Authors: Elle Keating
In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author's intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at [email protected] Thank you for your support of the author's rights.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
Copyright Â© 2016 by Elle Keating
Thrill of the Chase
copyright Â© 2015 by Elle Keating
Cover design by Christine Foltzer
Cover copyright Â© 2016 by Hachette Book Group, Inc.
All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author's intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at [email protected] Thank you for your support of the author's rights.
First Edition: March 2016
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ISBN 978-1-4555-3504-0 (ebook edition)
ISBN 978-1-4555-3503-3 (print on demand edition)
For Mikeâmy brother and truly my best friend in the world. I love ya.
hase Montclair stared out the window at the world below and prayed that the evil that yearned to infiltrate their lives would just disappear. But it would take more than prayer to lure the sick son-of-a-bitch out of the hole he had successfully hidden in for the past year. Erin and her brother had been on the defensive too long. It was time they took action and put an end to the madness.
Chase walked over to the bed and looked down at the sleeping woman, the woman he was determined to make his in every sense of the word. He pulled back the covers and slipped in behind her. As if by instinct, she nestled in closer, pulling his arm around her, though she was still peacefully asleep. The valiant part of him told him to let her rest. But as he held her naked body close, breathing in the scent of her hair and feeling her soft curves shift beside him, all he could think about was having her all over again.
He rolled her onto her back and gazed at her perfect body against pure-white sheets. His breathing hitched as he envisioned her in white, walking toward him, smiling only at him and because of him. Soon, he thought. Erin Whitley would be his wife.
Chase pulled back the sheet, exposing her breasts, which seemed to heed his attention. She began to stir, which was a relief, since his cock throbbed and longed to be deep inside her heat. Not yet. He wanted to hear her. Nothing pleased him more than when she screamed with pleasure. He gently spread her legs and took in the glorious sight. She was beautifulâ¦and wet. Even in her sleep, she was ready for him. He licked his lips and knelt down so his face was only millimeters from her tight, glistening nub. Chase inhaled her scent, which made him mad with desire. He suppressed a groan as he enjoyed the erotic silence, and licked at her clit. He felt her bottom buck into his hands and her fingers grabbed his hair in apparent need. With his tongue circling her clit, he looked up and she met his gaze. Though she had been asleep just moments ago, her eyes were crazed and it was clear that she was going to come very soon.
“Oh God!” she whimpered.
He wasn't going to last either. Her cries of ecstasy were enough to make him spill even before he had a chance of getting inside her. Chase lapped at her, tasting her once more before standing up and pulling her to the edge of the bed. He lifted both her legs onto his shoulders and entered her in one determined thrust of his hips. In this position, he was so deep he swore he felt the lip of her womb with the tip of his cock.
“Erinâ¦baby!” He slid in and out of her, which prompted sounds from her that he had heard before, just not as loud, or as uninhibited. Her body thrashed against his as he pounded into her.
She reached around and cupped his balls as they slammed against her with each forceful stroke. “Never enough. I want it all,” she panted.
The combination of her words and the jolting sensations that tingled through his sack from the touch of her hand sent him into a frenzy. He knew exactly how she felt. He could never get close enough, never burrow deep enough. He would never get enough of
“I love you,” he groaned.
He felt her body quake and clench around him as she found her climax. With his name on her lips, he released his seed deep inside her, hoping one day very soon it would take root and grow into something, someone, he would cherish for the rest of his life.
could wake you up like that every morning. Just say the words.”
Erin snuggled even closer, inhaling Chase's heady scent and basking in the afterglow of yet another round of lovemaking. A girl could definitely get used to Chase's version of a wake-up call.
“I mean it. Every morning could be just like this,” Chase said, his tone serious.
Erin didn't realize that his initial statement warranted an answer. She thought he was just being playful before. Lying in his arms, she looked up at him and peered into eyes that matched his tone. She didn't know how to respond. Or if she was even reading him correctly. Was he asking her what she thought he was asking? If she was wrong, she would feel like a total idiot. But just lying there saying nothing wasn't productive either.
She bit her lower lip and then just went for it. “Are you sayingâ¦asking me if weâ¦” Erin stared into his dark blue eyes and noticed that although the seriousness still remained, it was joined by deep warmth and a hint of laughter. She swallowed as she gathered the courage to complete her question.
“I'm asking you to move in with me. I want this every morning. Every moment of the day,” he said, his lips curling into a small smile.
Erin exhaled as relief poured over her. She'd wanted so much not to be wrong. There was nothing she wanted more than to be with Chase morning, noon and night. She was just about to wrap her arms around his neck, smother him with kisses and exclaim, “Yes!” when reality set in. In her apartment, high up and secluded, it was easy to forget. There were things, ugly game-changing things, that needed to be discussed.
“There are things we need to talk about first,” Erin said.
Chase started to say something when Erin cut him off by putting her finger over his lips. “If, after our conversation, you still want me to move in, wellâ¦”
“Okay, that's fair,” he said, his voice muffled due to the finger that was still covering his lips.
Erin smiled. He could be so damn sexy and commanding one moment and irresistibly cute the next.
Focus. She had to focus. Lying in his arms was definitely not helping matters. She sat up and crisscrossed her legs. He too shifted in bed and replaced his smile with a look that told her that she had his full attention.
“That last day in your labâ¦when I told you good-byeâ¦I received a text from
.” Erin inhaled deeply. Chase's hand covered hers, as if for encouragement to continue. Treat it like a Band-Aid, she thought. Just get it over with. He already knew the bulk of it and he was still here. That had to mean something. Didn't it?
“He told me that if I don't stop seeing you, he willâ¦” It's not like she couldn't find the words, she just didn't want to hear herself say them aloud. But again, she realized that it was best if she opted for full disclosure. “He would hurt youâ¦kill you.” Chase sat there, his expression revealing nothing. Erin cleared her voice as she prepared for the second part of the horrendous tale. “I believed him then and still do. He will follow through on his threat. He's not just a rapist, Chase. He may be a killer. We don't know for certain if Gabrielle committed suicide.”
Chase's eyes narrowed. “I want to see the text. All of them,” he said, his voice firm and businesslike.
Erin stood and retrieved her purse. She pulled out her phone and handed it to Chase. It took only a moment for Chase to find the string of texts between herself and her rapist. Erin watched his hand clench the phone as he scrolled through her messages. The stoic, unwavering expression he had been wearing morphed into one of fury.
“Paul told me that the police are no further along in catching this guy than they were last year, which is why, understandably, you are hesitant to continue to trust them with your life and sanity. But things have changed. This bastard has to be stopped.” Chase stood and threw her phone onto the bed.
Erin nodded. She knew Chase was right. The situation had gotten out of control. It was too large for her to handle. She had been a fool to think she could have solved the problem on her own by buying a gun and luring him out of the city. She suddenly felt like that helpless woman in the cemetery again. Damn him!
Chase must have sensed she was silently beating herself up because he sat down next to her and took her in his arms. “We'll get through this. And when it's over, you'll never have to fear him again. I'll make certain of it.” Erin didn't want to cry. She didn't want to shed another tear over what had happened to her. But she found herself sobbing as he embraced her.
“Butâ¦but he promises to kill you if we're together. I couldâ¦never live with myself if anything ever happened toâ¦you,” she said, between stuttered breaths.
“Nothing will happen to me.” He reached up and tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear. “And no one will keep us apart.”
Erin nodded, though she kept her eyes closed in hopes of thwarting the tears from flowing.
She felt two fingers lift her chin as he said, “But we need help, Erin. Even I can admit that.”
Erin finally looked into his loving blue eyes. “I'm scared, Chase. For youâ¦for Paulâ¦for me. He's a ghost, Chase. The police couldn't help me then and as recently as this month, they have prepared me for the possibility that this piece of shit may never be caught.”
Chase released her gently and stood. He walked over to the French doors that overlooked the balcony. “Okay, no police. But would you be comfortable talking to Andrew? He is exâsecret service and most likely has contacts within who are still active. I think he could help us nail down what we are up against.”
Erin had known about Andrew's previous position, but at the time she didn't think it was wise to bring him in on the current situation. Of course he knew that she had been raped and was currently being stalked, but that was the extent of it. Up until this point, his only job was to protect her with his life, not dig, not analyze or compose a profile. But like Chase had said, things had changed. Relieved that they were bypassing the police, Erin nodded, giving Chase the go-ahead to involve Andrew even more than he already had been. But before she would disclose a solitary detail surrounding her rapist, she needed to talk to Paul.
“I want to talk to Paul first. I want him to be on board with this,” Erin said.
“I'll call himâ¦while you start packing,” Chase said with a smile. He walked toward the door, his cell phone in hand.
*Â Â *Â Â *
As Chase discussed the text that directed Erin to stay away from him and the possibility that Gabrielle's death may not have been a suicide, it was clear from Paul's expression that Erin had withheld some things from her brother. But Paul didn't seem angry; instead, he appeared relieved, as if he was able to finally put some of the pieces of the puzzle together. Chase looked back and forth between Erin and her brother. This was definitely a conversation that should have been conducted over something stronger than morning coffee. But time was of the essence and it was crucial that Andrew was brought into the fold as soon as possible.
“He will be discrete. I can promise you that,” Chase said with confidence.
“I don't doubt his competence, Chase. Butâ¦” Paul stopped, reached over the kitchen island and held Erin's hand. “Is this what you want, Erin? Are you ready for this?”
Erin gave Paul's hand a squeeze. Chase marveled at just how close they were. He was thankful that she had had such a supportive and caring brother to lean on over the years.
“Yes. If sharing what happened to me with Andrew will help stop the bastard and keep the men I love safe, than I am definitely ready for this.”
Chase couldn't hide the small grin that began to form at the mention of how she felt about him. He could never get tired of hearing Erin declare her love. And he would never tire of telling and showing her just how much he was in love with her.
Paul sighed and then smiled. “About time you finally fessed up, Erin. I was getting worried that I was going to have to be the one to tell Chase you loved him. And believe me, that would have been awkward.”
The sudden lighthearted comment from Paul was a welcome distraction from the seriousness of the conversation and the three of them laughed. Chase placed his arm around Erin's waist and pulled her to his side. “As much as I appreciate your willingness to take one for the team, I must admit that I am thankful those words came from Erin and not you. No offense.”
“None taken,” Paul said, chuckling. Paul shook Chase's hand, as a symbol of final approval of the relationship.
Erin's smile seemed to brighten the entire room. Chase didn't want that moment to end, but it was time. Chase looked at Erin and said, “Are you ready to talk to Andrew?”
Erin took a deep breath. “With my two men at my side, how could I not be?”