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Page 15


Because no one else had wanted her.

They all saw her as a little sister, someone cute and sweet to spend time with when they were feeling homesick or their girlfriends were busy. They didn’t see her as a woman, as someone worthy of spending time with, someone worth the risk of losing their heart. Jerry certainly hadn’t wanted her. The only thing that he’d wanted from her was her money and what she could do to help his career. He’d used her, made her feel worthless, and when he was done with her, he’d made damn sure that she knew that he’d never really wanted her.

No one wanted her.

There really was nothing like an extra large helping of self-pity to start the day, she thought with disgust as she made another attempt to push the arm holding her away. Wow, this thing was huge, she mused, biting her lower lip as she tried to pick it up again only to give up with a grunt when that manacle he had the nerve to call an arm tightened around her.

The man that had professed to love her more than anything hadn’t been able to stand touching her and the one that she’d been contemplating killing, not that she would ever admit it in a court of law, couldn’t seem to let her go. Then again, he probably didn’t realize who was in his arms, which would explain why he was holding her like he never wanted to let her go and why that frighteningly large appendage between his legs was pressing rather insistently against her backside….and part of her back.

That really couldn’t be normal, she thought, struggling against the urge to wiggle against it to get a better idea of just how big he was, but that kind of seemed rude. If she had to venture a guess, she would have to say that he was a hell of a lot bigger than Jerry. She frowned at that thought and sighed. A roll of lifesavers was bigger than Jerry so that really wasn’t saying all that much.

She really should be getting up, but she couldn’t figure out how to do it without it turning awkward. Then again, she really didn’t think there was a way to get out of this bed or this apartment without things getting a bit awkward. With that in mind, she grabbed hold of his arm, opened her mouth to wake him up and gasped when she registered the feel of firm, warm lips pressing against the back of her neck.

“Go back to sleep, Tinkerbelle,” Danny said sleepily, making her realize something very important.

Danny Bradford, who was still pressing the sweetest kisses against the back of her neck, knew who he was sharing a bed with. Which meant……

Okay, she had absolutely no idea what that meant, because she couldn’t exactly think straight with that battering-ram digging into her back and those warm lips pressing against her neck, sending delicious tremors up and down her spine. She’d never been in a situation like this one, where a man seemed more than happy to have her in his arms. Usually when a man pulled her in his arms and kissed her, his expression turned horrified when he realized that kissing her was like kissing his baby sister.

Not really a flattering comparison, but one that she was used to nonetheless.

“Ummm, what exactly happened last night?” she found herself asking, proud that she sounded unaffected by his touch, at least in her mind she did.

“My asshole brother gave you medicine,” he said, accompanying the words with another press of his lips.

“Oh,” she mumbled, remembering little details from the night before. With a frown she looked down at her arm and sagged with relief. The hives or whatever they were, were gone. Left in its place were pink streaks covering almost every inch of exposed skin, but she was surprisingly okay with that. A sudden thought had her trying to sit up, but the arm locked around her waist kept her in place. “I gotta get to my apartment and put the food away!” she explained, reaching down to grab his arm and push it away even as common sense kicked in and she realized that whatever had been left out was probably ruined by now.

Another kiss. “It’s all gone, Tinkerbelle.”

“That’s not my name,” she said absently with a frown, wondering how all that food could have disappeared in one night. “Did you throw it away?” she asked, hating the idea of wasting all that food.

“No,” Danny said with another kiss, making her wonder if he was even aware of what he was doing. “My brother and uncle consoled themselves with all that food after you kicked their asses,” he said, chuckling and she would swear to her dying day that she could actually feel him smiling against her skin.

“I kicked their asses?” she asked, sure that she’d misheard him about both counts, because there was no way humanly possible for two men to eat all that food she’d cooked in one night.

“Yes, you did,” he murmured, adjusting his hold on her as he shifted behind her to bring her body flush against his.

She opened her mouth, not exactly sure what to say to get her out of this situation when Danny cut her off with another one of those kisses that she was secretly starting to like and a murmured, “Go back to sleep, Tinkerbelle. You were up most of the night.”

It wasn’t until he’d said that that she realized just how tired she was. She hadn’t gotten a good night sleep in months, not since Jerry had knocked her world off its axis. Moving in across from him certainly hadn’t helped, she thought with a snort as her eyelids drooped heavily.

She should be climbing out of the bed and putting some space between her and those confusing kisses of his, but she just couldn’t seem to find the energy or the willpower to ask him to let her go, not when it felt so good to be in his arms. She’d blame it on the medicine, she decided as she stopped fighting and gave in.


“You look like shit.”

“Thanks,” Danny said, plopping down on the bed next to his brother as he lazily rubbed his hair dry with a towel.

“Did you get any sleep after we left?” Aidan asked, reaching over and ran his fingers over the pink streak left behind on Danny’s shoulder. “This should be gone within a few days.”

“You mean after you and that bastard ran off like the cowards that you are, but only after you ate everything within sight?” he asked, tossing the towel in his brother’s face.

“Yes,” Aidan said with an unconcerned shrug as he stood and walked over to the closet. “Were you able to sleep?” he asked, throwing him an assessing glance before he turned his attention to Danny’s limited wardrobe.

“Yeah,” he said, not mentioning that he couldn’t remember ever sleeping so well before.

Before his career had been fucked up by a sniper, he’d managed to spend the night holding a woman a few times. Although he’d enjoyed the feeling of falling asleep with a warm soft feminine body pressed up against him, it had never felt as good as it had last night with Tinkerbelle lying in his arms.

Holding her had been…..


Waking up to find her gone had left him reeling. He’d never expected to feel that way, especially not about a woman he barely knew, but the moment that he’d woken up to find himself alone he’d felt…..


He’d felt like a part of him was missing, which was fucking ridiculous. He didn’t know this woman, had never spent any real time with her, not to mention the fact that he’d spent the last two months tormenting her in the usual Bradford fashion. So why he was feeling like a part of him was missing was beyond him. Maybe he should just agree to go out with one of the women that Aidan had stashed in the other room and was trying to spring on him, to clear his head.

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