Chapter Eighteen

Liam doesn’t move. He just stands there looking good enough to lick and mad enough to tear down the walls of the dingy motel. He owns this room. He owns me and I can’t do anything about it. I don’t even want to try, and yet the hell of my life keeps forcing me to push him away.


The gun shakes in my hand. “I told you not to get killed. Charging in here is not the way to stay alive.”

He advances on me slowly, and each step is like a band stretching around us, ready to pop at any moment. I’m not sure what to expect when it does. “And holding a gun on me makes sense in this equation how?”

“Everything isn’t an equation. It just...is.”

“Like me coming for you?” He stops in front of me, and just as Jared had in the truck, he closes his hand over mine where I hold the gun, but it is nothing like that earlier moment. I gasp as the sensations rush over me, and I have this undeniable sense of us being two parts of one whole. Of not fully breathing while we were apart. “You had to know I wasn’t going to leave you in a motel room with Jared.”

My lashes lift at the intensity of his tone. In the depths of his gorgeous blue eyes, there is a promise that I am his and that he will never let me go. That I am as rooted in his soul as he is in mine, and he is going to fight for what that means, while I am fighting to save his life.

“I told you to go to Denver,” I whisper.

“I sent Derek.”

“What if I was in Denver?”

“You aren’t.”

Electricity charges the air and the tension that is building seems to jolt up one more notch. “You didn’t know I wouldn’t be.”

“Yes I did, and as sure I was in the air traveling here, I got the alert that you were headed here too.”

“From my ID at the airport,” I say, and it’s not really a question. “And I went straight to my old house. I made it easy for anyone to find me.”

He gives a nod of confirmation anyway. “You wanted me to find you.”

Yes. “No. I wanted to find you when this was over.”

“Together, baby. We’ve talked about this.” He sets the gun on the bed and I swear the few seconds he isn’t touching me is hell. His hands come down on my shoulders. “Do you know how much what you said about Jared killed me after I’d already died a million deaths in the past twenty-four hours?”

My heart squeezes with the vulnerability of his confession, the intensity of his tone, and I wrap my arms around him, absorbing the heat of his body, the power and strength. “I didn’t mean anything I said. I hated it. I just…” I look up at him, urgency roaring to life. “They’ll kill you. You have to leave. Go underground. Please. I’m begging you. Go underground like you wanted to take me. They won’t kill me. Not when they think I have what they want.”

His hands slip into my hair. “I’m not going anywhere without you. I leave when you leave. And you’re not going anywhere with Jared.”

“Liam--”

His mouth comes down on mine, and it’s pain and heartache, but there is more. There is a harder edge, a demand, anger.

I’m angry, too, and I don’t think it’s at him. I just am, and he is angry too, and we are all over each other, wildly kissing, tugging at clothes. My shirt is tossed to the ground and I shove his up his body, seeking skin against skin, a moment of no barriers when there seems to be so many between us, too many.

My hand flattens on his “pi” tattoo where I want my mouth to be, but when he unhooks my borrowed bra, and I hear the rumble of Tellar and Jared arguing outside, I grab it, holding it in place. “We can’t. Tellar and Jared.”

“Ask me if I care about Tellar and Jared right now?” He tugs the bra away, wrapping his fingers around my neck and dragging my mouth to his again. “You said you f**ked Jared.”

I forget my hesitation of moments before. “I told you. I was trying to scare you away. I know you know that.”

“That didn’t make it easy to hear. That doesn’t stop this burn inside me that says I need to remind you who you belong with.”

“I don’t need a reminder.”

“I think you do.” He lifts me and carries me to the bed, setting me on the mattress. My shoes and jeans, and even my panties, are gone before I can protest. Not that I want to. And as much as I hate that I’ve made him feel he has something to prove, this fierce, intense, dominant man he is now calls to me. Liam calls to me. He speaks to me on some level beyond words, deep in my core, like an expression of something I have inside me, and that I find within him.

He drags me to the end of the bed and turns me over, his hands going to my h*ps to pull me onto my knees. I’m submissive to him like this and I think I get him more in this moment than I ever have. He needs the control he’s felt he’d lost the past few days. And the truth is, I need to give it to him. He’s my escape, the only place I can let go, the only place I can trust.

He leans down and cradles my body, caresses my br**sts, brushing my hair off of my back, the long, blonde strands falling to the bed, over my cheeks, blinding me. But I don’t need to see. That’s what is so erotic, so perfect, with Liam. I really do trust him.

His lips settle at my nape, his hand kneading my breast, teasing my nipple. My br**sts are heavy, my sex aching, my thighs damp. He kisses between my shoulder blades, then flattens his palm there, slowly dragging his hand down my back to cup my backside.

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