One Last Night (BBW Romantic Suspense) by Clara Bayard by Clara Bayard - Read Online

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One Last Night (BBW Romantic Suspense) - Clara Bayard

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coincidental.

Chapter One

I screamed and spun around, arms up to protect myself or fight back or both. But instead of rage and evil, the face in front of me displayed surprise and a hint of amusement.

Get the hell away from me, Sam, I ordered, voice shaky and weak.

He put his hands flat on the door behind me, trapping me between his thick, strong arms. What do you think you’re doing?

Leaving. I crossed my arms across my chest and frowned, struggling to keep the fear building in me from overwhelming me. Step back and let me go.

Are you insane?

I must have been, to ever trust you.

He snorted and stepped closer, his big, wide body making me feel small. To think that once I found that comforting, safe. Now all that bulk was a weapon against me.

Get away. I was trembling now, and could feel the terror seeping into every part of my body. It chilled and paralyzed me.

Carly, what the hell? Talk to me.

I could barely hear his voice. Shutters were closing in my mind, hiding me away from the truth I couldn’t handle. I thought I’d changed so much. Become smarter and stronger. Capable. But this was too much. The man who’d protected me, cared for me, laughed with me. The man I thought I was falling in love with was a lie. Once again I’d given my trust to a monster hiding behind a beautiful face.

A sob that turned into a wail burst from my mouth and with the last ounce of strength left in me I shoved at him. Sam obviously hadn’t expected that and he stumbled back. I might be tall and thick, but in no way was I ever a physical threat to him. But surprise was enough to get me a tiny bit of leverage and I took it. I slapped him across the face and pushed him again. This time he went down on one knee, staring up at me, mouth agape in the dim light coming through the window and under the door.

My instincts told me to flee, put some space between us. And so I ran in the opposite direction of the exit he guarded, back to the bathroom. I slammed the door behind me and flipped the latch. Only when my back was pressed against the locked door did I take a second to breathe and turn on the light.

Still shivering in just a t-shirt, I scanned the small room for anything that could help me. I still had the burner cell phone in my hand, but there was no one I could call. No one I could risk getting pulled deeper into the mess I’d created.

The tiny window in the bathroom was barely three inches high and tucked away almost against the ceiling. Too small to crawl out of and it faced the back of the motel, so yelling for help would be pointless. Sam would be able to break the door down and get to me long before anyone came to my aid.

Shit. I sank to the floor, keeping my back flat against the door as if that would be enough to keep him out. As the endorphins form our confrontation started to decrease, a bone-deep weariness came over me. I wanted to close my eyes and sleep away this nightmare.

But the all too real danger on the other side of the door reminded me it was no dream.

God damn it, Carly. What the hell are you playing at?

I bit down on my lower lip to keep from responding. Better he wonder what I was up to.

Come on, talk to me. Did you have a bad dream or something? Come out here, let me hold you. Let me make it all better.

Deep in my heart I wanted to do just that. But I couldn’t. I wouldn’t. Never again would I deliver myself into the arms of a man who wanted to harm me. It killed me, but I wouldn’t let denial overcome what I now knew was true.

Baby, please. You’re scaring me. Just tell me you’re all right in there.

The sound of his pleading voice was like a dagger to my gut. Slide the key under the door and leave the room. Then I’ll be all right.

He paused for a long moment. What? Where do you expect me to go? It’s the middle of the night.

Get in your car and drive straight to hell for all I care.

You don’t mean that.

He was right. There was no hell for sneaky, slimy men who cajole and seduce. Who pet and pretend to care while all the time they’re waiting to strike. No, hell is saved for victims of men like that. Stupid girls like me.

Carly!

I jumped and then froze as his hand slapped the door behind me, but he didn’t try to come in. There was a dull thud higher up like his forehead landing against the cheap wood.

You’re killing me. Please open the door.

I will kill you, Sam, I choked out. If you touch me I’ll kill you, I swear. It might take me hours but I will find a way to beat you. I won’t let you hurt me.

I don’t want to hurt you. I just want to know what’s wrong with you.

"You are what’s wrong with me. All your sweet words and comforting embraces. Lies to keep me weak. Make me dependent on you until you could get whatever it is you want from me."

I could hear the sigh through the door before he spoke. Baby, I don’t have any idea what you are talking about. I don’t want anything but you. I thought we were in this together? What changed?

I found the truth. The thing I always knew in the back of my mind. Tell me why, Sam. Did you know who I was the night we met at that club? Did you seduce me to find out about Mitchell’s operation?

Operation? The club? You think I was undercover there? And that you’re part of my cover? Don’t you understand what’s happened here? We’re both in huge trouble and you’re in danger. The people your boss worked for are seriously connected in the drug game. I don’t know why they kidnapped and threatened you, or tried to run us off the road tonight. But I’m going to find out. I’m going to keep you safe from all this, no matter what it takes. My case, my career, they mean nothing if you get hurt.

Again, he had all the beautiful words. The ones I’d believed when we were in bed together. But I wouldn’t be swayed by pretty words anymore. I didn’t know why he’d done it, or when it started. But he was involved somehow and that’s all that mattered.

Of course, now it all made terrible sense. The ease with which I was taken from my apartment when he just happened to leave. The