“Figured you might want to shower and change into regular clothes at some point.” He dropped a kiss on her neck and pulled out of her, then rose from the bed and walked to the bathroom. “Then again, keeping you nude and in bed with me is a better idea,” he called out.

“For how long?” she asked as he reappeared in the doorway, light from the bathroom highlighted his body but she remained firmly hidden in the shadows.

“Forever.” He moved to the bed and she held her arms out to him, sighing in pleasure when he gathered her to him. “This might sound like I’m giving you a line, but I’ve never felt like this before.”

“Me neither,” she admitted, pressing a kiss to his jaw.

“Let’s have breakfast at Java. Do you know the restaurant?”

Nodding, she rested her head against his chest and began tracing the rose tattoo on his chest. “How about lunch, around 1:30, instead? I have an appointment in the morning.” She planned on dyeing her hair back and throwing away the contacts. No reason to let their relationship continue on lies. And she’d have to tell him her real name. Wonder if he’d remember meeting her from before then? Or kissing her at midnight on New Year’s Eve.

“I’m afraid to let you out of my arms,” he said, his voice serious. “It’s like you appeared out of thin air right when I needed someone the most and I’m terrified you won’t show tomorrow.”

“Nothing can keep me away,” she promised, “Let’s exchange numbers and I’ll text you when I’m done.”

“Sounds like a plan,” he nuzzled her hair, turning her to her back again. “But later.” He began to kiss his way down her body, settling himself between her legs. “Much, much later.”

“Much…later,” Zoe agreed, then gasped as Christian began to make love to her with his mouth.

Chapter Five

Sunlight streaming through the windows awakened Christian. Smiling he rolled over, reaching for Amber, but all he found was her scent and the depression her head had left in the pillow beside him.

He frowned until he heard his cell phone beep. Grabbing it off the bedside table, he glanced at the unfamiliar number. His frown disappeared as he realized it was her.

Sorry can’t be there when u wake up. Borrowed ur phone and texted myself then u. ? Now u have my number. So text me. Maybe when u wake up?

Morning, love. See u at Java’s. 1:30

Setting the phone back down, he made his way to the bathroom to shower and change. Toweling off his hair, he checked his phone again. Nothing.

“Dammit,” he muttered, then texted his cousin. Snagging a cigarette from his tuxedo jacket, he walked out on his balcony for a smoke.

Of course his cousin’s response was immediate and full of so many innuendos about Christian’s disappearance with a mystery woman that he couldn’t help but shake his head and roll his eyes. He ground out the cigarette and threw it in the trash on the way back inside.

Chucking the phone on the bed, he ambled over to his closet.

Today was a new beginning for him. No more drugs (or no more everyday use), no more brawling, no more women whose name wasn’t Amber, er, —he paused—he’d find out her last name today at lunch so he could narrow down that whole no more women thing.

Last night had been amazing, the best time of his life he would go so far to say. They’d shagged, talked and shagged again. Then she’d put her mouth on him and he’d nearly hit the ceiling. Best of all he remembered her this morning. He hadn’t woken up hung over or still high, without a clue as to where he was or who he was with.

He pulled out a button down shirt and shrugged into it.

Before he met her for lunch, he had errands to run, flowers to buy, jewelry to give and whatever else a man did when he wanted to show a woman he was serious about her. He’d given her one of his good luck charms, a ring he’d worn on his thumb, last night as he’d teased her about needing to be able to recognize her when he saw her again sans mask.

Christian had been entirely truthful when he’d told Amber that she was beautiful. He didn’t give a damn about her looks, and from the small glimpses he’d been able to get last night as the moonlight shone through the windows of his room, she had nothing to worry about even if he did.

Fastening the cufflinks at the sleeves, he found a pair of grey slacks and stepped into them, then moved to the bathroom. Wooing a woman was serious business and required a serious wardrobe. Even if he’d rather be wearing jeans and a t-shirt. As he finished getting ready, he fought the urge to check his cell phone again. She did say she had an appointment. Maybe it was one in which she couldn’t answer her calls or texts.

His heart began to beat pound against his chest as he took a last look in the bathroom mirror and grinned.

Nothing could keep them apart. He was sure of it.

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