I’ll be home for Christmas…
The plan is simple. Break into the club and steal the money I need to save my father. The ex-military bouncer isn’t going to stop me, even if he is hot as hell.
If only in my dreams…
Except he has a curious knack for knowing my next step.
And there’s something dark underneath his desire, something dangerous. If he catches me, he might not let me go.
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Other books in the series
Love the way you Lie (Stripped #1)
Better when it Hurts (Stripped #2)
Pretty When You Cry (Stripped #3)
A large body steps in front of me. My heart skips in fear before I recognize him. West. I’m not afraid of him, not in the way I am of most men. At least I know what they want from me, even if I have to worry that they might take it by force. West is looking for something different, and that scares me in a different way.
His eyes are dark with concern. “Is something wrong?”
I force myself to give him a cool smile. “Why would you think that?”
“Maybe because you’re going to make yourself bleed.”
My gaze flicks down, and I realize my fists are clenched tight, nails pressing into my palms. I open my hands, and white crescents remain in my flesh, bloodless and pained. So I haven’t hidden my tension as much as I’d hoped.
That’s dangerous. Dangerous because when they discover the club has been robbed, West will remember that I was nervous.
He’ll know it was me.
I give him a sultry smile. “Nothing is wrong now that you’re here.”
He narrows his eyes, not fooled for an instant. He tugs my hand, and then we’re in the dark hallway behind the stage, hidden from view, even from each other. The music moves through us, some familiar Christmas tune, more feeling than sound. “You missed your last shift,” he says.
My heart squeezes. I’d been trying to find some other way to come up with the cash. Any other way. So I staked out a local check-cashing shop to see if I could get the money that way. Their security was too tight, but the florist shop next door would easy as pie. I’d breeze right past those poinsettias and rich red roses to the register.
However, they wouldn’t have nearly enough money on hand.
“I was busy,” I say, walking my fingers up his broad, firm chest. “But I’m here now.”
He isn’t fooled by my misdirection, but he doesn’t remove my hand either. That’s something.
He closes his eyes, frustrated and something else. “I wish you’d tell me what’s going on. I wish you’d let me help.”
Oh sure, that would be great. Please help me steal fifty thousand dollars from a man who would never stop hunting you down. No, he’s too much of a Boy Scout to steal a penny, no matter how much I need it. No matter how much he wants to do the dirty things his dark eyes promise.
“You can help me by taking me into a VIP room,” I whisper, pressing my body close. Technically there’s not supposed to be naughty business in those rooms since we’re a burlesque show, but some girls still break the rules. I wouldn’t mind breaking them, to throw him off my tracks.
Wouldn’t mind the extra cash.
And I wouldn’t mind getting up close and personal with him.
My hip brushes against something hard and thick. Ooh, very nice. I know that I’d be able to distract him in that room, Boy Scout or not.
His eyes glaze over, and I know he’s contemplating what we could do in the VIP room.
“I’d make it good for you,” I whisper.
He shakes his head as if clearing it. His hands grip my hips, pulling me in close. “No, Bianca. When you come for me, it won’t be because you want to distract me. And it sure as hell won’t be because I’m paying you.”
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dark romance such as Wanderlust and Prisoner. Praised as a “true mistress of dark erotica”, her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Houston, Texas, with her loving family, three dogs, and one evil cat.