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Noah smirked. “Is that right?”

“Oh yeah. I’ve taken more than a few self-defense courses – a kick to the balls is more than enough to bring any entitled prick to his knees.”

“Remind me to never get on your bad side.”

“To be fair, that’s not all there is to my bad side.” I grinned, making it obvious what sort of “bad” I had in mind.

He leaned in. “I’d love a chance to get to know you better away from prying eyes.”

Noah spoke in a low voice, the deepness of it enough to make me weak in the knees.

“Oh? And where would that be?”

“Got a room here in the hotel in the event I ended up not wanting to make the drive back home. How about we continue this conversation up there?”

Getting Noah to invite me to his room was exactly what I’d been hoping for from the moment I’d spotted him at the party. Hell, it’s what I’d been fantasizing about since I was a freaking teenager.

Now that it was happening, now that I was moments away from being between the sheets and underneath him, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself.

“You alright?” he asked, sensing my shift in mood.

“More than alright. And yeah – let’s do it.”

The song ended, and the light applause that sounded from the attendees gave us the perfect cover to sneak out of the party without catching anyone’s attention.

Noah took me by the hand and led me through the crowd. Moments later, we were past the security checkpoint at the huge double doors of the hotel ballroom and back out in the art-deco-style hallway.

We were so close to being alone together that I could hardly think straight. A handful of other masked attendees were in the hall chatting quietly to one another in small groups.

I couldn’t believe it. Noah McMurray, the man who’d been the ideal to whom I’d compared every man I’d ever dated, was leading me by the hand up to his hotel room.

I was thrilled and nervous and more turned on than I’d ever been in my life.

As we stepped in front of the gold-surfaced elevator doors in the lobby, I suddenly realized something as I caught my reflection.

The masks.

No doubt he’d want to take them off as soon as we were alone. How the hell could I have forgotten about them? I had to think of something quick. If he were to find out who I was, who he was in the middle of seducing…

The doors opened, and my mind was still blank as to how to deal with the mask situation. Noah didn’t give me a single extra second to think it over, taking me by the hand once more and leading me into the elevator. He pulled me inside and the doors shut.

As soon as they were closed, just as I’d feared, Noah wasted no time whipping off his mask.

The face underneath was impossibly handsome. His hair was a deep, dark red, and his eyes a gorgeous green, situated above a slender, but strong nose.

His cheekbones were chiseled, his jaw wide and his luscious mouth curled in a sly grin above his cleft chin. Even the slight crinkles at the corners of his eyes only made him look sexier, more distinguished.

“Now,” he said, stepping toward me and placing his hands on my hips once more. “Take that thing off and let me get a look at you.”


Chapter 3


“Uh, what?”

Her blue eyes flashed from behind her mask. It was easy to see that my asking her to remove it had taken her by surprise.

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