“You’re leaving?” a hoarse, feminine voice demands, breaking the silence in the dark hotel room. Every muscle in my back goes stiff, and I pause where I’m standing a few feet away from the bed and the naked woman lying in it. A moment passes before I give her a curt nod. Yanking my black tee shirt over my head, I sit down on the edge of the hotel mattress and shove my feet into the motorcycle boots she’d taken off me earlier on my order.
“Got a shoot in the morning,” I tell her, my voice bored. But even if my band wasn’t doing a music video this week, I wouldn’t stay with her. After we were done, and she’d closed her eyes, falling asleep, I’d come up with a plan. Unravel those hands from the hotel bed posts and sneak out unnoticed. Now that she was alert again and staring right at me, that strategy was blown to shit.
The woman sighs as she nudges her knee back and forth across my lower back in an attempt to get me to look at her. I don’t. “That’s too bad, Mr. Wolfe. I thought we could go for round three,” she says suggestively.
The mattress squeaks, and I know she’s grinding her hips into it. I let her do this for another ninety seconds before I turn around, slowly. She’s kicked the rumpled sheets away from her petite body, and her legs are spread apart, inviting me in. Arching her back upwards, she strains against the satin binds, biting her bottom lip and moaning softly.
Cocking my head to the side, I quirk the corner of my mouth. “Not tonight.”
“Why not?” she asks, her voice taking on a pout. The sensuality doesn’t extend to her dark eyes. They’re giant and desperate and only make me more intent to leave this hotel room and take my ass back home where nobody would question me.
She gasps, just like I expect her to. “Mara,” she corrects me. “My name is Mara.”
I know that—I don’t forget names of the women I tie up—but I give her a sardonic look. Narrow my hazel eyes into thin slits. “Mara, I don’t do overnights.”
Or relationships because my ex-wife would rip anyone I tried to be with to pieces.
Mara turns her head, and her inky black hair falls around her flushed face and the piles of pillows bunched up beneath her head. She focuses her gaze on something across the room, and I follow it to a trio of oil paintings hanging several inches over the flat screen TV. I hear her breathing heavily, deep drags in and out of her pierced nose. There’s this part of me that wants to feel a pull toward her. That wants to turn back around and crawl back in bed and completely own this woman, even if there’s that risk of Sam going apeshit.
Instead, when I turn my eyes back to Mara, I reach for her wrists, skimming her palms with the pads of my fingers as I loosen the fabric and pull it over her hands. Her skin is still slick, and when she rolls to her side to turn completely away from me, the strap prints on her ass—just below her back dimples—are vivid, despite the dim lighting.
I watch her sides expand as she breathes, the way the flowery tattoo that completely covers it moves up and down. “You won’t call me again, huh?” Mara asks.
Normally, I don’t explain. There’s no reason to when we both know the answer—Mara’s a groupie and I’d been clear about what she was to me at the beginning of the evening, as I blindfolded her. But for some reason, I say, “No.” I trace my fingertips across her hips. She shivers, a tiny gasp coming from her throat, and I add, “I’ve got no plans to ever call you again.”
She nods. “Didn’t think so. Thank you . . . Lucas.”
I leave the room—a room that I’ve been to more times than I can count—wearing a bored look. In the elevator, a tall blonde looks up from the man she’s groping to give me a long, hard onceover. Her green eyes go wide as she mouths my name, and my lips twitch, but I say nothing. When I exit out the back, to where my car is waiting in its usual spot, the night guard inclines his head, giving me a polite and goddamn knowing smile.
“Have a wonderful evening, Mr. Wolfe.”
Yeah, real wonderful.
I’ve always been a fan of early mornings—the workout and long shower and writing—so I’m wide awake, playing my guitar, when my assistant shuffles into my music room a few minutes after eight the next day. She slams a few plastic bags down on the carpeted floor, cursing and barely missing a signed guitar that cost more than her yearly salary. My eyebrow shoots up, but I don’t stop strumming.
“I’ve got a punching bag downstairs,” I suggest. “I’d rather you beat the shit out of it before you wreck my house.”
She gives me a dark look before she begins to dig through the bags, looking for something. “Go screw yourself, Lucas.”
“Not very sisterly.” Sitting the Les Paul to the side, I lean back in my leather chair—so far that the front legs come off the floor—and glance across the room at my younger sister. Red faced, with black and blue hair, Kylie looks like shit. When I tell her this, she shoots snorts.
“Thanks for the compliment.” She finally finds what she’s been searching for and comes over, plunks a rectangular pink cardboard box on the music bench a few feet away from me and gestures to it grandly, blowing strands of hair out of her eyes. “I brought you breakfast. Enjoy.”
“Donuts,” I reply sarcastically. “Yum.”
She sits on the bench, throwing open the box and digging in. “You don’t have to be a dick all the time. Or such a picky eater.”