My hands go to his chest and heat darts up my arms and across my chest. Liam slides a card into an elevator slot, directing us to the penthouse level, then flattens a hand on the wall above my head. Our eyes connect and I feel it clear to my toes, in every part of me. Still we do not speak, as if we are both afraid the spell will be broken and we will be back to goodbye.

The doors ding open and he drags his hand down my arm, and laces my fingers with his, tugging me along again as if he fears I will change my mind. After my flip-flopping from no to yes, I don’t blame him, but that is over. I crave the hot, dominant way I know he will take me away. I want to be here, to be with him.

A quick swipe of his keycard and the door is open, and he flips the light on. Liam tugs me inside and I smile as we step toe to toe, his hands on my shoulders. “Any second thoughts?” he challenges.

“About how this night started, yes. About now, none.”

“Do you want to talk about how it started?”

“Do we have to?”

“No.” He takes my hand. “We don’t have to talk about it.”

A charge sparks in the air and he starts backing down the hallway and I willingly follow until the sound of my phone ringing freezes me in place. Urgency is like lightening in my blood, my future hanging on the unanswered line. “I have to get this.” I tug my hand from Liam’s and grab my purse from my shoulder, unzipping it with an obvious shake to my hand that Liam isn’t going to miss.

Aware that I am unsteady, a mix of champagne and panic, I lean against the wall and stare down at the unknown number. Quickly, I punch the “answer” button before I miss the call again, and I swear my heart is about to explode through my throat as I croak, “Hello.”

“Ms. Bensen?”


“Oh, good,” a slightly familiar male voice proclaims. “This is Scott from the cell phone store. You left your driver’s license here. We close in an hour if you want to swing by.”

Relief washes through me and nervous laughter, once again, bubbles from my lips.

“Thank you. I’ll come by tomorrow and get it.”

“I’ll hold it at the register and keep it safe. Goodnight.”

“Thank you again. Goodnight.” I end the call and Liam takes my phone and shoves it back into my purse before setting it on the ground and the look in his eyes says I’m in for another game of dodgeball I do not want to play.

“I left my ID in the store.” I lean forward and wrap my arms around Liam’s neck and mold my upper body to his. Warmth spreads from every place we are touching to every place we are not. “Where were we?”

His hand splays between my shoulder blades, a hot branding I welcome, but the warning that follows is ice dousing the fire. “You aren’t going to pretend what just happened didn’t happen. Just like you aren’t going to tell me you didn’t walk into the bathroom at the restaurant running from me and then exit running from someone, or something, else. And I’m not buying it was Meg.”

“New places make me nervous.” I press my lips to his.

His hand tangles in my hair and gently pulls my head back, forcing my gaze to his, and his eyes are as hard as his voice as he orders, “Don’t give me that kind of answer. Raw and honest, Amy. That’s what we are or we are nothing at all.” He presses me against the wall, caging me with his arms, pinning me in a stare. “Tell me who is scaring you and I promise you, Amy, I will make them go away.”

If only it were that easy. If only he could be my Prince Charming, my hero. But the truth he wants is that I’m a reality show kind of gal. And in reality, heroes die, just like everyone else in my life. I grab his shirt and lean into him. “What happened to you f**king me until we can’t walk anymore? That’s what tonight is supposed to be. Not you making me one of your mathematical equations you have to crack. I don’t want to be cracked, Liam. I don’t want to answer questions. I want to be f**ked.” I barely recognize the woman who can say such a thing and that only twists me into a few more knots. I am sick of not knowing. “You promised. You said you were—”

I yelp in surprise as he picks me up and starts walking. “What are you doing?”

“No more questions, remember?”

Blood rushes to my ears, and I do not even try to see the room around me but I am aware it’s a fancy sitting area that is nothing more than a means to an end. The bedroom. Sex. We are going to have sex. That’s what I asked for. That’s what I dared to demand. Actually, I demanded I be f**ked. Until last night, I didn’t say that word. This man is changing me and I am not sure if that is good or bad. It feels good. He feels good, but maybe too good. I cannot even willingly lie to the man when lying is how I survive. He is making me careless. He is making me…so much.

Too much. Not enough when I want more, and I have no business wanting anything at all.

We enter the bedroom and a light glows dimly, though I am not aware of how or when Liam turned it on, and to my surprise, he bypasses the bed that sits in the center of the main wall of the room. Instead, he sets me on my feet in front of a massive bathroom I barely glimpse, before he shuts the door. And that intense edginess I’m coming to know as Liam has cranked up several notches. He is mad or…wounded? Over me? That can’t be. He is confident and experienced and I am…whatever I am, but I am less, if I have hurt this man who has already proven he is so much more than his Wiki page.

Tags: Lisa Renee Jones The Secret Life of Amy Bensen Romance
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