I laughed at her disgruntled tone, and it earned me a twisted nipple. “Hey!” I yelped, grabbing her hand. I brought it to my lips and kissed each fingertip. “I love knowing you’ll spend all day feeling me inside you. Reminding you who this pussy belongs to.”

Lia sighed, but amusement danced on the edges. “Such a caveman thing to say.”

Laughter bubbled up again and I hugged her close before carefully moving her off of me. I placed a kiss on her temple before climbing off the bed and padding over to my dresser. Opening the top drawer, I grabbed a pair of boxer briefs and pulled them on.

I walked to the master bath and turned the light on, then switched on the heat for the tiles and towel bars. Then I made my way over to the deep soaker tub that could fit at least four people. I twisted the handle for the hot water and while it heated up, I went to the sink and knelt down to rummage in the cabinet below.

Delia always stayed with me whenever Zack had to go out of town. Because I’m a sucker for my niece, I let her take over the master suite while I camped out in one of the guest bedrooms. Mostly, I did it because I knew how much she loved using the bathtub. Last time, she’d brought some kind of basket thing full of girly bath shit and left it here. I was pretty sure I’d thrown it under the sink—ah, found it.

I returned to the tub and started to fill it, pouring in some of the bubbly stuff. Then I went back out to the bedroom and lifted a protesting Lia into my arms. “How about a bath, sweetheart?” That perked her up and her pout turned into a dreamy smile.

We soaked together for a while, then showered, which took twice as long since I had to get her even dirtier before I washed her. As the time drew nearer to my shift on the casino floor, I began to regret having taken this job.

However, I’d committed, and Lia mentioned that she needed to spend a little more time playing in a relaxed environment to loosen her up for the tournament. So, after we were dressed and were ready to go, I drove us back to The Lennox Hotel and Casino.

“Promise me you won’t go all caveman, and I’ll think about playing a few rounds at your table,” she offered as we walked hand in hand to the employee door where I needed to clock in.

I dragged her inside with me and pulled her into my arms. “No promises. But I’ll try.” I kissed her passionately, savoring her taste and feel to get me through the next eight hours.

Chapter 9

Becket

It was hard as fuck to not keep my eyes glued to Lia for the next several hours, but I needed to concentrate to do my job. I was damn good at it, and this wasn’t the time to get sloppy. I was slated to deal in the tournament the next day, so like Lia, I was using the time I had to work to get my mind in the right headspace.

Every now and then, I’d allow myself to find her in the room and something began to bother me, though I wasn’t sure what it was. Eventually, Lia sidled up to my table and gave me a saucy wink before sliding onto one of the stools.

After one hand, the woman sitting on the end of the half-moon table, right across from Lia, cashed out her chips and left. Her seat was quickly taken by a man who seemed familiar to me, but I couldn’t quite place where I’d seen him before. Hand after hand, the niggling feeling kept getting stronger.

The way he kept staring at Lia was getting under my skin, but I’d promised her to try and not scare off the players who knew what they were doing. And, this guy was one hell of a poker player. Though, not as good as Lia.

Something clicked in that moment, and I realized he was the guy at the table the day before. The one who watched Lia like a hawk and ignored my not so subtle hints for him to get the fuck away from my table. Not only that, it hit me what had been bothering me all evening whenever I sought out Lia. More often than not, he was playing at the same table.

I glanced at Lia to gauge her reaction and could tell that she was trying to ignore him, but when she met my gaze, I saw how uncomfortable she was. As I took a gander at the other players, I saw a stiffness to their postures that told me this creep was also bothering them.

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