Sweet temptation, p.3
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       Sweet Temptation, p.3
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         Part #4 of Sweet series by Maya Banks
Page 3

 

  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. ”

  CHAPTER 3

  Angelina 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 be
tween 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.

  “Hell,” he muttered as he wrapped his arms around her.

  “Why did you leave?”

  It burst from her before she could call it back. She rested her forehead on his shoulder thinking how badly she’d screwed up this entire reunion.

  He grasped her shoulders and gently pulled her away from him. “Listen to me, honey. You and I have a hell of a lot to discuss. I want you to sit down and talk to me, okay?”

  She allowed him to guide her down onto the couch.

  “Are you hungry? Thirsty?”

  She shook her head.

  He retreated to an armchair diagonal to the couch and sank down with a heavy sigh. His unruly hair dangled below his ears, and he dragged a hand through the slight curls until it pulled them away from his face. The diamond in his left ear glinted in the light, an earring she’d given him for Christmas. Would he even remember that fact?

  “I couldn’t stay, Angel. You of all people should know that. ”

  “No, I don’t know that. Or maybe I do and I’m still angry,” she admitted. “I had no one, Micah. You, David and Hannah were my only family. They died and you left. Can you even try to understand how that made me feel? I was alone, scared to death, and my world had been turned upside down. ”

  “You had the force,” Micah said gruffly. “They never turned their back on family. They would have done anything you needed. ”

  Anger heated her veins, and her pulse thrummed fiercely. “Would they? They all thought David betrayed you, that he was leaving with your wife when they had their accident. They weren’t lining up to offer me anything. To them I was the sister of the cop who betrayed another cop, and I couldn’t tell them any different. I couldn’t tell them the truth about what Hannah was to both of you because then I would have been betraying you. ”

  He stared at her, his eyes raw with regret. “God, Angel, I’m sorry. I won’t lie. I wasn’t even thinking about you or how it must have looked when David and Hannah died together. I just had to go or go crazy. I couldn’t stay there after losing them both. I never thought . . . ”

  He closed his eyes. “I never meant to hurt you, Angel. You’re David’s sister. I should have taken care of you, protected you. How did you—?” His voice cracked. “How did you make it? What did you do?”

  She blew out her breath. “I didn’t intend to make this a guilt fest, Micah. What’s done is done. I survived. I was angry and hurt, maybe more than I thought. Seeing you again brought it all back. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have blurted it out like that. ”

  She stood, rubbing her hands down her pant legs. “I should go. It’s late. ”

  He rose abruptly, his eyes flashing ominously. “We aren’t finished, Angel. Not by a long shot. You still haven’t told me what you’re doing here, why you were at The House, and what the hell you were doing naked in front of all those damn people. ”

  She smiled faintly as she watched the tension creep back into his face. Despite the fact that he’d abdicated any responsibility toward her, he seemed suddenly gripped by the urge to protect her from all the big bad wolves out there. Only he was the biggest, baddest wolf, and she didn’t want to be protected from him.

  “I think it’s best if we don’t discuss that,” she said in an even tone.

  His mouth gaped open and then his lips snapped together in anger. “You don’t get to decide what we do and don’t discuss. You’re not going anywhere until you give me some answers, baby doll. ”

  It made her positively quivery when he got authoritative. She’d always loved that about him, his alpha take-charge attitude. She craved him and that power, had been drawn to it since before she understood what exactly it was that attracted her to him.

  Part of her wanted to acquiesce, to offer her submission and give herself over to his keeping, only she knew better than to think it was what he wanted from her. Oh, she knew he wanted her obedience, but he wanted the obedience of a child, not of the woman she was. He was bent on seeing her as the teenage sister of his best friend—a friend he’d shared the woman he’d married with.

  “I’m well aware that you’re a man used to getting your way. But this time, I’m afraid you’re destined for disappointment. You wouldn’t like my answer anyway, so it’s better to end tonight on a more positive note. ”

  He stared at her in utter disbelief. When she started to move toward the door, he stepped in front of her, his eyes narrowed to slits.

  “Oh hell no, Angel girl. That isn’t the way things are going to work. You have a hell of a lot to answer for. ”

  “I don’t answer to you, Micah,” she said evenly. “You don’t want anything from me. You’re not ready to offer me anything. When that changes, we’ll talk. ”

  She glimpsed his astonishment as she scooped up her keys and headed for the door.

 
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