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BEING ME
by Lisa Renee Jones

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense, Erotic Romance

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I step outside the car, and my hungry gaze seeks Chris, finding him dismounting the Harley, and holy hell, he is sex on a Harley. If Mark is power, Chris is absolute dominance, and he knows it. I see it in his casual grace, which manages to be alpha roughness at the same time. He doesn’t need people to call him by a certain name, nor intimidate them into drinking cold coffee like Mark once did to me. When he needs power, he has it. When he wants it, he claims it. When he wants me, he claims me, and my stomach clenches with dread at the idea that one day he won’t.

He hands his helmet and keys to a second doorman before his attention shifts fully to me. Pure, white-hot lust pours off Chris and over me, and I can’t move from the impact. He saunters toward me, all loose-legged swagger, and when Rich hands me my briefcase, Chris takes it instead and slides the strap over my shoulder. His fingers caress my arm and my jacket is no defense for the electricity his touch ignites inside me.

“Let’s go inside and . . . talk,” he murmurs and I swallow hard. “Yes. Let’s go talk.”

We’ve made it all of two steps when I hear the doorman call out, “Don’t forget this.” He appears in front of me and hands me the journal.

My breath lodges in my throat as my eyes go to Chris, and his gaze lands on the red leather I now hold. Eternal seconds tick by in which I know I should explain, but some part of me must secretly want to be punished, because I wait for his reaction. Finally, his gaze lifts to mine, and there are accusations and doubt in his eyes that shred my heart. I confessed my slip about the journal entry and instead of my honesty winning me his trust, it’s earned me the opposite. It is all I can do not to explode right here in this moment, with eyes on us, and I draw a deep breath and clamp down on my reaction. Making a scene isn’t my style and it won’t give me more than momentary satisfaction.

I call out to Rich and turn to catch him. “I need my car,” I tell him.

“No,” Chris says, his voice low and lethal, his hand shackling my upper arm. “She doesn’t.”

I blast him with a look meant to flatten him but find myself captured by his sharp, commanding stare. “I promise you, Sara,” he says, his voice low and intense, “I’ll carry you upstairs over my shoulder if I have to.”

Momentarily, I’m disarmed by the thrill that shoots through me at the threat. I am wet and hot and aching to be over his shoulder and in his apartment, naked and at his mercy. His distrust cuts me deeply, yet I’m thrilled at the barbaric statement that proves I am without defenses where he is concerned.

I hold his stare, and I don’t doubt he means his words. “I’ll go up, but I’m not staying.”