“He can, but this situation isn’t ideal.” A frown pinched between her eyebrows. “I can’t keep him in the hotel with me, but I don’t want him to stay overnight for days on end at the kennel.” She made a face. “Whenever I’ve taken him there longer than a day, he comes back with an upset stomach. He leaves me disgusting presents all over the house for days.”

“Hey, I get it.” Trey crouched to Peanut’s height on the bed and reached out to scratch behind his ear. “Animals become a part of the family. Especially dogs. They’re so eager to please, what’s not to love?”


He glanced up to find her expression wistful as she looked at her goofy little dog with the painful underbite. “I could take him” he offered. The fluffy guy held a big place in Devon’s heart, and he’d do anything to make her happy.

She blinked as though startled. “What?”

“Yeah, no big deal. I can take him to that puppy-care place you talked about, during the day, then grab him on my way home at night.” Then he added, “Just until you hear back from Stone Security Systems about your alarm trigger.”

“Oh. Okay. You’d do that?”

“Sure. I kind of miss having a dog.”

The look she sent him suggested she didn’t believe he’d dare to be seen with a lap dog Paris Hilton would stash in her purse. Normally, she’d be right. Peanut wasn’t his first choice in canines, but he’d always been around pets and wanted to help her out in her tough position. “Hey,” he admitted, “our house backed onto an alley. Cats galore. And our two labs loved breaking through the fence my dad repaired weekly. Growing up, we had guinea pigs, lizards, shakes. Even an alligator once.”

She looked horrified. “Did you feed it alley cats?”

He laughed. “No, goldfish.”

She let out an amusing sigh of relief. “I guess that qualifies you to handle one small, cranky dog.”

He shot her a grin. “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”

She hesitated. “Just until I hear from Stone Security, right?”

“After that, Peanut and the townhouse are all yours,” he assured.

“Trey.” She twisted her fingers together and glanced down at her hands. “Thank you—”

Swiftly, he closed the distance between them and kissed her lips until her throat relaxed and her tongue twined with his. Then he cupped her cheek and stared down at her. “No worries. I’ll take care of it.”

She held his gaze for several poignant moments then nodded. She threw on the bare minimum of clothes required to take Peanut outside to do his business. He watched her tight ass in leggings and her small perfect breasts poking through her tank top glide out the door, while she attended to her dog.

He blew out a low whistle. Then he went to the window to watch her let Peanut out, since he couldn’t be too careful with the hacker-stalker lurking around any corner. He saw her down below urging Peanut to do his business. Her ass looked amazing in those stretch pants. Willing himself to do the noble thing, he got dressed instead of diving into bed and waiting for her under the covers, so they could pick up where they’d left off.

Actually, he did have a lot to do today. Even though he could pay someone else to take care of his property, he liked the mindless escape of hopping on his mower and trimming his four acre lawn on Sundays. His dad had always mocked the upper crust, wondering why they had huge beautiful laws they never bothered to mow themselves—what was the point? So Trey mowed his own lawn. Also on Sundays he watered the extensive flower beds the previous owners had left, then lazed around envisioning his future house with a huge great room and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the distant city lights. And six bedrooms he couldn’t wait to fill with a brood of his own.

Obviously, his first addition would be Devon. The rest would follow its natural course.

He grinned, picturing his wife and tons of kids scrambling around his new huge house, hardly containing himself until his life spread before him exactly how he’d imagined it.


Late Sunday morning, Devon returned to the office.

Truthfully, she needed something to take her mind off Trey. And sex. And sex with Trey.

There weren’t enough positive adjectives in her vocabulary to describe his mind-blowing moves in bed. Her thighs clenched just thinking about their torrid lovemaking last night. The way he’d gripped her tight, the sensation of his length gliding inside her. And Lord, what that man could do with his mouth. He’d found all her hot zones and matched his need with her own.

Even more tantalizing, she suspected he was just getting started. Ramping up for future sweat-soaked marathon sessions between the sheets. So much to look forward to…

She’d never felt more connected to a man, so in sync on so many levels. He got her. He knew what she needed before she even asked and gave her what her heart had craved for so long. Connection. A true, deep, undeniable bond with another soul. He looked into her eyes, and all she wanted to say was yes. To anything. To everything that his beautiful eyes promised to give her. And those dark depths told her that if she said yes and took the leap, she wouldn’t regret it.

She shivered and blew out a slow breath to calm her spiking heart rate. If she didn’t focus, her confused thoughts would drive her to distraction.

With a pained sigh, she eyed the stack of notes she’d started to work on for technical documentation. The bane of every programmer’s existence. But a necessary evil if she wanted to leave her IT team with the capability of moving on without her.

An uncomfortable hollowness took root within her.

This new job offer came with so many unexplored horizons. She had felt excited and so certain yesterday at the arcade, experiencing interactive player games that she could help create to please nerds and gamers all across the globe. But today, the boops and beeps and zombies and quests seemed more like a consolation prize than her dream career path.

After spending the night in Trey’s arms, something fundamental had shifted her internal chemistry. He’s pushed past her well-maintained emotional boundaries. Throwing her into chaotic, unexplored aspects of herself. Which overjoyed her and irritated her at the same time. She didn’t know what to do. The split inside her was fast becoming a chasm.

Two weeks with Trey wasn’t enough. Not nearly. That she knew for certain.

Yet she wanted equal fulfillment in her career choice. She didn’t mind her job as Director of IT for Soren Security Bodyguards, but the work didn’t make her spirit dance or her soul sing, whereas, on a personal level, Trey accomplished both those beautifully. But as much as she wanted to dive into and explore what could be between them, she needed to think about her future as a big picture. Something she’d always excelled at before her new lover had enticed her into exploring boundaries unknown and possibilities undiscovered.

Tags: Vanessa Waltz Billionaire Bodyguard Suspense
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