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Coming Home (The Surrender Trilogy #3)
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The conclusion of the savage, sensual Surrender trilogy in which betrayal, pain, and vengeance threaten to destroy a passion between two damaged souls…
Evelyn “Scout” Keats thought she finally found her long-sought happiness in billionaire Lucian Patras. But even though Lucian has always treated her like a queen, she has discovered she is nothing more than a pawn in his own secret game.
Worse, her long-time friend and supposed shining knight, Parker Hughes has also used her for his own interests by playing a part in Lucian’s game. Everyone’s honor is suspect, and no one can be trusted. It is Scout’s worst nightmare come to life.
As she struggles to comprehend the cost of a broken heart and the value of love, she must choose, once and for all, how much her pride can endure—and how much she is willing to risk to be truly happy.
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Evelyn smoothed her clammy palms down the front of her pencil skirt. The narrow belt at her waist winked under the artificial, amber lighting of Patras’s lobby. Reflections danced across the toes of her patent leather Mary Janes as her feet clicked over the polished marble floor, suddenly muffled when she crossed the thresholds and the four-inch heels landed silently on the red runner. Dugan waited just past the gold tassels.
Her hands tightened the lapels of the nipped jacket she wore over her pearl-buttoned blouse as the brisk March air cut through her clothing. Dugan nodded at her and opened the door to the limo.
Silk slid over leather as she slipped inside the warmth of the car. The door shut with a gentle snick and she adjusted the nude lace at the top of her stockings. Nerves twisted her stomach into a spring that coiled and released adrenaline, heating her blood.
Dugan glided into the driver’s seat. “Where to, Ms. Keats?”
Pulling in a slow breath, she carefully exhaled, forcing away any trepidation. Her lips were done in a deep crimson shade one of the girls at the salon had suggested after she had them style her hair in a sophisticated French twist that morning. She was very aware that she looked nothing like her normal self.
“Patras Industries,” she said with as much confidence as she could muster.
Dugan’s untamed brows lifted to the brim of his hat. She had never been inside Lucian’s office. It was a part of his world she didn’t like to trespass on, but after their conversation this week, she knew it was time to cross into that part of his domain. After all, he had brought so many of her fantasies to life that it was time she returned the favor.
Dugan maneuvered the limo carefully away from the curb and eased into traffic with practiced skill. The pearls at her neck hung low in her cleavage. Her fingers twirled over the opalescent, heavy beads. Her mind toyed with images, predictions of Lucian’s expression as she unveiled her surprise.
Her legs crossed and uncrossed as the limo navigated through the busy streets of Folsom. A jolt of nerves had her questioning her motives. What if Lucian was busy and became upset when she interrupted his day?
She pushed the thought away. This was one of his fantasies. He’d taught her to be adventurous. As much as she worried he would be upset with her brazenness, she couldn’t truly imagine her handsome exhibitionist being too put out.
The corner of her mouth pulled into a secret smile. Breath filled her lungs as excitement spun wildly in her belly.
The limo pulled up in front of Patras Industries. The glass façade reflected a distorted version of the car back at her. “Would you like me to phone Mr. Patras and inform him you’re here?”
She tensed. “No. No, thank you, Dugan. I’d like to surprise him.”
“Would you like me to wait?”
Her palms again smoothed her skirt. “That won’t be necessary. Lucian will see that I get home safely.”
“Very good, Ms. Keats.”
Dugan exited the car and came to her door. Sweet anticipation had her knees softening. Sliding out of the car, she stood and found her footing in her high heels. She was doing better with the walking in heels thing. Her clothing adjusted with gravity and her eyes momentarily widened as she became suddenly aware of a minor wardrobe shift down below. Heat rushed to her cheeks as the gusset of her panties sagged under the damp weight of her arousal. She was already starving for him. Luckily, no one could see her panties. Yet. Lucian would know soon enough how excited she was.
She cleared her throat. “Thank you, Dugan.”
He nodded. “Do you know where you’re heading?”
“Fifteenth floor, right?”
Taking a deep breath, she pivoted, and stepped through the revolving door. The lobby was quiet. A man sat on a chair beside the elevator, typing something into a Blackberry. Evelyn’s manicured finger pressed the elevator button, and it instantly took on a golden glow.
The man looked up from his phone, his gaze traveling from her heels, up her stocking-clad legs, around her curves barely concealed by the tight skirt, and settled at her breasts. Her lips tightened as she watched the antique metal arrow clock the floors. When the car arrived, she breathed a sigh of relief and stepped inside the elevator, away from Sir Staresalot.
Knuckling the button for the fifteenth floor, she stepped back and ran a quick hand over her clothing and hair, making sure everything was in place. The car alighted with a luxurious purr and slowed just as the arrow reached fifteen. Shutting her eyes, she took a calming breath.
The metal doors parted and Evelyn carefully stepped out onto burgundy carpet. Phones rang and quiet voices carried. A woman in a brown skirt and ivory blouse leaned flirtatiously over the reception desk, a ballpoint pen twirling in her dainty fingers as she whispered to the young man who manned the area.