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Authors: Alexandra Richland

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BOOK: Frontline
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A low growl reverberates in Trenton’s throat as his lips capture mine. They aren’t reunited for long. My head falls back against the wall with the commencement of his thrusts, and within moments, my legs are wrapped around his waist and my hands are buried in his hair.

The rhythm of our bodies is a divine blend of desperation and all-consuming passion, Trenton’s dedication to my pleasure dragging me into a sweet abyss of desire where I lose my bearings, willing to completely let go and trust him to take care of me at my most vulnerable.

“Tell me how I make you feel, Sara.” Trenton drifts his lips across my cheek, kneading my ass with his strong hands.

I struggle to reply through my panting. “What about how I make you feel?”

“This isn’t about me,” he says, dispensing hot kisses down my neck. “I will always put you first . . . always.”

I gasp from the sensation of his tongue venturing lower . . . teasing . . . swirling.

“I want to take you to my bed, Sara.”

Another hot kiss to my neck. Another brush of his tongue along my skin.

“Let me do this right, like you deserve.”

I smile and shake my head. “Not going to happen. Not tonight.”

Trenton presses me firmer against the wall. “Then I’ll finish this right here.”

He removes one hand from my ass and massages my breast over my dress. My head flies back on a whimper; my hands make a mess of his hair.

“I want you to come for me, Sara.”
His thumb and forefinger tease my nipple while his mouth stakes claim to my throat. “You want that, too, don’t you?”

“Oh, yes. Yes!”

I close my eyes as his sensual kisses and the feel of him between my legs usher me toward my release. Then someone clears their throat.

And it’s not Trenton.

Chapter Nine

I loosen my legs from around Trenton’s waist, my flight toward orgasm crashing almost as soon as I achieve liftoff.
He lowers me carefully until my feet touch the stairs. My legs shake. I press my back to the wall again so I don’t lose my footing and somersault all the way back down to the first floor.

“Mr. Merrick, sir.”


I struggle to straighten my dress, ensuring I’m properly covered. Trenton doesn’t look fazed at all. He steps away from me and runs his hand through his hair as I gasp for breath, my body begging for the pleasure to continue while my mind grapples with utter humiliation.

“What is it, Randall?” Trenton knots his tie.

“A phone call, sir. I suggest you take it in your private study.”

Randall and Trenton share a silent exchange.

“Excuse me, Sara,” Trenton says without looking at me. He fastens a button on his suit jacket and bounds down the stairs two at a time before disappearing around the corner, leaving me alone with Randall.

Well, this is awkward.

Patting down my hair, I step away from the wall to the center of the step. My face burns. I imagine I look a complete mess after having Trenton’s hands all over me.

I exhale a deep breath and look at Randall.

“Would you like to wait for Mr. Merrick in the parlor, Miss Peters?” It sounds more like an order than a suggestion.

“Uh, sure.” With my eyes to the floor, I join Randall on the landing.

I feel completely disoriented as he leads me down unfamiliar corridors. Even after Trenton’s tour, there is still so much of his estate I haven’t seen.

My humiliation lingers as Randall ushers me into a different parlor from the one I was in earlier. I have no idea how I’m going to carry on a normal conversation with him after what he just witnessed.

Randall remains professional. He offers me a glass of wine, but I decline. I feel intoxicated enough after my hot and heavy make out session with his boss.

Thankfully, he excuses himself and I’m left alone to get my hormones in check and distract myself from thinking about what happened. The tasks prove to be impossible. I can’t get over the memory of Trenton pushing me against the wall, grinding between my legs, and his surprising confession:

I will always put you first . . . always.

I recall the vulnerability in his voice as he declared those words to me; how I tumbled into the depths of his promise and he afforded me—whether purposefully or not—another unguarded view of the man behind the money, power, and poise.

Trenton is volatile, confident, and controlling, but also respectful; a maze of mystery more complex than the labyrinth of corridors that comprise this vast estate. As much as I learned about him over dinner, he remains enigmatic. But the crazy thing is he called

I wonder if he’ll want to continue what we started on the stairs once he returns, and how I will ever deny another proposal to go to his bedroom if he suggests it again. It was hard enough turning him down the first time. With Randall’s interruption just seconds before I was about to orgasm, I’ll find it even more difficult to stand my ground.

The door to the parlor opens. I expect to see Trenton, but Randall enters instead. He walks briskly across the room.

“Mr. Merrick apologizes, but he must cut your evening short.”

“Is something wrong?”

Randall grins, but it looks forced. “An urgent business matter has arisen that requires Mr. Merrick’s immediate attention. It’s nothing you need to worry about, Miss Peters.”

A business matter? Near midnight? On a Saturday? Of a holiday weekend?

“Are you sure there isn’t anything I can do to help?” It’s a stupid question, but I feel compelled to ask.

“Everything is under control, Miss Peters.”

I rise from my chair. “Okay, well, I’ll just say good-bye to Trenton and then

“I’m afraid Mr. Merrick has already left the premises.”

My stomach churns. “What?”

“Mr. Merrick is gone. A member of his security team, Sean Mavis, has been dispatched to this location to drive you home.”

I try to hide my disappointment, but Randall’s pitying expression tells me I’m not doing a very good job. Obviously everything we shared tonight means nothing to Trenton. He doesn’t even think I’m worthy of a damn handshake or a
thank you for coming

Randall gestures toward the door. “Allow me to escort you to the foyer and gather your purse.”


Suddenly, I get the strong impression that Trenton didn’t say good-bye to me on purpose. This
was probably pre-planned between him and Randall to be implemented if I was adamant about not sleeping with him tonight.

Trenton probably has some secret buzzer he uses to page Randall wherever he is. Or perhaps Randall was watching and listening the whole time on camera, or lurking in the shadows.

I feel like I’m going to be sick.

“Yeah, fine.” I rush across the room. Nothing can get me out of this
smut castle
fast enough.

After hiking a million miles through Trenton’s manor, Randall and I finally arrive at the entrance hall. My purse rests on a small cast-iron table by the door. I pick it up before Randall gets to it and wait for Sean to arrive. Once again, I’m putting myself in the hands of a stranger. All I can hope is that I make it back to my apartment in one piece, and then I can forget this night ever happened.

Randall waits with me by the door. Despite the awkward silence, I don’t try to make conversation with him. I just want to go home before I end up voicing my anger—or worse—crying. My feet hurt in my damn high heels and I wish I had a coat or sweater to put on because now I feel ridiculous in my little black dress.

I hear shuffling toward the back of the entrance hall and turn to see Sean as he rounds the corner. His light gray suit jacket struggles to contain his broad shoulders and chest. An earpiece connected to a coiled wire snakes down the side of his neck and disappears beneath his collar.

Sean nods at me. “Good evening, Miss Peters.”

“It’s Sara,” I say, without worrying about insulting him. It’s not like I’ll ever see these people again, and quite frankly, I’m getting tired of this

“Miss Peters, the car is out front,” Sean says.

I scowl.

Randall opens the front door and offers a tight smile. “Have a good night, Miss Peters.”

I dart past him without waiting for Sean.

A black Mercedes sits where the Rolls Royce was parked earlier. Sean is quick to walk in front of me. He already has the back door open by the time I approach the car. I stop in front of him, hoping to get some answers.

“Do you know why Trenton left so quickly?”

Sean locks his brown eyes on mine. “No, Miss Peters.”

“You got here pretty fast. Were you in the house the entire time?”

His eyebrows draw together. “What do you mean?”

“Well, Trenton just left, and then you show up to drive me home almost immediately after.”

Sean shrugs. “I was in the neighborhood when I got the call to come here.”

In the neighborhood? What was he doing? Camping? Building a tree house?

Sean’s expression softens, revealing a boyish innocence that’s non-existent in Trenton’s other employees. “I don’t understand what you’re getting at, ma’am.”

I sigh. “Let’s just go.”

I slide into the backseat and Sean closes the door. Tears spring to my eyes now that I’m alone. Knowing my solitude is only temporary encourages me to keep them at bay.

Sean climbs behind the wheel and starts the car.

“Seatbelt, Miss Peters,” he says, clicking his own seatbelt into place.

The Mercedes is just as flashy as the interior of the Rolls. But this time, I’m not offered refreshments or a computer tablet full of reading material. It’s just the Tin Man and me navigating the deserted Connecticut back roads in silence.

There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.

For the first part of the drive, I torture myself by analyzing the entire evening.

I feel like a
castoff on
The Bachelor
. At the end of each episode, they always dump the rejected girl into the back of a limousine with a camera, hoping she’ll divulge her hurt, her ideas as to what went wrong, her anger, and perhaps even shed a few tears.

Well, that’s not going to be me.

As I attempt to think things through, I blink back my tears and keep my expression void of emotion so Sean doesn’t have any pathetic information to relay back to his boss.

I can’t help but hope Trenton did have something unexpected come up because I like to think he’s not a total sleaze ball. This makes me wonder, however, if I had done something differently, would he have at least said good-bye before he took off. Then again, if Trenton ditched me because I asked him too many questions or because I wouldn’t sleep with him, then it’s his loss and I shouldn’t waste any more time on him.

Eventually my characteristic exercise in overanalyzing spirals out of control and I search for a distraction.

Cue small talk with Sean.

“So you’re co-head of Trenton’s security detail with Christopher?” I say, staring at his reflection in the rearview mirror.

He nods. “Yes, Miss Peters.”

“That’s a pretty lofty position. He didn’t just give it to you because you’re his friend.”

“No, ma’am. I have many qualifications which make me the right man for the job.”

“For example?”

Sean looks at me in the rearview mirror. “Each member of his team is assigned very specific tasks. But my range of specialties is vast.”

Hmm, talk about elusive. Why am I not surprised?

“I suppose one of those specialties is driving home Trenton’s castaways.”

Sean’s expression flickers with confusion. “That’s not in my job description.”

“Then why are you driving me home?”

“I’m doing this as a special favor to Mr. Merrick.”

I guess Trenton sent one of his best men to ensure he gets rid of me with the utmost efficiency.

Silence fills the car. I could definitely go for some Sinatra right now.

“You know, Miss Peters,” Sean says after a few moments, “despite what you may believe, Mr. Merrick’s greatest concern was getting you home safely tonight.”

“You mean getting me out of his hair as easily as possible,” I say under my breath.

“What was that?”

I stare out the window into the black Connecticut wilderness. “Nothing.”

As we round a bend in the road, a faint orange glow hovers over the tops of the trees in the distance, signaling we’re heading back into civilized territory. I’m glad our ride will be over soon. I revel in our silence now, but Sean doesn’t share my appreciation.

“How long have you been a nurse, Miss Peters?”

“If we’re going to continue talking, please drop the Miss Peters title. Call me Sara.”

“Sara,” he says with a grin.

I smile back, feeling the tension lift. “Thank you.”

“So, how long have you been a nurse?” Sean asks again. He settles back in his seat, one hand on the steering wheel, the other on the gearshift.

“Six months. I graduated last spring, but didn’t write the NCLEX
—that’s the
National Council Licensure Examination
—until the fall. Then I had to decide where in the country I wanted to work, find available jobs that interested me, go for interviews . . . apply for a license in New York State . . .”

Sean nods. “That’s cool.”

I’m relieved he’s easing up a bit. Despite Trenton’s insistence that Christopher and Sean were friendly, based on my experience, I still assumed all of his Tin Men were callous bores.

“So you’ve known Trenton a long time?”

Sean clears his throat. “Since grade school.”

“Do you like working for him?” I rest my head against the window. “It must be weird since he’s your friend.”

“There’s no one else I’d rather work for.”

“Long hours, I guess.”

Sean grins. “It’s not a nine-to-five kind of deal, that’s for sure.”

“That sucks.”

“It’s the nature of the job. When Trent needs something, I’m there. But the guy is always there for me, too. That’s just how it works with us.”

“That doesn’t leave much time for a social life.”

Sean shrugs. “It’s just me and my job right now. I like it that way.”

“After you drop me off, do you have to drive back to Connecticut?”

Sean switches his grip on the steering wheel, his flashy watch catching the moonlight. “No, I’m staying at my apartment in the city tonight. Trenton has a meeting early tomorrow morning at his Manhattan office that I have to be present for.”

BOOK: Frontline
6.01Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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