***MALE name removed as to prevent SPOILERS
The idea that I’ve convinced myself he is less controlling than he is has my heels colliding heavily on the driveway. I charge toward his car, the same car I’ve let myself drive instead of holding on to my own identity. I don’t look his direction but damn him, I can feel him all over, everywhere, inside and out, and in intimate places I can’t convince my body he isn’t welcome. It’s beyond frustrating to know that anger this potent isn’t enough to stop the thrum of awareness that just being near him creates.
Not for the first time, I feel Rebecca’s words from that first jour- nal entry I’d read deep in my soul. He was lethal, a drug I feared. I relate to her, and I understand the inescapable passion she felt and lost herself inside. I don’t want to be her. I’m not her. And for the first time since my initial first few encounters with this man, I wonder if I am drawn to him because I’m self-destructive, and he to me for the same reason.
Suddenly he is there, at eye level, as he had been the first night we’d met, when I’d spilled my purse. My gaze lifts and meets his, and a blast of awareness shakes me to the core. My breasts are heavy, my thighs achy. My skin tingles. A fine line between love and hate, Alvarez had said, and I understand them in this moment. I stare into his eyes and I wonder if he too is thinking about the night we met and the many ways we’ve made love.The many we have not and I want us to, when I should not. I should be seeking space, independence, and my own identity, which he is threatening by taking over my life. It makes no sense how I feel in these eternal moments. How can I be this furious with him and still powerfully, completely lost in him?
“We have a lot to talk about, don’t we?” he asks, breaking the spell. His tone is low, and the rasp of anger in his voice is impossible to miss. It jolts me back to reality. He showed up at my client’s house and he’s angry with me?
My temper overpowers all other emotions in me and I reach for the key. His hand closes over mine and heat races up my arm and over my chest.“Don’t do what you did tonight ever again, Sara.”
The sharp command in his voice hits a bull’s-eye on every physiological male dominance issue I own, of which there are many. I try to pull my hand back but I am captive to his grip, leaving me with words as my only weapon.“Ditto to you. And yeah.We have a lot to talk about—somewhere other than my client’s front yard.”
His eyes glint fire a moment before he releases my hand and helps me to my feet.There is a possessiveness to his touch that has me leaning into him when I should be shoving him away. He notices, too; I see it in the slight narrowing of his eyes, the gleam of satisfaction in their depths that I both hunger for and reject.
“I’ll follow you to my place,” he informs me.
“I have no doubt you will.” I click the key clicker to unlock the car. I’m about to open the door when his hand comes down on it, and he leans close, so close his breath is warm on my neck and ear. That woodsy scent of him, which I could luxuriate in for a lifetime, permeates my senses, tearing down my already weak defenses.
His hip nudges mine.“Don’t think for a minute that when we pull up to my apartment, you’re going to ask for your car and leave.”
It is all I can do to fight him when he touches me. Purposely, I do not look at him, certain all my resolve to distance myself from him will crumble.“If I decide to leave, you can’t stop me.”
“Try me, baby.You’re coming up to my apartment.”
I whirl on him.“I don’t want—”
“I do,” he vows, and before I know his intent, his fingers twine into my hair and he pulls me into his arms, against his hard, warm body.
“Let go,” I hiss, my hand flattening on his chest. I intend to push him away, but the heat of his body seeps through my palm, radiating up my arm. My elbow softens, and I am instantly closer but not close enough.
“Not a chance,” he promises, his mouth closing on mine, firm with demand. His tongue licks into my mouth with one brutal, commanding swipe followed by another, and I have no resistance left. I’m weak, so very weak, for this man. As always with him, he demands my response and I helplessly respond. I am instantly wet and wanting, my nipples tight points of aching need.