No one who saw them together could mistake that they were lovers.
Rage fired my blood. A sick darkness radiated through me.
Pain. Searing and soul deep. It took my breath and every ounce of control.
A woman’s arm draped over my shoulder. Her hand slid beneath the neck of my T-shirt to touch my chest, while her other wrapped around my hip to stroke my dick. Cloying perfume assaulted my nose, spurring me to shrug her off violently even as a model-thin brunette with heavily made-up blue eyes tried to sandwich me from the front.
“Back off!” I growled, glaring at both in a way that had them stumbling back and calling me an ass**le.
In another time, I would’ve f**ked them both, turning the feel of being hunted into one of complete control.
I’d learned how to handle sexual predators after Hugh. How to put them in their place.
I surged forward, pushing through the crowd, remembering the feel of Kline’s jaw against my fist. The unforgiving hardness of his torso. The grunt of air leaving his body when I hit him with everything I had.
I wanted him laid out and battered. Bloody. Broken.
Kline bent over her, speaking close to her ear. My hands clenched. She threw her head back and laughed, and I stumbled to a halt. Startled and confused. Despite the volume of noise, the sound struck me as wrong.
It wasn’t Eva’s laugh.
It was too high. My wife’s laugh was low and throaty. Sexy. As unique as the woman it belonged to.
The blonde turned her head and I saw her in profile. She wasn’t Eva. The body and hair were similar. Not the face.
What the f**k?
My mind caught up with reality. The girl was the one from the “Golden” music video. The Eva stand-in.
Roadies and groupies filtered around me, but I remained fixed in place as Kline caressed and seduced a pale imitation of my incomparable wife.
My phone vibrated in my pocket, startling me. I cursed and pulled it out, reading the text from Raúl: She just arrived at the casino.
So, she’d changed her mind about seeing Kline. Working the situation to my benefit, I typed back: Get her to the left wing now.
I backed up against the wall, sidestepping into an alcove half hidden by steel equipment cases stacked on hand trucks. The minutes ticked by slowly.
I sensed her before I saw her, felt the frisson of recognition. Turning my head, I found her easily. Unlike her imitator, who wore a small tight dress, Eva was dressed in jeans that hugged every curve and a simple gray tank top. She wore heeled sandals and hoop earrings, casual and relaxed.
Hunger hit me with brutal force. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen and easily the sexiest woman alive. Other women turned their heads to follow her when she walked by, envying her effortless beauty and sexuality. Men eyed her with heated interest, but she didn’t seem to notice, her attention on Kline.
Her gaze narrowed as she took in the same scene I had moments earlier. I watched her assess the situation and knew when she reached the same conclusion I had. A myriad of emotions crossed her face. It had to be odd for her, seeing a former lover so desperate to recapture what he’d once had with her.
It was inconceivable to me. If I couldn’t have Eva, I would have no one.
Her shoulders went back. Her chin lifted. Then a smile curved her mouth. I could see the acceptance settle over her, a new kind of peace. Whatever she’d needed, she had found it.
Eva passed by without spotting me, but Raúl joined me.
“Awkward,” he said, his attention on Kline as the singer looked up and spotted my wife, his body visibly stiffening.
“Perfect,” I replied, as my wife greeted Kline by extending her left hand to him. My ring on her finger sparkled brilliantly, impossible to miss. “Keep me posted.”
AS my muscles burned through my eightieth push-up, my gaze was on the flash drive lying on the carpet in front of me. The way I’d dealt with Yimara and Kline had been effective but unsatisfying. I was still tense and aggravated, spoiling for a fight.
My eyes stung as rivulets of sweat ran down my forehead. My chest heaved with exertion. Knowing Eva was out clubbing with Cary and some of their SoCal friends only sharpened the edge I hovered on. I knew how primed she got when out drinking and dancing. I loved nailing her when her body was damp and steamy with perspiration, her cunt slick and greedy.
Jesus. My dick throbbed and hardened further. My arms trembled as I neared the point of muscle fatigue. Veins stood out in harsh relief along my forearms and hands. I needed a cold shower, but I wouldn’t get myself off. I always saved it for Eva. Every thick, creamy drop.
The message app on my laptop pinged and I slowed the vicious pace, hitting one hundred before I pushed to my feet. I grabbed the flash drive and dropped it on the desk, then retrieved the towel I’d hung over the back of the chair. Wiping my face before opening the window on my laptop, I expected to read the latest update on Eva’s evening. What I saw was a text from her.
What room are you in?
I stared at the screen for a moment, processing the question. Another ping announced a text from Raúl: She’s heading toward your hotel.
Anticipation shifted my focus from working out to my delectable, clever wife. I typed a reply to her: 4269.
I reached for the phone on the desk and called room service. “A bottle of Cristal,” I ordered. “Two flutes, strawberries, and whipped cream. Have it here in ten. Thanks.”
Returning the receiver to its base, I slung the towel around the back of my neck. A quick glance at the clock told me it was half past two in the morning.