Witness to Passion

By: Naima Simone

Nope, Shane had sliced and diced her heart with a rusty knife, but he’d reminded her of a core knowledge she’d temporarily forgotten under the haze of puppy love.

Still…prior to her impulsively jumping him, he’d been her friend. He’d teased her, cared for her, watched over her. Afterward, he’d transformed into a polite, distant stranger. But not only had he changed—she’d been irrevocably altered, too. Shane had granted her an all-too-brief glimpse of true hunger. Not in the seven years following had she tasted such sensual delight again. No man since had been able to conjure the molten swirl of pleasure in her belly or that specific rhythm in her pulse. No man had pushed her to the verge of orgasm with just one kiss. No man had elicited the need to climb up his body like a spider monkey in heat and cling, claw, and scream.

Only him.

In the most real way, Shane had ruined her for other men. With. One. Freaking. Kiss.

The bastard. She scowled.

“You know why,” she said, resenting him for making her admit even that much. “What were you doing here tonight anyway? Somehow I don’t think it was a coincidence.”

He slid his hands into the front pockets of his cargo pants, and the dark cotton strained over his powerful thighs. Not that she was looking…not really.

“I was here for you,” he simply stated.

Over a year. Thirteen months to be exact. The length of time between now and the last time she’d seen Shane at Addy’s master’s graduation ceremony. Still, no matter how much time had passed, those five words sent an illicit tingle through her veins, hardening her nipples and pooling in the flesh between her legs. Her brain comprehended the platonic meaning of his statement, but her body—her stubborn, slow-on-the-uptake body—interpreted something hotter, steamier. Naughtier.

She shot a glare down at her traitorous breasts, her scowl deepening. He’s not here for you, damn it.

So since he’d proven he couldn’t stand being in her company, his presence begged two questions:

A. Why was he still standing in her apartment?

And B. What the hell did “I was here for you” mean?

She scoffed, throwing him a disbelieving glance as she fell back on old habits. When in doubt, antagonize.

“If you were truly ‘here for me,’ you would have a Kahlua in one hand and Henry Cavill’s number in the other. Since I’m not having drunken phone sex with Superman, there must be another reason you’re darkening my living room.”

Of course, he displayed no reaction. She heaved a loud, exaggerated sigh that could’ve parted Donald Trump’s toupee right down the middle. That’s right. Mr. I Am the Law didn’t do humor.

Didn’t do her either, for that matter.

“Addisyn called me a few days ago.”

“Ohhh,” she drawled, throwing her hands up in the air. “And there it is. I should’ve known.”

“She feels like something hasn’t been right lately. She didn’t want to worry you, but she hasn’t been able to shake the feeling of being watched. And last night, while she was over here, she glanced out the living room window, and thought she saw someone sitting in a car across the street. And when she left, the car was still there, the person inside.”

A shudder worked its way down Fallon’s spine at the thought of an unknown “someone” lurking outside her building.

“She shouldn’t have had to call me,” Shane continued. He removed his hands and stalked across the room, eliminating the distance between them in several long strides. In seconds he loomed over her, his clean, fresh scent that reminded her of crisp, autumn nights enveloping her even as a fierce frown creased his brow. “You should have contacted me when this all first went down. Of course I heard about Jonah Michaels being indicted for murder on the news, but I never imagined you were involved in this somehow. Damn it, Fallon. Protection is what I do for a living. I should’ve been the first person you called.”

“Of course,” she agreed, the sweetness in her tone as phony as Kim Kardashian’s shiny new ass. “Because we’re so close. Because we’re BFFs. Because on the rare times we do manage to occupy the same space, you treat me like I’m an escapee from a leprosy colony. How could I have not called you?”

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