Read What He Reveals (What He Wants, Book Eight) (An Alpha Billionaire Romance) Online

Authors: Hannah Ford

Tags: #Romance, #Contemporary, #New Adult & College, #Romantic Suspense, #45 Minutes (22-32 Pages), #Mystery & Suspense, #Suspense

What He Reveals (What He Wants, Book Eight) (An Alpha Billionaire Romance) (3 page)

BOOK: What He Reveals (What He Wants, Book Eight) (An Alpha Billionaire Romance)
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I’d gone to a BDSM club with a man who
might be a murderer.
 
I’d allowed
that man to do things to me that I would have deemed unthinkable just a week
ago.
 
I’d listened to an anonymous
caller who’d sent me to a mysterious room, and there,
I was
accosted by a murderer who’d cut me with a knife
.

Emotions washed over me – heartbreak,
helplessness, fear,
anxiety
.
 
Almost every negative thing I could imagine flooded my body
at the same time, overwhelming me.
 
Tears welled in my eyes, and this time they spilled over, running down
my cheeks.

Noah pulled me into his arms as I sobbed
against his chest.
 

“Shh,” he whispered.
 
“Shh, it’s okay.
 
Everything’s going to be okay.”

I let the words wash over me, allowing
myself to believe them.
 
A second
later, the car stopped and I heard the sound of the driver’s door opening as
Jared got out to fetch the supplies Noah had requested.

And I just sat there, in the back of the
car, letting Noah comfort me as I cried, the sobs wracking my body until all
that was left were my shuttering breaths.

Noah reached into the tiny compartment
that was against one of the doors and pulled out a bottle of water.
 
He uncapped it, then held it out to me.

“Drink.”

I took the bottle and did as he
commanded, letting the cool liquid slide down my throat, which was raw from
screaming.

Noah pulled off the sweater he was
wearing, then carefully pulled down the top of my dress, being careful not to
touch my cut.

“Arms up,” he instructed.

I put my arms up, and he slid the sweater
over me.
 
It smelled like him
– laundry detergent and mint toothpaste and cedar.
 
It was comforting, and I lay back on
the seat and watched the buildings of the city move by as he pulled me close
again.

But he didn’t kiss me.

And he didn’t tell me it was going to be
okay.

I wanted to ask him about Audi James,
wanted to demand answers.
 
But I
was exhausted.
 
I would wait until
we got back to his apartment, I decided, and then we would have a talk.
 
But a second later, I realized we
weren’t heading back to his apartment at all.

“What are we doing?” I asked as Jared
brought the car to a stop.
 
“Where
are we?”

“The Hawthorne,” Noah said.
 
“You’ll be staying here tonight.”

A hotel.

He’d brought me to a fucking hotel.

He was sticking to his decision, the one
he’d made when he’d ripped up our contract.

He was done with me.

“No.”
  
I shook my head.
 
“I want to go home.
 
Back to
my apartment.”
 
I wasn’t staying in
some stupid hotel, especially not one he’d paid for.
 
I wanted to be back in my own bed, with my own things.
 
A hotel was cold and impersonal and
awful.

“You can’t go back to your apartment,
Charlotte,” Noah said.
 
“It’s not
safe there.”

I laughed, a bitter laugh that sounded
nothing like me.
 
“I can handle
Josh.”

But Noah wasn’t listening.
 
He’d gotten out of the car and was
holding the door open for me.
 

“No.”

He sighed.
 
“Charlotte, we can do this the easy way or we can do it the
hard way.”

“The hard way.”

His jaw set into a stubborn line, and the
passing headlights of a car on the street washed over him.
 
My heart clenched.
 
He was so god damn beautiful.
 
It was almost exhausting just looking
at him, that’s how much I ached for him, how much I wanted him.
 
Even with everything that had gone on,
even with the night I’d had, I could still notice his beauty and magnetism,
that’s how powerful it was.

A second later, he reached into the car
and grabbed me by the legs, pulled me toward the open door of the car.

“What are you
doing?”
 
I yelled, but he didn’t answer.

Instead, he grabbed me around the waist,
being careful not to touch my wound, then picked me up and threw me over his shoulder.

I pounded on his back, mortified.
 
“Put me down!” I yelled.
 
“Noah, put me down.”

He set me down on the ground, and
dizziness flooded through me as the blood rushed back to my body.
 

“Easy way?” he asked, his tone making it
perfectly clear he wouldn’t hesitate to pick me up again if he had to. “Or hard
way?”

“Easy way,” I mumbled, and began
following him into the hotel.

I headed for the front desk, but Noah
strode right past it toward the elevator bank, and so I followed him.
 
He pushed the button for the top floor,
the penthouse, and we rode up in silence.

When the elevator doors open, we stepped
out into a beautiful suite.
 
It was
sprawling but tasteful, with an ornate gold sleigh bed in the middle of the
room, a bar area, and a good-sized kitchenette.
 
Floor-to-ceiling windows took up the far wall, and there was
a wraparound terrace that spanned the perimeter of the room.
 

“You own this?” I asked.

“No, Charlotte,” he said.
 
“The penthouse is part of the hotel.”

I gaped at him.
 
“You rent this room?
 
Like, indefinitely?”
 
I
couldn’t even begin to imagine how much something like that would cost.

He ignored me, instead walking into the bathroom
and flipping on the light.
 
“Come
here, Charlotte.”

I followed him.

The bathroom was huge, with a soaking tub
surrounded by gold pillars and a double basin sink with shiny white marble
countertops.
 
On one side of the
room was a vanity table with a lighted mirror and a white leather stool sitting
in front of it.

Noah was at the sink, the bag of drugstore
supplies that Jared had bought spread out in front of him.

He reached for me and pulled at the
bottom of the sweater I was wearing so he could get a look at my cut.
 
“It’s definitely not deep,” he said,
studying it.
 
“But you need to keep
it clean.”

“I can do it,” I said, reaching for the
bag, but Noah pushed it out of my reach.

“Hold your sweater up,” he instructed.

I did as I was told, and Noah pulled out
a small gauze pad and a tube of antibiotic cream.
 
“How did you end up in that room with Audi James, Charlotte?”
he asked.

“Oh, no,” I said, shaking my head.
 
“You’re not the one who gets to ask the
questions.”
 
  

His finger slid over my skin as he
applied the cream to my cut, and I shivered.

“Fine,” he said.
 
“What would you like to know?”

“He was your client?”

Noah nodded.
 
“He was.”

I swallowed.
 
“And he was… you got him off?”
 
I knew better than to ask what I
really
wanted to ask, which was whether or not
Audi James was guilty of killing that woman.
 
As a defense attorney, you didn’t ask whether or not your
client was guilty.
 
You assumed
they were innocent, you believed them even when you knew they were full of
shit.
 
And if you couldn’t do that,
you comforted yourself with the fact that this was how our country’s justice
system worked – it was set up so that everyone was entitled to a fair
trial.
 
It wasn’t a perfect system,
but it was the best system, and it was a privilege to be a part of it.

“He was found not guilty.”
 
Noah was finished applying the ointment
to my wound, and he set the square of gauze against my skin.

“Because of you.”

“Because the jury rendered a not guilty
verdict.”

“Because of you.”

“If you want to ask me something,
Charlotte, please come straight out and ask me.”

“If it weren’t for you, if you hadn’t
been such a goddamn good lawyer, would Audi James be rotting in a prison
somewhere?”

“Impossible to say.”

“I’ll take that as a yes.”

He held the gauze pad against my skin
carefully, then picked up a roll of medical tape and ripped off strips of it
using his teeth.
 
He used the tape
to fasten the gauze to my skin,
then
slowly pulled my
sweater back down.

He looked at me expectantly, like he was
waiting for a thank you.
 
But he
was going to be waiting a long time.
 
Because I wasn’t going to thank him, not for helping me with something
that was partly his fault to begin with.

Our eyes locked on each other, and I
tried to look away, but he grasped my chin and pulled it back so that I was
forced to look at him.
 
The back of
his hand trailed over my cheek.

“How did you find me?” I whispered.
 
“How did you know I’d be in that room?”

His eyes darkened, and anger flashed on
his face.
 
“Audi James is my
brother.”

“He’s… wait,
what?”

“He’s my brother.”
 
Noah turned away from me then, breaking
the spell, and began gathering up the empty gauze packets and other trash that
was littering the counter.

“He’s… the brother you talked about at
the restaurant?”
 
The brother who
had turned on Noah, who’d said Noah had attacked his stepfather unprovoked, the
reason Noah had a juvenile record.

“Yes.”
 
He finished cleaning up and threw the trash into the
stainless steel garbage can.
 
Then
he turned and walked out of the bathroom and into the suite, sat down on the
edge of the bed and put his head in his hands.

“Audi James in my brother.
 
He killed that woman.
 
I’m sure of it.
 
And I got him off.
 
I helped him when he was in trouble,
because he’s my brother and because I’m fucking idiot.”

I swallowed hard and wrapped my arms
around
myself,
letting his words settle over me.
 
Noah had known Audi was guilty, and
he’d defended him even after what Audi had done to him, because Noah had wanted
that connection.
 
That family connection.
 
And he’d gotten Audi off.
  
And now he felt guilty about it.

“And now Audi has groupies,” I said.

“Yes.
 
He has groupies who pay to see him at Force, who get off on
a murder fantasy.”

“But he doesn’t actually kill any of
them.”

“Not yet.”
 
There was a moment of silence, and then he looked up at
me.
 
“Who told you to go to that
room, Charlotte?”

I took a deep breath.
 
“I got an anonymous call.”

“You what?”

“In your office earlier.
 
When I went to the bathroom, I got an
anonymous call.
 
They told me to go
to Force and find Audi James.”

“What the
fuck,
Charlotte?”
 
Noah got up and began pacing the room, running his hand
through his hair, his body a coil of energy, ready to explode.
 
“You got an anonymous call telling you
to go to Force and you didn’t think it might have been a good idea to mention
that to me?”

“Mention it to you?
 
For what?
 
I mean, you knew anyway, right?” I
countered.
 
“Isn’t that why you
ripped up the contract?”

“Who was it?” he demanded.
 
“Who called you?”

“I told you, I don’t know.
 
All he said was that he was a
friend.
 
He called me again in the
club and told me to ask for The Dark Room.
 
So I did.”

He stared at me incredulously.
 
“That was incredibly, incredibly stupid
of you, Charlotte.”
 
He began to
cross the room toward the door, like maybe he was going to leave.

BOOK: What He Reveals (What He Wants, Book Eight) (An Alpha Billionaire Romance)
9.02Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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