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I would also like to take a shower. I wanted to take one back at the motel but fell asleep before he finished. I inform him of my plans before heading to the bathroom. I’m finally alone, so I can think—or at least try to.

We can’t do this forever. That much is for sure. A big part of me wants to give up. That would put an end to this. Colten might be able to walk away, and I… I’d get through it. That might be the only way we can get out of this.

But Colten’s right, too. I think about what he said as I undress, then turn on the shower in the tub. None of this is my fault. Why should the bad guys get to win just because they’re scary and dangerous? This Marco guy is obviously nothing but a bully, and I’m stubborn enough that I don’t want to let a bully win.

Right now, it looks like I’ll spend the rest of my life on the run. That’s not exactly a heartwarming idea, either. In fact, it pisses me off. I deserve to live my life. I deserve to be free.

I didn’t think to bring new clothes in with me, so I leave the bathroom wrapped in a towel, my wet hair in a turban. Colten is sitting by the bedroom window. The sight of him sitting in the dark gives me a jolt. “What are you doing?” I whisper, though there’s no reason to whisper.


No need to ask what he’s thinking about. I walk over and sit on the edge of the bed, close to the chair he’s in. “I can put an end to this, easy.”

“No, you cannot.”

“You didn’t give me a chance to tell you what I have in mind.”

He turns his head slowly until we’re eye-to-eye. “There’s only one way you could end this short of fleeing the country, and even then, I don’t know that it would work. You’re thinking about handing yourself over to him.”

“It would mean getting you off the hook. You’ve already sacrificed so much.”

“You mean the money?” I nod, and he sighs in response. He lifts a hand and reaches out, the backs of his fingers running over my cheek. “That’s no sacrifice. You’re worth every penny. I’ve always known that.”

“Really?” I whisper. My heart’s starting to pound again but in a good way. The way it did when I was giving him a blowjob earlier. It’s exhilarating.

“You think it was easy for me to keep my eyes and hands off you during class? Do you have any idea how many times I came within moments of asking you to visit me during office hours just so we could be alone?”

“I can’t believe it.”

“Believe it.” He slides off the chair, kneeling in front of me. “So when I saw you last night, there was nothing to do but move heaven and earth to spare you—but make no mistake. I wanted you for myself just as much.”

He takes my face in his hands, and despite everything going on around us, I could cry from happiness. I’m getting everything I wanted and dreamed of, even if it’s not how I imagined it happening.

“No matter how I tried to stop thinking about you, I never could,” he murmurs, stroking my cheeks before letting his fingers drag over my throat, down to my chest. “I couldn’t take my eyes off you. I couldn’t stop fantasizing about being with you like this.”

“And all I wanted to do was impress you. I wanted you to notice me. I worked my ass off in that class.” I laugh softly at myself. “I don’t actually like math. But I like you.”

“I never would’ve known.”

I hold my breath as he leans in closer, filling my field of vision before his lips brush against mine. It’s a tender, soft kiss, but it melts me with all the heat of a five-alarm fire. My body leaps to react, my pussy flooding, goose bumps breaking out over my skin, my heart racing out of control. He presses his hands to my back, and I melt against him, wrapping my arms around his shoulders and pulling him close. I’ve never needed anything like I need him, here and now. I would sooner give up breathing than I would give up the feeling of being kissed like this.

He reaches up and undoes the towel around my hair. It spills over my back and shoulders, still damp. I watch as he then undoes the towel fastened over my chest. He spreads it open slowly, his breath catching as he stares at my body. My skin flushes, my nipples so tight they hurt. I can feel the wet spot forming under me.

“You’re perfect. Just as perfect as I knew you would be.” He’s gentle as he eases me onto my back, climbing part way onto the bed before he starts to explore. There’s nothing for me to do but close my eyes and lose myself in the delicious sensations he stirs up with every touch of his lips and his tongue.

He sucks on my nipples, taking his time, stroking my skin with a featherlight touch. When I whimper, hungry for more, he chuckles. “Trust me. The buildup will pay off.”

“But I want to come,” I groan.

“Don’t we all?” He gives my nipple a playful suck before releasing it with a popping noise. “But only when I say so.”

His words stir something deep inside me. He’s in control and seems to know exactly what to do to set me on fire.

“You think I would let you hand yourself over to someone who doesn’t deserve to breathe the same air you do?” He paints my skin with his tongue, and the breath he blows across it makes me shiver. “Oh, no, Emma. No, you deserve to be touched by a man who appreciates you. Who will worship you.

He moves lower, swirling his tongue around my belly button before going lower still. I tense up, anticipating what happens next.

“And when you come, it’s my name you’re going to shout. And I’ll be the one to lick up every drop of you.” Like he’s proving his point, he slowly licks the entire length of my slit, and all I can do is cry out in frustration because, dammit, I’m so close. He’s driving me crazy.