Still struggling with amnesia, Ella questions everything she’s known about Kayden Wilkens—the alluring stranger who claims to have found her unconscious in an alleyway a month earlier. But was he truly a stranger—or did Kayden know her before his supposed rescue? Tormented by the potential betrayal he denies, with fleeting memories of a bombshell in her recent past, Ella must face a hard reality. Every action has consequences . . . and trusting Kayden, the one thing she most desires, might result in the direst consequences of all.
Crossing behind the couch toward the kitchen, I find myself remembering those naked, intimate moments with Kayden only a short time ago. The passion. The trust I’d felt for him. And then his words: “We both want more. Until we don’t.” The words send a surge of adrenaline and nerves through my body.
The scent of freshly brewed coffee teases my nostrils as I reach the kitchen, where I immediately find Kayden standing behind the island. But it’s not him that makes my heart lurch, as usual. It’s my gun that’s lying on the counter between us.
And when I should perhaps step backward I find myself charging forward to claim the other side of the counter.
“What is that for?”
“You thought you needed it earlier,” he says. “I want you to have it now.”
My fingers curl on the tiled counter. “Do I need it?”
“That’s for you to decide.”
“That isn’t the answer I want.”
His jaw sets hard. “If you’re expecting an answer you’ll want, you’d better pick up that gun.”
We stare at each other, a push and pull between us that has nothing to do with fear or intimidation, and everything to do with a bond we both know is being tested. “I know what you’re doing.”
“What am I doing?”
“The same thing you did outside that church, when you helped me hold the gun to your chest.”
“Which is what?”
“Offering me the façade of control.”
“You holding a loaded gun on me in no way equals a façade.”
“I know you now,” I counter. “You don’t give up control, even when you say you are.”
He rests his hands on the counter, one turned just enough for me to catch a glimpse of the hawk inked on his wrist, its wings spread, the mark of a man whose rules of many must dictate his actions. “There are two sides to this coin,” he says, his words drawing my attention, his pale blue eyes piercing mine. “The me with you, and the me with everyone else.”
“We barely knew each other at the church.”
“I’d already decided you were mine. You just didn’t know it yet.”
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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland, Austin Powers, Must Love Dogs) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today lists. Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann. Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine. Lisa loves to hear from her readers.