Authors: Aliyah Burke
She jumped when the door slammed open. Whirling to see what had happened, her heart thundered even harder when her gaze landed upon Wild. He leaned against the doorframe and stared at her. She couldn’t read his expression, the man could have been carved out of marble for all the emotion she got from him.
Part of her longed to run to him and check for herself she truly faced him and he was all right. That he wasn’t a cruel trick her imagination had decided to play on her.
It’s no illusion.
His black shirt molded to his chiseled torso and his jeans hung about lean hips. That light stubble on his face drew her eyes more than once as did the bow-shaped lips she knew were heaven to kiss.
“Hello, Wild,” she said.
Good for me. Act professional. Even if he did barge into a room which is supposed to have been mine, at least for the duration.
His eyes, those beautiful Mediterranean blue eyes, watched her with smoldering embers in them. The hooded look was like he reached out and touched her. Ran his tongue along her naked body and was about to deliver her to the bliss she found in his arms.
“You didn’t come to the hospital.”
“That’s not true.”
He lifted a brow and pushed away from the doorframe and moved toward her. Move? Prowled. Stalked. All she could see was a jaguar male in his prime claiming what he wanted. And from the way he watched her, she was his prize.
“I went. Once, I just couldn’t bring myself to go inside.” Lord, he was big. And not moving like a man who had a life-threatening injury in recent history.
“So you didn’t come see me.”
“No, but I did go to the hospital.” She licked her lips, ignoring the thrill of pleasure which zipped through her when he honed in on the action.
“You weren’t there when I woke. Nor after.”
He circled her, not touching her once and her entire body gravitated toward him, she couldn’t help it.
“Your family was there.”
If my heart pounds any harder it’s going to punch through my ribs and fall to the floor at his feet.
“I was working.” Okay, that sounded lame to even her ears.
“Yes, you’re driving me home.”
She shook her head, unsure she had actually followed the conversation correctly. “I’m sorry, I’m doing what?”
“Taking me home.”
“Why exactly am I doing that?”
His gaze speared her to the floor. “Because when you do I’m going to touch you. And once I start, I’m not going to stop. It can happen here if you want, either way works for me. But if you don’t want my family hearing you scream my name as I fuck you until you can’t walk, then you’ll drive me home. I don’t have much more control to not touch you, Alyse. Here or there. Your decision.”
She gulped. She’d asked and he’d answered. It didn’t help that she grew wet and needy at his explanation. “There,” she muttered.
“Get your things. You won’t need to stay here anymore.” He leaned close and his breath fanned along the side of her neck. “Although I’m pleased Mom put you in my room. I love you in my bed.”
She strode to the door, grabbing her bag and jacket on the way. In the living room stood the rest of the Wilder clan. Seated and standing in various places about the room. The one thing in common was the amused look on their faces.
Wild didn’t slow, he shot her a look and strode to the door.
“I guess I’m taking him—”
“They know, Alyse. Just like they know you’re off the clock for the next week.”
She offered a small smile and went after him. Outside she watched him make his way to her vehicle, which she unlocked and started before they got there. Once they were inside, she slanted her eyes to him. “You know I’ll never be able to look at them in the face again.”
She did and he gave her directions to his house. Although the when and where to turn completed the words between them on the drive, she felt his gaze on her the entire trip. The closer they got, the deeper his voice grew. She kept her eyes on the road and did her best to remain calm.
“Here,” he rasped. “Turn here.”
Damn! His house was gorgeous. Smoke poured from his chimney as well. Had he been home? Why wasn’t he driving himself then? “Where do you want me to park?”
“Garage.” He held up a device she’d not known he had. One of the doors rose as she approached and she parked next to his Audi.
He was out before she was as the outer door lowered and she followed him inside. Wild grabbed her the moment she was fully in his house, his lips covering hers. She closed her eyes, not willing to fight with him on the not mixing business with pleasure right now. All she knew was she needed him. And from the feel of things, his thoughts ran concurrent to hers. Winding her arms around his neck, she poured every last bit of her feelings into her response.
Wild’s hands shoved off her jacket even as he continued to plunder her mouth. Frantic, she did what she could to assist him along. This night was about them. Ramifications could come later.
Wild stepped from the shower and wrapped the towel he reached for around his waist. He paused for a moment, his thoughts drifting back to their night in Belize and how she had vanished while he showered. Sneaking a look through the door, he smiled when he saw her sprawled out on his king-sized bed.
Alyse lay on her stomach, head partially buried beneath the pillow. One hand under it with her and the other along her side. The cream sheet sat bunched up along the small of her back and her dark skin, a vivid contrast. A stunning contrast.
He toweled off his head and hung it on the rack before he left the steamy room. His woman hadn’t moved. Yes, she was his. After his latest incident he had no intentions of progressing further without her in his life.
Wild rubbed the scar on his chest. Another to add to the numerous ones he already had. Three days had passed since Alyse had driven them here. She’d not been dressed that entire time. He smirked. He liked her naked.
Going to the window, he opened the shades and allowed the muted light to penetrate the room. He heard her shifting behind him and turned to face her. Nope, she still wasn’t awake, she’d just buried her head deeper under the pillow.
He padded from the bedroom down the six stairs to the main floor and to the fireplace. After adding some more wood he ensured the fire wouldn’t get extinguished then continued on to the kitchen where he began breakfast.
His cell vibrated on the counter and as he whisked the eggs he peered at the screen. He used one hand to answer and put it up to his ear.
“Just checking to make sure you haven’t killed our pilot or yourself with all your…erm…activities.”
He smiled in spite of himself. “She’s fine. I’m fine. I’d even let you talk to her but she’s sleeping right now.”
“You sure all is good?”
“Trust me, Army. She’s awesome and therefore so am I.” He rolled his shoulders, pleased when the lingering sting from her nails made its presence known.
“I don’t want to lose her as a pilot, Kristopher.”
The fact his brother used his first name had him realizing how serious this was for him. “I get that, Adam. You need to understand this, however, I have no plans of losing her
His brother’s sigh was easily heard across the line. “Okay. Dinner at mom’s tonight. She won’t take no for an answer. If you don’t come, we won’t be able to hold her away from your house. She needs her family.”
“We’ll be there.” He ended the connection and slid the phone back across the countertop.
With the breakfast he’d made on the tray, Wild walked carefully back through his house to the bedroom. Alyse still slept.
He set the tray down on the nightstand then bent over and placed small kisses along her spine, moving up her back toward her neck.
She stirred and moaned. “Mmm, tell me it’s not morning already.”
He nuzzled her neck and moved the pillow from her head. “Sorry, can’t do that. Come on, I have breakfast for you.”
“Yes. Sustenance. Fresh. Hot. Sit up.”
She yawned and rolled over, drawing the sheet up her chest. He kissed her lips. “I’ve seen all you have to offer, baby, not sure why you feel the need to cover up.”
Alyse shook her head. “To early for your lippiness, Wild. Feed me.”
He gave her the tray and grabbed a pair of sweats for himself then climbed back on the bed to settle beside her.
“This is delicious, thank you.”
He didn’t respond, just stared at her. With one hand, he tucked some hair behind her ear then traced along the shell to her stud earring she wore. Only one piercing in her ears. She always had studs in. Her belly button piercing normally had a dangle. Professional shell, wild woman beneath. Perfect.
“We need to talk, Alyse.”
She cut the pancakes he’d stacked and took a good bite. The fact she had no problem eating in front of him made him happy as well.
That did it. She stilled. Her hands shook slightly as she lowered the utensils back to the plate. He watched her stiffen and when she opened her mouth, he placed his hand over it.
“No, Alyse. You don’t get to say there isn’t an us because you don’t mix business with pleasure. We’ve mixed way beyond that. We can’t stay away from one another. And I for one, have no desire to.” He drew his hand away and leaned over to kiss her. She tasted of Alyse and maple syrup. A taste he much approved of.
“You’re my boss.” She shook her head. “I can’t be in this situation. If things go bad between us, you could just fire me.” Her fingers scrunched the napkin a few times. “I can’t lose this job because of hurt feelings.”
Wild sat forward and took the tray from her. She hadn’t finished but he didn’t care. This was more important to him. Once it had been moved, he lifted her over him. She tucked the sheet beneath her arms and stared at him.
“Listen to me, Alyse. One, I can’t hire and fire anyone on my own. I am partners with my brothers. No one person can make that decision. Not that I would I’m just telling you that to get it out there. Second, and more importantly, why are you thinking things would go bad between us? I’m thinking we need something more permanent.”
Her eyes widened.
“Yes, you heard me right. Alyse, there was a connection between us in Belize. You know it. I know it. Why are you fighting it so hard?”
“This job is important to me, Wild.”
“Am I?” He rested his hands on her hips as he held her gaze. Those amazing green eyes she had, peered through to his soul.
“Yes. You’re very important to me.”
“And that scares you.” He could see that fact.
“Can you tell me why?”
“Other than my brother, his wife and my nephew, no one’s meant anything to me.”
She nodded. “Until you.”
“Why would pursuing what we have, here, now, risk that?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know.”
Her insecurity flared and he slid his hands up her spine, drawing her in closer.
“Let me tell you something, Alyse Lamar. I’ve fallen in love with you. I want you in my life. I want you as my wife. The mother of my children, if we decide to have any.”
“You’ve fallen in love with me?”
“Yes.” He never believed he would have said those words to a woman first. It didn’t matter, for he felt how he did. “I know you love me. Look at how hard we fought to stay away from one another, Alyse. It killed me every time I saw you go off with one of my brothers. I want you to fly me, not them. To be there for me when I come back. I want to be there for you when you come back.”
“You’re my boss.”
“So, I’ll give up my part of the company and just be an employee like you.”
“This is your family’s business.”
“You mean more to me,” he said honestly.
She was silent for a moment, her lips pursed, head angled to one side. “No, you can’t give it up for me.”
He arched a brow. “I can’t?”
A sexy smile teased her lips. “Give me some time, I could learn to enjoy sleeping with the boss. Karen says she gets perks, perhaps I would too.”
He sank his hand into the hair at the nape of her neck and put their lips near touching. “I’d be sure to give you all the perks you want, and all the perks you could handle.”
“I don’t want to lose what we have, either, but I have to think about Ricki.”
“Baby, I’d never take away money from you, I know how important he is to you. Let me help.”
“No, this is a family issue.”
He slid his hand around to the side of her face. “Then let me become family and help. You know already my family loves you and thinks of you as a Wilder. You may as well just give in and take my name.”
She kissed him. “Slow down there, Marine.”
He rolled them over so she lay beneath him. “Don’t think so, baby.” He pulled back and stared at her. “Tell me one thing.”
“Do I have a chance?”
“Better than anyone ever has.” She tugged him back down and rejoined their mouths.
Wild groaned low in his throat and realized that she wasn’t quite ready to discuss marriage. A chance, he’d take. He would take anything she offered as weak as it may make him sound. This woman, the one here, now, in his arms was everything to him.
I vow you’ll know it every day, Alyse.
Alyse looked up when Karen called her name. “What’s up?”
She laughed as her friend walked—more waddled—up to her. Karen was nine months pregnant and looked ready to pop any day.
“Don’t laugh,” she snapped. “You’ll look like this soon enough.”
“You could have stayed seated and I would have come to you,” she said. Alyse had no intention of even addressing her other statement. “What’s going on?”
“They’re home.” Karen’s smile was brilliant and Alyse knew hers wasn’t much dimmer.