Entering the kitchen, I find Chris leaning on the marble countertop by the coffeepot, shirtless and in his pajama bottoms, the long strands of his blond hair a wild, sexy mess I’m pretty sure I created last night.
He glances up from the paper he’s reading, then picks up his coffee cup. “Morning, Ms. McMillan.”
“Morning, Mr. Merit,” I reply, grinning as I join him.
He offers me his coffee cup and I happily accept it, taking a drink of the perfectly flavored coffee and creamer. Sharing a cup with Chris has this sexy, intimate feel to it that always does funny things to my belly.
“Your last day as a free woman,” he comments.
“Why? Are you planning to tie me up sometime soon?”
He covers my hands on his cup. “Is that an objection, or wishful thinking?” He tilts the cup and drinks, his eyes never leaving mine.
“I plead the Fifth. It’s more fun that way.”
“That it is,” he agrees, but a sigh follows. “I wish I could do the same, but you’d better look at the newspaper.” He sets the cup on the counter, then hands me the Arts section of the local paper.
Dread fills me as I read the headline: “Acclaimed Artist and Philanthropist Chris Merit to wed Sara McMillan on Valentine’s Day in Star-studded Event in Sonoma.” I set it down. “We went to so much trouble to get the press off our backs before the wedding, and now they’ve found us! I knew when all these famous people showed up on the guest list, it was going to turn into a zoo.”
“Walker Security anticipated the press, and they’re staffed and ready for it. It’ll be fine. We’ll be shielded.”
Nerves the size of birds, not butterflies, attack my stomach.
“We should have eloped.”
“We still can. Let’s do it. Now. Today.”
“We can’t elope,” I say, sounding appalled, as if he’d suggested it, not me. “People who respect you are coming a long way to see us. And Katie has planned this for months.”
“Baby, we can do whatever we want. This is our day.”
“No. We can’t. Not this far into this. Which reminds me— you can’t stay here tonight. It’s bad luck to see the bride the night before the wedding.”
“I told you how I feel about that. We make our own luck.”
He kisses me. “I’m staying here tonight, and I’m fucking you like I won’t see you ever again, just to be sure you walk down that aisle.”
“If you’re waiting for me at the end of that aisle, I’ll be there. And if you’re staying here tonight, we can use separate bedrooms.”
“Does today count as part of that eve-of-the-wedding rule?”
He scoops me up and I yelp. “What are you doing?”“I’m a renegade, baby. Let’s go break the rules.”
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New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones is the author of the highly acclaimed INSIDE OUT SERIES, and is now in development by Suzanne Todd (Alice in Wonderland, Austin Powers, Must Love Dogs) for cable TV. In addition, her Tall, Dark and Deadly series and The Secret Life of Amy Bensen series, both spent several months on a combination of the NY Times and USA Today lists.
Since beginning her publishing career in 2007, Lisa has published more than 40 books translated around the world. Booklist says that Jones suspense truly sizzles with an energy similar to FBI tales with a paranormal twist by Julie Garwood or Suzanne Brockmann.
Prior to publishing, Lisa owned multi-state staffing agency that was recognized many times by The Austin Business Journal and also praised by Dallas Women Magazine. In 1998 LRJ was listed as the #7 growing women owned business in Entrepreneur Magazine.Lisa loves to hear from her readers. You can reach her at www.lisareneejones.com and she is active on Twitter and Facebook daily.