“You were right. I’m going to make you want things you never knew you wanted.”

He left my clit to leverage my hips, shoving himself deeper. A small, helpless cry escaped me as I felt myself unraveling around him.

“You’re going to want me to hold you down and fuck you hard. To take control of your body.”

“Blake, please…oh, God.”

“You want it right now, don’t you?”

“Yes. Now. All of you.” I spasmed uncontrollably around him, his words spurring my gnawing hunger.

He released me then and flipped me to my back, covering my body with his own. He lunged into me with powerful thrusts that carried us up the bed and drove me straight into a heart-pounding orgasm that shot through me like lightning, a blinding white heat. I sobbed his name and raked my fingers down his back, steeling myself at his shoulder as the fire in me exploded around us.

“You have me, Erica.”

He shuddered to his own climax, pinning my hips to the bed with the force of his last growling thrust. We lay there for several minutes, tangled in each other, tied together by the experience, while relief and waves of sheer bliss rushed over me. He traced my face with his fingertips, almost reverently, his eyes never leaving mine. Physically and emotionally I’d never felt more connected to another person. No one could ever make me feel this way. So stripped, so raw.

He pressed petal-soft kisses on my swollen lips, whispering adorations in my ear until I fell asleep in his arms.

I awoke a few hours later. The day was dawning and Blake’s arms had me firmly tucked next to him, preventing any remote thoughts I might have had about escaping. I turned slightly to look at him, but when I moved, his arm tightened around my waist. His face was relaxed and peaceful. I smiled. I was right where I wanted to be. I draped my arm over his, holding him closer to me as I tried to fall back to sleep.

Suddenly Blake’s phone rang from his pants on the floor. After a few rings he stirred and rolled off the bed to retrieve it.

“What’s wrong?” he said.

An odd way to start a conversation.

“Where are you?” he continued, pressing the phone to his shoulder as he reached for his clothes on the floor. “Okay, I’ll be there in ten.”

He ended the call and finished dressing, seemingly forgetting that I was there.

“What’s going on?” I asked.

He paused and looked over to me, his face lined with concern. What the hell could be going so wrong that he had to walk out on us this very second?

“I’m sorry. I have to take care of something. I shouldn’t be too long.”

“Can I come with you?”

“No, just pack up. I’ll drive you back to Boston when I get back.”

“I can’t leave. I have a meeting tomorrow,” I said, glancing at the clock. “Today actually.”

“With who?”

“I’m having brunch with Isaac Perry.”

“Reschedule it,” he ordered without hesitation. “I’m getting you out of here tonight.”

“Blake, what the fuck is going on?” I crossed my arms defensively, a little insecure that I was still completely naked while he wasn’t.

“I can’t explain right now.”

“Forget it. I’m staying here.” I marched over to my bags to find some clothes.

“Trust me, we’re getting out of here,” he said. His jaw was set in that familiar uncompromising line. “I’ll explain everything when I get back, I promise.”

I gauged his expression, wishing I could believe him. He bridged the distance between us and made my decision for me with a kiss that had me wishing we had ten more minutes together.

“I’ll be back soon,” he said, and then rushed out the door.

Showered and dutifully packed, I cursed myself for letting Blake talk me into blowing off my meeting. I eventually fell asleep again waiting for him. Hours later he sat next to me on the bed, nudging me awake.

“Time to go, baby,” he said, his voice quiet and tender.

“Is everything okay?” I asked, shaking off the cobwebs.

“Come on, let’s talk in the car.” He stood and grabbed my packed bags. I did a quick inventory of all my things and followed him out.

I bid a silent farewell as we headed north out of the city, realizing I hadn’t had a chance to say goodbye to Alli. I’d call later, much later when she and Heath had a chance to sleep off what was undoubtedly a late night for them.

“Are you going to enlighten me?” I finally asked.

Blake tightened his grip on the wheel.

“Who called you last night?”


I frowned, curious why she even had Blake’s number. My mind juggled the possibilities, but there just wasn’t enough to go on.

“Why would she be calling you?”

“I’m sure Alli didn’t tell you this, for obvious reasons, but Heath has something of a drug problem. I thought he was clean, but he’s relapsed.”

I blew out my breath, absorbing the shock of this news. My mind sped up, connecting all the dots. Everything added up. His strung out look the other morning, the late nights, and an undercurrent of distrust that I couldn’t shake when I was around him.

“What kind of drugs?”

“Cocaine mostly.”

“Alli,” I whispered, covering my mouth with a shaky hand. How she could be with him under these circumstances? This was serious. What if Alli were involved with drugs now too, because of him? This would explain her being out of touch, and the weight loss that, though subtle, was still noticeable to me.

“Alli’s not using with him,” he said, as if reading my mind.

“How do you know?”

“I believe her. After years of dealing with Heath, my bullshit meter is pretty well honed. She’s clean.”

I nodded, relieved and feeling suddenly sorry for Blake. How long had he been dealing with this? Cleaning up Heath’s messes?

“What happened tonight?”

“He got into a fight at the club. They called the cops, and they found drugs on him. Same old story.”

“So now what?”

“They’ll keep him overnight. I already arranged to have him bailed out, then I’ll have to get him into rehab so he can avoid jail time again.”

Again? “Where will he go?”

“I’m thinking about getting him out of New York. Coke, models, and clubs. You can’t have one without the other two apparently, and he just can’t shake the club scene.”

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