The Forgotten Claim - The Claim: Book 1

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Chapter 6 - Olivia

After dropping Chloe off at her mother’s house the following weekend after her encounter with Cameron, something felt off. Olivia didn’t have time to dwell on it though—she had two back-to-back open houses to host that day and two the next. She was in the eastern side of the neighborhood today and would be on the western side of her neighborhood tomorrow.

Once the signs were set up around the vicinity, she hurried into the house and gave it a quick once-over before the owners headed out.

Everything was clean, tidy, and bright. The house was a little on the small side but perfect for a young couple starting their family.

Like yourself. She couldn’t help thoughts like that, screaming into her mind. She had to push them out. Now wasn’t the time.

Besides, Chloe was already signed up for junior kindergarten in the fall. She didn’t want to have to move right when school started for her. That wasn’t fair.

Heaving a sigh, Olivia set the plate of cookies she’d asked her clients to make next to the coffee pot, prepped and ready to go as soon as someone walked in the front door.

The market was hot this year, although not as hot as it had been last year. Last year, she could barely keep up with the demand. Houses were snatched up almost as soon as they were put on the market—selling over asking price and entering bidding wars with mountains of paperwork to keep up with. She was glad for the slower winter months that followed but they kept her busy too. The past winter was snowier than it had been in the previous years as well, but that didn’t deter the market at all.

Still, she was thankful for the steady stream of work and income. She tucked away a fair amount of it into savings and Chloe’s education fund.

She was happy that things were going so well for her now. They were rough at the beginning with having Chloe and trying to make ends meet but everything was coming together now. The older and more independent Chloe got, the easier taking care of her business and family got.

It wasn’t long before the front door opened. Olivia plastered on a warm and cheerful smile on her face as she turned on the coffeemaker. Showtime.

She loved her job. Loved being her own boss, the flexibility of her work, interacting with people, helping people find their dream homes, and the constantly changing market and clients that made everything interesting and exciting. Sure, there were some rude and unpleasant clients here and there, but overall her job was deeply satisfying and rewarding.

Two hours quickly passed and soon she was alone when the last two viewers left. With five minutes left of the showing, she rinsed off the coffee mugs in the sink and set them on the top rack in the dishwasher.

When she stood back up, the front door opened again.

She wanted to kick herself. There was always one straggler right at the end even though she had to run out for the next open house.

Pasting another smile on her face, she turned around and froze.

Standing in the doorway was Cameron, looking hotter than ever. His dark brown hair was short on the sides and longer on top and swept to the side by his fingers. His tanned face was unreadable, emotionless. He had denim jeans on and a leather jacket with a black helmet tucked under one arm.

She couldn’t move. Couldn’t gather air into her lungs. She stood there and stared at him as he set his helmet on the floor and strode across the open-concept living room to the kitchen.

Her senses snapped back into place when he was a few yards away and she lifted her hand up to stop him.

“What are you doing here?”

Eyebrows knotted, his eyes regarded her with caution. “So, you do know me.”

Was he insane? He had to be.

She pointed to the front door. “Get out.”

“Why should I?” he challenged. “It’s an open house, isn’t it?”

She remembered him standing outside the house in Aspen Beach all those years ago, staring up at her on the front porch with his mouth slightly agape as she came out the door.

The blood rushed to her face as her heart pounded against the confines of her chest. “I am not falling for that trick again. Now, get out.”

His cognac-colored eyes darkened as he took a step forward. “Are you married?”

She took a step back. Confusion swirled with dread as he threatened her personal space. “What?”

“Have a boyfriend?” He took another step forward, his eyes holding her captive.

Another step back had her bumping against the kitchen counter. “What? No.”

“Good. Because you’re mine.”

Before she could react, he crushed his lips to hers. She tried to push him away, but a growl rumbled up his throat and his hands slipped back into her hair and gently pulled. Her mouth opened involuntarily and she was gone. His essence spilled over her, numbing her mind as electricity sparked every nerve ending within her body.

Swept off her feet and lifted onto the counter, her skirt hiked itself up and her legs wound around his waist. His hands were on her hips, pulling her against him and grinding against her as his mouth devoured hers.

She was lost. Lost in the surge of pleasure that rocketed through her, shooting up from her core and bursting outward.

The sensations were even better than she remembered. His kisses were fiercer, hungrier than she’d ever felt and left her breathless and gasping.

He pulled away just as abruptly as he’d begun when the front door opened.

Perched on the counter, breathing heavily, her skirt hiked up around her waist, damp panties on full display, and hair completely disheveled, Olivia gaped in horror at the woman who appeared around the door.

“Hi, I saw…” the woman trailed off as she took in the scene.

Cameron’s position in front of Olivia didn’t budge. He looked over his shoulder and threw the intruder a menacing look as a low growl crept up his throat.

The woman’s eyes widened and quickly left.

Olivia was ready to die of embarrassment but the grim reaper was nowhere to be found.

“Now, where were we?” Cameron asked as he turned back to her, his voice low and husky.

She pushed against his chest but he was solid as a tree trunk and didn’t budge. “You were getting the hell away from me and staying out of my life!”

He shook his head. “Not possible. I finally found you and I’m not about to let you go.”

“What the fuck?” she demanded. “Are you insane? You left me!”

“Not possible,” he repeated firmly. Dead serious.

“What do you mean, not possible?” she spat. “That’s what you did!”

Growling, he grabbed her arm and she smacked him with the other before yanking out of his grasp. “Get away from me! Don’t touch me!”

She pulled her feet up and pushed against his rock-hard abs. Her stiletto heels had fallen off at some point—lucky him.

He stepped back as far as her legs stretched out and when he didn’t press further, she hopped down from the counter and pulled down her skirt.

Fury raged within her. How dare he barge in out of nowhere and assault her like that!

“Get away from me!” she yelled. “Get out!”

“I’m not going anywhere until you hear me out and I get the answers to my questions.”

“I don’t give a flying fuck!”

His face contorted in anger as he gritted his teeth. “Will you chill for just a minute?”

“I’ll chill once you’re gone!”

“I’m not going anywhere!”

He held her glare with his own. Fire against fire. Neither one breaking away from the other. As the seconds ticked by, she could feel the rage within her simmering down as the unmistakable pull his eyes always had on her tugged at her heart.

“I have to know what happened five years ago,” he said, breaking the silence while never tearing his eyes from hers.

“You know what you did,” she retorted.

“No, I don’t,” he said slowly, pointedly. “I was in a coma for five weeks, five years ago. I woke up with amnesia. I have no memory of my life from the time I was eighteen to the accident that led to the coma.”

The fight left her as the blood drained from her head. The weight of his words pressed down on her and threatened to upturn her world at her feet.

He approached cautiously now and held her arms to steady her.

She stared at him. What he said couldn’t be true, could it?

“I don’t know what I did to make you hate me, but now that I’ve found you, I am never leaving you. Please, tell me what happened.”

The softness of his voice chilled her to the bone. It was pained, regretful, and full of longing. It scraped against her spine and made the hairs on her nape stand on end.

“You left,” she said, gathering air into her lungs and squeezing her eyes shut as she called forth strength within. Pushing the painful memories from her mind, she forced the words to come out. “Just like I need you to leave now.”

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