“I still vote Randall’s behind this,” Savage says. “He wanted you back here, and he gambled that, even if Jax followed, you’d be too freaked out to go back to the castle. He could easily have hired the help to pull this off. Hell, maybe he paid Echo to do it.”

“We didn’t confirm with Chance,” I say, “but it does seem logical that Randall knew about Hunter’s blackmail and the merger. I’m just not sure why he’d be freaked out enough about it to kidnap me. None of this has an impact on him.”

“We didn’t talk to your brother about the merger,” Jax points out. “We don’t know Chance’s motivation on that or what he’s offered Randall if it goes through. It could be nothing more than Randall fearing I’d screw that up with Grayson Bennett.”

My brows furrow. “But what does me being with you have to do with that?”

“He either thinks you’re keeping Knight on my mind, or there’s still more that we don’t know. Like, what he has to gain or lose by way of the merger, either of them. For all we know, because we didn’t ask and Chance didn’t offer, Randall has an inheritance riding on the castle as well.”

My eyes go wide. “That’s true. That’s just the kind of thing my father would do.” I reach for my purse at my hip. “I’m calling Chance.”

Jax catches my hand. “Food and rest first, baby. We’ll all think better once those things happen.” There’s a knock at the door.

“Perfectly timed,” Savage says, slapping his hands on his legs. “That will be your food. And for what it’s worth, Emma, I agree with Jax. Rest. I’ve got men watching the hotel. I’ve got men working on our many mysteries. I’m going to get them working on the plane, and then, I, too, am going to catch a few z’s in my room as well.” He stands up and heads for the door.

Jax follows and directs the room service crew to take our food to the bedroom. I follow, and when the room service attendant leaves, Jax with him for a moment, I scoot to the edge of the bed and peek at the food under the various trays. Savory and sweet smells tease my nostrils and rumble my belly. I’ve just covered up the mac and cheese, which looks scrumptious, when a rush of awareness drags my gaze to the doorway, where I find Jax standing there, watching me. Our gazes collide, and a rush of emotion quakes between us. We’re finally alone and the turbulence in his eyes tells me that Jax really didn’t think that was ever going to happen again.

He thought he lost me.

On some level, despite his claim otherwise, I do believe that some part of him, at least for the briefest of my time away, thought that maybe, just maybe, I’d walked away by choice. This man, this gorgeous, powerful, in control man, doubted himself and doubted us. It may be crazy to some, but to me, a woman who knows powerful men as people who don’t doubt themselves, I find this humbleness in him so very human, so very real. He doesn’t know that me walking away from him is no longer possible. He doesn’t know that I can no longer live without him.

To let him know such a thing makes me vulnerable.

To be vulnerable means to give trust.

And I trust this man, the way I love him.

With all that I am.



Jax steps into the bedroom in a rush of power and heat that sends my senses into a hot fever rush. My heart thumps in a quickened pace, my skin flushes, and anticipation for that moment when he comes to me is all I seem to process right now.

But he doesn’t come to me.

He walks to the curtain and pulls it shut, casting the room in shadows, a light on one of the nightstands a dim burn, while the burn I feel for this man is a spark always one touch away from a flame. He walks to the opposite side of the table, standing there above me, all broad and tall. “Eat, baby. I need you to eat.”

“Eating isn’t what’s on my mind right now, Jax.”

His lips, those full, gorgeous, talented lips of his, curve. “What’s on your mind?”

“You.” But then my stomach growls. Loudly.

He laughs. “And food. Eat, woman.” He rounds the table and sits down next to me, hugging me close and kissing me, a soft brush of lips on lips, a tease that promises more but denies it all the same. “We have a lifetime for me to have my way with you, and to do everything else on both our minds. And just so you know there are some really dirty things on my mind.”

“Tell me,” I urge.

Tags: Lisa Renee Jones Naked Trilogy Erotic
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