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Authors: Elizabeth Sade

Catch Me Falling

BOOK: Catch Me Falling
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Catch Me Falling
Catch Me Falling
Elizabeth Sade

Copyright © 2016 Elizabeth Sade

Catch Me Falling

By Elizabeth Sade

Many thanks to the lovely people at IPC, and to everyone who’s supported me throughout this.

All rights reserved.

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Chapter 1





You think you can hide from me?


I’ll find you.


Alexa leaned back in the passenger seat, feeling a bit better when the texts were no longer on her screen. Each one had sent a jolt through her, although whether it was fear or scorn she wasn’t sure. Damien thought he was scary. He wasn’t. Not anymore, anyway. Eventually he would give up. He had to. She silenced her phone, tucked it in her clutch. That was that, at least. Hopefully he would get the hint soon.

“We get a new consultant tomorrow,” Jill, her paralegal and best friend, said cheerfully as she parked the car. Since she and Alexa lived in the same apartment complex, it was easy to carpool to work events when they both had to go. She was also Alexa’s more social half, which was why Alexa had dragged Jill with her to the retirement party for their last consultant. Dr. L had been good to them, but a party was a party and Alexa preferred Netflix and wine.

“There aren’t even any reliable rumors as to who it’ll be,” Alexa said with a sigh, wobbling slightly in her heels as she got out of the car. The four-inch stilettos were impressive, but it had been quite some time since she had worn them. Maybe it hadn’t been her smartest decision. Oh well.

“None at all?” Jill sounded disappointed.

“Nope.” Not that Alexa had a lot of people to ask. Being a lawyer didn’t win her many brownie points in the hospital, especially not since she did medical malpractice cases.

“Maybe he’ll be cute.” Jill batted her eyes. “We need to find you a new man.”

Alexa snorted and looked away. That was the last thing she needed or wanted.

Instead she turned attention towards the hotel, feeling out of place. It was the fanciest hotel in the city, with bright lights and elegant statues surrounding the entrance. Even dressed in her best clothes she felt out of place. Her shoulder-length brown hair fell in waves around her face, accentuating the light makeup she’d put on. Her green eyes glowed underneath mascara and eyeliner. Her slim black dress with its required long sleeves hugged her curves and accentuated the length of her legs. Tall black stilettos and a black clutch completed her outfit.

Dr. L’s family had rented the event ballroom of Portland’s closest 5-star hotel for his retirement party, which was certainly out of even her price range. The hotel was tall, its lights bright and, for a moment, Alexa considered getting back in the car. Netflix and wine sounded so much more fun than socializing with the who’s who of the hospital.

“I can’t believe you talked me into these shoes,” Alexa muttered under her breath. She was good at walking in heels, really she was, but these were taller than normal and she felt tenuous as they walked across the parking lot.

“They make you look hot,” Jill retorted.

Alexa couldn’t really argue. It wasn’t often that she felt confident outside of a courtroom, but it was hard not to feel good in what she was wearing. Not that she would use that to her advantage. She didn’t want a boyfriend. Her phone vibrated and she ignored it. Damien was either drunk or lonely and she didn’t care anymore. He was the past. She switched her phone to silent and then tucked it back into her clutch, turning to look at Jill.

Jill linked arms with her, an easygoing smile on her face, and together they walked into towards the hotel. Jill was slightly shorter than Alexa, with dark brown skin and a short afro that complemented her full, soft features. Together they walked inside and towards the ballroom. The caterers were still setting up, scurrying around in their black-and-white outfits. The ballroom was elegantly decorated, with tables spread over one half of the room, leaving the other half for dancing. There were candles on the tables, and the ceiling lights were soft and cozy. It felt homey and down to Earth, which surprised Alexa because it’d probably cost a month of her salary in order to rent the place.

“Why are you strutting?” Jill raised an eyebrow.

Alexa glanced at her as they shifted to the side of the room. She picked up a glass of champagne from a passing waiter, taking a sip. “Why aren’t you?”

“Touché.” Jill laughed, her eyes searching the crowd. “Ooh, he’s cute.” She pointed to someone at the far side of the room.

Alexa turned so she could follow her gaze, trying to look unobtrusive. The last thing she wanted was to be caught staring like a teenager at a party. He
hot. Tall, easily six foot three. Underneath his suit she could see his muscles as he took a sip of champagne, his eyes constantly scanning. She couldn’t really tell from so far away, but she thought they were blue. His hair was dark brown, his lips soft-looking. He was just her type. She dragged her attention away from him and back to Jill, who was watching her with raised eyebrows.

“Like what you see?” Jill drawled.

“Maybe.” Alexa took a longer drink of her champagne, hoping the drink would calm her. Given the shitty alcohol content she doubted it would, but it was better than nothing. “Think he works at the hospital?”

“I haven’t seen him before.” Jill took a sip of champagne that she snatched from the waiter. “And I know most people.”

Alexa made a thoughtful noise. When she glanced back, the man had moved. Too bad. “Well, I’ve got to go say my hellos.”

“Gotta rub elbows with the hot shots?” Jill patted her arm in sympathy.

Alexa chuckled despite herself. “Yes.” She finished her champagne and picked up another one. “I’ll come find you when I’m done and we can head back.”

Jill nodded. “You’ve got my number.” Jill sauntered off without a backwards glance, heading for a group of people not too far away. Young, so maybe nurses? Alexa wasn’t sure.

Alexa made the rounds, saying hello to the people she needed to see. It wasn’t her favorite part, work parties, but she did what she had to in order to keep her job.

“Alexa!” Jill’s voice cut through her small talk.

Alexa turned, caught sight of Jill weaving her way through the crowd and heading straight for her. She smiled apologetically at the group she had been talking to. “Excuse me,” she said, taking her champagne and heading in Jill’s direction.

“I found someone you need to meet,” Jill said, a grin on her face. She tucked her hand in the crook of Alexa’s elbow and steered her through the throng of people.

Alexa felt her heart race, felt adrenaline thread through her veins. Stamping down the fear, she followed Jill through the crowd. Maybe he would be cute, charming. Maybe he would stay that way. A server walking by clipped her side with his elbow. She winced, grabbing at it with her hand. He had caught one of her sensitive scars, and it had sent pain rippling through her body. She hissed, trying to take a step forward, right herself. But her ankle rolled and, despite Jill’s attempt to support her, she crumpled towards the floor.

But she didn’t hit the ground. A pair of arms wrapped around her and she could smell cologne. It wasn’t Jill, then. “Got you,” someone said, his voice deep.

Alexa felt dizzy from both the vertigo of the near-fall and from how close her rescuer was. He was warm in a comforting way, a safe way, and her body flushed at his touch.

“Up you go,” he murmured, helping her stand as if she was a rag doll. His arm was still around her middle, anchoring her. It felt solid, grounding. As if all she could focus on was his touch.

He turned her around, held her steady. She looked up into the eyes of the man she had seen across the floor. Oh, God. He was the sexiest man she had seen in months. Maybe years. And he was even sexier up close. His eyes were dark blue, intense and smoldering, like a model’s. His lips were full, sensuous, and she couldn’t help but wonder how they would feel against hers, or on her skin. He even smelled good, a pine-y, evergreen scent that reminded her of tall trees and mountains full of snow. His hands were on her hips, keeping her from tipping over again, and she hated that she didn’t want him to let go.

He had saved her, but he could ruin her.

She stared at him and he stared back. For a fleeting moment it felt like the world was just the two of them, like nothing else existed. Like nothing else mattered.

“Alexa?” Jill’s worried voice drew her back into the moment, and she looked away from her rescuer.

“I’m fine,” Alexa said to Jill, ignoring how weak her voice felt. How weak she felt. She didn’t even know the man, but his touch was sending energy sizzling through her skin. She felt alive, vibrant. Her cheeks flushed. She turned and looked at him.

“Thank you.” Her lips curved into a smile, one he matched. Oh God, he was even better looking when he smiled.

His smile was wicked. When he smiled at her, she felt a spark flare in her chest. A spark that had been dormant for so long. She could feel her body heating up, feel warmth coil in her stomach.

“I’m Isaac,” her rescuer said, extending a hand. She liked his voice, liked the way it sounded. It was deep but not too deep, and he spoke like he was caressing the words.

“Alexa.” It felt like a risk, telling him her name. But if Jill didn’t know him, he probably didn’t work for the hospital, so she would probably never see him again. She could afford to take a risk, to do something she didn’t normally do. Couldn’t she?

“Would you like to dance, Alexa?” His blue eyes glittered with suggestion.

He still hadn’t let go of her, although they weren’t pressed against each other anymore. She smiled at him, her lips curving up into what she hoped was a seductive smile. She needed him. She wanted him. She didn’t know why. “I would love to dance.” It was just one night. One night wouldn’t hurt anything.

And he made her feel alive.

She turned to look at Jill, who was watching her with raised eyebrows, but didn’t say anything. “I’ll be back.”

Jill nodded, smiled, and then stepped back so Isaac could take her hand.

Alexa ignored the way her heart stuttered when his skin touched hers. The music playing in the background was slow, a waltz, and she felt ridiculous as she followed him to the floor. “I can’t dance,” she confessed.

He smiled, tugged her close. “I can,” he murmured into her ear.

It had been a long time – well, never, if she was honest – since she had been this close to a man like him. Even longer since she had danced. He was much taller than her, which was impressive considering she was five foot eleven in heels. His body was warm and solid, and with little space between them he guided her around effortlessly. “Here, follow my steps.” He let go of her just a bit, letting some space grow between them so she could see their feet.

She felt cold without his body against hers, and she wasn’t sure what to think about it. She hadn’t dated many men – one, really – but he certainly hadn’t made her feel like this man had made her feel in about ten seconds flat. Even when things had been good with Damien, on the golden days, he hadn’t made her feel like this.

“One, two, three,” he murmured into her ear, pulling her back against him again.

It sent shivers down her spine, having him so close. It felt so much more intimate than a simple dance. She could barely breathe, feeling her breasts pressed against his chest. Her nipples were hard, and heat coiled low in her stomach. Her nerves were on fire, her skin hypersensitive. She had never felt more alive than she did at that moment.

“There you go,” he said, his thumb stroking her lower back. “You’re doing very well.” He pressed his lips to the side of her head, an intimate gesture that made her body pulse with need. They were twined against each other again, cheek against cheek. Her body felt impossibly warm, between her legs impossibly wet, and she ached for him, wanted him. Maybe the song would last forever. She could deal with the shoes the entire night if she could just dance with him.

“Thank you,” she murmured, feeling him turn them in a different direction as they continued their one-two-three.


She could hear the question in his voice, a faint amusement. “For catching me.”

“I couldn’t let you fall, now, could I?” he said in her ear, his voice low and rumbly. She could feel his breath on her ear, could feel his chest expand against hers. With her arm around his shoulders she could feel the way his muscles flexed as he moved. She felt warm, too warm. If he could make her want so much just by being close, by speaking, what else could he do to her?

One two three, one two three.
Would she think of this every time she heard waltz music? Think of him pressed against her? God, she hoped not. She looked at him and he was looking at her, his gaze so intent that she felt like she was under a microscope. Like he would notice every little thing she did. She felt hypnotized, entranced. She had never been looked at like that before.

Far too soon the song changed, turned into something else, and they swayed to a stop. She didn’t want to let go. She wanted to keep enjoying the evening, being held in his arms. For once feeling that she was protected and that someone else actually had her best interests in mind. It was easy to believe that, floating in his arms. He was a complete stranger, but he didn’t feel like one.

“Thank you for that,” she said.

He smiled at her. It was a crooked smile, an enigmatic one, just one side of his lips curving up. But she liked it. It was very – him.

“Thank you.”

She looked at him, feeling the weight of the moment hanging in the air. What did she have to lose? Nothing. She leaned forward, her lips by his ear. “Want to continue somewhere more private?”

He looked at her and she could see surprise in his eyes quickly replaced by lust. “Follow me?” It was a question, not a demand.

She swallowed, her throat dry. She wanted him. She could feel him hard against her. “Yes.”

He let go of her and took her hand, leading the way out of the event room.

BOOK: Catch Me Falling
7.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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