Home > Damage Control (Dirty Money #2)(17)

Damage Control (Dirty Money #2)(17)
Author: Lisa Renee Jones


At the sound of that name, that only one he has made bearable, I stop in place and face the door. He says nothing more, as if he knows what he’s done. As if he knows that using this name, my new name, will shake me. And he probably does. He knows me in ways that defy a name on paper, in ways no other human being has ever truly known me. I walk back to the door. “Shane,” I say. “Please go away.”

“Would you go away if our circumstances were reversed?”

No. My answer is no, and therefore I have to open the door and step into the hallway. I have to give him some reason to let me go, and that idea guts me. Because that means being a bitch. Being mean. Leaving him thinking I’m the monster he feared when he first confronted me. I flip the steel lock slowly, softly, as not to alert him I’m about to exit, then inhale for courage. I open the door and in a blink, his hands are on my waist, and his big body is crowding mine, walking me inside the room. Another blink and the door slams behind him. Another and I’m against the door the way I was in his apartment, him in front of me, his powerful legs shackling mine, his spicy, deliciously perfect scent encasing me.

“You didn’t really think I’d let you get away, did you?” he says, a long dark lock of hair touching his brow, as if he’s been running his hands through his hair, an act of uncontained emotion he rarely allows himself. But if his emotions are freer than normal, his control is still fully intact. He has it. I do not.



“You should have stayed away,” I say, holding on to Shane’s waist when I should be pushing him away.

He tangles rough fingers in my hair, giving my head a gentle tug, and forcing my gaze to his. “I won’t stay away. Don’t you see that? And even if I wanted to, which I don’t, you’re a drug to me. The only addiction, outside of success, I’ve ever had.” He kisses me, a deep, intoxicating kiss, his tongue stroking, caressing, his hands under my T-shirt, warm on my bare skin. Sensations spiral through me—he spirals through me, this man who has become such a part of me in ways he can’t understand, in ways I am not sure I understand. I moan with their impact, with the force that is this man consuming me, and I’m struggling to stay sane. In the moment, I shove at his chest, pulling away from his kiss.

“Shane, wait, I need—”

“We need,” he says, and suddenly he is pulling my T-shirt over my head, tossing it aside, and his shirt follows. “It’s not you anymore,” he says, his hands back on my naked waist, branding me, seducing me. “It’s not me anymore. It’s us. It has been since the moment we shared that first cup of coffee. Us, Emily.”

“Shane—” I try again, but I before I can say more he cups my face.

“No one was ever supposed to matter to me like this,” he declares, and a moment later he is kissing me, his tongue doing a seductive slide against mine before he adds, “No one was supposed to taste this damn good.” Before I know his intent, he’s reached behind me, unhooked my bra, and dragged it down my arms. I flatten my hands on the hard wooden surface behind me, gasping with the contrast of the cold hotel air and the sizzling way his gaze strokes over my nipples. They tighten and knot and my breasts are heavy, my sex clenching. And now it’s him flattening a hand on the door by my head, while his other palm scorches my hip all over again. “And no one,” he adds, “was supposed to look this fucking good to me. So good I think about those rosy nipples in my mouth when I’m sitting at my desk.”

A shiver runs down my spine and I tremble, but every remnant of fear I’d felt an hour ago is gone.

No. Not all of it. I fear this man in ways that are not about the secrets of my past. It’s the way he seduces me and makes me forget everything else, even when I should remember. He is power. He is passion. Everything about him is too much. Too extreme. Too mighty. Too right and wrong at the same time. His hand slides between my shoulder blades and he molds me to him. “In case, I haven’t been clear,” he says, his voice a low rasp that manages to be both sandpaper and silk on my raw nerves. “I don’t like the word ‘can’t,’ so could I let you go? Yes. But I won’t.”

In this moment, I am most definitely consumed by this man. I don’t want him to let me go, even though I know that makes me selfish. It makes me weak, but he is already kissing me again, and he tastes of all the things I crave. Power. Control. Passion. Shelter in a storm raging wildly around me. And those thing are drugs, he is a drug that has me moaning and leaning into him, while I barely resist the urge to touch him, to cling to him. But if I do not resist him now, I never will, and so I do touch him. I shove against his chest and struggle to tear my mouth away.

“You won’t say ‘can’t,’ but I will. I am. You have to let me go. This can’t change that.”

“It already has,” he assures me, turning me to face the door, and pressing my hands to the wooden surface. “You just aren’t admitting it yet, but you will. And right now, I have one goal. Reminding you how much you trust me.” Before I can reply, he drags my sweats down, my panties following. In the next, his hand is on my backside, his teeth scraping the delicate flesh.

“I lied to you,” I say, making a lame attempt to push him away. “That isn’t trust.”

“That was fear I’m going to erase.” He seals that promise by wrapping my waist, lifting me and shoving aside the clothes pooling at my feet.

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