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Sweet Temptation s-4, Page 2

Maya Banks

  Wanting to look into her eyes, to see her again, he walked around her, letting his hand trail over her skin until his fingers rested on her belly and he stood over her.

  “Look at me,” he said huskily.

  He lifted his hand to her chin, tilted it up so her gaze met his.

  “You’re so beautiful.”

  Her lips curved upward in a tremulous smile, and he traced the fullness of her bottom lip with his thumb.

  He dropped his head to hers, their mouths touching. He paused, taking it slower this time, wanting to savor her sweetness.

  “I want you. I want you so much it’s killing me.”

  His voice was hoarse and needy, but he didn’t care. He only knew if he didn’t have this woman, he’d go crazy.

  He reached up to untie her hands, and when they were free, she faltered, her knees buckling. He caught her to him, her body melting into his. She felt so damn good, and his zipper was trying to brand a permanent tattoo on his dick.

  Wanting to feel the silk of her hair, he dragged his hand through it, enjoying the sensation of it sliding through his fingers.

  “Will you come home with me?” he murmured.

  His lips were just centimeters from hers. Her breath blew over his face, and he inhaled.

  She stared back at him, desire warming her eyes.

  He tucked a long strand of her hair behind her ear, and his thumb snagged on the mask. He wanted to see her, wanted to know more about this woman he was determined to possess tonight.

  She uttered a sharp protest and raised her hands to grip his, all the while shaking her head in mute denial. She tried to turn away, but the mask slipped and caught in her hair.

  A strangled sound erupted from her throat and she hastily backed away, but not before he saw her features.

  Shock hit him square in the balls.

  He was going to be sick.

  Angel. David’s sister.

  Dear God, what had he done?

  She stared back at him, frozen, her eyes wide and almost frightened. The beautiful naked woman standing in front of him was quickly replaced by images of Angelina at sixteen. Innocent, with a dazzling, flirtatious smile, the kind that a kid wore when she thought the world was hers on a silver platter. He couldn’t conjure an image of her older. She was stuck as that sixteen-year-old kid. How old was she now anyway?

  David’s sister. Goddamn it.

  Fury quickly replaced his utter disbelief. “Angelina, what the fuck?”


  M icah grabbed Angelina’s shoulders and pulled her close to him to shield her from view, but that was damn near impossible with a room full of people and her bare-assed naked.

  He yanked his head around, looking for something—anything—to cover her with.

  “Where are your goddamn clothes?”

  “Micah, stop,” she protested.

  The shock of hearing her speak momentarily halted him. The slightly accented speech reminded him so damn much of David. Her voice was huskier than it was when she was younger. Sexier. Fuck!

  He shook his head and resumed his search, his gaze lighting on a discarded sheet from one of the beds. It would do.

  Dragging her with him, he strode over to snatch the sheet from the floor. He draped it over her shoulders and then wrapped it completely around her, holding the ends as he looked for an escape route.

  “Micah, stop! What are you doing?”

  There was a spark of anger in her brown eyes, but he ignored that. She could be pissed all she wanted, but he was getting her the hell out of here.

  Now that she was at least covered, he herded her along the edge of the room toward the door. They entered the hallway that led to the stairs, and he all but dragged her down the staircase and into the hall leading to the front entrance.

  “Where are you taking me?” she asked.

  There was trust in her tone, and it pissed him off more than finding her here. He’d just flogged her, seen her naked, lusted over ... touched her. For God’s sake. This never should have happened. He hated himself, but he was angrier with her. She shouldn’t be here. She shouldn’t even know places like this existed.

  “Out of here,” he said gruffly. “Not another word until I get you home. I swear, Angelina, I don’t know what the hell you thought you were doing, but it ends right here, right now.”

  One of Damon’s burly security men stepped in front of the door and folded his beefy arms over his chest as he stared belligerently at Micah.

  “Goddamn it, Mav, get out of the way,” Micah swore.

  “Micah, what the fuck are you doing?”

  Micah turned around to see his good friend and the owner of The House, Damon Roche, striding down the hall from his office. He sighed, irritated with the interruption. He kept a firm grip on Angelina’s arm while he waited for Damon to say his piece.

  “Well?” Damon asked when he stopped a few feet away. His eyes were narrowed, the classic Damon annoyed expression, but he didn’t say anything further. He merely pinned Micah with an expectant stare and waited.

  “Well fucking what?”

  Damon made a move toward Angelina, and Micah pulled her back. The sheet slid down over her shoulders, but she held the ends tightly around her breasts. Her hair was pulled around and hung down one side, and Micah could see the marks—his marks—on her back, and the knot grew bigger in his gut.

  He yanked the sheet back up, covering the bare expanse of her skin as if that would somehow erase what had happened just minutes before.

  “You want to tell me what the hell you’re doing?” Damon demanded. “Jesus Christ, Micah, have you lost your mind? Let her go. Now.”

  Micah scowled at the challenge in Damon’s voice. Mav took a step forward and reached for Angelina. It didn’t matter that Damon and Mav were obviously trying to protect Angelina.

  “Don’t you fucking touch her.”

  May looked to Damon for guidance, and Damon held his hand up to stay his security man.

  “You can’t come in here, grab one of my club members—hell, you can’t pull this shit here with anyone, member or not—and drag her out of here against her will. What’s come over you, Micah?”

  Micah glanced at Angelina and wondered why the hell she was being so quiet. She hadn’t said much more than a few words. He couldn’t even conjure guilt over the notion that she was unwilling. She sure as hell hadn’t been unwilling when she’d given him that sultry invitation with those deep brown eyes. Christ, she’d had him whip her. He wanted to puke.

  “This is a private matter between me and Angelina,” Micah said.

  “I’m not letting you leave here with her,” Damon said calmly.

  Angelina put her hand on Damon’s arm. It looked small and dainty in comparison, and all Micah could think was that those hands had been tied together while he marked her naked body.

  “It’s all right, Damon,” she said in a low voice.

  She trembled in Micah’s grip, and he loosened his hold. His gaze dropped over her arm to make sure there were no marks from his fingers. He’d done enough damage for one night. Now he just wanted to get her out of this place as fast as humanly possible.

  “Do you know Micah, Angelina?” Damon asked, his expression skeptical. “You don’t have to go with him, friend of mine or not. My first responsibility is to my members here. I wouldn’t allow any woman to be manhandled as Micah has done you.”

  “Member?” Micah bit out. “Are you telling me Angelina is a goddamn member?”

  He looked to her for confirmation, but she wouldn’t look at him. She was staring at Damon, her expression calm.

  “I know him,” she said simply. “He won’t hurt me. He’s angry because he doesn’t understand.”

  “Understand?” His head was going to explode. “I understand that I’m getting you the hell out of this place, and under no circumstances are you to ever set foot in here again.” He glared at Damon as he said the last. “And I expect you to see to it.”

’s going on here?” Damon demanded. “This isn’t like you, Micah. I won’t let you walk out of here until one of you provides me with an acceptable explanation.”

  “She’s David’s sister!”

  Damon’s eyes flickered as understanding dawned. “I see.”

  Micah made a sound of disgust. “No, you don’t see. Christ, Damon, you’re letting teenagers in here now?”

  Angelina turned to him, one finely arched eyebrow creeping upward. “I’m twenty-three years old, Micah. Hardly a teenager. Certainly not in need of a babysitter, though you seem keen to sign up for the job.”

  He stared back at her in disbelief. Confusion jacked through his mind like a buzz saw. Twenty-three? How had she gotten from a sixteen-year-old to a woman of twenty-three? Had it really been so long? How could he have lost so many years?

  “At least let her dress,” Damon said quietly. “There’s no need to take her out like this. I’ll send Maverick up for her clothing.” Then he glanced at Angelina. “Do you want to leave with him, Angelina? I’ll be more than happy to provide a ride home for you. I can arrange for one of my men to take your car home.”

  “She’s leaving with me,” Micah growled. “Now, if we can dispense with the chitchat, I’d like us to be on our way.”

  Damon motioned for Maverick to go upstairs to retrieve her clothes, and then he reached for Angelina’s hand.

  “You can change in there,” he said, pointing to one of the rooms a few feet away.

  She looked expectantly toward Micah and then dropped her gaze pointedly to his hand on her arm. Grudgingly he let it fall away.

  As Damon opened the door, Maverick appeared holding Angelina’s clothes. Clutching the sheet tightly around her with one hand, she took the jeans, shirt and shoes and disappeared into the room.

  Damon immediately rounded on Micah. “I don’t care what your problems are in the future, don’t ever let something like this happen again.”

  Micah ground his lips together and tried to hold his temper in check.

  “I’m going to assume you had no idea who Angelina was when you gave her membership.”

  Damon’s eyebrow went up. “There are a few things you need to remember, Micah. This is my club. You don’t vet my members. You don’t make the decisions. And you sure as hell don’t take advantage of your membership here. Angelina is an adult. She was reviewed just like any other person applying for membership here.”

  “Did. You. Know. Who. She. Was?”

  Damon sighed. “Of course not, Micah. How the hell would I? You’ve only told me cursory details of your friendship with David and the unique relationship you and David both shared with Hannah. I’m not even sure you ever told me what David’s last name was, so how on earth would I associate a beautiful young woman named Angelina Moyano with your past?”

  Micah sighed. “You’re right. I’m sorry, man.”

  He dragged a hand through his hair and shook his head in disbelief. He was still reeling from the shock of the whole fucking night.

  Damon looked skeptically at him. “Can I trust you to see her home or do I need to take care of it?”

  Micah scowled. “When the hell have I ever been a threat to a woman? She’s coming with me because she and I have a hell of a lot to discuss. Namely what she’s doing here in Houston, why she didn’t come to me before now, and what the fuck she’s doing here allowing men to see her naked, to touch her and mark her.”

  He shook his head again, too furious to continue.

  “Goddamn it, Damon. I was the one who flogged her. I lusted over her from the time I walked into that room. I kissed her, I touched her and then I marked her. I asked her to come home with me because I wanted to fuck her. And then the damn mask came off and I’m staring at David’s kid sister. David would roll over in his grave if he had any idea what I did.”

  Damon’s mouth twisted in sympathy. “Try to remember she’s not the teenager you have set in your mind. She’s a woman now. A stunning woman who’s obviously in charge of her sexuality.”

  Micah made a strangled sound that got stuck in his throat. It was all he could do not to childishly cover his ears and eyes.

  “Fuck me.”

  Damon laughed then clapped a hand on Micah’s shoulder.

  The door opened and Angelina stepped into the hallway, her eyes hooded and wary as she stared back at Micah. As beautiful as she was naked, she looked just as gorgeous fully clothed. Her jeans rode low on her hips, hugging every curve all the way down. She wore a simple sleeveless tank that showed a hint of the outline of her nipples and fit her slim waist like a glove.

  “So where are you taking me?” she asked.

  The question was asked innocently enough, but there was still enough reserve in her expression that he knew she was uneasy.

  He worked to remove his scowl, but he finally gave up. She needed to know just how stupid she’d been for coming in here, and he wasn’t in the mood to soothe any feathers he may have ruffled.

  He grabbed her hand, irritated with the way her slight fingers curled trustingly around his.

  “Where I’m taking you is home. My place. You and I are going to have a long talk.”


  A ngelina glanced over at Micah as he roared into the parking lot of his apartment complex. Of course it wouldn’t have occurred to him to take her to where she was staying. He wanted to bawl her out on his turf.

  She had to suppress a smile as he turned to her, his scowl still in place. It wasn’t as if she hadn’t expected stiff resistance. He was Micah after all, and it would take more than one night to make him see her as anything other than David’s little sister.

  “Inside,” he directed as he opened his door.

  Angelina reached for the handle and hopped out of his truck before he could come around to collect her. She met his gaze evenly, and his scowl deepened as he clasped her elbow and guided her toward the building.

  At the door, he fumbled with the keys, shoved it open and herded her inside. He flipped the lights on, and she blinked as she glanced around.

  The place looked so sterile and uninviting, as if no one really lived here. It reminded her of her own hotel room, where she lived out of a suitcase and never made herself at home.

  It wasn’t the Micah she was used to. She’d spent a lot of happy hours at his, David’s and Hannah’s house. But then Hannah had made it that way.

  Her mouth drooped, and she wiped at it in an attempt to remove the unhappiness that arose when she thought of David and Hannah.

  Micah dropped his keys on the coffee table then spun her around to meet his gaze.

  “Now suppose you tell me what the fuck is going on here, Angel.”

  She smiled at his use of the nickname he’d given her. Butterflies danced in her stomach until she was left with a queasy sensation. How much to tell him? What was she supposed to say?

  I’m running, Micah. To you. I need you. I love you. I’m scared. I love you. I want you to love me too.

  None of it seemed like a good idea. She sounded desperate and not in control, and the last thing she wanted to do was face Micah with any disadvantage.

  “Why are you so angry?” she asked in an effort to diffuse some of the explosive tension.

  His jaw twitched suspiciously. “Okay, let me start with the basics here.” He dropped his hand from her elbow and began counting off on his fingers. “One, what the hell were you doing in The House? Two, why didn’t you immediately divulge your identity when I walked up? Three, what are you doing in Houston? Four, why didn’t you tell me you were in town? Five, the coincidence of you showing up at the same club I frequent is staggering. I don’t believe for a moment you didn’t know you’d see me which brings me back to number one.”

  “Wow. Just wow, Micah.”

  She trembled with anger. Her fingers curled into fists at her sides as hurt and an old sense of betrayal washed through her all over again.

  No longer able to keep eye contact with him, she turned sharply, her
chest heaving. It was more difficult than she’d thought. She wanted to lash out at him, ask him why he’d left her.

  He turned her around again, cupped her chin in his hand and forced her to look at him. “This can’t come as a surprise to you, Angel. How did you think I’d react? Don’t look at me with those hurt eyes and play the victim here.”

  She tried to step away, but he held her firm.

  “Tell me something, Micah. If the mask had stayed on, would you have taken me home and had sex with me?” she taunted. “You wanted me. You can’t deny it.”

  His eyes blazed with a mixture of heat and anger, as though he remembered all too well his reaction.

  They were interrupted by a knock on the door. Micah scowled and then shot her a warning stare. “Don’t move.”

  She shrugged and watched him walk away. A sigh escaped, and her shoulders slumped downward. Damn it, none of this had gone the way she’d planned. She hadn’t intended him to find out her identity the way he had. Maybe the entire idea had been stupid, but she’d wanted to make him see the woman she was before she revealed her identity.

  A moment later, he returned, her keys jingling in his hand. He slapped them down on the coffee table next to his.

  “Damon had your car brought here.”

  She nodded.

  He stared at her for a long moment, and then he closed the distance between them, this time turning her away from him. His fingers trailed over her back and pulled at her shirt.

  “Are you all right?” he asked quietly. “Did I hurt you badly?”

  She sucked in her breath when his palm met her bare flesh and soothed over the welts that still heated her back.

  “No, you didn’t hurt me,” she said huskily.

  His hand stilled on her back, and he hastily arranged her shirt. There was too much tension emanating from him. It was thick and unwieldy between them.

  She turned and without giving him any warning pushed into his arms, hugging him tight. He tensed even more but didn’t push her away.

  “I missed you so much,” she choked out.