Counting On Cole (Wilde Ways #8) by Cynthia Eden

Prologue


Or that time when opposites really, really attracted…

“You have bruises on your wrists.” His voice was rough and deep, and it slid over her skin like the most sensual caress in the world. “I’m so fucking sorry. I wish that I’d gotten to you sooner.” Cole’s fingers slid along her inner wrist, carefully skimming over the faint marks that had been left by the ropes that her captors had used to bind her.

“You got to me, that’s what matters.” Her own voice was way huskier than normal, but Evangeline Lake—Evie to her friends and family—couldn’t exactly do anything about the huskiness. Mostly because Cole was standing right in front of her. Cole was touching her. He was using his sexy rumble of a voice on her…

And her knees were getting all weak. A side effect of being so close to Cole.

Her gaze was locked on him, and she could not look away.

Cole was like a real-life action hero. She couldn’t think of him any other way. Her hero. When she’d been kidnapped while on a trip to LA, she’d been utterly terrified. Bound and gagged and thrown in a dark closet, she’d been so afraid that she would die.

Then Cole had come to the rescue. Literally breaking down the door. He’d carried her out of there. Rushed her to safety. And he’d been her bodyguard for the last week. Wherever she’d gone, he’d been there. He made her feel safe. He made her feel protected. He made her feel…

Super, super turned on.

Because Cole was the sexiest man she’d ever seen. Tall, with broad shoulders and muscles that wouldn’t quit—like, ever—he had slipped his way into her dreams. His hair was thick and dark, his hard jaw always clean-shaven, and his eyes…God, his eyes…

Electric blue. Brilliant blue. Burn into your soul blue.

He’d been the perfect gentleman with her. So careful and courteous. He’d slept on the floor in their suite. He’d treated her with kid gloves, and he—

He let go of her wrist. Yet she could still feel the warmth of his touch.

“You should get some sleep,” he told her, voice all gruff and rasping. “The plane leaves early tomorrow, and once you get back home, all of this…” He motioned vaguely with one hand. “It will be nothing more than a bad dream.” He stepped away from her. Turned his back. Walked—

“It hasn’t all been bad.”

He looked over his shoulder at her. For a moment, she just had to admire him. The man’s jaw—seriously, it was the most cut jaw ever. And his lips—sensual didn’t even begin to describe them.

His dark eyebrows lifted. “You were drugged. Kidnapped. And trapped in a three by—”

“I didn’t die. You and your team got me out. I met you.” She licked her lips. She was so freaking nervous. When she was near him, yes, she felt safe, but her stomach also tended to feel as if a dozen butterflies were flying around inside. Giddy, nervous. “You weren’t bad at all. I’m very glad that I got to meet you, Cole.”

He gave her a slow smile. “Happy to be of service, Ms. Lake.”

“Evie,” she blurted. “You know that you’re supposed to call me Evie.”

His smile slipped. “You should get some sleep. It’s almost time for you to go home. Your kidnappers haven’t surfaced in the last week. If they’re smart, they ran as fucking far as they could get.”

But what if they come after me again?

No, no, she wasn’t going to say those words—

“When you get back to New York, your step-brother will make sure you have the best security in place. You won’t have to worry about anything.”

“Too bad that security won’t be you.” She took a slow glide toward him. She hoped it looked all sexy and seductive, but it felt more like it was lurching and awkward. “Because I really like being with you, Cole.” A pause. Say it. Evie gathered her courage and confessed, “I like you.”

She was close enough that she saw his pupils widen. A very telling movement. Cole could control his expression perfectly—almost robotic control—but his pupils had just told her that her instincts weren’t wrong.

Cole felt something for her, too.

Maybe…maybe he wanted her just as much as she wanted him.

There was only one way to find out.

Cole turned to fully face her. “Evie—”

Yes! He’d said her name, and it sounded like the sexiest thing ever coming out of his mouth. She rushed to him and locked her arms around him. “Will you kiss me?”