Authors: Tatum Throne
She watched him pace the room. He went to the window where he fingered open the curtain to look outside at the downtown skyline. His gaze settled on the jewelry store below.
“I’m here to protect you.”
“I don’t need your protection.”
“I need to make sure you stay out of the way as my team takes the pendant out of the game. That means you and I are best friends.”
“No way,” she said.
“I’m sorry, but this is how it needs to be. You and I are linked until this thing is resolved.”
“For the love of fuck,” Rylie said.
Rylie dropped back onto the bed and stared up at the fancy embossed ceiling. She stayed like that for a long time. She heard Trey pull over the chair and sit down. Then she heard the rustling of clothing.
“Why are you still here?” she asked.
“It’s where I’m supposed to be. You know it, too. Did you have a vision of me?”
“Ah, a dream then. What was in it?”
She could hear the smile in his voice. A shiver ran through her belly as she thought about the dream where he had stolen kisses from her in this very room. With the advantage of knowing the future, Rylie was going to change it in her favor. They would not be kissing.
She turned her head to look at him. He arched a brow and the corner of his mouth hitched. He’d lost his coat. She watched him unbutton the top two buttons of his shirt and imagined flicking open the rest for other reasons. He looked intense as he stared at her like a man used to getting his way. Her gaze went over his shoulder holster and down to the black leather belt around his hips.
She let her gaze travel up over his hard, heavily muscled body. It was so wrong, but she was going to do something bad.
“You can’t always change the future, Rylie. Not when fate has plans out of our control.”
“No, but we always have a choice at the end of the day.”
“You’re not going to make this easy on me, are you?”
“You can’t make me stay with you.”
“I’ve been authorized to use whatever force is necessary to keep you safe.”
“On whose authority?”
“Mine. My team
His eyes flashed with something dark and forbidden. Her mouth went dry. She didn’t want to be controlled by anyone
but perhaps secretly she did. Rylie sat up. She wanted to know why her life was so important to him. She was sure if she asked, he wouldn’t answer.
“It’s late. I’m going to get ready for bed. I suppose you’re checking in with me. I have the room for another twenty-four hours. I don’t really feel like leaving.”
“You want to stay?” he asked.
The bath was next to the door. She met Trey’s suspicious gaze as she stood to kick off her shoes. “You go where I go, right?”
He cleared his throat. “We check out tomorrow morning.”
She unbuttoned and twisted her shirt off, hearing the sharp intake of his breath as her bra became visible. She couldn’t be distracted now. She folded her shirt neatly on the bed. Trey looked away, uninterested. A pang of disappointment hit her in the heart. It’d been so long since any man looked at her at all.
She went for the bathroom and shut out the man that wanted to dominate her life. She bit her lip as she imagined handing herself over to be dominated. She’d always wanted to be ordered around in the bedroom but was too shy to ask for it.
She flipped on the shower.
The bath was gold and marble trim, opulent. Rylie was more comfortable in the desert heat of Jordan or in the sand of Egypt or excavating hidden Mayan ruins.
Rylie turned toward the mirror and ran her fingers through her short golden hair that skimmed her chin.
She wasn’t a pretty girl. She was a tomboy with perky, natural breasts. They were a full C. Her belly was soft, but trim. Curvy hips reminded her that she looked best in jeans. Men like Trey didn’t go for chicks like her.
Alpha males wanted perfection and women without baggage. Rylie was damaged goods on the inside. She was so not his type.
There was something dark and dangerous about Trey. She wouldn’t be getting close to him anytime soon.
Steam fogged the mirror, erasing her image. It was time to go. Rylie peeked out the door. Trey was looking out the window again with his cell phone connected to his ear. He glanced over his shoulder. His gaze dropped to her breasts and panic consumed her. She ran for the door at a sprint, flinging it open with a crack against the wall. She heard him curse as she ran down the hallway and hit the exit for the stairs. She rushed downward and was on the landing when she heard Trey slam open the door.
She didn’t. He jumped down the eight stairs to land in front of her with a thunk. He backed her against the wall. She was gasping for air, making her breasts heave. Heat spiraled through her body, causing her nipples to tighten to aroused buds. She knew if she looked down, she’d see the twin diamonds begging for attention beneath the silk.
“You’re trying my patience and my loyalty to my team.”
Rylie slid the cuffs out of the holder on his belt. “Ditto.”
His hand locked around her wrist and pinned it up against the wall. “What are you going to do with my cuffs?”
“Use them against you.”
“Are you now?” His gaze dropped from her eyes down to her lips. He slowly lifted his eyes up over her face as though he was seeing her sexually for the first time. He slipped
easily from her fingers. “I don’t think so.”
She didn’t like to be dismissed by anyone. Rylie threw her weight into Trey, but she was stopped by thick corded muscle flexed taut. He kept her pinned as he hooked his cuffs back to his belt.
going with you.”
“You will,” he warned.
He pushed his body against hers with a calm control, proving he was stronger and more athletic. Rylie popped her hips, and he caught her thigh between his legs. A hint of annoyance played at his lips.
“Why won’t you trust me?”
“I don’t trust anyone.”
“What do I have to do to get you to trust me, Rylie?”
He shifted her closer, but she tried to move away. She ended up closer to him in the end. Her eyes widened when she felt the thick, bulging pressure of his cock sprinting down the inside of his leg.
He flexed it, challenging her to admit the searing heat spiraling out between them.
Rylie felt suddenly breathless and aroused as the friction of their breathing caused her thigh to rub his throbbing cock. Her heart raced as his heated gaze locked onto hers. Rylie licked her lips nervously as his hands tightened on her hips.
“What are you doing Special Agent Masters?” she whispered.
“I will do everything in my power to keep you safe. Even if that means seducing you to my bed.”
He kissed her lips with tongue and wetness. It reminded her of two hot bodies joining together and pulling away. He came in again with another wet kiss and pulled away sucking on her lower lip. He nibbled with his teeth and came back in deeper to kiss her fully. Rylie’s pussy fluttered, sending erotic shivers through her core. His hands came down to caress her ass, alternately rubbing each cheek. He squeezed her ass cheeks, rubbing the full rounded part then grabbing her fully. She groaned as heat spun through her body. He spread her cheeks and lifted her up higher against his cock.
Rylie’s clit caught on the edge of his badge and pulsated.
“I’ll do everything I can to protect you, Rylie.”
“You don’t own me,” she said.
“No, but I own the situation you’re in. That makes you mine.”
His hands ran slowly up her sides to caress the curve of her silk-covered breasts. His thumbs edged over the embroidered top of her bra. She arched into his touch as his thumbs rubbed over her hardened dark nipples. He groaned, looking down at her full breasts. He lifted the weight of them in his rough hands.
“You’re aroused by my touch. It turns me the fuck on.”
It turned her on, too, but she wouldn’t be falling into his lap any time soon.
Friction from the pads of his thumbs heated her aroused nipples. She bit her lip and tried to stifle the moan that escaped her lips. His lips skimmed the exposed line of her collarbone. He leaned down and teethed her nipple into his mouth. She couldn’t resist the seduction, the pull this man had over her body.
He kissed his way up her neck and teased his lips over her ear. The heat of his breath made her shiver. Rylie tightened her fingers down into his cotton dress shirt. She wanted to push him away, but she couldn’t. He lifted his head, running his hand up the back of her neck. A hint of a smile played at his lips.
“I’ll have you following my commands.”
He kissed playfully at her lips, nipping softly. There was nothing playful about his words. A sensual tremor fluttered through her pussy, causing her clitoris to swell. Rylie squirmed, rubbing her pussy over his thigh.
“I don’t submit to any man.”
The corners of his mouth lifted, and his fingers tightened lightly on the back of her neck in a seductive caress. Something playful and demanding swam through his eyes as he shifted her closer.
“You will. I can be aggressive when I want something.”
She wanted him to kiss her again. She wanted to forget all about the curse
pendant that was screwing with her life. His mouth crushed over hers as though he read her innermost thoughts. Rylie lost herself in the kiss as their tongues fought. If he was going to protect her, she wouldn’t make this easy for him.
She sighed into the kiss, twining her arms around his head. She wasn’t submitting. It was only a kiss, she told her taunting mind. Their tongues flicked. He probed deeper, taking her breath away. His palm caressed her breast, pinching her nipple between his thumb and finger. She whimpered as he tightened the pinch and started to give it a seductive twist. Her pussy contracted
and her clitoris hit a top note as he pressed in closer. He increased the pressure until she groaned a second time and he let go. The release of her nipple made her feel suddenly bereft.
“Curious?” he asked.
He chuckled. “Liar. I know you want to know how good we’d be together.”
Trey’s hands eased down to her hips, hooking his thumbs into the loops of her jeans. He yanked them up, causing the seam to spread her wide and hit her clit.
It’d been so long since a man played with her. She wanted to be the object of his desire. For just once, she wanted to feel wanted. She wanted to feel owned. She wanted to feel sexed. She wanted to be dominated by this man in every way imaginable. She wanted to be thrown on a bed and taken hard.
Most of all, she wanted to forget the last six months of her life.
Two floors below, the door to the stairs was pushed open. Trey pulled away. He took her hand.
Rylie knew her only choice was to go with Trey.
When they got back to the room, Rylie went straight for her neatly folded shirt and put it on. She pushed her feet into her leather Dr. Martens
without lacing them. She dug into her pocket and held up the turn-of-the-century coin from her late father she always carried. She showed him both sides.
“We’re going to flip a coin Special Agent Masters. Heads or tails I stay with you?”
“Tails. You’re mine.”
“Heads. You never touch me again and I walk out of here without you.”
Their eyes locked and held. Trey didn’t look as though he liked this idea at all. He looked as though he’d argue his point home. “Okay, flip it.”
She flicked the coin into the air and it spun end over end. Rylie stepped back to let it hit the floor, but Trey reached out snatching it in midair. He flipped it over the back of his hand. She knew from the design that she won the toss. She smiled.
“It was a pleasure, Agent Masters.”
He held up the coin, and she took it back. She grabbed her duffle and went for the door. Trey stopped her with a hand on her elbow. “This isn’t over.”
“You and I both know it won’t be until the pendant is locked away in a safe,” she said.
He released her arm. “Stay away from the couple. My team can handle them.”
“Perhaps I’ll go back to work now that I know you’re on the case. Have a nice night.”
She opened the door and glanced back at Trey. She knew he wasn’t a man to mess with for very long. In fact, she was sure he would only give her a ten-minute head start before he followed.
He wanted to test Rylie. Trey didn’t need to follow her to know where to find her. He’d put a GPS device on the undercarriage of her sedan a month ago. So, he gave her a big head start before following her from the hotel.
Under the ambient light from the street lamp, her golden hair glowed as she got out of the car. What was she up to? More importantly where the hell was she going?
Over The Rhine wasn’t Cincinnati’s safest corner of the world.
Trey looked down at his cell phone. No news from his team. A few blocks away they were going after the pendant as he watched Rylie. All that mattered was that Rylie stayed away until they picked it up. She leaned across the seat to pull out a backpack. She looked over her shoulder as though she sensed him watching her. He was around the corner and out of sight. When she shut the door, Trey got out of his Escalade and followed.
Quick, athletic strides took her down the sidewalk toward Music Hall just as the doors broke open and patrons spilled out in dresses and tuxedos. She cut across Washington Park and over the rough edges of Elm Street’s cobblestones. Trey lost her for a moment within the crowd. He caught sight of her again just as she ducked down an alley. He ran across the street to catch up. He edged around the corner in time to see her snap a lock on a ventilation grate and pull the steel up. Rylie used the ladder on the side of the tunnel to lower herself below the street.