He wouldn’t hurt me. Asshole.


“I didn’t even have to break through the f**kin’ pathetic lock you have on this shithole,” he continued, shifting his hips over mine, emphasizing how little control I held. “Your window’s open and so is the window in the hallway. I just stepped out on the fire escape and walked right over, which means anyone else could, too. Including that sick f**k who messed with our boy earlier. That bastard still in the building? I want him, Sophie. Nod your head if you’ll stay quiet, and I’ll let you talk. Don’t scare Noah.”

I nodded my head as best I could, trying to calm the racing of my heart, torn between the remains of fear and my building anger.

How dare he judge me?

“You scream, you’ll pay.”

I jerked my head. He pulled his hand away and I took several deep breaths, blinking rapidly, trying to decide if lunging at him with my teeth would be worth it. Probably not … Ruger was heavy and he covered my entire body, his legs clamping down across mine, my arms trapped deep in the couch. I couldn’t remember him ever voluntarily touching me before—not for four years, at least. That was a good thing, because something about Ruger turned off my brain in a bad way, leaving my body in charge.

I got knocked up the last time I left my body in charge.

I’d never regret my son, but that didn’t mean I should let my libido do the thinking for me again. After I finally got shot of Zach, I’d only gone out with very safe, very boring men. I’d had three lovers total in my life, and numbers two through three were nice and tame. I didn’t need a complication like my son’s biker uncle … But I’d caught his familiar scent now—gun oil and a hint of male sweat—which led to an annoyingly predictable response down below.

Even angry, I wanted Ruger.

In fact, I usually wanted him more when I was angry. This was unfortunate, because he had a gift for pissing me off. Life would be so much simpler if I could just hate him. The man was truly an ass**le.

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He just happened to be an ass**le who loved the hell out of my kid.

So now he lay on top of me and I wanted to head-butt him or something, but I also felt embarrassing heat pool between my legs. He was big and hard and right there and I didn’t know how to handle that. Ruger always kept his distance from me. I expected him to let me up now that he’d made his point in the least constructive way possible, but that didn’t happen. Instead he shifted again, leaning up on his elbows on either side of me, holding me trapped.

His legs moved, one coming to rest between mine. Way too intimate. I tried to close my knees, but he narrowed his eyes and slid his hips into the cradle of my pelvis.

Wrong. So wrong … And unfair, too, because clenching him between my legs didn’t exactly make my brain work better. I squirmed, needing him to be far away from me. Immediately. Yet I couldn’t help wondering whether I could reach down between us and open his fly.

The man was like heroin—seductive, addictive, and a damned good way to wake up dead.

“Hold still,” he whispered, voice strained. “The fact that my dick’s in its happy place is probably saving your life. Trust me when I say I’m seriously considerin’ strangling you, Sophie. Thinking about f**kin’ you helps balance that out.”

I froze.

I couldn’t believe he’d just said that. We had an agreement. We’d never discussed it, but we both followed it scrupulously. Sure enough, though, he pressed his hips into mine again and I felt his hard length growing against my stomach. My inner muscles clenched, sending a wave of need wrenching through me. This was cheating. The infatuation went one way—I lusted after him, he ignored me, and we pretended nothing had ever happened between us.

I licked my lips and his eyes followed the small movement, unfathomable in the dim light starting to filter through the windows.

“You don’t mean that,” I whispered. He narrowed his eyes, studying me like a lion scoping out the slowest gazelle. Wait, did lions eat gazelles? Was this really happening?


“This isn’t you, Ruger,” I told him. “Think about what you just said. Let me up and we’ll talk.”

“I f**king mean every word,” he replied, harsh and angry. “I hear my kid is in trouble and his mom’s nowhere to be found. I spend hours driving across the state, scared shitless that someone’s molesting or murdering our boy, and when I finally get here I find you in a total shithole with a broken lock on the downstairs door and easy access to your apartment through an open window. I crawl in and find you passed out on the couch half naked and smellin’ like beer.”

He dropped his head down, scenting me and twisting his hips into mine. Shit, that felt good. I actually ached between my legs, it felt so good.

“I could’ve taken him away from you, easy as f**k,” he continued, raising his head, eyes burning through me. “And if I could, so could anyone else, which is not f**kin’ okay. So you’ll just have to sit tight and wait for me to cool down a little because right now I’m not feeling particularly reasonable. Until then, I’d suggest you not tell me what I mean, you got that?”

I nodded my head, eyes wide. I believed every word he said. Ruger held my gaze as he shifted his legs again and then both were between mine and I felt every inch of his dick right up against my crotch. He surrounded me completely, overwhelming me with his strength, and I had a sudden, crazy flashback to that night I’d lost my virginity to Zach in Ruger’s apartment.

Me sprawled on a couch, legs spread, watching my life fall to shit.

Full circle.

Adrenaline still raced through me, and he wasn’t the only one who needed to cool down a bit. He’d scared me, damn it, and now the bastard was turning me on, a sensation that mixed disturbingly well with the anger and fear already overwhelming my system. I really couldn’t move, either. Ruger dropped his head down next to mine and groaned, grinding his hips into me. A swirl of tingling, tightening, traitorous desire twisted up along my spine from my pelvis. I moaned as he pressed hard against my clit. This felt good. Too good.

My inner slut suggested a surefire way to burn off tension …

As if reading my mind, Ruger’s breath caught. Then he pushed into me harder, rubbing his length back and forth against the thin layer of cotton covering my center. Neither of us said anything but I tilted my hips up to feel him better and he stiffened.

This is a bad idea, I thought, arching into him, closing my eyes. I’d wanted him for years. Every time I saw him, I secretly wondered what he’d feel like inside me.

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