A loss he can’t forgetSince losing his twin brother, Theo, in the line of duty, Case Taggart has felt dead inside. The former Navy SEAL has dedicated himself to his family and their business but he can’t help but feel stuck as he watches everyone else move on with their lives. Only meeting the beautiful Mia brings Case out of his misery, until he discovered she was just a reporter looking for a story. Betrayed, he turned his back on her and never looked back.An attraction she can’t denyMia Danvers can’t get Case Taggart out of her head. Though they hadn’t been lovers, she’d felt more for him than for any man she’d ever met. Growing up in the shadow of her over-protective, older brothers, she felt free when she was with Case and she longs to feel that way again. She knows that if she can find any trace of Theo Taggart, Case will be forced to let her back into his life. Months of searching have finally paid off and she knows this is her second chance.A desperate searchCase and Mia follow the clues they hope will lead them to Theo and the villainous Hope McDonald, but the search becomes increasingly dangerous. From Dallas to South America and beyond, dark forces work against them and threaten their lives. With each step forward, Case and Mia are pulled closer together and forced to confront their mutual attraction. But when the truth about Theo is revealed, Case may have to make a choice between his brother and the only woman he’s ever loved.
“Are you ever coming back to Sanctum?”
Her eyes flared briefly at the mention of Sanctum, but then she shut down again. “I didn’t think I could.”
Ah, yes, she was still invested in the lifestyle. “Ian didn’t revoke your membership. I asked him not to. Kori and Sarah made a plea for you. Actually, they made him cookies. My brother can be bribed.”
“Somehow I can’t see Ian Taggart being happy with me in his club. I lied to him, too.”
“You would be surprised at how reasonable Ian can be when he wants to. You should come back.” Another thought hit him. A nasty one. “Unless you joined a club in Austin.”
“No, Case. I haven’t been out trolling for strange Doms,” she said with a sigh. “I’ve been working with my brothers. They have their own insane plans, you know.”
He knew they were investigating a couple of people. Adam and Alex had been working on it. Case had stayed away. He wasn’t sure why the Lawless brothers wanted to take down StratCast Industries or why they seemed to have a hard-on for Patricia Cain, who wrote cookbooks and shit. If they wanted to take down the ice queen, who had a whole network dedicated to her telling the rest of America how shitty their taste was in everything from food to throw pillows, more power to them.
“Well, you’re welcome to come back. I know Kori and Sarah miss you. Erin’s talked about you, too. She likes any woman who’ll threaten to shoot her. Once she hears how you dealt with my rudeness, she’ll want to be your best friend.” His sister-in-law understood the need for a violent reminder every now and then. “You should see your friends. You know, I never asked you about her. About the friend you lost.”
It had been the whole reason for her lie and he’d never asked her about it. They’d been far too busy bickering over inconsequential things or ignoring each other.
“Her name was Carrie. We were roommates in college. She was very excited to be working on her first set.” Mia looked wistful, her eyes misting. “She was my first friend in college. We kind of clung together. She was from a small town and I, well, I had an odd upbringing. We kind of clicked. We roomed together until she moved to Vancouver for the show. I miss her.”
“I’m sorry, darlin’. I really am.”
She gave him a wan smile. “You know what it means to miss someone. I’m sorry about everything, Case. I really thought I was doing the right thing. I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
He moved in, taking the opportunity she was giving him. They should have done this a long time ago. “And I’m sorry I made you think I didn’t want you. I did. Walking away from you every night was hard as hell. I still want you, Mia.”
She looked up at him. “I don’t think it’s a good idea.”
“Tell me why you looked for Theo.” He should be asking her how she’d found Theo. He knew that, but he couldn’t do it. They would be together for days. He could find that out later. Right now, he needed to find out if she wanted him, too.
“You know why.”
He did. It was the same reason he hadn’t played with a single sub since the day he’d met her. No play. No sex. No anything because no one was Mia and it seemed like she was the only woman in the damn world who could do it for him. “Because we have chemistry. Because nothing ever felt like kissing me. No sex. No intimacy. None of it ever worked the way it did with me.”
“God, you’re an arrogant man.”
He really wasn’t. It was all a front. “I’m not being arrogant. I know how you feel because I felt it, too. Why the hell do you think I lied about having a girlfriend? I haven’t touched anyone since the day I met you.”
Her eyes flared, her mouth dropping a bit. It was good to know he could shock her. “What are you trying to say, Case?”
He finally did what came naturally. He touched her, sliding his palm up her neck to cup her cheek. That was what he’d been missing. Connection. Warmth. “I think we’re going to be together for a few days. I know I’m tired of not knowing.”
He wanted to know what it felt like to cover her body with his, to have her spread and waiting and offering herself to him. To know how it felt to slide inside all that warmth. To be surrounded with her.
It wouldn’t last. It would only be for a few days, but for those days he would know what it meant to take care of her.
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn't until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.