“You don’t act spoiled rotten,” I tell her, earning a surprised look. “I’m serious. You’re pretty easygoing.” I haven’t seen one sign of the spoiled, rich, horrible brat that the media portrays her as. Makes me think they’ve got it all wrong.

“Yeah, well, I am. At least, according to my family and … everyone else who knows me,” she mutters, shaking her head.

“Like your mom and dad? Wouldn’t it be their fault, if they consider you spoiled?” I ask casually, already knowing her background. Curious to see how she answers.

“My mom died when I was little.” She doesn’t so much as look at me when she says that, keeping her head bent, her eyes on the ground.

“I’m sorry.” Now it’s my turn to feel as awkward as she probably did when I told her about my tattoo.

Lily lifts her head, a sunny smile plastered on her face. Fake as hell. “Yeah, well, that’s life, right?” She’s repeating my false words right back to me.

And it sucks.

“Right,” I say firmly.

“What about your family?” she asks.

“What about them?” Shit. I don’t want to do this, but she’s making it so easy. She makes me want to tell her stuff, share with her intimate details, which is fucking insane. I can’t give this girl any information. She could use it against me later.

When she finds out I’m working for Pilar.

“Do you have brothers or sisters? Are your parents married or divorced?” She pauses, then blurts, “I have two sisters. I’m the oldest. My dad never remarried, but he has a girlfriend none of us can stand.”

I’m shocked that she’d reveal so much. “I have a brother, he’s older. My parents are still together. My dad is retired military and my mom stayed at home to raise us.” I hope like hell this is enough information to keep her happy so this game of sharesies is over and done with. I’m putting an end to it right now. “You doing okay there, princess? This hill is steep.”

“I’m fine.” She sends me a shy glance, then bends her head again. “Barely making it with the flip-flops, but I’ll survive.”

“Hell.” I step right in her path, my back to her as she comes to an abrupt stop. “Get on my back. I’ll carry you the rest of the way up.”

“I couldn’t. You already carried me to the waterfall. I can’t expect you to carry me back to the Jeep.”

“Don’t fight me.” I look over my shoulder and send her a meaningful glare, one that says I’m not going to let her argue. “I’ll just end up carrying you anyway, so be agreeable.”

“Bossy man,” she mumbles as she takes a few steps back like she did last time, giving herself distance so she can hurry toward me and tackle my back.

I grasp her to me with ease, my hands curved around the back of her knees, her slender arms wrapped lightly around my neck. She presses her cheek next to mine for the briefest moment before her mouth goes to my ear. “Thank you for humoring me.”

“Carrying you is never a burden,” I reassure her. More like a tricky form of torture, since I can feel her soft, tempting body wrapped all around me.

“I wasn’t talking about that, though I’m thanking you for that, too.” She pauses, gasping and tightening her arms around my neck when I climb a particularly steep part of the trail with no problem whatsoever. Years in the military is excellent training for this kind of hike. “I’m referring to when I asked about your tattoo. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable.”

“I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable, either. Besides, you were straight with me, so I thought I would be straight with you.” And it’s the truth. I couldn’t keep everything from her when she was so forthcoming in regards to my question. Yeah, we’re talking surface stuff here. Silly stuff. Non-important stuff, like tattoos and belly rings, but little slivers of our personal lives came out with those revelations regardless.

Not enough to do either of us any damage, but it allowed me a glimpse into the secret world of Lily, the world Lily doesn’t let just anyone see. And damn it, now I want to see more.

Chapter fifteen

Lily

WE DROVE BACK to the resort with the jeep’s top removed¸ the warm air blowing through my hair and whipping it into my face, tangling it into knots. I tried my best to work my fingers through the snarls, but it was beyond repair and I gave up. That was all I had the energy for, anyway. I sat slumped in my seat pretty much the entire way, my body weak from the two intense orgasms the man gave me in a short amount of time. After he made me come with his long, thick fingers, Max dragged me back to shore and proceeded to make me come again with his long, thick cock.

The way he looked at me, the things he said … a shiver steals through me just remembering. The man commands my body like no other. And I don’t use the word command lightly, either. When he told me he was in complete control whenever he was fucking me, I swear I became light-headed. My world was spinning, all because of a few choice words uttered in the sexiest growl I’ve ever heard. I could have spontaneously orgasmed right there on the spot, and I’ve never been the type of girl to come easily. A lot of work is always required beforehand.

Max is unlike any man I’ve experienced before, and though at first his bossiness rubbed me the wrong way, I’ve come to realize I almost … crave it. I want more of him. I want to learn more about him. It’s been fun and games for the most part, beyond the moments when he saved me—and those are important moments. I’m grateful he was there, that he never hesitated. He just jumped in and took care of the situation. Took care of me.

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