David, who was only slightly taller than Caroline, was physically the polar opposite of Max. Max was tall and broad with obviously well-defined muscles, and David was much thinner. Also well toned, but not as obviously as Max, David was pale with short, wavy, blonde hair. He was an absolute perfect match for Caroline. Together, David and Max sat at the dining room table, drinking their beers as I eased through the foyer.
“David, can you get this bowl down for me?” Caroline asked. He stood, without noticing me as I stopped outside the threshold to the kitchen. Max’s eyes found me instantly and he assessed me in his iron chair with one ankle crossed over the other. He changed into khakis and a navy collared shirt. It was a pleasant surprise to see him dressing up a bit for dinner. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. His pose, so casual, yet confident, was appealing in so many ways.
“Join the party,” Max finally said with a smile.
I stepped into the doorway and Caroline turned. “Oh, Abi, how are you feeling? I hope you were able to get some rest?”
“It was enough I guess,” I smiled, peering at Max, while remembering his unexpected charge into my room earlier.
“What?” Max asked. “Sorry I woke you. Next time, I’ll let the cleaners leave your clothes hanging on the front porch… including your sexy lingerie.”
Caroline and I gasped. “You went through my clothes?”
He picked up his beer with a chuckle and walked to the patio door. “Of course not, what do you think I am… a pervert?”
“Yes!” Caroline answered sarcastically.
“Well, I’m not, but I know my instincts were right,” he grinned. “Now I’m curious if it’s the black or red you prefer? I already had you pegged as a red girl, but I’m sure you have some naughty black mixed up somewhere in there too.”
My mouth gaped open, and I was unable to think of a comeback. Max stared at me, his eyes penetrating my body as if he could clearly see the black lace bra and panty set I wore beneath my clothes. I wanted to run away and change so he wouldn’t be right. And I was sure my silence and shocked expression confirmed his suspicions. David snickered, trying to snuff out a laugh as he peeked at me from behind Caroline.
“C’mon David, let’s sit outside.”
David walked past and patted me on the back. “Sorry, Abi, but if you could see your face right now…” He chuckled again and grabbed his beer from the table before opening the patio door.
Max caught my eye and winked as he followed David. That man is going to drive me nuts! I faced Caroline and she stared back with her hand on her hip.
“I can’t believe him… both of them!” she chided.
I waved the whole conversation off and walked around the bar beside her. After all the other exchanges Max and I had these last two days, this one was fairly tame, even if it pissed me off. “It doesn’t make a difference. What’s bad about the whole thing is: Max was right. I do have a lot of red… and I’m kind of wearing black right now.”
Caroline gave me the once-over and smirked. “Cotton?”
“You are a naughty girl,” she teased. “I didn’t think you had it in you.”
“Oh hush! There’s a lot about me you don’t know, my lingerie being just one of a number of choices.”
“Oh no…. let me stop you right there. I don’t need any mental pictures. How about you chop up the vegetables and just keep that dirty talk to yourself?”
I laughed. “I think I can handle that.” I had all kinds of dirty flashing through my mind lately.
Keep a low profile. That's what Abigale Peterson was supposed to do, especially when the person she was being protected from was one of the world's worst crime lords. After seven years in the Witness Protection Program, she felt no safer now than she did when she was seventeen. Revenge was rarely forgotten when it came to a professional criminal like Zerilli.
Low profiles meant no social life and definitely no love life.
Paranoia and lies became daily habits, going against everything Abigale believed in, but they kept her safe. They kept everyone safe.
Until a house fire puts her out of that safety and into the arms of a stranger. Max Smith is sexy, smart, and has major attitude. He’s the only one who seems to get her. He calms her fears and comforts her from her nightmares. But he also sees right through her lies.
Before Abigale can stop, she’s in too deep; confiding too much and breaking the one rule she promised herself to uphold: Never fall in love.
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Genre – Contemporary Romance
Rating – R
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