Authors: Marla Monroe
The Protectors 2
In The Still of the Night
Take one gun-shy woman and one hotter than hell man and watch the sparks fly. Jenna’s taste in men has been pretty pathetic to date, but when she meets Riley, she hopes her luck has changed. Riley is a little wild and a lot hot, but will he stick around long enough for them to explore the sparks between them? Can they build a relationship that will last?
When Jenna’s ex shows up with blood in his eyes, Riley appoints himself her bodyguard. He plans to stick around long enough to rid Jenna of her ex, but after that, he plans to ride off again. Jenna plans to pull out all the stops to change his mind about leaving. In the end, will love prove the one constant in both of their lives?
IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT
The Protectors 2
Siren Publishing, Inc.
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A SIREN PUBLISHING BOOK
IMPRINT: Erotic Romance
IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT
Copyright © 2011 by Marla Monroe
E-book ISBN: 1-61034-150-3
First E-book Publication: March 2011
Cover design by Jinger Heaston
All cover art and logo copyright © 2011 by Siren Publishing, Inc.
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In The Still of the Night
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The Protectors 2
Copyright © 2011
“You’re going to have to hold on to me tighter than that, or you’re going to fall off.” Riley took Jenna’s hands and wrapped them around him to emphasize his point.
Jenna had never been on the back of a motorcycle in her life. She didn’t want to ride this one, and especially not with Riley. He was taking her to pick up her car, so she didn’t have a choice.
“Okay, I’m ready.” She swallowed and held on.
Riley started the big bike and revved it a couple of times before taking off. Jenna didn’t know if he was speeding, or if it was that she had never been on the back of a bike before, but she felt like they were flying. She couldn’t help hanging on tighter to Riley. After a few minutes, she began to relax and enjoy the sensation. If it hadn’t been Riley, she probably would have been excited about her first ride, but it was Riley. He made her uneasy. She didn’t think he would ever hurt her. Not like any of the others she had dated, or her ex-husband. But then, she wasn’t dating Riley. He was just helping out a friend.
“Are you okay back there?” Riley threw over his shoulder.
“I’m fine,” she yelled back.
A few minutes later, they pulled into the parking lot of a large hotel for extended-stay travelers. He circled around the back of the building. She saw her car backed into a parking place in front of room one-eighty-nine. He pulled in next to it and cut the engine. Jenna stayed where she was. She wasn’t sure what to do to get off. Riley pulled off his helmet and turned back toward her.
“Can you get off? Just put your foot where I told you and slide off.”
Jenna swallowed and nodded. She stepped off the bike and slid her other leg over the seat. She nearly lost her balance, but Riley’s hand shot out and caught her before she did.
“I’m not very graceful I guess.” She laughed nervously. Then she struggled with the strap of the helmet.
“Here, let me do that.” Riley had gotten off the bike and leaned down toward her to unsnap the strap for her.
His scent teased her, all earthy and male. Jenna dropped her hands as soon as his touched hers. If he noticed, he didn’t let on. Instead, he removed the helmet and stowed it in the saddle bag.
“Thanks for taking care of the car. I should be going now,” Jenna said. She stood there not looking at him for a few moments, waiting on him to hand her the keys.
“We need to talk before you go.”
Jenna looked up at him. “About what?”
“You and your taste in men.” He walked toward the hotel room door.
Jenna didn’t follow him. She had no intention of following him inside or talking to him about anything. Instead, she stood there with her arms crossed.
He stopped and slowly turned around. For a few seconds, he just stared at her then he blew out a breath and closed his eyes then opened them again.
“I’m not giving you the keys until we talk.”
“Then we can talk out here. I’m not going in your room with you.” Jenna winced when her voice broke.
“Fine.” Riley leaned back against the room door and crossed his arms over his chest.
He was big. Probably six feet six with muscular arms and a broad chest. She had seen it bare before and could remember the washboard abs and narrow waist. His dark eyes were mesmerizing. The sight of his bald head turned her on even more so than those dark eyes. He was eye candy, no doubt about it. But he was too intense and a very dangerous man. She knew this for a fact.
Less than twenty-four hours ago, he had broken an ex-boyfriend’s nose and possibly his jaw for hurting her. She had fading bruises on her arms where Todd had grabbed her, and Riley hadn’t liked it. Why did he care? Then why had he helped Morgan catch the stalker terrorizing her best friend, Tina? None of it made sense.
“What did you want to talk about?” she asked again.
“You need to stay away from Todd.”
“I have no intentions of seeing him again, not that it is any of your business. It wasn’t my fault he came looking for me anyway.”
“He won’t be doing that again. If he does, you call me,” he said.
“Since he isn’t going to be bothering me, there is no need for me to call you.”
“Which brings me to the subject of you going out.”
“I don’t go out alone. Tina and I go out together. I’m not stupid.” Jenna planted her hands on her hips.
“Yeah, well I think Logan is going to have something to say about that from now on.” Riley growled.
“I can guarantee that if Tina wants to go out, she will.”
“As long as Logan is with you, I’m not worried. But, you aren’t to go anywhere alone. It’s too dangerous.” Riley took a step toward her.
“Look, I’m grown. I can make my own decisions.”
“Then act grown. Remember there are people out there who will hurt you.”
“I think I know that better than anyone. Besides, you aren’t going to be around much longer anyway. What I do or don’t do is irrelevant to you.” Jenna huffed out a breath in irritation.
“I’m not gone yet. As long as I’m around, you are going to be careful, you and Tina both. Now that they are engaged, Logan will see to it with Tina,” he said.
“And you think you’re going to see to it for me?” She crossed her arms again.
“Tell me about your ex-husband.”
The abrupt change in subject took Jenna by surprise. “Why do you want to know about him?”
“Tina said he abused you. How long where you with him?” Riley asked.
“None of your business. Give me my keys. This conversation is over.” She held out her hand.
“Not until you answer my questions.”
“Where is he now?” he demanded.
“In prison,” she said.
“He nearly killed me. They gave him six measly years. They called it aggravated assault instead of attempted murder. Six years.”
“What are you going to do when he gets out?” Riley asked.
“He won’t bother me. It’s supposed to be a part of his final release that he can’t come near me.”
Riley shook his head and huffed out a breath. “You need self-defense classes.”
“Tina and I both took them several years ago,” Jenna said.
“They don’t seem to have been very effective. You need something along the lines of martial arts. I’ll get Logan to find out who is best to teach you.”
“Look, you can’t tell me what to do,” Jenna argued.
Riley had her backed against her car in a second. “You will take the fucking classes and learn how to protect yourself. You can’t do a thing to protect yourself from me or anyone else right now.”
Jenna swallowed hard. He wasn’t touching her anywhere. He had placed his hands on either side of her head against the car and leaned in toward her. But he wasn’t touching her. She wasn’t afraid of him, but she was nervous around him. She didn’t think he would hurt her.
“You’ve made your point. Can I have my keys now?”
Riley stared into her eyes for a full ten seconds before backing away and digging in his pocket, producing the keys. He held them up for her to take after pushing the door lock button to unlock the door. She breathed a sigh of relief and reached up and grabbed them. He held on to them for a few seconds but let them go. He opened the door for her then closed it once she was safely inside.
Without looking at him again, Jenna fumbled with the keys in the ignition and finally got the car started. She pulled on her seatbelt and drove away without looking back. Her insides shook the entire drive back to Tina’s house. She wanted to go home and curl up in bed, but her things where still at Tina’s. She just hoped she could get in and out before Tina realized she was upset. Why had she let him bother her in the first place? He didn’t mean anything to her. She didn’t mean anything to him.
She was lucky. Tina was busy talking about Logan. She helped her load her stuff in the car and waved her off without so much as speaking Riley’s name. Jenna sighed in relief when she finally made it home. She checked and didn’t see anyone around to give her any trouble. She grabbed her overnight bag and unlocked her door. It was wonderful to be home again. She enjoyed staying with Tina but liked her own place. She returned to the car for her suitcase then locked the car and the house up for the night. She had laundry to do, and she wanted to go to bed early. Jenna smiled and promptly forgot about Riley and his demands.
* * * *
Riley grabbed his helmet off the bike and unlocked the hotel door with his key card. After dropping the helmet on the loveseat, he went straight to the fridge for a beer. He started to pop the top and then sat it back on the shelf. It was too fucking early for a beer. He poured a glass of orange juice instead and sat at the little kitchen table. What in the hell was he still doing in town? Logan didn’t need help with Tina anymore. They had the guy in custody who had stalked her for over a year. Morgan would be moving on soon. So why was he still here?
He drained the OJ and sat the glass down on the table with a smack. For the first time in a long time, Riley wasn’t in any hurry to ride. What was up with that? His thoughts turned to Jenna and her pretty, long blond hair. She was slim and probably about five feet five or six inches, nearly a foot shorter than he was. Her dark blue eyes haunted him. He could see her eyes in his sleep. He could picture her laid out on his bed with all that blond hair spread out on the pillow around her. She’d be a natural blond, too. He had little doubt of that. Those long legs would feel good wrapped around his waist as he fucked her. She would scream when she came. Riley ran a hand over his bald head and swallowed. He didn’t need to think about her like that. She was off limits. She looked at him like he might sprout horns and attack her at any minute.
Riley pushed up from the table and rinsed out the glass in the sink. He needed a ride whether he thought he did or not. He pulled out his cell phone and called Morgan.
“I’ll meet you at the gas station down from Logan’s,” Morgan said.
Riley hung up and grabbed his chaps, jacket, and gloves. He suited up and picked up the helmet then locked the door behind him.
* * * *
“Come on, Jenna, please. I want to go out tomorrow night. Logan will go with us. We’ll have a blast,” Tina pleaded. “I can’t believe I’m begging you instead of the other way around.”
“Why don’t you two go out alone? You’d have more fun by yourselves,” Jenna argued.
“’Cause we are by ourselves all the time and I want you to go with us. I can’t have a great time without you.”
“What would Logan think about that if he heard you?” Jenna asked, laughing.
“He understands,” Tina countered.
“Oh, okay. I’ll go with you.”
“Great! We’ll pick you up at nine.”
Jenna laughed, shaking her head when Tina hung up. She picked at her salad and flipped the channel on the TV again. There really wasn’t anything on she was interested in anyway. Maybe she would start her new book she had bought the other day. That idea didn’t appeal to her like it should have.
Face it. You’re jealous of Tina finding Logan.