“And what do you get out of this?”
“Nothing from the hotel deal. I’d have no interest and no control.”
“What do you get out of this?” she repeats.
“Protecting what is left of my family and getting you what you deserve. That’s all.” I hold out my hands. “That’s all, Emma.”
“What kind of setup? I heard you talking about setting him up. And don’t say York. You will not connect him to York.”
“I wouldn’t do that to you.”
“I have openly admitted to being consumed by my need for revenge before I met you. The only reason I didn’t tell you about this sooner was that I wanted to come to you with the facts first. And I knew you’d be pissed when you found out about the merger. I didn’t want you to charge at your brother right now.”
“Not until you could set him up?”
“Holy hell, Emma.” I scrub my jaw. “Is that where we’re at? Because I didn’t think it was.”
“Neither did I.”
“I was thinking about the threats Randall made. My brother is dead, and yes, I’ve considered your brother a suspect. I don’t want you to end up dead, too. I need a damn drink, but not as much as I need this.” I step to her, pulling her close, one hand between her shoulder blades and the other at the back of her head. “I know I promised not to touch you, but I’m just a bastard, right? Why would I keep a promise?” My mouth closes down on hers, hot and heavy, and I kiss her. A deep, taking kiss. I kiss her like I will never kiss her again because I might not. She resists at first, but then she’s kissing me, too.
An angry kiss. I taste her anger. I taste my own. We’re both angry at me. And what do I do? Touch her. Kiss her. When I said I wouldn’t. I tear my mouth from hers. “I guess I just proved your point right.” I release her and turn.
She catches my arm. “Exactly what point did you just prove?”
“That you can’t trust me to keep my word. And that the idea of not touching you again is un-fucking-bearable.”
“I’m confused,” she whispers.
My gaze lowers to her swollen lips that I want on mine again, now, and lifts. “I can see why.”
“Do you know what will make me less confused?”
“If you just kiss me again.”
“And when I’m done kissing you?”
“Do you have to be done?”
I don’t need any further encouragement. I kiss her. And this time, I don’t plan to stop.
I am hot, hard, and in need of this woman in ways that I have never needed in my life. Every time I think she’s taken all I have to give, she takes more. But so do I. I want it all with Emma. I want all of her and nothing less. And so, my kiss, my touch, my very breath, right here and now, is all about demand. I demand. She demands. I touch her. Her hands are all over me. We’re wild. We’re burning alive. I rotate her, and somehow, she crashes against the wall. “Oh hell. Sorry, baby.”
She laughs, that sweet sexy laugh of hers. “I like it rough.”
I laugh, and damn, it feels good. We’re back to us right now. Will it last? I hope like hell it does. I kiss her again, and we erupt into a frenzy of touching and tugging off clothing until we’re both naked. I sit down in the chair in the corner, dragging her on top of me. Her arms wrap around my neck, her sweet floral scent teasing my nostrils, clinging to my skin.
I caress a path up her spine, molding her closer. “I’m not letting you go,” I say. “That’s not happening.”
“Remember that,” she whispers. “Whatever happens. Remember that.” She reaches for my mouth, and I tangle my fingers in her hair, slanting my mouth over hers.
Awareness hits that she’s just spoken those words as if they preclude a bloody war, and maybe it will. Maybe it already has, but right now, it’s her and me, and the rest of the world doesn’t exist. Our lips collide, and when I kiss her this time, it’s with a clawing hunger for some unnamed something that only she can name. Revenge, satisfaction, grief, pain, happiness. All things lead back to Emma. She needs to save her brother. I didn’t save mine. My need for her is the only outlet for what I know is guilt. I didn’t save my brother. I didn’t fucking save him.
I drag my mouth from hers, the taste of her, so damn sweet, so damn addictive, lingering on my lips. “Emma,” I whisper, biting back words about her brother I know she doesn’t want to hear, but I need to say them.