When Garrett Rule finds himself inconveniently obsessed with Maria Alvarez, the most conniving woman he's ever come across, he doesn’t know which is stronger, his need to punish her or the need he feels to have her under his complete sexual control. Luckily for him, he doesn’t plan on choosing; he’ll take both. More
Maria Alvarez is her own woman and always has been. She’s more than capable of taking care of herself, so when Garrett Rule storms into her life with inflexible demands and an agenda of his own, she has no choice but to fight back.
Garrett Rule has no room in his life for conniving, bitchy women. When he finds himself inconveniently obsessed with Maria Alvarez, the most conspiring woman of them all, he doesn’t know which is stronger, his need to punish her or the need he feels to have her under his complete sexual control. Luckily for him, he doesn’t plan on choosing; he’ll take both.
As Maria stood in the break room, she heard the click of the door shutting and the lock sliding into place. Without turning and looking, she knew who'd done it; she knew who stood behind her. Her hands shook as she made a fist around the coffee filter she'd just pulled from the box.
She continued to stand still in front of the counter, not moving a muscle, not turning to face the threat behind her.
"You knew Villareal was coming today, I believe I mentioned that yesterday." Garrett rasped in a low, heated tone.
"Turn around," he bit out in a voice that brooked no denial.
She turned slowly and leaned against the counter for support.
"You understand his reputation with women?"
Not fully understanding the question, Maria narrowed her eyes and shook her head.
"He’s indiscriminate. He’ll do anything on two legs," he elaborated, gritting the words through his teeth. “I told you that once before—he’s a player.”
She sucked in a breath. "And you think this has something to do with me, how?"
He stared at her for the count of three beats and then pushed off the door. Without hesitation, he advanced on her until he was standing only inches away, invading her personal space. He lifted her chin and his eyes contained a fire that almost scorched her where she stood.
His voice when he spoke reflected only a small slip of control, but Maria knew him well enough to know how affected he truly was. "We have a lot of crap going on between us," he announced as his eyes ran over her face, down her neck and landed on the madly beating pulse in her throat. Sliding his hand from her chin, his thumb landed on the spot that told of her rapidly beating heart. He pressed on it, with just a hint of his strength, and raised his eyes back to hers. "I get that you've made it your mission in life to continue to keep me off-balance. Why you feel the need, I don’t have a clue.” He took in a deep breath. “But this dress . . . " His voice trailed off before he began again. "You, in this dress. You know how good you look in it. You knew I’d remember it. You had to know what I’d be thinking about the second I saw you in it." His eyes turned into gleaming slits of accusation. "And you knew he would be here today, watching you. You did it on purpose."
"No, I--" She began, knowing he spoke the truth, but not about to admit to it. Why had she worn the freaking dress? Why was she playing with fire? Was it because she’d let him have his way in so many areas that she needed some sort of affirmation of her own control?
He interrupted her thoughts and her fiercely beating heart. "You need to be careful with the game you're playing. I’ve been letting you have the upper hand, been letting you win your little game, because it humors me. But be careful, Maria—don’t take it too far." His hand spread out over her neck and his fingers pulsed against her windpipe in a shocking, sexual threat. "Trust me when I tell you that you don't have to go out of your way to provoke my jealousy. I'm already jealous. I already want to kill every man who looks at you. I already want to take you home to St. Louis, tie you to my bed, lock the door and throw away the key."
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