Beneath These Chains (Page 45)

Being beneath all that power was … intoxicating. Stroke after stroke, he hit the perfect spot, and the tension that had been building inside me stretched tight, poised to snap.

“Omigod,” I mumbled. “I’m gonna—”

“Fuck yeah, you’re gonna. Until you can’t keep your eyes open. That’s my promise to you.”

Another thrust and my body unleashed pleasure through every nerve ending, and I screamed his name. “Lord!”

He slowed his thrusts, allowing me to ride it out, but never stopped.

“That’s right. More where that came from.”

The second orgasm came on the heels of the first. I lost track after number three.

It could’ve been minutes or hours later, but my eyes slid shut as Lord roared my name and emptied himself inside me.

My last thought: I’m in so much trouble.

I woke to a warm body curled up beside me. Elle’s cheek pillowed on my chest, and her red hair tickled my face and chin. My arm tingled, but I had no intention of moving. Instead, I watched her sleep.

Last night she’d told me she was taking all of me, and I was holding her to that. But Elle wasn’t the kind of woman you fenced in and expected her not to bolt. My words had been a calculated risk during the heat of the moment. I wasn’t a stupid man; I knew getting that kind of declaration out of her during the light of day was something I’d have to handle carefully, but I would get it out of her eventually. I pressed a kiss to her hair, and her eyes flicked open.

“Good morning,” I said.

Her lips curled into a smile. “Good morning yourself.”

“I like waking up with you,” I said, knowing I was pushing too hard.

I tucked Elle’s hair away from my face, and she pulled back. “I like it too … but we probably should talk about me going home sometime soon. I don’t think Rix is going to hurt me. He scares the ever-lovin’ hell out of me, but I don’t think he’s going to hurt me.”

I gritted my teeth. So much for an easy morning. “Can we talk about him when we’re not naked?”

“I’m just saying I don’t think he’s a threat; he’s not looking to do me harm.”

“Then let’s talk about the fact that Jiminy’s dead, just like Bree.” Elle shrank away from my harsh tone, and I could’ve slapped myself for being so blunt, but I didn’t know how else to get across that this was serious fucking business, and I wasn’t taking a chance with her safety. I didn’t like that she seemed to have placed Rix in the “harmless even though he’s really dangerous as fuck” category and completely written off the fact that someone had killed two people and we still didn’t know who or why.

“I don’t understand how I could be a target.” Elle’s voice was small.

“Yeah, well, I don’t understand how you don’t think you could be at risk. I’m not willing to take the chance, and even if you think Rix is harmless, whoever else is out there shooting people in the back isn’t getting their hands on you.” Quietly, I added, “Doesn’t make any fucking sense. First Bree, and then Jiminy. Think I’m being framed. Nothing else makes sense.”

And nothing else did make sense. There had been a time in my life when I’d had nothing to lose and what was happening now would’ve just had me packing my shit up and truckin’ out of town for a while. But now … now I had everything to lose, and I would fight tooth and nail to keep it. Whoever was setting me up was going to find their own bullet buried in their back, and that swamp boat was going to come in handy.

“But that doesn’t make sense either. A frame job? By who?” Elle whispered. It was clear my words had shoved a wedge between us because she rolled away and stood. But then she reached out and grabbed my hand, laced her fingers with mine, and tugged. “Come on. There’s nothing you’re going to figure out in the next twenty minutes, so you might as well come shower with me. Wouldn’t want to waste water.”

The impish curve of her lips—and the absolutely knockout body she wasn’t attempting to cover—pushed all other thoughts from my mind. When a naked woman who looked like Elle took your hand and asked you to follow her, you didn’t think twice about that shit. You went.

“Conserving water is the responsible thing to do … but I have a feeling if I get you in that shower, it’s going to last a lot longer than if I were in there by myself.” My feet hit the floor, and I rose from the bed.

We were late to work. But luckily, I knew the boss, so it wasn’t that big of a deal. And the fact that I was walking in the back door of Chains holding Elle’s hand like some throwback to a high school date I never got to have was pretty fucking sweet. The woman herself was sweet. She might put up a thorny, hard to get to know exterior, but beneath it was the creampuff center I’d suspected was there all along.

It became even clearer when Mathieu surveyed us.

“So it’s really like that, huh?”

I waited for Elle to respond, curious what she’d say. “Yep, it’s really like that,” was her answer. It wasn’t a declaration by any means, but it wasn’t a denial. I’d take what I could get at this point.

“Good. You’ll keep her out of trouble the next time she decides to do something crazy like go work at a fuckin’ pawnshop, and you’ll keep him smiling and laughing like he has been. Not a bad birthday present.”


Oh shit. I’d totally forgotten with all the crap going on. And because I was a guy and birthdays didn’t always stick with me.