Beneath These Lies (Page 20)

I backed up until I hit the glass block wall of my shower. “Get used to what idea?” My heart thundered anew, but this time, it wasn’t fear causing the spike in my blood pressure.

Rix crossed into the bathroom, stalking me until he pressed his palms against the glass on either side of my head. And yet, I didn’t feel trapped. I felt . . . alive.

“You walked into my world, totally clueless it even existed. You stood your ground, never giving up on finding your girl, even when you should’ve been hoppin’ in your fancy car and runnin’ away home.”

I swallowed, unsure where he was going with this. “These are all things I know.”

“But what you don’t know is I’ve never met a woman like you. High class, but worrying about someone who isn’t even yours to worry over. Fascinating as fuck. I’m guessing the cop sees the same thing I do. So I’m gonna say this once more so you understand. I don’t share. There’s something happenin’ between us, and we’re gonna see how it plays out. I was gonna wait, but you just pushed the timeline with your move.”

I hadn’t taken him seriously today when he’d told me that we were going to see what could happen between us.

“Don’t I get a say?”

Rix shook his head slowly. “You’re as rare as a Picasso at a fucking flea market, to put it in terms you understand. And when a man comes across something that rare, he ain’t just gonna let it go without seeing what could come of it.”

His words floored me. I’d never felt rare or precious or anything else like that. But still, was I going to let him dictate to me? Knowing that Rix was fascinated with me, my boldness grew. Instinctively, I knew he wouldn’t hurt me, so I gave my tongue free rein.

“I hate to break it to you, but you’ve got no choice but to let it go if I say so.”

His scowl darkened. “I don’t take orders. I give them, duchess.”

“Maybe in your world, but right now you’re standing in mine.” My gaze sharpened on him with that thought. He must have come here for a reason. “Why are you here? What’s the update?”

His eyes stayed firmly fixed on mine. “The update is there’s no change, but I did talk to her.”

He talked to Trinity? And he’s just now telling me?

“Don’t you think you should have led with that? What did she say? Did she say she was scared? Hurt? Hungry? What?”

“Calm down, woman, and I’ll tell you.”

My hands trembled, and I barely restrained myself from grabbing his arm and shaking him. “Consider me as calm as I’m going to get.” If he didn’t spill what he knew right now, I was going to lose my grip on my emotions.

Rix nodded and pushed off the glass, and as he talked, he paced out of the bathroom into the bedroom. I followed, not willing to miss a single word.

“She’s fine. Yeah, she’s scared, but I told her not to be.”

“I need to talk to her. Need to hear that from her myself. She has to be terrified.”

“She ain’t hurt or hungry. She’s eating Cheetos and watching Netflix, and now that she knows someone’s coming for her, she said she can hold it together.”

I threaded my shaking hands together as I sat on the bed, bowing my head. Trinity was tough, but she shouldn’t have to be. She should never know anything like this could happen. She should be sitting at home eating Cheetos and watching Netflix.

Gathering together the threads of my self-possession, I looked up at Rix. “Swear to me, on whatever you find holy, that she’s okay.” My voice was low, my words barely audible.

“I swear to you, she’s fine.” Rix’s tone matched mine in seriousness.

“Thank God,” I whispered.

Rix spun and stalked toward me. “It ain’t God you should be thanking, duchess. I’m the one making this happen. And I don’t use this much effort for anyone without a damn good reason.”

Anger overwhelmed the fear that had gripped me. “She got into this because of one of your people!”

He stopped in front of me. “She made her own choice to get involved with him.”

“That’s bull. Besides, you have to get her back to cover your own ass.”

“I don’t have to do shit.” Rix’s chin lifted with the proclamation.

“So you’re saying that I’m the only reason you’re bothering to get her back?” I demanded.

He crouched down, a hand on the quilt on either side of my hips. “Glad you’re finally catching on.”

I didn’t like that explanation. I wanted Rix invested on every level. Glancing up at him, I met his gaze. “I don’t even know what to say.”

“You don’t need to say anything except you’re not gonna let that cop put his lips on you again.”

“Don’t tell me what to do.” Palm shooting out, I slapped against his shoulder, and surprisingly, he stood and stepped back.

Rix crossed his arms. “You want your girl back? You do what I want.”

My glare should have shriveled vital parts of his anatomy. “So it’s going to be like that, then? You already gave me your word that you’d get her home safe. Doesn’t that mean anything?”

His eyebrows drew together. “You don’t question a man’s word, duchess. That’s dangerous territory.”

“But you said—”

“You goin’ out with the cop again, or not?”

I thought of Hennessy’s promise to stop by the gallery and set up a date. Honesty won out. “Probably.”