Capture Me Slowly(4)

By: Joya Ryan

Megan’s new husband, Preston Strauss, owned the posh hotel. They were still on their honeymoon, but I knew a man who was staying there: Rhys Striker.

At least, I hoped he was still there. It had been a couple weeks since I had seen him at Megan and Preston’s wedding. And even a few more weeks since I had first met him at a gala thrown by his company. The event itself wouldn’t have been that memorable except for Rhys. Tall, muscled and draped in a tux, he walked in with these searing gray eyes that did weird things to my breathing whenever he zeroed them in on me.

Then there was the kiss.

This one, amazing, panty-melting-kiss.

Which shouldn’t be going through my mind at the moment, but it was. Maybe if I had taken Rhys up on his offer, things would be different today. Maybe not. But he had been a gentleman, asked to see me again, and I’d done the only thing a girl in my situation could do. I stood him up. Which I had immediately regretted.

Coming to the front doors of the hotel, I looked around quickly. No sign of Mase. Thank God for New York crowds. Between a busy street full of pedestrians and my short height, I was pretty sure I’d lost him.

Smoothing my hair and shirt, I got myself together and walked into the elegant lobby. I made my way to the elevator and went straight up to Rhys’s floor. Rhys had told me at the wedding that he was staying in the executive suite. Truth be told, this wasn’t the first time I had shown up at this very door, but it was the first time I knocked.

No answer.


Mentally going through the rest of my options, and coming up with zero, I looked around quickly. No maid service, no people nearby . . .

I ran my fingers along the underside of the lock until I felt the tiny port hole that gave me hope. I had broken locks like this a dozen times as a teen.

Kneeling down and fishing through my bag, I grabbed a hairpin and pushed it into the port. Breaking and entering was something I hadn’t had to do in years, so my hands felt clumsy and awkward. Good and bad came with magnetic locks, and success always came down to the right tools.

“What the hell are you doing?” A gruff voice rang out and I shot to my feet, the pin falling from the lock.

My blood pressure instantly sped up. Which was stupid. We had had a moment. Not even sex. It was a damn kiss and even though I offered more, he turned me down, insisting on taking me out to dinner first. To which I didn’t show up. And that was weeks ago. But there, standing in jeans, a black tee and leather jacket, the man looked like the badass I was searching for.

“Hi, Rhys.”

“What are you doing here?”

Trying to keep casual, though my body was humming with leftover adrenaline from outrunning Mase and now with a new surge from seeing Rhys and all his yummy form, I shrugged. “Was hungry, thinking about grabbing dinner.”

“Dinner?” He pulled the cuff of his jacket back enough to glance at his watch. “You’re well over a month late for our date.”

“I like to be fashionably late.” I glanced around him, making sure no one else was coming, like Mase for instance. But we were still alone. Completely alone. A realization that made my heart rate pick back up.

He stood there, obviously not amused. “Or maybe you decided that breaking into my hotel room was more fun than going out?”

“Oh, ah, I was just checking things out.” I kicked the hairpin on the floor away, which he saw me do, but whatever. I lied, I never said I was good at it. “I was just popping by to check if Megan and Preston were back yet. You know, to see if they wanted to catch up.”

Again, not good at lying, but there was little else I could do. I hadn’t thought about the next step after getting into his hotel room. I had been too focused on getting to Rhys and getting away from Mase that I didn’t think through the details of actually talking to him or explaining myself.

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