“Could any of the others have been put on that license, or just you?”
He shrugged his shoulders, hesitant to tell her. He didn’t want her to look at Keys, not even for a moment. Keys was a brother, but Ambrielle was his wife now. No one touched her. No one flirted with her. She was off-limits.
“Not just any of them. Keys volunteered to have his name put on it, but I said no.”
He sighed, but he wasn’t going to lie to her. They weren’t going to start out that way, not after his big fuckin’ speech. “Because that asshole Thompson wasn’t going to lay a finger on you. I knew I could stop him.”
“Why would you marry me, Master?” Ambrie persisted, her voice soft.
“Because I wanted you to belong to me. And you do. You’re mine. Your body and soul belong to me. Now I just need to win your heart. That’s going to be a little more difficult. I’ve never managed to win anyone’s heart. Not ever. I’ve got a big fuckin’ challenge in front of me.” He gave her that same faint smile that never reached his eyes because smiles in his world weren’t ever real.
Ambrielle’s small white teeth bit down on the side of her lower lip and chewed at the mark he’d put there. The tip of her tongue touched it as if soothing the bite. “You really married me because you wanted me? Why?”
He let out his breath. For the first time he wanted to laugh. Really laugh. “Look at you, woman. You’re so fucking beautiful it hurts. And you’re pure class. The way you move, the way you talk. You look like something out of a magazine. You’re smart. You can actually think for yourself and you’re not afraid to look me in the eye when you’re pissed at me. I could go on, but it doesn’t matter. A man like me doesn’t stand a chance with a woman like you. I approach you in a bar and ask to buy you a drink, you’d tell me to fuck off.”
Those strangely colored eyes drifted over his face and then down his bare chest. She shook her head slowly. “You’re the first man in my entire life I’ve ever been physically attracted to.” Her smile curved her full lips, drawing attention to the mark he’d put on her. His mark. “I saw you and the chemistry was off the charts, even when I knew I was going to have to kill you. It was such a shame. Then you kissed me, and you melted my panties off. I would have taken the drink in the bar. I probably would have gone home with you if we made it that far. That’s how classy I am.”
She could make his cock hard just talking about her panties melting off. Shit. He was acting like a teenager without the least bit of control. His jeans weren’t even halfway buttoned and already the material was too damned tight. You’d think he hadn’t seen any action in years.
“Tell me what you need from me. What kind of marriage did you envision when you thought about it?”
Her gaze dropped to the front of his jeans and her breathing changed. He kept back the grin of pure satisfaction. His princess liked his body, especially his cock. He hoped she had no inhibitions when it came to sex, because he didn’t have any.
“I always thought I’d find a man who loves me, but things change, you know. I can accept that.”
He didn’t know what the hell love was, and they’d just met. It wasn’t as if he could reassure her. But he would do his best to give her a good life with him. “I’ll do right by you.” That was the best he could give her. “Keep talking, princess, what do you want out of our marriage? What kind of life are you looking for?”
If she kept looking at his cock with hunger in her eyes and that little tongue of hers kept darting out and moistening her lips until they were wet and gleaming, he was going to palm the back of her head and bring her mouth right where it belonged. There wasn’t going to be time for any more talking.
Excerpted from Recovery Road by Christine Feehan Copyright © 2023 by Christine Feehan. Excerpted by permission of Berkley. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.