“I can change that.” The words slipped out before he’d considered them, but he didn’t plan to take them back.
“No, you can’t.”
“I’ll extend your contract. You’ve more than doubled our client reach. It’s a no-brainer.”
“Not interested. Thanks anyway.”
His internal alarm system told him something was wrong. He wanted to know why she moved around so much, what kept her so isolated, why she refused to let him get close. “Allison, what are you so afraid of?”
Once he asked the question, an answer came to him. It wasn’t something. It was someone . Go d, it made so much sense. It’d been staring him in the face this whole time. The shadows behind her eyes she thought he didn’t see. Her secretiveness. The way she walked around with her guard up twenty-four-seven. It all added up to one thing. She was on the run from a threat that had terrorized her so badly she didn’t know how to trust, how to be vulnerable, or admit she needed help.
Unfortunately, wanting to protect her, and her allowing him to, were in direct opposition. He’d faced worse. A nameless threat wouldn’t stop him from helping her, going to the ends of the earth to keep her safe, keep her in his life. Probably an irrational response toward a girl he hardly knew, but there it was. Might’ve had something to do with his long-held admiration for her intelligence, the polished professionalism she’d exhibited over the years they’d crossed paths at security-based functions. The hint of a free spirit hiding beneath her classy formality, that he’d finally seen her release with him in the bed of a hotel room. She’d always intrigued him, caught his attention in a crowded room, made his blood sizzle with desire.
She embodied him that something different he’d been searching for a long time. This wasn’t the kind of thing a guy experienced and moved on—this was the real deal.
Now that they’d spent time together and confirmed his desire ran deeper than surface attraction, he wouldn’t abandon her or ignore her, the way everyone else had in her life. Maybe she just needed someone on her side, someone she turned to when she faced the darkness alone. He wanted to be that man. And if Rick thought she was another Natalia, he was dead wrong. Logan knew it this time.
Allison’s forced laugh pierced his troubled thoughts. “I’m not afraid of anything. You’re too paranoid. Which I guess is a good thing considering your line of work.” She pointed to the electrical panel. “You wanted to cut the power, right?”
He nodded. He braced one hand against the upper shelf as he reached for the fuse box.
Their bodies pressed close in the small closet. He notched the fuses to the left. The lights went out. Darkness enveloped them. He inhaled the scent of her hair, her skin. Base urges surged inside him.
As he drew back, he couldn’t resist letting his fingertips glide against the indentation of her waist. She pulled in a quick breath.
Before he could help it, he grazed his knuckles up the center of her back, sifting his fingers through her hair. He traced the baby-fine silk at the top of her neck. His erection pulsed.
“Logan.” She choked on his name, as she escaped his embrace. He let her go. For now.
“This won’t take long.” He found his small LED flashlight in his laptop bag. He switched it on and stuck it between his teeth. The stream of blue light allowed him to work in the dark. As he finished connecting the white and yellow wires, he glanced at Allison from the corner of his eye. The glow of his flashlight barely illuminated her. She hunched over the calendar in her day planner. Her eyes skimmed quickly as she flipped pages, her face shockingly pale. He closed the panel then took the flashlight in his hand, spotlighting her. “Counting down the days until your next road trip?”
She slammed the planner shut. “N-no, nothing like that.”
Yeah, right . “Your upgrades are in progress.”
“Really, that’s all it took?”
“I told you it would be painless.” He sealed both panels, tapped another code into his laptop, and his downloads zipped through to completion.
“As a bonus of the upgrades, you’ll be linked to my private Stone Security server that’ll send you upgrades automatically from now on.”
“That’s very generous. I didn’t expect that.” Her face softened with a gorgeous look of trust that took his breath away. “I can’t thank you enough.”
“I can think of one way.” In the next second pulled her into his arms. Their bodies sealed together. She offered no protest as his arms tightened around her waist. He murmured low, “I want to give you what you need. What we both need.”
Her back straightened against the wall. “I know…” She didn’t stop him as his mouth fastened on the side of her neck.
In the dark, touch became more powerful. Sensation overtook reason. Heat and need pulsed through him. He drew on her skin, sucking in the taste of her, memorizing her texture. He dragged his lips up her throat, whispered in her ear. “Let me touch you.” His tongue traced the curve of her ear, dipped into the delicate canal. She shivered. “I can make you forget about everything.”
“That’s the problem,” she murmured. Her body refuted her statement by pressing harder against him.
An invitation he gladly took. “Just you and me.” He glided his palms up her bare arms. “Right here, right now.”
When she exhaled, he inhaled. Nothing existed outside this moment. She consumed him.
He scattered kisses over her face, the corners of her mouth, her chin as her head tipped back. “I want to make you feel beautiful.” Make you need me . “Make you sigh and then make you scream.” Can’t get enough . “Remind you how good it was the first time.” How it can be even better .
“I remember.” Her lashes fluttered closed. Lingering resistance drained from her, and she went slack in his embrace. He guided her arms up around his neck. Her nails scraped through his hair. His whole body throbbed.
“Damn, what you do to me.” He pressed his barely contained erection against her hip.
He captured her lips and didn’t hold back. He poured scorching need into his kiss. His tongue dove deep, curled around hers, conquering her mouth with every sweep.
If he had more control, he’d spend hours kissing her. He wasn’t that man tonight. Not with bright-hot desire coursing through his veins with a vengeance.