Home > Hard Rules (Dirty Money #1)(15)

Hard Rules (Dirty Money #1)(15)
Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Passing the register, I wave at the person I barely look at behind the counter. “Bathroom before I order,” I murmur, entering yet another hallway and immediately finding the bathroom. I turn the knob, entering the tiny box intended for one and lock myself inside. Falling against the door, I shut my eyes and touch my lips, remembering that kiss Shane had surprised me with, and I swear I can still taste remnants of cognac on my tongue, remnants of him. I bury my face in my hands, dreading my empty apartment and bed that might have been filled with Shane. Yet another part of me is relieved. I push off the door, dragging my fingers through my hair, staring at my pale face and now messy chestnut hair, and I swear, I look like my mother and I’m making the same mistakes she did. Only she could have turned back time, and made them right, and I can’t. And I was about to add tonight to the list. If anything had happened to me, no one would even miss me. But that’s the point I guess. For one night, I wanted someone to know I exist again. Actually, I wanted him to know. Just him, and I don’t know why.

It hits me then that I haven’t even checked my phone. I dig it from my purse and look for the call I’m expecting, and find the screen blank. Blank, damn it. What the hell is going on? Nothing I can control, that’s for sure, or I wouldn’t be in Denver. I wouldn’t be doing a lot of things. I drop the phone back in my purse. I need to go home. Okay, not home. That apartment is not home. I just … I need to go. I grab the door, yanking it open, only to gasp at the sight of Shane standing there. “What are you doing?”

He holds up his hands. “Just hear me out and if you want me to leave, I will.”

“I do. I want you to leave.”

“He wasn’t with my mother.”

I gape. “What?”

“The woman my father was with wasn’t my mother.” There is a rasp to his voice, and steel in those gray eyes. “I couldn’t have you be a part of that potential confrontation.”

The wall I’ve placed between us, falls away, my chest pinching with the familiar emotion of betrayal he must be feeling. A feeling I know all too well but wish I did not. “I’m so sorry.”

“I’m sorry. I know what I made you feel. Like I was embarrassed to be with you and that simply isn’t the case.” He offers me his hand. “Come with me.”

I could say no, but I don’t want to. And I should ask where we’re going, but very out of character for me, I simply don’t care, nor do I think about any of the reprimands I gave myself in that bathroom. This isn’t about an agenda I must follow. This is about one night with this incredibly sexy man. I slide my hand into his.

I never lie to any man because I don’t fear anyone. The only time you lie is when you are afraid.

—John Gotti



The instant Emily’s delicate little hand settles against mine, I close my fingers around hers, holding on tight, wanting her to the point of almost need. This night, somehow, she’s become the light in the darkness that is my fucked-up family.

I drag her to me, my hand molded to her lower back, hers settling over my thundering heart, her eyes on my chest. “Look at me,” I order.

She tilts her chin up, those pretty blue eyes filled with desire, but also trepidation that I will take great pleasure in tearing away. “This isn’t,” she begins. “I don’t normally…”

“I know.”

“You know?”

“Yes. I know and I don’t make a habit of taking women I just met to bed.”

“Then why me? Why tonight?”

“Because it would be unfair to someone else for me to fuck them while thinking about you. I want you. Just you.”

“Yes, but—”

“Because you’re you. That’s the only answer I have for either of us.”

“I don’t know what that means.”

“Neither do I, but we won’t figure it out standing here in yet another hallway.”

She studies me for several long moments, and I fight the urge to pressure her, but I wait, and when she finally nods her approval, the relief I feel defies all reason and my understanding of who I am as a man. But I don’t question it or give her time to change her mind. I take her hand, leading her through the tables, me in front, simply because it’s the only way I can hold on to her. Now that I have her, I’m not letting her go. I want this woman. I’m not letting her get spooked and run again.

Once we are at the door, I pull her in front of me, holding it open for her, but staying close, my hand on her back. We exit, a gust of especially cold wind greeting us and she faces me, hugging herself. “I really need that jacket right about now.”

“Take mine,” I say, shrugging out of it, feeling protective of this woman when I barely know her.

“No,” she says, holding up her hands. “I can’t do that. It’s very—”

I settle it around her, holding on to the lapels as she murmurs, “expensive,” and I am looking at her lips, thinking about my mouth on hers. “Put your arms in,” I order softly, the wind lifting that sweet scent of hers in the air, and I swear my groin tightens as if she’d touched me. Holy hell, I’m in trouble with this woman. “Arms,” I say again when she hasn’t moved.

She hesitates a moment longer but does as I say, laughing as her hands are swallowed by my sleeves. “You’re big or I’m small.”

Most Popular
» Nothing But Trouble (Malibu University #1)
» Kill Switch (Devil's Night #3)
» Hold Me Today (Put A Ring On It #1)
» Spinning Silver
» Birthday Girl
» A Nordic King (Royal Romance #3)
» The Wild Heir (Royal Romance #2)
» The Swedish Prince (Royal Romance #1)
» Nothing Personal (Karina Halle)
» My Life in Shambles
» The Warrior Queen (The Hundredth Queen #4)
» The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen #3)
billionaire.readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2024