And it was all so…all so good. As scary—hell, terrifying—as it was, she could see herself getting used to this.
Chandler finished off his plate, which consisted of half a pig’s worth of bacon. As he pushed the plate away and folded his arms across the top of the island, the look on his face said things were about to get serious.
Alana’s stomach tumbled. “What?”
“We need to get back to business,” he said, and her stomach plummeted even more. Somehow—God, she was an idiot—she’d forgotten why she was here. Not because they were a normal male and female, but because she had hired him as her bodyguard. “Like I said before, I think this is something personal. We’re barking up the wrong tree looking at clients.”
Alana munched on her bacon, giving herself a few seconds to pull her head out of her vagina. “By personal, you’re meaning…?”
“Exes,” he said, meeting her eyes. “Someone who has an intimate knowledge of you.”
She shook her head. “I don’t think that’s it. In all my relationships, things never… Well, we never got to any point that would warrant this kind of…” She trailed off, and then it came again, the same thing she’d thought before she’d been shot. She shook her head once more, brows knitted together.
“What?” His lips thinned. “You have that look again. What are you thinking?”
Suddenly no longer hungry, she placed the last piece of bacon back on the plate. “It’s just… It’s stupid.”
“Nothing you are thinking or could say is going to be stupid, Alana.”
Her breath caught. “I did run into an ex the other day.” Taking a deep breath, she told Chandler about how long they’d dated and how things ended. As she spoke, a dark and dangerous look took hold of his ruggedly handsome face. “But it can’t be him.”
“Why couldn’t it be this Steven?”
“First off, he’s engaged, and the breakup… Well, he didn’t expect it, but he moved on.” She picked up the last piece of bacon. “So he’s obviously moved on. And secondly? I’m not the type of woman men obsess over.”
His jaw seemed to come unhinged. “What?”
Her eyes rolled. “Look, I know there’s not a certain type, because it really doesn’t have anything to do with the woman. It’s the man and all his issues. Whatever. But I’ve never been close in relationships.”
“I’m the first man you’ve actually slept the entire night with.” The smugness in his voice was hard to miss.
“He has no reason to be this—this angry with me,” she said, wiping off the tips of her fingers with a napkin he handed over. “And he’s moved on, so…”
Chandler rocked back on the stool, arms crossed. “Maybe I need to talk with him.”
A tight smile appeared on Alana’s lips as she imagined them talking. She doubted it would involve a lot of talking. Probably a lot of fists.
Unwanted and unexpected, a shiver coursed down her spine as her gaze locked onto the deep blue of Chandler’s. There was a dark cloud there, shadowing his features. Her entire livelihood depended upon her uncanny knack at reading people and seeing through their BS, but could she be that far off when it came to something personal? That the culprit behind the letters, the vandalism, and the break-in was right in front of her?
Was she that far off?
It didn’t matter how many times Chandler tasted her or slid deep inside her, it was never enough. He was addicted to her—to the way she moved against him, how her mouth brought him pleasure and then riled him up seconds later when she mouthed off, or the way she cried out his name as she came. He couldn’t keep his hands off her, not when he was awake or asleep.
The days blurred together in a way that didn’t concern Chandler.
In the mornings, he woke up beside her, amazed by how right that felt, and he knew that it was how his brothers must feel. It was nothing short of amazing for him to roll over, run his palm down the soft curves of the warm body beside him, and feel her push that tantalizing ass of hers back against his groin.
Every morning, he took her before he said his first word, and she was always, deliciously ready.
He’d slide into her from behind, hooking her leg over his. He took her in the mornings in a slow, languid pace that always quickly spiraled out of control, leaving both of them panting for breath and their hearts racing.
Then they would shower. Each time, Alana would argue that it would probably be more beneficial if they’d shower separately, but after one kiss, she’d relent. Water conservation aside, sex in the shower was never an easy feat, especially not with her shoulder, although it was healing nicely. He’d take her from behind or get down on his knees, bringing her to release with his mouth and fingers. Or they both would end up on the floor of the wide shower, her seated firmly in his lap, riding him and taking him in a way only Alana was capable of.
At some point, they’d eat breakfast. Sometimes in bed. Sometimes in the kitchen. Each time, it ended with him getting his favorite kind of dessert. And every night they went to bed, he couldn’t stay out of her. Normally his sexual appetite ran on the kinky side of things, but with her shoulder, he found himself not wanting to risk it, and for the first time in many years, he didn’t have a problem with vanilla sex. As long as he was wrapped in her slick hotness, he was in heaven, and the sex was more than enough to satisfy him. Until it was over and then he wanted her again. He always wanted her.
But it was more than the sex.
For the first time, Chandler found himself wanting her to talk to him, to tell him her thoughts, to share her memories, and to involve him in her life. Typically this would be the point in a relationship where he’d shut down or hightail his ass out of there, but like with the sex, he just couldn’t get enough of her. It was the same with him. He shared things with her over the course of the week that only his brothers knew. What was between them had rapidly grown beyond a physical attraction and into something a hell of a lot stronger than “like” or casual.
Chandler wasn’t sure at exactly what moment he’d fully accepted that he’d fallen—and fallen like a f**king tree—for Alana. What he was feeling in his chest and what he wanted from her? It was love.
The most dangerous four-letter word.
Crazy thing was, his balls didn’t shrivel up with the realization that he was in love with the stubborn, commitment-phobic woman. He was pretty confident that she felt the same way, but getting her to admit it wasn’t something he was going to be able to force. All he could do was show her how he felt and prove to her that she felt the same thing without causing her to run.
So he kept how he felt, verbally, to himself.
Murray had retrieved the mail from Alana’s apartment on Friday. There were two letters from the ass**le stalking her. Both vaguely threatening, warning that they would meet soon. He didn’t show Alana the letters. During the time with him, the woman had finally begun to relax. Hell, she was even wearing jeans more often. He didn’t want to take that away from her.
In spite of all the time he was spending with Alana and how at the end of the day, he pretty much f**ked himself senseless, unease formed in his gut and grew with each passing day. Whenever he was hired for a job, he always knew who the enemy was, but with this? He was no closer to finding out who was behind this than he’d been the first day Alana walked back into his life. That little ditty nagged at him, and from what information he’d gleaned from Alana about her past relationships, none of them appeared to fit the bill of psychopath. Then again, people who came across as average and kind could be killers.
On Wednesday, he’d searched down two more on the list while Alana had napped in the living room. Neither of them had even remembered who Alana was, and he’d sensed honesty in their voices. By the end of the upcoming week, they’d be able to speak to the Jennifer chick, but he knew it would be a waste of time.
He wasn’t putting his money on Steven, especially since the guy had moved on and Chandler had been able to track down Brent’s connection to an uncle in the city—an uncle who hadn’t see Brent in years. So if the f**ker was here, he wasn’t visiting the fam. Since then, the guy was a ghost.
Just to be sure about the Steven-fella, he’d gotten his phone number off her phone while she’d been resting earlier. The entire time he did it, he could easily picture her kicking his balls into his ass, but he needed that number. A quick call to Murray, a few detailed searches later, he got an address. He’d be making a visit real soon.
Her apartment had been cleaned up and what could be saved remained. He took it upon himself to get an alarm ordered, and it would be installed later this week, but even then, he wasn’t going to be comfortable with her going back to that place until they knew who was behind this.
In two days, she would be going back to work and it would become dangerous once more for her. Protecting her without knowing exactly what he was protecting her from was damn near impossible.
And that realization made him desperate for her.
He found Alana in his kitchen, cleaning up after a dinner of Chinese takeout. He really didn’t remember going to his room and grabbing one of the ties he never wore and putting it in his pocket, but as he walked up behind her as she stood at the sink, he was damn glad his perverted side liked to plan ahead.
Placing his hands on her hips, he tugged her bottom back against him as he bent his head, nuzzling the side of her neck. He smiled when she shivered and tipped her throat back, giving him more access. “Guess what?”
Her hands landed on his arm and her little nails dug into his flesh. “You want dessert now?”
Chandler chuckled. “Kind of.”
Tilting her head to the side, she pouted. “I think I’m disappointed.”
He caught that succulent bottom lip between his teeth and nipped. “I don’t think you will be in a few moments.”
Alana shuddered as his fingers slipped to the button on her jeans. Unhooking them, he nearly groaned at the tinny sound of the zipper and then tugged them down her shapely legs, along with her panties. Next, her shirt came off faster than the devil runs out of a church. No bra. Fucking A.
Cupping her br**sts, he rolled her ni**les between his fingers as he dipped his head, pressing a kiss to the small puckered skin on her shoulder. “Shouldn’t you be wearing the bandage?”
“I don’t think so,” she said, voice husky. “It doesn’t really hurt now.”
“Hmm…” He kissed the angry little scar once more and then placed another kiss over her wildly beating pulse. “I like you like this.”
“What?” She arched her back, thrusting her br**sts into his hand.
He plucked her ni**les, grinning when she gasped. “Standing na**d in front of my sink.”
A soft laugh lit up the kitchen. “Are your blinds closed?”
“Of course.” He moved his h*ps against her rear, groaning in her ear. “If I saw you like this every f**king day, my life would be perfect.”
“Every day?” Muscles tensed against him, and he cursed under his breath.
Not wanting to give her time to dwell and obsess over that comment, he curved his hand around her throat, guiding her head back, and kissed her. As he licked his way into her mouth, he pulled out the tie.
“Close your eyes.”
She pulled back a little, brows lowering as she looked over her shoulder at him. “Why?”
He grinned. “Trust me. You’re going to enjoy it.”
A moment passed and then she exhaled roughly. Closing her eyes, she folded her arms under her br**sts. “What are you up to?”
“You’ll see. Keep them closed.” Tying the blindfold around her head, he felt his c**k jump at her soft inhale that followed. He likie. He likie a lot.
“Chandler?” Nervous excitement filled her voice as she lifted her hands, her fingers hovering at the edges of the blindfold.
He turned her around and his gaze moved over her body, smiling as the dusky rose tips of her br**sts tightened. “You’re beautiful.”
“I’m completely na**d and blindfolded, and you’re dressed.”
“True.” He captured her next words with his mouth. He wouldn’t be dressed for long. “You ready for me?”
She bit down on her lip, nodding slowly.
Gripping her hips, he lifted her up. Girl was damn smart. Wrapped her legs around his waist and blindly found his mouth. Taking her to the kitchen table, he sat her down. She squealed as her bottom hit the cool wood. Stepping back, he soaked in the sight of her. She gripped the edges of the table, her thighs spread, and he could see her glistening between her legs.
Something about the way she sat there in blind trust, mixed with the realization of how deeply his feelings ran for her, drove him wild. He wanted to drag this out, to slowly seduce her, but waiting would surely kill him.
“Chandler?” Her chest rose swiftly, and he groaned.
Tearing off his clothes, he went for her. Claiming her mouth in deep, wet kisses, moving down her throat, blazing a path to her br**sts and lower still, where he got all up in her with his mouth and tongue. The taste of her drove him crazy, to the very brink. She came, her h*ps rocking against him, his name a throaty cry on her swollen lips.
Chandler’s hands were shaking as he tugged her off the table, guiding her down to her knees. The beauty in what happened next was that he didn’t need to say what he wanted. Threading his fingers through her hair, he moaned as her hot mouth closed around his cock.
She sucked—she sucked hard, taking him as deep as she could, running her tongue along the underside of his length as she cupped his balls, massaging them the way he’d showed her he liked.