Run To Me

January 23, 2018 – Book Four, Lazarus Rising

Run To Me

He’s used to getting what he wants…

Jennings “Jay” Maverick is a tech billionaire. He has the world at his feet, and he thinks he can buy anything…but he can’t buy her. One look at the mysterious Willow, and Jay knows that he is a goner.  He wants to give her anything and everything she desires, but he’s the man responsible for the pain in Willow’s life, and getting close to her—well, that’s not going to be easy.

Her life is a nightmare that she can’t escape.

Willow woke up in one of the “Lazarus” research facilities. She now has increased strength, incredible speed, and some scary psychic bonuses. Because of the danger associated with her new gifts, she’s afraid to touch anyone.  One touch from her, and a man’s darkest fears will seemingly turn into reality.  But Jay isn’t afraid of her touch.  Instead, he seems to…crave it. To crave her.

She can’t trust him, and he won’t let her go.

Willow knows that Jay has been involved with Lazarus in the past, but he swears he only wants to help her.  She never expects the white-hot desire that burns between them, a desire that grows more with every moment that passes. Thrust together as allies, Willow finds herself wanting to put her faith in Jay, wanting to find someone she can rely on, but Jay may still be keeping secrets from her. Secrets that could get them both killed.

When darkness and danger close in…RUN TO ME.

Excerpt

“I don’t like being in crowds.” She stood with her shoulders against the back of the elevator. The walls were mirrors, and her own reflection stared back at her. “I’m sorry if I was a-a disappointment tonight—”

“You could never be that.” And he caught her hand. At his touch, a little, electric spark seemed to shoot through her body. That always happened when he touched her. She became too aware, too sensitive.

Turned on.

He moved closer, putting his body in front of hers. They’d been on the top floor, so the elevator ride would take a little time, she knew that. Time in which she’d be alone with Jay.

His gaze held hers. “Every man there wanted to fuck you.”

Now Willow winced. “Not exactly what I wanted to hear.”

“My damn fault.” Now his gaze dropped to her body. “The dress…”

You bought it.”

“And you make it look like a fantasy.”

That was, well, rather nice.

Jay shook his head. “You’ll be unforgettable. To the men and the women. That was the point.” He let go of her hand. Took a step back. Straightened his shoulders. “Your picture will be in the press. On the Internet. You’ll go worldwide, baby. Somewhere out there, someone will recognize your face.”

That was good and bad. “How much longer do I have to be bait?”

Now he flinched. “It’s not just about you being bait.” His voice was guttural. “It’s about finding your past. It’s about—”

“It’s about you wanting to hunt down Wyman Wright.” Wyman Wright. Just saying the name made her tense. Wyman Wright was the man who’d set the wheels in motion for Project Lazarus. The man who’d chosen the test subjects, the man who’d turned them into monsters.

Wyman Wright was also the man who’d seemed to vanish—quite literally—off the face of the earth.  Only Jay thought he could coax Wyman out of hiding. Jay thought that Wyman would come after Willow.

And that’s why I’m bait.

The elevator dinged. They’d reached the ground floor.

The doors started to slide open.

Jay reached out his hand and pressed a button on the elevator control panel. Immediately, the doors closed. The elevator didn’t move.

But Willow’s heart raced a little faster.

“I want to make things right.” His face had tensed, and his gaze seemed to burn.

And there it was again. His guilt. Always between them. “I’m not some pet project.” Her words came out angry, crisp. “Not some mistake you just get to wipe away.”  But…wasn’t she a mistake? Her chest ached, and she lifted her hand, pressing her palm against her racing heart.

“You’re not a mistake.” His gaze burned. “You could never be that.”

He moved toward her once more. Very, very close. And his hands rose to curl around her shoulders. She stiffened because that electric awareness was there again, and Willow tried to retreat, but there was nowhere to go. Her back was pressed to the mirror behind her.

Emotions swirled inside of her. Dark and twisting. Sometimes, she was twisted, too. She could do things, such bad things.  She could slip into a person’s mind and turn fears into reality. She’d…hurt people.

And Willow knew she’d hurt others in the future. That was who she was.

“You shouldn’t touch me,” she reminded him, her voice hushed. “You know touching me is dangerous.”

Because if she touched her prey, it gave her power. The power to slip right into her prey’s mind—

“Do I look afraid?”

She blinked. No, he didn’t look afraid.  He looked—

“Ever wonder what it would be like if we kissed, Willow?”

Her lips parted in surprise.  Heat stained her cheeks because she felt as if he’d just gotten into her mind. Yes, she wondered. She fantasized, even though she knew it was wrong. He wouldn’t want to be with someone like her. He felt guilty, that was all.

“Because I do,” Jay continued in his dark, rumbling voice. “I wonder about it, oh, a thousand times a day. I think you wonder, I think you feel the need, too. This…desire.  This craving.”

“It’s not natural.” Her voice was so low.

But the narrowing of his eyes told her that he’d heard her words. “Why do you say that?”

Because nothing about her was natural. She’d come back from the dead. She was a monster. Maybe she was evil. She didn’t know. Willow didn’t answer his question. She stood there, feeling the heat of his body press to hers, inhaling his crisp, masculine scent.

And she fought her need.

“Do you want me, Willow?”

Her lashes lowered, concealing her gaze. She needed him to back away. Her emotions were all over the place and… “You’re the man who financed Project Lazarus.” She made her voice flat. Willow eased out a low breath, schooled her expression, and forced herself to meet his stare once more. “How do you think I feel about you?”

Jay flinched.  His hands immediately fell away from her shoulders. “Right. My mistake.”  He backed up.

She missed his warmth.

Her hands fisted at her sides because Willow almost reached out to him. She couldn’t do that, though. Touching—her touch—was too deadly.

He turned toward the control panel, giving her his back. “Let’s go home.” Suddenly, he sounded weary. Weary beyond belief. “Don’t forget, when the doors open and we head outside, cameras will be flashing.” He glanced over his shoulder. “So just try to pretend that you don’t hate me.”

The doors opened. He offered his arm to her.

She looped her arm with his. I don’t hate you. She didn’t.