaze narrows on the logo on the dash and I decide he probably doesn’t even know what Ramen is. “You rented a Bentley?”
He shrugs. “They didn’t have anything else.”
“They had nothing but a Bentley?” I don’t hide my disbelief. I’ve never even seen a
Bentley and I figure that’s because they run in the six-figure range and I don’t know people that pay that kind of money for a car. Really, I don’t know many people who can even afford to park a car in New York, let alone pay for the vehicle.
“It’s the only car I thought was good enough to drive you around in.”
“Me?” I balk, pursing my lips. “You, Liam Stone, are rich and spoiled. I am not.”
“I’ll spoil you if you let me.” His voice is a soft, silky promise.
My chest burns with something I do not want to feel. “No.” It comes out almost a hiss I cannot retract. “I don’t want your money.” I just want a life.
If he notices my tone, he doesn’t show it. “Spoken like someone who has never had money.”
Avoidance is always my friend. His questions are not. “Very few people have your kind of money.”
“Which shows my point.” he assures me.
“Which is what?”
“I have the money to spoil you and I plan to.” He doesn’t give me time to argue, shifting the subject like he’s stamped the topic done, approved, fact. “Do you have anything that will spoil or can we go straight to the restaurant?”
I don’t want food. I want to lick that tattoo of his before I say goodbye to him. That would keep him from asking questions. Until it’s over, I remind myself. “I need to drop by my place and change.”
His hot gaze flickers down my bare legs, and up again. “I like you like this.”
My cheeks heat and my sex clenches. “You’re in a suit.”
“I’ll change. You stay the way you are.”
I open my mouth and snap it shut before I tell him I like him just as he is. That isn’t going to help my goodbye campaign, but then neither did kissing him. I try again. “Either way, I want to freshen up.”
Liam pulls the car in front of his hotel and a doorman is instantly helping me out of the car. By the time I’m standing, Liam is in front of me, reaching for my bags, and he has them before I can stop him. “I’ve got them,” I say, reaching out to take them, and darn it, our hands collide, sending a tingling sensation up my arm.
My eyes dart to his, and I see the awareness in his stare. He too has felt the connection.
Maybe this is only sex to him, or some need to protect me I can’t understand, but it’s real. It exists and it is powerful.
“I’ll meet you at the hotel bar in thirty minutes,” I choke out from my suddenly dry throat.
“You said you didn’t want to go to the hotel with me.”
“To your room. Hotel bars are open to the public.”
His eyes narrow, suspicion etched in their depths. “I’ll help you with your bags.”
“They’re paper light. Let me hurry. I’ll meet you in twenty minutes.”
“I’ll walk you to your door.”
“If you come to my apartment, we’ll get distracted.” For once, I get to speak the truth.
He arches a brow. “Is that supposed to discourage me?”
“Yes,” I replied tartly, and the urge to kiss him one more time before I deliver the goodbye is too intense to fight. I push to my toes and lean in to him, hands flattening on the hard wall of his chest, and press my lips to his. He is stiff, unyielding, and I am instantly uncomfortable, second-guessing my boldness. I begin to pull back when he drops my bags to the ground and pulls me close, his hand sliding up my back, his tongue licking into my mouth in one long, hot sweep that has me moaning into his mouth.
“You’re no recluse,” I accuse when his lips leave mine, shocked at the scene we’ve certainly made, embarrassed to even look around and find out who is watching.
“Or I just want to make sure you know how much I want you, no matter what the price.
And you’re right. If I come with you to your apartment, we won’t leave anytime soon.” He sets me away from him, and to my horror grabs my bags from the ground and looks inside. His gaze lifts, brow arching. “Plasticware?”
The warmth his declaration about wanting me had created turns cold. “I haven’t had time to unpack.”
“So your things were delivered today?”
“My things are just fine.”
I reach for the bags and he shackles my wrist. “Amy—”
A horn honks, saving me whatever command is certain to come out of his too-tempting mouth. “We’re making a scene. I’ll see you in a few minutes.”
His jaw flexes, tension etched in his face. “I’ll be waiting.” He releases my bags and my arm and I waste no time darting away. I am so tired of running away.