Chapter Sixteen

I wake the next morning to the sound of a cell phone ringing, and I am naked, on my stomach, and Liam’s heavy leg is draped over mine. Liam groans and opens his eyes. “If I ignore it, it will end.”

I laugh. “But it will ring again, and don’t you have meetings?”

“The alarm hasn’t gone off. I’m not leaving this bed with you one second before I have to.” The cell stops ringing and the alarm goes off. He groans again. “I think I’ll call in sick.” The cell starts ringing again. “Oh, well hell.” He rolls over and answers the call. “What do you mean he’s not here?” He moves to lean on the headboard and I lift up on my elbows, my gaze riveted by the tattoo. That sexy, wonderful tattoo I could happily wake up to every morning.

“Emergency my ass,” Liam continues. “This is a power play of some sort. Oh, come on. You know it is. And no, I’m not coming in until he’s back. That’s the intention. Get me committed to the project and I’ll do it his way. I won’t. Meeting with anyone else before he and I come to terms is a waste of everyone’s time.”

I can’t help myself. I inch over to Liam and begin kissing his stomach. Liam glances down at me, his eyes simmering with heat and the sheet begins to lift. I laugh and lick the 3.14 numbers above the “pi” sign.

“I’m staying and not because of him,” Liam tells Derek, or I assume it’s Derek. “Call me when he gets back. We’ll go from there.” He ends the call, tosses the phone, and drags me up his body before rolling me to my back.

“Oh, the things I can do to you with a full day in bed.” It’s a wicked warning and a promise of punishment in the most pleasurable of ways. He proved this to me last night. He’ll torment me. He’ll take me to the edge and make me wait. He’ll make me ask for things I never thought I could ask for. But he will make me forget everything but him. And right now, I need that more than answers. I need him.


Mid-afternoon finds Liam and me downtown at a high-rise building on the top floor, snuggled into the cozy chairs of a coffee shop that overlooks the site where the new shopping complex is supposed to be located. I’m dressed in a pair of black shorts and a pink tank Liam has forced me to buy by dragging me in a store, slapping down a card, and telling me to spend a ridiculous figure or he’d spend it for me. I still can’t believe he did it—or that I ultimately let him.

I study him now, removing things from a sleek leather briefcase, dressed in a casual pair of dark blue jeans and a snug blue pullover that makes his eyes inhumanly blue. He begins to pull his drafting pad out of a slim case, and in an act I’m finding familiar, he runs his fingers over his goatee. My gaze falls on a watch he’s wearing that I have not seen until today. It has a thick silver band and a brand that probably means it costs as much as some people’s houses.

He glances up to catch me watching him, leaning in to give me a quick, hot brush of his lips against mine. He then offers me my computer from inside his bag. “Thank you,” I say, accepting it, wishing I didn’t have to think about the reason I have it.

“What exactly are you working on?”

“Property listings. Boring stuff.”

“And what did you do in New York?”

“Research and admin work. Boring.”

“What kind of research?”

I hate this. I hate it so much. I just want to tell him everything. “It really depended on what my boss had going on. Nothing as exciting as pyramids. I wish.”

“You like history.”

“History that is a mystery.”

“Like the pyramids.”

This is a connection to my past. I should change the subject. I don’t. “Yes. Like the pyramids.”

“Why a history teacher and not an archeologist?”

“I did what felt right at the time.”

“After you lost your family.”

“Yes. I went on to college, but…I just went through the motions. By the time I woke up it felt like I just needed my degree and a higher income.” I shake off what could turn into a flashback and more information than I should tell him. “Tell me about your plans for the building. What are you drafting today?”

“I’m going to do the underground tunnels from the pyramid to the various other buildings.”

“Like the real ones.”

“Exactly. And glass blocks will create the actual pyramid.” He flips his design around for me to see. “I was thinking about a-hole’s argument that pyramids have been done, and he’s right. They have. But I have this idea to design two pyramids on top of the main structure. It’s never been done.”

“I can’t picture it.”

He quickly sketches a small drawing, simple, but enough for me to understand. “Like you’re stacking the pyramids. Can that actually work? It seems unstable.”

“They won’t be stacked. They’ll be structures within structures.”

“I’m intrigued. I can’t wait to see it. I hope you build it.”

“If that doesn’t win over a-hole, then I’ll take it somewhere else and build it. Then you can see it. Maybe we can go see the real pyramids together.”

Like I am going to be around no matter where he is, and when he builds it, and to travel with him. Maybe I should be worried that he is so invested in me in such a short window of time, but I am not. I feel the connection between us and I do not believe it is something anyone could fake. And maybe I should worry that he is so interested in something connected to my past, but again, I’m just not. Right or wrong, I trust Liam and I am hungry for every moment I have with him. I want to find a way to make it last.

Tags: Lisa Renee Jones The Secret Life of Amy Bensen Romance