Capture Me Slowly(5)By: Joya Ryan
“And you think Megan and Preston are hiding in my room?” He bent and picked up the hairpin. “Can you honestly even open a magnetic lock with this?”
I shrugged and mumbled, “With the right electrical current maybe . . .”
I had been desperate to get in. To get near him. Part of me was running from Mase, but a bigger part was running toward Rhys. Now that Rhys was there, I felt like a moron. And if I were being honest, a lot safer.
He raised an eyebrow, those smoky gray eyes eating me up and calling my bluff before his words did.
“Megan and Preston are gone for another couple weeks. You know that as well as I do.”
“I forgot.” Again with the quick lie.
He crossed his arms over his chest. His massive chest. His hard-as-freaking-stone-former-Marine-I-could-kill-you-with-my-pinkies chest. Everything about his presence was calm and commanding. Used to giving orders and having them followed. And he looked sexy as hell with all that alpha ego dripping off of him.
I ran a hand over my mouth. Damn it. Every time I got near Rhys I developed a throat problem and couldn’t swallow right. Which resulted in drooling. Which wasn’t helping my case at the moment.
“Really?” he said with a half smile, half frown. No clue how he pulled that off, but he looked equal parts intrigued and angry. “That’s what you’re sticking with? Not going to fess up that I caught you trying to break into my hotel room?”
He held up the hairpin and I pressed my lips together. What was I supposed to say? Damn me for not being prepared. Running scared like a fool with no plan and acting on impulse got you hurt, or killed. I knew better. But when I was running, the only thing I could think of was finding the one place I wanted to be. And that was with Rhys.
“What’s going on, Emma?” His tone was a little softer and he took a step toward me.
Something in my eyes kind of hurt and felt a bit more moister than usual. Shit, all these feelings and lack of sleep probably made me look like a sad sack.
Something Rhys was obviously picking up on, because he softened even more and asked, “Are you in some kind of trouble?”
My automatic self-defense mode kicked in and I found my voice. “What? Why would you think that?”
“Because I caught you. Trying to break in. To my hotel room.”
The way he stated the obvious — something I had yet to acknowledge myself — for the second time in two minutes made me realize that I must really be sounding crazy. But I couldn’t tell him the truth. That I was desperate for a night to hide away, to explore that charm and intensity I had gotten a glimpse of all those weeks ago.
That wasn’t really an option at the moment. Yes, I came here to see him, but I couldn’t really admit that now. And I definitely couldn’t tell him the whole truth, not without putting him in danger too.
“Did you come here to see me — ”
“You wish,” I said, cutting him off, feeling like my pride was suddenly in jeopardy.
“I was going to say, did you come here to see me so I could help you with something? But now that you mention it,” he stepped closer, “yes, I do wish. Every damn day since you stood me up.”
The way his rough voice rolled over every vowel with the slightest east coast drawl made me want to catch every word with my teeth and swallow them down . . . preferably while his lips were against mine.
Casual, Wade. Keep it casual.
“I had stuff to do,” I offered before I lost the ability to speak. Rhys was the only man who’d ever made me feel so . . . uneasy. Scratch that. He was the only man who made me feel uneasy without inspiring fear. He was hard, strong; just the size of him could be off-putting, but instead of being nervous, I was anxious. Anxious to know what it felt like to have that kind of strength, that ability to be effortlessly intimidating.