Teague O’Malley hates pretty much everything associated with his family’s name. And when his father orders him to marry Callista Sheridan to create a “business” alliance, Teague’s ready to tell his dad exactly where he can stuff his millions. But then Teague actually meets his new fiancée, sees the bruises on her neck and the fight still left in her big blue eyes, and he decides he will do everything in his power to protect her.
Everyone knows the O’Malleys have a dangerous reputation. But Callie wasn’t aware of just what that meant until she saw Teague, the embodiment of lethal grace and coiled power. His slightest touch sizzles through her. The closer they get, though, the more trouble they’re in. Because Callie’s keeping a dark secret—and what Teague doesn’t know could get him killed.
“There’s always good and bad, all mixed together.”
“Exactly.” He finally looked at her, pinning her in place with his gaze. “Though I’ll admit there’s more good to this situation than I would have expected.”
Desire rose up in a tidal wave that had shivers working their way through her body. Good lord, the man knew how to turn a conversation into something else entirely with a single look. She reached for her wine again, only to find the glass empty. Keep it together, Callie. You know how to flirt.
Yes, she did. But this wasn’t harmless flirting. Nothing about Teague was harmless. He saw too much. He was an O’Malley. And, perhaps most importantly, he was going to be her husband in a very short time.
He seemed to realize her mind was going a million miles a second, because he sat back, breaking the moment. “Now I have a question for you.”
“Yes?” She put as much nonchalance into her tone as she possibly could. The candlelight played along his cheekbones and jaw, the shadows dancing over his cheeks, following a path her fingers itched to trace. What was wrong with her? She should be focusing on what their next move was, not on how intimate it was to sit this close to him.
“Would you have actually married Brendan if someone hadn’t done you the favor of offing him?”
She looked into his dark eyes and couldn’t lie. “No.” That man was a monster. She might regret the events that had brought her to that horrible strip club and put a gun into her hands, but once she knew the truth about him, she never could have signed her life away to him. And if it took her all of a week to find out what kind of man he was, Papa should have known a long time ago. She shifted, the realization sitting like a block of concrete in her stomach. Had he known and gone forward with the engagement anyway?
He must have. There was no other explanation.
“Which begs the question—are you planning on marrying me?”
It shouldn’t be different—Teague was just as much a stranger as Brendan had been. But it was different. Even knowing him such a short time, she couldn’t shake the belief that he’d never raise a hand against her. That didn’t mean she could trust him, though, unexpectedly revealing information or not. He was loyal to his family first and foremost, the same way she was.
She wanted Teague, and a part of her that didn’t have a lick of sense thought she could trust him. That, more than anything else, made him a potential threat in a way that Brendan never could have been.
“That’s quite the proposal, Teague O’Malley.”
He grinned, completely unrepentant. “I plan on making up for the lack of originality in other ways.”
It was all too easy to imagine exactly the sort of thing his tone suggested. It took her back to that alley, to that kiss, to her desire for more. Callie reached across the table and snagged his whiskey, lifting it to her lips with a shaking hand. “Yes, Teague. I’ll marry you.”
About Katee Robert:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and it changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and speculative fiction romance novels, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her wee ones, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. Connect with Katee at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google + | GoodReads | Instagram | Tumblr | Youtube