Black Jack (Elite Ops 4)

Page 29

Stepping into the large cubicle, she quickly showered as she considered her options. It was a very short list. Looked like Travis was her only choice.
Dressing quickly in a pair of cream-colored silk slacks and matching top, she pushed her feet into stylish sandals and put the articles she needed from her bureau into a tan leather purse. Slipping downstairs quickly, she headed to the narrow hall at the back of the house and into the garage.
The electric-red Jaguar rented for her use was parked in its bay, the keys hanging in the ignition.
Sliding into the driver’s seat, she hit the automatic garage door opener, waited for it to slide open, then started the car and pulled out.
Her mother would go ballistic. No doubt Desmond had someone following her. The fact that he did so bothered her. There was something different about the way she felt about him now versus her feelings for him in the past.
He had been her beloved uncle. He had spoiled her all her life, but there was a distrust now that she couldn’t seem to shake.
Actually, she seemed to distrust most people now.
She drove to the house Travis had taken her to the night before.
She was hurting. She felt as though her insides were being shredded by that report. As though her soul were cringing in shame.
He was the last person she should run to . . .
But she needed the sense of security she had felt in his arms the night before. She needed the mindless pleasure, a few stolen moments to forget that whatever or whoever she had been for six years, that others had seen her as a whore.
Clenching her teeth, she turned into the driveway and pulled the car to a stop. As she turned off the ignition, she wasn’t surprised to see Nik as he opened the front door and stepped onto the wide stone porch.
Long white-blond hair was pulled back from his imposing features. Icy blue eyes stared at her as a small smile tipped his lips. He just didn’t seem to be a man she would sleep with.
Familiarity gleamed in his eyes, though, as well as in
his expression.
Tightening her fingers around her purse, she moved up the short walk to the house and stepped onto the porch.
“Is he here?” she asked, her brow arching inquisitively.
“He’s been waiting for you for several hours.” Nik nodded. “I’m surprised you escaped your uncle so easily, though.”
Lilly shrugged at the comment. “I didn’t try to escape, I merely walked out.”
And strangely, no one had seemed to notice. That was odd in and of itself. Since her return, her mother had been waiting for her each morning when she came from her room. Some mornings, she’d actually brought her breakfast in bed. This morning, though, the house had seemed deserted.
“Come on in, Lilly.” Nik stepped back, his large, muscular body shifting with animal-like grace as she stepped past him.
The front room he led her through was the modern, upscale room she had met Desmond in the night before. Beyond that was another living room, just as cold and uninviting. The short hall was warmer, with honey-toned wood floors and tall windows on one end. Turning into another room, Lilly was pleased to see the décor change. This was an area she hadn’t seen the night before.
This room was carpeted in a rich dark honey brown, the walls were a soft pale green, the cherry furniture was polished to a warm hue with large cushiony chairs, a sofa and a couch, arranged beneath a skylight.
“Nice,” she commented when Travis rose from the couch to greet her.
He was dressed in jeans and a loose white shirt. His feet were bare, his demeanor relaxed though he seemed tired. He seemed more approachable than he had the night before, and he had been very damned approachable then.
She tossed her purse on a table as she passed by it, strode across the room, and, much to her own surprise, moved to him, lifted herself against him, and sealed her lips to his.
It was like a narcotic she had to have.
Immediately his arms went around her, his head tilting, his lips slanting over hers, as sensual, sexual need began to consume her.
She could stop, she assured herself though a part of her knew better. He truly wasn’t vital to her. But she didn’t want to stop. She was suddenly starved for the taste of him, the touch of him. She didn’t feel as though a part of her had been ripped from her very being when she was in his arms. She somehow felt complete, which made very little sense if even half the report she had read the night before was correct.
At that moment the report was the farthest thing from her mind. This wasn’t a business deal. His kiss, his touch, had nothing to do with money, or selling any part of herself. It had to do with a need she didn’t want to reject, didn’t want to turn away from.