“You can give me that sourpuss expression all you want, I’m not leaving you.”
She whipped around to glare at him. “You have a whole team. You can’t send one of the others?”
He shrugged, “Sorry, princess. My guys have actual work to do. Looping you into protection detail actually puts strain on them.”
“Oh, I have an idea. Why don’t you stop?”
Noah took a step forward, crowding her. She had no choice but to take a step back. When he didn’t stop, she backed straight into a wall. With Noah looming over her, his heat enveloped her. She made the mistake of inhaling deep. The scent of sandalwood and something spicy injected her bloodstream with lust.
She immediately started remembering everything about him that she was trying to forget. The tenderness of how she felt in his arms. The way he whispered her name softly when they made love. The way he held her tight, his hands tracing over every inch of her skin. She whimpered.
He leaned close and whispered, “Because I’m not going to let anything happen to you.” He straightened and took a deliberate step away from her before adding, “You can be rid of me when we get back to your apartment.”
“I can’t wait,” she ground out.
Every cell in her body hated him. Loathed him even. Liar. She should hate him. But she didn’t. She loved him. Still. Even knowing what he had done. That he’d betrayed Rafe, betrayed her, and betrayed her whole family. God, the lies he’d fed her over the years. So many lies.
But despite that, she still freaking loved him. And she missed him with a bone-deep ache. The kind that had her crying herself to sleep every night. She wished she could pretend it was the sex she missed. The comfort of his body. No. It was his laugh and his teasing. And the way he always made her feel safe.
Before that night, she’d never had any reason to fear him. But once she’d touched that scar, pulled the layers back on his secrets, she knew the truth. He was that thing that went bump in the night. He was her worst nightmare. And there was no coming back from that knowledge.
Noah tossed his hands up in the air. “Lucia, I hope you know we can do this forever as far as I’m concerned. No way am I letting anything happen to you. So, I know you’re mad and you have a right to be, but you need to understand your safety supersedes everything else. You don’t like it? Tough. But I’m here to stay.”
She glared up at him. There had to be another way because if she spent another day in Noah Blake’s company, she was going to turn into the murderer.