No Escape From War (Trouble for Hire #1) by Cynthia Eden



No, she’d hate it. He knew that, damn him. War had just called her bluff. “I’m fine!” Rose called back to the would-be rescuer on the other side of the door. “Thanks for checking. Sorry to be so loud!”

Another rap pounded against the door. “You screamed.” A pause. “You alone in there?”

He obviously thought she was being threatened, and he was determined to help. Nice to know there were some good people in the world. But if this good person didn’t leave soon, she was going to have serious trouble on her hands.

“My boyfriend is here,” she shouted back. A shout because War was close, and she thought yelling in his ear might just get the man to back up. He didn’t, so she added, just as loudly, “We got a little carried away! Sorry!” Keep going, would-be hero. Nothing to see here.

Rose thought she heard a grunt then the guy groused, “Keep that shit down. People are sleeping.” A few moments later, Rose heard a door slam. The door on the right. Great. He was staying in the room that connected to hers.

“You can back away now,” Rose informed War crisply.

“If I back away, you might try to run.”

That had been precisely her plan.

“So, first, how about you give me the keys—the key to the room and the keys to the Jeep—then we’ll talk about backing away.”

She turned her right hand over.

He swiped the keys. “Thank you.”

Fuck you. She bit back the retort.

“Were you going for my eyes, Rose? Such a dirty move.”

“You’re the one who taught me that move.” When he’d been adamant that she learn how to defend herself. Only she’d never thought that she’d have to defend herself from him. Another thing she’d been wrong about.

“I taught you lots of dirty things.” His voice had taken on a rougher, more sensual edge.

Even in the dark, her eyes narrowed. He wanted to be cocky? Wanted to go there? “I am pretty sure I taught you a thing or twenty, too, stud.”

A rumble of laughter broke from him. His body pressed closer to her.

Alarm skittered through her. “Get off me.”

“I’m not on you. I’m near you. I’m in front of you. Definitely not on you.”

She wanted to scream, but if she did that, her helpful neighbor would probably rush back over. Then she’d have to deal with that whole bit of business again. “War…”

“Rose…”

“Turn on the lights. Let’s talk about this like civilized people.”

“But you know I’ve never been particularly civilized. I think that was one of your issues with me.”

Her breath caught. “Sometimes, I liked it.” Particularly in bed. Out of bed… “It was only when you became too much of an ass that I had issues.”

His hand lifted. She felt it rise, felt the shift in the air, and then heard the click as he flipped on the lights. Her eyes closed and opened quickly, twice, three times, as she adjusted to the flood of illumination.

He was right in front of her. Just as tall, dark, and dangerously handsome as always. His skin was golden from all the time he spent in the sun. His hair was dark and thick, shoving back from his forehead. His face was planes and angles—sexy and strong. Hard jaw. Lickable lips. And eyes so very deep. His eyes could be a warm, sensual brown, or they could flash with ice-cold darkness, all depending on his mood. Right then, his eyes were…

She swallowed. “What are you going to do to me?”

“Take that sweet ass to jail.” He tucked her keys in his back pocket. Then his hands rose and pressed to the door behind her, caging her between his body and the wood. “You’re in trouble, sweetheart.”

“Don’t call me that.” Her heart was pounding too fast again. Actually, her heart had been racing ever since she’d found him waiting in her room. Just how had he found her in that motel, anyway? Rose had tried to be so careful. She’d kept her phone off as much as possible because she feared being tracked. “Don’t use words that you don’t mean. I’m not dear to you so don’t use an endearment.”

“Fair enough.” He gave her a half smile. The same smile that had once made her heart jump.

Of course, her crazy heart still jumped.

“I have something else I was hoping to use on you, anyway.” His gaze swept over her face. “How are you still this beautiful?” His voice had turned into a rasp. All sensual and rough. “You know, I think I almost missed you.”