He thought he’d shut her out, but every stolen look and lingering glance gives him away. Fiona knows things aren’t as they seem, so she comes up with a plan to get Chris to tell her the truth. It works a little too well when the very reason he stayed away comes to light and threatens everything he’s fought to keep safe.
Unable to live the lie any longer, Chris needs Fiona by his side to put a stop to the danger that’s following her and tormenting him. Fiona becomes the key to unlocking his every secret, including the love he can no longer deny.
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Chris took Fiona by the waist and pulled her against him in an echo of their earlier embrace. “You want to know what it was? Why I dragged you back there?” She had to tilt her head back to look him in the eye. Chris’s heart thudded because he knew what he was about to confess. “It was me wanting you so much that every day without you has been my own special kind of Hell. And it was all of my own making. I couldn’t touch you or taste you because I forced you out of my reach. All that time, it was me seeing you, but not being able to stare, taking in your scent without being able to really inhale, and hearing your voice and not being able to say what was on my mind or in my…”
No, he’d said enough.
“To say what was in your what?” Fiona clutched at his shoulders. Chris didn’t know if her heart was pounding too or if it was the reverberations from his own slamming against her.
“Never mind.” Chris skittered back from the edge.
“Damn it. Tell me!” It was the closest he’d ever heard Fiona come to a shout. Her dormant Irish temper was wide awake now. “Come on, Christopher King, I’m right here.” She grabbed his hand and set it over her heart. Christ. Her upper chest was so soft and warm, it wasn’t much of a struggle to keep his hand right where it was. “Here I am. Feel me…see me…tell me what you want to say. Tell me what’s on your mind and in your…?”
“Goddamn it, Fee!” He felt goaded into raising his voice as well. “My heart, okay? I wanted to tell you what was in my heart. I love you so fucking much I ache with it.”
There. All his cards were on the table now. The absence of sound was deafening. Had they both stopped breathing? Fee hadn’t said anything yet and the suspense was killing him. He’d never told a woman he loved her before and waiting for her to either laugh at him or love him too, sucked. Screw it. He dropped his hands and stepped around her. “I’ll show you to your room. It’s been a long day. You’re probably tired…”
“I’m not tired.” She kept pace behind him.
He kept going. “The bathroom is to the left down the hall. You might want to take a shower…”
“I don’t want to take a shower…not alone, anyway.”
* * * *
It took only long enough for Fiona to blink once before Chris had her back in his arms.
“Tell me that was an invitation.” The sensual gravel of his voice slid down her spine and spread out to all her pulse points. Still, the man was clueless.
“For a smart guy, you are the absolute worst at taking a hint. Should I sky-write it and really give the town something to talk about? I want you. I want you. I want you.”
Chris lowered his head until their lips were only a breath apart. “So, you’re saying you want me?”
Fiona closed her eyes and waited for him to close the distance. “Why else do you think I’m here?”
“So I can keep you safe?”
“That’s a bonus, tough guy.”
He stepped back and ran a shaky hand through his hair. “This is a bad idea. We need to cool down and figure out…”
“Where’s your room?”
“Down the hall, next to yours.”
“Fabulous.” Fee brushed past him and took off for the hallway.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m hoping in the right direction. It’s hard to tell in the dark.”
Susan Behon, author of the Madison Falls series, enjoys creating a world that brings readers romance, laughter, and a healthy dose of sexiness. Susan graduated summa cum laude with a B. A. in English from Norfolk State University. She currently lives in Ohio with her very own romance hero of a husband and their two wonderful daughters.