“Tell me what I did that scared you off so I don’t do it again.” His eyes are squeezed shut, like he’s trying to get himself under control. His words catch me off guard because I’m still riding the high of my first kiss, and I can barely make out what he’s asking.

“What?” I gasp breathlessly. His eyes pop open, looking into mine. This time they seem more green than brown.

“Fuck. You look good like this.” He moves his body, shielding me more, like he doesn’t want anyone to see me. I have to strain to look up at him. It’s easy for him to cover me with his broad body. I totally forgot we’re on a busy Chicago street in the middle of the day. “Why’d you back off from me?”

“I didn’t. I’m against a wall. I can’t move.” Wait. Did he say I looked good?

“I mean when I was texting you. My little fox is already trying to give me the slip? You’ll have to be quicker than that.” He smirks at me, showing me his perfectly white teeth. How does he do that? Look all badass with his tattooed arms and big freaking body caging me in, but then his eyes go all soft and he flashes that smile, making him look so…I don’t even have a word for it.

“You going to answer me, babe, or you going to keep staring at my mouth? Because if it’s the mouth, we’ve got to get out of here. I’m not having everyone look at you when I get my hands back on you.”

Jesus. I don’t know what to say to that. I’m in way over my head, and I know it. I’m not sure how I’ve not melted into a pile of goo at this point, but I know my face is cherry red.

“I’m not little.” He looks at me like he doesn’t get what I’m saying. “You called me a little fox. I’m not little, and of course I’ve had dinner before.” I indicate to my body, letting him get my meaning.

One of his hands comes up to my cheek, his thumb brushing along my skin. “You look little to me.”

“Everything is probably little to you,” I snap, something I don’t normally do. I don’t lash out at people, and I immediately feel like a jerkface for saying it.

“Even when you’re feisty, you’re still cute as a fucking button.” He lets out a chuckle. “You’ve even got me saying shit like ‘cute as a button.’” He seems to like that, because he’s full-on smiling now, and I can’t help but return one.

“Tell me you’ll go to dinner with me, or I’ll drop down to my knees right here on the busy street and beg. You’ve already got me wrapped around your finger. No need to rub it in my face.”

“You wouldn’t!” No way he would. I can’t see a man like him on his knees.

“You fail to see what I wouldn’t do for you, little fox. Might as well show you.” He goes to drop to his knees, but I grab him to stop his movements. My face is already flushed, and I would probably burst with embarrassment if he really did it.

“Okay. I’ll go.”

Chapter 7


I ended up walking with Tessa to the place she was headed to for lunch. She could hardly look at me the whole way, but I did make her hold my hand. I could feel her nervous twitches as we walked, but I didn’t let go. I wanted anyone watching to know she was mine. I’m sure we looked a little odd together. Me with my tattoos and rough facial hair and her looking like a prim and proper angel. I didn’t want anyone thinking she isn’t taken. Because she is.

When we went to order at the counter I could see her blush again but I didn’t understand why. I ordered four times what she did. I even made sure she got a chocolate chip cookie when she said she didn’t want it. Who doesn’t want a chocolate chip cookie?

After we got our orders, I walked her back to work. She said she needed to get some work done and would just eat there. I made sure to tell her that our quick lunch didn’t count as a date, and that got me a genuine smile from her, which went all the way to her eyes.

Standing just inches from her, I touched her bottom lip with my thumb, thinking about how sweet her kiss was and what it did to me.

I’ve never been so consumed by someone before. I don’t even know the last time I looked at a woman. That’s how I knew she was different. She called to me from the very beginning. She was meant to be mine. I’d been waiting for her. Like a little gift for the hell I had to work my way through growing up. Now I got this angel and she and I will make a family together, like I’ve always desired. We just have to make it through one last hell.

She’s so ingrained inside my mind that she’s my only memory of anything good and perfect. My need is so far beyond comprehension, I don’t think I could describe to her exactly why it is I crave her, even if she asked me to. I just need to make her crave me, too. Dig myself deep into her, so when all the truths come to light, I’ll be in too deep for her to try and push me away.

I kiss her lips lightly, and her blush returns to her cheeks. I’m ripped in two as I watch her walk back inside the bank. Not having her within reach is starting to become a problem. Now that I know what she tastes like, feels like. The reality was tenfold what my fantasies were.

When I get back in my Chevelle, I try to take a few deep breaths to keep from rushing back into the bank and carrying her out. I’m inches away from calling this whole thing off, but I keep cool, knowing that if I stick to the plan, everything will work out.

It’s too late now. She would probably go run to the police, and I could never have her. She wouldn't believe a word of what I would tell her. And I can’t just walk away, because Heavy would send in someone else.