“It’s fine. I was just trying to help. I’m hungry.”

“Thank you. For everything. I didn’t mean to totally flash you. It seems I have really bad timing.”

“It would seem that you’re not that lucky in that area.” I am, though.

She wobbles just a bit, planting her hand on the counter. Staring at where her hand lands, I can see it’s shaking.

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I just didn’t eat today.”

“Wow. You should have grabbed a snack.” I’m pissed that she’s not taking care of herself. It’s okay because I’m here to do it now.

“I’m already freeloading off your generosity. I didn’t want to eat all your chips.” I shrug. I have tons of bags of chips. It’s one of my few vices. I love to have some beer with some chips after a long day at work.

“Sweet felony, you’re welcome to it all.”

I open the cabinet and pull out a bag of Lays and hand it to her. She snatches it and takes one like she’s starving. I knew it. “Sweet felony?”

“Yes. Nothing like having a witness under my protection with a body that’s fucking criminal.” She blushes, and I know I’ve crossed the line. “Forgive me. It’s just well…it’s best that it was only me coming home.”

“Why? Do you have a girlfriend or something?” Yes, her, but it’s too fucking soon. I have to wait until the trial to make a move. It’s unethical and an abuse of power even though I’m not on the case.

“No, but if Boss or Boomer came to check on you, that would have ended badly.” I have to rein in this jealousy. She’s not mine even if I wanted. She’s under my protective custody.

“Why? Well, I get why Boomer seeing me would be bad because Crystal would bury me.”

“Wait, you met her?” I could see Crystal being fiery with her if she looked at Boomer wrong.

“Yes, he wanted to pick her up before he brought me here. She’s really nice and really pregnant.” And you will be too, one day very soon. I never considered having babies until this very second, but that’s what I want as long as she’s the woman I put them in. My dick stiffens, and I close the gap between us.

“Let me finish dinner. Sit down.” I do my best to control the need to kiss her, so I pull out the chair and wait for her to take it.

“You don’t have to be so nice to me just because I showed you all my goodies.” She playfully teases to ease her own embarrassment.

“I know that, but I didn’t get a great look, so although I saw most of your sexy silhouette, I didn’t get a full image. I still feel bad about it either way.”

“You shouldn’t; it wasn’t your fault.”

“But the next time you give me a show, just know I might not just watch.”

She gasps, flushing from her chest up to her neck with mortification. I should be embarrassed about how I’m acting. I’ve never been this forward with a woman before. I never said more than a sentence at a time. Now I can’t stop letting her know how much trouble she’s in by staying here.

My phone pings just at that moment. I pull it out and see a message from Boomer. I have a place for her to move in tomorrow.

Immediately I’m stricken with the idea of her being around other men. Another bastard looking at her the way I am. Cock hard and ready to strike. I can’t have her, but that doesn’t mean I’m tossing her to the wolves. Never mind. She’s staying here.

Are you sure?

She’s staying. I wonder if he can feel the growl in my words because even though I just typed them from the look on her face, Mary certainly heard me growl like the beast they call me.


“Would you like something to drink?” I ask her, trying to maintain control of the beast inside of me. The nickname came from war and my size, but it has a new meaning now. I feel animalistic around this small little beauty.

“I can get it for myself.” She moves to stand, but I give her a shake of my head.

“I’ll get it. Sit,” I bark out.

“Are you always so bossy?” She crosses her arms under her breasts with a humph, fucking driving me nuts.

I bent down in front of her, cupping her chin. “Yes.” Unable to stop myself, I kiss her forehead. “Now, what would you like?”

“Um…do you have a coke?” I try to not focus on the fact that she liked that invasion of her personal space.

“Sure.” I open the fridge and pull out two kinds. “I’ll take the Sprite.”

“Did you want garlic bread?”

“Um…sure.” She takes a drink of her coke, and I watch, amazed and jealous at the damn can that touches her soft lips. “Do you like to cook?”

Tags: C.M. Steele Romance
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