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Her chest hurt fromthe large gulps of air she had to repeatedly take. One minute she thought she was going to die, the next Ryder had taken her in his arms and she had never known what it felt like to be safe in all her adult life since that moment.

Which was a silly time to go and tick that off her box. She was a nuisance. They didn’t want her here. Her life had taken a strange turn. Something was going on with her father and the map. And in the last couple of years, she became someone she didn’t recognize anymore.

She quickly changed her mind about telling them she had gone back for the map and that she was worried about her father.

They already thought she was a rich spoiled air-head who survived on the accumulation of unnecessary stuff and that’s why she needed her materialistic things, so why try and change their opinion of her?

Oh god, but that’s who she had become. And she’d excelled at it too with her designer this and designer that and not caring about anything else except the feeling of making another purchase, of owning one more pair of shoes, another dress, another tube of lip gloss she would never use.

She stared at the man imprisoning her between the wall and his rock-hard body.

His scent, faint now, still managed to climb into her senses and heated her from the inside out.

One side of his face had a series of scars that ran from his ear to his jaw. His beard grew around the scars. The biggest one was a semi-wide jagged gash that ran deep into this flesh. She instantly wanted to know how he got it. Who gave it to him? Was the other man still alive?

“Do I frighten you, little one?” Ryder asked again.

“Yes,” she whispered.

Chapter Eight


Harper let her gazefall over Ryder’s face when she confessed that yes he did scare her.

A moment of satisfaction shone from his green eyes. As if he had expected her to say that, but when she raised her trembling hand toward his face, a frown dipped in the middle of his forehead.

Ryder roared at her, a grumbling sound that warned her off.

She wasn’t going to listen to him.

She didn’t gasp out of horror though if that’s what he had thought. She had reacted that way because seeing the whole of his face had thrown her off balance. The scar did nothing to detract from his stunning male features, in fact, the scar made him seem more dangerous, more mysterious.

Before she could touch him, he caught her wrist.

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