Love Lies Beneath(10)

By: Jen Talty

The elevator moved a little too much. She held her stomach, hoping she’d make it into her room, and he’d be long gone.

This would go down as her second biggest mistake.

Derek and his pictures had been the first.

“You sound quite sure you’re going to get me into bed.”

He laughed. “Since you’re really drunk and won’t remember this in the morning, I’ll be blunt.” She felt his warm lips on her cheek as the door popped open. “I’m going to make love to you like no one else ever has, and you’re going to want more.”

“No time like the present.” She flung herself forward toward the bed but miscalculated and landed on the floor with a loud thud. “Shit, that hurt.” Before she could even rub her ass, he had her sitting on the bed, taking her shoes off. “So, the sailor has decided to take me up on my offer to let him take—”

“Not tonight.”

“Awe, why not?” she asked, taking her bare foot, trying to maneuver it between his legs, only she wasn’t sure which set of legs were his and which were her eyes playing tricks on her. “Don’t you like…” If one could feel their face grow pale, it would start with skin burning, then cold sweat dripping from the hairline. “I’m gonna be sick.” She shoved him aside as she stumbled to the bathroom, collapsing in front of the toilet.

Shortly after that, the world went black.

Chapter 3

MITCH JOLTED FROM a deep sleep as an alarm buzzed from somewhere across the room.

“I hate that ringer,” Ashley mumbled, patting his chest with her hand. “Where’d I leave my damn phone?”

“I don’t remember you having it last night.”

Her body tensed. “Please tell me I’m dreaming.”

“You’re dreaming,’ he whispered, carefully rolling her to the side as he slipped from the bed on a mission to find the phone and shut off the constant ringing. After that, he figured he’d slip out of her room, satisfied he’d been a total gentleman, making sure he honored all of his promises and ensured her safety.

Thankfully, she’d gone back to a deep sleep.

Her clutch purse, that she’d dropped in the hallway, twice, rested on the chair next to the window, and it seemed to be the source of the sound. Sure enough, her phone had been tucked inside.

He let out a long sigh when he saw a reminder to meet her father for breakfast at eight. It was ten minutes to eight.

“Guess I’m having breakfast,” he mumbled, tiptoeing to the bedside and resting her index finger on the lock button. He felt like he was prying, but he’d only click on the calendar event, hoping it would have the information of the restaurant.

Only as soon as he unlocked the phone, a text message appeared from her dad.

Room 202. Don’t be late. I heard Derek showed his ugly face. I’m sorry. But I hope you didn’t do anything crazy. He’s not worth it and Valerie is a big girl. If she doesn’t want to know the truth, that’s on her.

And that was way too much information.

Mitch jotted down a note, leaving it on top of her phone so she’d know to check her messages and that he went to meet her father.

Even if he thought he could wake her, based on the light snore, he suspected she might still be a tad drunk.

Best to let her sleep until right before the wedding.

He paused at the door, and in a bold tactical maneuver, he snagged her room key, shoving it in his back pocket.

Making a quick run to his room to brush his teeth and change his shirt, he found himself tapping on the commander’s room at three minutes past the hour.

“You’re late, young lady,” the commander said, pulling back the door, his smile quickly turning into a frown. “May I help you?”

Mitch swallowed. When he’d met the commander a few years back, he’d found the man to be personable.

But intimidating as hell.

How Ashley’s father tolerated Derek was a mystery.

“Don’t I know you?” the commander asked, before Mitch could utter a single word.

“Yes. I’m Mitch Harrison, a SEAL, and we met on a joint mission—”

“I remember.” The commander nodded his head as his face relaxed. “How did you know I was here?”