A Little Harmless Lie [Harmless, Book Four]
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by Melissa Schroeder
Category: Erotica/Erotic Romance
Description: Falling for her might be easy, seducing her may be damned hard, but keeping her alive might just be deadly. Harmless, Book 4 Coming from nothing, Micah Ross now has more than he knows what to do with. His Hawaii BDSM club is flourishing, and he has his pick of women. Except one. Dee Sumners is cute, sexy, feisty?and, since she's on his payroll, off-limits. Plus, she insists she isn't into the life. Until one heated kiss hints that his head bartender secretly hungers to be his sub. Life on the run doesn't allow Dee to indulge in long-term relationships. Still, Micah manages to work his way through her tough armor and under her skin. Yet even as she succumbs to his skilled seduction, her survival instinct forms a plan to leave the island she has grown to love--and the man she's in danger of loving. When Dee disappears, Micah's anger turns to fear when he realizes she didn't leave willingly. Calling on his skills as a former bounty hunter, he tracks her to the mainland only to discover she is entangled in a web of lies and deceit that not only threatens their love, but her life. Warning: This book contains more Hawaiian settings, a Native American Dom who always thinks he's right, a woman on the run, sexy kisses, murderous relatives, a trip to Sin City, and a seduction that is sweet and hot and everything in between. Ice water and a towel are recommended while reading.
eBook Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2010
eBookwise Release Date: December 2010
32 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [300 KB]
Reading time: 201-281 min.
He was watching her again.
Dee mixed a Colorado Bulldog as she rolled her shoulders, but it didn't get rid of the feeling that Micah Ross was watching her. He'd been doing it most of the night and it was making her damned self-conscious.
"Is there something wrong?"
She looked up at Keisha and smiled. The tall black woman had become one of her few friends since moving to the islands two years earlier. "Nope. Just a feeling."
"Oh, you mean the boss?"
She glanced up sharply and Keisha's smile widened. "It's kind of funny how he watches you all the time."
"Well, I don't like it. Makes me think he doesn't trust me." And while she did lie about some things, she had always been trustworthy in her job.
"Uh, honey, that's not why he watches you."
She turned to pull a beer. "Yeah, why else would he do it?"
Keisha said nothing and Dee looked up. Her friend rolled her eyes. "Are you that stupid?"
No, she wasn't. Most men were easy to read. They wanted one thing, and one thing only from her. Well, two things. First, their booze, then they wanted sex. She had avoided the second problem while making a good living off the first. Either way, she didn't like deep men. Those men were dangerous. They could hide things from you. Things that could end up getting you killed.
Micah Ross was deeper than any man she had met.
"There's a pool going," Keisha said.
That caused Dee to come to a dead stop. "A pool?"
"Yeah, we want to know how long it will be before Ross can't control himself. I have dibs on two weeks from Tuesday and I really want to go back to the mainland to see my mom."
"It's that high?"
Keisha laughed as she hoisted her tray up. "Honey, it's been building the last six months."
With that, she turned and sashayed through the crowd. Dammit, Dee hated that. She didn't need people speculating what was going on between her and Ross. She didn't like gossip. It made her too interesting. That would cause her too many problems to count.
She rubbed her forehead and tried to get her mind back on work. It was bad enough she'd dreamt of him more than once in the last few months. Who wouldn't, she thought with irritation. He was gorgeous. Not the usual pretty boy, he was tall, over six feet, with long straight hair, a proud Native American nose and Jesus, his body. She'd seen him just about naked since he'd paired up with subs for the crowd a few times when she first started working there. Saying the man was built just didn't do him justice. Sinewy muscles, golden skin, not to mention a world-class ass.
Lord, she had to stop thinking about that. No men. That was her rule. She didn't trust easily, but men especially. She couldn't be sure that one of them wouldn't offer her up on a silver platter for the price.
And if that made her feel sad, she would just have to ignore it. Stupid girls got themselves killed. Falling for a guy like Micah Ross was definitely stupid.
Business was starting to slow down, so she decided to start looking over the bar, starting cleaning up and doing inventory. Mondays weren't that busy, but she never left her bar for the next worker without a good supply. In her position as head bartender, she didn't have to stock the bar. She could make the next bartender on duty do it, but Dee held herself to higher standards than that.
She picked up a bottle of Patron and made a note that she needed another one. Once done, she turned to put it back.
"How's it going?"
Her heart jumped to her throat, every nerve going on alert and the bottle slipped from her grasp. The crash was barely heard over the roar of the pulsing music, but it did draw the attention of a few people sitting at the bar. Micah was behind her in an instant. He grabbed her by her upper arms and spun her around.
"Are you okay?"
She looked up at him, held immobile by his nearness. She had never been this close to him ever. She could see the concern in his eyes, feel his breath feather over her face. Even with all the people in the area, she could scent him. Bayberry...and Micah. It made her head spin and left her feeling vaguely aroused.
"I-I'm fine, Micah. You can let me go."
He looked down at his hands on her arms as if he didn't realize he still held her. He wanted to argue, she could see it when his gaze pierced hers again. After a moment's hesitation, he released her.
There was no reason for her heart to be beating the way it was. Her entire body simmered with heat. Good Lord, it wasn't as if she hadn't been that close to a man before. She was acting like a teenager.
"Are you sure?" he asked, his low, seductive voice easy enough for her to hear. He had moved closer, his lips within inches of her ear.
She nodded and turned to grab the broom. Without saying anything she cleaned up the glass. He stayed there, watching her as if she were a child who needed supervision. By the time she was done, her nerves were jumping.
"Was there something you wanted?"
He didn't say anything. She glanced up at him. His body was rigid, his gaze fastened on her mouth. A tremor of need shifted through her blood. Dammit. She cleared her throat.
The heat in his eyes sent a shaft of need spiraling through her as she took a step back from him. From temptation.
"No. Just wanted to make sure you were doing okay tonight."
She frowned. He watched her a lot but he rarely worried about her taking care of herself. "Everything's fine. You know how Monday nights go."
He kept watching her mouth as she spoke. It was a bit disconcerting. A lick of heat raced up her spine. His gray eyes darkened, his pupils dilating. Every bit of moisture in her mouth evaporated. Her nipples pebbled, ached. It took all her control to lick her lips. The need to squeeze her thighs together to relieve the unbearable tension between her legs almost overwhelmed her.
He took a step closer to her. The music, the people, everything faded to the background. Without a word, he dipped his head, but jerked back at the sound of Keisha's voice.
"Hey, I need another gin and tonic."
He shot Keisha a look of death before glancing back down at Dee. She couldn't say anything. Hell, she could barely think at the moment. In that one second, she had wanted him with a need that was burning her up inside. Her entire body was pulsing, yearning. But the moment was over as he glanced around at the customers. He said nothing as he turned on his heel and stomped out from behind the bar. Dee pressed a hand to her chest, trying to calm her heart and then leaned against the bar.
"Hey, Dee? Wake up, girl."
She looked up at Keisha and offered her a weary smile. "I'll get it. Give me a second. And definitely, I owe you a thank you."
She cocked her head to the side, her chocolate brown eyes twinkling. "Why? Because the big bad bossman looked like he wanted to gobble you up?"
Dee closed her eyes and shivered. "Yeah."
Dee's eyes shot open. "What?"
"Well, I didn't know you liked him that much."
Dee inwardly cursed. She had kept her attraction to him under wraps until that instant. "I don't like him."
"Honey, you may not like him, but I could hear it in your voice. You want him."
"Show me a heterosexual woman who wouldn't find him attractive, and I tell you the woman is an idiot."
Keisha laughed. "No. This is different. I have never seen that reaction to any man in the two years you've worked here."
Dee finished making the gin and tonic and placed it on Keisha's tray.
Keisha laughed. "Oh, you do. This is going to be good. Just don't do anything until my day on the pool. I need that money."
Before Dee could say anything, Keisha turned and worked her way through the crowd again. Without looking, she knew Micah was there, knew he was pretending not to pay attention to her. The fairest whisper of his gaze would move over her from time to time. She could feel it as if his fingers moved over her flesh. Dammit, she didn't need this.
One way or another, she would have to ignore him and every enticement he represented. Keeping entanglements to a minimum made her a smart girl. Smart girls stayed alive.
She glanced over and noticed he was talking to one of the regular subs...one that used to be his favorite. Her heart dropped to her stomach and she turned around. So what if it hurt? It was the way it had to be.
She pushed aside her foolish yearnings and started to shut down for the night. She'd learned years ago not to regret what she'd lost. There was nothing to be gained from it.