Desire Me: Sneak Peek (Pt. 1)
Happy Teaser Tuesday! There are only SEVEN days until Mila and Roman return in their final book... and this time, Roman brought backup! Check out your sneak peek at the first chapter below! And then come back next Tuesday to read the rest of the chapter!
"Mila, you are not coming back to Los Angeles right now," Roman growls into the phone. The heat in his deep voice rips through me, hitting me hard. At six-six and almost three hundred pounds of pure muscle, my giant of a man is intimidating as hell, but there is nothing hotter than he is when he's pissed.
A shiver of desire rolls through me even as frustration has me slamming a hand down on my hip in the middle of the kitchen and growling right back at him. "Yes, I am!"
He rattles off a string of curses, and I can just imagine him tipping his head back to glare up at the ceiling, a storm raging in those gorgeous blue eyes of his. I wish he was here so I could see them. Even if he is pissing me off—which he is most definitely doing right now—I miss him.
I haven't seen him in over two weeks. He's been in Los Angeles, helping Tristan Riley hunt down one of Pedro Francisco's men, while I've been under guard in Santa Cruz. I'm glad Roman was able to help Tristan find the man and save Lillian, but I haven't set foot in Los Angeles since Jose Guerrero kidnapped me and Talia McPherson—Roman's daughter and my best friend—four months ago. I'm ready to go home.
Guerrero is long gone, and Agent Riley killed Elijah Noel a couple days ago. Even el Demonio, the street gang that helped Guerrero do Pedro Francisco's bidding, is running scared.
I'm ready for us to get on with our lives, but like usual, Roman's being overprotective. If he had his way, I'd never see L.A. again. He doesn't want me anywhere near Los Angeles while Remi Pledger is still running free. I understand where he's coming from—the man kidnapped Lillian, for God's sake—but I'm pregnant, I'm hormonal, and I am done spending so much time apart.
"Baby, you are not coming home right now," he says.
"Yes, I am, baby."
He huffs out a frustrated chuckle. "Have I ever told you that you're the most frustrating woman I have ever met in my entire fucking life?" he asks.
"Yes. You always tell me that," I mutter, refusing to be swayed by the way his tone softens, amusement bleeding through. He might deny it, but we both know he gets off on the fact that I challenge him. He loves that I fuck with him just to rile him up. That's not what this is about though. "I miss going to sleep with you at night and waking up with you in the mornings. I just want to be with you. I miss you, Roman," I whisper, hating the way emotion chokes me. At a little over five months along, I should be over the crying stage of pregnancy, but no. Everything makes me cry. It's annoying.
"Fuck," he rumbles in that deep voice of his. "I miss you too, Mila."
"Then let me come home," I plead with him, turning my back on the living room so Evan Arias, my bodyguard-slash-babysitter, doesn't see me wiping tears. He handles them about as well as Roman does…which means as soon as I start crying, he calls Roman, who overreacts.
"I want you with me so fucking badly it hurts," Roman says, his tone gentle and pained at once, "but Remi kidnapped Lillian. They beat the hell out of her. Don't ask me to risk your safety when he's still out there, baby. You know I can't do that."
I flinch at his words, my heart aching for Agent Riley's wife. I've been on the receiving end of el Demonio's kindness. Jose Guerrero shot me before Roman killed him. I've spent the last few months in physical therapy, trying to regain strength in my arm. I thought I was going to lose the baby, which was complete and total hell. I still sometimes worry that something might happen to the baby because of what happened to me, but my pregnancy is progressing normally. Right before Roman was called back to Los Angeles and all hell broke loose we found out we're having a little girl.
"Fine," I mumble into the phone, knowing he isn't going to change his mind on this. He doesn't want me back in Los Angeles. That shouldn't hurt my feelings because I know how much he loves me…but it hurts my feelings anyway. "I'll stay here."
"It's fine," I say, hating the way my voice hitches, giving away the lie.
Someone calls his name in the background.
"Fuck," he mutters, his voice hard. He says something to whoever is with him, his voice muffled and then he comes back on the line. "Baby, I have to go to a debriefing."
"Okay," I mumble, still fighting the stupid urge to cry. "I love you, Roman."
"You mean everything to me. You know that, right?"
"I know," I whisper, and I do know that. No one has ever loved me like Roman does. He treats me like a queen. I've never doubted his feelings for me, nor mine for him. Which is exactly why being away from him is so hard.
We spent four years refusing to even acknowledge the way we felt about one another out of fear of hurting Talia. We're finally past all of that now. My relationship with Talia is stronger than ever. So is her relationship with Roman. And I'm so in love with Roman it's ridiculous.
But chaos keeps overtaking our lives. We've spent one night together in the last three weeks, and countless more apart even before Tristan flew into town. Every time something happens, Roman gets called back to the city to help out. There's no telling how long he'll be tied up looking for Remi Pledger.
Remi was his coworker, his teammate. They weren't friends, but they worked on the ATF's multi-agency gang taskforce and SWAT team together for years. Roman feels partially responsible for what happened to Lillian, but it wasn't his fault. He didn't know Remi was dirty. No matter how many times I tell him that though, he doesn't listen.
He thinks Remi gave Guerrero information about me and Talia. He's hurt and he's angry, and I don't think he's going to let me come home until he finds Remi.
Someone says something else to him, making him sigh heavily. "I love you, Mila. I'll call you soon," he promises and then disconnects.
I drop my phone to the counter and then stand there, staring out at the beach. Waves crash against the shore a few yards from the back deck. It truly is beautiful here. It's peaceful and quiet, and aside from Evan Arias, there isn't another person in sight. It's a little slice of paradise that's starting to feel more like a prison the longer I'm here alone.
"You okay?" Evan asks from behind me.
I nod, turning to face him.
He's standing in the doorway, his arms crossed over his chest, his honey-colored eyes locked on me. Even dressed in jeans and a dark t-shirt, authority practically rolls from him. Like Roman, he's used to being in charge and it shows. He's not quite as physically intimidating as Roman, but there's a hardness in his eyes and in the way he carries himself that's all too familiar. It makes him seem older than he is. He doesn't share much, but I don't think he's had an easy life.
He's locked up tighter than Fort Knox and doesn't let anyone or anything get close to him. He's been babysitting me for months, but I still don't know very much about him or his life. He tries to keep things strictly professional. Even when I pry, he doesn't give me much.
And that's why Roman picked him to be my bodyguard. He trusts Evan to keep me safe and keep his distance. Roman is possessive and doesn't like other men even looking at me, which is ridiculous because he’s the only man I see. He has been for a long time.
"Mila?" Evan prompts, his brows furrowing when I don't immediately answer him.
"I'm fine," I lie, offering him a tight smile.
He eyes me for a minute and then shakes his dark head, making it clear he doesn't believe me. "You need anything before I head out?" he asks, looking at his watch and frowning.
"Yeah. I've got some shit to take care of," he mutters, pushing away from the wall. His eyes land on me again. "My sergeant is going to put a car outside for the night. You sure you're okay?"
"I'm just restless," I say, shrugging a little. "I'll be fine though. I'm just going to get some work done and go to bed early. Go do whatever it is you do when you aren't here."
His lips tip up into a small smile and he shakes his head again. Like usual, he doesn't even give me a hint. I know he works for Santa Cruz Police Department, but that's about the extent of my knowledge.
"I'll be back in the morning," he says before tapping his hand on the wall and striding from the room.
"See you then," I call to him.
He's barely out the door when my phone chimes with a notification. I grab it and then head toward the fridge to get a bottle of water before plopping down at the kitchen table to get some work done. By some miracle, Kelli Cammack didn't fire me when I basically disappeared after my second day at work at the Triton Agency—a literary agency in Los Angeles. Instead, she offered to keep me on part-time as a proofreader, with the possibility of returning to a full-time position once I'm back in the city. If that ever happens. At this rate, I'm not so sure it will.
With a sigh, I settle in and boot up my laptop. While it's loading, I pick up my phone to see a text from Talia.
Talia: OMG. You will never believe who called me.
Before I can even set my phone down, it starts ringing. I smile when I see Talia's picture flash across the screen. She's never been a particularly patient person. If she has something to say, she can't settle until she says it. She is so full of life and is always going a million miles a minute. That's one of the things I love most about her.
"Who called you?" I ask.
"Your ex," she practically shrieks at me.
"Damien called you?"
"Yes," she huffs. "The cheating bastard heard through the grapevine that you and daddy are getting married. He called me to see if it was true."
"Wow," I mumble, not really sure what else to say. Truthfully, I haven't thought about Damien Wentworth in months. I dumped him after I caught him and my former boss in bed together. I haven't looked back since. I never should have been with him in the first place, not when a big part of me wanted Roman the entire time I was with Damien.
"When I told him that you are marrying my dad, he got all butthurt about it and accused you of cheating on him," Talia says with an angry growl. "What a douche! He cheats on you with your boss, and then has the nerve to accuse you of cheating because you've moved on. I swear he's delusional."
"He's kind of right. I was only with him because I didn't think I'd ever have a shot with Roman," I admit softly, poking through my inbox to find a new manuscript waiting, as well as a good job email from Kelli on the last one I proofread. There's also an email from Missy Beck, who has become a really good friend, dishing all the new office gossip. She likes to keep me up to date so I know what's happening when I finally get to return to work.
"That doesn't make you a cheater," Talia says.
"I fantasized a lot," I admit.
"That's because Damien was lousy in bed."
"True." I can't help but smile devilishly. "Roman definitely doesn't have that problem. He does this one thing–"
"No!" Talia shrieks, cutting me off. "No, no, and no! We are not talking about your sex life with my dad."
I laugh at her and then cut her some slack. Talking about my sex life with her dad would just be weird, but I can't help but tease her about it sometimes. Especially since she has a tendency to overshare about her sex life with Trent Bianco, her basketball star boyfriend. "I'm just kidding," I murmur, clicking to download the manuscript to my Kindle. "Well, I'm kidding about giving you the details, not about him being amazing."
"Gross," Talia groans.
Amazing isn't even a good enough descriptor though. Roman is sex on legs. There's nothing soft about him. When he's in me, he fucks me like he means it. Sex with him is a whole new level of incredible. He's sweet and filthy in turns, and I love every minute of it.
God, I miss him.
"I don't think he wants me to move back to L.A. with him," I blurt to Talia.
"What? Of course he does."
I bite my lip and voice the worry that's been niggling at me more and more frequently over the last few days. "What if he doesn't?"
"Mila," Talia whispers.
The sadness in her tone sends tears springing to my eyes. Just hearing the words out loud makes me feel ridiculous for even thinking them. I know Roman loves me, but a tiny part of me still worries that maybe I'm not wanted. My own father didn't want me. Damien cheated on me. What if Roman is just using Remi Pledger as an excuse because he doesn't want me either?
"My dad loves you so much," Talia tells me, her voice gentle. "I've never seen him look at anyone the way he looks at you. When Guerrero shot you, he was so afraid he was going to lose you. He looked like the sun just fell from the sky. He's crazy about you, Mila. He's just afraid something might happen to you and the baby. You know how overprotective he is."
She's right. I feel stupid for entertaining that insecure voice for even a second. But it's hard not to let those insecurities creep in when he's been hours away for weeks looking like he does while I'm getting bigger every day. I wasn't a small girl to begin with. That never bothered me before…but I've never been five months pregnant before either. Hormones are no joke. They're making me a little crazy.
"Just ignore me," I say with a forced laugh, trying to shove those insecurities down into a little box where they belong. "I'm hormonal and crazy right now."
"You are crazy if you think he doesn't want you," she agrees. "But I really hate your dad and Damien for making you doubt your worth. I hope jealousy eats Damien alive and his dick falls off."
"Babe, seriously? What the fuck?" Trent grumbles in the background, making me laugh. He's as possessive of Talia as Roman is of me. He hates when Talia even acknowledges that other penises exist. It's honestly a little adorable.
"Well, it's true," she mutters and then a smack sounds, causing her to yelp. "You can't spank me when I'm on the phone!" she yells indignantly, which makes me laugh harder.
I think I miss her almost as much as I miss her dad.
She and Trent argue back and forth for a second before she comes back on the line. "I gotta go, Mila," she says, a little breathlessly. "Trent's in caveman mode today."
"Have fun," I tease her before she disconnects. Once she does, I go to drop my phone, but see another notification.
Roman: You're so fucking perfect. I can't wait until you're back in my arms where you belong. I love you.
My heart melts as soon as I read the words, my insecurities falling silent.
About Desire Me
Roman Gregory and Mila Lawson thought the clouds hanging over their heads had vanished with the death of Jose Guerrero four months ago, but after Tristan Riley blew into town to take on el Demonio, their world imploded all over again.
With Mila pregnant and the gang war slowly fizzling, all Roman wants to do is focus on the future...but he can't do that when a man he worked beside for years betrayed him and their team in a major way. Now all Roman wants to do is find Remi Pledger and end the threat from Pedro Francisco once and for all.
Being back in Los Angeles after so long is exactly like coming home for Mila...except Roman is stressed out and ready to snap. All Mila wants to do is get on with the future they planned, but it's hard to do that when Roman's being pulled in a thousand different directions.
To ease his mind and soothe the pain of betrayal, she'll do whatever it takes. Even if she has to take on Remi Pledger by herself.
About the Series
Two weeks. No strings. No commitments.
Those are the terms Mila Lawson offers Roman Gregory when they find themselves living together in Santa Cruz.
With a violent gang gunning for him and a cartel threatening to go to war, the last thing the ATF agent should be thinking about is claiming his daughter's twenty-two-year-old best friend. But after four long years of lusting after the gorgeous little blonde from afar, once Roman has her, he's not willing to give her up.
She may be off-limits, but something about Mila drives him wild. There's nothing sweet about the things he wants to do to her, and nothing gentle about the way he takes her. She makes him crave a future he never envisioned for himself…one so much better than he ever dreamed was possible.
To keep her, he'll be forced to face the daughter he adores. To save her, he'll break every rule in the book.
Nothing will stand in his way. Not his daughter. Not the gang hunting him. Not even the law itself.