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The Princess (Filthy Trilogy #2)
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The second book in the Filthy Trilogy – Eric and Harper’s story continues…
He’s the bastard of the empire, a savant, a genius, and a self-made success. He left it all behind, but he came back for her.
Their passion is a flame that ignites more than their bond. It ignites secrets, lies, and a puzzle that once solved, will shake them to the core.You know one deep, dark secret, but you do not yet know anywhere near everything.
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Darkness engulfs me inside the Kingston warehouse as I try to escape the hand on my mouth and the big body at my back, but then I hear a whispered, “Easy, sweetheart,” at my ear and everything familiar about this man washes over me with relief. It’s Eric. Oh God, it’s Eric. He came back. He’s here. He’s with me and I have never been so happy to feel someone this close as I am now.
“Shhhh,” he murmurs softly and then releases my mouth.
I rotate in his arms and hug him so tightly that it hurts, but somehow it’s not tight enough.
He holds onto me, his hand flattening between my shoulder blades, but this is not just about affection. This is him holding me, keeping me still. This is him listening for movement and the necessity of my silence replaces my relief.
We aren’t alone.
This wasn’t a random power outage.
I stiffen and softly inhale a calming breath. Eric strokes my hair as if in approval and then kisses my temple before pulling me around and then in front of him. His hands go to my shoulders and he starts walking us forward, and I have no sense of where we are in the Kingston warehouse, but somehow he does. I sense this. I know this. I remind myself he’s not only a genius but an ex-Navy SEAL. About that moment is when he abruptly stops walking and we just stand there, and stand there, and I swear there is a whisper of movement somewhere nearby.
I don’t know where.
I just know it’s here. It’s close. Someone is with us.
Eric suddenly moves me forward and we take five fast steps before he stops us again. He reaches around me and my hands plant on what I think is a moving door. He walks me inside what I now know is an office, as the aquarium inside the foreman’s office glows. He moves quickly then, shutting us inside and moving me into a corner. For the first time since he arrived, I can see him, and even in the shadows, he’s beautiful and intense.
“You came back.”
“I should never have left,” he says, cupping my face. “And we have a lot to talk about when this is over.” He kisses me and then takes my hand and presses a gun into it. “Shoot first. Ask questions later.” He shrugs out of his jacket and tosses it. “Call 911, but don’t move. You could run right into a problem. I’ll be right back.” He starts to move away.
I catch his arm, my heart lurching as I plead, “Wait. Don’t go. You could get hurt.”
“I won’t get hurt.” His hands settle on my shoulders and as if he knows I need to hear the words again, he repeats, “I’ll be back. Don’t move.” He starts to step away again, but suddenly halts, holding a finger to his lips to silence me. I nod and he turns toward the door, silently stepping to a spot that places him behind it as it opens. The next thing I know, Eric and some man in all black are exchanging punches. Eric throws him across the desk and I don’t even consider running. I hold the gun ready to shoot the minute I know Eric is safe, but he’s across the desk and on the guy so quickly I can’t fire. I also can’t call 911 because I don’t have my phone, and the only phone in the office is now on the floor somewhere, out of sight.
I hunt desperately for it, but what I find is Eric flying across the desk this time, landing at my feet. The man he’s fighting charges at him and I manage to retain a level head. I fire the gun, but I’m clearly out of practice. It pulls left and misses the man and before I can recover, he’s on top of Eric, both of them rolling as I hit the wall. I run for the desk, searching for the phone, but as sure as I’m hunting, suddenly the man Eric is fighting runs out the door.
“Harper!” Eric shouts, motioning me forward. “We need to get out of this office now!”
I run toward him and he grabs my hand and then I’m running again as he pulls me forward into the darkness. I have no idea how he sees where we’re going and my stomach is all over the place in anticipation of the phantom object we’re about to run into, but never do. Suddenly, we stop again and he presses me against a wall, his big body against mine and it’s sweet relief, like everything wrong is now right. I’ve found my shelter and that shelter is him.
“Don’t move, sweetheart,” he whispers and then that shelter, his body, is gone. “We’re getting out of here.”