SACRIFICE (Book Two: The London Crime King)

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CH 38

Alexa

Thunderous, ear-splitting dance music segues, the quintessential, impressive, modern nightspot, a varicoloured billow coalescing with a shade of strobe and smog-like vapour. Uninterrupted, reverberant thudding surfaced from each wall, partition and floor, giving you the whole nightclub experience, an extravaganza of high inebriates, socialising and carousing.

Merging into the lively swamp, I slipped amid sweaty bodies, ducking and diving from animated partygoers, dancing and fondling away their troubles.

I still had possession of my employee card, but I didn’t want to confuse the bouncer guarding the private door, leading to Liam’s office. Instead, I brandish the gold, very-important-person card Brad dropped into my purse once, an all-inclusive, expenses covered card that gives you unrestricted access to the private suites.

Aloofly stern, the bouncer, wide-shouldered and impassable, flashed a torch to read Brad’s penmanship on the signature bar. His untrusting eyes flicked to me before he clicked his earpiece, mumbling unclear words so that I didn’t hear into the mouthpiece.

I huffed out a baffled puff of air, seeing two women grope against the wall, handsy and infatuated.

“Brad’s not in the building,” the bouncer yelled over the music, returning the card. “Come back in an hour.”

“Why? You don’t need additional information. That is Brad’s signature,” I stressed, standing my ground. “He gave me that to ensure nothing like this happened.”

Still, the bouncer’s intuition instructed him not to trust me. “No-can-do, lady. Go to the bar, order a drink. I’ll speak to him on arrival, and if he gives the go-ahead, I’ll come and find you.”

My tongue glued to the roof of my mouth. Closing my purse, I retraced my steps, slithered through crowds, stopped to glance over my shoulder. Head lowered, reading a message on his phone, the bouncer busies himself with texting. I peered up to the glass balconies. Bodacious, erotic dancers work the elongated poles, putting on an alluring show for clientele. I didn’t recognise the tailored men, but the Suits must be around somewhere. My eyes sought out Liam’s office, the panoramic windows, too black and opaque to see into, but wondered if he stood there, overseeing his hectic establishment.

Vodka tempted me. I downed one shot at the bar, gravitated to the restrooms and checked my reflection in the mirror. Gripping the basin, whitening my knuckles, I eyed the judgmental woman staring back at me, cupped cold water, doused my face and neck.

Come on, Victoria. Don’t let these burly men intimidate you. Go outside and finish what you started.

I inhaled, held my breath, respired in intervals.

Passing assembled women, laughing and bonding over bottle stashes they snuck into the club, I opened the bathroom door, gaited down the dimly lit hallway, pondering routes.

Inconspicuous, I pushed my way between dancing mobs, considered sneaking behind the bar, using the multi-line phone system to dial Liam’s office.

Growling, I ripped the blonde waves from my head, marched back to the guarded door and prepared myself for a fight. The bouncer glanced, eyes bulging as recognition saturated, blinking rapidly to clear the phantasmagorical crazy woman ready to detach his ballsack. “Alexa?” He droned, rubbing his eyes. “What the fuck? I thought you popped your clogs.”

“No, I am very much alive, thank you,” I yelled over the droning trance music. “Step aside and let me through. I need to see Liam; it’s urgent.” Once more, the bouncer prodded and poked his eyes, assured he’s hallucinating. “Now!”

Sickly pale, he staggered to the right, unlocking the door.

As I didn’t want to draw farther unwanted attention to myself, I reinstated the blonde weave, righted the curls and ascended the stairs to Liam’s floor.

I veered past the long-line of tailored security, raised a closed fist to knock on his door, hesitating to listen.

What if Hellen’s inside the office?

What if another woman occupies the boss?

I didn’t wish to see or witness him with another.

Mentally preparing myself for the worst, I knocked on the door, wriggled the handle and stumbled inside. “Mr Warren...” My sentence and dreaded heartbeat waded, eyes darting around the empty room. Feeling the intensity of securities scrutiny, I shut the door behind me, folded my arms and stood opposite his clean, uncluttered desk. I glanced at the security camera, intermittent red light flickering as it rotates.

I rounded the desk, fingers glazing over the elegant, wooden surface. Rechecking nobody lingered at the entranceway, I became seated, picked up a solid gold paperweight, fingers outlining the Warren engraving.

Curiosity got the better of me. I opened the drawer, rummaged files, digging for Hellen. I established nothing. “Shit.” I tried the next drawer, handle rattling, locked.

Unclasping my purse, I fished out my keys, selected the one Liam gave me while working here, and inserted it into the lock. Hinge disengaging with a quiet click, I tugged the drawer, found two files—first one belonging to me, the second, Hellen Bennett.

Checking the office door, twice, I snapped off the elastic band holding my bursting file in one piece, combed through highlighted notes and passages, surveillance images and print-outs. I recognised Nate’s handwriting, but couldn’t decipher his coded edits and seemingly noteworthy transcripts.

Blowing hair tendrils from my face, I shut the folder, returned it, started to read Hellen’s when overhearing raised voices in the corridor.

Fear snatched my palpitating heart.

I slammed the document, shoved it back in the drawer just in time for Liam to storm into the office. “And tell Brad...” His stentorian commands fell silent when his intense blue eyes collided with mine.

For an extended period, we watched each other, both silent, wordless, a million and one questions enduring between us.

Working on a tight swallow, Liam cleared his throat, closed and locked the door, put his back to it. “Alexa,” he said, the concern in his heated gaze deceiving his calm voice. “What are you doing here?”

Hands clasped to the armrests, I twisted the chair, moving from side to side. “I had to see you.”

Liam, distrustful and suspicious, fixed a cufflink, magnetising to my side. He towered above me, dressed in a quotidian gun-metal grey two-piece suit and black silk shirt, gold curb chains on display. His familiar leather and spice scented cologne immersing me. “I prefer arrangements,” he said, short and curt. “I don’t appreciate unexpected visits or arrivals, Miss Haines.” His gaze roamed over my blonde waves. “Or is it Victoria tonight?”

“To you,” I said, crossing my legs, facing him, “it’s always Alexa.”

The corner of his lip twitched. Unbuttoning his suit jacket, he perched onto the desk edge, weaved his gold and diamond-adorned fingers together. “What can I do for you, Alexa?”

His hard-hearted detachment hurt. I hadn’t expected a warm, loving welcoming and embosomed hugs, but deliberate remoteness was a kick in the teeth.

As if the empath read my thoughts, Liam chuckled, mirthless. “What do you want from me, Alexa?” He couldn’t look at me when asking questions, choosing to watch female employees perform beyond the window. “Do you require affirmation? Honesty? An argument, perhaps.”

“Yes,” I whispered, sitting taller. “Obviously, I want assurance, Liam, but that’s not why I am here.”

His eyebrows furrowed into an unsympathetic frown. He unexpectedly snatched my ankle, tugging the wheeled chair closer, inspecting the grazes on my knees. “What the fuck is this?”

“I fell—”

“You fell?” he barked, jerking my leg aside, almost as if my closeness repulsed him. “Looks pretty fucking shady to me.”

“Oh, will you stop,” I retort, standing to neaten my raised dress. “You dare insult me, Liam. I kneel for no one but you, remember?”

He crossed his arms, outstretching his legs. “Do you share his bed?”

“Liam, I didn’t come here to discuss Jace.” I fostered strength, dispensing his haughty look of disparagement. “Vincent approached me tonight—”

“What?” He abruptly stood from the desk. Instant anger replaced his bitterness. “Where? What did he want? How the fuck did he approach you with security detail on site?”

No, I am not throwing those men to the wolves. “It was a friendly visit,” I lied, omitting the Suits lackadaisical shielding, wagging tails and dribbling tongues. “I went to a bar near the bed-and-breakfast. It’s a nice, quiet-ish place with friendly locals. When you called and mentioned the name Vincent, I hadn’t considered Mr Smith because, even though we conversed on occasion, he never gave me a real name. Tonight, however, he made himself known, asking if I could basically put in a good word for him. He wants one meeting to discuss what he deems an important matter, regarding rising enemies, I suppose.” I frowned. “He didn’t elaborate farther, though.”

Liam, untroubled yet contemplative, absentmindedly rotated his thumb ring. “At what point, in your amiable conversation, did you fall?”

It’s a trick question. He sensed concealed truths. “Nobody hurt me, Liam, If that’s what you so calculatedly wish to uncover. Listen, I am not here to fight or argue with you.” Grabbing my handbag, I tucked it into the nook of my arm. “I delivered a message. It’s entirely up to you how you handle the rest.”

Capturing my wrist, he prevented me from leaving, thumb bruising my pulse. “Don’t go home to him, Alexa.”

He sounded vulnerable and disheartened. I hated it. “Liam, I am not returning to Jace. I live in Heather’s bed-and-breakfast. He so happens to share the room.”

“And your bed.” He steeled his jaw. “Am I correct?”

A wave of nausea travelled through me. “It doesn’t mean anything—”

“It means something to me,” he snarled, his hold on me tightening, burning. “It matters, Alexa.”

I rubbed my arms, reducing the sudden chill from my flushed skin. “Are you hungry?” I asked meekly, expecting him to deride me. “I’m paying.”

Liam’s thumb circled my inner wrist. Eyes holding mine, he stood, interlaced our fingers and led me to the door. “Don’t ever insult me again, Alexa. If you need something, anything, it is on me to cover expenses.”

***

William, The Grape and Vine manager, flustered and overanxious, selected a private table for his boss, Mr Warren, to enjoy a night-time meal with his unexpected date. He pulled out the chairs, beside the window, overlooking London’s busy nightlife, people passing, touring, enjoying bars, restaurants and late tourist attractions.

Liam waited until I sat down, eliminated his suit jacket, draping it on the rear of a chair. Comfortable, he sat directly from me. “Give us a moment.”

“Of course, Sir.” Will dipped his head, left two leather-bound menus on the white-clothed table and returned to customers, who drink fine champagne and indulge moreish appetisers.

Our seated accommodation offers a considerable distance from the other guests. It’s nice, private and romantic: silver candelabras homing six lit, burning taper candles, polished silverware, such as salad forks, fish knives, dessert forks and coffee spoons, embellished napkin rings and warm plates.

I fingered the detailed tablecloth, outlining the subtle patterns, and thanked the smartly dressed sommelier pouring effervesces into our champagne flutes.

Twirling the delicate stem between pinched fingers, I tasted citrus fruits, savoured the flavours on my tongue. “Do you eat here often?”

Liam shook his head, closing the menu.

Occupying the grand, majestic designed stage, instrumentalists performed alongside a pleasant-sounding vocalist, a small, agile man, entertaining guests with melodious jazz songs.

It’s apparent neither of us wishes to confer current hindrances. Liam, leaning back in his chair, watches the performing ensemble, but I see he’s not paying attention or listening.

Will returns, notes Liam’s order and promises to deliver shortly.

I help myself to the champagne bottle, refilling my glass. I offered to pour another for Liam, but he barely touched the first flute, neglected it.

After the longest fifteen minutes of awkward silence and one-way conversations, Will, accompanied by a waitress, arranges various main dishes onto our table.

She wears a skin-tight black skirt and a white blouse, the waitress, giggling when her boss lightly teased and complimented her, palmed her crimson shaded cheeks.

Liam’s intentional flirting and gravelled undertones struck a nerve. I kicked him in the shin, hard. His knee jerked up on reflex, knocking beneath the table, plummeting a crystal glass to the floor.

He glared, furious yet restrained.

Disregarding an uncomfortable Will, who drops to clear shattered fragments from the glistening tiles, I tilted my head and pinned the woman with threatening eyes. “If she puts a hand on you, one more time?” I warned, daring Liam to undermine me. “She can expect more than broken fingers.”

A mischievous smirk teased his lips.

The troglodytic bastard is proud of me.

Why must I show such evident jealousy?

“Sorry, ma’am.” Panic-stricken, she lifted her hand from the boss. “I should...” Tucking hair behind her ears, she apologised, coy and bashed, resuming to the long-stretched bar.

Liam, composed and amused, waits until Will disappears. “Was that necessary, Alexa?” He unfolded a napkin, plucked up a fork and stabbed a prawn. “Where are your manners?”

“Down the bloody toilet with yours, apparently.” He didn’t respond. “Why must we play games?”

“Who’s playing games?” he hummed, chewing silently. “You wanted food. I’m feeding you. Am I not?”

I threw a sun-dried tomato in my mouth. “Do you think she’s pretty?”

Liam sucked sauce from his thumb. “Define pretty.”

I curbed a fuming sneer. “I don’t know, Liam. Whatever you men consider attractive these days.” I mean, she had a stunning figure, but the bent nose and jutted witch-like chin required some serious chiselling. “Well?”

“All women are attractive, Alexa,” he said, increasing my raging heartbeat. “Different and unique.” Putting the flute to his lips, he sipped, slaking thirstiness. “That doesn’t mean I want them in my bed.”

Forking marinated chicken across my plate, I lowered my sad eyes, no longer ravenous. In fact, I didn’t want him to pay for this discomforted, forced date, tolerating his sourness and underlying contempt.

Dabbing my lips with a silk napkin, I unzipped my purse, chucked two fifty pound notes onto the table, rose from the chair and meandered through the starry-eyed dinner setting.

I pushed open the main door, a mixture of cold winds and aromatic meats, drifting past my head. Heels alternatively clicking, I strolled down the street, ready to flag a taxi, when Liam’s hand seized my elbow. “Go away,” I snapped, ripping myself from his hold. “I am not spending time with a man who cannot see beyond his fucking bruised ego.”

Impiety, he makes me cross the street, to the parked Bentley Mulsanne. “You fucking another man didn’t bruise my ego, Alexa.” Before the suited driver could open the door, Liam fisted the nape of my hair, ripping a pained whimper from my mouth. “You tested my resilience, though. I’ll give you that.”

Flinging open the door to the backseat, he forced me into the vehicle, and I scampered across the cold, cream leather bench, far away from his lunatic self.

He climbed in behind me, choosing to sit opposite, reclining and getting comfortable. He pressed a button, opening the chilled compartment, offering wine bottles and high brand champagne. “Care for another drink?”

“Why don’t you go and fuck yourself?” Draping a leg over the other knee, tapping my foot mid-air furiously, I put two fingers onto my temple, massaging an implanted headache.

“No, I’ll fuck you.” Opening Jameson, he tossed the cap on the floor, gulped from the bottle. “Or perhaps you can get on your knees again and validate newfound dexterities.” He stared at my parted lips. “With your mouth, of course.”

I saw red.

Tearing the bottle from his hand, I haphazardly flung it across the leather and attacked him, reviving tapered vexation. Knees crashing to the floor, rupturing scabbed wounds, I impaled him, swinging slaps around his evading head.

The asshole laughed, mocking my vicious outburst, giving me a moment to release unsatisfied furiousness. While ducking, he banged a fist on the privatising partition, ordering the driver to journey ahead. “That’s enough,” he barked, shoving me onto the bench, detaching us. “You are a goddamn mental case.”

“Yeah?” I goaded with challenging eyes, blonde hair framing my flushed face. “And this,” I gestured two fingers between us, “is a toxic relationship that has reached the bearable pinnacle—toppled the damn scale. I am done with it, Liam. Over it. How dare you disrespect me, you, you insensitive prick. You know,” I snivelled, flattening a palm over my lips. “You know more than anyone how much that act sickens me, yet you have the audacity to so arrogantly presume I’d take another man into my mouth. Fuck. You.” I wiped my eyes, refusing to shed any more tears for this man. “Sometimes, I can’t help but hate you.”

The Bentley vibrated beneath us, driving somewhere, passing tall buildings. Through glassy eyes, I watched the world pass me by, people a blur, kaleidoscopic hues merging into one.

Liam’s penthouse came into view, and I blew out a tired breath. The man himself soared from the car first, hands inside his trouser pockets, waiting for me to follow.

Rubbing my cheeks, I shadowed behind him, the vibrant, vivacious receptionist talking his ear off as we coasted to the elevator.

He called upon the lift, dismissing members of security, used unnecessary force to drag me inside the all-mirrored four walls.

I felt him staring at me. I did not, however, return his conflicted demeanour.

When the doors chimed and slid open, Liam walked ahead with confident, powerful strides, used a key card to open the penthouse door and discarded his phone, keys, wallet and gun, individually setting them onto the undulating black and gold marble sideboard.

He lost his suit jacket to the white leathered U-shaped sofa, licked his thumb and wiped blood spatters from his cheek. “What I said...” He hesitated, too ashamed to look at me. “It was wrong, Alexa. It’s not an excuse, but I forget how much Bajramovic affected you because...”

“I trusted you, Liam,” I filled in the gaps, and he gave me a curt nod. “My foolish self only let you fuck my mouth—”

“Don’t speak like that,” he growled, pushing a hand through his dishevelled hair. “That wasn’t us, and you fucking know it.”

I rolled my eyes, modesty a pathetic instance of my past.

“I don’t believe that you fell.”

“Well, I don’t have to answer to you. I explained what happened. Believe it, or don’t.” Kicking off my shoes, leaving them by the front door, I stepped down the few steps into the living quarter, crossed the room and found an unopened bottle of Cîroc in the kitchen cupboard.

Liam regarded my every move, somewhat content. He sat on the sofa, opened the coffee table drawer, laid out supplies and prepared a deck. Grinding syndicate stock, he rolled a blunt, put the roach between his lips and lit the end, toked three drags, an attempt to placate himself.

Frustrated with the pair of us, I poured him a shot of Macallan, propitiating him. His finger brushed mine when accepting the glass. “Sit with me.”

Submissive, I eyed him warily, stationed onto the coffee table and hugged the bottled vodka. “How many women have you been with, Liam?”

His hold on my eyes wavered. “Does it matter?”

No, it doesn’t. “We established once that it’s more than fifty.”

He made a noncommittal noise.

“Honestly, I don’t want to know. Much like yourself with me, I hate the thought of you with someone else. But I am mature enough to digest there were others before me.”

Placing my hand on his knee, I squeezed, fingers splaying over his thigh. “What I did with Jace is no different to how you behaved with those women, Liam. I had no plans of returning to my old life and, in a moment of weakness, I lost myself in the arms of another man.”

“It’s incomprehensible though, Alexa. You hated the closeness of males. I was the only man you let in.” He cups my cheek, his gaze penetrating, unearthing possible ambivalence. “I fear that he means more than you care to admit.”

“It meant nothing,” I quietly argued. “It was one night of meaningless...” Sex, I thought, knowing it had felt deeper, emotionally and sentimentally bonding. “If anything, what I felt for you heightened. I realised how much of an effect you have on me, how the thought of loving another tore my heart.”

He tilted his head, respiring smoke to the ceiling. “Help me understand.” Schooling his angry, tight features, he adopted calmness, willing to give me a chance and backseat adamantine stubbornness. “Why did you leave me that night?”

What transpired the night of Liam’s thirtieth birthday distresses me. I hadn’t quite formulated a reasonable explanation or concluded how to salvage Jace in the process. “I was taken,” I said, unprepared for the outcome. “One of Flamur’s men picked me up outside of Club 11 and knocked me into unconsciousness. I woke up in a foreign place, alone but practised. I knew what to expect and prepared myself for the worst.”

I lied for the sake of everyone. “Jace and Summer were kidnapped, too, but separated.” Masking my deceit, I lowered my head, pressing a cheek to his thigh. “Nobody hurt me, Liam. I promise you.”

“How did you escape Bajramovic and his men? Unscathed and intact, nonetheless.”

“Jace, first and foremost, is a father, Liam. He raised Cain to find his daughter, helping me as an unpremeditated part of the action. As I am sure you are aware, Summer didn’t survive...” Tears flooded my eyes. Flashbacks of Jace’s baby girl invaded my mind. Her small, frail, decomposing body, a rancid smell that’ll haunt me for the rest of my life. “He killed everyone, called the police and left the compound with his daughter’s dead body in arms.”

Liam’s fingers tickled the back of my neck. “And you?”

How do I explain that my behaviour stemmed from seeing him with Hellen? He’ll cotton on to the contradicting time frames.

“Liam,” I whispered, nuzzling my cheek into his thigh, hands moving to his waist. “I’m sorry.” Crawling onto his lap, I straddled his legs, knees sinking into the leather seating. “For jumping to conclusions and disbelieving your grief. You told me, the night of your birthday, how much you loved me, and I ridiculed your pronouncement the second I chose to ignore you and run away.” I wrapped my arms around his neck, the marijuana-infused smoke drifting. “It’s unforgivable.”

“Don’t do that,” he scolds, his arm locked around me as he leans forward to discard the joint. His fingers tousled in my hair, eliminating the blonde locks, loosening long, unruly curls. He cupped my cheeks, studying every detail of my face, admiring the dark hair cascading over my shoulders. “There she is.”

I smiled, morose but hopeful. “I know that we’re miles apart,” I breathed against his lips, “but I love you, Liam. I’ll only ever want...” The words died on my tongue when a young brunette, dressed scarce in pale-pink laced shorts and vest, nipples virtually puckered through the delicate fabric, stood by the front door. My first thoughts, beautiful, long, poker straight, chestnut coloured hair, slim but ample, eyes the mixing hues of dark chocolate and golden honey. “Who the hell is that?”

Eyebrows pulling taut, Liam peered over his shoulder, his hands on my thighs fastening, preparing to keep me in place. “No, Alexa—” I tried to scramble off his lap. “She’s no one.”

“Really?” I mocked, flinging a dismissive hand in her direction, catching my footing as I stood. “She appeared from one of the bedrooms, Liam. I might not be the brightest spark on the block, but I’m not dumb enough to believe that woman didn’t just roll out of bed.” He mirrored my stance, sending the girl a condemning glare. “Don’t envision murdering her on my account. By all means, Liam, invite her over and let’s have a threesome—”

“Stop,” he grounded out, hand snatching my jaw, “talking like that. It’s not you.” His murderous expression had an undesired effect. I still wanted to dismantle his balls and make her choke on them. “Blaire shouldn’t be here.” Not releasing me, he addressed the woman, who, it would seem, relishes my upset. “Why aren’t you with Nate?”

I side-eyed her, curling my fingers around Asshole’s wrist.

“Nate promised if I behaved then you’d continue to let me live here,” she said in a kind, soft, gentle voice that had my stomach pivoting. “I am sorry for interrupting you, Mr Warren. I had a nightmare, so I came to get a glass of water.” Nervously wringing her fingers, she chewed her lower lip, on the verge of tears. “May I proceed?”

“May she proceed?” I ridiculed, and his hold on me softened, enough for me to break free. “Why is she addressing you like that, Liam? He’s not your master,” I diverted my attention to her, not missing the devious glimmer in her doe eyes. “Every guestroom offers en-suite bathrooms, Blaire. You had no reason to interrupt us.”

“Blaire,” he rubbed a palm over his features, “get a drink and go back to your room.”

Nodding submissively, she drifted to the kitchen, opened the fridge-freezer, selected peach flavoured sparkling water and then had the audacity to drink it now, taking her smart-ass time.

I shot Liam an impatient look. “Well, isn’t she comfortable.”

Blaire, recapping the bottled water, rehomed it on the counter, floated into my dark red ambience and patted down the hall.

“Why does this keep happening to us?” he asked, but the question wasn’t for me to answer. He’s asking himself, or the universe. “Every time I get you to myself, something or someone disturbs us. I want a few hours with you, Alexa. No bullshit. No drama. No unwanted visitors.” He reached for me, and I stepped back. “Just us, baby.”

I wanted to ask if he’s touched her but wasn’t sure my stomach could handle that knowledge. “I know.” Succumbing to defeat, I combed messy hair back from off my face, stabbed the shaggy rug with rigid toes, deterring persistent exasperation. “I...” Our eyes aligned. I reached behind my back, felt for the zipper and loosened my dress, letting the material fall to my feet.

Liam squared his shoulders. His gaze, heavy and dilated, raked over my naked body. “Do you still want me, baby?” A predatory glint blazed in his eyes. He mightn’t say the words, but, even if I refused this man, he’d never permit it.

I walked to the marble stairs, stopped to face him, silently enticing him to follow. Unbuttoning his shirt, he magnetised himself to me, leaning down to bite and drag my lower lip with his teeth.

“Mine,” he whispered, losing the shirt, lips dusting my jawline. “Yours.” Wrapping my hair around his wrist, he tugged my head back, kissed my bobbing throat. “Always.” Dragging his tongue from the column of my neck to my lips, he fused our mouths, raw and ravenous. “Understand?”

My back hit the wall, body burning up from the inside out. “It’s going to take more than a few idle words to assuage me, Liam.”

“I promise to love you—only you,” he vowed, and flutters ruptured, uncaging and dispersing in my chest. “No woman compares, Alexa.” His hands clung to the apex of my thighs, smoothing and hoisting me into strong arms, enveloping my legs around his waist. Bracing a forearm to the wall above my head, he tilted my chin with his nose, landed another fierce, breathless kiss to my mouth. “All I ask in return is reciprocation.”

He ground against me, his hard, trouser-clad cock the perfect intensity of friction to my hot sex. I wanted him, right here against the wall, violent yet passionate.

If Blaire, lurking in the shadows, weren’t spying on us from her cracked doorway, I’d offer myself for his liking. I haven’t determined that illegible twinkle in her beguiling eyes, but if she thinks I am easily replaceable, she’s in for a rude awakening.

Liam Warren’s mine.

Let somebody try and come between us.

“Take me to bed, Liam,” I whispered in his ear, and he pushed us away from the wall, carrying me to the master bedroom. “Lock the door behind us.”

I plan on forgetting the world tonight.

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