“I don’t understand.”
“I’ll release the information. It’s that simple.”
“But…” I swallowed, suddenly at war. I cared about Daniel, enough that the idea of ruining his campaign troubled me. Why? Why would I care when he’d made my life hell? He’d threatened me with murder and more. “There has to be another way.”
“Then come out publicly as his daughter.”
“How would that be any less damaging for his career?”
“Having an illegitimate daughter you supposedly never knew existed is far less damaging than covering up multiple rapes for your stepson. It could be a nice amicable discovery. Not like you’re extorting him or anything. Then we could get married and he’d have to play nice, because I’d be his son-in-law. How’s that for payback?”
My eyes widened. “What?”
He smirked. “Is that so crazy?”
“Yes, that’s completely crazy. Try again.” My heart was suddenly beating out of my chest. Between freaking out about Connor following us and hearing those last words, I was completely sober now.
He laughed a little, but his smile soon faded. “I’m not wild about walking around knowing there’s a hit out on me, Erica, but we can outmaneuver him on this one. The information I have must scare him because he wouldn’t have killed someone to prevent me from leaking it.”
“He said he did it for me.” I gave a weak laugh. “I think he thought I’d be impressed that he did. That’s so fucked up, isn’t it?”
“He probably did do it for you, but we both know how he is. He wouldn’t do something like this without calculating every possible risk and reward.”
I looked out the window, into the night sky brightened by the city lights. Would we be held prisoner like this until we knew it was safe again? When would it ever be safe again?
He leaned forward and feathered a finger down my cheek, turning my gaze back to him. “Nothing comes between us anymore, okay, baby?”
His eyes were dark and serious. I nodded. That was what I wanted too.
“I can’t lose you like that again. I’ll go crazy.”
“Me too.” An argument could be made that I’d already achieved some level of crazy in his absence.
“After we figure out what we’re going to do with Daniel, I want you to move up here with me, okay? Or we can get our own place, I don’t care.”
I paused. “Can’t I just stay at the apartment like before?”
“No. Not close enough. You owe me this much after disappearing and destroying my life these past few weeks.”
I wanted to protest, but I couldn’t fathom being away from him for a minute right now. “How are we going to get out of this mess? I can’t take it. I can’t lose you.”
“You’re not losing me. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll hire a SWAT team if I need to, okay? Let’s not think about that shit right now. All I want you thinking about is being here with me, right now.”
I took a deep breath.
“Come on. Let’s go to bed. He’s not going to be coming after us tonight. He’ll have to get through Clay and his friends first.”
I nodded, willing myself to calm down. I trusted that Clay could handle Connor. I liked Clay and I abhorred Connor, so the idea of them facing off was appealing, actually.
Blake went to stand but I pulled him down on the couch with me. I wrapped my arms around his neck and held him tightly, as if someone might come and rip him from me. He held me back, tightening his arms around my rib cage. I breathed him in, feeling settled at the familiar scent that was Blake.
I fought the surge of emotion, relief at having him with me again twisted up with an ever-present fear of losing him again. I draped my leg over his, tangling our bodies together so he couldn’t leave.
“I’m sorry,” I choked. “This is all my fault.” I squeezed my eyes closed and fought the tears.
“Shh, baby. Don’t think like that. It’s going to be okay now.” He brushed my hair back from my face, fingering the tiny mark he’d made on my neck. “I know that now. You were trying to protect me. I appreciate the effort, but nothing is worth going through what we did. You don’t like me running your life, and I don’t like you making sweeping decisions like this without me. So maybe we can agree to figure these things out together in the future. What do you think?”
I pulled back and he swept away the tear that fell, kissing me sweetly.
“Love me, Blake.”
Heat passed over his features. He tugged off my shirt and bra and moved me so I was lying down on the couch. Slowly, he slid off my skirt, leaving me bared and open to him.
His lips parted slightly. “I want you like this, every night. Naked and waiting for me.”
He stood and pulled his shirt over his head, tossing it away. He pushed his jeans down to the floor, revealing the perfectly sculpted man beneath the clothes. I stared, boldly admiring the body I’d come to love, to crave.
He lowered down, settling between my thighs. He slid up my body, his erection hard against my belly as he kissed me from my shoulder to my neck. His hands worshipped my curves, slowly and reverently, leaving trails of fire in their wake. I shifted against the sharp ache between my legs.
“I want to feel you inside me,” I said, breathless.
His perfectly masculine body hovered with measured restraint as he circled my opening. I circled the hot flesh of his erection and positioned him at my entrance. His breath caught as he pushed into me slowly. I dragged my eager fingers over the curves of his pectorals, circling the soft disks of his nipples until they hardened under my touch. He gave me a little more. I slid my hands down to his ass and dug my nails into his flesh.
“Ah, Christ.” He jerked forward, firmly planting himself inside me.
I moaned, arching into the fullness.
He lowered down, thrusting again gently. He traced the ridge of my ear with his tongue. “You’re a bad girl.”
I hummed. “You like me bad.”
“I thought you wanted me to make love to you.”
“When you’re inside me, you’re loving me and I’m loving you. Isn’t that how it works?”
He hesitated, and then took me with a deep and passionate kiss, licking and devouring me with his mouth as he shafted into me with steady drives. I tightened helplessly around his cock. The fever rushed over me, and my hips bucked gently beneath him.
Then he lifted me so I was straddling him, his cock buried in my depths.