Sweet temptation, p.6
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       Sweet Temptation, p.6
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         Part #4 of Sweet series by Maya Banks
Page 6

  Christ but he was going to need to pour bleach in his eyes to rid himself of that image.

  “I’ve seen you twice in the last twenty-four hours and each time you seem determined to relocate me. Why is that, Micah?”

  He snorted. “That’s a dumb-ass question. I find you in a place devoted to public sex acts. Like I’m not going to have anything to say about that? And now you’re in some seedy-ass motel. You’ll be lucky if you aren’t raped or killed or both in this joint. ”

  “I see. And what is your proposed solution, send me back to Miami?”

  That thought had occurred to him, and he would have certainly suggested it already if he knew why she was here in the first place.

  “Why are you here?” he asked as he sat down on the bed.

  She lifted one shoulder and glanced away, her eyes flickering with emotion. “There’s nothing left for me in Miami. I thought Houston would make a nice change. I don’t know anyone anywhere else. It seemed logical enough to come here. ”

  Where he was.

  Though it was left unsaid, it was certainly implied.

  “Are you in some kind of trouble, Angel girl?” he asked gently.

  She gave him a startled look. “Why would you ask that?”

  “Seems like a logical question given your sudden appearance and your reluctance to return to Miami. ”

  She looked pointedly at him. “You never went back. ”

  He ignored that statement. It made it seem too much like he’d been running from his past. Hadn’t he been, though?

  “You can stay with me until you find a decent place. ”

  He nearly groaned when he realized what he’d said. So there wasn’t another alternative, none that would assure him of her well-being anyway, but the idea that she’d be under his roof, sharing his space, and be a constant reminder of last night . . . He was fucked.

  She frowned slightly as she studied him. “You seem less than thrilled at the idea of having me in your place. ”

  “Of course you’re going to stay with me. It’s not like we haven’t lived together before,” he said with a half smile.

  Angelina had lived with him, David and Hannah for nearly a year until she graduated high school. Truth was he hadn’t seen much of her during that year, or maybe he just hadn’t been paying attention. She and Hannah had been close, and David had been extremely protective of her. With that many guardians, she sure hadn’t needed him to sign on for the job.

  You didn’t see her.

  Damon’s words floated back to him. No, he hadn’t seen her then, but he sure as hell wasn’t suffering that problem now.

  She stared at him mockingly. “Do you really think me staying with you is such a good idea when I have no intention of keeping my hands to myself?”

  He did a double take, sure he hadn’t heard her correctly. She looked cool as a cucumber, her stance relaxed and a mischievous twinkle in her eyes that warmed him to the bone.

  Hell, what could he say to that?

  Deciding to go with option B, which was to ignore—he loved option B—he finished zipping up her suitcase then turned back to her as if she’d never said a word about her hands—or not keeping them to herself.

  “Is this everything?”

  She nodded.

  “Then let’s get the hell out of here. I need a drink. ”

  Or maybe the whole damn bar.

  CHAPTER 7

  Angelina was glad to see the last of her hotel. The idea of staying with Micah comforted her way more than she would have liked to admit, but the truth was he made her feel safe. He’d always made her feel safe.

  Plus she intended to see him often, and if she was staying with him, she wasn’t exactly going to have to work hard at that goal any longer.

  Now she wouldn’t worry about her paranoia about being followed from Miami. She’d no longer be alone.

  She leaned back against the couch in Micah’s living room and let out a small sigh of contentment.

  Micah eyed her from his perch in the recliner as he pointed the remote at the TV and changed the channel for the thirtieth time in the last half hour.

  “What are you looking so happy for?”

  She raised an eyebrow in his direction. “Suspicious much? I was just thinking that it’s nice not to be alone. ”

  For a moment it looked like he was going to say something, but then his lips closed into a firm line. Finally he lowered the remote and turned his head in her direction.

  “You aren’t alone, Angel,” he said gruffly. “We’ll work it out for you here. You can stay with me until you’re on your feet and then we can find you a good place to live. Have you thought about what you’re going to do yet?”

  “Oh, I’ve got a job already,” she said cheerfully.

  “You do?”

  She would have thought he’d look more enthused, given that she was going to be living in his apartment. He looked warily at her as he waited for her to expound.

  “I picked up a waitressing job that was within walking distance of the hotel. Of course now I’ll have to drive. ”

  Micah was shaking his head before she ever finished.

  “No. Not no, but hell no. ”

  “Excuse me?”

  “You heard me. You aren’t working in that neighborhood. Christ, Angel, use your head. A gorgeous young girl walking to work in that area? I don’t even want you driving. You’re just asking for trouble. ”

  She smiled. “Am I?”

  He looked thoroughly confused. “Are you what?”

  “Gorgeous. ”

  Micah swore and closed his eyes.

  “Why do you fight your attraction to me so hard?”

  “I am not attracted to you,” he muttered.

  “Liar,” she mocked. “You may not want to want me. But you do. ”

  “Why are you doing this?” he demanded.

  “Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answer to, Micah. ”

  He opened his mouth then snapped it shut again. He looked frustrated enough to strangle her.

  “You’re right. This isn’t something we should be discussing. ”

  “Oh, but I’d love to discuss it,” she persisted. “Even better, I’d love to dispense with conversation altogether and let our bodies do the talking. ”

  “You’re incorrigible. ” Disbelief shadowed his voice, and he looked almost bewildered.

  She smiled. “Don’t forget it. ”

  “You sidetracked me on purpose,” he accused.

  She gave him an innocent look.

  “I don’t want you taking that job, Angel. You could find another one close by here. Even if it took you a few weeks. You know I’ll help you. ”

  “I have no doubt you would,” she said calmly. “I can find a job here if it’ll make you feel better. ”

  Relief shone stark on his face. He really had been worried.

  “I’ll start looking tomorrow while you’re at work. ”

  He looked disgruntled for a moment, and she laughed.

  “Tell me you didn’t think you were going to babysit me twenty-four seven. ”

  He glared at her and turned back to the TV.

  “I think I’ll go to bed,” she said as she stood.

  She stretched lazily, forcing Micah’s attention back to her. His gaze was warm on her skin. She walked over to the recliner, and before he could react, she slid onto his lap, dangling her legs over the side of the chair. She wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled him forward to meet her lips.

  He was as stiff and unyielding as cement. Her tongue flitted out to playfully lave over his closed lips. The nearly violent thud of his pulse signaled that he was definitely not immune to her.

  “Kiss me,” she whispered. “Forget everything but the fact that there’s you and me. Kiss me. ”

  With a tortured groan, he gave in, opening his mouth to take control of the kiss. She melted against him with a deep sigh. Their tongues met in a heated r
ush. Like chocolate melting in the sunshine. Sweet. Strong. A little wild.

  Her fingers rolled and twisted the hair at his nape while his hands rested at the small of her back, his arms across the tops of her thighs.

  She wanted them to move. Wanted him to touch her, to take an active part beyond returning her kiss. But she knew he wouldn’t, just as she knew the instant that the moment was over.

  He yanked away, his breath coming in a ragged gasp. His eyes were wild-looking, the pupils dilated, making his brown eyes appear black.

  “No. No,” he ground out. “We can’t do this, Angel. ”

  Silently, she slid from his lap, gaining her footing with trembling legs. She wouldn’t look at him, refused to acknowledge the regret she knew she’d see in his eyes.

  Never once looking back, she walked stiffly toward her bedroom, her hands fisted at her sides.

  “Angel,” he said in a hoarse, needy voice.

  She froze and waited, but he didn’t call her back. Her shoulders slowly drooping downward, she continued her path to the bedroom. When she was inside, she quietly closed the door behind her.

  With a dry laugh, she dropped onto the bed. She was probably the first woman Micah had ever said no to. He was a complete and utter pushover when it came to females. He loved them, protected them and didn’t care who knew it.

  So why couldn’t he see her? Why couldn’t he love her, desire her, get past the fact that she was David’s sister?

  What she needed was a sledgehammer and then she could beat some sense into his thick head.

  There were different kinds of sledgehammers, and she’d have to make do with the metaphorical kind. Micah might not see her, might not want to see her, but he wasn’t blind nor was he immune to her as a woman.

  She had an edge over most females because she knew what made him tick. Now she just had to use that knowledge to her advantage.

  CHAPTER 8

  “So what bug’s been up your ass lately, Hudson?” Gray Montgomery asked.

  Micah scowled as he handed the menu back to the waitress. He and the other guys from work, Gray Montgomery, Nathan Tucker and Connor Malone, were at their regular lunch haunt, Cattleman’s, only they weren’t usually discussing one another’s personal business.

  “You have been unusually cranky. Not get laid lately?” Connor drawled.

  At that Nathan scowled, since he was still a little touchy about the fact that his current girlfriend was the last woman Micah would have been with.

  “The world doesn’t revolve around when I got laid last,” Micah said dryly.

  Gray blinked. “It doesn’t? I thought that was the standard male milestone for keeping time. ”

  Nathan laughed. “It is, or at least it’s what the women would have you believe. ”

  “I told Faith I had a headache last night,” Gray said with a straight face. “There’s only so much I can take. She’s an animal!”

  Micah hooted with laughter, relaxing now that the focus was momentarily off him.

  Connor groaned and covered his ears. “Not cool, man. Not cool at all. I don’t need that kind of information about my sister. ”

  “Your sister’s hot,” Micah pointed out.

  Nathan grimaced. “I’m going to have to go with Connor on this one. I see Faith too much as a little sister to want to imagine her as an animal in bed. ”

  Gray snorted. “It wouldn’t matter anyway because if you so much as breathed wrong at another woman, Julie would have your nuts. ”

  Everyone laughed as Nathan turned a dull red.

  “The man is completely whipped,” Connor snickered.

  Nathan smiled. “I don’t have any problem admitting she’s got me completely wrapped around her finger. ”

  “There are worse things than having the love of a good woman,” Micah said sincerely, while Gray and Nathan both nodded in agreement.

  Connor just studied him curiously. “So is that what has you in a tailspin? A woman?”

  Micah let out a grunt. “In a manner of speaking, though it’s not what you dickheads are thinking. ”

  “Ahh,” Gray said.

  Micah flipped him the bird. “The sister of an old friend of mine is in town, and I’ve got my hands full trying to keep her out of trouble. ”

  Gray frowned. “Trouble? What kind of trouble?”

  Trust Gray’s cop instincts to get all riled.

  “She’s a good girl,” Micah said with a note of defensiveness even he could hear. “And that’s the problem. She’s a good girl with no idea of what can happen to a good girl in a big, strange city. ”

  Connor scowled. “Then why the hell is she here and where is her brother?”

  “David died a few years ago,” Micah said quietly.

  Even now, after so long, it hurt to say out loud that David was gone.

  “He was the only family Angelina had. ”

  “So you feel obligated to look after her,” Connor said.

  The others nodded in understanding.

  “Well, yeah,” Micah said.

  Nathan raised an eyebrow. “Not going well?”

  “It’s going just fine. Or it will be as soon as we get a few rules straight. ”

 
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