“I always knew that my father never truly loved me, so when he walked away it hurt, but it didn’t destroy me,” she admitted, slowly returning to her pacing. “And the same was true with Ted. I was embarrassed at being jilted, but it didn’t touch my heart. But Liam—”
Her words were cut off as there was a sudden buzz through the intercom. They both turned to glance at the monitor on the wall that revealed the iron gates in front of the club.
Holly’s heart skipped a beat, her breath ragged as she caught sight of the impossibly beautiful man with russet hair and a lean face that was tight with obvious strain.
“Speak of the devil,” Sasha smirked. She pressed a button on her desk. “We’re closed.”
Liam tilted back his head, searching for the hidden camera. “I know that Holly’s here.”
Holly frowned, wondering how the hell he’d managed to follow her.
Then she gave an exclamation of disgust.
The uniformed doorman had been helping her into the taxi when she’d given the address to the Playhouse. Clearly he’d passed along the information to his employer.
A mysterious smile played around Sasha’s lips as she glanced toward Holly’s pale face.
“She doesn’t want to talk with you.”
Liam grabbed the bars of the gate, his voice harsh. “I just need to make sure that she’s okay.”
“Maybe you should have thought about that before you shoved a knife in her back,” Sasha drawled.
“Damn it.” Liam forced himself to leash his anger, his knuckles white as he gripped the bars he clearly wanted to bust through. “Just tell me that she’s okay and I’ll go away.”
“Well?” Sasha demanded of Holly.
Holly bit her bottom lip.
She’d been furious when she’d fled Liam’s penthouse.
More than that, she’d been ashamed.
Not just because he’d kept the truth about Ted from her. But because he’d known her so well he’d realized that she’d eagerly blame him for revealing her ex-fiancé’s treachery rather than face the truth of her feelings for him.
She’d been a coward, too afraid of being hurt to expose her heart.
“I’ll talk to him.” She grudgingly gave in to the inevitable.
Sasha pushed the button that would allow the gates to open.
“Come to the office,” she commanded Liam, before moving to place a hand on Holly’s arm. “If you need me just give a shout. I haven’t had the chance to kick anyone’s ass all week.”
Holly watched her friend sashay from the room with a wry smile.
She could only wish she had Sasha’s confidence.
Maybe then she wouldn’t have made such a freaking mess of her life.
Certainly she wouldn’t have wasted so many years trying to earn the love of a man who didn’t know the meaning of the word.
With a shake of her head she moved to the center of the office, prepared when Liam burst into the room.
She wasn’t prepared, however, for him to charge forward, wrapping his arms tightly around her.
“Please, let me hold you,” he muttered as she stiffened in shock. “I need to feel you in my arms.”
Tentatively her hands lifted to his shoulders, her body instinctively arching toward him.
“I’m still pissed,” she warned, ignoring the fact that she’d already ruined her image of feminine outrage by clinging to him like a barnacle.
“I know.” He buried his face in her hair, his hands running a compulsive path up and down her spine. “I completely screwed up.”
“And I intend to make it up to you,” he swore.
He slowly lifted his head, his expression somber. “Tell me what you need,” he urged. “I’ll do whatever you demand to earn your forgiveness.”
“Will you walk away?” she asked in soft tones.
“No.” The denial came without hesitation. “That I can’t do.” His hand cupped her cheek, his thumb tracing her lower lip. “I’m sorry, princess, but I’ll never leave you. Not so long as there’s even a chance I can win your heart.”
It was exactly what she needed to hear.
Something inside her melted as Liam held her gaze, his expression stark with determination.
This man was nothing like her father.
He wasn’t with her because he could use her for some hidden agenda. All he wanted from her was her heart.
Her hands shifted to tangle in his hair, the last of the wariness seared away by the soul-deep emotion that openly blazed in his eyes.
“Then love me,” she pleaded.
He blinked. Then blinked again. “Holly?”
“That’s all I need from you.”
“Christ.” Swooping down, he seared her lips in a kiss of blatant possession. “I’ve waited so long.”
Holly shivered, a joy she never even knew existed exploding through her body.
“Do you still have the key to our room upstairs?” she whispered against his lips. “I have a sudden desire for handcuffs and blindfolds.”
The words had barely left her lips when she was being scooped off her feet and carried out of the office.
“I’ll kick down the damned door if I have to,” he growled.
Holly chuckled. “Very manly.”
He held her gaze as they moved through the empty club.
“Nothing is going to stop me from being with you, princess,” he swore. “Not ever again.”