Come (Dirty, Dark, and Deadly #1) - Page 3

“Why are you crying?” He sits up, so he’s straddling my body, holding me down by the shoulders. But he’s not resting the full weight of himself on me anymore and that’s a welcome relief.

I open my eyes at the question because it throws me for a moment. Why is he asking me these things? “What are you going to do to me?” I sound like a stupid child.

He studies my face for a moment. “What do you think I’m going to do to you?”

“Kill me, rape me, torture me, take me back. Or all of the above, in reverse order.” I try to avoid his stare but I can’t help myself. His face is so beautiful. His features so perfect. His hair is short and dark, no beard, but the stubble on his chin and jaw is the kind that says I’m too busy attacking young girls on piers, so I have no time to shave daily. As stunning as his eyes are, they might not be his best feature, because those full lips are calling to me right now. God, what is my problem?

I change tactics. “Please, get off me, or just do what you came for.”

“OK,” he says with a smile. And that’s it, the smile, that’s the best part of him. It’s wide and genuine. And he has perfect teeth. Perfect white teeth that don’t look like the teeth of a killer. “Let’s get down to business. I asked you your name, I’d like an answer.”

What? “My name? You jumped off the pier and attacked me because I didn’t share my name?”

“I saved you, woman.”

My entire body goes flush with that word. Woman. Why is he calling me that? Surely he can see how young I am. I’m not a woman. Barely legal, as they say. And I feel like a very small child at the moment.

“The one your parents gave you. Don’t lie to me, I’ll know.”

I bet he will. Should I tell him? I turn away and sigh. It hardly matters now. He’s caught me. If he didn’t already know who I was, then why is he so interested? “Harper.”

“Mmmm.” He laughs a little. “Harper,” he repeats, like my name was a secret he was desperate for. “I like it.” He pulls me up to a sitting position and then stands, bringing me up with him. Before I can turn away or try any of my other

killer moves out on him, he’s pushing me back against the concrete pillar. He presses his body against mine, his hands resting on either side of my head. “I figured you’d be an easy target, but I was wrong. You got a little lion in ya, don’t you. Some poison to go with it, right? Lionfish?” He smiles big now and dimples appear. One in each cheek. He’s quite adorable for being a killer. “I’ve got a bit of blue-ringed octopus in me, as well.”

What?

“I’m not typically surprised, especially by women. But I have to tell ya, Harper, the thought that you’d rather jump off a pier than be asked out on a date by me… well, it’s an ego bruiser, to say the least.”

A laugh busts out of me before I can stop it. “A date?”

“Most women,” he says, ignoring my question, “do not assume a guy is gonna rape her or kill her when he asks for her name.” He leans down into my face, and my eyes can only concentrate on his lips.

Is he going to kiss me?

Just as he gets close, he changes direction and his breath pours into the shell of my ear. “I was really only looking to get laid tonight if you said yes”—the wetness gathers between my legs—“and that was going to be the end of it. A few Coronas and some rolled tacos on the beach. Or if you’re the fancy type, a seaside restaurant with an expensive bottle of wine to complement the surf and turf. The night ending with a nice hard and dirty f**k at your place so I can disappear in the middle of the night while you sleep peacefully, content with the multitude of orgasms I gifted you.”

I swallow hard again and his palm comes up to my throat, his thumb caressing small circles against my skin. It stops on the thumping artery and it’s like he’s assessing my reaction by the flow of my blood. I hold my breath and he moves his hand, sliding it down to rest on my shoulder. “But that’s not how this is gonna go now, Harper.”

“No?” I whisper, my mind totally blown by what’s happening. What’s happening?

“No,” he says, his intent gaze pouring into mine. “I watched you all morning as you did your circuit. Pull-ups hanging off the railing of the pier. Running the steps that lead to the

beach exactly fifty times. Sit-ups lying on the sand. And then the final cooldown walk out to the end of the pier just before dawn. And the entire time, your eyes were sweeping the area. Looking for people.”

“I never saw you,” I say, the panic back again.

“No, I’m not someone who likes to be seen, Harper. I’m someone who likes to do the seeing. But I figured,” he continues, changing the subject back to me, “you were just being careful. Maybe a bit paranoid. Afraid of getting mugged by a crazy homeless person looking for drugs. Typical shit, Harper.”

The way he says my name, God. Why is this man making me feel like this?

“So I was curious. Just an ordinary kind of curious. The kind of curious I feel when I see an unusual bug. But diving off a pier—great form by the way, did you take diving in school?” He doesn’t wait for my answer. “Diving off a pier, to avoid telling me your name? Now that… Harper, that shit is downright intriguing.”

“It is?”

“Yes.” His lips touch my ear this time. His tongue slides in and flicks against my skin. I hunch my shoulders and let out a moan. “I still want the dirty f**k. But not right now.”

“Oh God,” I whimper. “Just say it already, what do you want with me?”

He pulls away. His hand comes back to my throat, but it doesn’t rest there. No. His fingertips are prodding me to lift my head up and meet his gaze head on.

I obey. It’s I’m like stuck in a trance. He’s entranced me.

“I want to know you.”

And then his mouth is on mine, his tongue probing, pushing for entrance. His hand goes to that spot between my legs where it throbs wildly as he creates friction, calling forth more wetness. His other hand goes to my breast, the nipple hard and bunched from the cold water, my skin tingling with anticipation, fear, and want.

He tastes like salt and he kisses like the sea. Like a dangerous, killing, unforgiving sea that can do whatever it wants with my body. Toss me, twirl me, take me under and steal the breath right out of me. Make me powerless.