Beneath These Lies (Page 37)

Slamming my hand against the light switch, my heart in my throat, my scream died when Rix stood and covered my mouth with his hand.

“Should be getting used to me waiting for you, duchess.”

I wavered on unsteady heels, and he dropped his hand to wrap an arm around me.

“Didn’t expect to see you.”

“After those texts? You’ve gotta be joking.”

Oh God. “What texts?” I decided that playing dumb was an excellent choice.

“The ones that said you were thinking about me. That you wanted to—”

This time it was my hand covering his mouth. “Stop. I don’t want to remember. I need to go to bed.”

His lips moved beneath my palm, and I couldn’t tell if he was pressing a kiss or whether he was smiling. He peeled my hand off and spoke. “I’ll get you to bed.”

“No, you need to go to your bed.”

“I like yours better.”

“Too bad.”

But apparently my protests were going to go unheeded, because Rix ducked and swung me up into his arms.

I struggled for a moment, but once he was climbing the stairs, I stilled. Alpha, my brain whispered.

I curled my hands around the soft cotton of his shirt and sniffed. “You smell good. You always smell good.”

“Glad you think so.” He lowered me onto my bed, but I didn’t let go. “Tempting as fuck.”

“Tired too.”

Rix pried my hands off his shoulders and stepped back. “You need anything, or are you gonna pass out?”

I could think of one thing I needed, but I wouldn’t give voice to that particular thought. “Shoes off. Skirt and blouse too.”

Rix came back into view, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. “I think I can handle that.”

He slid off my heels and rolled me partially to the side so he could unzip the skirt and tug it down and off. I’d worn a black thong under my skirt to combat the panty-line issue.

“More than tempting.” Rix bowed his head, his lips close to my hip. I waited for the contact . . . but got nothing. He moved up my body and in a low voice said, “Arms up.”

My shirt was off and gone in a matter of seconds.

“Bra too,” I whispered, and Rix squeezed his eyes shut.

“Trying to see if you can break me?”

Break him?

I didn’t know what he meant, and I was drunk enough to say it out loud. “I don’t understand.”

Rix reached behind me to unclasp my bra and drew it down my arms. With a growl, he tugged the duvet free from behind me before pulling it up over my body.

When he deemed me suitably covered, he met my gaze again. Liquid silver. That’s what his eyes looked like in my drunken state.

“You confuse the fuck out of me. I want you, made that shit clear. You want me, but you can’t seem to wrap your head around it. I don’t like it when a woman changes her mind when I’m rolling a condom down my cock, but I ain’t ever not gonna listen. I’ve put it out there every way I know how, but you’re a different breed, duchess. You’re gonna have to ask for it. Beg for it, even, before we get that far again.”

“I don’t beg,” I said. “For anything.”

“Then I guess we’ve reached a brick wall.”

My glare should have communicated everything I felt, but instead, Rix laughed softly.

“How can you look so fucking beautiful even when you want to tell me to go to hell?”

I blinked against his intense stare, and murmured, “I’ve been to hell. I don’t think you want me to tell you to go there.”

“I hate that for you. I’d kill anyone who hurt you.”

I yawned. “Too late. He’s already dead.”

“I know, and I’m sorry I can’t kill him again.”

My eyes snapped open at the pity in his tone. Reaching up, I grabbed his arm. “Don’t. Don’t even think about treating me differently because of it.”

His eyes widened slightly before they softened. “You got a deal.” Lowering toward me, he pressed a kiss to my temple. “Sleep, duchess.”

A LOW POUNDING REVERBERATED IN my head, and my tongue stuck to the roof of my mouth when I swallowed.

Opening my eyes seemed like the next logical step, but I wasn’t sure I was brave enough to do it. Two hangovers in a week was a new record for me.

I groaned and rolled over—into the warm body of another person. My eyes snapped open, and I registered the weight of an arm low on my hips.

What the hell?

Rix woke as soon as I moved. “You okay, duchess? Or you feel like you’re gonna die?”

“Why are you in my bed?”

“Don’t remember last night?”

I searched my memory and, sure enough, I remembered every single thing. I hadn’t drank that much. “No, I do.”

“Then why are you asking me why I’m here?”

“Because I guess I thought you’d leave after you’d done your good deed of getting the drunk chick in bed.”

Rix’s lips twitched before he gave me a half smile. “I don’t do good deeds because that means I’m not getting anything in return.”

“Of course you don’t,” I drawled, and then slapped a hand over my mouth at the horrible taste. I shot out of bed. Not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. My head swam, but evened out so I could walk calmly toward the bathroom.

I shut the door behind me and took care of my morning routine. Once my mouth no longer tasted like roadkill, I slipped on the robe on the back of my door, a short and silky one Rix had seen the first night he’d broken in. I ventured back into the bedroom and Rix was where I’d left him—sprawled out in my bed, shirtless, and from the look of the tent under the sheet, pantless.