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One look, and I know I’ll have her. One taste, and I’m insatiable. One wrong move, and I’ll lose her forever. I’ve never met a woman who was worth the time and hassle of a relationship. I’ve got my hands full leading the family. Nya, though…she’s not jut a pretty face and smokin’ body. She’s a woman who knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to take it. After one night with her, I need more. But the next morning, someone tries to kill me. At first I wonder is she set me up, know that I’m so gone for her it might have worked. But her fear when she finds out who I am, what I do, proves to me that she’s a target too. And now the ones who want me dead are about to learn just how far I’ll go to protect what’s mine.
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“How did my car get here?” I said. “I arranged it,” he replied. He looked straight ahead, seemingly fascinated with the one-car garage on my small cottage-style house before he looked at me. “I would like to make a promise to you, Nya,” he said, his gaze intense, almost unnervingly so. “Promise?” I asked, gaping as I stared at him. I was worried about my life, and he was offering me a promise? “Yeah. A promise. No harm will come to you. I won’t allow it,” he said. The fierceness of his voice, the look in his eyes, made me want to believe him, made me believe him, even though I had no reason to, even though everything told me I shouldn’t. I tried to hold to common sense, ignore that illogical yet tantalizing desire to trust him. “I’m just supposed to accept that?” I said, searching his eyes, unwilling to give in to the easy trust that seemed so out of place. “Whether you accept it or not is unimportant. It’s true,” he said. “Why?” “Why what?” he asked. He’d spoken quickly, but I sensed something in the question, could see that he wanted to avoid answering what we both obviously knew was the topic at hand. “Why are you going out of your way for me?” I asked, deciding to put the question on the table. “I’m not going out of my way for you,” he said. The gruffness of the words, the way he wielded them almost like a weapon should have put me off, but they rang hollow to me. It would be stupid to allow myself to read into them, let myself think they meant something that they didn’t, couldn’t. But somehow I knew no matter what he said, despite his cavalier attitude, he felt something for me. That something might simply be obligation, but I was still buoyed by it. Comforted in some small way. “So why?” I asked. The intensity in his eyes grew, became almost an inferno. “I’m a Murphy. I protect what’s mine.” I was too stunned to respond, but the implication of what he’d said was clear. And, disturbingly, welcome. To belong to Patrick, be his… My body was instantly inflamed. Fortunately, Patrick didn’t linger, but instead got out, rounded the car, lifted me from the passenger seat, and deposited me inside the house. He pressed my key into the palm of my hand and then gave me my purse. He held my gaze for a long moment, but then he left without saying a word. I closed the door, but stood behind it, listening as Patrick drove off, fighting against the near-instant sadness, the emptiness I felt without him.