Parker (Striking Back #3) (7 page)

BOOK: Parker (Striking Back #3)
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I’ve
done this so long it’s second nature. Rent a hotel room beforehand and drive
her car if possible so I can leave without leaving her without transportation.
The cab companies know me well.

“Give
me just a sec,” she says, and bats her eyelashes at me before disappearing into
the bathroom. Stripping down to my underwear, I toss a couple condoms on the
bed. The clock shows it’s almost midnight, and I wonder how Macy’s doing. Is
she asleep? Having another panic attack when I’m not there to talk her through
it?

Shit.
This isn’t the time to think about her. Amber emerges from the bathroom in a
set of tiny purple lingerie. Looks like I wasn’t the only one planning to get
laid tonight. Swollen round tits bounce as she sashays over to me, licking her
lips. Her gaze sweeps over me and a wide smile stretches her mouth.

My
hands fall automatically to her hips when she runs her fingers down my abs.
Without a word, she kisses me, sweeping her tongue around my mouth. Her lips
are too firm and she tastes like vodka.

It
makes me long for Macy’s soft lips and sweet mouth. She palms my cock through
my boxers and it doesn’t even twitch. Tits. That’s what I need. With a
practiced flick, I unfasten her bra and come face to face with two round melons
with nipples the size of hubcaps. I know they’re fake before I take their firm
weight in my hands.

Nothing
like Macy’s soft mounds and tasty little raspberry colored nipples. What is
wrong with me? I’ve never had a problem with fake tits before. I need to stop
thinking and analyzing. A beautiful woman has her hand down my shorts and I’m
not even a little hard.

“Little
too much to drink tonight, baby?” she murmurs. “No problem. I’ve got this.” She
sits on the edge of the bed and shoves my boxers down, pulling me toward her.
“I see the one rumor is true,” she says, grinning up at me before taking my
whole length in her mouth.

I
sink my hands into her hair and mumble, “Yes, fuck.”

She
moans, really going to town on me, and I try like hell to want it. To enjoy it.
To block out the sight of those coffee colored eyes that keep haunting me.
Thinking of Macy’s little figure with those long slender legs firms me up a
little, but not nearly enough. I can’t believe this shit. I’m Parker Reed. I
can always get it up. This is humiliating. Fucking Macy.

With
a growl, I pull her off me and shove her on the bed. Maybe I can’t fuck her,
but I can damn sure make her come. Maybe that’s what she’ll remember instead of
telling her friends I’ve got a limp dick.

She
squeals when I jerk off her panties and sink two fingers inside her, going
straight for the g-spot. My thumb rubs over her clit. “Yes, right there!” she
cries.

In
less than a minute, she’s coming on my hand, something that usually makes me
hard as stone, but that doesn’t faze me now. When she reaches for my cock
again, I press harder, rubbing without mercy and pinching her clit. “One more.
Give me another one,” I order. There’s no way I can fuck her. Hands clawing the
covers, she cries out through another orgasm.

I
have my boxers and jeans back on before she can recover. “Fuck. I don’t think
I’ve ever come twice that fast.”

“Look,
I’m sorry, but I guess I had too much to drink.” I resist spouting the typical
this never happens to me line, even though it’s true.

She
peeks up at me, a satisfied expression on her face. “Happens to everyone, hun.
Just promise me a raincheck. If you can do that with one hand, I need to feel
what you can do with your cock.”

“You
got it,” I lie, jerking my shirt down over my head. “Right now I need to go.
Stay here tonight if you like. I’m going to grab a cab.”

“Sure
thing.” Scooting up the bed, she burrows under the covers and is asleep before
my taxi shows up.

“Where
to?” the driver asks.

The
thought of returning to my empty house is too damn depressing. “Stan’s Bar,
it’s on thirty-eighth and…”

“I
know Stan’s, buddy.” Fortunately, the driver isn’t a talker. I’ve got way too
much going on in my head to bother with small talk.

What
has this woman done to me? I’ve known her a month and can’t get her out of my
head. I’ve told myself I’m just concerned because she’s in danger, but that’s
bullshit. I’ve tried convincing myself I’m just attracted to her, but that’s
not it either. I like her. Really like her.

Fuck.

Chapter Four

 

Macy

 

A
commotion in the hallway rouses me from sleep. Before I can think to be afraid,
I hear Parker’s voice. “I just want to check on her,” he slurs.

“Then
have a look you stubborn son of a bitch,” Devon sighs, opening my door a crack.
“Sorry,” he says when he notices I’m sitting up in bed. “He’s shitfaced and
stupid and won’t go pass out until he sees you’re okay.”

“Is
he okay?” I mumble, still trying to wake up.

“He’s
a goddamn pain in my ass who needs to sleep it off.”

“Macy?
Everything all right?” Parker asks, stumbling into the doorway.

“I’m
fine, Parker,” I reply. “You need to go to bed.”

Devon
grabs him by the collar when he starts into the room. “Your bed, numbnuts.”

I
can’t help but giggle, and a cheesy smile breaks across Parker’s face. “I love
your laugh. You should laugh more.”

“We’ll
have plenty to laugh at you for tomorrow. Come on. Let her sleep.”

“Kay,
goodnight, doll,” Parker says, making Devon snort and shake his head. I can
still hear Parker argue as he leads him down the hall. “What? She is a doll!
Tiny and pale like a porcelain doll.”

“You’d
better hope Mason doesn’t hear about this,” Devon grumbles.

Could
this infuriating man be more confusing? Yesterday, he kisses me, then avoids
me, then takes off for a night, only to show up and flirt with me.

I
know he’s attracted to me or to my body anyway. It was clear in the way his
gaze swept over my pajama clad ass when he saw me. I guess when he’s drunk it
doesn’t matter as much that I’m weak or damaged.

Sighing,
I toss and turn until the sun seeps between the curtains. I know I’m developing
feelings for him, which is a huge mistake. Even if he could see me for the
woman I am, he’s still a player and I won’t end up a notch on his bedpost.

His
snores are practically rattling the windows. I’ll never get back to sleep at
this rate. I’m getting around much better on my crutches and with the boot so
it doesn’t take me long to get to his room. I only plan to close the door and
block out the sounds of a chainsaw wielding grizzly bear, until I see him. Sprawled
out on his back like a starfish, he’s still fully dressed, belt, shoes and all.
It can’t be comfortable, and after all the times he’s put me to bed, I can’t
leave him like that.

The
bed dips when I sit beside his feet, but he doesn’t budge, just continues to
snore while I remove his shoes. There’s no way I could take off his jeans, even
if I dared, but I can at least unfasten his belt.

I
scoot up by his waist and a giggle escapes me as I press on his chin until his
mouth pops open. Whew! At least that stops the snoring. His glasses sit askew
on his face and I carefully move them to the night stand.

I’ve
never had a chance to really study him, so I’m taking advantage of the
opportunity. No man should be this lickable. I have to run a fingertip down the
dark stubble on his strong jawline and across the tiny indention above his top
lip.

God,
those lips. So full and perfect, so soft on mine. I’ve got to get out of here
before I start feeling him up in his sleep. With a pained moan, he turns his
head, and I notice lipstick streaked down his neck. I’d assumed the reek of
flowers was from an air freshener, that Devon had probably tried to cover up
the stale alcohol smell, but it’s coming from Parker.

Some
skank left her perfume and lipstick on him when he was doing god knows what to
her. Well, I know what, but I don’t want to think about it. It’s ridiculous and
all kinds of unreasonable, this ache in my chest. What did I really expect?

When
I reach to unfasten his belt, his hand falls on mine and I’m greeted with eyes
more red than white. “Macy,” he mumbles, blinking, and I doubt he can really
see me.

“I’m
not molesting you, just making you comfortable,” I reply, loosening his belt.

His
hand wraps around mine and a small smile lifts his lips as he murmurs, “Pretty
Macy.” Heavy eyelids slam closed again and he rolls onto his side, dead asleep.

What
the hell am I supposed to make of this? This man is the king of mixed signals.
I’m done worrying over it. He’s a player who sees me as weak. I’ve mistaken
kindness and lust for romantic interest. I won’t let it happen again.

Before
I head back to bed, I leave a bottle of water and some Tylenol on his
nightstand. It’s the least I can do.

 

* * * *

 

Voices
invade my dreams, drifting in from the living room. “She doesn’t usually sleep
this late.”

“She
doesn’t usually have a drunken moron waking her at four a.m.”

“Shit.
Did I say anything…inappropriate?” It’s weird to hear Parker sound so insecure.
Devon’s deep laughter is followed by Parker grumbling. Always the klutz, I
knock over one of my crutches as I get out of bed, alerting them I’m awake.
Within seconds, there’s a knock on the bedroom door.

“Macy?
Are you decent?” Parker asks.

“Decent
as I get.”

Even
hungover the bastard is gorgeous. Hair flops over his forehead when he sits
beside me. “I’m sorry about last night. I never should’ve come back here after
I’d been drinking. I didn’t scare you, did I?”

Scare
me. That’s his concern. Anger hardens my resolve to put some distance between
us. All he can see is some delicate paranoid woman and no wonder after all my
panic attack shit, but I won’t be that anymore. I don’t need him to hold my
hand.

“I
wasn’t scared,” I mumble, grabbing my crutch off the floor. Damn, that hurts.

“Easy.”

He
steps back when I shake his hand off my shoulder. “I’m okay. You don’t have to
keep babying me.”

“Macy,
if I said something last night…”

“You
didn’t. I just want to soak in the tub a while.”

“Okay…sure,
um, I’ll go grab us a pizza for lunch.”

I
force myself to ignore his hurt expression and lock myself in the bathroom. The
next couple of days are awkward to say the least. I’m not hateful, just
distant, and he acts like he has no idea why. I miss hanging out with him, but
it’s for the best. I was getting too attached.

At
least I’m catching up on work. I still sit out on the back patio with him in
the evenings, I just have a laptop with me to limit conversation.

Devon
is in the kitchen when I wake, and Parker’s nowhere to be found. It isn’t easy,
but I resist the urge to ask where he is. It’s really none of my business. Two
days pass before he returns, and I can’t help the smile on my face when I see
him. “Hey, how have you been, Macy?”

“Good.
How about you?” I had a panic attack last night and spent a few minutes sitting
on the bathroom floor, trying to breathe through it, but I’m keeping that to
myself. I can deal with it on my own.

“It’s
been a weird couple of days. I found out I’m an uncle.”

“No
kidding?”

“Yep.
Mason has a five year old son he never knew about. He just got emergency
custody.”

“Wow.”

“I
know.” He glances at me with a hopeful expression. “Why don’t we get out of
here for a bit? I know a little Italian place. It’ll be safe.”

Bad
idea or not, I can’t say no. I’ve missed him, missed talking to him. “Sounds
good. Thank you.”

The
restaurant is small and dim, full of chatting couples. Parker leads me to a
table by a window where we can people watch while we eat. After a few minutes
of uncomfortable silence, Parker puts his hand over mine, and I look into those
eyes that make me weak.

“I’m
sorry for the past week, Macy. I kissed you, then showed up drunk, then
disappeared. I know I let you down. It won’t happen again.”

“You
don’t owe me an apology or anything else. I’ve always had two bodyguards with
me and you didn’t put me in danger. You’ve done your job, kept me safe.” Being
thought of as a job is too damn depressing.

“You’ve
went beyond anything you had to do, trying to keep me comfortable and
entertained. I wouldn’t have made it through the last month without you, but I
don’t need constant care anymore. Don’t feel bad for having a life outside of
work.”

His
hand squeezes mine. “You aren’t just work. I like spending time with you. Just
hanging out and watching movies, we have fun, don’t we?”

“We
do. I like being with you. There’s no rule against being friends with a resident,
is there?”

His
lips stretch into a grin. “No, no rules against friendship.”

“So,
there you go. We can be friends, and I can still slaughter you at Scrabble.”

“Please,”
he scoffs, sounding more like himself than he has since our kiss. “I gave you
words I totally should’ve challenged.”

“Ha!
You’re just jealous of my extensive vocabulary.”

“Airish?
What’s that, like Amish? No way that’s legit.”

“Crack
a book, Mr. Illiterate. It means chilly or cool. As in, the night was airish.”

“Hey.”
He flips a bread crumb at me. “I read!”

“Porn
doesn’t count.”

Relief
relaxes my posture as we laugh together. This is what I’ve missed. So I can’t
have him in bed. From what Ev has told me, it wouldn’t last anyway. I’d rather
not lose him completely.

Our
lively talk and light hearted banter continue throughout our meal and the drive
home. Parker told Jensen to take a break before we left, grab himself some
dinner. He’s just parking across the street when we arrive, and beats us to the
door by a few seconds.

“Fuck!
Keep her outside!” he snaps, charging into the living room. Without a second’s
hesitation, Parker pulls me down to the cement porch, pinning me between his
body and the three foot walls that surround us. My crutches slap the ground.

“What
happened?” I whisper.

“Shh,
I don’t know. Just stay still.” My heart tries to thump its way out of my
chest, and I grit my teeth because I’m sitting with my injured ankle beneath
me.

Jensen
appears at the door. “House is clear, but compromised. It’s been trashed.”

They
help me to my feet and hustle me indoors. The couch is overturned and the T.V.
smashed. “Pack up, Macy,” Parker orders, dialing his phone. I hear him barking
orders, then arguing with someone.

“I’ll
help you,” Jensen volunteers, following me to my room. It’s worse than the
living room. The sheets and mattresses are shredded, along with some of my
clothes. A pair of my panties hang on the light fixture, the word slut scrawled
across them. Ev’s Kindle is smashed to bits. I’m surprised he left my laptop
intact.

When
I go to shut it off, I see why. The screensaver flashes on when I remove it
from sleep mode and ice trickles down my spine. A photo of my face pops up,
embedded in a missing person’s poster. Missing is printed across the top and
Presumed Dead just under my photo.

It’s
everything I can do to keep my breathing under control. Jensen speaks softly,
but it still makes me jump. “It’ll be okay. We’ll get you out of here.”

“How
the hell did he find me?”

“I
don’t know, but we’re going to find out.” I quickly pack what’s worth taking.
“You can’t take your laptop. He could’ve installed a tracking device. I’ll have
to take it to our techs, let them check it out.”

“I
have sensitive documents on there, proprietary material.”

“It
won’t be compromised.”

Two
large security guards are standing in the living room when I return. That was
fast. “I don’t give a shit what you think is appropriate. We’re headed there
now,” Parker barks into his phone before jamming his finger on the disconnect
button.

His
face softens as his gaze falls on me. I try my best not to look as terrified as
I feel. I’m not going to let him see me as weak. “Are you okay?”

“Fine.
Where are we going?” Is he sending me out of state?

“I’ll
tell you in the car. We need to move.” The men surround me when we walk to a
black sedan with tinted windows. Parker’s posture is tense, his lips pressed
together, so I refrain from asking questions until we pull into an underground
parking garage. “Come on, we’re switching cars,” he says, gesturing to the blue
car beside us. Its windows are also tinted too deep to see through.

“Shell
game,” I murmur, climbing in.

“Can’t
be too safe.”

“Where
are we going?”

“The
only place I know I can keep you safe. My house.”

I
watch as the city lights fade, giving way to suburban neighborhoods, then fields.
Nearly an hour later, we pull into a long winding driveway, lined with trees. A
two story house looms, but it’s too dark to see much. Moonlit fields backed by
a thin forest surround the property. Parker walks me to the door, and I tilt my
head back to gaze at the spatter of stars across the ink black sky.

BOOK: Parker (Striking Back #3)
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