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“No, I’m saying you can’t call her trash. I can call her trash but you can’t.”

He scowled at me some more and then muttered, “Fuck me.”

“I think we’re done here,” I announced and started to move to open the door but then suddenly found myself pinned against it again by his big, hard, sculpted, exceptionally warm body with both his hands at either side of my neck, thumbs at my jaw forcing me to look up at him.

“Oh no, Sweet Pea, we’re not done,” he whispered in a scary voice and I fought my mouth dropping open again because he was back to freaking me out more than half dozen members of a biker gang and I succeeded in this endeavor mainly because his thumbs were there.

“Step back,” I demanded and was pretty pleased my voice didn’t tremble.

He ignored me and didn’t move. Instead, he said, “Your sister has bought herself a load of shit, then she bought herself more, not done, she bought herself more. She’s pissed off some serious people. The best end to this scenario is she turns up dead. I know there’s no love lost between you two and I know it still sucks for you to hear that but that doesn’t make it any less true.”

“Step back,” I repeated.

He continued to ignore me. “The best thing you could have done when Darla showed on your doorstep was close the door, close your mind to that shit and go back to work. You didn’t. You strutted your ass into Ride, got Tack’s attention and, trust me, babe, you do not want Tack’s attention. And doin’ that, you made yourself visible to a lot of people you do not want to know you exist. That’s done. Now, your sister’s problems do not exist for you. Your sister does not exist for you. Now, you keep your head down, be smart and keep yourself out of trouble. Which means you stick to what you know, who you know and where you know. You do not move out of regularly scheduled programming. You get me?”

“How do you know Darla was here?”

His brows shot together and the way they did made him now look scary and scarily impatient.

“Clue in, Sweet Pea, I keep tabs.”

“You keep tabs?”

“You’re mine so I keep tabs.”

I felt my own eyebrows shoot together. “I’m yours?”

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“Babe, I’m f**kin’ you aren’t I?”

This was without question. I didn’t see his face but that didn’t mean he didn’t talk. He was seriously bossy in bed and I’d know that deep voice anywhere.

“Okay,” I started, “perhaps at this juncture we should discuss our relationship.”

“Clue in again, Gwen, the reason our relationship is the way it is, is so I don’t ever have to waste my f**kin’ time doin’ stupid-ass shit like discussing it.”

Oh boy. Now I was getting really angry.

“I think you should step back and then I think you should go,” I told him.

“And I think you should confirm you get me then I’ll go.”

“Fine, I get you, now… go,” I snapped back.

He didn’t move and his black eyes didn’t unlock from mine.

Therefore, I called, “Hello? I get you. Now go.”

Suddenly, his eyes warmed and his thumbs moved from under my jaws to slide over the edges of them.

Then he noted softly, “You’re pissed.”

Was he for real?

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“Uh… yeah,” I verified.

“Don’t be pissed,” he ordered.

No, seriously, he couldn’t be for real.

“You can’t tell me not to be pissed.”

“Babe, you think I don’t have better things to do than be here?” he asked.

Oh my God.

Did people’s heads actually explode? Because at that moment I was pretty certain mine was about to.

“Then maybe you should be on your way,” I invited, my voice sharp.

“The point is, I’m here.”

“Well, I hate to break this to you, but you’ve made other visits I’ve enjoyed a whole lot more.”

That was when he grinned and when he did, that was when my heart stopped beating.

Never, not once, not even that first night, did I see him smile and if he was beautiful normally, his face smiling knocked my freaking socks off.

Lordy be, the man had two dimples.

Two.

“Do you not get why I’m pissed?” he asked gently through his smile.

“No, I don’t and there’s never a good excuse for being a jerk so, again, please, if you’re so busy, allow me to stop wasting your time and just go.”

“You f**ked up today, Gwen,” he told me.

“I think you’ve made that clear, baby,” I shot back.

For some reason the warmth in his eyes deepened at the same time he whispered his warning. “Don’t call me baby when you’re pissed, Sweet Pea.”

“Don’t call me Sweet Pea at all, baby,” I retorted.

“You call me baby when I’m f**king you,” he stated and I didn’t know if this was a demand or a recall but it was probably both.

“Well, don’t hold your breath for that to happen again.”

The warmth in his eyes got deeper, hotter and his thumbs stroked my jaws again. I tried to pull my face away but his hands tightened and I stopped.

“You shouldn’t make a threat you can’t carry out,” he advised, still talking gently.

“How many times do I have to tell you to go?” I asked.

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He ignored me and declared, “I end things.”

Seriously, he was not for real.

“It’s good to experience change in life, refreshing, keeps your senses sharp,” I informed him.

“Don’t push that shit, Gwendolyn,” he warned. “You won’t like the consequences.”

“What’s your name?” I asked on a dare.

He called my dare and raised me. “You call me baby.”

“What’s your name?” I repeated.

“Sometimes honey,” he continued.

“What… is… your name?” I demanded.

“But I prefer baby.”

I rolled my eyes to the ceiling and snapped, “God!” at the same time I stomped my foot, realized my hands were at his waist and I pushed back.

He didn’t budge.

My eyes rolled back to him and I instantly noted my mistake when I found one of his hands had disappeared and his mouth was at my neck, his lips at the skin behind my ear and then I felt his tongue there.

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