Page 21 of Lift

Harris looks at the guy who is still standing in the lobby. “Was Cara here tonight because she was with you?”

“Don’t insult me with that shit because you’re pissed, and I wasn’t checking out your girl.” The man shakes his head as he goes over to a bank of elevators and gets in.

“Sorry about that, Allen,” Harris says to the doorman.

“No problem at all, sir,” he says.

“I don’t want any of the Rich family entering this building. I don’t care who they are here to see.”

“I’ll let the others know.”

“Thank you. Have a good night,” he tells the man before guiding me back to his private elevator.

“I might need a shower after dealing with that witch. She looks like her mother, but she acts like her father. They’re all users and I don’t just mean drugs.” He pulls me into him as he presses his nose to the top of my head and he breathes me in.

“Say something about what you found out. About who I am,” I whisper. The elevator doors slide open, but we don’t move as his hand comes to my chin. He makes me look up at him so I can’t hide for a second.

“I don’t care,” he tells me simply.

“She was so wrong about you. I hate that she—”

“Sweetheart, don’t let her words touch you, because they mean nothing to me.”

The weight of the world lifts off my shoulders as he holds me close. Before I know what’s happening, I’m in his arms and he’s carrying me off the elevator and back into his home. I bury my face into his neck and it’s my turn to breathe him in. A few moments later my back hits his bed and he comes down over me. My sweet, charming man is back and I reach up and touch his face, wanting to reassure myself that he’s real.

“Are you getting it now?” he asks before he kisses me deeply and begins to undress me. “I don’t care about any of that shit. I care about what it’s in here.” He places his palm over my heart.

“You’re a good man, Harris. I should have known you wouldn’t care. I just got scared,” I admit. “I’m so afraid of losing everything again. I don’t let anyone close because I don’t want to lose them or see them not care when they lose me.” In this moment I see that losing my parents hurt me more than I’ve ever admitted to myself.

“I’m already close, sweetheart.” He leans in, brushing his mouth against mine. “There’s no way in hell I’m stupid enough to let you go, and anyone who did wasn’t worthy of you.” My eyes start to water at his sweet words.

“None of that,” he tells me as he gives me his perfect smile. “Let me show you how worthy I am to have you.” He slips down my body and kisses me between my legs until he wrings every last ounce of pleasure from me and I drift off to sleep.

Chapter Eleven

Harris

I watch her sleep because I don’t want to miss a moment with her. She’s on her side and the lights are off, but I left the door to the bathroom cracked so that I could still see her. The soft glow lights up her silhouette and I memorize every curve of her body.

She’s completely naked with the blankets pushed off of her. After I feasted on her she snuggled in and hasn’t moved since. I run my fingers from her shoulder to her hip, back and forth as she hums sleepily.

Everything she’s been through in the past few months had to have been hell. I looked up her family and saw what they’d done, but it didn’t push me away from her. The more I read, the more it made me want to protect her because it’s clear that no one else ever has. I don’t feel sorry for her, because she’s here in spite of the odds being stacked against her. She’s probably the strongest person I know, and all I want to do is be by her side.

How quickly my life has turned upside down and I’ve seen the new perspective in front of me. I never thought about love at first sight or that I could be so completely taken by someone with one word. But since I got into the back of Sloan’s car, that’s exactly what’s been happening. Every time she smiles, laughs, or even touches me, I fall completely and madly in love with her.

“You are special. Never stop believing that.” I whisper the quote from Annie and think about her as a little girl watching that movie.

I bet she wished for someone to come rescue her. It’s a shame it took me so long to find her.

Leaning forward, I press my lips to her shoulder and hold her close. She snuggles against my chest and I close my eyes, vowing that I will be the one to love her for the rest of her life. I’m content for the first time in my life and I don’t feel like I’m just running from one job to the next. Maybe it’s all been leading up to finding Sloan so that this is my job now.

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