I reach up and wipe away the red lipstick that Paige left on me after the kiss. As I clean it off, Paige pushes past me and walks in front, trying to keep her distance. It’s probably a good idea, because I know every time I get my hands on her she seems to melt. No matter how hard she struggles, one touch and she’s mine. I’ll make sure to get her alone, because we need to talk.
I nod to Miles as he and Mallory make their way over to the auction tables. I follow Paige and take a few long strides to catch up to her. I grab her arm, turning her to face me. The surprise on her face is clear, but so is the desire.
“You can’t run out on me like that.” I try to keep the pleading tone out of my voice.
“You can’t tell me what to do.” Her voice is low, and she’s looking around the crowd.
I don’t want to cause a scene, so I soften my hold and walk her over to the side and away from prying eyes. I rub her arms and feel her relax under my touch. I want everyone in the room to know she’s with me. Her dress is going to be the death of someone if they don’t. As I look down at her and see how fucking beautiful she is, my body aches to pick her up and hold her against me.
“Come home with me.” It’s not a question, though it probably should be.
“What?” She looks away, like I could possibly be speaking to someone else, then looks at me. “We can’t. You’re my boss.”
The excuse is weak and makes me smile. Like she’s ever acted like I was her boss before. She never listens to a thing I tell her to do. “If that’s all you’ve got, then I’ll quit.”
“Good, maybe I can take your job. I could do it better than you, anyway.” She raises her eyebrows, challenging me.
She’s trying to get under my skin, but it just makes her more adorable. I love her spirit and the way she tries to act tough. But I know deep down she’s a kitten with little claws who thinks she’s a tiger. I laugh, thinking that’s exactly what she is, and she cuts her eyes at me.
“What are you laughing at?” She pops her hip and puts her hand on it, and I can’t help but picture a little ginger kitten growling and trying to catch a piece of string.
Reaching up, I cup her neck and run my thumb along the bottom of her jaw. “Nothing, kitten,” I say softly. I like the nickname for her. If she could purr, she would, given the way she leans into my touch. Fuck, why can’t she see she belongs to me? Her body knows it, but she can’t let go. That’s okay, kitten. I’ll fight for us, and I won’t stop until I win.
As if she realizes what she’s doing, she takes a step back from me. As I’m about to make a grab for her, someone comes up behind me and puts a hand on my shoulder.
“Mr. Justice. We’ve got a situation. I tried to speak with you a moment ago.” I turn to see the security guard who tried to talk to me earlier, when I was kissing Paige, and again I turn away, ignoring him.
I catch sight of Paige making her way to the entrance of the building, and I think maybe she’s getting ready to leave. But I know her well enough to know she wouldn’t walk out on a job, and even though we’re extra tonight, she would still check in before she left. I catch a glimpse of her auburn hair and black dress as she exits the double doors and they close behind her.
“Sir, I wanted to let you know—”
“In a moment,” I say, cutting him off and trying to go after her.
I speed up my steps, not wanting to miss where she goes next, so I can catch up with her. After I’ve made it to the doors and opened them, I stop dead in my tracks. Paige is across the room, standing in front of a man I’ve tried to keep her away from all these years.
Alexander looks up, and his blue eyes—just like Paige’s—lock on me, and before I know it Miles and Mallory walk into the foyer, and the four of us are alone with him.
* * *
I WAS ABLE to walk away from Captain again, so I guess I have superhuman, strength after all. All I wanted to do was to melt into him, but he doesn’t know about my past. He doesn’t know that deep down I don’t think I’m good enough for someone like him. Maybe one day I could be. Maybe if I took charge of my destiny and got the revenge I really want, then I could focus on myself. Hide what I’d done. But the way my life is right now, I’ve got one focus and that’s to pay back the son of a bitch who killed my mother. But that revenge could make me lose him. Lose everything. Captain always plays by the rules, and I’m on a path to break everyone I come against if it gets me what I want.