“A lightweight is more like it,” I tease, motioning to the two mini bottles, that might be small but straight up pack a bunch for a little think like Emma. I don’t fault her for drinking. She’s trying to process her father’s words in that journal, the way I was trying to process what I had to tell Savage. “Liquid courage to read the journal.”

“He doesn’t name names when he writes out all his vile thoughts,” she says, “but it might mean something to you, something that I can’t see for the disappointment in my father.”

“We’ll read it together tomorrow.”

“There are things you need to know, Jax.”

My eyes narrow. “I thought he didn’t name names.”

“Other things. Other things that you need to know.”

“What do you think I need to know, Emma?”

“Who some of the players in my father’s sick games are, players he doesn’t have to name. I know who they are. But telling you could ruin the Knight empire and I don’t know you well enough yet to trust you with that.”

It’s hard to argue the smartness of that statement. It’s impossible not to push her for more. “Then tell me something else. What secret are you keeping for York?”

Her fingers brush my jaw, her eyes searching my face. “I think I might really like you, Jax.”

I want her to really like me and drunk people tend to say what they might not otherwise, and it’s usually honest. I catch her hand. “Is that a good or a bad thing?”

“You’re addicted to me, you said.”

“Obsessed was the word, but addicted works, too. I am addicted to you. Is that a problem?”

“To fucking me. You’re addicted to fucking me. We have this sex thing, but when that’s over—”

“That’s the whiskey talking. We had this conversation. We’re not just sex.”

“Do you want to have sex right now?”

“I always want to have sex with you, Emma, but that’s not the point.”

“Yes,” she assures me. “It is. It means this is a sex thing.”

“I don’t want to have sex every time a woman laughs a certain way or looks at me. Not unless it’s you.”

“When I laugh you want to have sex with me?” She manages to sound confused and hopeful, a combination most likely only possible while drinking.

It’s adorable. She’s fucking adorable and sexy. “Yes, sweetheart,” I confirm. “I do.”

“How many women do you call sweetheart?” she snaps right back.

“You,” I say, looking her in the eyes. “Just you, Emma.”

“How many women do you call baby?”

“Same answer. You, Emma, just you.”

“Why sweetheart and not baby? You started out with baby.”

“I’m pretty sure I started out with sweetheart.”

“I think it was baby.”

Amused, I arch a brow. “Do you have a preference?”

“You,” she says softly, her eyes meeting mine, her mood shifting, darkening. “You’re my preference, Jax.”

Heat rushes between us and damn near explodes, but I check it. I hold back. “This isn’t just sex and I’m not going to prove the opposite by stripping you naked and fucking you right now.”

“But you want to?”

“Yes. I want to. Tell me the secret you’re protecting for York.”

“Talk about whiplash while I’m drunk. I’m not protecting it for York. He’s protecting his family. I know something about his family.”

“Tell me,” I urge.

“No. No, because it’s about my family, too, and if you use it, York will humiliate me.”

I scoot up the bed, closer to her, leaning into her, my hand on the frame by her head. “How will he humiliate you?”

“It doesn’t matter. I’m telling you that if you use this, he will.”

“I won’t let him humiliate you,” I promise.

“You can’t stop him, Jax.”

“You underestimate me, sweetheart, but that’s okay. You don’t know me well enough to know that I protect what matters to me. And you do. I will protect you.”

“You just met me and we’re enemies.”

“We are not enemies.”

Her hand closes around my shirt. “I don’t want us to be enemies, Jax, but—”

I kiss her, and when she moans one of her soft, sweet moans, all I want is her. I drink her in and stretch us out on the bed, pulling her close, catching her legs with my legs. “We’re not enemies,” I repeat, kissing her all over again, my hands stroking down her sides, her hips, and cupping her backside.

She moans but not with pleasure. “My head is spinning,” she whispers. “I hate this.”

I stroke her hair. “Shut your eyes and rest a little bit.”

“I don’t want to shut my eyes. I want you.”

“You’ll have me right here with you, while you shut your eyes.”

“I think—I think I have to.”

I shift our bodies, rolling to my back, and pulling her onto my chest, under my arm. “Rest.”

“Just for—a minute or two.” Her voice is heavy, groggy. “We didn’t sleep much last night.”

“No, we didn’t.”

Almost instantly, her body relaxes into mine, the sweet scent of her teasing my nostrils, the feel of her soft curves next to me hardening my body. I want her, but I meant what I said to her; this isn’t just about sex. This is about so many damn things outside of sex, and so I lay here, holding her, this woman who calls me her enemy, who really could be my enemy with that damn journal an arm’s reach away. And I’ve managed to get not one single answer from her. I don’t know what she’s protecting, but I do know it’s damaging to her family. And even drunk, She didn’t trust me not to use that information to hurt her family. Holy hell, if I find out they killed my brother, she’d be right. I’d use it to destroy them if I could and that takes me to a dark, dark place. A place where I have to choose between my dead brother and Emma.


Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Naked Trilogy Erotic
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