Authors: Katie Reus
Dominique placed a gentle hand on his chest and shifted slightly against him. His grip around her tightened, his eyes darkening a fraction. His erection was evident but she couldn’t focus on that now. “Do you have any ideas?”
He paused and she could see the indecision on his face. “Ideas, yes. The attack was bold, which does narrow it down.”
“That’s good, right?”
He nodded, his expression wary as he watched her. “I’m not letting you leave my place.”
She blinked. “What?”
“Until I figure out who was behind the attack, you’re staying with me.” His grip on her tightened as if he thought she might bolt.
“Will someone at least go to my place to get my clothes?”
He blinked, his grip loosening a fraction. “You’re not arguing?”
“Well, I don’t like your tendency to tell me what to do.”
“I think you like it a little,” he murmured, his voice dropping an octave. His gaze dipped to her mouth, his expression going heated.
She felt that look all the way to her core. Heat flooded her as she shifted against him again. “Maybe I like it in the bedroom.” She was pretty sure she would anyway. “But not outside it.”
“Look, I don’t want to die, and if someone’s targeting you—and they obviously didn’t care that I’m with you—then I’ll stay here for now. But I’m going to work Monday.” She needed to make sure he knew that before they started kissing and she completely lost any sensible thoughts.
His lips pulled into a thin line but he nodded, one hand sliding up her leg, dipping under the hem of her dress as he moved over her upper thigh.
She sucked in a little breath, enjoying the feel of his callused fingers stroking her skin. She wondered how high he would move.
“I called Porter, told him a little of what’s going on and that we’ll see how Monday goes. But Red Stone is one of the safest places in the city. You should be fine to go to work.”
Annoyance surged through her at his ‘do what I say’ attitude but it was hard to care as his hand crept higher. His touch was so gentle, his fingers just barely skimming her skin, but he still scorched her, sending tingles of awareness straight to all her nerve endings.
He knew he was making her crazy. His blue eyes looked somehow darker in the dim light of his office, the hunger rolling off him palpable as he watched her carefully.
She sucked in a breath when he reached the silky edge of her panties. She was already wet for him, her nipples hard against her bra cups. Anticipation hummed through her as she waited for him to move just a bit, to touch her exactly where she wanted, where she ached for him.
“Stay in my bed tonight?” he asked, his voice hoarse, his gaze focused on her mouth as he teased a finger under the edge of her panties. He was basically touching her hip, nowhere near where she wanted him to be, and yet she had goose bumps all over.
Swallowing hard, she nodded. She definitely wanted that. And she knew what he was asking. Which meant… “I need to tell you something. It’s not a big deal, really.” Oh God, this was harder than she thought. A small part of her didn’t want to say it at all but he needed to know. “I’m…a virgin.”
He blinked once, as if he hadn’t heard her right. Lightning fast he slid his hand out from under her dress and smoothed it into place. Then he patted her leg as if he didn’t know what to do with his hand. He looked a little like a deer caught in headlights as he cleared his throat.
“I still need to do a little work,” he said, moving to stand, sliding her off his lap as he did. “But I’ll make sure Lyosha gets you settled in a guest room.”
His words were like a slap of ice water against her face as what he said registered. He was sending her away to a guest room; basically rescinding the offer of taking her to his bed. Because what, he couldn’t handle her being a virgin? Embarrassment flooded her as he strode from the room, practically running away from her. She hadn’t thought he’d care. Not so much that he’d flee from her as if she had some disease.
Stupid tears pricked her eyes as she sat on one of the chairs. Part of her wanted to go after him, but she didn’t know what to say. It was clear he had no interest in her now. That hurt worse than she could have imagined.
Viktor scanned another file of potential suspects, still trying to narrow down who the hell hated him enough to come after him so boldly. This had personal written all over it. Personal and…a little amateurish. The attack hadn’t been as well thought out as it could have been and the point of entry was stupid, considering all the other entrances for the hotel.
He clicked to another file but wasn’t truly seeing anything, not enough to digest any real information. All he could think about was Dominique and her words to him. It seemed impossible that she was a virgin. He hadn’t known what to say, how to respond. She might as well have sucker punched him.
“She’s settled in.” Lyosha’s voice made him look up from his computer. The other man leaned against the doorframe of Viktor’s office, his expression annoyed.
Viktor frowned. “What?”
“Why are you still here and not upstairs? Or why isn’t she in your fucking bed?”
He gritted his teeth, ignoring the questions. Leaning back in his chair, exhaustion crept in on him. “I need to read over these files.”
“You already know what’s in them.”
It was true. “Why do you care what I’m doing?”
Lyosha lifted a shoulder. “Just wondering what you did to make your woman cry.”
Viktor was standing before he realized he’d moved. Guilt punched through him. “She was crying?”
“No. But it’s good to know you care if she does. And for the record, she looked like she wanted to. What the fuck are you doing down here?”
There weren’t many people who talked to him so freely but Lyosha had been his friend for many years. Didn’t mean Viktor wanted to have this conversation. Not with him, not anyone. “You didn’t even trust her a few hours ago,” he muttered, sitting back down. He should just go to bed, but he didn’t want to go alone—because he knew he wouldn’t sleep. He’d be too busy fantasizing about Dominique. And as soon as he had a thought, just as quickly he’d feel like a fucking perv. She didn’t deserve someone like him for her first time, someone whose hands were stained with blood. Still…the thought of being her first, introducing her to sex…
He scrubbed a hand over his face. He was too damn conflicted.
“Don’t tell her, but I like her. It’s clear she cares about you.” Lyosha’s mouth curved up in his version of a smile. “I had fun messing with her earlier about her role as ‘your woman.’ For a moment I thought she might hit me.”
Viktor could imagine what his friend had said. “You’re an asshole.”
“I know. Now what’s the problem?”
Yeah, not having that conversation.
“Shut the door.”
Lyosha immediately went into work mode, stepping inside and shutting it quickly behind him. “What’s up?”
“I looked over your report and agree with the top three suspects, but…I think they might be getting information from someone who works for me and Abram.” He couldn’t be sure, but he didn’t like how Dominique had been mugged while out with him. Then that bold attack with her there at the hotel. Not many people had known about his plans last night—and even fewer the night of the mugging. The three people he suspected he’d done business with before and things had gone south when Viktor had bought them out—legally. He hadn’t actually screwed any of them. They’d been paid fairly, but some people couldn’t take what they perceived as losing.
The other man nodded. “I’ve already started running security checks on anyone who has direct access to you or Abram. Digging into financials and phone records to start. If I learn nothing from either of those, I’ll move on to another step but I think I’ll have something by tomorrow morning.” He glanced at his watch. “Later this morning.”
“What about the fingerprints or facial IDs?” One way or another they were going to figure out who’d come after him. Getting that information from the dead, would-be hit men was a good place to start. If the dead men had been paid already he’d just follow the money trail back to the payer.
“Still working on it. Those programs take time to run all possible matches. I’ve got an alert set up on my phone and yours. You’ll get a notice when something pops up.”
“Good. Go get some sleep.” Normally he didn’t have so much security at his house, just a basic two-man team. But for now he was keeping everything locked down tight. Even Abram was here and had brought Lucy just in case she was targeted.
Lyosha snorted as he pulled open the door. “You too.”
Once Viktor was alone he shut his computer down and tried to convince himself to go to his own bedroom. Alone.
His room was attached to his office so he
just step right next door. Instead he found himself heading for the guest room Dominique was in.
He’d been an asshole before but he hadn’t been able to handle what she’d told him, hadn’t even known what to say. Hell, he still wasn’t sure he could deal with it.
What did he know about virgins?
His hands were dirty in more ways than one. He broke out into a sweat just thinking about touching her now. Even though he desperately wanted to, Dominique deserved better than him.
Even when he’d told her about his sexual past she hadn’t judged him, she’d just looked as if she wanted to give him a fucking hug. Which was almost worse. He’d told her to give her a way to walk out on him. But she hadn’t taken it.
Then he’d walked out on her like an asshole when she’d been honest with him. Made herself vulnerable with him.
She didn’t deserve that.
When he reached the door of the bedroom he knew she was in he had to wipe a damp palm on his pants. He immediately cursed himself for the weakness. The woman had turned him into someone he didn’t recognize but it was hard to give a shit when she opened the door wearing a T-shirt that was most definitely his. Lyosha must have given it to her. It barely came to mid-thigh. He wanted to drop to his knees, shove that shirt up and press his face to her belly, beg her forgiveness, then make her melt and settle his mouth over her pussy. He wouldn’t stop until she’d gone over the edge and was crying out his name.
Her mouth tight, she crossed her arms over her chest—and given the outline of her full breasts, it was clear she wasn’t wearing a bra. “Is everything okay?”
He shook his head and pushed into the room past her. The bed was slightly rumpled and only a single lamp was on, casting the room into shadows. “No.”
She gasped, dropping her arms. “What are you doing?”
He shut the door behind him and forced his gaze to her face—even though the sight of her long, bare legs called to his most primal side. He wanted them draped over his back, her feet digging into him as he made her come against his mouth. Even though the sane part of him told him to walk away, to just apologize and leave, he didn’t think he could. Not when he was standing here, looking into her beautiful face and knowing he’d never meet another woman like her.
“I came to apologize. I acted like an asshole.”
She nodded. “Yeah, you did.”
“I’m sorry. I…it wasn’t about you. When you said you were a virgin I worried about hurting you.” More like tainting her with who he was.
To his surprise, she rolled her eyes and went to sit on the edge of the bed. “People have sex every day. I’m not some petite doll you have to worry about hurting. Something you already know. So I accept your apology but I don’t buy that crap about not wanting to hurt me. You made me feel really bad about myself.” She wrapped her arms around her middle again, the simple action putting a wall up between them.
He’d done that and he hated it. He didn’t want there to be anything between them.
He scrubbed a hand over his face. “I know,” he rasped out. “I’m truly sorry. I’m in new territory here and you scare the shit out of me.” The admission cost him but she was worth it.
Her eyebrows drew together. “
scare you?” Her voice was incredulous.
Nodding, he went to sit on the edge of the bed. Her sweet scent was subtle, but the exotic, floral notes teased him. “I’ve never been with a woman like you. I’ve never known a woman as sweet as you. I keep giving you reasons to walk away and you keep surprising me. I’ve…fallen for you pretty hard.” Laying himself completely bare was almost too much.
Her dark eyes softened just a fraction. Taking it as a good sign, he scooted a few inches closer. The need to touch her was overwhelming, but he resisted.
“You deserve someone better than me for your first time.” Though if they
a first time, he was going to try damn hard to make sure it was the best she ever had. No. He wanted to make sure he was her
lover from this point forward. Strangely, the thought of being in a committed relationship didn’t scare him as much as he expected. What did scare him was if she didn’t want the same thing.
“Why would you say that? Yeah, you’re a little rough around the edges sometimes—and annoyingly bossy—but you’re a good man.” She closed the distance between them until their knees were touching. “You hurt me earlier but I still haven’t changed my mind about us, about…” She trailed off, gesturing between them, but she didn’t need to finish.
His gaze strayed to her mouth. Just the thought of brushing his lips over hers, of pinning her beneath him as he brought her to orgasm, was making it hard to think. To breathe.
He wasn’t a good man. The words stuck in his throat. He wanted to tell her the things he’d done, that he’d killed his own father. Killed others. Always to protect himself, but he still had blood on his hands. He couldn’t force the words out though. Not when she was looking at him with those big, dark eyes and all he wanted to do was kiss her, to make her his.
He cleared his throat. “I haven’t been with anyone in over a year.” He’d gotten tired of paying for sex, of feeling no connection. “And I’ve been tested. I’m clean—and I have all the paperwork. You can see it whenever you want.” He mentally crossed his fingers that she still wanted him at all. It had sounded like she did, but he didn’t want to make an assumption.